Meadowlark -Live Review (30/09/16)

Charlotte Smith headed down to Manchesters Fallow Cafe to experience the stunningly beautiful Meadowlark encapsulate an audience with their heavenly sound. With support from O>L>A. 

 

fallow-gig-4
Photograph: George Heaton

 

Author: Charlotte Smith

 

Salford to Fallowfield – it’s not an easy journey to make on a Friday night at rush hour but alas I arrive at Fallow Café just in time to see the second support act take to the stage before headliners Meadowlark.

One Little Atlas, possibly better known as O>L>A are a band I’m familiar with already after seeing them support a local band sometime last year so I knew what to expect when they stepped into the taped off section of the room I’d then identified as the stage. The duo, who are based in Manchester, are comfortable on stage, they give off a vibe that makes you feel like you’re stood in one of their bedrooms watching them jam. They are typically northern and interact well with crowd firstly asking who’s here to see the main act. A few muted cheers creep out of the crowd to which O>L>A respond with an accusational “fucking hell come on you aren’t all here to see us!” The crowd livens up as they wade into both old and new material, which leave the growing audience transfixed by the uplifting experimental percussion and vocals worthy of a church procession. The band finish their support slot with a huge ballad which is received well by the dispersing crowd (probably rushing off to get to the bar or toilet first), it climaxes and a huge thankful sigh is expressed. A swig of cheap wine later, O>L>A leave the stage and enter a crowd of old fans and definitely a few new ones.

 

Fallow Gig -1.jpg
Photograph: George Heaton

I manage to wiggle my way towards the back of the attic space at Fallow Café and into the smoking area to reconvene with the photographer for this piece and quickly find myself rushing back inside in order to get a good spot for the headliners. There’s a definite buzz in the air, one that I didn’t expect as I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Meadowlark until a few weeks ago when I was assigned the gig. I googled their name and two top results appeared; the band (thank god) and the bird. I had it in my mind that Meadowlark were sweet and tranquil, much like the bird suggested. I listened to a few of their tracks and it certainly felt that way. Their live shows, on the other hand, are far from tranquil.

The band open with recent release ‘Headlights’ and the electronic drum kit claims the tiny space around it. Kate McGill’s vocals are beautiful. They are innocent but full of emotion. Daniel Broadley is the quite opposite, he is animated and full of energy and the contrast works so incredibly well that you could almost forget where you are through pure captivation of what is happening on stage.

 

Fallow Gig -2.jpg
Photograph: George Heaton

The band don’t say much, not until after their third track when McGill asks how the crowd are doing after noting their quietness. The crowd recognise this quietness but each member of that audience knows that this is not through lack of enthusiasm, more like complete awe. The fifth track of the set invites Broadley to address the crowd. He tells the story of ‘Quicksand’ and how the song was inspired by a Humans of New York post he had seen on Facebook. The words of the track emanate the stranger’s story of working in the Pakistani brick kilns and you can see the passion Broadley feels for the track through his facial expressions during the performance.

The next 10 minutes are filled with more upbeat tracks with the band playing ‘Sunlight’ and ‘Satellite’, both of which receive a big “WOO” from an overly manly man somewhere behind me. An acoustic version of ‘Postcards’ follows of which McGill claims as her favourite track off the forthcoming album and as an ode to an ex-lover. The crowd are deathly silent during this performance and as interesting as Broadley is to watch, his talent for playing a range of instruments and dancing whilst doing so, it is extremely difficult to focus on anything else other than McGill. The audience is completely lost in her voice.

The roller coaster set is brought to a close with an acoustic version of ‘Fly’ much to the crowd’s approval. Everyone seems to know this one and the band invite them to sing along to the chorus. The room is filled with varying tones all singing the hook over and over again. Complete elation can be seen on both of McGill and Broadley’s faces as a number of balloons aptly appear over the crowd. It’s super cheesy and I can’t work out whether it was done by the band or a fan but either way, it’s just enough cheese to be acceptable. “One more time Manchester” remarks McGill as the song and evening draws to a close. The crowd lap this up and the last chorus is louder than before and a huge round of applause begins to precede over the singing. By the looks of the crowd, Meadowlark killed it tonight in this tiny venue in the depths of Manchester’s studentville. They finish with a thank you, an invitation to buy merch and promising “we’ll see you again very soon”.

Elvis Depressedly – Manchester (15/06/16)

Elizabeth de Cent headed to Manchesters Aatma for a night of lo-fi vibes and 90’s cult comedy extras when she checked out North Carolina indie rocker Elvis Depressedly.

