Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’


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The debut album by Manchester psychedelic rock & roll 6-piece, Control Of The Going. “I Love You, But It’s Going To Rain” is the majestically-titled debut album from Control Of The Going, a band that’s blossomed from the slightly awkward kids that you’d see at every vaguely psychedelic gig in town to one of the leading lights in that very scene that they belonged to. They’ve naturally spread their wings further afield as this record demonstrates, its real power and beauty in the way they’ve taken their influences, span them round, put their own twist on them and made something so ambitious, widescreen yet still peculiarly (Greater) Mancunian in its impact. The rumbling guitars that usher in opening track War Crime give way to pulsating drums, but quickly come back to reclaim their crown. One of the most immediate observations with the album is the amount of space that producer Dean Glover affords these songs, no mean feat given that there’s six of Control Of The Going in action. Liam half sings, half drawls through the chorus, one part dark Californian, one part resembling Ride’s earliest work. As we’ll discover listening further, they never stand still at any point on this record.

Star is a real juxtaposition, guitars deep in the mix, jangling away menacingly with an imminent threat of blowing you away, with deliciously layered vocals in the forefront as Liam breathlessly asks the question “why won’t you be my star tonight?” before almost channeling another famous Liam from these parts as he enunciates the star in the question with increasing intensity. The band then take the song away from him, off into a whirlpool of guitars that feel like they’ve blindfolded you and turning you round and round until you’re dizzy with the impact.

Sell Your Soul also starts with Liam centre stage, with the slow build behind him alluding to what’s to come, but here the guitars have a longing metallic edge to them that feels so far removed from their roots. This is of course what makes Control Of The Going unique from their contemporaries, there’s no attempt here to overpower the listener, to blast them away with a wall of noise that them being a six-piece would feel like a logical approach. Subtlety is the key here, both in the playing and the production that affords each member the oxygen to allow the songs to breathe



The debut album due out on March 30th, 2018 On Infectious Music containing the singles  ‘CELEBRATION OF A DISEASE’  & ‘GIBRALTAR APE’ plus new single ‘ARMS OF PLEONEXIA’

The new single ‘Arms Of Pleonexia’, was premiered on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens, ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ is the debut album from Manchester band Cabbage,  released 30th March 2018 on Infectious MusicProduced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral, She Drew The Gun) at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool,
‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ is an album that confirms Cabbage as one of the most nuanced bands in years. Equally drawn to socialist politics and mucking about, they’re devotees of both big choruses and anarchic totems like GG Allin, Genesis P Orridge and Butthole Surfers. It’s a mixture writ large throughout ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’, from the frenetic opening salvo of ‘Preach To The Converted’, ‘Arms Of Pleonexia’ and ‘Molotov Alcopop’, via ‘Perdurabo’s swampy blues and wild funk of ‘Exhibit A’ to the devastating seven-minute finale ‘Subhuman 2.0’. It’s hard to think of another band who could write a magnificently infectious two-minute frantic anthem and then call it ‘Obligatory Castration’. Only two album tracks have been heard before, the BBC6 Music playlisted singles ‘Celebration Of A Disease’ and ‘Gibraltar Ape’. Indeed, the savagely brilliant ‘Postmodernist Caligula’ was written and recorded in a matter of days at the end of the album recording sessions.

While it broadens Cabbage’s sound further still from their already eclectic previous five EPs, ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ also does a superb job of capturing the raw energy of their freewheeling live shows. The band have kept the gigs fresh partly by theming each tour, with autumn’s Healing Brexit Towns Experiment living up to its name.

“The video is an opportunist representation of how our simplistic, questionable minds view the odious backdrop of the arms trade and the delicate situation of political control that arises tensions all over the world. Catch 22 in layman’s terms. The tensions not only exist in public safety and international bravado but is increasingly called upon in culture which reflects in our song and video. Lee and Joe, although their hairlines and blemishes are in high definition, are metaphorical states. With such institutions controlled by excessive greed, this inevitably leads to decisions that have huge detrimental effect. There are no winners in the arms trade. There are no winners in the video.”

