Archive for the 'night & day' Category

The Manchester Gig Guide: 21st – 27th September 2008

Brett Anderson of Suede drooling over Bernard Butler

Well, a day late and from the wrong member of the Indie Cred household, here’s the weekly gig guide.

It seems that last night we missed Beggars at the Night & Day, System of a Down side-project Scars on Broadway at the Manchester Academy and hardcore band Strike Anywhere at the Music Box. Oh well.

As for tonight, if I manage to get this posted in the next 10 minutes or so, you might manage to get down to the Manchester Academy to see experimental rock-rap-funk outfit Flobots, down to the Roadhouse for Infadels or to the Night & Day for White Lies, although that last one, it seems, has been sold out at least since Friday’s Manchester Evening News went to press.

Now, on to the gigs that aren’t already nearly history. Tuesday, September 23rd looks to be a quiet night with not much more than Liz Green, Ben Wetherill and Essie Jain, a trio of singer-songwriters, on at Matt & Phreds. Elsewhere, Mancunian band Ideas as Opiates are on at a showcase at the Night & Day which also features Frank is Dead and Sycamore.

On Wednesday the 24th things start to pick up a bit more when quirky Canadian indie-pop outfit Islands take over the Night & Day. Last time I saw Islands playing to a half-full crowd in the Roadhouse they were utterly charming so I’d recommend joining The Ledge to check out their latest offerings. Elsewhere experimental folkster Adem plays at the Ruby Lounge, supported by charming jangly instrumentalists Tim and Sam’s Tim and The Sam Band with Tim and Sam while gloom-rockers 1913 play the Hilton Hotel, of all places. On a completely different note, grime rapper Sway is on at Jabez Clegg, which could be interesting if only to see such a hotly-tipped hip hopper in such a tiny setting. If small, intimate gigs by good bands aren’t your thing, however, or you’ve a zimmer frame and want to hark back to your childhood in a more overpriced, seated setting, you can always head down to the Apollo for The Moody Blues. If you remember them from their first go round, however, you’re either really old, you weren’t really there, or both.

Thursday sees the welcome return of Scottish indie-folk-rockers Broken Records to the Night & Day. We enjoyed them the last time around and we may head down ourselves, although we’re likely to skip opener Troubadour as we’ve had little luck with bands of similar names. However, we’re also sorely tempted by the idea of Neil Halstead of Slowdive and Mojave 3 performing on his own at Sacred Trinity Church. It may come down to a coin toss for that one. If you fancy a bit of hypnotically loud post-rock, then Amusement Parks on Fire are on at Retro Bar along with the very amusingly-named Apes Fight Back. For the more electronica-minded amongst us, try heading down to catch Fujiya & Miyagi at The Deaf Institute. If neither of those take your fancy, there’s always psychedelic rockabilly courtesy of Jon Spencer’s newest band Heavy Trash. Enjoyable local rockers The Maple State are on at The Music Box while Spear of Destiny trigger some memories of the 1980’s over at Club Academy.

Friday, Suede fans of the world will get the opportunity to lob rotten tomatoes, rocks and pints of piss at me as I head down to see Brett Anderson attempt to interest us in his latest solo offering at the Royal Northern College of Music. My companion for the gig and I will be hoping he gets the solo stuff out of the way early so we can see whether “Trash” and “Animal Nitrate” sound as bad on the cello as we expect they will. On a slightly similar note, Wigan’s finest, Starsailor, will be performing at Moho Live in front of the 6 people who still care. For those not interested in mainstream indie whinging, get your dancing shoes out for disco diva Sam Sparro at Manchester Academy or dust off your leather trousers and head down to watch Dragonforce at Club Academy. If none of that takes your fancy, you could always check out some famous folk offspring in the form of Teddy Thompson at the Ruby Lounge. Of course Corrie and a bottle of wine sound pretty good on a Friday night too.

Saturday the 27th looks to be the night of the indie anthem as Puressence play Club Academy and Longview perform at the Roadhouse. Of course, if you’re feeling a bit less 1997, you could head down and see It Bites at Club Academy. We’d recommend, however,  that you rest up for the following weekend as In the City prepares to descend on us once again.

