Friday
Jan272012

Sankeys - Kerri Chandler (21st January 2012)

After a quiet (not so quiet) Christmas break, last weekend saw my return to the club with a visit to Sankeys for the legendary Kerri Chandler. After being a huge fan of Kerri's for years now, it's quite unbelievable that I've never seen him live, however watching him play a 7 hour set at my favourite club in the world was probably the perfect setting for my first time.

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Monday
Oct312011

The Warehouse Project: Jamie XX Presents (October 29th)

Halloween weekend usually means a huge weekend of music up and down the country; however, you don't get much bigger than one of the most well-known Dance venues in Europe playing host to Jamie XX, Jay Electronica, Four Tet, Julio Bashmore and more, all on the same night. My last experience at the Warehouse Project was overly disappointing to say the least, but I was expecting the music and the crowd to be a lot more positive this time round. Thankfully, that was the case...

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Wednesday
Sep282011

The Warehouse Project: Welcome To The Warehouse (September 24th)

Another September is coming to a close, which means it's time for the start of another Warehouse Project; however, 2011 is a special one, as we're saying goodbye to Store Street, which is a simply spectacular venue that has played host to some of the greatest nights in Manchester over the past 5 years. Unfortunately I had to miss the opening week, but the line-up for Welcome To The Warehouse more than made up for it and was the perfect first night for me to review. Well, so I thought...

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Tuesday
Sep272011

Mikill Pane - The Guinness & Blackcurrant EP

Many of you, like myself, will have discovered Mikill Pane's music thanks to his superb reworking of Ed Sheeran's debut single, The A-Team, but over the past 10 months Mr. Pane has gone on to establish himself as a solo artist, releasing a couple of EPs/singles and building a loyal fan base of his own. There have been many comparisons flying around, including Mike Skinner and the great Slick Rick, which is a huge testament to his storytelling skills, but Mikill brings something totally unique to the table and his style/way with words is uncomparable to anyone else in the game right now. His past two EPs have been great, but The Guinness & Blackcurrant EP showcases his talent and diversity better than both and is without doubt his most impressive body of work to date.

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Thursday
Sep082011

Ed Sheeran - +

The meteoric rise of Ed Sheeran over the past 6 months has been unprecedented, but for those who know him and his journey will know that this has been anything but a quick and easy stroll in the park. Prior to the release of his hit single The A-Team, he has been hard at work ever since recording his first EP, The Orange Room, all the way back in 2005 at the tender age of 14. Throughout the past 6 years he has gone on to independently release eight more EPs, supported a wide variety of acts all the way from the acoustic band Nizlopi to the Dance sensation Example, as well as performing thousands of his own gigs to adoring fans up and down the country. All of this hard work was rewarded earlier this year when Atlantic put their faith in his talent by handing him a record deal and the opportunity to release his full debut album. Every single one of the EPs he has released in the past are special in their own way, but + is a simply incredible body of work and a very honest and open insight into the ups and downs of his life thus far.

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Tuesday
Aug302011

Example - Playing In The Shadows

Five years ago, Example was an incredibly witty Hip-Hop artist who was signed to Mike Skinner's record label (The Beats) and used to performing to a couple of hundred teenage boys who knew every word to every song from his debut album, What We Made (me included). Now, in 2011, he has become one of the biggest Dance/Pop acts in the country, is headlining some of the world's most prestigious festivals and selling out headline arena tours with one of best live shows you are ever likely to see. The transition started back in 2009 with Watch The Sun Come Up, and continued with the release of Won't Go Quietly last year, but Playing In The Shadows sees Example find his true sound and the music that he was destined to make.

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Wednesday
Aug242011

Skylar Grey's first UK show @ XOYO

Photo by Jon D Barker

Skylar Grey has been making big moves in the music scene over the past 18 months, providing hooks for Love The Way You Lie (Eminem & Rihanna), Words I Never Said (Lupe Fiasco), I Need a Doctor (Dr Dre & Eminem), and I'm Coming Home (P.Diddy), writing with musicians all over the scene from Avril Lavigne to Marilyn Manson, and performances at various festivals alongside Eminem and others, including Lollapalooza.

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Monday
Aug152011

Wretch 32 - Black & White

Although many people believe that UK Hip-Hop is a dying genre, with Grime taking over the scene, I have to disagree. Granted there aren't many UK Hip-Hop artists in the mainstream, but there never has been, and with artists such as Wretch, Tinie, Mystro, Ty, Jehst, Loudmouth Melvin & (even) Chipmunk all doing their thing, the genre is as strong as ever. Wretch in particular has brought a refreshing sound to the UK music scene, with an incredibly unique laid back flow, easily relatable lyrics, fresh beat selections and a real ear for catchy hooks/choruses. After the success of the first two singles there was a chance that his sophmore album could become Americanised in the way that Chip's music has over the past few years, but the Tottenham born MC has stayed true to his roots and provided an album that epitomises everything that is positive with music in this country right now. The sampler was sent to me two months ago and it was clear then that it was going to be one of those albums that you have to listen to from start to finish - I was right. Black And White is a life story, so a six track sampler with three singles on it was never going to do it justice...

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Saturday
Aug132011

Global Gathering 2011

After the weirdest trip of my life to Wakestock, the next festival stop this Summer was Global Gathering (accompanied by my good friend Thomas Wormald), one of the biggest dance festivals in the world. Based in Stratford-Upon Avon, I'm happy to say that the public transport was much more reliable than that which took us to North Wales, with train station waits of less than 20 mins each, a shuttle bus awaiting our arrival and an overall journey time of just under 3 hours (ish) from Manchester straight to the site. Having been told that no alcohol was allowed on site, we had already consumed 7 beers before making our way through the gates; however, neither us or our bags didn't get searched (bit weird), meaning we entered the festival with 2 litres of Rum & Gin, which was a huge relief for both of us after seeing the price of alcohol (£45 for 24 Tuborgs!).

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Sunday
Jul172011

Wakestock Festival 2011

Last weekend me and Dave Macnamara from andeveryonesadj had a trip down to Wakestock Festival in North Wales courtesy of Cadbury, who are currently doing the rounds to promote their new TV show, Minute To Win It (more on that later). We were supposed to be down on the Friday, however Dave missed his plane back from Ireland and it took me 8 trains, 1 very long bus and 10 hours to reach our hotel, which meant we unfortunately missed Yasmin, Rizzle Kicks, Chase & Status and interview opportunities with Iwan Thomas and Huw Stephens. However, we were both up early on Saturday and made our way up to the venue at 4pm, only to find that the music started at 6 (par). During the two hours we had to kill, we started drinking (well I did, and Dave had his sixth beer of the day) and ventured over the Cadbury stand to find out more about the TV show, which will be starting on ITV2 in the next few months. The idea of the show is to get people active during the lead up to the Olympic Games in London, whether it be running, swimming or doing small fun games that were available for all to sample at the Festival. There was everything from bouncing ping pong balls into fish bowls, slingshotting Cream Eggs through holes and balancing on Wispa bars (as you can see below, Dave wasn't so good at that one after the amount alcohol that had been consumed) - we played six games, and I won 4-2, of course. But yeah, the whole idea was really cool - it was nice to see something like this at a festival, working in harmony with the music side of the event, encouraging competition and just generally promoting physical activity. As someone who has just finished a Sport Development degree and runs a Music Blog, it was brilliant to have the chance to see my two favourite things on a site like this together. You can read more about the Minute To Win It campaign, HERE.

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