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Live Music Review

Glass Mountain, Leeds University Refectory

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“They’re a groovy band man” – Richard Chadwick – Hawkwind Last night Flick of the Finger were invited along to review Glass Mountain in support of the mighty Hawkwind. I had last seen the band back in September 2016 at Bingley Music Live and since then have kept in touch with their ever growing success. Now, after supporting the likes of Embrace,  we are seeing the fruits of their hard work. This is a band that have matured in terms of stage presence and musicality over the last 6 months. The really great thing about them is that the music…

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Blossoms Klub Stodola, Warsaw, Poland

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Over the past few years I’ve seen Blossoms many times, from the tiny Edgeley Labour Club “Bungalow” to headlining The Albert Hall and I was beginning to think it was time to move on until they started touring new material. However when the chance to photograph them on tour in Poland came up I couldn’t resist, which is how I came to be at an Academy sized club in an industrial area of Warsaw to see my home town band. On arrival there was already a fair sized queue outside but once inside we were directed upstairs to a smaller…

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Sum 41, O2 Academy, Birmingham

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Sum 41 came back to the UK, proving that they are still a force as strong as ever. With fellow Canadian band Hollerado as support for the evening, fans were in for a wild ride. Bringing together a wide variety of older fans and new ones, Sum 41 bought their ‘Don’t Call it a Sum-Back Tour’ to Birmingham. With a set-list consisting of 26 songs from various different albums, the evening was bound to be full of non-stop energy. Hollerado took to the stage to an already filled out room. Their half hour set proved to the audience that the…

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Matt Boroff, The Old Blue Last, London

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Matt Boroff and the Mirrors impressed an intimate audience at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch. The Austria-based American guitarist and singer, and his band played a set of superb musicianship deserving of a much larger audience. The London live music scene is a strange one. There’s no doubt that it’s in rude health at the moment, with no shortage of gigs every night of the week. Everyone still wants to play London, and it’s not uncommon to see well-known overseas artists playing small venues usually reserved for burgeoning underground scene. The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch is a prime example…

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Stillia Launch Party, Jimmy’s, Manchester

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Under the umbrella of This Feeling, Saturday night saw the launch of Stillia’s debut single Let Me In. The basement of a relatively new Northern Quarter bar, Jimmy’s, was sold out for this performance by St Helen’s finest and though curfew restraints meant it was a short set, the crowd was literally left shouting for more. Opening act for the evening was Liverpool’s Red RumClub a six piece band with a massive sound who filled Jimmy’s both physically and musically with their powereful guitar and trumpet driven sound. Next another Liverpool band , Bribes, a power trio of the guitar,bass…

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Two Door Cinema Club, Leeds O2 Academy

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It’s a cold Monday night in January, but that has not stopped the sell out crowd queuing outside the O2 Academy in Leeds. After a slight delay in gaining access to the venue (thanks Loz) it was clear that this could turn out to be a special night. On stage first are, London based, Anteros. Lead vocalist Laura Hayden commands the stage like she was born to be there, with more than hint of Stevie Nicks in her vocals. Their catchy indie- pop soon had the audience dancing along. The set covered the majority of their 2016 Breakfast EP, highlight’s…

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The Fall, The Arts Club, Liverpool

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The Fall headline CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH all day festival. Mark.E.Smith and The Fall topped a well organised and band rich event. The Fall have been called “the most prolific band of the British post-punk movement.” They have released thirty-one studio albums as of 2015, and more than three times that number when live albums and compilations (often released against Smith’s wishes) are taken into account. While the Fall have never achieved widespread success beyond minor hit singles in the late 1980s, they have maintained a strong cult status. They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel who championed them from…

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Travis, O2 Academy, Liverpool

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Tonight at Liverpool O2 Academy Travis are celebrating 20 years in the music business with a run of 3 UK dates.  Fran Healy was humbled by the sell-out crowd and was quick to say “Travis are 20 years old, we are one of the few bands that are still surviving and it’s thanks to you all!” On a night when the city of Liverpool was in the grips of a local football derby it is a fitting tribute to the band that the venue was rocking. Opening the show was Chicago born Sarah Walk. The 25-year-old performed songs from her…

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Richard Ashcroft, O2 Arena, London

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The former Verve frontman thrills under the Docklands big top with material new and old. An awful lot of bad things have happened this year. Richard Ashcroft’s ‘These People’ album and the subsequent tour promoting it were not either of those things. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t own a single recorded work by Richard Ashcroft; either as a solo artist or from when he was fronting The Verve. This wasn’t a problem on Friday night at The O2. His highly regarded new album has been play-listed by right-thinking radio stations across the country and the finest cuts…

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Black Grape, The Electric Ballroom, Camden

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Black Grape descend on iconic Camden venue to continue the 21st anniversary celebration of ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’. The Electric Ballroom swung to memorable beats as Shaun Ryder, Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge and the 2015 reboot of Black Grape re-ignited the flame that shone all-too briefly in the mid-nineties. One thing’s for sure; Black Grape fans might like their music, but they obviously like the pub in at least equal measure. Twenty minutes before the band were due to start, an agoraphobic would still have felt a bit twitchy amid the open space on the floor of the ballroom.…

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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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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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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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Saint Agnes, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

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I first saw Saint Agnes in 2014. It was a side project of Kitty Austen from psych-rock faves Lola Colt, except it was a much more raw, blues-rock sound, and as much as I love Lola Colt, I was an instant convert and disciple of Saint Agnes. In the intervening two years I’ve seen the band play quite a lot, mostly around north and east London, as well as a killer set at last year’s Cosmosis Festival in Manchester. Apart from a change of drummer, the line up of Jon Tufnell on guitar, vocals and harmonica; Kitty on guitar, vocals…

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Garbage, Troxy, London

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Troxy, in Tower Hamlets East London, is a marvellous place. Constructed in 1933 as a grand Art Deco cinema, Troxy’s extravagant chandeliers and giant mirrors reflected the confidence and glamour of the early part of the period. As with many such buildings, in later years it had experienced some decline – being left empty for a period and used as a bingo hall for quarter of a century. In 2010, a six-year restoration project was commenced, and the building – including its stunning Wurlitzer organ (the largest in Europe) – now gleams, rightfully occupying its place as one of London’s…

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