Monthly archive

July 2016

Ocean Colour Scene, Moseley Shoals 20th Anniversary, Millennium Square, Leeds

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It’s always going to be a special event when these three heavyweights step into the ring. With Leeds Millennium Square as the backdrop for what is set to be the city centre event of the year as 6000 fans cram in to the venue to witness the sell-out show headlined by Ocean Colour Scene. Whilst it was a fantastic day and everybody was in the right mood; it didn’t go without a couple of glitches. That said the guys at See Tickets and the organisers, Future Sounds, did a cracking job. I had the pleasure of meeting the organisers who were sound, down to…

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The LaFontaines at The Sunflower Lounge

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On Sunday 24th July, Scottish quintet, The LaFontaines brought their current UK tour to Birmingham’s The Sunflower Lounge. After being downgraded from The Rainbow Courtyard the day before I wasn’t sure what to expect when arriving at the smaller venue, but it was jam-packed – with some audience members having to resort to standing on the stairs at the side of the 150 capacity venue in order to see. First up though, was Birmingham-based band Plastic Factory. With their thirty minute set only lasting twenty minutes, I, along with others in attendance, were left a little disappointed – wanting more…

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The Who & The Prolific Photographer – Art Kane

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There are four names always on or near the top of the list of all time great Rock ‘n’ Roll bands: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Who. The Who were formed by sheet-metal worker Roger Daltrey in 1963. The line up, after a couple of adjustments, established itself with Daltrey on lead vocals, Keith Moon on drums, John Entwistle on bass and Pete Townshend on guitar. Townshend, honouring his art student credentials, wrote (and still writes) music famous for having an ‘edge’, complemented by the wildly creative performance techniques of each member of the band. It…

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Blackthorn Festival 2016

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Set on the edge of Etherow Country Park in Compstall close to Stockport and Manchester Blackthorn Music Festival is almost a showcase for young up and coming bands. The relaxed atmosphere in the tranquil surroundings of Whitebottom Farm sees many bands hanging out together and often camping for the whole weekend. With none of the silly food and drink prices seen at the bigger festivals, Blackthorn, at £55 for the weekend is a real bargain. This year the main headliners were Maximo Park and Stereo MC’s but with over 70 bands playing over 4 stages there was something for everyone.…

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Rooney (US) – “Washed Away”

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Mixed genre album by Los Angeles based Rooney – solid rock songs, there’s just not enough of them on the album With release on Superball Music on 29. July 2016, Los Angeles based multi-artist Rooney, with the more common name Robert Schwartzman, will release a new album. Let’s ee how it stacks up: Being one of the more pop-like releases I have listened to in a while, there’s an obvious 80’s vibe over the entire album. The first song, “All The Beautiful People”, starts the album with a dark theme about a third-person view and thoughts about, what kind of lives…

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Hunter & The Bear “Renegade”

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New single: Hunter & The Bear “Renegade” Released on Dog Monday Records 5th Aug 2016 London based rock four-piece sends out new single – here’s what we think: ‘Renegade’ is the brand new single from Hunter & The Bear, one of the UK’s more interesting new bands, that I haven’t heard about before. Maybe because many bands don’t make it outside their country, I know many bands here in Denmark have a hard time doing this, even though singing in English. But this is one of the bands that are busting out of UK, and into mainland Europe and New York.…

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Violmace + A Man From Jupiter, High Voltage

Grungy feel with balls from Violmace in my favorite rock club – 22. July 2016. A Man From Jupiter The young quartet from Denmark is clearly inspired by the Danish band Mew, which they proudly confessed to after the show. Both vocally and tonality, they hit those high and light voices and soft guitars, spiced up with synths. Lyric-wise we are served with darker and more elaborate songs than the inspiration, as if those aren’t out-there enough. This is top notch progressive pop-rock – perhaps not heavy enough for the normal High Voltage crowd, but the songs are catchy and a…

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Leatherneck – Lighting Up The Tilt Sign’ EP

