War Room Records Christmas Special – By The Sea / Rongo Rongo – 20th December 2015 – Constellations

Joined onstage by Bill Ryder-Jones

Joined onstage by Bill Ryder-Jones

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Vennart – Manchester Deaf Institute – 25th November 2015

Vennart played at Manchester Deaf Institute, with a mix of songs of the brilliant Don’t Tell The Joker album and some Oceansize classics. They hinted it could be a one-off tour, but the venue was packed so hopefully it wont be. Absolutely fantastic show, as always. Below is a video and some photos (including the setlist)

Video of ‘Savant’. Quite a long song so was difficult to keep the camera still!

Here is a link to watch in You Tube

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Asked the lighting engineer for a set list (thanks). The band signed it (also thanks) - made me feel 15 again.

Asked the lighting engineer for a set list (thanks). The band signed it (also thanks) – made me feel 15 again.

Bill Ryder-Jones – Liverpool District – 14th November 2015

Bill dedicated this song (Wild Roses) to 'people in Beirut, Baghdad, France and everywhere else which has suffered'

Bill dedicated this song (Wild Roses) to ‘people in Beirut, Baghdad, France and everywhere else which has suffered’

 

Girls Names – Shipping Forecast – 15th October 2015

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Having missed Girls Names play in Kruezberg in Berlin by about half an hour last Summer, it was good to see the band at last. Since then, they have released a limited (now sold out) 12″ single Zero Triptych –  which (sic) Magazine gave a great review to.wpid-20151015_220940.jpg

Girls Names recently released third album Arms Around a Vision, which sounded great tonight. Must also mention the keyboard contraption holding down specific keys, freeing up Cathal Cully to get back to the guitar and add to the controlled cacophony with some more feedback.

Standout track: the 12 minutes of Zero Triptych, the third part of which built into an immense, glorious racket. And there were a few final copies of the vinyl on sale too, which the band kindly signed after the show, having ‘found them somewhere’.

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PSYCHKNIGHT – The Old Courts, Wigan – 21st August 2015

Marc Riley played TVAM on 6music and we saw he was playing in Wigan. So made a trip to the Old Courts PsychKinght. Missed the James Skelly set to get the last train home. The venue actually is the old courtroom – there was a comedy night on downstairs and the show was interrupted to turn the bass down!

OFF Festival 2015 – Kotowice, Pl

This year was my fourth OFF Festival, which was being held for the 10th time. As ever, the festival was welcoming, the music equally diverse and brilliant, and the atmosphere around Katowice town and the site both relaxed and excitable.

Below is a Soundcloud playlist of all the festival acts (at least all I could find) I made before we left, some photos of the acts I saw, and some notes on their performances.

2016 will mark ten years of OFF Festival, and considering the incredibly array of acts that have played it since 2006, I can only imagine who they will unveil for the anniversary event.  I am counting down the days already…

Tramlines 2015

I previewed Tramlines festival and interviewed the promoter for UWS earlier this year. The line-up looked strong, and the venue-hopping schedule in a great city also sounded great, so I decided to check it out. After cramming as many bands and acts in as possible over the two days, I can confirm that the festival was great, the city was buzzing and even the awful weather on the Sunday was an irrelevance. I reckon I’ll be back in 2016.