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Posts Tagged ‘Manchester

Damien Rice at The Albert Hall, Manchester 11.06.15

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So, after an eight year wait the day finally arrived for me to once more enjoy an evening in the company of – in my opinion – the greatest singer-songwriter of my lifetime.

Damien Rice performed at the Albert Hall, Manchester (June 11th, 2015), with support from Lucy Rose. It would be fair to say that I was pretty ecstatic at having got tickets for this show; one of only three to be performed in the UK.

Rice released ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’, his third studio album, late last year to critical acclaim. The album contains just eight tracks but they each showcase Rice’s literary and musical genius. I have a couple of standout favourites: ‘The Greatest Bastard’, ‘Trusty and True’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Change You’. I struggle to seperate the eight however as they all feature different elements that I love. I’ve always found Rice’s work to almost mirror my own life experiences, particularly in relationships. Perhaps that’s why I relate to them so much and find his live performances such a cathartic experience.

Rice doesn’t use set lists, so each live show is truly unique for his fans. In Manchester he performed a selection of old and new tracks, with classics such as ‘Cannonball’, ‘The Blower’s Daughter’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘Nine Crimes’ thrown in for good measure and to great applause from the audience. Having been to see Rice three times now, I definitely witnessed a visibly more jubilant and chatty performer who was trading jokes with the crowd, recalling funny stories from previous gigs and his personal life and just generally seeming more upbeat than ever before. I have always found Rice’s personal brand of intensity and broodiness particularly appealing and quite seductive…yes I have a major crush on the man, just putting it out there! He reflected on the possible reasons for his downbeat demeanour in the past; the pressure of artistic expectations, relationships, money etc, but said that after “speaking to someone who specialises in these things“, he found that by stripping all of these things away, he was left with a much happier person who discovered that it might actually be nice to let people in and not shut yourself off so much. Who knew?!

It was great to hear some of Rice’s more recent tracks performed live, including ‘The Box’ and ‘Long, Long Way’. I’d have personally preferred less of the old and more of the new, but that is simply due to how much I love his latest album. With a new record in the pipeline, I’m sure there will be other opportunities to catch a live show and hear those tracks that he didn’t get chance to perform this time round.

All in all, one of the top 3 live shows ever for me; with Rice occupying 2 of those positions now.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

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Masters, Hens and Cherry Ghosts

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So it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy with studying for my Masters, organising hen weekends, becoming a Godmother and doing a bit of private tuition on the side. But now I’m back, to let you know, I can really shake ’em down…yep, there’s been time for a few classic romance dramas too.

I’ve been listening to one of my favourite chillout albums a lot recently; Birdy‘s 2011 self-titled debut. I’ve decided that her cover of Cherry Ghost‘s ‘People Help the People’ is one of my all time favourite songs. In fact, I’m yet to hear a remix of the song that I don’t like. There’s a great one on Chilled Ibiza by Two Inch Punch. I first heard the original song at a festival that I reviewed back in 2011; Friends of Mine Festival. The track has clearly stood the test of time, much unlike the festival which was canned after a year due to the company going in to voluntary liquidation after failing to pay debts to artists, individuals and suppliers. The line-up was as ambitious as the financial projections, it would appear.

Regardless, I will always fondly remember the first time I heard this track and will likely never get another chance to see Cherry Ghost perform live; for which, friends of mine, I am truly grateful.


shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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August 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Like Feist and Rumer?…love Rae Morris

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Rae Morris is a 20-year old singer-songwriter from Blackpool, UK, who never expected to get this far.

Morris is currently supporting BRITs Critics’ Choice winner, Tom Odell, on his UK tour and has been impressing fans and reviewers alike with an insightfulness and poise that belie her years.


Morris is currently writing her debut album, which may include tracks, ‘Grow’ and ‘Don’t Go’; both providing an excellent showcase of her skills as a songwriter and pianist. I liken Morris’s vocals to those of Feist and Rumer; delicate and understated yet possessing the ability to pierce your consciousness with unexpected levels of volume and vehemence. Listening to a Morris track is not a back seat activity, is what I guess I’m saying – you will want and need to get involved.