 

Author: Elizabeth de Cent

Where the hell is Aatma? Turns out it’s the final form of Kraak Gallery; a revelation which struck me almost as much as being told by Manchester blogger Shoplifters Union I was on the guestlist for the Elvis Depressedly show on their first ever UK tour. A band you have to listen to, if not only for the simple genius of the name, celebrating the release of new EP California Dreamin’ and re-release of Holo Pleasures seemed as good a reason as any to head out into town for a couple of drinks on a work night. When I think of Elvis Depressedly I think of two things, first – did they have Internet beef with Flatsound or was that just a Tumblr rumour? Secondly, their deliciously infectious lo-fi melodies and concise lyrics that paint atmospheric and poignantly blurry pictures, much like a Monet. I had been listening to ‘Thinning Out’ on repeat for the last couple of weeks (for personal reasons) so was completely psyched for this show, maybe I would cry a little.

Shortly after doors, the night opened with captivating local group Cult Party. With their resonatingly bassy talk/sing lead vocals and emotive violin accompaniment I like to believe this ensemble are from an alternative timeline where Charlie Fink and Marling set aside their differences and joined a spiritual commune in the desert somewhere. Following this was support from other Manc favourites, the ever well groomed, Gorgeous Bully, who if only had been born in the right decade could have reached such heights as playing Sunnydale’s, The Bronze.

By this point in the evening the crowd was really filling out, most of whom resembling the cast of Freaks and Geeks, and the atmosphere was of great camaraderie as headliners Evis Depressedly took to the stage. Looking uncannily like the cast of A Very Potter Musical (if the golden trio had instead been sent to wizarding school in Williamsburg) their lo-fi signature sound and downbeat lyrics immersed the venue and was met with enchantment and much rhythmic swaying. The majority of the setlist ending abruptly, no self-indulgent outros here, a band expert in keeping their performance crisp and succinct, leaving the audience edging for more. The highlight of the show obviously for me was their rendition of ‘Thinning Out’ from album Holo Pleasures. Though not quite as much of a punch-in-the-heart as the ethereal version on the record, this straight talking stripped down version really hit it out of the ballpark, and that’s the beauty of seeing great live music in your local venues. You’re not hearing an exact replica of the record, but something off-the-cuff and intimate.  A great night all in all, the atmosphere still echoing around me as I was later walked home alone in a torrential downpour. Sadcore till I die.

 

5 Acts To Check Out At Dot to Dot Manchester

Everyone’s favourite venue to venue festival comes back to Manchester this Friday (May 27th 2016), with a massive array of talent in some of Manchester’s best venues all day long it’s going to difficult to curate your Friday, but we’re hear to help. Here are our five favourite acts that you should be checking out at Dot to Dot Manchester.

 

Feed The Kid

Kick off your weekend with Manchester’s ‘Feed The Kid’, they’ve been relentless in bring their slick, glammed up sound to the venues of Manchester and beyond this year. If you’re dying for some exciting live music with rushing sounds and buckets of riffs head down to the former Kraak Gallery and check out an early evening riot of noise.

AATMA – 16:30 – 17:00

 

 

Turf

Shake things up with big sounds from local boys Turf. Expect filthy guitars and disturbing noise in the most heavenly way at Black Milk, from a band that provides riffs, beats and howls in equally excessive measures.

 

Black Milk – 19:15 – 19:45

 

 

 

Blooms

The surf pop outfits beautiful blend of dreamy melody and surf guitars make them an act not to miss this weekend. A Manchester three piece that possess well crafted songs and day dream vibes, Blooms addictive sounds is as hypnotic as it is breath taking and well worth the half an hour of your festival schedule.

Texture – 21:15 – 21:45

 

 

Diet Cig

The only out of towners on the list, Diet Cig’s New York sound will be right at home in Manchester. The duos indie pop songs, with Hop Along vocals and laid back vibes are encapsulating, and quite frankly not to be missed.

Ruby Lounge – 23:14 – 23:45

 

 

False Advertising

Round things off with Shoplifters favourites False Ad, if you haven’t hear their fuzzed up, guitar heavy, crashing down brand of alt rock, where have you been!? There killer live shows bring an influx of deafening noise and electric energy that’ll sober you up before you really get the night started.

Whiskey Jar – 01:15 – 01:45

 

 

 

 

5 Things To Do In Manchester This Week (14/03/16)

HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MANCHESTER THIS WEEKEND! THERE’S PLENTY OF GREAT STUFF GOING ON SO GET THROUGH THIS LOUSEY MARCH WEATHER WITH SOME GREAT TUNES AND LIVE MUSIC.

