King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Earlier this year Stu Mackenzie of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard announced that the band would be releasing as many as five new albums this year. At the time this may have seemed a rash hostage-to-fortune statement, but it’s now August and their third album of 2017 has just appeared. So they may still be on-target for five. How can they make all these albums in a year? Well, beside the fact that KGATLW are very industrious in terms of work ethic, the answer may be that, as they obviously don’t want to get typecast in terms of genre and style, they work through all sorts of experimental ideas and collaborations and quickly move on. In the future any attempt to do a KGATLW ‘best of’ selection is going to be a very tricky job, given the sheer breath of styles the band have taken in.


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The Mekons The Mekons are a musical institution. Starting off as an arty punk band with attitude at Leeds University in the 1970s, they’ve evolved over the years as a politically and socially-aware collective of musicians expanding out of the punk genre into folk, country, dub and all sorts. They decamped to the USA in the 1990s and have, as they say, a large cult following including one Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy). However, tonight we’re privileged to witness one of only a few reunion gigs being performed by the original 1977-9 line-up of drummer Jon Langford, guitarists Kevin Lycett and Tom Greenhalgh and singers Mark White and Andy Corrigan.


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Welcome to the North Certain parts of the mainstream music media will tell you that guitar music is dead and there are no good bands coming through. It is absolute nonsense. There is an absolute wealth of talent just bubbling under ready to explode. Go to any This Feeling gig, especially one of their festival stages, and you will witness the evidence for yourself. George Holmes has worked with This Feeling and was now putting on his own festival of some of the brightest up and coming bands from The North. 16 acts in 10 hours or so on 2 stages. This was gonna be intense. Welcome to the North 2017.


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Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble Stereolab, the ‘avant-pop’ band formed by Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane back in 1990, have been on hiatus since 2009, since when Laetitia has embarked on a solo career. Last month saw the release of ‘Finding Me Finding You’, the first album released as Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble. Speaking on Marc Riley’s 6 Music programme last week, Laetitia indicated that, as she was working long-term with a trusty group of accomplished musicians, she felt she should release an album under a collective band moniker. So the current tour is a band outing promoting the new Source Ensemble album.


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Hurray For The Riff Raff ‘The Navigator’, Alynda Segarra’s sixth album as Hurray For The Riff Raff, has been attracting rave reviews and it seems to mark her coming of age as a singer, songwriter, performer and cutting-edge social commentator. Tonight’s gig at Leeds Brudenell Social Club is one of a few dates in the UK where she is showcasing her new album and her excellent new touring band.


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Dave Mason This is a gig I just had to see. Former Traffic-man and long-term US resident Dave Mason is touring Britain for the first time since the 1970s. In fact it’s his first ever UK solo tour.


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Toy With its quirky small club atmosphere and friendliness, Hebden Bridge’s Trades Club is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favourite live music venues. Over four days they’ve been hosting ‘A Heavenly Weekend in Hebden Bridge’, featuring artists on that label. Saturday night features Brighton psych rockers Toy and up-and-coming shoegazey dreamers Britain.


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Lush Tonight is a truly momentous occasion as Lush play their last ever gig. These legendary purveyors of ‘shoegaze’ originally split in 1996 after the sad death of drummer Chris Acland, but reformed last year to record an EP and play UK, European and US dates. However, with bassist Phil King’s recent decision to quit, the band have finally decided to call it a day. For tonight’s final gig, front-women Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson and drummer (since the band reformed) Justin Welch are joined by Modern English bassist Michael Conroy.


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PJ Harvey The force of nature that is PJ Harvey has not been one to do much touring of the provinces in recent years, but that has changed this year as she undertakes a UK tour centred around her last two albums, ‘Let England Shake’ (2011) and ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ (2016). These albums have been part of a great burst of activity from Ms Harvey, marking a more political stance, examining war, Britain’s history and wider global concerns. These are deeply personal albums, but then so are all of PJ Harvey’s records.


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Wooden Shjips I’m always up for a good bit of psychedelia and tonight’s sold-out gig from space-drone-noise rocking San Franciscans Wooden Shjips has been long awaited. Band guitarist Ripley Johnson has recently done UK gigs with his ‘other band’, Moon Duo, but Wooden Shjips appearances here are rare, with the Gorilla gig part of a very short UK tour.


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Michael Kiwanuka Right now there is a buzz around Michael Kiwanuka. A North Londoner in his late twenties he is promoting his second album released in the summer to critical acclaim. Twice nominated for the Mercury prize, life should be looking up for this accomplished guitarist and soulful singer-songwriter. Manchester Ritz, with a 1500 hundred capacity, is the final show of the UK leg. It is a sell-out and it is buzzing.


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Angel Olsen After the release of her second full-length album Burn Your Fire For No Witness in 2014 I was hooked by Angel Olsen enchanting vocals and grunge-folk sound. Yet, until hearing Olsen live at Club Academy in Manchester, I hadn’t picked up on the resounding country-folk palette of her voice. Her music, especially the 2016 album MY WOMAN encompasses a wide range of genres, of grunge-rock to folk, with electronic reverb. It is an album which cannot and perhaps should not be pinned down. It reminds audiences not to constrain an artist to a certain genre whilst lyrically reminding us not to constrain a woman to certain social expectations.


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Low Tonight Low are live at Leeds and the Brudenell Social Club is sold-out. This hardworking band always seem to be on the road and they are currently playing a few UK dates, after gigs in Australia, New Zealand and continental Europe.


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Moon Duo This is only my second visit to Hebden Bridge’s legendary and characterful Trades Club and already it is one of my all-time favourite live music venues. Tonight the club hosts a psychedelic extravaganza, headed-up by Moon Duo, with this being the last date of the American band’s UK tour.


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