NN PICKS: JAWS, Academy 3, Manchester, 6th March

After a busy 2 years that produced a string of well received singles, a headline tour and a debut full-length LP, midlands quartet JAWS stage their triumphant return to Manchester with a show at Academy 3 next month. Building on the success of their first headline tour to coincide with the release of debut album Be Slowly at the end of last year, the ‘B-Town’ scene forerunners will be taking in four dates in March, culminating in a huge hometown show at Birmingham’s Institute. They're no... Read more »

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LIVE: Two Gallants, Gorilla, Manchester, 20th Feb

With no airs and fewer graces, San Francisco's Two Gallants casually crept onto Manchester’s Gorilla stage in matching dye-stained t-shirts and jarring non-plussed faces. Backed by an impressive projected red velvet like sheath recalling The Roadhouse scene in Twin Peaks, the moody duo slowly tinkered with their respective instruments, completing various tuneups and minor adjustments before drummer Tyson Vogel kicked into the rapturous rolling Tom pattern that introduced set opener, "Some Trouble". Through minor sound issues, guitarist Adam Stephens' droning chordal strums did not manage to... Read more »

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LIVE: D’Angelo, O2 Apollo, Manchester, 18th February

As the jarring whirls echoed and the spoken word introduction of album track, "1000 Deaths" reverberated around the O2 Manchester arena, an all black-clad D'Angelo stepped into centre frame and the surging political sentiment that roused was subtly morphed into later Black Messiah cut "The Prayer". Backed by The Vanguard featuring old friend and bass icon Pino Palladino and The Times' Jesse Johnson, D'Angelo began to romp through a heavy catalogue of hits both old and new. From "Brown Sugar" to "Sugah Daddy" a tight... Read more »

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NN PICKS: Dot To Dot Festival 2015, 22-24th May

This year sees Dot to Dot festival 2015 celebrate its 10th birthday taking over a variety of venues in the urban centres of Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham over the weekend of the 22nd-24th of May. Hitting the streets of Manchester on Friday the 22nd, this day of live music and warm beer falls under the ever-popular category of ‘Metropolitan Festivals’ mirrored by others such as Sheffield’s Tramlines and the North East’s Evolution. This type of festival is great; unlike the traditional set up when your backs... Read more »

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LIVE: Ross Noble, The Lowry, 19th February

What connects gangsta dwarf drive-bys, perilous curbs and haunted condoms? To be honest, we’d be worried if you answered with anything other than laser-fast comic Ross Noble. The Geordie funny man is in town to perform three stand-up shows at The Lowry in Salford and as we found out at Thursday’s show, his current tour has no shortage of abstract obscurities, tactical thought tangents and hilarious moments. Noble’s highly improvised, spur-of-the-moment comedy makes him quite hard to review, as no two of his shows are ever... Read more »