 

HAYDEN JAMES – SOUP KITCHEN – WEDNESDAY 16TH MARCH

Electronic artist Hayden James plays Soup Kitchen on Wednesday in an intimate show that can’t be missed. Before he heads down to XOYO in London. Big sounds and a big night.

 

 

 

AMERICAN YOUNG + guests SASHA MCVEIGH + LOVELESS EFFECT – RUBY LOUNGE – THURSDAY 17TH MARCH

Country duo American young hit Ruby Lounge this week with their folky tones and boy/girl duel vocals that have seen them gain popularity quickly state side and over here in the U.K. with support from AZ acoustic rockers Loveless Effect and country pop singer Sasha McVeigh.

 

 


FLAT PLASTIC FUNK CORPORATION – AATMA
-FRIDAY 18TH MARCH

A brand new night in Manchester filled with awesome live music from 3 piece funk instrumental Sugar Boots and Jazz Funk outfit Ink. Along with performances from four piece experimental hip-hop collective A Broken Camarilla and high energy hip-hop band The Shady 80’s. At AATMA (formerly Kraak) with DJ sets from Pesha and Flat Plastic DJs it’s set to be a killer night.

 

BIRDSKULLS & PIPEDREAM – FALLOW CAFE – SATURDAY 19TH MARCH

Brighton punk-rockers Birdskulls return to Manchester this Saturday on the back of last years debut album along with Cardiff rockers Pipedream set to release their debut ‘SECRET BEACH’ ON 12” vinyl via Dog Knight Productions on the 1st of April. Expect big riffs and heavenly melody in Fallowfield this weekend. Get your tickets here.

 

 


NECK BONES & HOT SAUCE feat. CASCADES – BIG HANDS – SATURDAY 19TH MARCH

Vinyl Surf, Garage and Fuzz night at Manchester’s famous Big Hands, as Neck Bones & Hot Sauce is back with a surf-scuzz special featuring the authentic, instrumental, reverb drenched, Yorkshire surf sounds of CASCADES.

 

 

 

 

5 Things To Do In Manchester This Weekend

Here’s what’s happening in Manchester this weekend! There’s plenty of great stuff going on so beat the January Blues and role into February in style.

 

SHOPLIFTERS UNION 1st BIRTHDAY – FALLOW CAFE – FRI 29th JAN

It’s official, we’re one. It’s been an amazing year and thanks to everyone that that’s been involved, theres going to be even more exciting stuff happening in 2016 and we’re kicking it off with a big party, expect cake, balloons and awesome tunes.the amazing Gorgeous Bully and the glorious CAESAR will be playing live along with Shoplifters favourites Horsebeach providing a DJ set. Theres still some tickets left you can grab right here.

 

 

 

BIG MUFF FUZZ FEST – CASTLE HOTEL – SAT 30th JAN

6 Bands. 5 Pounds. 1 Venue. Margin. Fuzz connoisseurs Big Muff are throwing together a festival that’s guaranteed not to disappoint, kicking off at 6 pm it features Stilts, Mothers, Mouses, The Twisted Dolls, Duke Mercury and DUDS. Get tickets here.

 

MUSIC & FILM – HOME – SAT 30th JAN

“From early innovations in genre filmmaking to historical archive footage and experimental documentary, we present an eclectic season of silent cinema accompanied by soundtracks from the city’s most innovative musical talent.” HOME bring cinema score to life on Saturday as Manchester musicians create scores for 20th century silent cinema.

TRUST FUND – AATMA (Kraak) – THURSDAY 28th JAN

Start your weekend off early with very special tour show featuring TRUST FUND and friends Personal BestDIRTYGIRL. Local support from Hot Shorts. There will also be some other very exciting entertainment on the night featuring members of Martha and The Spook School.

 

TIM BURGESS DJ SET // HOT VESTRY LIVE – NIGHT & DAY CAFE – SUNDAY 31st JAN

Independent Venue Week and Tim Burgess have teamed up to bring you an O Genesis Record Label night! See The Charlatans front man spinning disks as well as some awesome live music from Hot Vestry, Slowgun and Tear at one of Machesters best independent venues.

ATP, ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, announces new acts, check it out!

ATP just announced a whole host of new line-up additions to their ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ festival

All Tomorrows Parties: Nightmare Before Christmas is set to return this November, curated by the Turner Prize nominated Chapman Brothers; it takes place at the new site of Pontins in Prestatyn.