 Nihilistic Glamour Shots

Preach To The Converted
Arms Of Pleonexia
Molotov Alcopop
Disinfect Us
Postmodernist Caligula
Exhibit A
Celebration Of A Disease
Gibraltar Ape
Obligatory Castration
Reptiles State Funeral

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Blackjack is the latest single for Manchester Indie pop four-piece The Dantevilles. With similarities to contemporary Stockport band Blossoms, and perhaps even the Courteeners too, it is clear that Dantevilles are fans of baggy, Indie, shoegaze, and yet they take these genres into 2018 in their own, fresh way.

From their hometown of Manchester, Dantevilles are regenerating alternative pop at the same rate as the city regenerates itself. Soulful and diverse, their clean, canny guitars and dual vocals reimagine the city’s sound through the crisp architecture of their atypical rearrangements. As England’s industrial noise dissolves, This band deliver slick, energetic soulful pop with a nod to the 80s electronica, and yet with a modern, up-to-date approach. This latest offering is a catchy, uplifting, melodic appealing little dance number. Led by a synth and electronic sound, fused with crisp guitar riffs, this track will surely appeal to any lover of Indie pop with its strong steady beat and trademark Manchester indie vocals. I would guess it’s only a matter of time before we see Dantevilles supporting well-known bigger acts on tour.



If 2017 proved to be a bit of a whirlwind year for Manchester band Pale Waves, Then 2018 is likely to be something else entirely. As if earning fifth place in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 wasn’t enough, this month also sees the four-piece release “All the Things I Never Said”, their Matt Healy-produced debut EP.

A precursor to the band’s debut LP that’s due to drop later this year, All the Things I Never Said is four tracks of effortless indie-pop; its silky-smooth pop licks and sugar sweet vocal delivery masking a darkness that seems inherent to Pale Waves’ genetic make-up.

Opening with current single “New Year’s Eve” the band’s brand of glitzy goth pop is established from the outset. An infectious chorus belys an angsty sense of self-deprecation that permeates the track, establishing a dichotomy of pop pomp and twenty-something cynicism that works in Pale Waves’ favour, and continuing throughout the course of All the Things I Never Said.

Any such cynicism is left to fall by the wayside however, at least as far as following track “The Tide” is concerned. Possibly familiar to those who’ve been following the band for a while, its pimped-up production does nothing to hamper its hugely uplifting nature.

Elsewhere, closing number “Heavenly” might be familiar as well, that too undergoing a sonic makeover that serves to enhance the track’s expansive and texturous composition. It’s forthcoming single “My Obsession” that’s the most intriguing track included however. Slower than everything else on offer, you can’t help but feel that this is the direction the band’s forthcoming album will take. Darker in tone than its counterparts, and harbouring a sense of maturity that shows Pale Waves have more than just an ear for a melody.

Though the sugary delivery of much of All the Things I Never Said might leave some with a toothache, it’s impossible to deny how much fun their music is. More than just another synth-pop outfit however, the undercurrent of darkness that bubbles underneath the frothy, poppy façade separates them from their contemporaries and proving that Pale Waves will be this years must see band.

It’s possible you managed to miss the debut album from Manchester’s The Breath – the unique pairing of Rioghnach Connolly (of folk-hoppers Honeyfeet) and guitarist Stuart McCallum (of The Cinematic Orchestra). If they can build on its brilliance in 2017, then prepare to see them hit the mainstream.

Tantalising in theory; and in reality, a creative union between singer/flautist Rioghnach and guitarist Stuart surpassed our already high expectations. Carry Your Kin’s charm lays in its organic, unhurried sense of musicality. Tough to pigeonhole, it flowed easily between soul, folk and ambient styles.”


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Some fast and furious rock ‘n’ roll riffs are delivered here on ‘Mr. Brown’, the debut single from Proletariat.

Released last April, it is the first cut from the Mossley, Manchester band’s debut EP ‘Always The Same’, A live favourite, ‘Mr. Brown’ offers some blistering punk guitar riffs that augment the sharp grungy vocals that could have come straight from the 70s, mixed with a dose of Noughties’ Slaves.

