The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester
The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Comet Is Coming - Yes, Manchester

The Comet Is Coming are a difficult band to sum up, in essence, a three-piece jazz trio playing drums, saxophone and electronics but in a way that no one else does.

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Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Bilge Pump - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Two men lean over a bass guitar on stage at The Brudenell Social Club, one holding a flashlight as the other tries to work out what exactly has gone wrong. Until moments ago, post-punk trio Bilge Pump were happily playing to a sold-out crowd. The mood one of celebration, a well-deserved victory lap for some longstanding local legends. So, naturally, the band’s bass guitar had to stop working mid-set. The night can’t end like this. Can it?

Andy Brown
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Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Cass McCombs - Lincoln Hall, Chicago

St Patrick’s Day Eve can be quite the debaucherous occasion, as scores of bush-leaguers take to the streets in celebration of their dubious (or in most cases entirely nonexistent) Irish heritage, and of course, all the goofy stereotypes and indulgences that go along with that. This is particularly true when St. Patty’s Eve falls on a Saturday night in Chicago, especially when you’re in close proximity to DePaul University.

Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)
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SXSW 2019 - Day 6
SXSW 2019 - Day 6
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 6

In the never-ending quest to find all things SXSW 2019 for Soundblab readers, your trusty reporter took to the high seas on Saturday (Well, OK, it was the Colorado River) to spotlight one of the more unusual performances of an unusual week. When you find yourself on the list of correspondents for SXSW, your email inbox goes into hyperdrive with invitations to performances, showcases and just hole-in-the-wall get-togethers from bands, PR firms, and record companies from around the globe. It is easy to get overwhelmed and somewhat frustrated at the sheer size of the assignment.

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 5
SXSW 2019 - Day 5
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 5

The Austin Convention Center is the main hub from which all of SXSW branches out. The massive building contains four levels of ballrooms, exhibition halls and meeting places, and has been completely jammed full of people all week. On Friday, two separate concert halls opened on the fourth floor. In one, it was a gathering of musicians from around the globe for an international get-together. In the other, various radio stations had joined forces to create “RadioDay”, which went out as a live broadcast over NPR and the sponsoring stations. Of course, as seems to be the norm, the two concerts were scheduled to run at the same time, even sharing break down and set up intervals between performances. 

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 4
SXSW 2019 - Day 4
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 4

After some good nourishment and a night of solid sleep after SXSW Day 3, I decided to make Day 4 of the journey as full-immersion as possible. Sometimes plain old logistics can interfere with a master plan of which band you want to see playing where, and I decided to stretch the time-space continuum as much as possible to see just how much I could accomplish before sheer exhaustion once again set in.

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 3
SXSW 2019 - Day 3
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 3

If there is one part of SXSW that is rather maddening, it is that I am but a single human being who can only physically be in one place at a time. With so much good music being played in so many different places, it would be nice to be able to split up and get to more than one at the same time. Alas, that isn’t going to be happening anytime soon, so it is a matter of searching through endless lists of performances and cherry picking what will be the best place to be at a given time. Day three was like that, and I  thought it worked out rather well. 

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 2
SXSW 2019 - Day 2
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 2

It is almost impossible to go anywhere in Austin during the SXSW festival without encountering live music. Hotel lobbies, pop up eateries that were parking lots the day before, urban sidewalks and even rolling flatbed trucks all sound out with artists demonstrating their talent and love of music.

Howard Scott
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SXSW 2019 - Day 1
SXSW 2019 - Day 1
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

SXSW 2019 - Day 1

Austin Texas’s annual SXSW (just “South By” to the uninitiated) music festival officially kicked off on Monday, and if Day One is any indication, it should be a week filled with fun, diversity and more musical talent on display than anywhere else on the planet.

Howard Scott
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Du Blonde - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Du Blonde - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Du Blonde - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

2012 saw the release of Yours Truly Cellophane Nose; a rather gorgeous collection of dreamy folk and musical ingenuity that introduced us to Newcastle Upon-Tyne singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton.

Andy Brown
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ESG - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
ESG - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

ESG - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

ESG are legendary, a hugely influential and inspirational band that are as relevant today as they were some 40 years ago at the start of their career. 

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The Lemonheads - University Stylus, Leeds
The Lemonheads - University Stylus, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Lemonheads - University Stylus, Leeds

I’ve been listening to The Lemonheads for a long time, the likes of It’s a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel have been on fairly heavy rotation since I first heard them. The melodic indie stylings held within having provided something of a personal soundtrack for, give or take, the last 20 years. With that in mind, it would be fair to say that I’ve got pretty high hopes for tonight’s gig. No pressure then, Mr. Dando.

Andy Brown
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