Review: Bearded Theory 2022

Bearded Theory festival or “Spring Gathering’ as they like to call it, has been silent for the past three years, but due to the strange elasticity of time, once we’re on site it feels more like a week or so since we were last there. Things are looking comfortingly familiar – we don’t want too…

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The Besnard Lakes live at Oslo Hackney

We’ve waited over two frustrating years but here they are – Montreal psy indie band The Besnard Lakes return to UK shores for a run of live shows. Actually this night at Oslo in Hackney is their penultimate on the tour. The venue has scheduled a club night for half an hour after the Bezzies…

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The Besnard Lakes unveil She’s An Icicle

Just a few tantalising weeks ahead of their tour, which includes dates in the UK, The Besnard Lakes have released a single called She’s An Icicle. This new track is in keeping with the feel and atmosphere of their last, triumphant album The Besnard Lakes Are The Last Of The Thunderstorm Warnings, released in early…

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The Battery Farm release ‘We’re At The Top’

We’re At The Top is the closing track from The Battery Farm’s 2nd EP Dirty Den’s March of Suffering. It is a song about “loneliness and a song about forgotten people”. Unsurprisingly, it’s suffused with melancholy – but so heartfelt and so raw it stopped me in my tracks. It’s a beautifully paced number, commanding…

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Jo Schornikow new release ‘Visions’

Australian singer-songwriter and pianist for Matthew Houck, aka Phosphorescent, Jo Schornikow has created an album of alt American indie which ‘explores the complexities and loneliness of motherhood’. Our first peep is this beautiful track called Visions. The new album is called Altar, to be released on May 20, via Keeled Scales. With woozy, reverby guitars…

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The Orielles at The Trades for IVW week

The Orielles played at The Trades in Hebden Bridge as part of IVW. As a local outfit – and the one who ostensibly kickstarted the ‘Calderfornia’ plethora of local bands, there was a supportive atmosphere, with plenty of their friends out in the crowd, singing along, word perfect. I’ve probably seen The Orielles more than…

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Cherry Ghost at The Trades for IVW

Cherry Ghost appeared at The Trades back in 2015 as part of the Heavenly weekender. It‘s been a long wait to see them again, especially with Covid causing a couple of frustrating delays. But here we are, on the final night of Independent Venue Week, with Simon Aldred and – for this gig – Christian…

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Fire Records Heaven on Fire at Studio 9295

In December 2019 I attended the Fire Records Christmas gig at Studio 9295 in Hackney. It’s the sort of event I’d like to see more of: a selection of artists with 40-ish minute sets, and all in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. So how fortuitous it was to discover that the label were dishing up…

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Green Man 2021 review: frolics in the Brecon Beacons

Imagine all the elements that make Green Man festival so special, multiply that several times over and you’ll get the general idea of the sheer pleasure and excitement of this year‘s extravaganza in the Brecon Beacons. The Green Man team did everything they could in order to go ahead this year and it was all…

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Sparks on the beach by Simon Beck

A giant image of the Mael brothers Ron and Russell, aka Sparks, has been carved into the sand on Brean beach, Somerset. The work was created by Simon Beck who was moved to create the impressive work to celebrate the release of the new film about the two, called The Sparks Brothers. Simon Beck, a…

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