Los Campesinos! – Manchester (29/10/17)

When it’s only your second show in 6 months to a packed out Manchester Club Academy the pressures on, but 6 albums into an 11 year career that’s given you multiple line up changes, a performance on Letterman and shows all over the world Los Campesinos! should be used to the pressure by now, right?

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Los Campesinos! have dodged Manchester on their last couple of tours and as a self-confessed LC! super fan, that has been incredibly frustrating. But they’re here now in the same building where I saw them for the first time 9 years ago, a gig which for me is still one of the best I’ve experienced. It was the 2008 ‘Shred Yr Face’ tour with support from Times New Viking and No Age, Los Camp hadn’t quite dropped second their record ‘We are Beautiful, We are Doomed’, but nevertheless, this was an awakening in lo-fi for my teenage self.

This time around the crowd has matured along with the music of the band and we settle in, overpriced pints in hand, for a night of songs that have been the soundtrack to our last 10 years. But first support from the fearsome Patty Hearst, post emo fused with the indie riffs that first gave LC! their name, like Tiny Moving Parts with a touch of 2008 indie pop. They’re energetic and bursting at the seams with freshness that comes from a fusion of sounds making them a perfect contribution to the currently thriving Manchester scene.

 

They’re on, and the unmistakeable ohhhh’s of Renato Dell’Ara echo through a crowd that are clearly here for a sing song, and it’s a good thing too as the band swing straight into massive singles Romance is Boring’ before By Your Hand,’ met and equalled by the chorus of the crowd. I’ve already half lost my voice, but they’re not letting up with ‘What Death Leaves Behind’, lead single from fifth album ‘No Blues’ straining me evermore before an energetic rendition of ‘Broke up in Amarante’ marks the start of the ‘Sick Scenes’ segment of the evening. After a couple more tracks off album number six, Los Campesinos! take us all the way back to the first album with ‘Knee Deep at the ATP’, I’ll admit I see a few younger audience members who this seems to be an education for, but for me I’m back upstairs in Academy 3 remembering why I feel in love with this band in the first place.

 

Cut back to 2017 and ‘Sad Suppers,’ a definite highlight of ‘Sick Scenes.’ As the drums hit the crowd jump, but one of the things that causes this infatuation Los Campesinos! fans have with the band is the lyrics, look around the room at any LC! show and you’d see a venue of all kinds of people in unison screaming every word back to lead singer Gareth. No more so than in tracks like Avocado, Baby, which also sparks a few interesting dance moves in the crowd, and the epic The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future’ a lyrical anthem that rallies everyone in there to scream with all they have; “But you could never kiss a Tory boy without wanting to cut off your tongue again”. Ending on Baby I Got the Death Rattle we go through every emotion like a final goodbye, but as they leave the stage we know there’s an encore in there and we’re not leaving ‘til we get it.

‘The Fall of Home,’ one of the band’s latest singles, fills the room as we welcome them back to the stage softly singing along, then the mood becomes tense as a familiar guitar tone rings out and the dynamic builds. After that riffs been strummed to death and the cymbals are nearly broken, a half pint of flat Budweiser is fittingly knocked out of my hand by a fan bouncing around to You! Me! Dancing!, the song I tell my friends they’ll know after they ask who the fuck Los Campesinos! are. It perfectly captures the mood of a night that feels like a celebration of a band and their fans, which ends with the group letting the audience choose their final song. Screaming along to one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums, I just sighed…finally finishes off my voice along with the gig. In a hit packed set from over ten years worth of material it’s amazing to see this band still resonate with people, the way the music has grown along with the band, and the fans that have grown with the true cult icons.

 

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5 Releases We’re Looking Forward to in 2017

Author: Jake McGloin

Welcome to 2017! So far no major celebrity deaths, political election ripping apart the country, just the continued sense of anguish and terror for the future within us all, right? Well at least we’ll have something to look forward to with a wealth of talent announcing new albums and EPs for this year. Here’s a look at five of this years upcoming release that we can’t wait for.

 

 

Horsebeach

Scheduled for March 17th, Beauty and Sadness will be the third albums from Manchester’s princes of jangley surf sadness. Following up from 2015’s ‘II’, we’re expecting the same dreamy, wavy pop tunes perhaps with a hint of extra melancholy. Never a band to disappoint, Horsebeach’s next album is set to be as stunning, if their recent live shows are anything to go by.

