Full Listings

Memphis May Fire

Thursday 1st December

Academy 2

Memphis May Fire have consistently pushed the envelope to redefine both themselves and the various sub-genres they’ve made their mark within. 2009’s “Sleepwalking” full-length yielded no exception as the band ventured into the territory of post-hardcore / southern rock with no reservations. Their fresh approach to an otherwise stale scene gathered critical acclaim and found “Ghost In The Mirror” featured on the both the Saw VI Soundtrack and DVD/Blu-Ray releases. Subsequent touring with the likes of Asking Alexandria, From First To Last, and Alesana facilitated the delivery of their music to the masses and established a live precedent that the band continues to build on today.

Following well-received releases on both Trustkill & Bullet Tooth, domestic/international touring success (featuring the band’s first visit to Japan) and a tag as one of Revolver Magazine’s “Top 25 Under 25,” we’re left with only one certainty; members Matt Mullins (vocals), Kellen McGregor (guitar), Ryan Bentley (guitar), Cory Elder (bass), and Jake Garland (drums) are headed somewhere fast.

In fact, it’s safe to say that Memphis May Fire are “Sleepwalking” no longer. Their next effort, “Between The Lies,” boasts an elevated aggression that tastefully combine elements of melodic metal, southern rock, and electronics amidst a platform of carefully crafted songwriting. Existing solely in the digital realm, this EP is clearly an indication of things to come in terms of its unique dynamics & cross-genre experimentation.

Nothing But Thieves

+ Special Guests

Thursday 1st December

Academy

The past eighteen months have been a whirlwind of sold out shows, chart topping records and a critically acclaimed album for Southends’s finest, Nothing But Thieves. They are now riding the wave of a global buzz which has already well and truly ignited in the US, with an appearance this week on the Conan O’Brian show and single “Wake Up Call’  currently most added @ Alt Radio.  As well as sold out shows in the UK, Japan and USA they recently completed a successful run of European arena shows with fellow Brits, Muse.  And finally, this summer sees them play both Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds Festivals, where they will no doubt win over even more fans.   But this is a biog, so lets cast our minds back a few years to where it all began…

The sound of two car alarms going off simultaneously. Depending on what mood you were already in you’d find that pretty annoying wouldn’t you? You might find it mildly irritating or it might send you into a tailspin of teeth-grinding fury, but what it probably wouldn’t do is provide an Archimedes-in-the-bath eureka moment. For Nothing But Thieves guitarist Joe Langridge-Brown that’s exactly what it did though.

When driving home from a hungover writing session the sound of those two clashing sirens proved to be a surprise source of inspiration. “We’d demoed this song Emergency and written the lyrics for it but we didn’t have the main bit for it,” recalls the guitarist. “I was driving home and heard this siren sound and I was like, ‘Hold on!’ I always have the voice recorder on my phone with me so recorded it.”

“Joe used to deliver pizzas and he would send me voice memos of him singing bits of melody during the delivery, you could hear the car in the background,” adds guitarist/keyboard player Dom Craik. “I’d try and fit chords around it and we’d throw it back and fourth around us to see what would work.”

From bits of graffiti they’ve spotted, scenes witnessed on the walk home from a night out to the oppressive claustrophobia of a packed tube train, Nothing But Thieves take snippets and snapshots of life in 2015 and weave it into the patchwork of their intoxicating, skyscraping hybrid. It’s music that can crunch like a jackhammer, twitch with glitching electronics, leap into an elastic groove or gently shimmer soulfully like the dying embers of a late night camp fire.

Nothing But Thieves story starts at school in Essex when singer Conor Mason spotted Langridge-Brown and knew the budding guitarist was someone who Mason should be making music with. “When I met him he was the typical rock kid,” remembers Mason. “No one else had long hair or a Gibson guitar and it was like, ‘I wanna be in a band with this kid, he’s cool,’. And then I realized he was a bell-end [laughs].”

Though the pair had both been playing music and jamming in various other bands, it was the discovery of the spellbinding power of Mason’s voice that made them realize they need to sculpt something suitably unique around the singer’s vocal chords.

Mason’s is a voice that can float angelically, swoop skywards with an emotional weight that belies his young years or let loose in a full-throttle wail. It’s a voice that’s been compared with Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and Matt Bellamy but has a soulful intensity that is entirely his own. When Craik met Mason at college a few years later he fell under its spell too, bringing his older cousin Phil Blake into the nascent group on bass. When they poached friend and drummer James Price from one of their early support bands Nothing But Thieves as we know it now came together.