Joining the likes of Courtney Barnet, Iceage and Max Richter are Thee Oh Sees, Natalie Prass, Om, Jessica Pratt, Chelsea Wolfe, Pharmakon, Xylouris White, Russell Haswell, Empty Set, Extreme Precautions, Helm, Warm Soda, Avec La Soleil Sa Bouche, Föllakzoid, Warm Graves, Dead Rider,Dan Friel and VaticanShadow.

ATP 2.0 Nightmare Before Christmas takes place in Prestatyn North Wales 27th-29th November, get your tickets here.

ATP_Nightmare2015_NEWS

5 Best Venues To Go To Over Tramlines

Author: Thomas Durkan
The last weekend in July means only one thing in the city of Sheffield and that is Tramlines. Since it started in 2009 the festival has grown year on year, attracting acts as big as The Charlatans, Basement Jaxx, The Cribs and Echo and The Bunnymen. With near enough every pub/bar/club hosting events all weekend, we are going to be telling you the 5 venues you will not want to miss.

Bungalows & Bears

Right in the heart of Division Street, a stones throw from the stage on Devonshire Green, lies Bungalows & Bears. Known for having a mixture of good beer, great food and live music, Bungalows has a line up for the weekend that promises to thrill. Expect chilled out acoustic shows in the day time and sweaty DJ sets in the evening.

Check out: Adult Jazz, Chloe Martini, James Ewan-Tait.

The Harley

The Harley, the birthplace of the festival, is your one stop shop for massive DJ sets over the weekend. It’s on the way to the main stage at The Ponderosa and the party will be going on until 4 am every night. They are also showcasing a number of bands in the early evening. And why not stop by in the day time to enjoy some food from the Twisted Burger Company.

Check out: Andy H, RedFaces, NAO UK.

The Riverside

Sick of town and fancy a good pint? Well just outside of the city centre, situated in Kelham Island is The Riverside. Known for its real ale and beautiful beer garden which looks on to the River Don, The Riverside will be showcasing live bands for all tastes. The weather is supposed to be nice on Saturday so get down there early if you want a spot outside. And the pubs profits go to charity, supporting local arts and creative projects, so that’ll make you feel good whilst you’re sipping your beer and taking the music in.

Check out: CryBabyCry, The Ratells, Josh Kemp

DQ

Wondering where to go for some late night mischief after the likes of The Buzzcocks and Billy Bragg have finished their sets? Well where better than DQ? Round the corner from Devonshire green, DQ will be bringing you the best in electronic music, including a set from the one and only Craig Charles.

Check out: Craig Charles, XXXY, Matty Russell

The Wick at Both Ends  

Some would argue that The Wick at Both Ends is probably West Streets finest establishment (not forgetting West Street Live and all its glory). According to their Facebook page, the bar will be hosting ‘bands all day, DJs all night and drinks all the time.’ To me that sounds like heaven. With the music running until the early hours, grab yourself a cocktail and dance until your heart is content.

Check out: Kiziah and the Kings, Jack Athey, The Ruby Blues

5 Acts You Need To Check Out At ‘Sounds From The Other City’

It’s not long now before Salford once again plays host to one of the highlights of the year for us music lovers this Bank Holiday Sunday (May 3rd). Sounds From The Other City has been playing host to some of the finest emerging talent and promoters of Manchester, Salford and beyond for some time now, in fact this is the 11th time around and it’s still getting more exciting every year. It’s not just music, it’s a celebration of art, there’s loads of food and a record fair. But for music lovers there’s no doubt the highlight will be artists hand-picked by great promoters like ‘NowWave’, ‘Hey! Manchers’ and so many more, but here’s our pick of five artists you need to check out when you venture to ‘The Other City’.

sftoc-2014-red

Sauna Youth – (The Angle Centre)

Part of Grey Lantern’ hosting ‘Faux Discx Showcase’ at the Angle Centre, DIY punk four piece Sauna Youth take the stage in anticipation of their second album “Distractions’”. Expect perfectly formed punk songs with essence of pop driven by hooks and barks that will charm the socks off you.

Jane Weaver (St.Philips Church)

Hey! Manchester’ take over St.Phillips church with a stellar line up featuring, perhaps most impressively, Jane Weaver. With last years release of The Silver Globe out in the sonic-sphere, we’re fully prepared for the adventure of beautiful vocals, strange sounds, magic melodies and space folk feels.

Black Josh – (The Salford Arms)

Curated by the excellent Tru Luv, the line up at The Salford Arms features Manchester’s Black Josh, a young hip-hop artist who raps lyrics packed with wit and truth at their heart. It can be difficult to keep British hip-hop cool but with words as intelligent and beats as smooth it’s heart not to be. It’s an incredible chance to catch an awesome artist you need to check out.