Morris releases a three-track EP, ‘Grow’ on November 18th, 2013 and a free EP, ‘Blueprint Demos’, is also available to download at:

Morris plays St Philip’s Church, Salford, UK on March 22nd, 2013 and tickets are available to buy now from See Tickets. / @raemorrismusic

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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March 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

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The exquisite and complex darkness of CHVRCHES

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CHVRCHES is a Scottish three-piece, electropop outfit who are making great leaps on both sides of the Atlantic at the moment. The band is made up of Lauren Mayberry (main vocals, synthesizers), Iain Cook (synthesizers, vocals) and Martin Doherty (synthesizers, vocals). After just two short years together, the trio were nominated and came fifth in the BBC Sound of 2013 poll.

CHVRCHES remind me of another of my favourite electro bands; School of Seven Bells, and Mayberry’s vocals and persona on stage are strikingly similar to Alejandra Deheza (Bells’ lead singer). As the tracks below (‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Lies’) indicate, the two bands share an exquisite and complex darkness, their melodies are cloaked in mystery and this puts me in mind of my favourite Sex and the City quote. The quote appears in Season 2 episode, ‘La Douleur Exquise’, when Carrie calls time on her latest dalliance with Mr Big. Carrie closes the scene and the relationship, with the line:

Some part of me was holding me back, knowing I had gone too far. Reached my limit.
And just like that, I had untied myself from Mr. Big.
I was free. But there was nothing exquisite about it.

Music and emotions cannot be untied, certainly not for me and my favourite bands and artists are those that evoke a feeling or memory in me; CHVRCHES are one of those bands. I like to listen to a track and imagine that it’s playing in the background as I deliver my own effortlessly wise and quick-witted final line. Of course, things never happen quite like that in real life!



The band has announced that their debut album will be released in September, 2013. If you are in the region and fancy catching them live, CHVRCHES will play Sound Control, Manchester on May 1st, 2013. Tickets are available from March 1st, 2013.

CHVRCHES will release the RECOVER EP via Goodbye Records / Virgin Records as a digital download on March 25th, 2013 in the UK (via Glassnote in the US on 26 March 26th, 2013). The EP will also be available in the UK as a limited edition 12-inch vinyl on April 20th, 2013 for Record Store Day. /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

February 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Gigs not to be missed: DIIV at The Deaf Institute, Manchester and Echo Lake at Leaf, Liverpool

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I have two gig recommendations for you this week: Echo Lake at Leaf, Liverpool (October 11th, 2012) and DIIV at The Deaf Institute, Manchester (November 20th, 2012).

I first featured Brooklyn’s finest atmospheric indie-rockers DIIV (pronounced dive) on here back in June 2012, just prior to the release of their debut album, ‘Oshin’ (June 26th, 2012). The four-piece have since been hailed for their pounding psychedelic dream-pop approach, with ‘Oshin’ being awarded a 9/10 from NME (“blissed-out bringers of woozy rock’n’roll who aren’t into the everyday, the mundane, the normal“) and an 8/10 from Drowned In Sound (“Pitched somewhere between physical pleasure and mental torture, is Oshin, dream-weaving, benevolent, sadistic puppet masters Diiv playing havoc with your sense of contentedness”).


DIIV were handpicked to support The Vaccines on their upcoming UK tour and the tour takes in a couple of North West venues: Manchester Apollo (November 21st, 2012) and Liverpool University (November 22nd, 2012). If you fancy catching a gig with DIIV as top billing, they play The Deaf Institute, Manchester on November 20th, 2012 and tickets are still available at the link below:

I am a big fan of ethereal shoegaze outfit Echo Lake‘s debut album, ‘Wild Peace’. The album was released back in June 2012 but promotion was halted due to a devastating loss for the band; their drummer Pete Hayes passed away at the age of 25. The album was warmly received by critics, with The Line of Best Fit awarding it a 9/10 (“Beach House, the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine wander in and out and we’re sat propped up against walls in silence with totally blissed grins on our faces“) and The Fly opting for a 4/5 (“…something intricate and layered enough to far outscale the hipsters-name-checking-My-Bloody-Valentine trap“).