Mojave 3 – Mercy

Amusement Parks on Fire – Asphalt (Interlude)

Posted by JustHipper on 22nd September 2008 at 9:27 pm | comments (6)
File under brett anderson,gig guide,islands,manchester gigs,mp3,night & day.

Gig Review: A Day At The Races Festival, Moho Live & The Night & Day Café, Manchester, 2nd August 2008

Things didn’t start too well for the inaugural A Day At The Races festival the Saturday before last. After the band that prompted us to buy the tickets in the first place, Frightened Rabbit, pulled out a couple of weeks before in order to play The Big Chill, Elf Power became the band we were really looking forward to seeing. On arriving at Moho Live just after 4pm we found out that they too had pulled out. At least we get to see Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, I thought (the two bands clashed on the schedules), but no, they too had disappeared from the line-up. Schedules were re-arranged and Calvin Johnson’s festival opening set was put back an hour to 5:30pm, giving us an hour’s wait in the bar.

Calvin Johnson @ A Day At The RacesCalvin Johnson, formerly of Beat Happening, played solo acoustic and unamplified to a decent sized crowd of early birds, not taking the stage but playing on the floor of the venue in front of the stage as the crowd formed an intimate semi-circle around him. He was clearly unphased by this set up and regaled us with the occasional amusing anecdote and found time for a few songs, none of which I recognised – I only own one Beat Happening album – but all of which were pretty good and in a folksy singer-songwritery vein, with his rather wonderful deep croon often overpowering his scratchy guitar work.

David Thomas Broughton @ A Day At The RacesThe non-appearance of SKWBN gave us the chance to see David Thomas Broughton for the first time after he had been drafted in as a replacement, presumably at short notice. So, we headed off to the Night & Day only to find that they weren’t letting people in, even though it was 6pm and Broughton was on at 6:30, and there were a few people already inside. About 40 people waited for half an hour to get in, during which time there was a brief, but heavy, downpour. Once inside, the unassuming Broughton treated us to a highly entertaining half hour of oddball folkiness, building up improvised atonal loops and offering pleasingly nasal old school English folk vocals, when he wasn’t banging his head against the microphone or wandering into the crowd and scaring the locals.

It was at this point that JustHipper, who had been feeling pretty ill for the previous few days, decided to throw in the towel and make her way home to a warm sofa and last week’s “Gossip Girl”. This strangely coincided with the point at which I really started to enjoy the evening. Long-time John Peel favourites Bearsuit were great fun in their superhero costumes, their vibrant Welsh indiepop coming in somewhere between Gorkys Zygotic Mynci and Los Campesinos, but certainly much better than the latter who where so disappointing at T In The Park recently that I had absolutely no intention of catching their set at this event.

Jeffrey Lewis @ A Day At The RacesNext, Ólafur Arnalds‘ blend of chamber music and electronica was frankly a little boring so I set off early back at Moho Live to see Jeffrey Lewis, who put in perhaps the outstanding set of the day. It was the first time that I’d seen him but I kind of knew what to expect – repetitive hooks, dense, funny lyrics – and he certainly delivered the goods. New song “I Preferred Herman Dune With Two Brothers In The Band” set the standard – and sounded not unlike something Herman Dune themselves would write – while “Back When I Was 4” and his cover of Crass’ “Big A, Little A” were also great, though not as good as the excellent “Creepiing Brain” which had Lewis flicking through a huge comic book as the song went along, unravelling the story in graphic as well as musical form.

Múm @ A Day At The RacesI arrived back at the now sweltering Night & Day in time to catch Adem put in a stellar cover of Low’s “Laser Beam” and, though I’d never had any intention of catching any of his set, found myself a little disappointed that he’d clashed with Jeffrey Lewis.

Then it was off for a quick kebab before returning to see Icelandic popsters Múm end the day’s proceeding with a wonderfully feelgood set of summery electronica. If I say they fell somewhere between Sigur Rós and Stereolab then JustHipper won’t feel the slightest tinge of regret on missing most of the day, though I have a sneaking feeling that she’d have really liked them. Anyway, though things didn’t look too promising at the outset, A Day At The Races turned out to be a thoroughly good outing.

