Yo La Tengo Yo La Tengo (YLT) have been around for some 35 years and have 15 studio albums to their credit. Since Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley formed the band they’ve had 14 bass players, but James McNew has occupied that spot since 1992, so they are now a very stable musical trio. When asked later how the band manages to be so relaxed on stage they agree that it’s down to their confidence in each other as musicians.


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Anna Calvi Anna Calvi is an artist who seemed to emerge fully-formed with her acclaimed debut album in 2011. Winning early endorsement from luminaries like Brian Eno and Bill Ryder-Jones, she played support gigs for the likes of Nick Cave and The Arctic Monkeys before she had even released an album. The debit album spectacularly demonstrated her abilities as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, as well as demonstrating a trend-setting grasp of style and presentation in the vein of early Roxy Music. Her third album, ‘Hunter’, was released in 2018.


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Jonathan Wilson Jonathan Wilson has not played here before but some of his pals have rightly endorsed the venue. Wilson is much smitten by the surrounding topography which he likens to his home in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, albeit without the bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions. There are plenty of sheep in Hebden Bridge as a consequence.


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Meat Puppets Until this gig I mainly knew Meat Puppets as one of the seminal US alternative bands of the 1980s and 90s, perhaps most known for the three Meat Puppets songs recorded by Nirvana for their ‘Unplugged In New York’ album. Kurt Cobain was a big fan of the band and Cris and Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets were invited to play on Nirvana’s unplugged session. However, tonight Meat Puppets really demonstrate that they are a force of their own.


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Kamasi Washington “Let’s Do It”, announces Kamasi Washington, as he and his band take the stage at Manchester's Academy. The venue has a fine pedigree starting life in the sixties with jazzers such as Humphrey Lyttelton before embracing the likes of Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd. An audience of around one thousand are here tonight, mostly students. Some are here out of curiosity but most will be familiar with Washington’s contributions to fellow Angelino Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly – that landmark 2015 chart topper which fused hip-hop with jazz and opened up the genre to a new young audience.


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The Unthanks The Trades Club is a socialist members cooperative in alt.Yorkshire’s Hebden Bridge... a hip, chilled out mill town noted for its liberal vibe and motley mixture of artists, alternative practitioners, New Age activists, LGBTs and urban commuters in search of the good life. This cosy venue is a natural home to The Unthanks who’ve played here on several occasions; indeed, as Becky remarks, she once lived here in the town.


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Stephen Morris in Conversation with Dave Haslam Joy Division and successor band New Order are Manchester musical legends, with several films and books already documenting both bands’ careers and legacies, including autobiographies by band members Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner. Now JD/NO drummer Stephen Morris has joined the club, with the first volume of his autobiography, ‘Record, Play, Pause’, published this month. To launch the book Morris is doing a ‘tour’ around the UK, where he is in conversation on stage with Mancunian DJ, broadcaster and journalist Dave Haslam. Haslam also has a new book on sale, ‘Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor: Music, Manchester and More’. Haslam and Morris are old buddies, Haslam having DJ’ed at Manchester’s infamous Hacienda club, of which Morris and his New Order comrades were, of course, part owners.


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Suede When David Bowie passed away in 2016 I vowed I’d never again miss the opportunity to see a band I loved, when the opportunity presented itself. So I took the grey and long road from Birmingham to Leeds on a Wednesday night to see one of my favourite all time bands, Suede.


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Gwenifer Raymond When it comes to spotting interesting new artists, for me it often starts with hearing something on the radio then following it up with an album purchase or a live gig. Going to a gig is often a great introduction to an artist as you get to experience their personality and body of work, all providing context to the music. So it is with Gwenifer Raymond, a new talent who burst onto the music scene last year with her debut album, ‘You Were Never Much of a Dancer’.


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Damo Suzuki This is an extra special night for The Continental. They are welcoming back Damo Suzuki, a musician of truly legendary international status, marking ten years since the Preston music venue came into being with an opening night performance by Damo himself. Damo is best known for his stint as frontman with Krautrock stalwarts Can, singing on their landmark albums ‘Tago Mago’, ‘Ege Bamyasi’ and ‘Future Days’.


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Michael Chapman Michael Chapman is a 78 year-old British singer-songwriter and guitarist who forged a formidable reputation from a string of classic 1970's albums, perhaps most notably ‘Fully Qualified Survivor’. He is nothing if not prolific and continues to make albums (now over 30) and give live performances. His song-writing skills are widely respected, as is his skilful guitar playing. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore is one of his admirers and they toured together back in 2013.


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Roy Harper “As long as I can skip I will be coming back” were Roy Harper’s closing remarks as he playfully skipped off the stage as if he were a five year old. Heart warming and poignant it was a fitting end to what is billed as ‘The Last Tour: 50 Years of Monumental Classics’.


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Kacy and Clayton Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum are cousins who grew up in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Kacy and Clayton’s musical partnership was forged by a mutual love of timeless old traditional music. Starting off playing in local venues they’ve since gained many fans and admirers and their most recent acclaimed album ‘The Siren’s Song’ was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. The duo are currently touring in Europe and tonight they follow up their London gig with a debut visit to The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge. Recently they’ve gigged with an electric band, but for the current tour the pair are playing acoustic.


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Vishtèn Vishtèn are a trio from Eastern Canada whose répertoire is focussed around French-Canadian traditional music, with many songs derived from archive sources. They tell us that they look for joyous folk songs, but invariably they end up with songs about heartbreak. Vishtèn particularly celebrate Acadian music culture, which derives from the French settlers who made their home in North America in the 17th century, including America’s southern states, where it morphed into Cajun.


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