Following last year’s release of her critically acclaimed second album “Black Terry Cat”, NYC’s Xenia Rubinos has announced live dates in the UK and Europe for April / May. More »

Myles Manley makes idiosyncratic folk music on guitar with rhythms and colours snatched from various places, most recently Eric B and Rakim, Micachu and The Shapes, Moondog, The Clash’s Sandinista, Jinx Lennon, Frankie Cosmos, etc. “I started listening to a lot of early hiphop for some reason and what I loved about it was the clunkiness of the sounds, and the excitement you can hear at a whole new world of opportunities. I bought an MPC and started making idiot beats late at night that I’d write songs to. I’ve always had an ear for weird rhythms and I was able to make stuff that you’d never come up with rehearsing in a room with a drummer.”

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It’s been twenty years since Madeleine Peyroux released her debut album, Dreamland.  Although the comparisons to Billie Holiday that dogged her initially have lessened, they haven’t totally evaporated either.  Peyroux does share a certain smokey tone with Holiday along with the ability to warp time with her phrasing, stretching vowels beyond breaking point or shoehorning syllables into the smallest of spaces with an ease that baffles belief.  Peyroux also shares Holiday’s ability to know a good song when she hears it;to inhabit it completely and make it her own.  A good song needs a good songwriter and tonight Peyroux will take songs by songwriters such as Tom Waits, Lennon & McCartney, Stephen Foster, Allan Toussaint, Leonard Cohen, Linton Kwesi Johnson  and Willie Dixon and turn them inside out. More »

Following on from the reissue of their cult favourite ‘Holo Pleasures’ EP and their incredibly successful first ever UK live shows early last year, Elvis Depressedly have now announced a new set of UK/EU tour dates for 2017. More »

Little Comets have announced the first track ‘Common Things’ from upcoming album, Worhead. More »

To celebrate the release of James McArthur and The Head Gardeners’ new album; ‘Burnt Moth’ out on 20th January, Illuminate Productions will be showcasing songs from the album in the smallest and most intimate live music venue in the UK. More »

Bristol’s finest post-punk polemics IDLES have been promising to do great things for some time now, and with their debut album “Brutalism” they absolutely fulfil that promise, and a furious promise at that, says their latest press release. More »

Split between Atlanta and the remote northern parts of Sweden – commonly known as Sápmi, the hip-hop meets electro-pop trio Blänk are currently getting ready to release their third album ‘Weary Soul’. More »

Tom Paxton returns to the UK in 2017, with very special guests Cathy & Marcy.

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Cambridge Folk festival has announce the first names for the 2017 festival.  More »

The Molochs have released the video for their second single You And Me . Talking of the single, lead singer Lucas Fitzsimmons said, “You And Me” is about losing the struggle to control one’s emotions.” The sentiment is accompanied by a nice Hammond organ. You And Me is the second single from the band. It follows their first single No More Cryin’. Both tracks will be released on America’s Velvet Glory out Jan 13th via Innovative Leisure.  More »

Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac, the world’s ultimate homage to Fleetwood Mac, returns to the stage October 2016 for their landmark ‘Hits to Blues World Tour’. Encompassing nearly five decades of legendary music and channelling the spirit of Fleetwood Mac at their very best, ‘Hits to Blues’ offers a unique opportunity for fans, both old and new, to rediscover the songs and performances that have ensured Fleetwood Mac’s place as one of the most loved bands of all time. More »

I only came across Sarah Jarosz a couple of weeks ago when I heard her excellent cover of Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist Of Fate from her album Build Me Up From Bones but I quickly fell in love with both the track and the album.  A quick Google revealed that she was playing here and so I had to go see her. More »

I hadn’t heard of Ezra Furman prior to last year’s Perpetual Motion People album which I described as my album of the summer.  I’m glad to say that its appeal has not waned and it still gets regular plays. I haven’t heard much about Ezra since the album’s release either, so I was quite surprised to learn that his gig here at The Liquid Room had sold out and I’m very grateful to Ezra’s management company for supplying a ticket at the last minute.  I was even more surprised to see that once Ezra and his band The Boy-Friends hit the stage that the majority of the audience were word perfect with not only the songs from Perpetual Motion People but with his earlier material as well.  More »

Having kicked off their latest European tour with four UK shows earlier this month before heading off to the continent, Electric Six return this week for another 13 UK/RoI dates as they continue to promote their brand new album, ‘Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres’ on Metropolis Records. More »

Steve Howe is, of course, the lead guitarist in Yes.  Although Yes were one of the main targets of the punk wars way back in the Seventies, the band has remained incredibly popular, despite line up changes and their own internal conflicts.  Even the sad passing of pivotal member, bass player Chris Squire, has not daunted them and the band will be setting sail once more, quite literally, as they headline their annual Cruise To The Edge cruise ship festival in February next year.  More »

Furnace Mountain are a four piece bluegrass band from northwestern Virginia.  Dave van Deventer on fiddle and vocals, Danny Knicely on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Aimee Curl on bass and vocals and Morgan Morrison on bouzouki and vocals bring a modern twist to some old songs and tunes while providing plenty of their own. More »

