Originally published for The Mancunion on 12/06/2012
The May Bank Holiday weekend saw Leeds city centre awash with skinny jeans and leather jackets as Live at Leeds returned for its 6th consecutive year, with over 100 bands playing at a variety of venues across the city, with most of the action taking place on the Saturday.
Originally published for The Mancunion on 02/05/2012
Having been together as a band for the best part of 20 years, yet only having- let’s be honest- one real ‘hit’ to show for it, you could be forgiven for thinking that The Dandy Warhols’ gig at Academy 2 might have consisted of a group of 30-somethings stood nonchalantly at the back, waiting for them to play ‘that song.’
Originally published for The Mancunion on 12/03/2012
The late 1970’s was a time when punk rock dominated the hip areas of London, a time when established ‘pop’ stars who didn’t wear safety pins and ripped jeans were ridiculed, and – believe it or not – a time when Liverpool actually won league titles. However, a million miles away from any punk clichés, 1977 saw David Bowie release the first of his famous ‘Berlin Trilogy’ in the form of Low.
Originally published for The Mancunion on 24/02/2012
Set to make waves in the world of indie this year are young Hull four-piece The Hubbards. With an intriguing blend of intricate guitars and rousing vocal harmonies, the future looks set to be bright for the unassuming quartet. Friends since their school days, the band are part of a thriving underground music scene from the Yorkshire city and rehearse at the home of fellow Hull-heroes, The Paddingtons. With lyrics that reflect a maturity far beyond their years, The Hubbards have already built themselves a loyal fanbase and gained reputation as a fine live act, having supported bands such as The Crookes, Little Comets and Foals.
Originally published for The Mancunion on 16/11/2011
In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Everything Everything and Bombay Bicycle Club- art-rock bands that rely on wiry guitars and distinctive vocals- make it big. Hoping to do the same this year are Nottingham 5-piece Dog Is Dead, who played at Sound Control to a noticeably young crowd, half of which looked like they should probably have been in bed by this time on a school night.
Originally published for The Mancunion on 28/10/2011
It’s a tiny bit bizarre how The Wombats have managed to take four years to release a follow up album to their debut, ditch the guitars for a more synth-pop direction and still, somehow, be able to sell out venues as big as the 02 Apollo. Given the cluster of landfill indie bands that broke out around the same time as the Liverpool 3-piece, few would have predicted that such a feat was possible, and would have expected them to have fallen by the wayside, joining the likes of the Ting Tings of this world.
Originally published for The Mancunion on 25/10/2011
Love them or hate them, The Kooks’ 2006 debut album Inside In/Inside Out was admittedly packed full of catchy, toe-tapping pop songs, tracks like ‘Naïve’ and ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’ helping them become every schoolgirl’s favourite indie band and secure two top-ten singles. Fast forward five years and The Kooks return with third offering Junk of the Heart, hoping to make amends for 2008’s critically, and commercially disappointing Konk.