News: Two Door Cinema Club for NME Tour afterparty

Clique and Now Wave join forces on 11th February for the official NME Tour afterparty, with Two Door Cinema Club DJs. After headlining a line-up featuring Metronomy and Azealia Banks at Manchester Academy 1, the gold-selling Irish band will be hotfooting it to The Deaf Institute to spin tunes until 4am alongside a wealth of local talent on all three floors of the venue, including Now Wave, Clique and Beach Cult.

Advance tickets for the night are just £4 from Ticketline. On the door entry is £6 with a pound off for those with ticket stubs for the NME Tour gig.

Preview: Ghostpoet, Sound Control

After the sell-out success of his last Manchester date – a drizzly Sunday night at The Deaf Institute – we’re glad to welcome Ghostpoet back in February, with a headline show at Sound Control. After a year which saw the London-based producer embark on a global tour, appear on Jools Holland and support the likes of Metronomy and Jamie Woon on their UK tours, much of which while still holding down a day job, we’re excited to see Obaro Ejimiwe step into 2012 on a Now Wave stage.

Backed by Radio 1’s Gilles Peterson, he released his debut album ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’ last spring, gaining a deserved Mercury Prize nomination as a result. The genre-spanning LP, an amalgamation of hip-hop, indie and electronic beats, was released on the influential DJ’s Brownswood Recordings, an imprint with a varied roster of producers and artists which – like Ghostpoet’s own music – values experimentation over strict genre boundaries. From the cold, ‘night bus’ electronics of ‘Cash And Carry Me Home’ and ‘Us Against Whatever Ever’ to the big-hearted rock of ‘Survive It’ and ‘Liiines’, ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’ is a document of an open-minded and unique producer, combining elements in a way that no other producer is matching.

While his musical production is unrivalled, Ejimiwe’s lyrics are similarly distinctive, reading like poetic diary entries of a young man’s journey through his twenties. Highly personal, and shunning “silly rhymes and three-time beats” in favour of honest and meaningful lines, his songwriting has found favour with the likes of Mike Skinner, leading to a collaboration between the two as part of the Streets man’s new D.O.T. project. Supported in February by two of our favourite new acts – fast-rising Leeds four-piece Alt-J and electronic soul songstress Lulu James – it promises to be an exciting, and likely sell-out, affair.

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Tickets for Ghostpoet at Sound Control can be found at Skiddle and See Tickets.

Preview: SBTRKT, HMV Ritz

Even if you’re doing it as a hobby, reviewing music changes your mindset when approaching new material. The speed with which you’ve got to form an opinion on a record naturally shades your views, and it is often the case that the artists who have the best stories behind their work (or those with the most expensive PR companies supporting them) who get the most favourable write ups. Unsurprisingly, it means a lot of these opinions can later be shown to be a little off the mark.

When SBTRKT’s eponymous debut was released early last summer, there were a few muted whispers about it being album of the year material, a trickle which never really turned into the stream it deserved. The problem is that Aaron Jerome – the name of the man behind those outlandish masks – doesn’t seem to want to grab the attention quite so quickly as many of his peers. So once journalists had formed their opinions, handed in their copy, given their 8 out of 10’s and moved on to whatever album they’d been assigned next, the LP took on a life its own.

The Guardian wished the album was ‘more distinctive’, yet mere months later album tracks like ‘Hold On’ and ‘Never Never’ are amongst the most recognisable and succinct since The XX, without having quite the same hold over BBC Three’s music department. NME missed the point entirely, branding it ‘too pillow soft and woozy’, those two qualities being exactly what draws the listener back time after time. Even my own review of the album worried about the lack of big hitters among the track listing, Wildfire was well on its way to becoming one of the songs of 2011, seemingly placed upon the playlist of every decent bar around the country.

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It has been said many times before, but there doesn’t seem to be much room for the slow burner in the music industry at the moment, but SBTRKT is finding his own niche. He waited about 10 releases before finally moving on to do a full length LP. His album still rewards repeat listens months after more feted records have been discarded. Now, even his shows have to be upgraded as demand slowly swells: burgeoning popularity has moved the show to The Ritz, to fit in all those who have been won over, slowly slowly.

Tickets for SBTRKT at The Ritz can be bought from See Tickets and Skiddle

By Matthew Britton

News: SBTRKT moved to The Ritz

Due to exceptional demand, SBTRKT‘s February gig at Islington Mill has been moved to the HMV Ritz on Whitworth Street West. The newly taken-over venue has been refurbished, with a full soundsystem overhaul. The full line-up remains the same and tickets for the original Salford date are still valid for entry. Tickets for SBTRKT at The Ritz can be bought from See Tickets and Skiddle