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Author: Hannah O'Gorman

The OTR Movement Live: Review/Interviews Featuring Big Narstie, Dukz and More

The OTR Takeover event “marks a significant moment for Sheffield as it begins it’s catch up to
Manchester and Leeds” said founder of Dice Recordings North. I was invited to Cocoon Sheffield
nightclub to speak to Dukz, a rapper local to Sheffield. He is signed to Dice Recordings North and
heads the OTR Movement. He was to be joined by various other artists, many who are also signed to
this registered trademark, as well as Grime MC, Big Narstie!

The night commenced with some UK and US hits played by urban DJ/producer, DJ Regulus. He had
the crowd dancing all night long. Girls would fill the stage one after the other as DJ Regulus smoothly
transitioned to dancehall. It was nice to see so many people enjoying themselves and having a good

Cocoon Sheffield is a luxurious nightclub offering a “unique clubbing environment” and indeed it did.
From the interior to the service, it was spot on. The staff were hospitable and had a smile on their
face the whole time even though we all know bar work is not a piece of cake.

After quenching my thirst with an affordable single rum and coke, I witnessed proud Irish grime MC,
Irish Paddy preparing himself for his performance. The first thing I noticed was the fact that he had
shades on, much like Skepta who proudly wears his sunglasses at night. I then noticed his white t-shirt
which had his EP cover printed in the centre of it. I had not heard of Irish Paddy prior to attending
the event but I was in awe as soon as DJ Regulus played his first track. Produced by Spookzville, Irish
Paddy performed “The Come Up”. He was insanely energetic and set the pace for the following
performers. I immediately opened my Spotify app, searched for his EP, “The Real Irish Paddy” and
downloaded it. His songs represent his views as he talks about history, politics and things that a lot
of youth can relate to so for this reason, I was extremely excited to get backstage and talk to him
and so I make my way to the media room, which was nicely set up with two chairs-one for myself
and the other for him, of course. Waiting nervously, he walks over with his friend who positioned in
between us with a cup in his hand. I shook hands with Irish Paddy and introduced myself and then
we shook hands. It did not feel like an interview at all but rather like talking to a friend. We instantly
had a deep and conscious conversation; he spoke about his inspirations, losses in his life, which
pushed him to work harder and what was even more interesting to me was his confidence. We
discussed grime MCs who have been in the game since before we were born and he said that he
reckons that he could take the title of Grime King if he really wanted to. As somebody who is
addicted to grime and its history, I was extremely impressed by his statement and having assessed
his lyrics and flow, he may stand a chance (I love you, Wiley).

Onto the next performer. I had met up and coming rapper, Milly Millz outside of the venue and had
a brief chat with him about his expectations for the event. I told him, that he looks a lot like famous
American rapper, Meek Mill to which he replied with a cheeky smile, “I know, I get that a lot.” After
our chat, I went back into the venue to join the others in the VIP booth. The host shortly announces
the next performer, “Milly Millz”! I thought that he was a spectator or a fan so when they
announced him and he entered the performance zone, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not know
what to expect so I humbly made room for him and a plethora of his supportive friends as DJ Regulus
played his final track before allowing mysterious Milly Millz to take the stage. He had confidence in
himself and he rapped about the things he experienced and for this reason, I was excited to continue
our prior conversation backstage. He gave me an insight of where he was born and raised and how he wanted to be the one to diminish this negative idea that many people have of “people from the
hood”. Talking with Milly Millz backstage also gave me the opportunity to find out who his musical
inspirations are and to no surprise, he said that it is Meek Mill. It was as though I already knew.

Proud singer/songwriter, PJ Francis is a natural charmer, a gentleman. He “makes music for the
ladies”. He had the girls blushing and adjusting their hair while he was preparing to woo everyone.
Upon interviewing him, he complimented me and I instantly took to him. He had on a smart and
stylish suit and he looked as though he was going on an expensive date. When I spoke to him
after his performance, that’s how it felt, like I’d been on a blind date. I found out a lot about him. Like every
artist, he aspires to become bigger and better but what I found interesting about him is the fact that
he makes ladies feel “better about themselves” and more confident through his music. His origin is
what inspires his style. He is of Sierra Leonean decent and refers to himself as “PJ aka Salone
Borbor” which translates as Sierra Leonean boy. This cheeky nickname is reflected in his
Afro/dancehall style which did not fail to make everyone, the women especially, feel special.