Echo Lake play Leaf, Liverpool on October 11th, 2012 in support of local shoegazers By The Sea. Tickets are still available at the link below:

To find out more about either band, please see the website links below. /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

October 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

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Classic purveyors of female-fronted stadium-rock @metric, release their empowering and electric fifth studio album ‘Synthetica’

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METRIC is Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott Key; a Canadian indie-rock band whose work just keeps getting better and better. Formed in 1998, the platinum-selling four-piece are about to release their fifth studio album, ‘Synthetica’ and have made the album available to stream via their Soundcloud page. The album is officially released in the UK on June 25th, 2012.


Following the wonder that was 2009’s ‘Fantasies’ was never going to be an easy task, but Metric took to the challenge with their usual infinite ambition and obvious passion for the craft. In a letter posted on the band’s official website, lead singer Haines said that:

Synthetica is about staying home and wanting to crawl out of your skin from the lack of external stimulation…about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection…about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It’s about what is real vs what is artificial.

I have previously described Metric as being classic purveyors of stadium-rock; producing tracks that you imagine filling stadiums and reverberating across cities, tracks that draw emotion and feeling from a place that you didn’t even realise existed. For me, the band’s clear USP is the vocal talents of Haines. I’ve always considered a female lead singer to be much more empowering and visually exciting when it comes to indie-rock…a statement which I concur could be as much about infrequency/supply and demand as it could personal preference, when it comes to females of the genre. An infrequency which makes Haines all the more significant and treasured.


The band will shortly be embarking on a mini tour of the UK, taking in dates at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire (July 2nd, 2012), HMV Ritz Manchester (July 7th, 2012) and Oxford’s O2 Academy (July 8th, 2012).

‘Synthetica’ can be streamed at the following link: I highly recommend ‘Artificial Nocturne’, ‘Clone’ and ‘Breathing Underwater’, though I would challenge anyone to find a poor track amongst the eleven.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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June 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Lisa Hannigan’s brand of hypnotic and fascinating Folk sets off on an intimate tour of the UK, ahead of second album ‘Passenger.’

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Lisa Hannigan releases tickets for an intimate UK tour, ahead of second album ‘Passenger.’

Lisa Hannigan brings her own brand of hypnotic and fascinating Folk, to selected venues across the UK this November. Backed by her ever brilliant and beaming band (Gavin Glass, Shane Fitzsimons etc), Hannigan will visit intimate and atmospheric spaces, including St Philip’s Church, Salford and St Paul’s, Birmingham. I do enjoy the gothic grandeur of a church or cathedral gig venue, especially if the reverberating sounds are of an acoustically soothing inclination.

Hannigan has just released the official video to ‘Knots’, another track from her much anticipated second album, ‘Passenger.’ The cute, Crayola-coloured quirky offering, features Hannigan; ukulele in hand, performing against a white backdrop, in a white dress…not for long. The video was directed by Myles O’Reilly , who has also produced several diary clips for Hannigan’s official website; documenting performances and rehearsals during the Irish folk-favourite’s album songwriting process. The video is sure to put a lighthearted and whimsical slant on the day of even the most grey of faces.

The tour takes in the following dates:

November 19th, 2011 – Birmingham, St Paul’s

November 20th, 2011 – Norwich, Arts Centre

November 21st, 2011 – York, The Duchess

November 23rd, 2011 – Glasgow, Oran Mor

November 25th, 2011 – Salford, St Philip’s Church

November 27th, 2011 – Bristol, St George’s

November 28th, 2011 – Brighton, Komedia

November 30th, 2011 – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

For tickets, please visit either or

‘Passenger’ is released on October 10th, 2011 in the UK and is out now in the US/Canada.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

September 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm

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