5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (18/07/16)




CAESAR – Hazey

Manchester Indie band CAESAR unveil their debut single Hazey this week on cassette and digital download via Black Hand Records. The aptly named track is packed with lazy vibes that wash over a care free vocal as the rhythm section moves freely around the dreamy guitar all before the song breaks it’s self down to build it back up again. Captivating and disorientating, it’s a solid first track from an awesome band.

Berries – Siren

A simple but haunting hook, a far out beat and a cool vocal all add to the hypnotic feel that Siren emits. From all girl band Berries, this new single is an intelligent yet clean rock song that litters it’s self with surprises through out.



The Teen Age – Liquor Store

Taken from their new EP ‘Bad Seed’, The Teen Age hit us with the video for their track liquor store. This Brooklyn band have been a Shoplifters favourite for some time (in all honesty we love anything Paper Cup Music send us), standing at just under two minuets it’s like a Vaccines power track with all the slick punk style of the Ramones.


Xylaroo – Track A Lackin’

Sister/Sister two piece Xylaroo have an unbelievable grasp on harmony that sounds just as good live as it does recorded. Their new track is like a Country & Western soundtrack with a modern take melody, and somewhere in between old and new in terms of lyrics.




Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

After waiting so long for new music from Jamie T it feels like all our christmas’ have come at once since he came back, with a stellar third album and an electric Glastonbury set, there’s now a new album and tour planned for later this year. New track ‘Tinfoil Boy’ is a shambles of noise and genre thats more explosive than we’ve seen Jamie in a while, anything this man does is exciting and different to the last time around and this is no different.



5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (18/04/16)

We haven’t been writing lately, and we’re sorry. Life aye!? But we’re back with bigger ideas and the same passion and high quality music as ever. So to make it up to you here are five awesome tracks you need to hear this week! And send us your tracks to Shopliftersuni@gmail.com and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!




False Advertising- You’re Too Slow

Our favourite home town grunge heroes are back again with their new EP ‘Brainless’. Their latest single ‘You’re Too Slow’ is everything you’ve come to expect from False Advertising, big fuzzy riffs, killer beats and nothing but noise in between. The vocals bring out a the bands melodic side amongst a meddle of stunning guitar. Stellar as ever from F.A.

(Jake McGloin)




Bad Breeding- Remembering


With a barage of noise, Stevenage band ‘Bad Breeding’ bring us their latest song ‘Remembering.’ It’s pounding drums, excessive feedback and the singer shouting about the corruption and manipulation of politicians and institutional bodies, which could not come out at a more relevant time, give us a punk song today’s generation and a middle finger to the powers that be.

(Tom Durkan)


Andy Shauf- The Worst in You


If you like tales of loves struggles sang in a whispy voice over acoustic guitars and light percussion, then Andy Shauf will be right up your alley. Think of a modern day folky Burt Bacharach. It’s easy listening chamber pop that will help you while away a summers day in the garden with a good book.

(Tom Durkan)


James Holt- The Mirror


Mancunian musician James Holt exhibits a brand of classic pop rock with a bluesy undertone in new song ‘The Mirror.’ Holt, who produced the song himself, shows a real knack for composition with an arrangement which perfectly blends electric guitar, keyboard, horns and even an organ to create a sound even the finest producers would be envious of. This is real talent and a guy to look out for in the near future.

(Tom Durkan)



Nick Brewer- Nobody

Following on from his 2015 top 20 single ‘Talk To Me’, Nick Brewer is back with his new song ‘Nobody’. Brewer tells a story of not being taken seriously by other MCs along side thoughts on religion and being patient. He has a flow reminiscent of Wretch 32, who’s ‘Fire in the Booth’ is sampled in the song.

(Tom Durkan)

5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (7/12/15)

Getting those winter blues? Here are  five tracks you need to hear this week to perk you up!



Weekender – Floaty Feeling, Blue

Philadelphia chill rockers Weekender have had a pretty sweet year, support for Future Islands and Peace, and now gaining complacence to the likes of The Stone Roses and War on Drugs, it’s pretty impressive. But it’s all very much deserved. As the name suggests the latest the titles track from their EP, released in January, is jam packed with floaty vibes and indie pop guitars John Squire him self would envy, with under tones of Ash it’s got a real Brit Pop feel dipped in a fuzzy haze of magic.