When I got word that well-known UK Grime MC and founder of Base Defence League (BDL), Big
Narstie, was supporting Dukz at the OTR Takeover event, I did not hesitate to grab the opportunity of
meeting him. I have been a fan and have listened to his music since the days of Channel U, which
allowed the careers of artists such as N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder, Dizzee Rascal and Giggs to elevate. Big
Narstie performed some songs from his latest album, “BDL Bipolar” including one of my personal
favourites, “5AM” featuring Moelogo. His presence and energy on stage were undoubtedly
unmatched. He controlled the crowd as if they were under hypnosis and he had a herd of supporters
including Dukz himself, Deep Green, Irish Paddy, Milly Millz and PJ Francis, cheering and singing
along in unison behind him. After dancing and singing along to some of his amazing tracks, his
performance was sadly over. However, it was time for me to join him backstage and ask him some

I was nervous to meet Big Narstie but the strong fumes of the mary jane that he was inhaling, entered my system and made me rather relaxed and so for that, I must thank him. I had written a number of accents onto tiny pieces of paper, which I made him pick out of my palm. I then asked him questions-questions that one may ask on a first date such as “do you expect to have sex after the first date?” He picked out the Australian accent and went ahead to answer the question. He said that it is not an expectation but he would not mind if he received “nookie” after the first date. Big Narstie, holding his joint and looking in my direction with his eyes as red as a ripe red pepper said, “if you want to have sex on the first date then do it. You shouldn’t care what anybody says about you” and that is a piece of advice that I will forever cherish.

Finally, it was time for the man himself to perform-Dukz! A few months prior to the event, I had watched his “24 hours with Dukz” video on YouTube which gave viewers “an inside look into the lead
up to a sold out O2 Academy show with M Huncho”. I familiarised myself with his songs and musical
history so I knew what to expect but I was fooled because seeing him perform in person was even
more exciting than merely watching videos on YouTube. He too had an energy that was unmatched
and I was proud as if I was part of his family. His younger brother, who also appeared in the 24 hours
with Dukz video, was present and supported his big brother as he performed for his fans. Although I
thought that I had familiarised myself with him, I soon came to the realisation that there is so much
more for me to find out from him so we took it backstage after a fantastic set to get my
many questions answered. OTR stands for “Only the Real” and Dukz reinforced the fact that it is a
movement for people who are honest and interested in the city’s property and business
development. Dukz isn’t just an artist. He showed me that he has dreams and aspirations like a
lot of us. He always mentioned his “brother” R1, with whom he used to make many songs with. They
were, in fact, a duo but there came a time when they both decided, that it would be best for them to continue their journey separately. However, they continue to be brothers as they always were. Dukz
hopes that the OTR movement only grows and reaches every crevice of the UK. I have no doubt that it will.

Reviewed by Phedra Broch

Live Review: Deadmau5 at Store Street WHP

As any Manchester based party-goer will know, Warehouse Project is an event that sits high up on the night-out bucket list. With the line-ups getting better and better each year, I was very excited to see what 2018 had to offer. It would be an understatement to say that I was thrilled to see Canadian, rodent-headed EDM giant Deadmau5 topping the bill for a November date at Store Street, and I approached the night with high hopes.

Upon arriving at the event, my friends and I decided to explore all three stages that were on offer, starting with the smallest and slowly working our way up to the main stage. Initially, the crowd was spread nicely between the three, but this did not last. By the time we reached the main stage for the build up to Deadmau5’s set, room at the front and middle became increasingly scarce. Unfortunately, the set times were not released prior to the event, so with the exception of the main stage acts who usually had their titles projected on the screen behind them, it was something of a guessing game as to who each artist was. Monstergetdown was a fitting choice for the mainstage before the arrival of everyone’s favourite rodent DJ, having collaborated on two tracks on Deadmau5’s latest 2018 album release, Monstergetdown warmed up the crowd nicely, even playing one of his popular remixes of a Deadmau5 track. Soon enough, the beginning of the headline slot arrived and an iconic luminous mouse head graced the stage, stimulating a series of cheers and applause across the audience as everyone realised: Deadmau5 was here.

