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.
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.
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.
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.
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
For an artist who has returned repeatedly to the subject of boundaries and borders in his songwriting, Alejandro Escovedo is blissfully oblivious to both when it comes to his varied musical approaches. On a night when the weather called for staying in, those who ventured out to the venerable Cat’s Cradle (my first trip) were rewarded with a cross-cultural dynamic that yielded an unleashed hybrid vigor. Touring in support of his album, The Crossing, with Italian band Don Antônio backing him, the show was a high wattage spectacle from the get-go.
- Mark Moody
In nearly 20 years since they released their debut single Stafford's Epic45 have produced a huge back catalogue of music, released on numerous small labels, including their own Wayside and Wondering Recordings. I picked up on them very early on due to (who else) but John Peel and their kinship with fellow pastoral guitar-strummers Hood, Grover, Meets Guitar and The Workhouse, but have somehow managed to miss them playing live over the years.
- Steve Rhodes
Christmas is fast approaching but I’m feeling distinctly un-festive. Let’s see if going to see Mercury Rev at the Brudenell Social Club can fix that. Jonathan Donahue and Co are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Deserter’s Songs with some special, stripped-back performances.
North Carolina band Nest Egg signed with Fuzz Club records to release their second long player ‘Nothingness Is Not A Curse’ earlier this year. The label focus on guitar bands with varying influences but with psychedelic, krautrock, and shoegaze being some of those most often quoted.
Tonight we are in the elegant surroundings of the Howard Assembly Rooms, a Victorian music hall that plays host to a wide variety of concert performers. Jazz, classical, electronica and world music all find their place here and it seems an entirely appropriate venue for Julia Holter to play.
James Holden has been releasing music since the early 2000s. His initial success as a Trance producer and DJ was huge and included being responsible for a series of high profile remixes for the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna. More recently his output has been less informed by the dance floor and more exploratory in nature.
Halifax is very much on the cultural map these days. The Orielles continue to make waves whilst the town itself has benefitted over the last few years from various regeneration projects, arts initiatives, and new music venues opening. The Lantern is one such space, a 150 capacity first floor room that opened its doors for the first time a little over a year ago.