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Leatherneck sign to Close To Home Records and announce ‘Lighting Up The Tilt Sign’ EP Following the release of their double A-side single Monochrome/Derailed last year, North West grunge quartet Leatherneck are back and have revealed the video for their new track ‘Caffeine’. This is the first taste of their new EP ‘Lighting Up The Tilt Sign’, which is out on the 5th August via Close To Home Records. Recorded in the winter of 2015, following a lineup and name change (the band were formerly Bohica), the band said ‘Lighting Up The Tilt Sign’, “is when we were finding our…

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ZZ Top Sofiero Castle, Helsingborg Sweden,

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The beards of boogie in excellent form, with a few surprises A nice and laid-back support with bluegrass/country/folk-rock roots, provided excellent warm-up for the bearded legends: The Missouri based support act was, genre-wise, far away from the main act. Playing traditional American country/bluegrass folk rock with violins, banjos and guitars, the movie “O Brother Where Are Thou” comes to mind. With his slide guitar, Ben Mille himself gave the band a raunchy sound that sent you to a dusty road in the American south. Along with “Smilin’” Bob Lewis on drums and percussion, the beautiful Rachel Ammens in a red…

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Pixies Announce New Album & World Tour With Paz Lenchantin On Bass

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Album’s First Single, “Um Chagga Lagga,” Now Available at Pixiesmusic.com Pixies announce that their sophomore “post-reunion” album, Head Carrier, will be released on September 30 (Pixies Music/[PIAS]). The 12-track collection of the band’s unique aural mix of surrealism, psychedelia, dissonance and surf rock was produced by Tom Dalgety (Killing Joke, Royal Blood) and recorded at London’s Rak Studios from mid-February through to mid-March this year. Fans will get a first taste of the new music as placing an album pre-order will unlock an instant-grat download of the first single, “Um Chagga Lagga.” Featuring original artwork by the band’s longtime art…

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NEWS: Pet Shop Boys Announce 2017 February Tour

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As Pet Shop Boys get ready to perform four sold-out shows this week at the Royal Opera House in London, they are delighted to announce that they will return to the UK with their Super Tour early next year. They will hit cities across the UK in February 2017, playing venues in Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bournemouth. The Super Tour will see Pet Shop Boys perform songs from their acclaimed new album ‘Super’, as well as classic PSB hits and album tracks from over the past 30 years. The production is based on the Royal Opera House shows…

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Federal Charm, The Railway, Winchester

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If there’s a harder working band out there than Federal Charm, I’d like to know where they are. With two critically acclaimed albums to their name and a seemingly never ending merry-go-round of touring; supporting artists such as Michael Schenker, UFO, Black Star Riders, Ian Hunter, Uriah Heap, Tracer, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Rich Robinson; the Stockport 4-piece are finally out as a headline act – promoting their latest record, ‘Across The Divide’. I caught up with them at the Railway Inn, Winchester. It’s an engaging place, the only live music venue in town. An understated corridor from the bar…

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Belly, Leeds University

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20 years ago a band that showed such promise in the jangly dreamy indie pop world of music disbanded after only 4 years and 2 albums. Belly had created a grammy winning album (No 2 in the UK Charts), some stunning catchy singles and played with REM, Radiohead and many other bands on the road in the US and over here. They were a cool breeze in the grunge infested 90’s when it was the norm to be down and miserable, Belly were the antithesis, colourful and very upbeat and a lead singer with the biggest smile this side of…

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    The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF
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    The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF
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    The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF
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    The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF

The Railway Children, The Ruby Lounge, Manchester

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Formed originally in 1984 in Wigan by Gary Newby, Brian Bateman, Guy Keegan and Stephen Hull, The Railway Children with their dreamy, jangly,melodic indie pop seemed destined for great things. Signed to Factory Records, regulars on the John Peel Show and touring the world supporting REM and The Smiths success seemed assured but despite releasing some great records which topped the indie charts, they failed to achieve mainstream chart hits with only Every Beat Of The Heart managing to break into the top 40. A change of record label to Virgin didn’t help and in 1992 when the company dropped them they…