Regrettably, the set kicked off with very little room for enjoyment as people continued to pile in to the narrow mainstage viewing area. After several elbows to the ribs and stumbles from the swaying crowd, we decided to head to the back and see what the other stages had to offer, hoping that the main stage crowd would calm down after fifteen minutes or so. Stage three was closed, and stage two was more or less empty with a few groups of people gathering to watch Livsey perform his set, but after returning to the main stage to catch the majority of Deadmau5, it was clear that most of the crowd had either gone to stage two or simply left due to the lack of space. Finally, with a bit of room, I could enjoy what Deadmau5 had to offer. I’ve never seen a DJ with such a flawless ability to command a crowd. With dramatic and euphoric introductions to tracks such as There Might Be Coffee, Imaginary Friends and Polaris, there was something really quite satisfying about seeing a crowd stand peacefully in awe before exploding into an excitable frenzy as Deadmau5 built his tracks from atmospheric beginnings to classic EDM beats. The popularity of his tracks were confirmed by the tendency of the crowd to sing along with the melodies of his more famous tracks, and Deadmau5 had plenty of those to unleash on the crowd.

Overall, after the audience slowly dispersed and allowed for a little more room, Deadmau5 performed a set indicative of his reputation as one of the best EDM producers out there. The impressive range of tracks he brought with him to WHP that night created a real memorable experience, one that I hope to be a part of again at some point in the near future.


Reviewed by Tim Mooney

Live Review: Mac Demarco at Victoria Warehouse

If you started stopping people in the street and asking them what the rock and roll lifestyle is all about, you’d get a massively varied range of responses. The first would be: “Who are you and what do you want?”. The second would be “arriving on stage drunk and an hour later than billed, playing a handful of songs and then fleeing the venue”. For some musicians, sure, this might be what their lifestyle is all about, but Mac DeMarco is not one of those musicians. His O2 Victoria Warehouse set is billed to start at 9:45, and he takes to the stage at 9:45 on. the. dot. Both he and his band drink at pace with the audience, and play a set that lasts longer than the entire accumulative stage time of Alex Rose’s last stadium tour.

Not wasting any time, the band launch right into a crowd pleasing intro with the ultra-sexy ‘On the Level’ that perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the evening. The crowd, seemingly comprised entirely of randomised Sims from a character creation screen, lap it up. As the evening wears on, Mac and his band work through varied sections of his back catalogue. They keep the crowd’s pace going with upbeat favourites like ‘Salad Days’ and ‘Rock and Roll Night Club’, but still manage to guide the collective energy of the room back down for downbeat and more chilled out material such as ‘This Old Dog’ and ‘My Kind of Woman’. The ease with which Mac and his supporting musicians fluctuate between these two massively contrasting musical moods is testament to their skills as live artists. At times; the front and centre of the crowd erupts into an uproarious pit as Mac screams nonsensical obscenities into the mic. At other times; the house lights are dimmed, and the crowd winds into a serene calm as lighters are raised aloft. Effortlessly transitioning an audience through these moments is a rare gift even in long since established acts, and the fact that Mac DeMarco and his cohorts are able to wield this kind of command over a venue the size of the Victoria Warehouse is all the more impressive given that his first LP was released only 6 short years ago.

It would be remiss of me to not take a moment to discuss the supporting acts on the bill. Opening the evening a mere 10 minutes after doors opened was Aldous RH, a tried and tested Manchester performer whose smooth stylings eased the early arrivals into a seduced sense of musical security. Aldous RH is what Prince would sound like if he was from the north-west of England. Secondly, Jackie Cohen took to the stage with her band, and played a set that traced the fine line between contemporary blues and alternative indie. It was a massively interesting musical combination, and coupled with a peppering of Legend of Zelda references, made her set the pleasant surprise of the evening. Finally, tearing the crowd into a frenzy just before the headline act was Californian electro-punk band The Garden. Now I must confess, when their set started I did not realise they were an act. It genuinely seemed like two tech staff had gone totally rogue and I was very confused as to why no-one was stopping them. Adorned in boiler suits and trench coats, at times they completely abandoned their instruments and start rolling around the stage and frantically repeating odd phrases over a backing track. Watching them perform was a bit like watching someone shout Charles Manson quotes at an MMA warm-up routine.

