I don’t believe in astrology. And yet, I exhibit all the qualities of a stereotypical Libra: I weigh up all sides of an argument, find it hard to make decisions and always, always see the other person’s point of view.

The Manic Street Preachers are very much a Marmite band: people either hate them with a vengeance or love them with a passion. Me, I can take them or leave them. I like a few of their songs very much and others do nothing for me. Perhaps it this that makes tonight’s show the proverbial game of two halves, but I’m not so sure. More »

A long, long time ago, as the song begins, I was a nine year old boy addicted to the radio. I was fascinated by American Pie as soon as I heard it. Mostly, because I had no idea what it was about. I hadn’t a clue what a levee was (I’m Scottish) – I’m not sure I have a much better idea of what one is even now. Whisk(e)y, I knew (did I mention I’m Scottish); but rye? None of that really mattered though because American Pie was a story, a screenplay for a film that I could act out in my head every time I heard it. More »

It’s always a pleasant surprise at a gig to discover that the support band is one that you have actually heard of. I had enjoyed Public Service Broadcasting’s album Inform-Educate-Entertain when I heard it last year but had found it difficult to dispel a feeling that it was a bit “Kraftwerk lite”. Live however, the duo of J. Will goose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth (possibly not their real names) are supplemented by other musicians, including a three-piece brass section on a couple of numbers. More »

Adam Cohen’s show at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh – the first night of his European tour – was opened by local lad Dean Owens, supported on guitar and vocals by Calais Brown. Owens, former frontman of alt-country band The Felsons, showcased some songs from his forthcoming Nashville-recorded album Into The Sea along with others from his extensive back catalogue. Owen’s songs are thoughtful and crafted: “Some of my songs are quite melancholy” he informed us, “The others are just miserable”. Perhaps the most melancholic and certainty the most affecting is Man From Leith, a tribute to his father. More »