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Hoodoo Daze, The Old Blue Last, London

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There was a certain sense of déjà vu at the gig on Tuesday night. Two weeks earlier I attended a show put on by promoter Lost in the Manor at The Finsbury in North London (definitely one of my favourite small venues, mostly because they have great stage lighting, which makes for great photos). It was three bands I’d never heard of – as is often the case – and it was free – as is also often the case. The opening and closing bands were great, but sandwiched in the middle was a phenomenal band called Moses. Great, anthemic…

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On This Day: 15th July, Music News & Events

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A day of ups an down on this day, 15th July. A day in history that is packed with music news that includes Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Oasis, Happy Mondays, Queen and much more.  1958, John Lennon’s mother Julia was killed by a car driven by an off-duty drunken police officer named Eric Clague (Clague was later acquitted of the offence). John was 17 at the time. 1965, This weeks US Top three singles, No.3 The Byrds, ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, No.2 The Four Tops, ‘I Can’t Help Myself’ and at No.1 The Rolling Stones with ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ 1966, David Bowie & the…

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De’Nova, Manchester Academy 3

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I’ve seen DE’NOVA three or four times this year and each time has been better than the last, so when  they played Manchester’s Academy 3 on Saturday night I thought I’d catch up with them to see how good they are now. Kevin Daos, Luca Nardella and Sam Hardman have been playing in bands together since they were at high school in Heywood, following the usual route of open mike nights, covers band, pub gigs etc. After ten years of this “practicing” they decided the world was ready for them, they changed their name to DE’NOVA (latin for a new…

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The Last Shadow Puppets & Johnny Marr, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

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How do you make an entrance at a gig in Manchester and know it’s going to work? Well if you take into consideration that most of the audience here are well clued up on Manchester’s musical heritage it shouldn’t be too hard. However I wasn’t quite expecting this. It seems like the Turner/Kane super group has just gained another member. Johnny Marr has just plugged his guitar in as the band launch into ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’ by The Smiths. It’s a stunning performance that instantly wins over the young Manchester crowd. Alex Turner is no…

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New Order, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

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If you had seen New Order back in the early 80’s you would have seen a very different group. What you got back then was a very raw, near unrehearsed performance and no encores. Exciting times, however they have come a long way since then. What you get now is a stadium worthy, tight band with a back catalogue of songs that spans back to the late 70’s. I get the feeling it’s going to be a special night in Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl. After a short video intro the band slowly walk on to the stage and are greeted excitedly…

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NEW MUSIC: Local Natives Announce 3rd Album ‘Sunlit Youth’

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Local Natives have announced the release of their third album, Sunlit Youth, out on 9 September on Infectious Music / Loma Vista Recordings. The LA five-piece broke a year of silence with a pop up show in San Francisco in April, and the surprise release of Past Lives, their first new track in three years. Following further West Coast pop up shows in San Diego and the band’s hometown, Local Natives can now announce a full world tour for the autumn, including UK shows in November. The band premiered the album’s opening track, VILLAINY, as a World Record on Zane Lowe’s Beats…

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2000 Trees Festival 2016

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From 7th July to the 9th July, 2000 Trees was celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The festival priding itself on ‘10 Years of Excellence’ included both big bands and up and coming bands. Flick of the Finger packed its bags and headed to Upcote farm, for a warm, music filled weekend. The festival began on the Thursday, but unfortunately I turned up too late in order to catch my most anticipated act of the day Milk Teeth. After finally setting up camp I headed off to catch Black Peaks at the Cave stage, and they did not disappoint as my first…

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Blossoms To Play Special Album Launch Show in Stockport

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Blossoms To Play Special Launch Show At Stockport Plaza at Midnight on August 5th For The Bands Self Titled Debut Album Released The Same Day Blossoms will celebrate the release of their highly anticipated debut album at the Stockport Plaza. Fans who pre-order a copy of the album via the official store by midnight on Wednesday 14th July will be in with a chance of seeing Blossoms play a special home town show at Stockport Plaza at midnight on 5th August (Thursday night)! Full details on the official store. Tickets limited to 2 per person. “The Stockport band’s cathartic sing-alongs hark…

