Buster Bloodvessel From Bad Manners

In the early eighties Bad Manners regularly appeared in the singles chart and whilst many of their contemporaries in the Ska and Reggae movement were seen to be more serious and credible, Bad Manners still provided the soundtrack for a generation with a brand of music that was influenced by touches of jazz and even old-style music hall. Were Bad Manners an overnight success? Many people think we were – but that was not the case. We started in 1975…

Scouting For Girls - The Group With The Golden Songs

Scouting for Girls is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary and, playing in front of a sold out Leeds o2 Academy, the band appeared on stage accompanied by the James Bond theme, as a prelude to the first song of the night: I Wish I Was James Bond. This led to bass player Greg Churchouse to declare: “We don’t want you to talk, Mr Bond, we want you to dance”. Much like Christmas, Scouting For Girls’ music is comforting and joyful with…

Classical Music: Matthew Kaner Chamber Music

Mathew Kaner is a talented composer as this…

Classical Music: Tchaikovsky Symphony 5

There are a plethora of recordings of Tchaikovsky’s fifth and, therefore, obviously an abundance of interpretations. We all have our favourite recording and can pinpoint why our chosen disc is the preferred option. The LSO has delivered yet another recording to add to the catalogues and it certainly has much to commend it: superb, committed playing from all…

Albums: Other Worlds - The Pretty Reckless

This new album from The Pretty Reckless includes acoustic renditions of some of the band’s own favourites featuring special…

Status Quo - ‘Out Out Quoing’

Status Quo is going ‘Out Out Quoing’ which marks the band’s long-overdue return to the live circuit according to our music features writer who spoke with Francis Rossi. Why did you decide to re-record some of your old tracks? What we were trying to do was inject them with that feeling and vibe we get when playing live; I was very pleased with the results. The record company then asked why we didn’t use them on an album. I am…

Making Dreams Come True - Westlife Head North

If newcomer Lyra had been nervous about supporting Westlife on their current arena tour it did not show. The Irish singer gave an assured and confident performance opening up the concert at the Leeds Arena. Her vocals remained strong throughout her short set with her voice at times recalling Enya as she performed in front of a surprisingly full arena. Tracks such as Rising Up and Waiting For you – the latter her best song, contrasted with the…

Biff Byford From Saxon Chats About Tours And Carpe Diem The Album

Yorkshire Heavy Rock band Saxon is returning to the north on the Seize The Day Tour which has already seen incredible success in Europe. Ahead of the concerts our Music Features Writer spoke to frontman Biff Byford about the tour and new album. The new album Carpe Diem has received some very good reviews, were you surprised? We all were – the band has been on a roll for the last ten years which has resulted in enthusiastic feedback. We are…

Classical Music: Poulenc

This album is dedicated to the memory of conductor Bramwell Tovey, who died in July shortly after making the recording. It stands as a wonderful testament to his memory as the BBC…

Classical Music: A Golden Cello Decade

The sound of a cello either on…

Albums: Fantasy Caravan Dream

Hadi Assoum (Lead Guitars & Piano), Radi El Zouhby (Lead Vocals &Guitars), Rami El Zouhby (Bass Guitars) & Oleksandr Banashko (Drums) are Caravan Dream, a four piece rock band formed back in 2019 in Qatar. Having joined forces as a cover band, they started experimenting with their own musical scribblings and have landed just three years later at their debut album, Fantasy. More of…

HMS Pinafore At York's Theatre Royal

I have tried over the years not to like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, disparaged as they often are with the prefix "light", but they have a sneaky way of creeping into your subconscious and popping out in unfocussed moments. So it was as I was driving home from York Opera's production of HMS Pinafore at York's Theatre Royal. Between moments of trying to see the A59 on a disgustingly rainy night I caught myself humming "I am the Captain of…

Albums: Revolver By The Beatles 2022 Remaster

Revolver by the Beatles 2020 Remaster Disc: 1 Taxman; Eleanor Rigby; I'm Only Sleeping; Love You To; Here, There and Everywhere; Yellow Submarine; She Said She Said; Good Day Sunshine; And Your Bird Can Sing; For No One; Doctor Robert; I Want to Tell You; Got to Get You Into My Life; Tomorrow Never Knows; Disc: 2 Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1); Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono Mix RM 11); Got to Get You Into My Life (First Version) (Take 5); Got to Get

Jools Holland Brings A Cavalcade Of Song And Dance To The North

“I heard that they once wanted to knock this place down” said an astonished Jools Holland as he appeared on stage at Sheffield City Hall with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Describing the historic venue as “one of the best concert halls we play in” the keyboardist and singer was in his element throughout the concert – I have never seen him so animated and exuberant appearing genuinely pleased to be performing in one of Yorkshire’s finest concert halls. A…

Hits Radio Live - Showcasing The Best In Pop

If you want to know where pop music currently sits then Hits Radio Live is as good a place to start as any. The radio station hosts two bi-annual concerts every year showcasing the artists that they tend to favour. Held at the Manchester Arena in front of 15,000 fans the night showed the best and in some cases worst aspects of the pop world. After a sabbatical from performing on stage due to a knee injury Olly Murs gave an exuberant…

Kaiser Chiefs Triumph With Homecoming Concert

Your home football team has fought back in a tough game, it is a Saturday night and your band is playing in front of a sell out home crowd - all the pieces had been correctly put in place for Kaiser Chiefs to triumph at Leeds Arena. Any worries that the concert at Leeds Arena would suffer from the same fate as a previous gig when Ricky Wilson had not been at his best, forgetting the words to the songs and…

