Live Review: Caligula’s Horse, Star & Garter Manchester, 5th Nov 2018

Caligula's horseThough Bonfire Night is traditionally celebrated with fireworks, I spent mine with something just as exciting and vibrant, albeit even louder; the brilliant Caligula’s Horse on their first headline European tour. Though I was a bit late to the game regarding their latest record, 2017’s In Contact, it has quickly become one of my favourite releases of recent years and has been one of my main go-to albums. So naturally I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing them, along with a few of their friends from back home, for an all out Australian invasion on the penultimate stop of their tour. After all, if anyone knows how to have a good time it’s the Aussies.  Continue reading

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Live Review: Joe Russell-Brown, Cafe INDIEpendent Scunthorpe, 10th Aug 2018

DSC_0050-01This site is all about supporting new music, but contrary to what my inbox tells me, great music doesn’t just come from London and LA. Wherever there are creatively minded people with a message to share there is great music to be found, and if we all did more to support our local scenes maybe so many of them wouldn’t need to move to those big cities to stand a chance of following their passion. Breakthrough is a scheme that understands that all great bands and artists have to start somewhere. This new artist development program, working with Yorkshire and the Humber’s finest up-and-coming talents, decided to put on a series of three showcase gigs, in the hopes of sharing that message and getting people involved with their local scene. I dropped by Cafe Indie to bask in what this first batch of the area’s best and brightest rising stars had to offer.  Continue reading

Live Review: Iron Maiden, Genting Arena Birmingham, 7th Aug 2018

eddie-01All music fans have a “list”, a selection of bucket list bands that you have yet to see live. Though I’ve been through some wildly different music phases over the years, Iron Maiden have always been near the top of my list ever since first hearing ‘Fear of the Dark’ as a teenager. Few bands can match the scale and spectacle of the mighty Maiden in their live shows. Gutted to have missed out on their last tour, I eagerly snapped up tickets for their Legacy of the Beast world tour and made my way down to Genting Arena… on what turned out to be Bruce Dickinson’s 60th birthday of all days! Continue reading

Live Review: Humber Street Sesh 2018

DSCN0713-01When Hull was named the UK’s city of culture for 2017, I’m sure there were more than a few raised eyebrows, but even as someone on the outside looking in the city’s rejuvenation was staggering. Whether Hull pulled off a miraculous reinvention in the space of a year, or whether it was always a cultural hub somewhere beneath the surface and is just now sharing it with the world remains to be seen. I sadly missed last year’s Humber Street Sesh, which I’m told was one of the highlights of the summer, so I was interested to see how that passion for art and culture carried on into 2018… and of course see some great bands and artists too!  Continue reading

Live Review: Barn on the Farm Festival 2018

botfEven in the midst of the most unbearable heatwave I’ve ever experienced, the best weekend of the year didn’t disappoint. While most festivals would have had people literally fighting over the rare patches of shade, or disappearing to watch the England match and causing havoc on their return, this is Barn on the Farm we’re talking about. Everyone that’s been to this little patch of paradise can attest to the indescribable sense of community, and for whatever reason that feeling was stronger than ever this year. On the year where the festival returns to its roots in breaking new artists, I was lucky enough to occupy Over Farm for the full four days and catch all the action.  Continue reading

Live Review: Florence + the Machine, The Baths Hall Scunthorpe, 6th May 2018

flobaths1They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but that clearly isn’t the case for Scunthorpe’s Baths Hall. Just last year they played host to Arcade Fire, an event that had fans doing a double take in shock when it was announced. The Canadian indie rockers must have spread the word about what an amazing night it was, as their good friend Florence Welch decided to stop there too. In much of a similar vein, the gig was billed as an intimate get-together for the band to warm up and give songs from the new album a road test before its release. I was lucky enought to grab a place at the front for a gig experience among the best you could ever hope for.  Continue reading

Live Review: Steven Wilson, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, 31st March 2018

sw2-01Having been a Porcupine Tree fan for many years, and with the band playing a key part in my musical development as it were, a trip to see the main man himself Steven Wilson was long overdue. With his new solo record To The Bone offering some of his most well constructed songs to date (and with the size of his back catalogue that’s saying something) now seemed like the perfect time. I had not been this excited about a gig in a long time, and knowing his reputation for his spectacular live performances over the years, I was eager to see one of my idols in action.  Continue reading

Live Review: Typhoon, The Lexington London, 27th Feb 2018

typhoon-01-01All fans of live music, whether or not they care to admit it, are in search of the same thing. We go to gigs in the hope that it will be special and unique, one of those “you had to be there” moments. With Portland band Typhoon releasing my album of the year, hearing the highlights of the incredible new record Offerings in the flesh is more than enough to make seeing them live something special, but the icing on the cake was that it just so happened to be the first show of their first ever UK tour. I battled the “Beast from the East” on my way down to London, bracing snowy conditions (and even dodging crashing cars right outside the venue), as this was not a gig to be missed.  Continue reading

Live Review: 2Q Lincoln 2017

DSCN0632There hasn’t been a good track record this year for small festivals. After the abject failure of Liverpool’s Hope & Glory Festival, the news of another new city festival surely must have set off a few alarm bells. I am delighted to report however that Lincoln’s inaugural 2Q Festival broke the downward trend, and provided a jam-packed day of entertainment for music fans from across the county and beyond. The event really brought out the best of this picturesque city and set the foundations for yet greater festivals further down the line.  Continue reading

Live Review: The RPMs, Cafe INDIEpendent Scunthorpe, 16th Sept 2017

rpms2We all have our own little habits and rituals, but every now and then we need to break free of them, and take a chance in the hopes that life catches you off-guard. You can’t be pleasantly surprised unless you first take a plunge into the unknown. The same mantra applies well to music, as I found upon returning to the quirky Cafe Indie. With three bands on the bill, I went in knowing next to nothing about any of them, and left as a new fan of all three. It seems like small bands and smalls gigs can offer the biggest surprises, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the night exceeded my expectations in every sense. Continue reading