Music
The Manchester Review

Parquet Courts, Manchester Academy 2, reviewed by Lydia Walker

Parquet Courts, Manchester Academy 2; October 10 2016. Debuting in 2011 with limited edition cassette EP release American Specialties, I’m not sure if Parquet Courts knew they would be storming festivals three years on, and releasing their fifth (ish) studio album two years later still. I say “ish” as their back-catalogue is eclectic: having already […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2016, reviewed by Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2016: Glynde Place, July 1-3. Suggesting that Love Supreme drifts further and further from its ‘jazz fest’ status is a bit like complaining that cats are fickle, or that policemen keep getting younger.  But the auguries weren’t good: Brexit, the wettest June on record, the M25 at its customary crawl past a […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Alessia Cara, Sound Control, reviewed by Marli Roode

Alessia Cara at Sound Control, March 24 2016 After the gig, we went to a bar. I was worried about how I’d write about what’d just happened. My friend Zoe was worried about the state of the world, about the youth of today, about being out of touch and over the hill. She was worried […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Mariah Carey, Manchester Arena, reviewed by Marli Roode

Mariah Carey, March 18 2016, Manchester Arena (Photograph by David La Chapelle) Mariah is late. There is no support act – who is worthy of supporting Mariah? – and so we wait. So far, everything about the night reminds me of a hen do. Or, more accurately, a parody of a hen do on a […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

GoGo Penguin, Band on the Wall, reviewed by Lydia Walker

“Listening to jazz is not just recognising Gillespie or Coltrane, it’s recognising the philosophy of collective reinvention…and becoming part of it.” Funnily enough, I hear this quote by New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff on BBC Radio 6 the morning I am anticipating watching GoGo Penguin’s sell-out hometown show: one of two consecutive sold […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Julia Holter, Gorilla, reviewed by Luke Healey

You’ve probably heard something about Julia Holter by now. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s most recent album Have You In My Wilderness (2015) landed top spot in end-of-year lists compiled by Mojo, Uncut and Piccadilly Records, and singles “Feel You”, “Silhouette” and “Everytime Boots” have been rotated on BBC radio. 2013’s Loud City Song, Holter’s first […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

An Ape’s Progress, Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by James David Ward

Dave McKean, introduced tonight as “the man who wears many hats”, is a constant collaborator, working with everyone from Grant Morrison to Heston Blumethal, and is best known for his longstanding partnership with Neil Gaiman. He has produced accomplished pieces across a number of art forms, from his graphic novels, to his painting, to his […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Petite Noir, Deaf Institute, reviewed by Marli Roode

Conventional wisdom has it that Manchester is a city dedicated to telling and retelling its own story. That every weekend, countless clubs play music made in the city – made by the city, it starts to feel like – and everyone dances like Ten Storey Love Song hasn’t been on the playlist every weekend for […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

David Bowie Convention, King’s Arms, reviewed by Fran Slater

Bowie and beer. That should be pretty much all I have to say, shouldn’t it? There can’t be many combinations more promising than a day dedicated to music’s most prolific genius and some dedicated ales brewed specifically for the occasion. There’s a fair few reasons that I can’t just stop there, though. Not least because […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

A Love Supreme, 2015, reviewed by Ian Pople

Love Supreme, Glynde Place, Sussex.  3rd – 5th July   There is a stunned silence around Glynde Place on the first Monday in July.  People wander from the toilet blocks, and back and forth from the Wide Away Café with a pinched look on their faces.  It’s not just that someone’s taken their holiday away, […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

The Smiths/Morrissey Convention, The Kings Arms, reviewed by Fran Slater

The Smiths/Morrissey Convention, The Kings Arms, Salford, 12th April 2015 It’s a good thing The Kings Arms is a good pub. A great pub actually. But even in such a wonderful establishment, some may have balked at the long waiting periods between the events at this convention. With a minimum of one hour waiting time, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Marli Roode

King Creosote, Manchester Academy 2

King Creosote, Manchester Academy 2, 27 January 2015 You remember the first time you hear King Creosote. ‘The internet sent me on a date and the guy gave me a lift home afterwards,’ the woman next to me says. Like everyone else in Academy 2, she is wearing her coat, both hands around her plastic cup of […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

