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2014: Top ten albums

2014: Top ten albums

I’ve been posting an annual ‘best of’ list for a few years now – this is the fifth run through. I can honestly say that this is the easiest year by far. That isn’t a reflection on the scarcity of good material. Rather, the ten albums listed below stand head and shoulders out there as […]

Latitude: the seventh edition

Latitude: the seventh edition

OK, I’ll come clean. While the summer has been more than a little hectic, I did manage to squeeze in Latitude. All very last minute, all very opportunistic. Despite the trenchfoot-friendly conditions, I’m chuffed to have made it. A festival with headliners including Weller and Elbow? Count me the hell in. Latitude is becoming firmly […]

2011: Top ten albums

2011: Top ten albums

The perils of writing a ‘best albums of the year’ list are many. First of all, I know that I’ll be missing some albums which probably deserve to make the cut. Last year, for example, while calling out I Am Kloot’s ‘Sky At Night’ as the album of the year (which I still stand resolutely […]

Elbow: Restoring the intimacy

Elbow: Restoring the intimacy

Even the most casual reader of these pages will know that I’m a bit of an Elbow fan. I feel that I need to put that out there straight from the off, so you know what you’re dealing with, here. That said, I’ve largely held back on commentary around ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’, save for […]

Anna Calvi: Blues with an operatic sneer

Anna Calvi: Blues with an operatic sneer

Call it blues, delivered with an operatic sneer. Sounding like the nasty sister of Bat For Lashes – the one who grew up listening to dirty rock, as opposed to Kate Bush – Anna Calvi demands your attention. Take one part Florence Welch (the voice bit), one part Patti Smith (the attitude) and one part […]

This is a post about Elbow. And Peter Gabriel.

This is a post about Elbow. And Peter Gabriel.

So I am heading to Manchester. You see, I’m a bit of an Elbow fan, as posts on this site have already been testament to. As soon as the Elbow date at the MEN Arena was announced, the tickets were booked. I live in NYC, but my heart is in Manchester. There’s no finer place […]

It was only a matter of time...

It was only a matter of time…

I’ve been biting my lip for a little while now. The idea of the freethinking movement is to celebrate good music, to recognise innovation, and to highlight some of the overlooked heroes who should be more well known than they are. I recognise that it’s all a matter of taste, and that just because I […]

Understated Manc charm: I Am Kloot

Understated Manc charm: I Am Kloot

I buy a lot of music. I really do mean a lot. At time this can mean that I’ve got a stack of music that I just haven’t got around to listening to yet. Delights just sitting there, on my dining room table, waiting for me to check them out. I finally got around to […]

Looks like a bin man, sounds like an angel

Looks like a bin man, sounds like an angel

Today has been ‘an Elbow day’. A day at home, listening to a Guy Garvey narrated radio documentary about Manchester (more specifically, the influence and importance of rain in Manchester). With genuine feelings of pride and affection for Manchester, there was only one way to follow the programme. No band captures their love for a […]

Elbow. That is all.

Elbow. That is all.

From my last post celebrating one of Manchester’s overlooked bands, it seems appropriate to turn my attention to one of their finest current exports. OK, technically they’re from Bury. And OK, their studio is in Salford. But when I’m sitting here a few thousand miles away, it seems academic to draw too fine a distinction. […]

Missing Latitude

Missing Latitude

I’m gutted now. This weekend sees the Latitude Festival take place in the UK. I’m not going. It seemed like a good idea to pass up on tickets earlier in the year. Now I’m kicking myself. Over the past couple of years, it’s a festival which has treated me to some of my live music […]