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
Read more
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
Read more
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. 

Read more
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
Read more
Group Listening - Square Chapel, Halifax
Group Listening - Square Chapel, Halifax
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Group Listening - Square Chapel, Halifax

Perhaps with the addition of 'Ambient Reworkings' Group Listening's 2018 debut album ‘Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works, Vol. 1' would be perfectly titled, similarly and unsurprisingly that description is also entirely fitting for tonight’s performance too. 

Read more
Pinegrove - Soundbar, Orlando, Florida
Pinegrove - Soundbar, Orlando, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Pinegrove - Soundbar, Orlando, Florida

For all of us non-philosophy majors out there, trust me when I say a Monday night in February would be a perfect one to cop a solipsistic mood.  But with Pinegrove in town after nearly three years away it was nothing but peace, love, and understanding between frontman Evan Stephens Hall and a decidedly non-Monday night crowd.  My third time seeing them (and first since 2016), it’s safe to say they weren’t sitting on their asses during their year long hiatus from the public given the level of their performance. 

Mark Moody
Read more
Car Seat Headrest - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida
Car Seat Headrest - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Car Seat Headrest - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida

If anticipation is worth the release, a sold-out crowd on hand for night three of Car Seat Headrest’s inaugural Florida run was ready to uncoil.  Plans to pogo to Will Toledo’s deeply personal but also relatable songs were being bandied about as the appropriately anxious fans started to pack in.  Maybe not a bad strategy given the metal poles interspersed throughout the club to keep the upper portion of the building from collapsing on us.    

Mark Moody
Read more
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

As the band plough into their raw, increasingly manic, final track the audience are encouraged to join them on stage. Limbs are flying around in approval as a particularly keen fan provides some impromptu backing vocals. Audience and band have become one big, sweaty, punk-rock, mess. It’s an explosive end to an impressively explosive performance and I have to remind myself that it’s Monday night. Someone must have forgotten to tell And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.

Andy Brown
Read more
Neneh Cherry - Stylus, Leeds University Union
Neneh Cherry - Stylus, Leeds University Union
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Neneh Cherry - Stylus, Leeds University Union

This first night of Neneh Cherry’s UK tour was a delight to see.  The songs from her new album played live were a revelation, compelling. The goose-bump count was also pretty high and I found myself smiling almost all the night through.

charles filtness
Read more
Steve Mason - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Steve Mason - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Steve Mason - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Steve Mason is one of today's greats for my money.  His solo output has at least matched that of The Beta Band.  It is now more than 20 years since those first seminal E.P.’s were put out by his former band. His most recent album ‘About The Light’ has gained fairly universal acclaim.  It is certainly a consistently solid record from start to finish, I’m just not yet sure if it will prove to be as indispensable as some of his previous efforts.

charles filtness
Read more
Neko Case - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida
Neko Case - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Neko Case - The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida

It’s a tough sell to say you’re “in a relationship” with someone you haven’t seen in ten years, but that’s what Neko Case ably convinced a crowd of Florida admirers of last Friday night.  A lot of time and a few albums have passed since Case last graced the Sunshine State.  With the stage sparsely decorated with some oversized dangling hornet’s nests, it looked as if she had only stopped by to grab a few props from Splash Mountain.  But as with any good friend you haven’t seen in ages, all was forgiven over the course of the evening.

Mark Moody
Read more
Michael Rother - Label Mates Festival, London
Michael Rother - Label Mates Festival, London
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Michael Rother - Label Mates Festival, London

Label Mates is a one-day multi-venue festival in and around Hackney and Dalston, North London.  Michael Rother is the main headliner with plenty of other stages and bands to choose from earlier in the day. 

charles filtness
Read more