Video: Bearsuit – Foxy Boxer, from their set at the Night & Day

Posted by The Ledge on 12th August 2008 at 11:01 pm | comments (5)
File under Festival Reviews,Gig Reviews,john peel bands,night & day,Reviews,video,youtube.

Gig Review: Frightened Rabbit @ The Night & Day Café, Manchester, 5th April 2008

Having moaned about them cancelling their support slot at the Night & Day with MGMT last month, it was great to see Frightened Rabbit remedy the situation with a headline appearance at the same venue on Saturday night. Not that it felt much like they were the headline act thanks to local band The Bottomfeeders, who brought a healthy contingent of friends and family to watch their supporting set, most of whom sloped off home long before Frightened Rabbit took to the stage, leaving a disappointingly small number of punters to cheer them on.

The Bottomfeeders @ The Night & Day CafeFortunately, The Bottomfeeders were highly entertaining and good enough to suggest that perhaps some of their gathered throng were actual fans, rather than mums, dads and colleagues. There was something quite theatrical about them, with a line-up that included a (faux?) Japanese bass player who also played the musical saw, a cellist, a trombone player in dungarees and a lead singer in a spangly dress who was somewhere in between Courtney Love and Beth Ditto – if you could ignore the thick manc accent. With such an array of instruments at their disposal, and the lead singer’s excellent vocals, the songs straddled a wide range of musical styles, occasionally defying categorisation, occasionally sounding like direct rip-offs (“Loretta” could have been lifted straight off PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love). There was also a rich vein of wacky humour running through much of the material with some songs straying dangerously close to novelty territory. I’m not sure if they’d stand up to repeated listens but they were great fun, nonetheless.

Frightened Rabbit @ The Night & Day CafeMost of their fans were daft enough to leave immediately after their set, or retire to the bar to chat loudly, leaving a handful of us to bask in the glory of the really, rather brilliant Frightened Rabbit. They’ve bulked up to a four piece since I last saw them, but rather than employ a bass player they’ve opted for another guitarist, which is great news as the sight and sound of three Telecasters churning away at the front of the stage while scary drummer Grant Hutchison beats the shit out of his drums at the back was terrific. The early part of the set was weighted towards songs off the new album, The Midnight Organ Fight, which has hardly been out of my CD player for the past two weeks. The likes of “The Modern Leper”, which opened proceedings, and album highlight “Fast Blood” were played with a searing intensity that sent shivers down the spine. Unperturbed the disappointing turnout, singer Scott Hutchison was really giving it everything, obviously excited about playing the new material but also making sure that the Sing The Greys stuff sounded just as fresh. “Be Less Rude” positively bounced along while “Go Go Girls”, with its irresistible “Shocker In Gloomtown” riff, sounded like the album version with an electric cattle prod rammed up its arse.

They ended with “The Greys” segueing effortlessly into “Square 9” to create a sweaty eight minute epic, and were gone after a brief set of ten songs or so, to a paltry smattering of applause. I see this gig as a mere taster of what’s to come from Frightened Rabbit in 2008. When the album comes out and word gets around they’ll easily be selling out venues of this size by the Autumn. Can’t wait.

The setlist, if I recall, went something like this:

The Modern Leper
I Feel Better
Be Less Rude
Fast Blood
Old Old Fashioned
Heads Roll Off
Music Now
Go Go Girls
The Greys
Square 9

Frightened Rabbit – Heads Roll Off

Frightened Rabbit – Be Less Rude

Posted by The Ledge on 10th April 2008 at 10:52 pm | comments (6)
File under frightened rabbit,Gig Reviews,mp3,night & day,Reviews,the bottomfeeders.

Gig Review: Laura Veirs at Manchester Night & Day, February 5, 2008

Contrary to popular opinion amongst my friends (and perhaps anyone who’s read my gushing endorsements of The Decemberists), I bought my first Laura Veirs album, her current one, Saltbreakers, not because she duetted with the lovely Colin Meloy, but rather because a friend whose taste in music I trust said it was a fantastic album. It is. While I had previously avoided her studiously as I thought she might be another one of those boring, faux-quirky female acoustic singers with whom we have been assaulted over the last 18 months, much to my chagrin; it turns out she writes lovely songs that mention water somewhat regularly and that she has a very pleasant, soothing and friendly voice.

