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LIVE: Sufjan Stevens, Manchester Apollo, August 31st

It’s been four years since Sufjan Stevens last visited Manchester and a lot has changed. Back in 2011, the Michigan-born singer-songwriter was riding a wave of newfound experimentation and excitement. His face was covered in neon paint and his set in electrical bleeps and bloops as 2010’s smart syth-pop album The Age of Adz blew the roof off of the Apollo.  As Sufjan himself reflects mid-set tonight, it was a crazy time. Cut to 2015 and the soft spoken singer is back in the same venue... Read more »

Willie J Healey

3 Bands To Catch at the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds Festival 2015

As the clouds begin to draw over the growing gloom of the August bank holiday skyline to finalise the end of the unofficial British summer time, thousands of music lovers begin to descend upon the battle-marked fields for four days of anarchic chaos. The Leeds and Reading Festival has been a stalwart of the British music scene for the past 54 years, featuring a whole host of musicians both large and small and promising unbridled mayhem to mark the end of the season. Whilst the... Read more »

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ON REPEAT: Gengahr – A Dream Outside

As the UK embarks on another sporadically sunny season, a new indie band will inevitably creep through to soundtrack the damp festivals, long evenings and hazy days that are coming to an end. Where some fall away with autumn though, Gengahr are a summer romance set to last. In March last year, Gengahr emerged from North London with breakthrough demo Fill My Gums With Blood. Now after touring alongside the likes of Alt J and Wolf Alice, their debut album A Dream Outside is a reflection... Read more »

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NEW NOISE: False Advertising

From the rupturing chords and slacker demented attitudes of Early 90's Northern America to the grime filled, noise laden laments of Northern England, Manchester's own False Advertising have managed to court a fine line between the old and new.  Holing up in a private studio since April 2014, the band adopted the original DIY ethos of, try and try again as they worked on their self-titled debut album due to be released September 4th. As the seasons changed and the months rolled on by, the... Read more »

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NN PICKS: Tobias Jesso Jr Hits Up The Ritz, Manchester

Canadian songsmith Tobias Jesso Jr brings his 70s-style piano ballads to Manchester’s Ritz on 29th November, ending a packed year in which debut album Goon has seen him become a darling of the music press and fans alike. Finding his niche somewhere between American icons Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, he seems to tailor his songs like a master craftsman in the Bacharach mould. The results have a timeless quality that have no place being pigeon-holed – get Kevin Parker involved and you could have a... Read more »