Archive for the ‘Recommended music’ Category

Recommended gig tonight – Ghost Bees / Sophie’s Pigeons

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Tonight (Thursday, 26th March 2009) at Kro Bar in Manchester, Ghost Bees are playing, supported by Sophie’s Pigeons (on the Red Deer Club Label). It looks like a really good gig. Beginning 8.30pm and promoted by “Last Night Was a Disaster”. More info here:
Maybe see you there!

Featured Artist – Hannah Atkins

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I’m intending to write a bit more about unsigned music on this blog over the coming weeks—especially focusing on unsigned acts in Manchester, and trying to tie in a bit with some of the stuff on our All FM Radio Show.

So let’s get things started with the first review:

Hannah Atkins – Falling

Manchester-based Atkins’ music is reminiscent of an early Imogen Heap (or Heap’s earlier band, Frau Frau). It’s got that really great mix of edgy but sweet-sounding synthesisers and live instruments and vocals.

The layers of sound are arranged intricately, but without overloading you with sound. There’s some really interesting stuff going on with samples and effects, but crucially these don’t get in the way of the lyrics or the vocals. In fact, the vocals soar above the arrangements. Underneath, synths meld with live violins and guitars – but the juxtoposition of studio wizardry and real-life instruments really works, and there’s a real feeling of space to the music.

It also reminded me of some tracks by (Manchester based) band Lamb – and they’re famed for their live performances. By the same token, live, in a big venue, Atkins’ music would really go down well. It’s not hard to imagine her playing venues such as Academy 2 or the Jazz World stage at Glastonbury, with a full complement of live musicians. In fact, though, the live shows I’ve seen so far involve just her.

And – for the moment at least – you can still catch her in smaller venues around Manchester. I recently saw her at the Iguana Bar in Chorlton, and was impressed by the live show – which was mainly performed using a stage piano. The live shows are great – I’d definitely recommend getting down to one if you can.

Her latest album, Falling, is available to buy online. It’s a beautifully-packaged in a tiny Fairtrade cloth bag.

Hear more of Hannah Atkins’ music, and buy her albums, here:

Recommended music – Cornelius

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

And now for something a bit different. Whilst in New York, I took full advantage of the Tower Records closing down sale. It’s kinda sad when record stores close down — but at the same time, good. I was able to pick up quite a lot of interesting music.

One of my favourite CDs to have found was FM (Fantastia Remastered) by Cornelius. This features 8 remixes of artists including U.N.K.L.E and Damon Albarn. It’s a really chilled out CD to listen to, and takes you through a vista of different styles and genres. Very good listening material for the long journey from Manchester to Somerset on Thursday.

The Devil’s Interval

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

It’s been a while since adding any new music to this part of the site.. so a good place to start is with something a bit different. English folk group the Devil’s Interval are based in Newcastle – they’re a folk three-piece featuring Lauren McCormick, Jim Causley and Emily Portman. Well worth having a listen to some of their music!

Jeremy Warmsley

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

London-based singer songwriter, with excellent band. Well worth checking out – Jeremy Warmsley official site

You can listen to tunes at his Myspace profile page.

And you can buy Jeremy Warmsley CDs right here.

Hush the Many

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Time for some more musical recommendations… this time a London-based band I seem to keep running into. Their music is intense, but excellent. Well worth going to see if you have the chance. Their myspace page contains a selection of music

Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Liam Frost is a Mancunian singer-songwriter who does a good live show and is rapidly gaining a cult following. Look out for the debut album, available on Amazon.

He’s done a string of live shows this year, including a residency at Night and Day, and an appearance at the Summer Sundae Festival.


Monday, October 10th, 2005

Okay, bit of an oldie now, but this album is highly recommended: Bristol-based dance outfit Kosheen, with their 2003 album Kokopelli. Incredibly infectious tunes, with big fat production. Guaranteed to make you happy 🙂

Kosheen are a Bristol-based three-piece who began and evolved in the rave scene around Bristol. They had huge hits with Catch and Hide U, but listening to their albums reveals a whole new side. The first is heavily drum-n-bassey, but the songs are real songs too, with haunting vocals from Sian Evans. The second relies more on dirty guitars and meaty production. The lyrics are often feel-good, and it’s an uplifiting album. Highly recommended.

Tom Kerswill

Down the Tiny Steps

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

This week’s recommended music are from Glasgow and they’re called Down The Tiny Steps. They’re vaguely acousticcy, quite zaney, and good fun to watch. Worth a look: Down the Tiny Steps

Seth Lakeman

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

South West folk musician Seth lakeman has been nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music awards. Fantastic news for music in the South West. All his albums are put out on his own label, and legend has it his latest album, Kitty Jay, was recorded for £300. I’m not sure I believe that, having listened to it! It’s recorded in a really natural way – close your eyes and you might even believe he’s playing in your front room.

Kitty Jay is a beautiful mix of songs inspired by Dartmoor. Highly recommended.

Seth Lakeman is also a must-see live. I caught him playing at the Exeter Phoenix a couple of weeks ago with the Levellers, and he can often be found just playing in local folk clubs round here. Though that might change with the Mercury Music prize nomination. Catch him while you can!

You can also read my article on music in the South West which features a brief interview with Seth.

Joe Williams

Monday, July 18th, 2005

This week’s unsigned highlight is Joe Williams. Based in Newcastle, UK, Joe is an acoustic singer-songwriter. His songs are intimate and memorable. The website offers free downloads, plus some works in progress and snapshots of new material. Well worth a visit.

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