David Gray: The Lowry, Manchester

Rewind fifteen years and you’d find David Gray enjoying something of a heyday. White Ladder was well into platinum sales and, after three previous albums that had performed disappointingly, this small singer from Sale was suddenly something of a superstar. He was at every festival. On every television show. The album was one of those […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival, reviewed by Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival: Glynde Place, 4 – 6 July Love Supreme, now in its second year, promised bigger and better and, in some ways, delivered. The weather forecast wasn’t promising, and the driving drizzle that swept over the campsite on Friday night/Saturday morning didn’t bode well. Fortunately, Saturday was comparatively clear and the sunshine […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Love Supreme Jazz Festival: July 5 – 7, Glynde Place, Sussex, reviewed by Ian Pople

Well… Jazz with a lot of RnB/Soul thrown in. Especially on the Main Stage on the first ‘real’ day, Saturday, where performances started with the wonderful a capella Naturally 7 and, via Michael Kiwanuka, finished with The Bryan Ferry Orchestra! So calling it a ‘Jazz’ Festival was stretching it a bit, and other punters seemed […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Jose James: Band on the Wall, Manchester

by Ian Pople

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Jack White at The Empress Ballroom, Blackpool

by Janet Rogerson

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Alice Russell and Combo Barbaro/Quantic: Band on the Wall

The combination of Alice Russell’s smokey tones and the South American inflected drive of Combo Barbaro proved irresistible to the packed house at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, on Friday.  Combo Barbaro put together by the Worcester-born but Colombian resident, Will ‘Quantic’ Holland, contained a Colombian percussionist, a Peruvian keyboard player, long-time Russell collaborator, Mike […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Soweto Kinch, Submotion Orchestra: Marsden Jazz Festival

When Soweto Kinch moved into his ‘free-styling’ rap, he elicited words from the audience that came from the letters of ‘Marsden’.  The Marsden audience, part of the arc of Pennine post hippydom that runs from Hebden Bridge, through Todmorden, and Marsden to Mossley, initially gave him ‘melifluous’, ‘artisanal’, ‘sheep’, ‘dung’,  ‘energy’ and, finally, ‘Northern’.  Kinch, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Simon Haworth

Album Review: Thrice, Major/Minor, 2011 Vagrant Records

Album Review: Thrice, Major/Minor, 2011 Vagrant Records Major/Minor is the seventh full length from Irvine, California based quartet Thrice, produced by Dave Schiffman in LA who had previously worked with the band as an engineer and mixer on the albums Vheissu (2005) and Beggars (2009) respectively. In their thirteen years together Thrice have been uneasy […]

Read More 0 Comments
Nicholas Murgatroyd

Metronomy: 21st September 2011, The Cockpit, Leeds

If Metronomy are disappointed at having missed out on the Mercury Prize to P. J. Harvey, they fail to show it in this frenetic, joy-inducing set. From the chugging guitar and swelling keyboard of hypnotic opening track ‘We Broke Free’, it’s clear that this band that started as a one-man outfit recording in a bedroom […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Stuart McCullum: Manchester Jazz Festival, Royal Northern College of Music

Last year on this page, I reviewed guitarist Stuart McCullum’s last performance for the Manchester Jazz Festival.  That performance was in the festival tent, and he was first on the bill with Trio VD and The Golden Age of Steam.  Then he was performing solo with laptop and electronics. This year, launching his new album, […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Fleet Foxes with The Bees

by Evan Jones

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Pharoah Sanders Quartet; Band on the Wall, Manchester

Tenor sax giant, Pharoah Saunders came to Manchester on the first of May channelling the spirit and legacy of his great mentor, John Coltrane. The first half of the concert was all Coltrane favourites: Giant Steps, Naima and then, My Favourite Things. Sanders is obviously not as agile on his pins as he once was, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Raphael Saadiq: Stone Rollin’. Columbia

