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The Polka Problem: A Briton in Favour of Canada’s Live Music Law

September 2, 2013 Articles, News 3 Comments

Happy Wanderers: The Shmenge Brothers have risen to fame since arriving in the UK in the early 1990s

By Matt Jones

September 2, 2013

Last week, it was brought to the world’s attention that Canada has introduced new laws affecting small clubs and live venues across the country. According to The Calgary Herald, “the new rules, which quietly came into effect July 31, will double, triple or even quadruple the cost of bringing in international artists to perform in bars, restaurants or coffee shops” across the country, affecting “any venue with a primary business other than music but which also books bands or performers”. … Continue Reading

Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2011 With Crystal Castles/Magnetic Man/Everything Everything/The Vaccines, Newcastle Academy

February 14, 2011 Gig, Reviews No Comments

February 7, 2011

There is a moment half way through Magnetic Man’s bowel-shuddering set when their MC, the commanding Sgt Pokes, demands “to see the Newcastle illuminations.” Dutifully, iPhones, Blackberry phones and cameras are thrust into the air – and the concept of throwing up your lighters seems laughably prehistoric. Undoubtedly, tonight is a gig of the digital age, an eclectic bill that could have only surfaced in 2011, that represents and encapsulates youth. And this noticeably adolescent crowd have overwhelmingly chosen dubstep as their poison of choice for the evening. … Continue Reading

Twin Shadow, Merleyn, Nijmegen, Netherlands

February 8, 2011 Gig, Reviews No Comments

February 5, 2011

On stage there are three men (one with a fur hat), and a young woman in a punky outfit behind the synthesizers. In the audience there are youngsters with oversized shirts, teenagers/people in their mid-twenties with hip haircuts, and the somewhat older, more bohemian looking 20-somethings (going on 30): Nijmegen isn’t exactly an industrial city, but it has always seemed far removed from being the Arts & Culture capital of even so much as The Netherlands, let alone the world. Take a picture at this gig though, frame it, and let it go around the world and one would think it the place to be. A good sized crowd has gathered to see upstarts Twin Shadow play in the small club Merleyn, and both band and audience form a capsule of what a small-sized gig by a young band should look like. … Continue Reading

Smoke Fairies, Sea of Bees, Lucy Rose, Scala, London

February 8, 2011 Gig, Reviews No Comments

February 3, 2011

A selection of photos from the gig by Smoke Fairies, Sea Of Bees and Lucy Rose at The Scala in London.

… Continue Reading

Seefeel, King’s Place, London

February 8, 2011 Gig, Reviews No Comments

January 31, 2011

A selection of photos from Seefeel’s gig at King’s Place, London. … Continue Reading

Jessie J, Scala, London

January 21, 2011 Gig, Reviews No Comments

January 17, 2011

Overhyped, too loud, not original, and does she really sing live on Youtube? These are just some of the statements people have made about Essex girl and BBC ‘Sound of 2011’ Award winner Jessie J. Having cancelled her original performance date due to illness the suspense only managed to build up over the holiday season, making the gig a sell out show. But it’s all smooth sailing for cool Jessie who’s managed to bag herself the Brits ‘Critics Choice Award’ in the meantime, catapulting her to the top of the UK charts.

… Continue Reading

Frightened Rabbit, Northumbria University, Newcastle

December 4, 2010 Features, Gig, Interviews, Reviews No Comments
Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit

November 22, 2010

As the scene of my ‘education’, Northumbria University will always hold a special place in my heart, primarily because of the many sweaty, boozy hours I spent in its Student Union watching bands good, bad, and fucking terrible. However, as I have gradually degenerated from a hip ‘n’ happenin’ snake-hipped teen to a doughy late twenties office drone, so too did Northumbria fall from its pedestal as a regular fixture in Newcastle’s gig scene. Today, after a major refit which has included reducing the capacity of the upstairs room (and in the process massively improving its atmosphere), it appears that the place is slowly trying to claw its way back into favour, having recently nabbed a couple of gigs which would usually be shoe-ins for one of the Academy venues. If you’ve ever been to the Academy, you’ll agree this is undoubtedly no bad thing. … Continue Reading

The Tallest Man On Earth, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

December 2, 2010 Gig, Reviews No Comments
The Tallest Man On Earth

The Tallest Man On Earth

November 25, 2010

The difficulty with writing about a live performance from a one-man-and-his-guitar act like The Tallest Man On Earth is that these sort of shows don’t necessarily afford the writer a great sense of spectacle throw a couple of paragraphs at.  No flashing strobes, no kooky dancers, no onstage catfights between bassist and keyboard player: just a person and their guitar doing their best to convince an audience that trudging out on a freezing November evening somehow trumps listening to the record on headphones in a nice warm bed. … Continue Reading

White Lies, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

November 19, 2010 Gig, Reviews No Comments
White Lies

White Lies

November 16, 2010

White Lies appear to have had a stylist make them over for tonight’s gig, if their stage clobber is anything to go by; gone are the khaki/old man beige outfits of Glastonbury. In their place are a much more respectable Killers/Man At C&A set of duds, sort of keeping with the continued bombast of tunes from their forthcoming album (due out in February 2011), which make up roughly half of the show’s set. … Continue Reading

Constellations Festival, Leeds

November 16, 2010 Gig, Reviews No Comments
Constellations Festival

Constellations Festival

November 14, 2010

It’s a nice enough idea to hold these Dot To Dot-style all day, indoor festivals during the winter. First of all, it makes for a welcome little care package helping one through the eight month long festival-deficient portion of the year. Second of all, the fact that it’s winter means that four o’clock can pour you a guiltless beer, as well as provide that intangible sense of ‘atmosphere’ afforded by the simple knowledge that it’s dark outside. … Continue Reading

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