Brown Brouges – (The New Oxford)

Amongst the stand up comedy hosted by Sham Bodie are Manchester girl group PINS with an acoustic take on their songs. But later that night you’ll have a change to check out Brown Brogues, dredged guitars and primal beats covered with recited lines and vocal howls. The Mancunian duo’s slick garage sound embodies the cities scene in recent years.

Sex Hands – (The Angle Centre)

Another pick from the ‘Faux Discx Showcase’ (it really is such a great line up), Brighton’s Sex Hands bring their fun style of garage punk to the bill. If you love guitar infused noise rock, subtle hooks and a smattering of this will be one you can’t afford to miss.

This is all just a taste of what’s going on in Salford that day, you can check out the full line up here, including Gengahr, Paper Dollhouse, D/R/U/G/S and it’s The Hipshakes, Fruit Tones & Pink Teens at The Eagle Inn from 8.00pm for just £2 in.

5 Alternative Festivals You Need To Check Out This Summer

Author: Jake McGloin

It’s getting to the that time of year again, soon enough Glastonbury will give us a “surprise” shock headliner, tents and camping gear will flood the supermarkets and Reading & Leeds are recycling the big names from recent festivals, again. It’s almost time for festival season already and what’s not to love; your favourite bands, sitting round the campfire with your friends, that one dickhead who brought a guitar that only knows the opening to Wonderwall and drinking all night, these are the things that make our summers great packed into one muddy, sleepless weekend. But more and more what should be a celebration of music and good times is being invaded by lad culture (no I don’t want to buy a canister of laughing gas for £20), big sponsors (why on earth would I be thinking about buying a car at a festival) and quite frankly, dickheads (no you didn’t think this was your tent now drop my wallet). Despite all these factors the festival scene all over the world has boomed over recent years, which has paved the way for smaller and alternative festivals to blossom. So if you’re fed up of swimming through mud to get a £10 burger or just want to try something new, here are five alternative festivals you should check out this year:

festival _68167890_musicfest

Liverpool Sound City (22nd-24th May):

In the heart of one of the countries best musical cities is a festival and conference that’s becoming a staple for music lovers. Gracing the stage are the likes of legendary psyc-rockers Flaming Lips, Manchester rising stars Blossoms and killer girl duo Honeyblood. Amongst speakers is The Falls Mark E Smith along with great networking opportunities. If you’re looking for an urban location festival with big names including The Vaccines, then this could be your best bet.

Catch The Flaming Lips headline the saturday:

Dot to Dot (22nd – 24th May):

Dotted across three cities,  Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol, and headlined by the brilliant Saint Raymond, Dot to Dot see an array of fantastic artists showcased across some of these cities best venues. Expect Prides, Best Coast, Swim Deep with a load more superb acts that aren’t even all announced yet. Now celebrating its 10th year prepare for a massive party across which ever city you end up in.

Don’t miss Honeyblood at Dot to Dot:

MIDI Festival (7th-9th May):

Fancy an over seas festival? This year held in the south of France, MIDI festival set across multiple venues, including a beach and an arts centre, see’s a great hose of artists including Horsebeach, Culture Ghost and The Garden. A musical holiday to the city of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, I promise there will be less mud than Glastonbury.

 Jib Kidder is one not to be missed at MIDI festival:

https://soundcloud.com/weirdworldrecordco/jib-kidder-dozens

Festival No.6 (3rd-6th September) :

In September the multi-award winning small festival celebrates it’s fourth year. Set in the picturesque Welsh fantasy village of Portmeirion its entertainment spans thought music, arts and culture and everything in between. This years see’s Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian headline the event, but also exciting sets from Mercury winners Young Fathers and one of music’s brightest prospects in the form of Kate Tempest. September may well be the end of the festival season but No. 6 will fell like the heart of it. It’ll be well worth taking those extra holidays to make it to “A Festival Unlike Any Other”.

 Ghost Poet is one of the most exciting acts at this years festival, not to be missed:

End Of The Road (4th-6th September):

Traditionally the last festival of the season, End Of The Road sees its 10th birthday celebrations kick off this September. Known for regularly hosting a stellar line up, this year is no different, with what promises to be stunning performances from headliners War On Drugs and Sufjan Stevens, but also lower down the bill Washington garage trio Ex Hex and Shoplifters favourites Alvvays will be making waves.

Don’t Miss Du Blonde to wrap up your summer: