Monthly Archives: May 2011

Tonight: Klabbes Bank – Matt & Phreds

Klabbes Bank are a group that are taking the four letter word out of jazz. A shining beacon of the new Scandinavian young jazz sound, they’ve blown off the cobwebs and ignited a whole new generations interest in a genre that is often criminally overlooked by the mainstream press, yet has so much to offer. Mixing, at times, electronic elements with haunting minimalist piano, then moving on to uptempo drums and even a swing vibe, Klabbes Bank are making their mark in a big way. Along with the other young upstars such as Portico Quartet and Polar Bear, Klabbes Bank really have the potential to introduce and inspire a new age.

Catch them tonight at Matt & Phreds, 9.30pm, £5. 

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Gig of the day: The Travelling Band – Deaf Institute

I have said on a number of occasions that Manchester as a real buzzing alt.country and folk revival movement going on at the moment, and tonight’s gig should be a great example of that. Along with contemporaries Blind Atlas and Walton Hesse, The Travelling Band have been creating wonderfully harmonic and warm Americana tinged music for a while now.

Recently signed to the prestigious Cooking Vinyl label and celebrating the release of a brand new album, tonight’s gig at the Deaf Institute may well be the last chance Manchester crowds have to catch the group in such an intimate venue. Destined for big things, The Travelling Band are.

Tonight (19/05/2011), The Deaf Institute, Manchester.

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This Weekend – Gig Guide

Manchester is well known for its diverse and world class nightlife, and this weekend is a no exception. Here’s our pick for THIS FRIDAY NIGHT:

LIVE PICK: The Electronic Exchange FutureEverything Showcase – Umbro Design Studios – 8pm

International experimental electronica duo are to perform an extremely rare full live set, complete with live chamber orchestra from the RNCM, as part of an exclusive FutureEverything showcase.

Click here for more info.

BEST CLUBNIGHT: Stretch Disco feat. Moonboots, Balearic Mike & Jason Boardman – Band on the Wall – 11pm

One of the best clubnights in Manchester returns with a new disco flavour from the DJ’s DJ, Moonboots, whose Electrik Chair sets were the stuff legends are made of.

Click here for tickets.

AFTER HOURS: Carbon feat. Ste Spandex – Seven Oaks – 2am-6am

If you’ve still got the energy, get down to the Seven Oaks in Chinatown to continue the nu disco flavour with Carbon – a strictly guestlist-only do with Wet Play’s Ste Spandex on the decks right through til breakfast time.

Click here for guestlists.

Thats our plan for tomorrow night anyway. Don’t wait up.

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The Electronic Exchange – Shapeshifter

Experimental progressive electronica duo The Electronic Exchange announce new material and rare live appearance at FutureEverything festival.

The Electronic Exchange are Najia Bagi and Tullis Rennie – the enigmatic electronica duo that combine powerful, gutsy vocals with soulful, whispering melodies and deep, deconstructed beats.

They pair live in different cities (Manchester and Barcelona), and work together primarily online (hence the name). The first time they played live together was indeed at their first ever gig. Impressive stuff considering the high quality of their output. Their debut, self-titled EP saw a limited release in 2010, and was a real hidden gem of a record. Back From The Dead Beat in particular, a dark, dubby hip-hop influenced track was a treat.

Their latest offering, Shapeshifter, builds upon their earlier work and is a track that, if given the exposure it deserves, has real potential for success. The bright vocals and dark, almost decomposing beats promise to be right on the button for fans of the the post-dubstep scene that is currently epitomised by the likes of James Blake and Jamie xx.



The Electronic Exchange will perform live as part of the FutureEverything showcase at Umbro Design Studios, Dale St, this Friday (13th), 8pm. More info here.

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Gig of the day: City Reign + Liar Liar – The Roadhouse

I have championed City Reign before – part of Manchester’s buzzing alternative country-influenced scene (See: Blind Atlas, The Travelling Band), they are due to perform at The Roadhouse tonight, supporting the equally watchable Liar Liar. With more than a dash of 80s new wave and dark, powerful vocals, graduates from the school of Echo & The Bunnymen Liar Liar are the headline act. Should be a good’un.

Doors 7pm. Entry £5. Info here.

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Bravestation – White Wolves

Bravestation are an electro-pop band from Toronto, Canada. With beautiful flowing basslines, sharp reverb led guitars and distant, echoing vocals they sound not dissimilar to Manchester’s very own indie darlings Patterns.

Demonstrating with conviction that there is more to the band than the frankly very impressive show of electro math pop marvel that is White Wolves, the single comes with a pair of remixes that take the track to a different level and turn it into what could possibly be a major disco house hit of the summer. Young Edits remix, in particular, transforms the track into a dark, synth led post-disco number with a hint of White Lies, which shows there is a lot more to come from Bravestation. One to watch for the future and definitely one to check out live.

Bravestation play Dry Bar, Northern Quarter, on May 25th.


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Murkage – Default Sovereign

“Play the music louder, louder, louder, crank up the bassline” screams the angry and rather confusing opening track of the new Murkage EP Default Sovereign. Confusion seems to be a recurring theme here, with the EP being described as hip-hop/grime/dubstep/electronica. So, all bases covered there then… just in case. If anything, this reminds me of Underworld’s tongue in cheek rave classic Born Slippy than anything else. Throw in a few faux suburban rhymes a-la later Dizzee Rascal and you’ve got a record that’ll fit right in with the core student clubbing audience that, to be fair, makes up most of the Murkage crowd.

To give Murkake their due, Default Sovereign does comprise of a mix of hip-hop, grime and dubstep as they proclaim, but in reality this is a horrible, diluted sanitised version that renders this EP rather irrelevant in 2011. I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to take this record seriously, and as a bit of light hearted entertainment I suppose it does the job, if thats your kind of thing. I just don’t quite get it though, I’m afraid.

Default Sovereign is available as a free download.

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