Finally, the evening began to close with an updated rendition of Mac’s classic ‘Still Together’ that was abruptly stopped a chorus early. What then followed utterly defied any expectations one could have for the performance. The band launched into a range of covers from acts such as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, and The Misfits, as the band swapped roles without the faintest hint of a care for how much they had overrun their set. The guitarist (now shirtless) took up split vocal duties with the drummer, as the keyboardist picked up the guitar and Mac himself took to the drum kit. In an act of even more surreal peculiarity, Andy, the crowd-baying guitarist, made an effort to announce his bid for the Manchester mayorship between songs and enthusiastically pledged his overwhelming support for the NHS. They even brought the Aldous RH vocalist back on for a rendition of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name Of’. Finally, after more than 20 minutes of musical experimentation, the band resumed their usual positions and brought back the final chorus of ‘Still Together’ to draw proceedings to a perfectly rounded close.

All in all, Mac DeMarco, his band, and the supporting acts, made for a massively varied and engaging string of performances. If all live events were this good, nobody would ever spend their time doing anything else. I cannot possibly overstate how thoroughly, thoroughly impressed I was by the gig as a whole.

On a scale of 1 – 5, I would rate it: really fucking good.

Reviewed by James Bosson

Live Review: Superorganism at the O2 Ritz

Superorganism have ruined concerts for me.

On Thursday 25th October I lost my concert virginity. And yes, I realise that you are already questioning my authority as a music journalist. What would I possibly compare it to? But who can blame me for wanting to save myself for someone special? I don’t want to be wasting my tickets on the Wiggles. Fortunately for me, eight knights in shining armour came to court me in the form of Superorganism, an indie pop band based in London.

This is a band who understands both fans and those with short attention spans. The fact that their eighth member is Robert Strange, a visual graphic designer, meant that my millennial vine-watching eyeballs were never short of something to look at. That, in addition to the heavily sampled electronic music with seven musicians playing at once whilst doing quasi-choreography, is overstimulating in the best way. I felt like I was watching something new and perfect for a generation who can’t watch a film without their hand physically aching for their phone. At the same time, this feels ironic for a band whose lyrics seem counter-cultural, as seen in Everybody Wants to be Famous, and Reflections on the Screen. Perhaps it’s not that deep, and as someone who revels in meaningful lyrics, I let go and enjoyed the band for what they are, some really neat sounds.

Now call me a potato-brained dimwit but there is something innate in me that gets the biggest rush from someone merely mentioning somewhere I’ve been. Superorganism knows this. Now although I am inexperienced, I know that they didn’t invent bands mentioning the name of the city they are in, but they went beyond this. Orono consistently addressed us as Manchester, and on the screen during Night time there was video of her cycling down our very suburban streets. Now you may feel that this is a primitive thing to be pleased about, but it all contributed to the idea that they were thrilled to be there, and by proxy, so was I!

At this point I must play on an instrument of my own, your heart strings. Growing up a mixed race, round faced POC, I knew early on that no one in music looked like me. I remember being very keen on Noodle from Gorillaz because that was the only representation I had. Therefore to see Orono on stage made me feel unnecessarily emotional, one day she will be someone else’s Noodle without the racially insensitive namesake and made of actual flesh and blood. At the ripe age of 19, she runs the whole gambit. To put that into perspective, picture a fresher conducting a crowd of all ages, and performing what is essentially stand up with no material mid-show. Plus, imagine if that fresher could state that “Oasis isn’t that great” on a Manchester stage and not get mauled alive. Freshers can’t do that, but Orono is no fresher.

In conclusion, I will never forget this gig, and in order to preserve my memory of it I went so far as to review it. The epilogue to this is that I did go and see another gig, and although the jangly sound of boy pablo are somewhat soothing and fitting for a Made in Chelsea trailer, like some overworked meringues, I have peaked too soon.

