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 Things To Do In Manchester This Weekend (02/06/16)

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.

 

TAV FALCO’S PANTHER BURNS – RUBY LOUNGE – THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

Equal parts primal, early rock’n’roll, deviant hill country blues & avant-garde art – TAV FALCO’s PANTHER BURNS are poised and ready to pounce with an all new tour supporting the release of their rip-roaring 10th outing, the ‘Command Performance’ LP.

 

 

The Teamsters & The Hipshakes- BIG HANDS – FRIDAY 3RD JUNE

Only Joking Records welcome London boys The Teamsters to Big Hands this Friday, with support from regulars The Hipshakes for a night jam packed with rock and/or roll, trash punk and a leaky roof. Great tunes and coldish beer for just £3 on the door? Spot on that!

 

 

 

 

VOGUE DOTS – THE CASTLE HOTEL – FRIDAY 3RD JUNE

Canadian electronic duo Vogue Dots hit Manchester city centre with their swooning melancholic style, in a tiny room that’ll be electrified with their melodies. Support comes from AMBIERE and Sarah De Warren for just £5 courtesy of Flat Plastic, tickets here.

 

 

THE STAIRS – MANCHESTER GORILLA – FRIDAY 3RD JUNE

Liverpool psychedelics,The Stairs,  bring their reunion tour to Manchester Gorilla on Friday. Only releasing one album and clutch of excellent singles before their split in 1994, during their short time together the cult band are now dubbed ‘Godfathers of the Cosmic Scouse Scene’ with their music inspiring the likes of The Coral, Noel Gallagher and The Zutons – with this show at Gorilla set to be one of their first shows in 20 years.

hqdefault

REMAKE REMODLE BEATLES SPECIAL – RUBY LONGE – SATURDAY 4TH JUNE

Manchesters coolest club night pays homage to arguable the greatest pop group, rock band and psychedelic collective of all time with an epic club night at Ruby Lounge. Expect Beatles tunes all night, fab four fancy dress along with art, cake and cocktails. So have your self a hard days night (Sorry!) for just £4 (Advance tickets here) and cheap drinks promos.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

What’s On: 5 Events To Head To This Week.

Got any plans to keep warm in the winter nights this week? Here are five awesome gigs that you can’t miss this week in the U.K.

Kim & The Created – Big Hands, Manchester – Saturday 21st November 2015

Kim and The Created have been creating a rumble in California playing wild and captivating rock ‘n’ roll. They’re heading over to the North for an evening of dumb fun and pile ons. With support from Manchester punks ‘Proto Idiot’, and the garage melodies of Welsh Llion Swyd for just £3 on the door in one of Manchesters coolest holes, you even get DJs Neck Bones and Hot Sauce playing voodoo fuzz and tropical bangers till the early hours all courtesy of Only Joking Records.

Glass Caves – Studio Par 2, Liverpool – Thursday 26th November

Glass Caves take their Indie rock & roll sound on a small UK tour kicking off with Liverpool on Thursday, with support from the magnificent Natalie McCool, Spares and The Volts if you’re around you can’t miss it.

Feed The Kid – Ruby Lounge, Manchester – Friday 20th November

Manchester’s Feed the kid launch their new single on Friday with a their last headline show at the legendary Ruby Lounge. Support comes from King Kartel and Mayflower as they celebrate the release of the slick, retro ‘Coming Back For You’. Expect big noise and a big night for one of Manchester’s best up and comers.

The Arty Farty Party – Zoo Pub, Manchester – Friday 20th November

Manchester’s Zoo hosts some of the coolest bands around with Hip Shakes and Bad Molly hitting the stage along with artists like Roisin Keown and Sam Ryding to name but a few. The aim of the night, is to bring together up and coming creative artists and musicians by combining a night of live music as well as art exhibitions. If you’re around it’s a perfect opportunity for Manchester artistic up and coming socialites.

 

Flat Plastic Promotions presents JUNK. – Fallow Cafe – Thursday 19th November

In Manchester’s student central Fallowfeild, expect a whole lot of noise. York’s ‘JUNK’ head a fuzztastic bill for only £4. JUNK. blend male / female vocals a la The Pastels and The Vaselines, with the Big Muff moments of Dinosaur Jr. Expect Indie Pop and jangly guitar from support Mirror Gorillas and Red Rooms. Expect and epic night of noise pop and cool vibes kicked off with an acoustic set from Hot Shorts.