Every now and again I go out at night and see a band that reminds me exactly why I go out at night to see bands.  The Stray Birds are one of those.  More »

It is rare for me to go to a gig specifically to see the support act but I made an exception for Fraser Anderson.  I had reviewed Fraser’s excellent album Under Cover Of Lightness earlier this year and has remained a regular listen. When I found out at the last minute that Fraser was gigging, I was determined to attend.   More »

Roy Harper may well be rock’s least well-known legend. The only non-band member to have sung a lead vocal on a Pink Floyd song (Have A Cigar from Wish You Were Here), he is also the subject of a Led Zeppelin song (Hats Off To (Roy) Harper).  David Gilmour, Paul And Linda McCartney and Kate Bush have guested on his albums and Bush, Peter Gabriel and This Mortal Coil have covered his songs.  More »

You may not have heard of the Crescendo festival that takes place each August in the beautiful French tourist resort of Saint Palais sur Mer in the Poitou Charente area of France, but it’s possibly the best organised festival I’ve ever attended and is in an absolutely magnificent setting on the cliff tops looking out to sea. There are very good campsites within 600m of the festival site, great restaurants and bars and the festival itself is safe, clean and attracts brilliant bands under the broad umbrella that is progressive rock. We visited first a few years ago when Hawkwind were headlining the Saturday night and this was sadly the last gig that their keyboard player Jason Stuart would ever play before he died. More »

In a former existence, Edinburgh’s Summerhall art space was a veterinary college.  Tonight’s gig is located in The Dissection Room and its tiled walls, linoleum floor and viewing gallery create a certain unsettling atmosphere that turns out to be quite appropriate.  Normally a standing venue, we’ve been provided with extraordinarily uncomfortable plastic chairs to sit on.  This is also apt as feeling uncomfortable is something of a theme for tonight’s entertainment.  More »

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle train runs from Chicago to Los Angeles, covering 2,728 miles and taking  just under 67 hours to complete its journey.  Tonight Billy Bragg and Joe Henry are showcasing a set of songs that they recorded when they took that trip together in March this year. More »

Gang of Four have always been exciting to watch live: edgy, unpredictable, appearing to threaten to dissolve into chaos and yet never losing the tightness, funkiness and angularity that is the hallmark of their sound.

During a year spent touring the world, Gang Of Four recorded two of the greatest of their shows.

The band filmed their sold-out show at New York’s Irving Plaza which will be available as a DVD or download. They also recorded their penultimate show of 2015, at London’s Islington Assembly Hall. This will be available as an audio CD, double coloured vinyl album and download. The DVD will be packaged with the CD.

The set list of each show brings together a catalogue spanning more than 35 years, from ‘Damaged Goods’ (released on the band’s 1979 debut album ‘Entertanment!’) right up to ‘Where TheNightingale Sings’ from the current 2015 studio album ‘What Happens Next’. The first live Gang of Four record since 1984’s ‘At The Palace’, ‘Live…In The Moment’ captures the taut, punchy energy of Gang of Four live and at their very best.

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Forty years have passed since the summer of 1976, that long, hot summer when punk’s adrenaline rush threatened to sweep away anything and everything that threatened to get in its way.  The Sex Pistols were punk rock’s leading lights and singer Johnny Rotten was punk’s poster boy, although whether the band were a credible threat to the establishment or simply puppets – the punky Monkees –  of manager Malcolm McLaren’s situationist art project has become a moot point.  “Ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?” sneered Rotten to an audience  the Pistols reached the point of self destruction.  I’ve never been too sure whether he was addressing the audience or himself. More »

Nikki Lane’s 2014 album All Or Nothin’ fused country songwriting with Spectoresque Be My Baby drums, glam rock handclaps and Muscle Shoals electric piano.  Tonight, there are no drums, no piano; just Nikki and her Fender acoustic with back up from special guest Jonathan Tyler on guitar and harmonica but Lane’s rock and roll attitude shines through. More »

It is not unusual for a band to start off as one thing and end up being an entirely different beast.  The Beatles went from lovable mop tops to hairy psychedelicists , and don’t we love them for it.  When Steve Hackett left Genesis, it seemed unlikely that massive queues of people would line up to urinate in their direction should they spontaneously combust.  They went on, however, to become world-straddling pop chart toppers.  I’m pretty sure that happened although maybe it was just a bad dream I had after eating too much stilton. More »

Spizzenergi are remembered principally for two things: their 1979 single Where’s Captain Kirk?; the first single to top the UK indie chart where it remained at number one for seven weeks, and their tendency to change names at the drop of a hat.  Starting as Spizzoil, lead singer Spizz went on to lead a variety of line-ups as Spizzenergi, Athletico Spizz 80, The Spizzles, SpizzOrwell, and Spizz And The Astronauties amongst others.  More »

Craig and Charlie Reid have come along way since they signed off the dole in a bleak benefit office on Edinburgh’s west side and signed onto the government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme, with which they helped to fund the first six months of their musical career as The Proclaimers .  Ten albums, a musical and a film based on their songs, and a track in the Shrek soundtrack later, they are playing the second of two sold out gigs on their home turf, there’s a pre-Christmas buzz in the Edinburgh air and a palpable sense of excitement in the auditorium.  More »