FEWS – The  Zoo

Curetnly working on their debut FEWS, made up of members form Sweden and the US, give us a snippet of what’s to come with the video for The Zoo. It’s a big post punk power track with a riff that stabs into your brain like something taken from ‘Unknown Pleasures’. Dripping with ambient vibes it’s an exciting taste of that’s to come as they work away on there debut album in South London.




DOLLS – Kid Kannibal

All girl, two piece grunge outfit called DOLLS, can it get much cooler? wait till you hear it. Taken from their double A side single which also features ‘Audrey’, Kid Kannibal is a full sounding, loud, rock banger. Beat heavy and packed to the rafters with noise, driven by a riff that’s as slick as it is fuzzy.


Gang – Animalia

Brighton band Gang show us the feral video for Animalia. The track it’s self is an incredible movement of dirty riffs and grunge beats held together by howling vocals. Think ‘Bleach’ and you’re getting the vibe. Expect filty riffs, hammered beats and penis. You have been warned.




The Crookes – The World Is Waiting Continue reading “5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (7/12/15)”

5 Albums That Shaped Me – Lucky T Jackson

Josh Goddard of Manchester Retro Guitar Band Lucky Jackson Talks Us Through The Albums That Shaped Him.




Mixing guitar pop, soulful vocals and an R&B edge, Lucky T Jackson are certainly making an impression with they stunningly cool style and retro sound. Front man Josh Goddard takes us through some of the albums that shaped his sound.



Otis Redding -Otis blue

This Album I think is one of the best of all time. Otis Redding is one of my favourite singers – he sounds like he’s crying when he’s singing (in a good way) which makes you feel like he means every single word. This album in particular has a few covers which I think are as good or maybe even better than the originals. He sings two Sam Cooke songs (another inspiration) ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘Change Is Gonna Come’. He puts his own take on these slowing them down and adding vocal ad libs and runs everywhere. He also covers ‘My Girl’ made famous by ‘The Temptations’ which in my opinion is better than the original. Not only does he smash these songs other people have already made famous he had plenty of his own on the album that are some of the best songs of all time – ‘I’ve been loving you too long’ for example. The soul man – gone too soon





Oasis – Definitely Maybe 

This was the album that got me into being in a band. My older brother used to play it and I used to sing along pretending to play my electric guitar. Eventually I learnt to play loads of Oasis songs, I think everyone in Manchester learns to play guitar covering oasis tunes. although soul and Motown is my passion, when an Oasis song comes on it makes me smile – reminiscing of 18 year old me in 42s with two doubles vodka Redbulls with my best mates going mental to rock and roll star.



Graceland – Paul Simon

This is a massive inspiration to all of us in the band… I grew up being forced to listen to Paul Simon in the car by my dad and back then I didn’t understand it and just wanted to hear Shaggy and Ja Rule – what an idiot. Graceland in particular has some great tunes on it – Graceland itself has one of my favourite lyrics of all time in there “loosing love is like a window in your heart, everybody sees your blown apart, everyone sees the wind blow” being made even better by an out of this world melody. The fact Paul Simon got the band he did to record and tour with the album makes it all even better – it just shows there are amazing musicians out there that haven’t been noticed and have never made a career out of music when they deserve nothing less. There are lots of examples like this around Manchester, people who I have played with that are mind blowingly talented and need to be 10 million times more recognised.




Spencer Davis group – Their first LP

Stevie Winwood is probably my main inspiration – white guy with so much soul. People who don’t know think some of the songs are sang by an old black guy from America but no it’s a white boy from Birmingham. His voice is amazing and he plays piano/organ like Ray Charles and guitar like Clapton. ‘My Babe’ comes in with an amazing guitar lick then sweet harmonies from the band followed by an outrageous screaming soul vocal from Winwood which really shows he’s got one of the best soul voices of all time. ‘Dimples’ – wrote by John Lee Hooker another song that Winwood made his own and the band changed it to a jangly blues. I went to see him recently and he’s still got it.



The Beach boys – The Beach Boys Today!

Today this is my summer driving album. Me and my mate used to just drive around with all the windows down in my Morris Minor thinking we were surfers from the 60s. Everyone song makes you smile and wanna go talk to pretty girls. Not only does this album have the massive dance hits like ‘Help Me Rhonda’ and ‘When I Grow Up To Be a Man’ but it’s got slower more intricate tracks like ‘I’m so young’ and ‘she knows me to well’, which in a hungover state my make you shed a tear. The sound they managed to get on the guitars by doubling up the same riffs was so original and never been done before and that I think with the harmonies makes the beach boys.