Though they had an idea of the music they wanted to create the group conceded that“they weren’t good enough to put into onto paper yet”. So instead of continuing to gig in and around Essex they hid themselves away, intensely writing and experimenting to try and transform the sound in their heads into a reality. Saving up money from a string of menial jobs they self-funded an inspiration-sourcing trip to America in late 2012 where their managers hooked them up with producers in LA, Nashville and New York. Thought he trip proved to be invaluable it was perhaps for different reasons than the band had intended.

“It was probably a bit too formulaic and we like to experiment,” thinks Langridge-Brown. “In a way it showed us what not to do. It obviously worked because we came back and pretty much immediately wrote the songs that made up our first E.P.”

After the self-release of the spellbinding Graveyard Whistling E.P. in December 2013 the songs just kept coming and coming, the band amassing dozens and dozens of tracks that refused to be pigeonholed.

It’s that irrepressible desire to create with no imposed boundaries which makes Nothing But Thieves an album that's impossible to pin down. From the face off between pummelling Zeppelin-sized riffs and ricocheting grooves on ‘Ban All The Music’, ‘If I Get High’, anguished melancholy to the album's spine-tingling centre piece ‘Lover, Please Stay’ which is built around little more than a tour de force vocal from Mason, it’s a record that defies the play-it-safe formula of so many debuts. Indeed, if most bands wrote a song as good as the high voltage glam stomp of ‘Drawing Pins’ or the shuffling electronic prowl of ‘Hostage’ they'd probably fire off ten versions of the same rather than leap right into something completely different.

“I’d rather fail because we were too adventurous and too eclectic than fail because we were too safe,” reflects Langridge-Brown. “At least now if it all goes to shit we tried to do something and it’s come out how we wanted.”

Given the strength and scope of their debut there isn’t much danger of it “all going to shit”for Nothing But Thieves anytime soon.

A Thousand Horses

+ Special Guests

Thursday 1st December

Academy 3

Pierce The Veil

+ Special Guests

Friday 2nd December

Academy

Pierce the Veil is an American rock band from San Diego. It consists of Vic Fuentes (lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, keys, production), Mike Fuentes (drums, backing vocals), Jaime Preciado (bass, programming, backing vocals) and Tony Perry (guitars, backing vocals). The band formed in 2006 when brothers Vic and Mike decided to carry on making music after their previous band (Before Today) broke up. Together, the Fuentes brothers wrote the whole of Pierce the Veil’s first album A Flair For The Dramatic and then joined with Jaime Preciado and Tony Perry (previously from Trigger My Nightmare) for the recording process.

Embracing their defiant brand of progressive post hardcore and gaining a rabid fan base thanks to their incredible live show, Pierce The Veil have become a hot commodity over the past few years. But with the release of stunning new album Collide With The Sky, the San Diego natives are truly en fuego.

Deploying every shred of musical prowess in their artillery, Pierce The Veil have poured heart and soul into new album Collide With The Sky - and it shows. Blending the unique vocal style of singer Vic Fuentes, incendiary guitar lines and soaring melody, the band’s third album is an aural exploration that at once both packs a punch, while finding the pockets of calm in the chaos - a talent that has made the band such a refreshingly exhilarating force in the scene. Having toured with some of the biggest names in the music, including Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Of Mice & Men, Thursday and The Devil Wears Prada, the band tear into a packed tour schedule in support of Collide With The Sky, with a full summer on Vans Warped Tour’s main stage and a UK headline tour this fall.

Slipknowt

The Ultimate Tribute To Slipknot

Friday 2nd December

Club Academy

Eliza And The Bear

+ Special Guests

Friday 2nd December

Academy 3

 Eliza and the Bear have returned with yet another glowing anthem, ‘Friends’. The track tells an uplifting story about the importance of friends and family, combined with gleaming guitars and stadium-sized optimism. ‘Friends’ is the perfect example of how the Essex quintet create, life-affirming songs.

Friends’ is the latest single to be lifted from their eponymously-titled debut album, released April 8th on Capitol Records. The track follows previous Radio 1 playlisted singles ‘Lion’s Heart’, which ‘led to roaring singalongs at festivals (The Telegraph) and ‘It Gets Cold’ (The Independent hard to get away from its magnetic groove”).

Other stand out tracks include beautifully broody, strings accompanied ‘I’m On Your Side’, fan favourite ‘Brother’s Boat’ and ‘Make It On My Own’ (Evening Standard: ‘Its mighty thud puts it alongside big-selling Americans such as AWOLNATION and Imagine Dragons")

During the making of the album, the band decamped to Nashville to work with three times Grammy Award-winning producer Jacquire King (Kings Of LeonOf Monsters and Men, James Bay).

We wanted to get out of London, get away from distractions and concentrate on making the songs as good as they could be,”says frontman James Kellegher, “Jacquire brought in a string quartet, a gospel choir and a couple of brilliant brass players.