Last night 89 people lost their lives because they went to a rock concert in Paris.  Tonight, I’m at a rock concert and my thoughts, along with everyone in the audience, I suspect, are with that Bataclan audience and their families and loved ones.  Nils Lofgren has opened his shows on this tour with Too Many Miles, a song that he wrote in 2003 and that he describes as being about his personal demons, but tonight the lyrics – “There’s been too many fights in the name of love, there’s been too many tears and too much blood” take on a particular resonance.  More »

The last time I saw Richard Thomson in concert, a member of the audience shouted: “Where’s Linda tonight Richard?”  Thompson replied that she was in hospital giving birth.  Linda gave birth to a daughter, Kami, who as one half of The Rails is opening tonight’s show.  The other half of The Rails is Kami’s husband, James. More »

King Crimson gigs are, it would seem, like buses – you wait 35 years for one and then 2 come along at once.  I’m happy to say that I was able to attend both of their recent Edinburgh shows. More »

BluesFest Director Leo Green has confirmed that multi-million-selling singer and pianist Jamie Cullum has joined the bill for this year’s Prudential BluesFest and will perform at indigO2 on Sunday November 8th. Backed by his usual band plus a 12-piece big band, Cullum will draw on music from his extensive back catalogue, including from 2014’s Interlude.

Jamie Cullum:

“Having performed at the very first BluesFest in 2011, it’s great to be asked back and I’m looking forward to performing on the same bill as all of these incredible acts.”5F38651A-5B55-4401-9B42-03E615D0EA99

Cullum joins an impressive line-up for Prudential BluesFest 2015, which already boasts the likes ofGrammy-winning blues-rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band, a superstar double bill from Van Morrison and Tom Jones, British blues stars Jo Harman and Matt Schofield, the multi-million-selling Dave Matthews Band, and Prudential Proudly Presents The ABC Of Blues & Soul, which will see Mica Paris, Lisa Stansfield and Imelda May celebrating legendary female blues and soul vocalists accompanied by an orchestra.

This year’s event will also present a series of free daytime performances, making it one of London’s biggest’s free music festivals.

Prudential BluesFest 2015 takes place at The O2 from 6th – 8th November.

 

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The O2 will host its first ever blues festival next month as Prudential BluesFest arrives at the world’s number one music and entertainment venue for three days of incredible music featuring performances from over forty acts. Alongside a stellar line-up of ticketed evening shows, which include Grammy-winning blues-rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band, a superstar double bill from Van Morrison and Tom Jones, British blues stars Jo Harman and Matt Schofield, and the multi-million-selling Dave Matthews Band, this year’s event will also present a series of free daytime performances, making it one of London’s biggest’s free music festivals.Bluesfest Zelsh

Artists lined up to perform during the daytime include Georgie Fame, Marcus Bonfanti, Bernie Marsden, Chris Farlowe, Dr Feelgood, Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project, Big Boy Bloater, The Bluejays, The Excitements, Ian Siegal Band, Laurence Jones, The Boom Band and many more. Full details below.

Also just announced is The ABC Of Blues & Soul, a celebration of legendary female blues and soul vocalists, which will open the festival at indigO2 on the evening of Friday November 6th. This is a ticketed show and will feature Mica Paris, Lisa Stansfield, and Imelda May backed by a full orchestra and performing classic hits from the likes of Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and many more.

Bluesfest organisers have also just released some specially priced seats for the hugely anticipated Van Morrison and Tom Jones concert – fans will now be able to see this incredible double bill, which will see both artists performing full sets with their own bands, for only £45.

The festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2015 having gone from strength to strength since launching in 2011 with concerts at a range of small London venues including the 100 Club, Union Chapel and The Jazz Cafe.

Evening shows:

Friday November 6th: The ABC Of Blues & Soul feat. Imelda May, Lisa Stansfield and Mica Paris

Saturday November 7th: Dave Matthews Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jo Harman

Sunday November 8th: Tom Jones & Van Morrison, Matt Schofield

Free Daytime shows:

Saturday: Bernie Marsden, Laurence Jones, Big Joe Louis, Big Boy Bloater, The Boom Band, The Bluejays, The Excitements, Mudcats Blues Trio, Catfish, Paddy Milner, VerseChorusVerse, The Cold Heart Revue

Sunday: Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Marcus Bonfanti, The Blues Band, Lauren Housley, Dr Feelgood, Ian Siegal Band, Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project, Leftennant, Darrel Higham, Danny Toeman, Lisa Marini, Matt Woosey, Half Deaf Clatch, Mollie Marriott

Prudential BluesFest 2015 takes place at The O2 from 6th – 8th November.

 

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John Otway used to base much of his act around being a one-hit-wonder.  Until he became a two-hit-wonder.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves. More »

“Iconic” is a much overused word but when it comes to Tubular Bells, its use is entirely justified.  From its cover art to its multi tracked instrumentation, the album embodies the early seventies just as Sergeant Pepper did for the late sixties  a few years earlier and Never Mind The Bollocks would do for the mid seventies a couple of years later. More »