The Starkins – Wasted (Single Review)

Sheffield Indie Band The Starkins Drop Their New Single ‘Wasted‘, A Jangly Pop Banger Pumped With 00’s Nostalgia.



 Author – Jake McGloin (@stfelix)


They’re a fresh faced Indie Rock band that come from a city with great musical heritage, Pulp, Def Leppard and The Human League to name a few but growing up while four other local lads were setting the world alight certainly helped. But can The Starkins follow in the footsteps of Arctic Monkeys and head for world domination? Well it’s certainly packed with a 00’s vibe, but a little more ‘Kings of Leon’  circa ‘Youth And Young Manhood’ meets The Dykeenies, a  surprising but winning combination.





A rock steady beat and dreamy guitars that blend magically through verse and chorus in a gentle barrage of licks hooks and riffs, another early ‘KOL’ trademark. It’s powered indie pop that thunders down the tracks in parts, but it’s balance of melody and seamless vocals just make it a ready for radio belter. They’re a band of the verge of a big career and they’ve proved with ‘Wasted’ they have what it takes, writing songs this catchy isn’t easy but The Starkins make it look painless.





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.

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


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 Albums That Shaped Me – Liam McClair

Manchester Based Acoustic Singer Liam McClair Tells Us About How These 5 Albums Influenced Him and His Sound.

Liam McClair 11217179_831948270220602_1673540661161471300_n

Liam McClair talks us through five albums that shaped him as an artist in anticipation of his new EP ‘Honest’, released September 28th. Grab tickets to the launch show at Manchester’s Gulliver’s here.

Honest 11745710_846575825424513_36044798026101138_n

Carry On Up The Charts – The Beautiful South (1994 Go! Discs)

This album was my first exposure to music, my sisters and I would sit for hours watching the VHS version with all the videos and the CD the soundtrack to all my lifts as a child. I initially loved it as the songs were very memorable and as most of the tracks have a distinct theme or story My Book being a reflective satire on celebrity culture and exaggeration and Old Red Eyes Is Backweaving you through a tale of an old drunk who’s story runs a little deeper than first imagined, a great example of judgment. When I revisited the album I realised that not only the structure of the tracks was brilliant but also the lyrics, so much so that it led to a family sing-song whenever it was played. As a singer songwriter, this album has examples of a wide variety of songs from piano ballads like Let Love Speak Up Itself and I’ll Sail This Ship Alone, to rock fueled guitar tracks 36D  and slower folk based songs with gentle guitar melodies such as Prettiest Eyes and Little Time. My Favourite song on the album is the opening track Song For Whoever it evokes great memories of knowing every single word and beat with my family. This album showed me the importance of memorable and catchy music through honest and intelligent lyrics.

The Bends – Radiohead (1995 Parlophone)

My Mum used to play this album so often that we had 3 different copies so wherever she was she could listen to it! It’s a fantastic piece of work and one of my first pieces of exposure to electric guitars and overdrive being used.  Just, My Iron Lung, Bones and Street Spirit all are fantastic tracks and I find them to be totally unique. It’s loud, archaic and bold at times but charming all the while. Then High and Dry, Nice Dream, Fake Plastic Trees and Bullet Proof all helped in my understanding of the acoustic guitar and also of how it fits into a band and what band arrangements work well. This album provides escapism.  Whenever I hear it I get lost in it and Thom Yorke is just incredible, some of the vocals on the album are extraordinary as well as Johnny Greenwood’s versatility and invention.

Blue – Joni Mitchell (Reprise, 1971)

I was first struck by the artwork of this album and I found it very intriguing. I first listened to it when my Mum and I were tackling traffic in Lancaster on our way to Scotland. We ended up being stuck in traffic for hours and listened to the whole album 3 times. Listening to this was one of the first times I remember being struck by lyrics and turn of phrase. The expressive nature of each song takes you in and you want to hear what’s next after every line. Old Man and All I Want are the two opening tracks and 2 of my favourites, Joni Mitchell writes love songs which are very honest and their content rings true that is why they are even more engaging than most. River is a fantastic song and has a Christmassy feel to it, her soaring vocals rise and fall through every possible range with ease and her guitar playing is totally unique and this makes her instantly recognisable. My favourite song on the album is A Case Of You, a warm and sentimental love song that expresses so clearly and so obviously how we all have felt about infatuation and desire. It makes me wish I had written it every single time I hear it.