Having previously supported the likes of ParamoreImagine Dragons and AWOLNATION, last year they completed a string of support dates with Twin Atlantic including a 10,000 capacity sold out show at Glasgow's SSE Hydro, Brixton Academy and Manchester Albert Hall as well as their own headline date at a packed out London KOKO. The band have now announced a pre-album launch show at the Islington Assembly Hall on April 7th and shows in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow too. 

Bullet For My Valentine

+ Killswitch Engage + Cane Hill

Saturday 3rd December

Academy

Bullet For My Valentine are proud to announce their eagerly awaited fifth studio album VENOM, released 14th August on RCA Records and a huge UK and European headline tour for the Autumn. In the UK they will be playing venues off the beaten track, to fans in every corner of the country.

 

The first taste from the blistering new album, “No Way Out”, premiered last night on BBC Radio 1 and is available for instant download with every pre-order of VENOM from www.bulletformyvalentine.com.

 

Produced by Carl Bown and Colin Richardson (Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium) at Metropolis Studio in London, VENOM is an unrelenting, fierce step forward for Bullet For My Valentine. Their heaviest record to date, it sinks its teeth into listeners with a powerful delivery by vocalist/guitarist Matt Tuck, ferocious riffs by guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget and rapid-fire rhythm courtesy of drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas. On VENOM the trio maintains their signature balance of heavy, coupled with surging melody, and pushes themselves to the next level.

Of the new record front man Matt Tuck says:

 

“It's pretty hard to sum up an entire record after spending so much time writing and recording it and all the blood, sweat and tears that have come with this one especially,” says Tuck.

 

“It wasn't easy revisiting some very dark places to come up with lyrical content for this one, but once I knew where it was heading and I was comfortable with letting certain things out - all hell broke loose. It's easily the most aggressive record we've ever done and lyrically it will no doubt touch a nerve with a lot of people that listen to it. I cannot express enough how proud I am of it, and can't wait for everyone out there to hear it too. We've reinvented who we are and are ready to take on the world once more.”

 

Bullet For My Valentine’s progression of sound is evident on VENOM, presenting a harder delivery and a more complex song structure, as witnessed on the band’s crushing new track, “No Way Out.”

 

“To write this track I had to put myself into a very dark place, a place I hadn't been to for a while mentally because of how my life is now, compared to what it was before the band exploded,” Tuck adds. “It is one of, if not the heaviest tracks we've ever recorded musically and lyrically. I've lived with it for a while now but still every time I hear it, it gives me chills. Hold on tight it's a hell of a ride.”

 

The band also announces the additional of fellow Welshman Jamie Mathias as their new bass player and backing vocalist. Hear the first performance of the new line up, as the  freshly announced ‘secret headliners’ of the Camden Rocks Festival, at the Electric Ballroom, Saturday 30th May.‎

 

Bullet For My Valentine have established themselves as one of the biggest bands on the planet. Over the course of their astonishing career they have sold 10 million albums and toured the globe countless times, gaining more fans at every turn. In the UK their last tour saw them hit sell out arenas, including the 10,000 capacity Wembley Arena.

 

Following this, the band spend this summer on a headline tour of South America, as well as playing alongside Slipknot and Lamb of God, on what will be one of the biggest tours of the year. Bullet For My Valentine are one of the biggest metal bands on the planet, mixing classic riff-heavy rock with a contemporary grasp of dynamics

 

 

VENOM is available to order now from www.bulletformyvalentine.com in some incredible deluxe packages, featuring: white vinyl, cassette, deluxe CD, signed and limited edition merchandise. Plus, every purchase comes with an instant download of the new track “No Way Out”.

 

 

Absolute Bowie

Greatest Hits, In Aid of Teenage Cancer Trust

Saturday 3rd December

Academy 2

Celebrating the life and music of David Bowie.

There will only ever be one David Bowie, he was unique in every way and an inspiration to millions. Absolute Bowie, Europe’s Finest David Bowie Tribute continue to celebrate the life and music of the Starman with a spectacular show uniting Bowie fans across the UK.


The five piece has toured all over Europe for the last 8 years, faithfully performing the music of David Bowie with uncanny accuracy. The audience are taken on a journey experiencing the different personas of Bowie, from Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through to The Thin White Duke and the late 80's.

"Absolutely wicked. As one who was there, watching AB put me back there again. For anyone who missed it or fans who want to relive it I definitely recommend it. As close to the real thing that you'll get. Enjoy." - Woody Woodmansey (Spiders from Mars)

Absolute Bowie has been voted one of the best tribute bands in the UK with their energetic (and theatrical!) stage show. Prepare to be taken from A to Z (Absolute Beginners to Ziggy!) with Stations to Station in between.

 

The night will be in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, providing expert treatment and care for young diagnosed people aged between 13 and 24.

