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. 

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Songhoy Blues - EartH, Hackney, London
Songhoy Blues - EartH, Hackney, London
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Songhoy Blues - EartH, Hackney, London

Songhoy Blues are a 4 piece from Mali, they play a style of music known as Desert Blues which judging by tonight’s performance might alternatively be described as upbeat African guitar music with the main intention of getting the party going and everybody dancing and smiling. 

charles filtness
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The Wave Pictures - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
The Wave Pictures - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Wave Pictures - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

During tonight’s set singer and guitarist, David Tattersall tells us what a fantastic day he’s having. This morning friend and sometime Wave Pictures percussionist David Beauchamp introduced him to a new (particularly tasty) flavour of toothpaste, he then went on to eat a steak and ale pie and win a game of pool. Now he’s playing for the best audience he’s ever seen at the Brudenell Social Club. A mere glimpse, jokes Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm into the band’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

Andy Brown
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Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

As well as having a rather brilliant name Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are easily one of the finest metal-come- psychedelic rock outfits of the last ten years. They released their latest opus, Wasteland, last year before gleefully skipping down the highway to hell (or heading out on tour as it’s also known). Tonight (you lucky people) they bring their occult, horror film loving, riff-worship to the Brudenell Social Club.

Andy Brown
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Soft Kill - The Castle Hotel, Manchester
Soft Kill - The Castle Hotel, Manchester
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Soft Kill - The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Partly through tonight's set Soft Kill's frontman Tobias Grave exclaims “you can tell we listen to a lot of bands from Manchester”. It's perhaps the understatement of the year for this four-piece from Oregon, who revel in the doom and gloom of Manchester's past. With the intensity of Adam Bulgasem's drumming echoing Stephen Morris and the mood set at early Factory Records, it's Middleton's The Chameleons that Soft Kill are drenched in the DNA of, as disconsolate vocals and spectral guitars envelop the tiny Castle venue on a dark Monday night.

Steve Rhodes
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