 

Beachheads

February 3rd will see the debut of Norwegian fuzz maestros Beachheads. Built on a love of fuzzy guitars and strong melody, two former members of ‘Kvelertak’ formed the basics of Beachheads, now in full form, the bands sound must be everything they dreamed of, packed with hard-hitting drums and awesome riffs their debut promises to be an album full of twists, turns and stunning tunes.

 

Amber Run

“For A Moment, I Was Lost” will be the sophomore album from Amber Run. The Nottingham band don’t see album number two as a departure from their other work, more an evolution and so far they’re evolving quite nicely with tracks Haze and Stranger evoking feelings of a harder time in life though beautiful melody and spine tingling almost ambient noise at times. The album is set to be released February 10th with their tour starting in Norwich on the 8th.

 

 

Los Campesinos

My love for Los Campesinos is no big secret, for me they’ve been one of the most consistently underrated bands in the U.K for the past 10 years, so with album number six, ‘Sick Scenes’, on the way I couldn’t leave them off this list. So far the only taster we’ve had over the past few months is some pretty sweet art work and the first single ‘Broke Up in Amarante’. It’s a great track that seems to encapsulate every single part of the Cardiff based bands career so far but also feels like a departure from anything they’ve done before, with a little less melancholy and a smidgen of added pop punk. Out February the 24th it’s sure to be interesting experience.

 

 

LIFE

With out a doubt one of Hulls best bands and a band we said a couple of years back would be one of their finest show cases as, now, city of culture, LIFE have just recorded debut album from what we hear and it’ll hopefully be dropping at some point this year. Indie-Punk with shouty vocals and fast pace guitars is always a great combo so this album is guaranteed to be one of the years best debuts.

5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (31/10/16)

Happy Halloween! I hope you’ve all had a drunken weekend dressed ridiculous and hilarious and making mistakes. So to help cure you’re long running hangover, here are some of your best options for new music this week. Don’t forget to send your tracks over to Shopliftersuni@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

The Hotspur Press – Other People

Just released through B33 music, the Greater Manchester four pieces latest single is a heavily melodic burst of energy that’s perfect coming together of slicing guitar riffs and vocal hooks laid down on a rock solid bed of explosive drums, break up songs never sounded so fun.

 

 

Hunter & The Bear – Who’s Gonna Hear You

As Explosive as Biffy Clyro, with smoother rock & roll vocals, ‘Who’s Gonna Hear You’ is released in anticipation of their debut album next year and Hunter & The Bear are certainly setting a high standard for them selves already. But it’s something they can live up to having supported Clapton and gained nominations at this years Unsigned Guide awards, they’re flying high and this epic new single thats packed with power and passion that’s hard to ignore.

 

 

Ocean Calling – Black Sand

Encapsulating from the moment it starts, in terms of both visual and audio, Black Sand is a track that electronically produces emotion that seem real, with a unique vocal style that’s almost hypnotic in it’s pattern. The secret to the unique sound could be Sophie Wilkie’s move from the U.K to Washington State, giving the sound a perfect edge.

 

 

Plastic Barricades – Half of your Soul

Taken from their upcoming ‘Mechanics of Life’ album, the new single from North-West Londoners Plastic Barricades starts with all the charm and attention to detail and melody of a Belle and Sebastian track and flows seamlessly with a build of layers into something of their own unique sound, subtle details in the guitars and more obviously in the drums and vocal make this a track that feels like it should already be in any indie singles collection.

 

 

D E C O R U M – Near Gone

Post Punk straight from New York, this track sounds like something that narrowly missed the cut for Joy Divisions seminal debut ‘Unknown Pleasures’  from bass to vocals it’s a truly honest take on the genre and with hints of the likes of The Horrors thrown in for good measure. The bands video is their own interpretation on the classic Smashing Pumpkins, heart wrenching, ‘Disarm’, that fits the pulsing, industrial track perfectly.

 

Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (19/09/16)

Hey there! How was your summer? We were away along time, we’re sorry. But lets make it up to you. For starters here are five awesome tracks for you to check out this week! We’re working on catching up on all the emails we missed over the past few months so we’ll get back to you soon. We’re also working on putting together a podcast and a record label so we haven’t just been sat around enjoying that one week of sun we got! So thanks for being patient, if you want to be involved in anything that we do, get your music on the blog, get involved in the pod cast or maybe do some writing for us, just get in touch at Shopliftersuni@gmail.com and you can keep up on Facebook and Twitter too!

