Live Review | Gnarwolves @ Fleece, Bristol

Gnarwolves

Gnarwolves are always on tour. And that’s a good thing. With no disrespect to their excellent trio of EPs and debut long-player, it’s the band’s relentless touring that has brought them to where they stand at the end of 2014. Where they stand is main stage at Reading Festival, support slots with Blink 182 and a largely sold out UK and European tour of the biggest venues they’ve headlined. For this extensive UK/EU run, the band have brought along one of Topshelf Records’ standout acts, Prawn. Fresh from releasing their second full-length Kingfisher in August, this current tour is their second run in Europe, after a 2012 tour with Ape Up! to showcase their then-new EP Ships. In those two… Read More →

Live Review | Joyce Manor @ The Exchange, Bristol

Joyce Manor Live Review UK Tour 2

A lot of people have been waiting a long time for Joyce Manor’s return to these shores. The last time the Californians were here in 2012, their second full length Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired had just taken off, having been released in the UK by Big Scary Monsters. Since then, the band have signed to Epitaph and released their lauded third Never Hungover Again. Their show at Bristol’s Exchange came at the tail end of their EU/UK tour with Cheap Girls and Great Cynics to promote the album. The first two bands created a minor stir, but in a tour that promoted Michigan’s Cheap Girls as a major support, and almost co-headliner, their set fell a… Read More →

Live Review | The Antlers @ Trinity, Bristol

The Antlers Review

Familiars is taken to impossible heights in the live arena. Brooklyn’s The Antlers are a wildly different outfit to that which released Hospice in 2009, widely regarded as one of the most affecting albums of the decade. It’s been followed by 2011’s sombre but hopeful Burst Apart, the ethereal between-album EP Undersea and latest cut, Familiars. The setlist chosen for the current tour, promoting the latter release, is almost entirely made up of tracks from said album, showing a supreme confidence in the band’s most recent work, especially with such an esteemed list of older tracks to choose from. Sadly, there are still those who will yell “play something from Hospice!” two songs into the set, and the sighs meeting… Read More →

Live Review | Axes & Delta Sleep @ The Underground, Plymouth

Axes Live Plymouth Musical Mathematics

Just when you thought a joint headline tour between 2 of the UK scene’s finest live bands couldn’t get any better, Plymouth gets treated to possibly the finest Sunday night lineup it has ever seen. The Axes / Delta Sleep roadshow rolls into town courtesy of a booking by local multi-instrumentalist Steve Strong, well known for his penchant for all things musically experimental. I must admit to being unfortunate enough to miss the majority of Steve’s own band Remnants Of due to train issues (cheers, Crosscountry!), but one glimpse of their high-energy closer suggests those in attendance were rewarded for making it down early. Up next were Italian 3-piece Tapso II, who weave effects-laden violin into their raw, Shellac-like post-rock… Read More →

Festival Review | ArcTanGent 2014

ArcTanGent Banner 2014

It’s small, nerdy and full to the brim with lesser-known bands and musicians. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. ArcTanGent, again, was flawless. Following on from its stand-out 2013 debut, Bristol’s ArcTanGent has quickly gained a reputation for being one of the UK’s most well-received music festivals. And now a year on, not only have the organisers at ATG managed to deliver yet another great music weekender, but they’ve actually inadvertently created something much better. Thursday Thursday on Fernhill Farm was all about returning bands. Picked from last year’s festival, early entry at the festival saw the building of pressure from the likes of Theo, The Physics House Band, Nordic Giants and more. Baby Godzilla smashed with an endless tirade of wireless noise… Read More →

Live Review | 2000 Trees Festival 2014

2000trees Festival 2014

There are small tribes that have existed since the dawn of time that could never match the level of community felt at 2000 Trees. The ever-reliable team who run the festival have managed to top themselves yet again. The festival has already established itself as one of the best events in the country – if not the world. But it feels as though this year they have pulled off even more in scoring a stellar line-up of ground-breaking new acts, as well as reinventing themselves with the addition of the astonishingly successful forest sessions and the expansion of other stages. On entry to the festival it feels like a different place to 2 years ago, with people in flip flops on green grass rather… Read More →

Live Review | Brontide Album Release Show @ Oslo, Hackney

Brontide Live

Although Brontide have remained quiet in the past few years – aside from the occasional afternoon festival set – that didn’t stop them from being able to pack out a venue hidden away in the outskirts of Central London. Kicking off the night is folk-rock duo Algiers who bring heartwarming comedy combined with rhythmic Frank Turner-style melodies in an attempt to loosen up the crowd of folded arms and nodding heads. One set into the night and the high level of musical talent that presents itself to the room is at an incredibly high level. Following on are math-rock wizards Tangled Hair made up partially of the remnants of math heros Colour. If there was ever a band to warm you up for Brontide… Read More →

Live Review | Pulled Apart By Horses @ The White Rabbit, Plymouth

PABH

Walking into the White Rabbit on Tuesday night, as the bar begins to fill, you can’t help but think ‘how on Earth does a band who look and sound like Pulled Apart by Horses pull such a damned varied crowd?’. A mixture of hipsters, vest’n’tats hardcore types, aging punks, groups of students and the odd girl who looks as if she’s wandered in from an H&M ad shoot gather early and expectantly, a scene unlike most heavy shows. Fast-forward a few hours and it’s quite clear that it’s pure infectious energy and positivity that really sets Pulled Apart From Horses apart from so many other bands on the UK scene, and having taken some time off from playing regular shows… Read More →

Live Review | Liverpool Sound City 2014

Liverpool Sound City

The continued success of inner-city festivals is driven by incredible events like Sound City. And with another successful year under their belt, Liverpool Sound City are miles above the rest. The perfectly obscure nature of Liverpool Sound City sets it aside from most inner-city festivals as a heavy supporter of the arts in their entirety. Spending the day absorbing information through various conferences on music, film and photography proved to be a huge success and was just as enjoyable as the live music later that night. Notably, a talk on the value of heritage in UK music given by Pop Pilgrims. Combine this with a series of pop-up cinemas and photography exhibitions and you have a festival that can boast… Read More →

Live Review | Handmade Festival 2014

Handmade Festival

The return of Leicester’s Handmade festival for its sophomore outing was a much anticipated affair after last year’s inaugural success and with this year’s incredible curating. With a dramatic array of breathtaking venues located conveniently within a short block of city centre, the festival impressed with its strong setting and accessibility. The music commenced in a bizarre fashion as local two-piece Cuntrag captivated the room in their Lucha Libre masks. They ploughed their way through a bruising set as the drummer removed his suit to reveal the full extent of his Mexican wrestler-get up. The crowd were rendered equally shocked and energised inside Hansom Hall; the beautiful theatre-style venue with ornate architecture providing an ambiance of befitting grandeur that accompanied… Read More →