In a recent interview, vocalist James Cummins said of the song, “‘Mr. Brown’ is the demon that lives in all of us,” adding: “A lot of people think that it’s about heroin, but I can’t say that, at the age of 20, any of us have delved into it so it’s definitely not about that.”

Band Members
James Cummins – Vocals/Guitar
Connor Dolan – Lead Guitar
Aaron Hall – Bass
Luke O’Reilly – Drums

Two years ago, the tough and tuneful Manchester band Pins impressed us with their debut album Wild Nights. Earlier this year, they followed it up with their Bad Thing EP. And now, they’ve come out with a crunchy, steely-eyed new single “Serve The Rich.” The band recorded it with producer Jamie Hince, one half of the Kills, and it’s got some of that band’s forbidding throb. But it’s playful, too, and it’s a logical extension of what Pins have been doing for the past few years. Below, listen to “Serve The Rich” and read what the band has to say about it.

Jamie played us a reworked version of the demo and we were all blown away. I felt like he’d reached into my head and created the sound I’d been imagining.

The track is about how sometimes we feel like we only exist to make money for other people, it’s a swizz. We are promised things by saviours, these people who have come to rescue us, but it’s not true. “Serve The Rich” was my opportunity to assert myself. I’m saying that we as PINS, musicians, women, Labour voters, and feminists, are here to save the kids, we’re here to save each other, we’re here to save ourselves.

The song has been in their current live set, with the band leaving a trail of glitter-strewn destruction across the land.

‘Serve The Rich’ gains a limited vinyl pressing, Faith’s pointed vocal takes centre stage, urging: “I’m only here to serve the rich, I’m only here to save the kids…”

Kiran Leonard.

Kiran Leonard was born in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester in 1995, a fortnight after Oasis lost their famous chart battle with Blur. This is nicely symbolic because Leonard couldn’t be further removed from the cliched indie-lad template. His dad, a former folk singer, encouraged him to learn the mandolin when he was five. From there he graduated to the guitar, and at 10 years old he was devouring his older brother’s prog, noise and jazz records while recording his own music on the computer with a cracked copy of Ableton. “I didn’t really care about learning how to play other people’s songs,” he says. “I just preferred to fuck about. I used to record a lot of absolute shite… and never stopped.”

Leonard’s 2012 debut album Bowler Hat Soup – on which he played virtually everything himself – careened confidently from lush chamber pop to chewy prog via deranged music-hall stomps, placing its 16-year-old narrator on the Pyrenean ski slopes of Port Ainé or in the midst of an ancient battle. Yet Leonard now dismisses the lyrics of Bowler Hat Soup as “mostly bollocks”. Whereas heavier new album Grapefruit is only “half bollocks”, with entertaining salvoes of nonsense wordplay such as Ondör Gongor (named after a legendarily tall Mongolian man) nestling alongside the likes of Half-Ruined Already’s more unsettling exploration of the human psyche.

“That’s based on a Werner Herzog short film called Last Words,” he explains. “There’s an anecdote in the film about two people with leprosy: a man with no legs and a woman with no arms. So the man used to walk around on the woman’s back and together they formed a full-length avatar, and as a result entered a common-law marriage. It’s an example of co-dependence taken to extremes. So essentially the song is asking: Am I actually in love with this person or do I just want their limbs?”

Evidently there is a high level of intellectual curiosity at play here, so it may not be a surprise to learn that Leonard is in the second year of a degree course in Spanish and Portuguese at Wadham College, Oxford. He has been reluctant to talk about his academic life in interviews, but given we’re drinking in a 14th-century tavern in the shadow of the Bodleian Library, it’s a difficult topic to avoid. Mainly, Leonard is concerned that people might think he’s another posh-boy rocker in the Mumfords mould. “But Oxford’s not what people think it is. There are 22,000 students here and they didn’t all go to Eton.”