Big Country - The Seer Tour

Saturday 3rd December

Academy 3

 BIG COUNTRY - ‘THE SEER’ – 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR

“Timeless anthems for a very Big Country…a body of work that sweeps away the test of time” (Lancashire Evening Post)

Interview requests taken

Following the incredible success of their 30th Anniversary ‘Steeltown’ Tour, BIG COUNTRY now celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the album that followed that release – ‘The Seer’.

Famously, the album included an appearance by Kate Bush, joining the late Stuart Adamson on the title track and the single ‘Look Away’ was the group’s biggest UK single, reaching Number 7 in the charts. The album itself reached Number 2 here, with Rolling Stone reflecting: "‘One Great Thing’, ‘I Walk the Hill’ and ‘Eiledon’ are stirring expressions of the desire for individual integrity and a future filled with peace”… a timely sentiment.

The band will perform the album in its entirety, as well as visiting their stunning catalogue of songs, taken from their multi-million selling and Number 1 hit albums. Their classic hits and live favourites include Harvest Home - Fields of Fire - In A Big Country (which sold 2 million copies) - Chance - Wonderland - Look Away - The Teacher – East of Eden’ from such massive albums such as the triple Grammy –nominated, ‘The Crossing,’ ‘Steeltown’ and ‘Peace In Our Time’. BIG COUNTRY continue to look beyond the next horizon.

The band – BRUCE WATSON (guitars/vocals); MARK BRZEZICKI (drums, vocals); JAMIE WATSON (guitars/vocals) will be augmented on stage by SIMON HOUGH and bassist, SCOTT WHITLEY.

“Big Country almost blew the roof off on Saturday night.

Frontman Simon Hough – formerly with Denny Laine of Wings fame’s band – was magnificent and urged the seated audience to cast aside their chairs and get down to the front of the stage. The crowd did just that, making for a night to remember. Hough was a revelation and a more charismatic vocalist is hard to visualise. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish – no wonder Bruce Watson singled him out for a special mention”. (Ian Russell, Daily Record)

For further info:

www.bigcountry.co.uk

 

 

The Lancashire Hotpots

Saturday 3rd December

Club Academy

If you like a good night out, get your flat caps and 'weskits' ready because here come The Lancashire Hotpots. Since first taking to the stage in 2007, The Lancashire Hotpots have become the go to band for those wanting a light hearted view on life from a distinctly Northern angle. From Glastonbury festival to writing jingles for Holland's Pies the Hotpots have been entertaining the nation with comedy songs about chippy teas, shopmobility scooters as well as how to smuggle your own sweets into the cinema. With congas, puppets and pirates on the menu at each and every Hotpots gig, join Bernard, Bob, Kenny, Billy and Dickie for a rambunctious riot of good time, singalonga fun. We'll see you at the bar!
 

”the Spinal Tap of folk bands”  Paddy McGuinness

'”the sexiest band in the world”  Arthur Smith, The Smith Lectures, BBC Radio 2

“Masters of parody” The Guardian

 ”its massive” Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2

 “Like a musical version of Peter Kay”. 4/5 Manchester Evening News

”I love the Lancashire Hotpots – I think they’re fantastic”  Steve Berry, Rock Radio

“A revelation....catch them live whenever you can” Is This Music

”Britain's finest comedy musical act of the 21st Century" Designer Magazine

The Hotpots aren’t just bucolic satire, they’re bright, talented and heart-warmingly, pant-wettingly funny”  subba-cultcha.com

”The Lancashire Hotpots can only be described as utterly brilliant”  www.virtualfestivals.com

”The Lancashire Hotpots might well be the Half Man Half Biscuit for the new millennium…They’re genuinely very funny”  Venue Magazine

Bullet For My Valentine

+ Killswitch Engage + Cane Hill

Sunday 4th December

Academy

Bullet For My Valentine are proud to announce their eagerly awaited fifth studio album VENOM, released 14th August on RCA Records and a huge UK and European headline tour for the Autumn. In the UK they will be playing venues off the beaten track, to fans in every corner of the country.

 

The first taste from the blistering new album, “No Way Out”, premiered last night on BBC Radio 1 and is available for instant download with every pre-order of VENOM from www.bulletformyvalentine.com.

 

Produced by Carl Bown and Colin Richardson (Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium) at Metropolis Studio in London, VENOM is an unrelenting, fierce step forward for Bullet For My Valentine. Their heaviest record to date, it sinks its teeth into listeners with a powerful delivery by vocalist/guitarist Matt Tuck, ferocious riffs by guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget and rapid-fire rhythm courtesy of drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas. On VENOM the trio maintains their signature balance of heavy, coupled with surging melody, and pushes themselves to the next level.

