The Creole Choir of Cuba’s invocatory, cultural whirlwind of a performance at the RNCM left me both astounded and invigorated; grateful that at least in other parts of the world there are musicians who stick to their roots rather than becoming over-produced and losing that raw ‘spirit’ of music. The Creole Choir is not simply a group formed to showcase the outstanding natural talent of their individual voices, they fervently fight to depict the plight of their ancestors who were bought from Africa and forced to work in slave conditions in the sugar and coffee plantations of Cuba.
4 stars Having had the Nick Cave experience for the first time when seeing him perform live with his band The Bad Seeds last summer, I had good reason to be excited for Grinderman, Cave’s other musical jaunt, perform live at the Academy. Whereas the Bad Seeds serve – albeit with Cave’s own brand of […]
3 stars Despite having sustained a career that spans the last decade, and becoming something of a household name following their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, family band The Magic Numbers have never really enjoyed the success that they deserve – either in terms of album sales or gig attendance. Maybe it’s because their […]
3 Stars At the Apollo theatre, Ocean Colour Scene seemed like a band caught between generations. The lead singer Simon Fowler had the relaxed stage presence that only comes with experience, occasionally referring to the age of the band (21 this year) and giving nostalgic references to their first gig at the Manchester Borderline. […]
4 Stars Considering they are the leading band on the folk scene at the moment there was much expectation for Mumford and Sons to deliver. Fortunately, they did, and their incredibly passionate performance showed exactly why they appeal to such a large number of people. Mumford was the obvious leader of the band, taking the […]
My friends and I are waiting in Paddington Station but one of the group looks disgruntled. Finally he utters, “why exactly are we going to a World Music festival?” The correct answer was that we had failed to get tickets to Glastonbury, or any other festival for that matter, but this is still a touchy subject so […]
4 Stars Its 7:30pm, and outside the union a group of teenage girls are shelling out £40 each for a ticket. Bearing in mind the normal price was £9.50, it’s not surprising the touts are laughing their heads off. It’s also no surprise to find that at least of half of the crowd is underage, […]
3.5 Stars If God was a DJ, he’d almost certainly have played at Warehouse Project. But in the absence of any real divinity, it was headline DJ Boys Noize (a.k.a. Alexander Ridha) who was the subject of worship in the temple-like space beneath Piccadilly train station last Friday night. Continuing seamlessly from Fake Blood’s hour-long […]
Youmeatsix were one of the highest rising bands of 2010, having played the British invasion of the US Warped Tour (which also included Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon); the main stage at Reading and Leeds and finally ended the year supporting the album, Hold Me Down, released in January.
4 stars Last Saturday I witnessed the business that is Mark Ronson and The Business International. Ronson’s latest album Record Collection swept in to claim the no. 2 spot in the album chart last week, beating the likes of Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Katy Perry. The night’s performance was a non-stop joy-ride through Ronson’s […]
3. 5 Stars The Warehouse Project opened its doors for the second week and fourth consecutive sold out event, with headliners Kelis and Calvin Harris. Bromley-born keyboard Don Starsmith warmed up the main room with synthy house remixes of recent pop favourites. Manchester favourites Juicy DJs kept room two busy, dropping the standard classics found […]
4.5 stars Packing out Academy 2 is an unusual type of crowd; unusual but not at all surprising. Tonight, it would seem the older generation has come out in force, dwarfing the younger minority, as a night of ‘50’s style rockabilly lies ahead. Recreating the Elvis/Grease era was a bold musical choice to make, especially […]
4 stars In the process of just a few months, Manchester duo Hurts have become one of the breakthrough acts of 2010. Their début album Happiness entered the album at chart number four, thus confirming their stylish and melancholic synth-pop belonged in the mainstream. A show at The Ritz, a venue ingrained in Manchester’s musical […]
About to embark on the well trodden path to Mancunion music fame are local 5 piece Dutch Uncles. Coming up in a complete new wave of Manchester electronic/dance sound, Dutch Uncles are not mere replicas of current successes, but act as a complement to this ever growing landscape. The Night & Day Café served as […]
4 Stars It’s always heartening to see a musician enjoying a gig as much as the audience, and Josh Ritter, playing to an almost full Royal Northern College of Music last Wednesday, looked positively ecstatic. At several points he literally jumped for joy, and the rest of the time contented himself with grinning wildly, resembling […]