Green Man festival 2017 review

This year was the 15th anniversary of Green Man, the bucolic festival set in the Brecon Beacons. It is – since the demise of Big Chill – my favourite festival venue, with its lush mountainous setting and main stage framed dramatically by the Black Mountains. For those short of stature (like myself), you’ll always have…

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Review: Leftfield at Bluedot festival

Review of Leftfield ‘Leftism’ at Bluedot festival, by Nicholas Mai “Come on Tom, let’s go and see some proper music”. And so the uncertain eight-year(ish) old boy dutifully follows his father into the tent where Leftfield are warming up the crowd nicely as the first of the big name opening Friday acts at this year’s…

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Review: Bearded Theory festival birthday bash

Bearded Theory Spring Gathering or “festival” as it is usually called, has reached an important milestone – its tenth birthday. The hairy-faced contributor to the festival world has grown and blossomed, from bum fluff through designer stubble to full beard. The celebrations opened on a perfect sunny Thursday afternoon with a surprisingly large crowd, perhaps due to the lineup being stuffed…

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Amber Arcades review: The Trades and The Finsbury

At the Heavenly Weekender at The Trades in Hebden Bridge back in January, Amber Arcades’ half-hour early evening set was the most engaging of the three days (young Halifax band The Orielles were the other stand-out act). The focal presence on stage is Amber Arcades’ mastermind, the very cool Annelotte De Graaf, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter – her…

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A powerhouse of a show: North at Open Eye Gallery

North: Identity, Photography, Fashion is now showing at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery, the first exhibition to be held as part of their 40th anniversary year. Curators Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray have taken an in-depth and far reaching look of the creativity of the towns, cities and suburbs of the north through different media and the way its influences…

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Lloyd Cole at Union Chapel review

I noticed that Lloyd Cole was sporting that slightly tricky sartorial trend, double denim. Later in the set, Cole made reference to his outfit. He related a story about a visit to Austin, Texas, where at a honky tonk bar he observed “much younger women dancing with older men… who all wore double denim”. Much of Cole’s amusing onstage patter…

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Battles of Winter – At Once with Tattered Sails

Battles of Winter’s second album At Once with Tattered Sails was released (download only) on September 23. “The difficult second album?” the band announce on their Facebook page. Having given the album a metaphorical spin (actually, about ten), my answer to that is a definite no. This new offering from BoW exudes confidence – the…

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Fightback! against venue closures at The Roundhouse

Fightback! tickets went on sale at the earlybird price of £10 before any line-up was announced. About half the tickets sold out, and around 800 acts came forward to offer their services to play at the gig, which was set up by the Music Venue Trust as a protest against the recent astonishingly high number of…

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Review: Festival Number 6 2016

The good, the bad and the muddy… On a positive note, Festival Number 6 yet again had its moments of music, magic  and discovery.  The location is Portmeirion, the beautiful and quirky Italian village in north Wales. And it was commendable to note just how many of the artists appearing on Festival No 6’s various stages were…

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