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DEAD! You’re So Cheap

Gigs/Record of The Week by

Following their support tour with HANDS LIKE HOUSES in May and June and numerous UK festivals already this year [The Great Escape, Slam Dunk, Download and 2000 Trees amongst them] London based four piece DEAD! are already hurtling your way; if you haven’t already encountered them then you probably will soon. The band’s recent single, YOU’RE SO CHEAP, their first since signing to Infectious Music, received extensive BBC Radio 1 airplay and the attention of the nation’s press. YOU’RE SO CHEAP is a dirty, riff-filled punk rode ode to the anxiety and discomfort of, mmm, certain social situations, and the…

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The Christians, Frodsham Festival 2016

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While most people in the country had watched the Wimbledon Final and where settling down to watch the UEFA Cup Final, I was flying down the motorway to attend the Frodsham Festival final night, where The Christians were due to perform. Trust me, the settee dwellers missed out……big time! The night before, they were doing their thing in front of 12,000 people at the Chilfest festival and after tonight, they were winging their way to France to perform at the Festival Des Nuits Des Sud.  They sure do get around, such is the demand for their music. But tonight, they…

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Stereophonics, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

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Stereophonics grace Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl with support from the hilarious Clean Cut Kid and Walking On Cars. “What about an outdoor gig in Manchester” someone once suggested. Then, amazingly someone else said – “yeah ok – seems like a good idea” The dark clouds and sodden streets of Manchester are no secret. Whilst things always seem nicer when the sun is shining, it didn’t stop 8,000 people cramming in to Castlefield Bowl to watch the headlining Welsh lads ‘perform‘ some new material with a ‘cocktail‘ of crowd pleasing classics and as soon as the gig was underway, the weather made no difference…

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British Summer Time, Hyde Park, London

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It’s Friday here in Hyde Park, and the second weekend of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park has begun! Mumford & Sons were the first headliners of the sold out weekend, bringing their rousing choruses and rustic rock to The Great Oak Stage. For the first half of their set they donned their signature banjos and acoustic guitars for classics such as “Little Lion Man”, “White Blank Page” and “I WiIl Wait”, which turned into a momentous sing-along. But as they moved into their newer material from their 2015 album “Wilder Mind” the electric guitars came out and the…

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Frodsham Festival 2016

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So, the first day of the three day Frodsham Festival came along yesterday and it didn’t disappoint. Traffic stopped me getting there for the first act, however I was on time to catch the wonderful Cabezudos, the amazing Fireflys and the ‘we still know how to work a crowd ‘ Icicle Works. Cabezudos performed superbly once again, with their usual, all out performance. A 30 minute set that came and went all too quickly but gained the admiration of the growing crowd. Definitely a band to catch and one who’s star is certainly on the rise. The Fireflys followed, with…

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Joe Bonamassa, Greenwich Music Time

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Joe Bonamassa is without doubt one of the foremost guitarists in the world today with a collection of superlative albums behind him and ever-increasing international recognition including a Grammy nomination in 2013. From supporting blues legend B.B. King at age 12 in 1989 he’s built up a formidable body of work including 15 solo albums in the last 13 years alone and an army of fans the world over. The setting for the show was a fabulous one with the Greenwich Music Time venue being the Old Naval College looking out over the Thames and with the skyscrapers of London’s…

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Cream Fields 2016: The Full Line up

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Following its 7th consecutive sell-out last year, the UK’s No.1 dance festival Creamfields returns this summer and with a 4th day added has officially become the world’s biggest electronic music festival! The multi award winning Creamfields is undoubtedly a rite of passage for any electronic music fan or artist, with over 70,000 fans flocking from around the world every August Bank Holiday to witness performances from some of the biggest names in dance music. With 28 stages across the weekend to explore and over 200 acts celebrating all that is good in electronic music the global powerhouse that is Creamfields…

