Bonobo With crowd-pleasing support from Jens Kuross and Daktyl, and a sold-out tour of the newest album Migration, there’s no denying that Bonobo have returned with a bang. Performing to a packed-out O2 Apollo crowd in Manchester, Simon Green (Bonobo), was shrouded in darkness for much of the show, with focal lighting on the stunning vocalist Szjerdene Mulcare and the almost-orchestral 12-piece band consisting of strings, brass, guitar, drums and keys.


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Julia Jacklin With support from Keto, Julia Jacklin plus band took to the stage to woops and applause in the intimate basement room of The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, the stench of cheesy feet not seeming to perturb band nor audience. Filling the room with her warming, self-assured vocals and indie-alt rock/country sound, with lyrics that explore the intimate intricacies and universal qualities of relationships and life, Jacklin was enchanting.


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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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Everything Everything Formed in late 2007, the alt-pop-rock band ‘Everything Everything’ (EE) have released three albums to date: ‘Man Alive’, 2010, ‘Arc’ in 2013 and ‘Get to Heaven’ in the summer of this year; which, lyrically speaking, Higgs refers to as a “horror bible”. The dark and often formidably violent lyrics “I’m going to kill a stranger, so don’t’ you be a stranger.” written by Higgs, contrast dramatically with the bright pop-like sound which, when performed lived is highly stylised and sensory in effect, intensified by the blaring lights and panels of colour that lit up The Leadmill, Sheffield on Monday night. The band consists of members Jonathan Higgs, lead singer, Jeremy Pritchard, bassist, drummer Michael Spearman, Alex Robertshaw, lead guitarist, and touring musician Pete Sené on keyboards.


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Darwin Deez Darwin Deez took to the stage at the Leadmill, Sheffield, in the smaller, intimate side room, packed with people and fairy lights, each member with a disposition so cheery it seemed to bounce off the walls. With support from trio Peluché, Darwin’s quirky indie-pop band performed an upbeat, charming set, intermittent with the usual synchronised dance routines, with obvious 80s influences.


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Swim Deep Swim Deep’s indie-pop sound has been seemingly overturned in their second album, ‘Mothers’, released this month. With the addition of a new member, keyboardist and percussionist James Balmont, the band have wandered down an altogether different musical route. It may not appeal to quite the same audience as it once did, but it’s progressed into something else. They’ve grown up and so has their music, into a mixture of psych-pop and acid house, which, live at the Leadmill, Sheffield, was intriguing.


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Rae Morris

It’s not often that you can walk away from a gig, having been blown away (musically at least) by both support and lead performances. It’s not often that I feel the need to rave to people I’ve just met (and not just my long-suffering friends) about these amazing musicians I saw last Friday, who you just must listen to, no, go and see live because the YouTube clip you will invariably find will not come close in comparison. But that was the case of Rae Morris plus support from Roo Panes and Dan Owen at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on Friday 9th October.



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Unknown Mortal Orchestra On Friday 25th September, New Zealand-American band Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) showcased their unique sound to a packed-out venue at The Ritz, Manchester, with support from talented Jaakko Eino Kalevi.


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James Bay I won’t deny, I was a bit of a sceptic of James Bay before attending his gig at The Leadmill, Sheffield on Thursday night. Sure, I knew his hit ‘Hold Back The River’, but it was hard not to, considering its popularity on the radio, reaching number two in the UK, with over sixty-four million listens on Spotify (a large percentage of which had taken place in my flat, by my infatuated friends).


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Circa Waves I began listening to Circa Waves a couple of years ago when their their debut single ‘Get Away’ was released in 2013. Considering them to be brilliant and definitely needing more songs to pick from, I was excited when their debut album ‘Young Chasers’ was released earlier this year. Their performance live certainly wasn’t a disappointment, as they took to the stage with an explosion of sound and a light (literally, the lighting was fantastic) it lead me to consider if I had gone both temporarily blind and deaf. I kept jumping anyway.


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