Of the new record front man Matt Tuck says:

 

“It's pretty hard to sum up an entire record after spending so much time writing and recording it and all the blood, sweat and tears that have come with this one especially,” says Tuck.

 

“It wasn't easy revisiting some very dark places to come up with lyrical content for this one, but once I knew where it was heading and I was comfortable with letting certain things out - all hell broke loose. It's easily the most aggressive record we've ever done and lyrically it will no doubt touch a nerve with a lot of people that listen to it. I cannot express enough how proud I am of it, and can't wait for everyone out there to hear it too. We've reinvented who we are and are ready to take on the world once more.”

 

Bullet For My Valentine’s progression of sound is evident on VENOM, presenting a harder delivery and a more complex song structure, as witnessed on the band’s crushing new track, “No Way Out.”

 

“To write this track I had to put myself into a very dark place, a place I hadn't been to for a while mentally because of how my life is now, compared to what it was before the band exploded,” Tuck adds. “It is one of, if not the heaviest tracks we've ever recorded musically and lyrically. I've lived with it for a while now but still every time I hear it, it gives me chills. Hold on tight it's a hell of a ride.”

 

The band also announces the additional of fellow Welshman Jamie Mathias as their new bass player and backing vocalist. Hear the first performance of the new line up, as the  freshly announced ‘secret headliners’ of the Camden Rocks Festival, at the Electric Ballroom, Saturday 30th May.‎

 

Bullet For My Valentine have established themselves as one of the biggest bands on the planet. Over the course of their astonishing career they have sold 10 million albums and toured the globe countless times, gaining more fans at every turn. In the UK their last tour saw them hit sell out arenas, including the 10,000 capacity Wembley Arena.

 

Following this, the band spend this summer on a headline tour of South America, as well as playing alongside Slipknot and Lamb of God, on what will be one of the biggest tours of the year. Bullet For My Valentine are one of the biggest metal bands on the planet, mixing classic riff-heavy rock with a contemporary grasp of dynamics

 

 

VENOM is available to order now from www.bulletformyvalentine.com in some incredible deluxe packages, featuring: white vinyl, cassette, deluxe CD, signed and limited edition merchandise. Plus, every purchase comes with an instant download of the new track “No Way Out”.

 

 

Christmas Queens

ft. Michelle Visage (Host), Alaska, Detox, Katya, Manila Luzon, Phi Phi O'Hara*

Monday 5th December

Academy

The MJR Group Presents

CHRISTMAS QUEENS

FEATURING*
MICHELLE VISAGE (HOST) 
ALASKA 
DETOX 
KATYA 
MANILA LUZON 
PHI PHI O'HARA 

(*Line-up subject to change)

The stars of RuPaul's Drag Race are returning to the UK to bring their Sold Out US Christmas show to 5 cities in England, Scotland and Wales in release of their new album, Christmas Queens Vol. 2!

 

Larkin Poe

+ Special Guests

Monday 5th December

Academy 3

Against Me!

+ Milk Teeth + Mobina Galore

Wednesday 7th December

Academy 2

AGAINST ME! - SHAPE SHIFT WITH ME

Laura Jane Grace - vocals/guitar // James Bowman - guitar/vocals

Inge Johansson - bass // Atom Willard - drums

 

Four years is a measurement of time that America has used for centuries to indicate change. Presidential terms last four years; high school diplomas and college degrees typically take four years apiece, too. It’s not an arbitrary thing, either: It typically takes that much time from the declaration of something changing for it to actually change.

Meet Laura Jane Grace. Four years ago, the Against Me! frontwoman came out as transgender; 18 months later, she released the band’s sixth album, the fiery Transgender Dysphoria Blues, one which she began working on before her transition and helped document the struggles she was facing. It was an intensely personal record that took on a life of its own, connecting with thousands of new listeners drawn to Grace’s honesty and complexity while still pleasing Against Me!’s dedicated fanbase.

Now, four years after Grace’s public reintroduction, Against Me! is ready to release their new album, Shape Shift With Me, September 16 on Total Treble. While much has changed in the lives of Grace and her bandmates—guitarist James Bowman, bassist Inge Johansson and drummer Atom Willard—in that time period, it’s clear that those intervening years have done wonders for creativity.

“Everything with Shape Shift With Me has been really about keeping momentum going,” she says. “In between every tour we did for Transgender Dysphoria Blues, I would have a couple songs I had written and we would demo them. At the end of two years of touring, we had an album ready to record. Usually, you come off of touring for a record and you're back at square one. But this was so fully formed it felt like there was no choice but to go ahead and record the songs.”