An Awesome Wave – Alt-J (Infections Records, 2012)

This album was the soundtrack to my time at University. I first heard the album from Spotify, it completely blew me away. A totally new sound which was more addictive than anything else I had ever heard, so much so that by now I have listened to each track well over 100 times. It is a fantastically innovative album using samples and effects which I have never heard in anything else before. Joe Newman has a brilliantly unique vocal sound which lilts and crashes through every song.  Breezeblocks was the first love of the album, but Tesselate, Taro, Something Good, Ms, Dissolve Me I could list them all, really captured me and I couldn’t listen to anything else. It’s so diverse making you want to dance, shout, cry, laugh there are brilliantly soaring sections of happiness and sombre reflective almost psychedelic songs. When  I was listening to this song I had first decided to give music a real go and the way this album is bold, charismatic innovative, nonconformist but still popular and successful has proved hugely inspiring for me to do things my way and to feel confident in your own creations. My Favourite track, Ripe and ruin, is really basic as a duet but the harmonies are so intriguing and encapsulating I just cannot help but sing along. The lack of instrumentation on the track gives it a hauntingly atmospheric feel that provides even more impetuous on the importance of the lyrics and what they are.

Sweet Baby James – James Taylor (Warner Bros 1969)

After buying a record player in my second year of University, I found this album in a charity shop. From the moment the needle dropped I was totally taken in and would play the album over and over, switching from side 1 to side 2. When I was listening to this I was writing the songs that went on to feature on my first EP How and the chords used and the finger picking style opened up a brand new area of writing. I find that this album provides the perfect mix of relaxing but melodic music. You can sing along at the top of your voice or have in gently on in the background. I love the various elements of different genres which crop up through the album, Steamroller is a satire on the huge boom of blues songs in London at the time that Taylor arrived and it’s a fantastic song. Sunny Skies and Country Road are well structured and are really easy on the ear with a fantastic verse and chorus.  Fire and Rain and Sweet Baby James are the two biggest tracks on the LP and they provide a wonderful narrative into parental relationships and a feeling of heartache respectively, My favourite track is Country Road

Intoducing: \\GT//

Hailing from Birmingham Alabama, \\GT// power a sonic haze of noise that paints a psychedelic picture of the American South.


Three piece Alabama band \\GT// are one of a whole host of great acts looking back and adopting garage a sound laden with late 80’s vibes that’s psychedelic roots go back even further. Heart driven bass forms a sold core of their sound, fuzzed up guitar that could be taken straight from GOO, and rock steady beats that all seem just perfectly placed to give it a raw sound that’s not quite grunge but something with a mind of it’s own that the world needs more of. Devastating vocal hooks consume the brain through out, and draw you in to this psychedelic bliss that echo’s No Age and Crocodiles with hints of Nirvana circa Bleach. ‘Something Wrong With My Mind’, due for it’s U.K release July 31st, is a power house of tune that carves through your ear drums armed with nothing more than killer riffs and brute force, proving that \\GT// Psych-Grunge force to be reckoned with. It’s a sound that takes me back to being in tiny dim-lit rooms, with dripping walls, hearing nothing but a band and seeing nothing but limbs hurdling towards me. It’s intense heart pounding rock and roll that ignites and thrills.

Little Racer – Montevideo (Single Review)

New York beach boys Little Racer release their video for Montevideo and it’s as slick as they are.

Little Racer unnamed

“Garage rockers without garages. Surf rockers that can’t swim.” It’s a recurring theme in music these days and not everyone pulls it off. New York New Wave band Little Racer have it down to a tee, their track Montevideo is drowning in surf vibes from beginning to end.

It’s a beautifully melodic tune littered with hooks and riffs that echo perfectly through your ears till they hit that part of your brain that makes you want to move your feet. Bouncy garage drums and a pulsing bass seamlessly layer throughout, coupled with Elliot Michaud’s smooth, reverbed vocals to top it off, out It’s surf pop at it’s finest.

U.K. bands inspire Little Racers back catalogue of catchy tunes and you can feel the New Order kicks and the Johnny Marr tones but also the recent wave of modern surf bleeds through, think Surfer Blood, Best Coast. It’s vintage meets contemporary pop showered in cool guitar.

It’s catchy, it’s cool and it’s kinda how you wish The Drums sounded. Little Racer have got the balance just right by taking a familiar sound and making it their own.

Keep up to date with Shoplifters Union on Facebook & Twitter or email us at ShopliftersUni@gmail.com