So, we took ouselves down to the Night & Day expecting a pleasant evening – which is pretty much what we got.

The opening act was Clyde, a singer-songwriter from Seattle who sings in a band called Your Heart Breaks. I listened to a couple of their songs on MySpace prior to heading down to the gig and they were warm, quirky, lo-fi numbers that reminded me of the Moldy Peaches in tone, if not in content. Funnily enough, Clyde mentioned being friends with Kimya Dawson, formerly of the Moldy Peaches. In person she was warm, funny and very self-deprecating and if lyrically some of her songs were a bit lacking, she made up for it with enthusiasm and some very entertaining storytelling. I was smiling when she left the stage and feel like I really should go back to the Your Heart Breaks MySpace page and download a few tracks.

We were expecting Laura Veirs to be touring with a full band, as Saltbreakers has a lot of instrumentation on it, but it seems we missed that jaunt a few months back and this time she was on her own, because, she told us, she likes to see how the songs stand up alone occasionally. They sounded lovely, in fact. Despite some problems with her monitors, she put in a faultless performance that even saw a couple of songs on the banjo and some old folk covers as well as a set covering not only her most recent album, but all the ones before it that neither I nor the The Ledge have heard. That is, all her albums except the first one which she reckons is a bit crap as she was still learning her trade at the time. The audience were entranced by her, with a gaggle of young women at the front of the stage singing every word along with her.

The only problem, really (apart from someone standing nearby who really needed a stick of deoderant and the omission of “Drink Deep” from the set), was that not knowing most of the songs meant I couldn’t fix on the lyrics very easily and so the overwhelming experience was her voice, which doesn’t really change much from song to song (not that it would without effects which would kind of defeat the purpose of an acoustic performance), and the melodies which started to blend together without the help of a range of instruments to give the songs musical depth and variety. I don’t think this was an issue of songwriting but rather my lack of familiarity with the songs. A full band would have kept my attention better and given me more to hear and see.

On the whole, however, Laura Veirs put in a great performance and is clearly a songwriter whose back catalogue is well worth exploring further.

Laura Veirs – Nightingale

Laura Veirs – Drink Deep

Posted by JustHipper on 10th February 2008 at 8:44 pm | comments (2)
File under female singers,Gig Reviews,gigs,Laura Veirs,mp3,night & day,Reviews,Your Heart Breaks.

Gig Review: Foals, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 28th Sept 2007

Another gig that we weren’t much looking forward to, this. Despite quite liking their “Hummer” single I was expecting another over-hyped indie electro band along the lines of New Young Pony Club. Expectations were confounded once again, however, as Foals put in a riotously good performance at the Night & Day.

I may have complained about how the air conditioning sucked away some of the atmosphere at the Twilight Sad gig a few weeks ago but a little bit of air con in the Night & Day would not be unwelcome. Even when it’s freezing outside, a full house means that the place resembles a sauna on Mercury. Foals mentioned the oppressive heat a couple of times during their performance but it didn’t seem to diminsh their energy levels one bit. From the off the guitarist and singer covered every inch of the stage while picking out their precision riffs, never deigning to play actual chords and rarely venturing lower than the twelfth fret. It’s this meticulous riffery that brings comparisons to math rock and one instrumental played on the night would not sound out of place on Battles’ excellent Mirrored album. Behind these two is a quite excellent rhythm section and a synth player who, while providing the band’s solid electro core, is happy to take a back seat let the guitars become the focal point for the audience.

The band’s energy was infectious and before long there was plenty of crowd-surfing and stage-diving going on in the extremely good-natured audience. During the closing mayhem of “Hummer” I swear I saw three crowd-surfers one on top of the other, the audience somehow managing to keep them afloat. On this evidence Foals’ Dave Sitek-produced debut album will be well worth getting hold of.

Foals – Hummer

Posted by The Ledge on 21st October 2007 at 5:25 pm | comments (4)
File under foals,Gig Reviews,mp3,night & day,Reviews.