Shape Shift With Me has the distinction of the first album Grace has written truly from the heart, with no metaphorical cloaks cast over the lyrics. It’s an album about love, that deceptively complex emotion we all struggle with yet has somehow eluded most of Grace’s songwriting for the past 20 years.

“Tons of people have written about love. But while love is cliché, it’s infinitely relevant. For me, having always been in a punk band that was expected to be political, I never felt like I had that option to write about feelings in that way. That’s what I ended up being drawn to this time. It’s writing in a way I thought I could never write before, and not giving a shit about expectations.

As such, Shape Shift With Me is a loose concept album about traveling the world and falling in and out of love, with Grace serving as the narrator. But even though she was opening herself up to new songwriting topics, she knew what her mission was from the start.

“Is there a record that is about relationships from a trans perspective?” she asks rhetorically. “There needs to be more records about trans rights and everything like that, but feeling like I already did that, I wanted to move on to write commentary on living from a trans perspective. I wanted to write the transgender response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St., Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville and the Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free. All those records are relationship records. There’s been an infinite amount of records talking about what love means from a cisgender perspective. I wanted to present the trans perspective on sex, love and heartbreak.”

With Grace’s new motivation came a new outlook on the band, as well. Previous albums found the songwriting process to be a largely solitary experience, but she embraced the spirit of collaboration for Shape Shift With Me—so much so that when Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers sent her some demos of songs he was working on for another project, she became inspired and ended up co-writing “Boyfriend” and “Norse Truth,” two of the album’s most memorable tracks, with him.

“It was just about opening up to whatever comes my way karmically,” Grace says. “Whatever everyone in the band is willing to offer, I just wanted to be open to it. I didn’t want it to be like what it was in the past where it may have felt closed. I want it to be different.”

In a career already full of classic punk records, Shape Shift With Me feels like the definitive Against Me! album—it’s poppy and catchy (“Rebecca,” “Suicide Bomber”), aggressive and in-your-face (“ProVision L-3,” “Dead Rats”), sentimental and longing (“Crash,” “All This And More”). Moreover, it’s the culmination of four years of existence as Laura Jane Grace—there’s no going back now, so she might as well embrace it.

“While I’ve always wanted the moon and the stars, I have a certain amount of humbleness,” she admits. “I just want to play shows and make records and write songs. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Of course I always want the biggest and best things for those shows and records and songs, but when it comes down to it, I just love doing it. I have no other ambitions or career goals.

“David Bowie put out 27 full-lengths. Prince put out 39 full-lengths,” Grace remarks. “That is so inspiring to me—working, creating art, creating records and let everyone else sort it out. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do and that’s what I will keep on doing.”

A Tribute To Manchester Vol:2 - The Second Coming

+ The Clone Roses + Noasis + The Smiths LTD, + Happy Mondaze + DJ Clint Boon

Friday 9th December

Academy

The Ultimate Manchester Xmas Party! Friday 9th December “A Tribute to Manchester Vol:2” featuring some of the finest tributes around. Headlined by The Clone Roses who are widely regarded as the Number 1 tribute to The Stone Roses, with Mani describing them as “the second best Stone Roses in the world.” Noasis will be playing the Classic Oasis songs we all know and love. Established Manchester based Smiths tribute “The Smiths Ltd” will also feature on the bill along with the brilliant “Happy Mondaze” Hosted by none other than Inspiral Carpets/Radio X and general Manchester legend “Clint Boon” this is sure to be the biggest Madchester party around for 2016. Tickets sold out in 2015 and already selling fast so grab yours now from www.manchesteracademy.net

Shura

Friday 9th December

Academy 2

Now Wave & The Warehouse Project Present

+  SPECIAL GUESTS

Manchester Academy 2  

Friday 9th December 2016

Doors 7.30pm | Curfew 11pm

Tickets £12.50 advance STBF

Evil Blizzard 'The Blizzmass Ball'

+ Bad Guys + Glass Mountain

Saturday 10th December

Academy 3

A SINGING DRUMMER AND 4 BASSISTS.... THE END!!!

Pearl Jam UK

Saturday 10th December

Club Academy

Pearl Jam UK:
The World's Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute.
Pearl Jam UK are a Liverpool based tributeto Pearl Jam consisting of five friends who all share agenuine love and respect for one of the greatest and  most influential American rock bands of all time.  Driven by an attention to detail that is second to none, the band spend hours on end listening to recordings by Pearl Jam, discovering the most minute of details contained within the music, watching hour­ after hour of live footage to ensure that the Pearl Jam experience is recreated with 100% accuracy – and no compromise. The band also perfectly recreates that distinctive 90’s era “grunge” look that became synonymous with Pearl Jam, with
 corduroy jackets, flannel shirts,shorts and doc martens aplenty. A combination of the most accurate performance of Pearl Jam’s music being played today (maybe even more accurate than the band themselves?) alongside genuine era clothing, all being performed with that typical Pearl Jam passion that made them stand out from their peers, thus culminates in a tribute band that almost becomes more than a tribute… In short, Pearl Jam UK makes you feel like you are watching Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam UK have firmly established themselves as the definitive tribute, having completed a “sold out” UK Tour and headlining major festivals along the way playing to thousands of dedicated fans. Performing songs from the entire Pearl Jam catalogue, and some of the covers they play (from artists such as Neil Young and The Who) – fans both old and new will find the songs they
 know and love in Pearl Jam UK's set.

