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LIVE: Ariel Pink, RCNM, 28th Feb

With a reputation as a notoriously brazen asshole and a YouTube channel full of some utterly woeful live performances, Ariel Pink has certainly had his work cut out for him since the release of his last LP, Pom Pom, topped many critics’ best-of lists last year and thrust the LA pop enigma back into the spotlight. Booking him as the closing act of Manchester’s FutureEverything festival was a risky move but an inspired one, as Pink’s brand of lo-fi, nu-retro pop nests perfectly at a... Read more »

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LIVE: The Madding Crowd & Serinette, The Castle Hotel, 28th February

There may be over 100 miles and the Pennines between Manchester and Middlesbrough, but musical influences and creativity can occasionally conjure flashes of similarity in spirit, style and football colours. Both The Madding Crowd (Mancs.) and Serinette (Boro) are highly visually engaging in their on-stage performance and produce enjoyably fiery sounds. Louise Radford of Serinette lines up along four of the 5 piece, an arrangement which just about fits on the stage, all stood in front of the drummer, Paul Bernard Morton. The limited space doesn’t... Read more »

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LIVE: Glass Animals, Gorilla, 5th March

This isn’t the first time ethereal Oxford quartet Glass Animals have played Manchester but judging by tonight’s crowd you’d think that it was. Huddled together under Oxford Road station in the heart of Manchester’s student corridor stands a rabble that are nicely pissed and ready for some fun. Gorilla’s a relatively new venue and one that feels the perfect size for this band at this point in their career. Judging by the ear-to-ear grins plastered across the faces of tonight’s audience members and dance-happy frontman... Read more »

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NN PICKS: Sunset Sons, The Ruby Lounge, March 6th

The very name Sunset Sons encapsulates much of the sound that this band create. Making waves on the music scene for the last couple of years, they were seen performing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds festival last summer. Categorised as ‘one to watch’ this year, selected by the BBC Sound Poll of 2015 and MTV’s Brand New, the band are set to release their third EP The Fall Line in March, followed by their first UK tour to date. They have that... Read more »

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LIVE: Carefully Planned, Gullivers Manchester, 22nd Feb

The arse end of the weekend, a cold, wet, miserable, Sunday night when the streets of Manchester are by and large deserted apart from the lonely souls looking for any spare change or a place to bed down for the night. Shards of sunshine may be in short supply, but in Carefully Planned we trust. Tonight’s artists seem to been influenced with architectural themes, from Two White Cranes one of a number of projects that involves Roxy Brennan. The microphone stand appears to be mounted slightly too... Read more »