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IBIZA: Cream’s Final Line Up Announced

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The award winning Cream is preparing for another momentous summer season as it returns to Amnesia to take over Thursday nights on the white isle for fifteen parties starting 9th June through to 15th September, featuring an array of world class talent, debut performances and legendary residents. As the longest running UK club brand on the island which celebrates its 21 year residency at Amnesia this year, the global dance heavyweights rarely disappoint and this year is no different as they deliver an A-list roster for the summer.   Terrace highlights this year include Fatboy Slim who returns to host his…

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Morrissey Announces One off show In Manchester

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Morrissey has announced his only UK show of the year with a headline date at Manchester Arena as part of an international run of shows this August. Morrissey is the most distinctive pop lyricist of his era.  His last album ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’ marked his first solo release since 2009’s ‘Years of Refusal.’ The album charted at number 2 in the UK, and is Morrissey’s 12th top ten UK album. Morrissey’s highly acclaimed autobiography which was released in 2013, continues to be a strong seller across the UK. This new headline Manchester show is Morrissey’s first in the city since…

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Lake Komo, Night and Day Cafe Manchester

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I love going to gigs at the Night and Day in Manchester. You get three or four bands for around a tenner. Not bad for a full nights entertainment. Tonight’s main act is Lake Komo. However it would be rude of me not to mention Marsicans and Larkins who both gave great sets earlier in the evening. Hopefully they will move on to bigger and better things in the very near future. Relocating from Lancaster to Manchester last year, Lake Komo have been steadily building a growing fan base in the North West. 2015 saw them supporting the likes of…

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Band Of Horses 2017 Gigs Announced!

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Highly anticipated UK shows this week plus a brace of shows in 2017, including the Troxy in London on February 23rd, on sale Friday 8th July Fresh from their phenomenal Glastonbury appearance Band Of Horses will be playing three UK shows this week; 5th & 6th July, London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and 7th, Manchester, Albert Hall. “Lush and Beautiful” – Mojo “A pacific Pink Floyd… These guys always find a way to make the mythic feel down to earth.”—Rolling Stone “Ben Bridwell has crafted his best album in nearly a decade”—Pitchfolk With a #9 position on the Billboard 200…

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Stereophonics: Gig Line Up For July

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Ahead of a packed summer full of huge live dates including headline shows Stereophonics announce their new single ‘Mr And Mrs Smith,’ out on the band’s own Stylus Records label via Ignition Records With career sales of over 10 million albums, Stereophonics’ latest, the new single is taken from the band’s acclaimed No.1 album ‘Keep The Village Alive,’ also home to recent hit singles ‘C’est La Vie’, ‘I Wanna Get Lost With You’, ‘Song for the Summer’ and ‘White Lies’. Stereophonics play 10 x huge UK & Irish outdoor dates this summer and the band also recently announced that they…

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Stereophonics: on 2015 album ‘Keep The Village Alive’

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Without doubt Stereophonics are one of Britain’s best bands and in Kelly Jones they possess one of the country’s great songwriters. Throughout their 20 year career the band have continuously released classic albums and their forthcoming ninth album, ‘Keep The Village Alive’, is no exception. The 20515 10 track record, written and produced by Kelly Jones, follows the acclaimed 2013 platinum release, ‘Graffiti On The Train’, which sold over 300,000 copies in the UK. Since winning a Brit Award in 1998 for Best New Group Stereophonics have developed a sound that is like few others. Their achievements are many. They…

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James, Sheffield Botanical Gardens

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Bringing the rain with them Manchesters James took a short skip and a jump over the Snake Pass to play at the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield. Organised by the Rotary Group this annual 4 day festival also hosted The Feeling, UB40 and Sheffield Philharmonic as headliners. Its kinda hard to believe that James have been on the go since 1982 (not counting a short pause), but when you consider the quality of the music that the band have produced over the years, its not that surprising. Songs like ‘Sit Down’, ‘Laid’ and ‘Come Home’ have a timeless feel and thats…

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