Joey Devries

+ Special Guests

Sunday 11th December

Academy 3

+ SPECIAL GUESTS

Manchester Academy 3

Sunday 11th December 2016

Doors 7pm | Curfew 10.30pm

Tickets £6.50 advance STBF

 

Join Joey Devries in this intimate show as he embarks on his own solo tour after touring the country with Little Mix. Come and hear songs from his long-awaited EP ‘Real Me’ along with some of Joeys friends and special guests.

Paul Young

Plus special guests: Hue & Cry

Sunday 11th December

Academy 2

Paul Young
Plus special guests: Hue & Cry

Manchester Academy 2
Sunday 11th December 2016
Doors 7.00pm

All Ages - Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult over 18

Ticket Price - £25.00

ScHoolboy Q

Sunday 11th December

Academy

Following the release of his highly anticipated and critically acclaimed second studio album ‘Blank Face LP’, Grammy-nominated, Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist ScHoolboy Q and Goldenvoice UK have announced tickets are on sale for the Blank Face LP UK Tour.

 

The Los Angeles rapper will take to Manchester, London, Glasgow and Birmingham this December, a prime opportunity for fans to hear ScHoolboy Q perform new tracks up close and personal. ‘Blank Face LP’ has spun Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop hits including “THat Part (feat. Kanye West)”. The album also features cameos from Miguel, Anderson .Paak, E-40, SZA, Jadakiss, Vince Staples and more easily becoming one of Hip-Hop’s most important releases this year.

 

There is no doubt that ScHoolboy Q fronts the new generation of MCs; Entertainment Weekly cited ‘Blank Face LP’ as “one of 2016’s most engaging projects” whilst Pitchfork says “Blank Face LP is a collection of catchy, urgent gangster rap songs that show the South Central native at his charismatic best, gallows humor and tough talk failing to obscure a humane core”. 

Real Friends

+ Knuckle Puck + With Confidence

Wednesday 14th December

Club Academy

Emo punk-pop group Real Friends were formed in 2010 in Tinley Park, Illinois, a suburb on the South Side of Chicago, by bassist/lyricist Kyle Fasel and guitarist Dave Knox. Heavily inspired by bands such as Brand New and the Starting Line, the group's introspective, cathartic songs featured lyrics that often addressed physical and mental health issues, as well as the troubles of moving on. Also featuring vocalist Dan Lambton and drummer Aaron Schuck, Real Friends recorded debut EP This Is Honesty, which they self-released in 2011. Drummer Brian Blake replaced Schuck shortly afterwards, and Eric Haines joined as the band's second guitarist. Three more self-released EPs arrived in 2012, and in 2013 the band's EP Put Yourself Back Together was simultaneously released by Synergy Records, Banquet Records, and Glamour Kills. Fearless Records signed the band toward the end of 2013, and debut album Maybe This Place Is the Same and We're Just Changing arrived in 2014. The album was an immediate success, charting at number 24 in the Billboard 200 album chart, and the group performed as part of the 2014 Vans Warped Tour. Fearless Records released a limited one-sided Real Friends EP, More Acoustic Songs, on Record Store Day in April of 2015.

Chameleons Vox - Home Is Where The Heart is...2016

Plus Special Guests Dub Sex, Official After Party, Union Bar w/ DJ Andy Woods until late

Saturday 17th December

Academy 2

Chameleons Vox - Home Is Where The Heart is...2016

Plus Special Guests Dub Sex, Official After Party, Union Bar w/ DJ Andy Woods until late

Saturday 17th December

Academy 2

The Coral

+ Special Guests

Saturday 17th December

Academy

Aynsley Lister

plus support

Saturday 17th December

Academy 3

"Superb" - THE TIMES

“His guitar playing is a fire hazard” – MOJO

When explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result

is Aynsley Lister; an incredible guitarist whose brand of blues-based rock delivers contemporary song writing fuelled with the kind of heart and soul that’s missing from so much modern music. Whether passionately writing and recording his own material or mesmerising audiences at his live shows, one thing is abundantly clear: music is hard-wired to his DNA and flows from his fingertips like sonic bolts of lightning. With over 100,000 albums sold, lashings of critical acclaim and years of high profile touring, Lister’s resumé speaks for itself and firmly secures his position as a leading light in the resurgence of British blues-infused music.

