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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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Wow! A truly mind-blowing evening at Manchester's Albert Hall with Aussie psych rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Catch them live if you can..


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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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Love Revisited It’s ten years since the death of Arthur Lee, the genius songwriter and musician behind Love, one the seminal bands of the 1960s. Love's ‘Forever Changes’ is consistently voted one of the top albums of all time. For over a decade, until his passing in 2006, US indie group Baby Lemonade was Lee’s longest-serving Love touring band. Over that period they learnt his repertoire inside out, including playing on the seminal ‘Forever Changes’ live concert at The Royal Festival Hall in 2003, now documented on CD and DVD. They also appeared at Glastonbury that year (find this classic performance on YouTube). Now they’ve reunited, along with original Love guitarist Johnny Echols, to do an extensive tour, bringing Love’s music to a British audience once more.


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