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NN PICKS: Will Butler, The Deaf Institute, 21st April

You may know him as the guitarist and multi-instrumentalist of the eccentrically successful Arcade Fire (or you may know him for his crazy on-stage antics), but Californian born Will Butler is a force on his own – or so he’s set out to prove with the recent release of his debut album, Policy. And now he’s bringing his new tracks, a supporting band and his diverse taste in rock and roll music to a Northern stage, playing the Deaf Institute on the 21st April as... Read more »

Photo by Camera Ged.

LIVE: Karma All Dayer Part 2, Leeds, 28th March

Mixing up local bands with a careful selection of talent from a wider geographical area and presenting them in an equally incongruous venue for the Karma All Dayer resulted in a welcome refuge from the distinctly unfriendly weather. Taking place a mere 7 months after part 1, finding the venue requires a walk down the oldest street in Leeds, Kirkgate, turning right into street that at night would probably be given a wide berth, then looking in vain for some sign indicating “Wharf Cooperative”. But there... Read more »

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NN PICKS: DELS, The Roadhouse, 18th April

Ask anyone who knows and they’ll tell you the current UK Grime scene is hands-down the most innovative and important development in British music this decade. After the current generation essentially started the scene again from scratch after the bottom fell out of 2-step and Garage, there’s been a steady-feature creep and a legendary co-sign from Kanye at the Brits which put the spotlight on the current crop of artists. Whilst the bubble hasn’t burst yet and allowed everyone else a look in, there’s a... Read more »

GIRL_FRIEND_ARRIVE_ALONE_LEAVE_ALONE-FOR WEB (Credit - Ben Roberts, @benrobertsart) NN

NEW NOISE: Girl Friend

Manchester band Girl Friend have had a quick rise through the ranks since their formation only last year, and with their slick radio-friendly sound it’s not hard to hear why. Bursting onto the scene with the slight Joy Division-vibes of early release "Perfume", the band showcased a commodity that is all too rare nowadays – a singer who actually wants to be a pop star. He’s got the looks, the voice, and the Brett Anderson-esque moves, and in the slick video to last year’s single "Stop",... Read more »

Carefully Planned

LIVE: Carefully Planned Presents: No.25, The Castle Hotel, 14th March

Jarvis Cocker once asked “Do you remember the first time?” Well, I’ve probably got some pictures of it, though the first one was held in October 09, but the Carefully Planned events tend to get a bit messy by the end so one can’t be sure. Since then, the regularly held Carefully Planned events have introduced a host of bands to Manchester audiences, and for this finale the turnout fully embraced the warm affection held for Matt and the other organisers/workers. Repetition has not dulled the event's... Read more »