The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

It’s about an hour before the gig and The Bug aka Kevin Martin is already on fire. Well, the equipment is anyway.  Turns out, Martin’s soundcheck was loud enough to set a bass bin alight. Good job I remembered to pack my earplugs.

Andy Brown
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Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago
Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago

Truth be told, I’ve never been much of one to “jump to the beat of the party line” and for this, the world should be grateful.  So when Belle & Sebastian’s slot at the 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival was billed as “Performing If You’re Feeling Sinister” it was beyond compelling.  Real life got in the way of attending all of the three day Chicago based festival, but the Saturday lineup was one not to be missed.

Mark Moody
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Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis is one of those artists that embodies’ the ‘indie spirit’. He released homemade cassettes in the late nineties, has made a number of albums for Rough Trade, championed underground music at every turn and has still found time to self-publish an ongoing comic book series. He’s in the UK touring with his band Los Bolts and tonight they roll into the iconic main room at The Brudenell Social Club.

Andy Brown
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The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL
The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL

Catching a show by legendary alternative rockers The Breeders would probably strike most people as a more than solid way to spend a Saturday night in Chicago. But when that aforementioned band is being hosted at the House of Vans in the West Loop as part of their House of Vans Parties concert series, it elevates the occasion from what otherwise might just be a casual night out, to a distinctly awesome experience.

Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)
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Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Like a lot of people, I first discovered the Meat Puppets through Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York. Cobain had invited brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood to perform with them, introducing a whole generation to the wonders of ‘Plateau’, ‘Oh, Me’ and ‘Lake of Fire’.

Andy Brown
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The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester
The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester

Last year’s Membranes and Friends event was on one of the hottest days of the year; I remember feeling mildly guilty about spending the majority of the day inside. Today offers no such conflict of interest as it’s absolutely miserable outside. Manchester looks more familiar in the rain. Fashionably decked out in waterproof trousers, I head into the Ritz for a little shelter and another brilliant line-up.

Andy Brown
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Willie Nile - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Willie Nile - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Willie Nile - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

You might not be familiar with the work of New York singer-songwriter Willie Nile (I wasn’t until recently) but you really should be. Go back to the 70’s and 80’s and you’ll find Nile immersed in the Greenwich Village folk scene and the burgeoning punk scene of CBGB’s. Nile is always there, an ever-present songwriting force; one part folk troubadour, one part punk.

Andy Brown
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The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Ten years ago heartbreak helped inspire The Sleeper; the debut album by Brighton’s The Leisure Society. Fast-forward to 2019 and songwriter Nick Hemming is on stage at The Brudenell Social Club explaining how the new album, Arrivals and Departures, came from a very similar set of circumstances.

Andy Brown
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The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia
The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia

1989 was an amazing year for music, but no day was more important than May 2. On that day, two iconic albums were released to the world - the eponymous debut of the Stone Roses and The Cure’s Disintegration. Sydney, Australia was able to secure the 30th anniversary celebration of Disintegration by booking The Cure to play a five-night residency at their world-famous Opera House, which coincides with the start of Vivid Festival, Sydney’s annual celebration of lights and culture.

Jim Cunnar
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Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Tonight’s show is the second time the Melbourne four-piece Mildlife have played the Brudenell. On their first visit last year opening for the mighty Wooden Shjips they stole the show with their mesmerising blend of electro-funk/space-jazz; it's the only time I can remember a support band being cheered so loudly to play an encore. 

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Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds
Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds

Some music is designed for quiet contemplation and rigorous beard-stroking but that isn’t the kind of music made by Brooklyn’s Charly Bliss. The four-piece make energetic, unashamedly upbeat power pop-come-bubble-grunge. Tonight they’re throwing a party in celebration of their second album, Young Enough. Turns out, Charly Bliss know how to throw a pretty great party.

Andy Brown
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Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida
Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida

Not a lot of touring bands make the commitment to venture down into Florida on a regular basis, but in the days following Atlanta’s Shaky Knees festival a virtual cornucopia of acts came south of the Georgia border.  In the Tampa Bay area the following week there were shows by Shaky Knees' alumni Tyler Childers, Interpol, Foxing, Slothrust, and maybe more.  But the easy pick for us was the combination of Lucy Dacus and Mothers the Tuesday following.

Mark Moody
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