Transformer 2 (Bardo Pond, Liars, Godspeed You! Black Emperor)- Albert Hall, Manchester

Transformer 1 was a pretty special all day event at Manchester Victoria Warehouse earlier this year, you can read all about it here! The title comes from Lou Reed’s iconic album rather than robots in disguise, with bands influenced by such noise picked out to represent on the big day. Swans and The Fall were the big gets, but there were plenty of smaller bands waiting to be uncovered; have you listened to Suuns yet?

A Transformer 2 seemed to be a dead cert after such an ear-splitting set of shows, and yes, we got one. Check that line-up out in the poster image above… you got Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bardo Pond, Ben Frost, The Field, Sculpture, and more, more, more! Unfortunately, a month or so before, the event moved to the Albert Hall with only three bands intact. At least it wasn’t outright cancelled like All Tomorrow’s Parties and Safe As Milk festivities. Are lovers of noise a dying breed? Was everybody too busy getting it on with Metallica at Manchester Arena the same night? And could three bands recreate the magic of the enduring endearing day that was Transformer 1? Read on to find out… yes, yes, maybe. Continue reading


Queens Of The Stone Age – Manchester Arena

Queens of the Stone Age have become my villains, through the latest album ‘Villains’ and the latest show at Manchester Arena. Villains to rough edges, villains to noise, villains to anything that you can’t, uh, play on the radio.  Continue reading

Rise Against – 02 Apollo, Manchester

Rise Against are one of the good ones when it comes to the genre they live within. The pop punk with a slight sprinkle of emo (Wikipedia says hardcore punk, but I just don’t see it in a world of Black Flag and Dead Kennedys) uses politics as their central theme, to Rise Against it all, and it’s positive energising music which I loved as a teen when strumming away on my fake plastic guitar on Guitar Hero III. A whole bunch of time has passed since then, too much, too fast, too soon, and what do you know? I’m still having fun.
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Shabazz Palaces – The Deaf Institute, Manchester

So, I saw this space hop duo support for Flying Lotus and was suitably impressed, I even recall the felt album cover I promptly purchased afterwards which I spent far too long stroking. Far. Too. Long. As a support set they provided some wonderful minimalist space age beats, though with Flying Lotus’s huge cube of fun in the middle, the two were rather separate from each other, both playing in synch but without that true connection. A few years pass and here we are again, only this time the two are closer than ever as they headlined the Deaf Institute, and such space really is the place. Continue reading

Melvins – Gorilla, Manchester

Image result for melvins 2017

The Melvins three-piece set (alas, only one drum kit this time round) was as no-nonsense as it gets, with no light show thrills, no experimental gimmicks, no back and forth audience banter, and not even an encore to appease those crying out for more. Buzz Osborne with his glorious silver mop locks, Steve McDonald of Red Kross joining in after his own power pop glam-esque support, and Dale Crover on drums for a second time that night, simply chugged away, taking us all to the world of sludge. It’s a dense world down in the noise swamp. Continue reading

Run The Jewels – Manchester Albert Hall

RTJ! RTJ! RTJ! RTJ! Run the Jewels makes for an abbreviation so easy to chant, and there they were, live at the garden Albert Hall Manchester, taking in all those chants as they danced on out to ‘We Are The Champions’. It was enough to fuel anyone’s fire, and when the rapping began, well, that fire was bright. And you can’t front on that.  Continue reading

Car Seat Headrest – Manchester Gorilla

Car Seat Headrest (‘I have one of them in my car!’ says everyone when brought up) released a fairly decent rock album last year, somehow crawling to the top of Channel Audio’s albums of 2016, and now we have the tour, Manchester Gorilla being just one of the many stops. It was a fairly decent rock show, I guess.  Continue reading