Reviewed by Lola Martin

Live Interview: Puma Blue at YES

Photo by Gaëlle Marquet Le Coat

With a UK/Ireland tour, a few dates in East Asia and a new EP coming soon, Puma Blue, also known as Jacob Allen, is having a busy couple of months .
We met him before the gig and had a chat about what he’s been up to recently.

Walking into the appropriately named Pink Room at YES, we are greeted by a diverse crowd of people. The chill vibes of the crowd match the ambient lighting while we all wait for Puma Blue to start. Once the show starts, the feel of the room changes completely, replacing this patient chill crowd with one completely in tune with each other and the music.

Puma Blue, whose sound has no boundaries, besides a possible comparison to “Goth R&B”, greets the room with a super clean performance and fantastic sounds. The combination of the guitars, the saxophone, and bass melts so well into each other, giving the audience a brand-new sound experience different to anything we have ever heard live before.

Photo by Gaëlle Marquet Le Coat

As a venue, YES is perfectly suited to Puma Blue’s sound. The soothing pink lights match the soft and pure voice and nostalgic guitar sounds. The intimacy of the room contributes to the closeness we feel with the artist, giving it less of a performance, and more of an intimate feel. The whole event just feels as if the band is on the same level as the crowd.

The connection from Puma Blue to their music, hits a particular feeling, as their music gives quite a nostalgic feel from the tune of the guitars, and the use of saxophone solos.
The sound is incredible and the pink lights transform this already intimate show into a very sensual experience. Puma Blue gives a remarkable performance, the audience vibrates at every sax solo. The crowd cheers as Jacob eventually thanks the audience and the two support bands Sunken and Chartreuse; “the best bands in the world in my opinion”.



Your debut EP, Swum Baby came out last year and you have already got a new one coming up in 2 weeks.
—— 2 weeks?

Yeah 2 weeks! 
—— Oh wow, it genuinely is haha.

Can you tell us a bit more about the new EP, Blood Loss?
—— Sure! It’s longer than the first one. It’s more like a body of work. Whereas the first one kinda felt more like a mixtape. It was just five songs, I tried to have some cohesion between them. This time it’s meant to be like a longer piece, so the tunes kind of fit together. I really prefer it this way, it’s really more about just like vulnerability and acceptance and think about things, and yeah if you like it’s just more bit more of an introspective piece of work.

I read that your new song Midnight Blue was produced in your bedroom. Are all the songs of the EP produced in your bedroom? Also is that a thing you’ve already been doing in the past? 
—— Pretty much all of them yeah. There’s a couple tunes were I need the live band . So I’ll Go to the studio and do the work, in like a live room with all of us playing together. But most of the time, it’s just me and the laptop. It is just the easiest way I can articulate what I’m trying to do. I just like fussing around with it for ages on my own the entire time.

When did you start playing music and when did you start playing as Puma Blue?
—— I started playing music when I was seven years old. I got really into the drums, I was like a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. And I just wanted to be in a rock band basically, or like a funk band or something. Then I started writing songs when I was 13, then I started playing guitar because I was fed up with not being able to contribute anything to rehearsals other than just drums. Then I left college when I was 18, and starting giging for a year or two before I started calling it puma Blue. I didn’t feel like it needed a name at the time. I was just using my actual name. That was in like 2015.

What is Puma Blue? It sounds really smooth.
—— Well, that’s part of it you know. You don’t really want a jarring name. If you’re going to pick a name, it needs to feel very easy on the tongue or it needs to relate to the music, even if it’s just in a linguistic way. I was just trying to get something that feels like an old blues guys name like Howlin’ Wolf or Lead Billy. Those two-part superhero type names. Blue just felt really appropriate to what I was trying to do to with the sound. It’s like a colour I’ve always been drawn to. And Puma was honestly just another thought put into it, just felt like some sort of slinky counterpart with the word blue so it kind of just stuck.

I really struggle to find a genre when it comes to describing music. I find it terrible to qualify things in general, but how would you qualify your music or the direction it takes?
—— I try not to. I think it’s more than intention than a style of genre. I always try to make music with the same soul to it, the same direction but not necessarily like the sound. So I don’t know. It feels kinda dynamic? I like sort of heavy and soft at the same time, like light and dark. Someone once said like “Gothic R&B” and I really like that. But I really don’t know, but I guess in a really boring way it’s just alternative rock. People call it jazz but it generally isn’t either. People call it straight up soul but I don’t know either.