With his grungy jumper and blunt Lancastrian vowels, nobody is likely to mistake Leonard for a member of the Bullingdon Club. His music is clever and quixotic but it’s also governed by purist punk ethics. He doesn’t use effects pedals and has only recently taken to carrying a spare guitar with him to shows because he didn’t want to look flash. That doesn’t mean he lacks ambition; he compares his next album after Grapefruit to Pet Sounds and he’s already mapped out its narrative arc, even though he’s yet to write all the songs.

Leonard’s Manchester musical peers include the likes of Dutch Uncles and Everything Everything, who can be heard loudly praising his work at every opportunity. But pinning him down to one particular scene is difficult. The best comparison is with someone like Jim O’Rourke, whose refusal to play the game allows him to move between orchestral pop, post-rock and avant-garde spheres at will.


Kiran Leonard is just 20 years old, but if you were looking to paint him as a wide-eyed ingénue, you’ve already missed the boat: Such is his experience and tireless work ethic he’s already coming to resemble a veteran. A rangy young man from Oldham, Greater Manchester, Leonard picked up the mandolin aged five, and wrote his breakout 2013 song “Dear Lincoln” a manic piece of psychedelic pop, like Van Dyke Parks reincarnated in the body of a hyperactive English schoolboy when he was 14 years old. Leonard is an intellectual sponge drinking up an ocean of knowledge. His frame of reference encompasses playwright Samuel Beckett and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the mangled productions of Death Grips and the brainbox pop of Elephant 6, while “Pink Fruit” – the second song on this, his second LP – is a sprawling song suite with more twists and turns in its 16 minutes ,The crux of its peculiar lyric? An erotic encounter between a woman and a squid.

It’s a lot, right? Right. Grapefruit is by turns astounding, accomplished and difficult to digest, an album shouldering ambitions so big that you fear that at any point it might give way at the knees. Undoubtedly, Leonard is an autodidact of amazing talent and energy. At times his idiosyncratic performance style resembles Dirty Projectors’  see “Don’t Make Friends With Good People,” with those wandering, pointillist guitar lines, that voice that leaps boldly across octaves, as if participating in some tipsy parkour. Elsewhere, he recalls a fellow British outsider, Richard Dawson, whose take on the narrative folk tradition is both wild-eyed and whimsical. The lolloping, rusty groove of “Öndör Gongor” is a fractured song-story sketched in enigmatic strokes – a strapping maritime fantasy set “in the night of the shotgun,” in which sharks lurk as “a clatter of shins hit the dock” and a mysterious orb named Ethel waits, hungrily. The song ends with staccato blasts of guitar and a chanted shanty-like coda, although how all this relates to the subject of the song’s title – a giant who lived in early-20th century Mongolia – is left unaddressed.


Grapefruit is a gnarlier-sounding record than its predecessor, its lurching guitars and skittering, free percussion. It is at its most digestible, however, when Leonard plays it orchestral. “Caiaphas in Fetters” is a beautiful confection of strings and fluttering guitar that finds him posing questions to a lover: “Ask yourself/Do you feel as I feel?” “Half Ruined Already,” meanwhile, is a finger picked love song in which two participants – one legless, one armless – come together in one romantic whole. It was inspired by a Werner Herzog short about a couple who met in a leper’s colony, but succeeds in taking such grim subject matter and alchemizing it into warm sentiment. At the other end of the scale is the somewhat opaque “Exeter Services,” which flips between quizzical improv and skidding emo, all flail and gasp and rickety cathedrals of language built to collapse: “I’m in the Catskills! Total duality! All of Ophelia! Absolute anarchy!”

Grapefruit is 57 minutes long and feels packed to the rafters, as if Leonard is a hoarder of ideas and song fragments, unwilling or unable to let anything go. Take “Pink Fruit.” In its 16 minutes, it flits between noisy spazz-rock, folk shambling, woodwind interludes, short-wave radio tinkering and free percussion. I’d stop short of calling it confused – even when it’s getting wild, there’s enough recurring lyrical cues to suggest its maker is working to a detailed map. But he can be rather an impatient guide, and while the ground it covers is startling and often picturesque, Grapefruit is an album you feel led through, rather than being left to explore or inhabit. Perhaps in this regard, at least, Kiran Leonard still has things to learn.


Thanks to Pitchfork,


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