Psychedelic music festival set to sell out in Manchester

Originally published for Quays News on 26/03/2014.

PSYCHEDELIC rock bands from across Britain are heading to Manchester for a new music festival.

Tickets are selling out fast for the first ever “Manchester Psych Fest” at the Northern Quarter’s live venue Night and Day Café on May 31.


HEADLINERS: Five-piece band Toy will headline the festival

Local and established psychedelic rock bands  will play throughout the evening and organiser James Elvin believes there is a gap in the market for the event.

“The reason it started up was a selfish one, I guess,” he said.

“I’m heavily into music that comes under the psychedelia umbrella, so I wanted to put an event on with either the bands I know, want to see or want to be brought together under one roof.

“There are loads of cool events going on in the UK, Europe and beyond, so there must be a market for it. As long as the music is good and people are having fun, that’s the most important thing.”
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Review: NME Awards Tour Live at Manchester Academy

Originally published for Quays News on 21/03/2014. See link for examples of relevant online treatment:

THE annual NME Awards Tour was in town this week, with three of the most hyped bands of 2014 taking to the stage at Manchester Academy alongside iconic headliners Interpol.

Having seen the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and The Vaccines play in previous years, the NME Awards Tour has gained itself a reputation for giving acts who are on the fringes of the indie scene the opportunity to move onto bigger things.


HEADLINERS: Interpol brought the NME Awards Tour to a close

Hoping to make the most of their shot were opening act Circa Waves. The four-piece Liverpool band have been gaining radio airplay recently with infectious single ‘Get Away,’ and delivered a short but sweet set to an Academy which was barely a quarter full at the time.

Circa Waves’ sound harks back to the dark days of 2008 and the array of generic, ‘landfill indie’ bands which polluted the music scene at the time, but despite their relative unoriginality, the band win the crowd over through the sheer catchiness of their songs and a highly energetic setlist. They’re not going to change the world, but Circa Waves are impressive live and have just enough about them to keep them from being pigeon-holed with The Fratellis of this world.

As more people began to swarm into the venue, duo Royal Blood took to the stage, and hammered out a half hour set of aggressive, heavy rock ‘n’ roll. The Brighton band, comprised entirely of drums and bass guitar, have recently released new single ‘Little Monster,’ which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine.

It’s a ferocious sound, and one which is even more impressive considering it’s coming from just two people. With a support slot with Arctic Monkeys at their huge summer shows at Finsbury Park to look forward to, 2014 could prove to be a very big year for Royal Blood if they maintain this level of live performance.

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Catfish and the Bottlemen join Dot to Dot Festival line-up in Manchester

Originally published for Quays News on 12/03/2014

INDIE band Catfish and the Bottlemen are the latest act to join the bill for Manchester’s annual Dot to Dot music festival.

The much-hyped Welsh group join Real Estate, Wolf Alice and headliners Peace at this year’s event, which takes place at venues across the city on May 23.

Welsh rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen are the latest addition to the 2014 Dot to Dot line-up

CONFIRMED: Catfish and the Bottleman will play at Dot to Dot 2014

And organisers have revealed that more names are due to be announced.

Winner of ‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ at the 2013 UK Festival awards, Dot to Dot has built a reputation for giving the stars of tomorrow their first taste of a festival crowd, which is something that DHP Promotions’ Mark Dennis wants to continue this year.

“We’re really proud of our record of giving fresh young artists one of their first chances to prove themselves,” he said.

“It’s about unearthing the hottest new artists alongside more established acts.

“This year it’s especially pleasing to see Dot to Dot veterans Jake Bugg, Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran selling out huge arena shows!”

The festival, which sees bands play across three cities in one weekend, began in 2005 in Nottingham before expanding to Bristol and, most recently, Manchester. The decision to branch out to Manchester in 2010 came after organisers noticed a distinct gap in the city’s festival market.

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Victoria Warehouse proud to host ‘landmark’ BBC6 Music Festival

Originally published for Quays News on 27/02/2014

THOUSANDS of music fans will descend on Manchester’s iconic Victoria Warehouse this weekend, as the first ever BBC6 Music Festival gets underway.

Known as one of the most-loved stations on British radio, 6 Music bosses have pulled together an eclectic line-up, featuring The NationalKelis, Blur’s Damon Albarn (pictured), Franz Ferdinand and many more.

Jo Waddington, venue project manager, described the event as “a landmark for 6 Music and a landmark for Victoria Warehouse.”

“We’re very excited and extremely honoured to be the venue to host the first ever 6 Music Festival. We’ve been counting down the days!” she said.

“Everyone involved has put their heart and soul into it so this weekend we can promise fans a good time.”

The festival will take place this Friday and Saturday, and each day runs from 4pm until midnight. As well as one of the best line-ups around, Jo confirms there’s plenty more than just live music for fans to enjoy, with silent discos, numerous bars, exhibitions and pop-up record stores on site.

The decision to host such a festival in Manchester instead of London is one that has delighted many Northern music fans, and Jo firmly believes that the city’s rich culture and musical heritage has played a big part in the decision.

“Manchester has always had a great reputation within the music scene, I just feel that now it’s reaching out and grabbing hold of the people who may have slipped from its grasp before” she said.

VENUE: Victoria Warehouse on Salford Quays will host the festival

“There is a thirst and hunger for music in this city that I have never experienced in any other city before. There must be something in the water!”

“The relocation of the likes of the BBC to the Quays has definitely helped, as well as developments in technology and social media- and not forgetting that distinctive Northern charm!”

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Review: Prince live at Manchester Academy

Originally published for Quays News on 23/02/2014

FOLLOWING what seems like an eternity of hype, excitement and expectation, Saturday night saw Prince and his new all-female band 3RDEYEGIRL bring the curtain down on the Manchester leg of their much talked about Hit and Run tour.

Whilst the previous night’s performance had been an undoubted success for the 80’s superstar, there were a number of hitches that led to a handful of fans feeling unsatisfied.

During Friday’s performance, social media erupted as news of a second Prince show immediately after the first was confirmed by the venue and Prince’s management team, which saw hundreds of fans spontaneously flock to the heart of Manchester’s student area, delighted with this last-ditch chance to see their hero.

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Prince to perform at The Academy

Originally published for Quays News on 20/02/2014

AFTER days of intense speculation, Prince fans will flock to The Academy as the chosen venue for the pop legend’s ‘secret’ gigs in Manchester this weekend.

The whereabouts of the surprise gigs on Friday and Saturday have been much-discussed on social media this week.

Despite many rumours that the ‘Purple Rain’ star would treat fans to an intimate performance in one of Manchester’s smaller venues, it’s the 2,600 capacity Academy that has been given the green light.  

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REVIEW: The Hero Complex Live at Retro Bar, Manchester

Originally published for Quays News on 29/01/2014

MANCHESTER-BASED rock band The Hero Complex headlined Retro Bar on Sunday evening as they brought the venue’s ‘All Day Rockathon’ to a close.

Hero complex

With doors being open from as early as 4pm, and with seven other acts on the bill, often these sort of events lead to numbers dwindling by the time the headline act are due to appear. However, it’s a testament to the progress The Hero Complex are making as a band, and the large following they are gathering, that the crowd at least doubled in size when the five-piece took to the stage.

The band wasted no time in following up what had already been an evening of raw, ear-shattering rock and metal, with two heavy numbers that got the audience jumping in the vibrant underground venue.

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