So tonight’s show is part of the UK/Ireland tour. How is it going? How many shows are you doing?——Great yeah I’m really tired. This is day five and were doing 4 more I think? It’s really nice, I love touring with the boys. Because we are all really close and it’s really exciting getting that feeling from different cities each night you know. It’s never just the same crowd.

This venue is new so obviously you’ve never played here, how is the sound? I heard its really good.
—— Really good and it’s always a rule with new venues that they haven’t set up everything properly yet but it’s really good in there. I came off stage feeling really comfortable.

I read that you have a tour in Japan and South Korea. Like why? How? 
—— I know! That’s what I am asking myself too! Basically we got an offer to do one in store gig out in Japan, like retail. And it paid enough for us to get a flight so we thought why wouldn’t we do it?

And do you have a fan base there? 
——Yeah apparently, we’re doing pretty well in Tokyo. People are ordering vinyl out there and stuff. And we thought while we were out there, let’s just book our own show with a headline slot. And off the back of some crazy big Korean pop band sharing one of my tunes, we’ve got a following in Korea now as well. We’re just going to cross over the pond a little bit and play in Seoul for one or two days and head home.

That’s really impressive. Have you ever been to Asia?
——I really like Japan as an idea I really just want to go and see it.
I have never been to Asia so I’m really excited to go and see it.

I think I’ve asked all of my questions so I’ll ask what have you been listening to lately?
—— Yeah the new Mansur Brown album is incredible. He’s a friend of a friend and I’ve met him once or twice but yeah he’s just a crazy guitarist. He just dropped an album and produced it all himself and it’s really cool. I just thought it was all going to be lots of like jazz stuff but it’s way cooler than that. I recommend that since I’ve been listening to it quite a lot.

Thank you for having us. It’s like our first interview and we’re going to try and do it live on our radio show. Because we want to have bands kind of come in and do podcasts and that kinda stuff. So thank you. 
—— Oh that sounds so cool. No worries.


Listen to Puma Blue below:


Review by Gaëlle Marquet Le Coat and Grace Burns

Interview by Gaëlle Marquet Le Coat

Live Review/Interview: Art School Girlfriend at YES

Art School Girlfriend is the moniker of Polly Mackey, a Margate based multi-instrumentalist making waves with her own brand of mesmerizing electronic pop. After hearing of the rising buzz around Mackey’s latest project I decided to see her for myself, catching up with her after the show. She played in the basement space of Manchester’s newest music venue, YES, supported by up and coming dream pop outfit, Dream English Kid.

YES is a venue spread across four floors, each with a distinct vibe ideal for different events. We make our way from the bright stylish pizza bar into the purple glow of the club space below. I take note of a girl in a bright red work-wear boiler-suit thinking it was a pretty original fashion choice. I then notice another suit. Then another. At this point I realise this must be the support band dotted about rather than some lightning fast fashion development I was unaware of. Sure enough the four of them make their way to the stage like a sort of psychedelic British Gas team.

Dream English Kid

Dream English Kid swing into action, playing under grainy black and white projections of trapeze artists, pylons, tiny dancing shadows and more. Though seemingly random, the found footage fits together beautifully into a visual stream of consciousness. This compliments the melancholy dreaminess of Dream English Kid’s music. Heavily distorted guitars along with twinkly electronics and sweet vocal harmonies form a sound reminiscent of dream pop giants, Beach House, though often with a darker shoegaze spin. This is a young band with huge potential and a mature approach to their themes, namely the confusion of growing up in current times. With only one track available so far, I am very much looking forward to future releases.