Classical Music: Caritas - Music Of Love, Hope, Charity, And Consolation

Caritas Music of love, hope, charity, and consolation Gjeilo Ubi caritas; Schubert Litanei D. 343; Bingham The Sleeping Soul; Tavener Song for Athene; Lowry arr Scott How can I keep from singing; Rutter God be in my head; Ireland Greater love hath no man; Burgon Nunc dimitis; Elgar Nimrod; Harris Faire is the heaven; Finzi Lo the full final sacrifice; Walford Davies Blessed are the pure in heart; Blatchly For the fallen; Purcell Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts. Hymns:…

Classical Music: Ian Venables & Herbert Howells

The Royal College of Music, just before the Great War, boasted teachers of the highest musical eminence, Charles Stanford, Hubert Parry and…

Classical Music: Pedro De Christo Magnificat

One of Hyperion’s strengths, of which there are many, is its ability to record polyphonic music superbly well. This disc is just one example of its empathy in…

Interview With Jan Kincaid From MF Robots

Astonishing musicianship, pristine production and top-tier song writing, MF Robots immediately call to mind those iconic American rhythm sections of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The music is energising, uplifting and the potent result of a highly accomplished musical partnership maturing, growing and hitting their stride together in lock-step. Jan Kincaid and Dawn Joseph met as members of the Brand New Heavies, one of the UK’s most successful Acid Jazz bands, and one which influenced artists such as Mark Ronson, D’Angelo, Jamiroquai,…

Abba – Voyage. Time To Take A Chance On A Spectacular Show

The lights go down and there before you stand the four members of Abba as if you have been transported back in time to 1979 where the concert is set. Of course, it is not really Abba on stage but 3D versions, or ABBA-tars as they like to be known. When the group toured it was very sparse - being perfectionists they felt that trying to replicate the studio sound on tour fell short when being performed live. Thankfully…

The Original Cornish Buoy Band

Our correspondent John Kitching reviews the Fisherman's Friends - The Musical. Who would have thought that a film about a group of working fishermen from Port Isaac who meet up in their local pub to sing sea shanties would be a success, but that's just what happened in 2019. Fast forward to 2022 and it's now a critically acclaimed stage musical. I didn't really know what to expect of the show having never seen the film, but I was pleasantly shocked by…

Disco Fever Takes Over The Alhambra

John Kitching has been booging at Bradford's Alhambra If you go down to Bradford Alhambra to see Saturday Night Fever this week you may want to make sure you pack your boogie shoes as the theatre is transformed into a 1970’s New York disco. Judging by the audience reaction on the opening night they would all like to be up on the dance floor strutting their moves. Based on the iconic 1977 film of the same name Saturday Night Fever follows…

Interview With Everclear’s Art Alexakis

Iconic alternative punk rockers Everclear is one of the leading bands to emerge from the ‘90s. Led by its renowned frontman, guitarist and founder Art Alexakis, Everclear is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with the rerelease of the cult and long out of print 1993 debut album World Of Noise – 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, now remastered and available for the first time ever on digital streaming platforms. In recent years, Everclear’s charismatic frontman Alexakis created and runs the annual…

Lyra Who?

You might not have heard of Lyra yet but you will soon will.  The Cork born singer is heading across the Irish Sea later this month to support Westlife's tour where she will perform her new single, as she told our music features writer...  How did the offer of supporting Westlife come about? I have worked with them in the past on a television show; my manager phoned me and asked if I would like to go out on tour. It…

Kendrick Lamar Surprises In Spectacular Style

Kendrick Lamar is an artist who has never really been on my radar - I knew of his Rap tracks, though they never seemed to have much appeal, latterly his work has encompassed more soulful tracks such as Count On Me which hinted that there was much more going on here than I knew. Was it too late for me to join the party? Arriving at the Leeds Arena feeling like a gate crasher to a private party, …

Albums: Spiceworld 25

Spice Girls - Spiceworld 25 (UMC/VIRGIN RECORDS ) Spice Up Your Life; Stop; Too Much; Saturday Night Divas; Never Give Up On The Good Times; Move Over; Do It; Denying; Viva Forever; The Lady Is A Vamp; Step To Me (7” Mix); Outer Space Girls; Walk Of Life; Step To Me (Demo Version); Too Much (Live In Toronto, July 1998) Stop (Live In Madrid, March 1998); Move Over (Live In Istanbul, October 1997); Spice Up Your Life(Live In Arnhem, March 1998); Viva

Anastacia Returned To The North With A Strong Support

Arriving early to see the support act can have benefits - especially if that act happens to be Shab. Born in Tehran but now resident in America, the singer gave an engaging performance as she opened up the evening on the Anastacia I’m Outta Lockdown tour at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Backed by a guitarist, whose dress sense looked more like he should have been in a rock band and her two dancers, Shab had a fine set of songs such as…

Classical Music: Igor Stravinsky

This album is a gem and will be relished by Stravinsky fans. Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic have teamed up to record a disc of familiar works with, the exception perhaps, of the short Greeting Prelude. Written in 1955 it was composed as ‘a kind of singing telegram’ to mark the eightieth birthday of…

Classical Music: Russell Pascoe Secular Requiem

This is one of the most enjoyable choral discs to appear for some time and refreshing to hear a new work (premiered in 2013) that has the hallmarks of an excellent composition through effective use of melody and…