 

Blaenavon – Let’s Pray

Somewhere between the Maccabees and the beach the latest single from Hampshires Blaenvon, ‘Lets Pray’ is packed with riffs somewhere in the realm of ‘BBC’, delicate vocals that only add to this feel good instant indie classics emotive feel.

 

 

 

Stabels – Be Together

Playing together since their days in school, Keston folk duo ‘Stables’ third single from their debut album ‘Be Together’ is a soul stealing mix of beautiful harmony and melody weaving it’s way though a perfect field of emotion and timbre.

 

 

 

 

Through the Sparks – Meteors in Gorges

 

‘Meteors in Gorges’ is the latest synth heavy single from Alabama band ‘Through the Sparks’, catchy and euphoric, with influence from the likes of Pulp, the hulk like drums and slick as grease vocals contribute to the pure cool feel of the track.

 

 

 

 

JORDAN ALLEN – ‘Dancing In The Dark’

Bolton band Jordan Allen’s latest track is gritty, explosive and definitely not a Bruce Springsteen cover. Striking guitars and subdue verses it’s that type of indie that’s just almost retro, but still takes hold of you while you reminisce about the likes of Pigeon Detectives in their heyday. But theres more to this track than that, it’s blearing noise and addictive riffs make it an indie rock anthem.

 

Mountain face – I Want You To Smile 

Chester folk trio’s Mountainface infuse a back bone of classic English folk fleshed out with an American blue grass feel. Their debut EP ‘Let’s Play’ sites influence from Punch Brothers, Joanna Newsom and Nick Drake, evident in it’s heavenly sound and captivating melody. ‘I Want You To Smile’ blends beautiful simplicity and perfect harmony through out.

 

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

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!

 

 

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.

 

Till Deaf Do Us Party Records present A Compilation in aid of CALM Part II

Lonely The Brave, The Xcerts, Tellison feature along with many more on the second compilation from Till Deaf Do Us Party in support of C.A.L.M (The Campaign Against Living Miserably), with a 20­track compilation featuring a collection of artists passionate about the charity.

 

 

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Author: Jake McGloin

 

A report last year found that more than 60% of musicians suffer from mental health issues, and that’s not a spot on the amount of people these illnesses affect each year. As an industry, the music business has, in the past, failed artist and workers in other sectors alike due to the high pressure of the industry we choose to enter. But there is help, and as someone who has suffered with depression for most of my life, with support there is a light at the end of what at times can feel like as suffocating and endless tunnel, despite this everyday it can feel too much for some people. “In 2014, male suicide accounts for 76% of all suicides and is the single biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the UK. ” , that really is a harrowing statement. C.A.L.M’s main aim is to prevent male suicide, offering much needed help to men in the U.K. that reach out.

 

In support of promoting and funding this vital charity, C.A.L.M, along with London based ‘Till Death Do Us Party Records’, have released a 20 track compilation album, that also acts to help people understand that the there should not be any stigma around mental health and there is a way out. Each band and artist has contributed to this album with a story to tell, bringing with them a view of what many of us deal with each day. I feel my self that every day it’s talked about, the stigma around mental health is cut away at little by little, albums like this embrace our ability to be free from mental prisons and should be celebrated. Hats off to both parties for that.

 

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It’s an album packed with big noise and a lot of energy from acts like The Xcerts, Max Raptor and Classically Handsome Brutes. Tellison and Nelson Can provide more soothing sounds on a compilation that’s track by tack brilliance for an amazing cause. Check it out bellow and download from the ‘Till Death Do Us Party Records’ Bandcamp.

 

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 Indie Labels You Should Know About

Author: Tom Ford (@lifeastomford)

Not all current world beating artists start of with Major Label contracts, some start from the bottom on independent DIY labels and work their way up. With out DIY labels young acts wouldn’t be given the opportunity to grow and bloom. So we’re paying homage with 5 of the best UK DIY labels.