After a short wait, Art School Girlfriend arrives onto a stage flooded with blue light. A minimalist light box displays her stage name. This moody, stripped back set up creates the ideal setting to get lost in Mackey’s hazy production and sauntering beats. She opens with the flowing violin style synthesizers of An Uncomfortable Month from her 2017 EP, Measures. The band is kitted out with guitars, synthesizers, drum machines, drum pads and a traditional drum-kit bringing new depth to Mackey’s solo tracks. She tells us after the show that her songwriting process never goes from the beginning of the song. She starts with the sounds to be used and forms melodies and lyrics around them. Lately however, the band are somewhat more involved in the process. “It’s getting more collaborative now since I’ve been playing with the boys and now I’m more open to other people having input in the songs”. This shows in their live performance with the full band adding atmosphere and a more organic flow to the music.

The night’s closing track, Moon, is from Art School Girlfriend’s latest EP, Into The Blue Hour, released earlier this year. This is a track with a heavy focus on electronics. Its dark pop beat starts to wake an entranced crowd into a little dance to finish. Moon is a good example of her breakaway from previous guitar led projects. When her last band broke up, Mackey says she listened to a lot of pirate radio stations. In a sense, this cleansed her musical palate. Listening to so much new music has given her a new set of sounds to experiment with and left her less reliant on her guitar alone.

What shone throughout Art School Girlfriend’s set was the expressiveness in her face and voice in such a small venue. To see her perform live is to feel the emotion in her lyrics. There is an authentic yearning in her voice that leaves you longing without necessarily knowing what for. For that full intensity, I recommend you catch Art School Girlfriend playing in one of these more intimate venues. The aforementioned buzz growing around her releases was not misplaced, so I expect she won’t be playing in such small spaces for very much longer.

Check out Moon below:

Reviewed by Hannah O’Gorman

Live Review: Yo La Tengo at Academy 2

Much like the most recent Manchester derby, Yo La Tengo’s gig at Academy 2 was a game of two halves.  Known for their massive discography and devout cult fandom, they attracted a savvy, locked-in crowd for their gig at Academy 2.  They ran with a double set with no support acts, opening up with an ethereal collection of songs from the more folky, psychedelic side of their catalogue.  The venue suited this aesthetic well, and the way the hushed guitars and double bass timbres of tunes like ‘The Crying Lot of G’ reverberated around the vast space was a real treat for the ears.  Dream-pop number ‘Nowhere Near’ was a standout moment of the night, enrapturing the crowd with its subdued beauty and Georgia Hubley’s delicate vocals. They closed the first set with ‘Here You Are’, a cut from their new record ‘There’s a Riot Going On’, which sat comfortably alongside older material, proving their music has lost none of their vitality over the years.

A short interval separated the two sets, and as punters topped up on pints and snuck outside for cigarettes, Yo La Tengo dusted off their distortion pedals in preparation for a much harsher second set.  Ira Kaplan swapped the whispered vocals of the first half for screeches and yelps set against walls of guitar feedback, chugging drums and zany keyboard motifs. ‘False Alarm’ from 1995’s ‘Electr-O-Pura’ was one such tune, and a timely reminder of the band’s vital place in the 90’s alt-rock ecosystem.  As the set drew to a close, the krautrock and shoegaze stylings of fan favourite ‘Sugarcube’ ignited the Academy with a maelstrom of abrasive guitar licks.  During the encore Kaplan told the crowd he would ‘‘honour the city’s musical heritage’’, and despite a few tongue-in-cheek calls to cover ‘Wonderwall’ from some members of the crowd, they opted instead for ‘Dream On’ by Herman’s Hermits.  There is a reason why Yo La Tengo is probably your favourite artists’ favourite artist, and why they have always been a staple of nerdy conversations in record shops; with an expansive back catalogue and a stonking live show to boot, its hard to see their relevance waning anytime soon.  

News Around Fuse #5

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Fuse Fm has been quietly ticking on and this will be the last post of the year until our new committee and station manager announce their plans for 2018/19. So, what have we got left in store for you guys?

First up, we have the prospective Station Manager and Committee Information Session that will be held on Monday, 30th April on the newly opened first floor of the SU. This is the perfect opportunity to come ask any questions you might have about how to get more involved with the running of Fuse, and we’d highly recommend it if you want to be Station Manager next year! That afternoon, applications (via a manifesto) will open for the Station Manager position and will shut in a few days time after that.

