Author: Tom Murphy

Radio 6 Music Festival | Review

Friday night – Bill Ryder Jones @ Mountford Hall The BBC 6 Music Festival in Liverpool kicks off with DJ Stuart Maconie introducing one of Merseyside’s own: singer songwriter Bill Ryder-Jones, tonight backed only by his guitar, his voice and an accomplice named Lucy on the cello. ‘I suppose I should ask you all how you’re doing…’ he teases, before cutting off the replies of the front rows with a wry smile and ‘I didn’t ask…I’m not particularly interested.’ He opens with ‘Mither’, a track from his latest album ‘Yawn’, which loses nothing in this stripped back arrangement. As...

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Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn | Album Review

“…my new record Yawn comes out today. I’m not stupid, I’m aware it’s not an enjoyable listen, it almost certainly won’t be something you stick on before you go out but I needed to make it and in all honesty this whole thing is about me after all.” As opening gambits to promote an album go, this from Bill Ryder-Jones’s Instagram on the day of Yawn’s release is right up there. “…Whether I’ve pulled it off or not I’m not quite sure”, he continues,  “but I hope you’ll understand why it was important for me to try and push...

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Persian Hugs – Making Conversation | EP Review

Liverpool based indie rock trio, Persian Hugs kick off their EP Making Conversation with ‘Turn Back Now’, a track which makes the band’s strengths evident within the first minute: creative guitar lines gliding over a rock ‘n roll beat, frontman Harry Belcher’s excellent vocals, and a strict adherence to the time honoured strategy of ‘don’t bore us, get to the chorus’. It’s a sound that you can easily imagine reverberating from the slightly damp walls of a packed intimate music venue. Latest single ‘Just A Little’ sees the pace relent momentarily before the chorus picks up the energy where...

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Father John Misty @ O2 Apollo, Manchester | Gig Review

It is now five years since Josh Tillman abandoned his own name and reputation as drummer for indie-folk band Fleet Foxes, in favour of a solo career under the moniker Father John Misty. These five years have elicited three critically acclaimed albums and two mammoth worldwide tours, the most recent of which sees Tillman bringing his brass band-backed melodic ballads to Manchester’s O2 Apollo. The theatre is packed, with a high proportion of the crowd appearing to be student-aged, and there are still rafts of people entering through the venue’s art deco façade until minutes before Father John Misty...

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Loyle Carner @ Arts Club | Gig Review

The high point of Ben Coyle-Larner’s performance at Liverpool’s Arts Club comes during his penultimate song, ‘Sun of Jean’. Dedicated to his mother, it is one of several songs prefaced with a sentimental story from his past: Carner mirrors the themes of Mercury Prize nominated debut album Yesterday’s Gone by punctuating his set with a running narrative of the meaning behind his lyrics. Loyle Carner’s favourite motifs are his mother Jean, whom he professes to “miss most” when on tour, his late father, a “fantastic musician”, and recollections of childhood in his native south London. The result is a collection of songs which are...

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