Better Than That by James James have always been a great singles band. One of the few artists about which you could confidently state that their Greatest Hits defined a decade, songs such as ‘Sit Down’, ‘Laid’ and ‘She’s a Star’ will forever be ingrained on the public consciousness. A brand-new EP then will always come with a certain level of anticipation. And so, to Better Than That…


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Sleepwalkers by Brian Fallon Is Sleepwalkers the album to push me kicking and screaming back into Fallon’s brand of Americana? Maybe... Opening track If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven is vintage Brian Fallon. Catchy, melodic and deceivingly simple, the New Jersey songwriter has clearly lost none of his soul. Indeed, this album is more upbeat generally than pretty much anything Fallon has been involved in since the Gaslight Anthem’s American Slang.


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White Lies The last time I saw White Lies it was a freezing November evening way back in 2009. I started the night by drinking an outrageous amount of vodka and I ended it singing along to the casualty theme tune in my mates front room with my top off... This time around, I arrived at Sheffield Academy half asleep after my wife and I spent all day moving house. While I am obviously delighted with that considerable change in my personal life, it is somewhat comforting to know I can slip back into the world of White Lies and nothing much has changed. Same plain, black t-shirts, same massive choruses and the same important themes.


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The Courteeners The Courteeners. Manchester's sons are often dismissed in the music press, presumably because of some kind of London centric snobbishness aimed at the North of England. The Courteeners and their army of fans care not for such an attitude. One of the reasons the band are so popular is that they know their audience. Whether it be recruiting Milburn to join them in Yorkshire or coming out to the fevered howl of Oasis' 'Morning Glory', they know how to raise excitement to fever pitch.


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