The day after our information session is the final Fuse Live of the year. We can’t give away too much just yet, but if the previous two have been anything to go by, it’ll sure be a hell of an evening. Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page to be the first to know more about it!

The next week, we have our Station Manager Elections on the 8th May, with a time and location still to be confirmed. This is your opportunity as Fuse FM members to grill the candidates on their manifestos, as well as voting on who will be the next Station Manager for the 2018/19 year. The day after (9th May) is the glittering SU awards, held at Academy 1. It’s a huge night for MMG and a brilliant way to have a final send-off for everyone involved in the Group. Expect a few tears, a lot of laughs, and even more memories to be made that evening. We formally finish broadcasting on 11th May for the year.

That rounds-up what we have coming up for the last part of 2017/18. As this is the final News Around Fuse of the year, we’d just like to say thank you. Thank you to our amazing presenters, who continue to astound listeners every week with what can be achieved on Student Radio. Thank you to our tech team, for fixing the studios when necessary, always being the most patient people on earth, and making sure Fuse FM can keep on ticking. Thank you to our behind-the-scenes volunteers for helping produce the shows when necessary, they make everyone’s lives so much easier and they rarely get credit for it. Thank you to our amazing committee, for organising events, running the station, and helping our presenters make Fuse FM the enjoyable experience it is. Lastly, thank you to our listeners. They’re always there for us, and are growing in numbers, making sure we stay on our toes and continue to make amazing radio.

Thank you to everyone. Fuse FM will be back for 2018/19, with a new studio, new leadership, new shows, and new ideas. Stay tuned.

When Fuse Met /// Tom Grennan

Ever wondered what makes Tom Grennan tick? Wonder no more! Ellis Harbord sat down with the Bedford-born singer songwriter to find out more…


Fuse: How’s the tour going? Is the first time with a band?

Tom: Yeah it’s going pretty well man, no I’ve done it with a band before.


Fuse: last time you were here you played at sound control, which has been knocked down recently. How does it feel to be playing at a bigger venue, is it a big step up?

Tom: yeah there’s obviously more people, more energy. I suppose it is more of a jump, but it’s good man.


Fuse: when I first heard your music, I thought your voice sounded quite unique. There are quite a lot of voices coming from England that have an americanised twag, but would you say your voice is a defining part of your music?

Tom: thank you very much, yeah that’s something I’ve always tried to keep in my music, that britishness, I’m from England, not America do you know what I mean. I keep it real to where I’m from.


Fuse: I want to talk about your track ‘Something in the water’, is that one of your earlier songs you wrote?

Tom: yeah that’s one of the first ever songs I wrote, yeah man. I wrote it in my bedroom, and it’s had a bit of an impact since.


Fuse: in the first verse you speak about: your mum, about how time goes fast, putting worries aside, not living with regrets, actions speaking louder than words. There’s a lot of wisdom hitting you straight I’m the first verse, it’s quite impressive. Would you say that’s a wisdom you’ve grown up with or gained recently?

Tom: thanks, yeah probably just growing up with it. I talk about my mum, and I just listened to her words. She’s a genius so whatever my mum says is always going to be right to me.


Fuse: I read somewhere that you started learning guitar while you went to uni is that true?

Tom: yeah I didn’t play guitar before I went to uni, when I started I kinda hibernated in my room for a while – for whole year really and just taught myself how to play guitar. I tried to write some songs and then just went round looking for gigs in London and then thankfully someone liked it. In Finsbury Park pub, yeah and then I got signed and here we are today.


Fuse: The fact you were just playing in your room and then had the determination to go out and play is impressive.

Tom: yeah I think it’s just getting the courage to believe in what you’re writing and to believe in the songs you’re trying to get out there in the world, trying to connect people and having the balls to do it. If you can do it everyone can do it, it’s just whether you have the courage to do it or not.


Fuse: Would you say that courage has continued, do you still have that same attitude and determination?

Tom: Yeah definitely, I got the determination. You can do whatever you put your mind to. If you keep working away and grinding hard then you can do it.


Fuse: what would your advice be to the guitar player who sings ‘in their room out of tune with no one around them?

Tom: Keep doing it, believe in what you’re doing. If you like it, then other people will like it as well. Unless you are really shit, then pack it in.