Jazz isn't a genre of music that's had a ton of relevance in the musical landscape over the last decade or two. There's been notable acts and the genre's influence has been felt in other genres, in certain aspects of electronic music, hip-hop and even metal.
However, in the 21st century it's been difficult to pinpoint a figure who's emerged that's been on the same level of prowess as one of the greats such as Miles Davis or Dave Brubeck. Or at least it was until last year, when Kamasi Washington emerged with his three-hour long, aptly titled 'The Epic', a tour-de-force in jazz which saw Washington himself as band leader on saxophone display rich, vibrant, gripping skill which doesn't let up across the three hours and his band followed suit. This record has had a crossover appeal, getting more attention in the general music landscape as opposed to just being a success in the jazz scene. Tonight in Manchester Kamasi Washington continues to build jazz's relevance in the 21st century.
Beforehand though we have Sarathy Korwar leading his own trio, where they display sh*t-hot musicianship that prepares you for the main event with very flashy keyboard playing, sporadic finger work on an acoustic guitar which sounds very eastern and Korwar himself providing a tight, solid backbone on the drums.
Continue reading: Kamasi Washington - Manchester Academy- 28.06.2016 Live Review
Weezer may not have become as gigantic as other American 90's bands such as Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but they're every bit as important setting a new standard for poppy rock music. Their earliest records 'Blue Album' and 'Pinkerton' married strong emotions, intimate and personal lyrics and raw power with huge, catchy melodies. Thus making for a sound that simultaneously felt like Weezer where singing just for you and for millions. Across the several albums they've released this century, they've never lost their knack for writing memorable songs and tonight in Manchester they play their first show on U.K soil in five years, but was it worth the wait?
Before we can find out though, we have Dinosaur Pile-Up who are an example of Weezer's huge influence on guitar music as they too merge relatable lyrics with feisty, fuzzy guitars. They're solid with dirty riffs and forceful hooks, but there's a feeling people just want to get onto the main event, given who's following.
When Weezer do hit the stage, opening with newie 'California Kids' they get off to a decent start. Even though this song has been out for a few months now it doesn't exactly have the crowd going wild, but it's a cool song with a riff that's both warm and galloping. What does ignite joy amongst people is the following 'My Name Is Jonas' which sees almost everyone amongst these few thousand people singing along to every single word of this classic escapist anthem. The moment the iconic opening jovial guitar noodling is played you can feel a ton of smiles suddenly growing in the room. This tends to be how it goes for the majority of this gig. People singing their hearts out to Weezer's instantly infectious songs as the band have many in their arsenal.
Continue reading: Weezer - Manchester Academy-April 3rd 2016 Live Review
After spearheading a new generation's take on punk and penning the default floorfiller ('Daft Punk.') and, arguably, the single best track ('All My Friends') of the last ten years, the news that LCD Soundsystem's forthcoming third album is set to be James Murphy's last marks the end of a remarkable period in dance music. From the synth-pop implosions of 'Movement' and 'Yeah' - tonight both catalysts for near-riot - to the tear-jerking likes of 'Someone Great', the notion of anything less than downright astounding is one with which Murphy evidently struggles, and one that marks him out as one of the genre's most vital figures.
Continue reading: LCD Soundsystem, Manchester Academy, 1st May 2010 Live Review
Continue reading: Steel Panther, Academy, Manchester September 14th 2009 Live Review
One Marvel Universe star interviewed another, as part of Interview magazine's October edition.