Clue Records 

Clue Records is a DIY Leeds based record label started by Scott Lewis in November 2012,
Clue records have clocked up 21 releases in the four years of being active.
Helping bands along the way such as; the notorious Allusondrugs, alt rockers Forever Cult & NARCS as well as Indie-poppers Trash.
Also specialising in Podcasts and Music promotions with a very solid philosophy of promoting & supporting music they love.
Find out more on their website & Bandcamp
Check Out Clue Records Release – NARCS – Pig:
Art Is Hard Records 
Bristol Based Art Is Hard Records have been bringing people the new generation of noise-pop-punk-lofi since 2010. Working with artists such as Diet Cig, Best Friends, The Black Tambourines, Joanna Gruesome, Gorgeous Bully, they’ve had around 45 releases in the 6   years of existance their most recent a 7” split between Gorgeous Bully & Something Anorak which is available to pre-order for release on May 27th. As well as a record label Art Is Hard like to throw the odd party primarily using their own roster but throw an annual show with other labels such as: Heavenly, Burger, Bella Union & Fortuna pop.
To find out more visit their tumblr.
Check out Gorgeous Bully’s Beaucoup:
Sister 9 Records 
Based in Lancashire, Sister 9 recordings is home to Teesside lo-fi power houses Mouses,
mainly dealing with spiky-lofi-post-punk-rock, Sister9 offer out live recording sessions to acts they like, previously including: Sweet Deals on Surgery, Cabbage & Deja Vega.
To find out more head over to their website.
Listen to Mouses – Poison:
Blak Hand Records 
Liverpool based Blak Hand Records is ran by Brit Jean and Dan Hewitson, they have only been around for a while but in that short time have managed to rack up the releases. Quirkily working mainly on cassette  have a strong an affiliation Sunny Manchester & Manchester Psych Fest. Working with artists such as: The Watchmakers, TVAM & Beach Skulls, releases coming from the latter two this year. Find out more on their Facebook and Soundcloud.
Check out Beach Skulls dreamy track ‘Slow Grind’ Below:
Beech Coma
London Based Beech Coma records have been pretty active over the last year with specialising in indie-noisy-pop. Started in 2013/2014 but Harry Bainbridge,Beech Coma have a very impressive release record working with artists such as; Tuff Love, Bruising & Magic Potion, with their newest release coming from indie pop rockers, Posture who’s new single ‘I just can’t wait to see my girl’ is available to buy now (listen below).
Find out more on Beech Coma via their website.

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.

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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 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (30/05/16)

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!

 

 

Richard Lomax – Choose Your Own Adventure

A step away from his sometimes acoustic folk stylings, Richard Lomax’s upcoming single Choose Your Own Adventure (June 24th, through Sotones Records) is dirtier, grittier outing with bigger guitars and more haunting beats but keeps hold of Richard’s irresistibly  unique vocal. His bard like style of guiding us through a song has always worked but some how fits perfectly with distorted riffs and almost tired, relaxed style of this latest single taken form upcoming second album “Postcards & Love-letters (From Somewhere You’ve Never Heard Of)”

 

 

 

DBFC – Autonomic

Hypnotic, enticing and simply cool are the only words to describe the latest single from Paris electronic group DBFC. A trance inducing beat, and slick pop melody fitted around a subtle wall of noise that wraps it self around you and won’t let go.

 

NO JOY – A Thorn in Garland’s Side

They’re Montreal Shoegaze band who’s bendy guitars and strategical use of dynamics in their latest single ‘A Thorn in Garland’s Side’ leaves your head bent, warped and wanting more. No Joy have been going around six years now and are currently playing shows in the Europe to so the rest of the world what they’ve been missing, catch them in the UK June 5th in guilford and 6th at Londons Moth Club, all building up to their Drool Sucker EP through Top Shelf on July 15th.

 

 

 

Gregory Alan Isakov – Liars

Some music stirs the soul in a way nothing else can, Gregory Alan Isakovs latest single does just that through his haunting vocal and gentle, exhausted guitar, in a song that layers it’s discreet, hidden melodies to perfection as it gradually evolves in to an epic show case of emotion through music in this cinematic barrage of beautiful noise.

 

The Record Summer – Prizefight

The first track in six years for The Record Summer, Prizefight is a laid out stopped back tune packed with relaxed summer vibes. Beautiful guitar and heavenly piano match the smooth vocal to create a stunning noise somewhere between The 1975 and Death Cab.