There’s a determinedly retro feel to much of Raphael Saadiq’s new album. The cover shows Saadiq in roll-neck sweater with drums and bass accompaniment playing at a party full of beehive hairdo’s, and preppies in bow ties. And much of the music harks back to the early Motown and Stax days. Tracks like ‘Heart Attack’, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jo Nightingale

Cat’s Eyes, St. Philip’s Church Salford, 14 March 2011

When I booked to see Faris Badwan’s Cat’s Eyes play the beautiful St. Phil’s in Salford I admit I was hoping for spectacle.  The Horrors’ frontman and his skinny jeans, playing with a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist, in one of the city’s oldest churches, with his big hair – it’d take someone much less gothically-inclined than me […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Henry Purcell The Fairy Queen : Philip Pickett The New London Consort

Had Purcell and his anonymous librettist been working in the twenty first century, they would have been had up by the Advertising Standards Authority.  There is little or no resemblance between Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream  and this semi-staged opera.  In the late sixties the Purcell Society published a comparison between the Shakespeare and the […]

Read More 0 Comments
Nicholas Murgatroyd

Sonic Youth, Manchester Academy, 30th December 2010

Sonic Youth’s gig at Manchester Academy sold out well before Christmas, so walking down a misty Oxford Rd to get to the academy building was to run a gauntlet of touts and mournful fans all desperately hoping for the miracle of a spare ticket. Inside, a packed crowd that ranged in age from teenagers to […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Robert Glasper Trio, Royal Northern College of Music

In the post-EST era, the jazz piano trio seems to be going two ways. The European trio seems as influenced by contemporary European classical music as it is by the jazz ‘traditions’ of America. Tord Gustafsen’s trio play music that is as influenced by the folk-music of his native Norway as it is by anything […]

Read More 0 Comments
Evan Jones

The Soundcarriers. Celeste. Melodic Records 2010 (MEL0070CD).

The sound of Nottingham’s Soundcarriers seems both right and wrong. One can hear in the opening bars of their second record, Celeste, their interests and influences from the contemporary to the obscure: early Stereolab, Birmingham’s underappreciated Broadcast, the cool Kosmische Musik of Neu! and Can, the psychedelic era of Italian composers Ennio Morricone and Piero […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Stuart McCallum, The Golden Age of Steam, Trio VD: Manchester Jazz Festival Friday, 30th July.

Stuart McCallum, The Golden Age of Steam, Trio VD: Manchester Jazz Festival Friday, 30th July. British Jazz appears to be going through a period of rude health. A generation of young musicians has been emerging fresh from jazz courses at British conservatoires with a technical brilliance and eclectic sense of influence that was on show […]

Read More 0 Comments
Evan Jones

Jane Weaver. The Fallen By Watchbird. Bird Records 2010 (10EGGSCD).

Amid the casualties of punk rock’s necessary and thrashing critique of popular culture and music in the mid-seventies was folk rock and psychedelic music, which had blended in so many angry young minds with the era’s MOR meanderings of British Prog. Folk became a bad word, associated with hippies and a bygone era of flared […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Bobby McFerrin Vocabularies Wrasse Records

Bobby McFerrin’s new disc is a complete revamp of a capella in jazz, dragging it away from the finger clicking parodies of the Swingle Singers, via Manhattan Transfer into something edgier, larger and more contemporary.  McFerrin is universally known for Don’t Worry Be Happy and, occasionally, for his version of McCartney’s ‘Blackbird’.  But since those […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jo Nightingale

The Cure – Disintegration, Deluxe Edition

So the sequence of expanded Cure re-issues has finally reached Disintegration, for many the band’s defining album.  As a long-term fan I never quite saw it that way; my favourite album was, and is, ‘the one no-one else likes’ (The Top).  As time’s gone on, though, ‘the one that first got me into them’ has […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jo Nightingale

The Charlatans perform ‘Some Friendly’, Blackpool Empress Ballroom, 15 May 2010

I should admit to a certain bias when it comes to seeing The Charlatans, this being my 19th time.  But they were a decade into their career before I caught on, when they made a giant indie disco of the 1999 Leeds Festival, so a whole gig from 1990’s Some Friendly era is still a […]

Read More 0 Comments