In hindsight, it's clear Aynsley was born to be a musician. As a child he was hypnotised by his dad's old guitar and at the age of eight was finally gifted his very own. The moment he held that first six-string the outcome was inevitable; he was going to be a guitarist. Blessed with the coolest dad in town, regularly spinning Hendrix, Cream, Fleetwood Mac and a whole host of bewitching blues for his spellbound son, Aynsley taught himself to play with relentless dedication and a precociously attuned ear, spending hours copying his favourite records note for note. Peter Green, Albert King, Clapton and Kossoff weren't just his heroes; they became his teachers.

Blazing a trail in a bar band from the age of 13 honed his skills and in 1998 Thomas Ruf signed Aynsley to his label, hooking him up with Stevie Ray Vaughan's producer Jim Gaines to record his self titled debut disc, kicking off a successful relationship with Ruf Records that saw him release 7 albums and 2 DVD's in ten years. Their influence, coupled with his dynamite live shows and intense touring schedule, earned high profile support slots with established artists like Walter Trout, John Mayall and Robert Cray, whilst rousing festival appearances alongside artists like the Fun Lovin' Criminals cemented his standing as an artist whose work, although rooted in blues, transcended the genre with a fiery modern sound. In 2007 Aynsley was the only British artist to be named in Classic Rock magazine's "Top 10 Contemporary Blues Artists", alongside John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa.

In 2008 Aynsley's huge crossover potential saw him sign to Manhaton Records and the following year released 'Equilibrium', an album that exposed Lister in his best ever form and stormed into Classic Rock’s Top 50 Albums of 2009. The subsequent tour saw Aynsley playing to sold out shows to over 16,000 people whilst opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, after which he and his band relocated to the Tower Arts Centre and with the tape rolling, nailed a cracking rendition of their high-octane live set to produce the storming 'Tower Sessions' record, which was consequently voted ‘Best Live Album’ in the 2011 Blues Matters Writers Poll. Aynsley is currently touring his latest album, Home, which is out now on his own label, Straight Talkin’ Records. The album has featured in recent issues of Guitarist Magazine, Classic Rock, Blues Matters and HiFi Magazines among many others and has received some of his greatest reviews yet! He has a new release due out in summer 2016 on his own label.

 

James Hunter Six

Saturday 17th December

Club Academy

Clutch

+ Valient Thorr + Lionize

Sunday 18th December

Academy

After conquering the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festivals, US groove kings CLUTCH have announced their return to the UK this December.

Confirming four headline dates including the Roundhouse in London, the band will be bringing North Carolina's southern rock group Valient Thorr as special guests. The two bands toured across the USA together back in 2011 with the legendary Motörhead, but this will be the first time they've hit the road together in the UK. Opening the shows will be long time Clutch buddies Lionize, getting the party started with their own fusion of rock and funk.

A sure fire way to brighten up your holiday season, Clutch will be bringing the festive cheer to the following:
Thu 15th Dec - LONDON Roundhouse
Fri 16th Dec - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Sat 17th Dec - CARDIFF University Great Hall
Sun 18th Dec - MANCHESTER Academy

 

The Temper Trap

+ Special Guests

Monday 19th December

Academy 2

Thick As Thieves sees the Temper Trap collaborating with outside songwriters for the first time in their history, with striking results. Justin Parker (Lana Del Rey, Sia, Bat For Lashes), Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter), Pascal Gabriel (Ladyhawke, Goldfrapp) and Malay (co-writer & producer of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange) all collaborated with the band to explore new musical ground while remaining true to their inimitable signature sound.

 

Praise for Thick of Thieves:

Epic,” shimmering,” and soaring” - we’re crumbled to cliches…”VICE / Noisey
Songs filled with hope, raw energy and passion” - The Independent
A monster - highly polished, filled with huge, arm-waving choruses” - Evening Standard
Anthemic 80s style pop with a whisper of U2 about it” - Metro
Their most ambitious record yet” - The Sun
You'll find yourself belting along” Line of Best Fit

 

Watch Fall Together: https://youtu.be/oop2g5p1lIs

Order Thick As Thieves:  http://smarturl.it/ThickAsThievesAlbum

 

The Temper Trap have sold more than one million albums and their songs have been streamed more than 200 million times on Spotify and 20 million times on YouTube. They came to prominence in 2009 with their acclaimed debut Conditions, which, propelled by the global hits Sweet Disposition, Fader and Love Lost, saw them crash land into the charts in their native Australia, their adopted homeland of the UK, and worldwide. The band’s self-titled second album spawned the hits Trembling Hands and Need Your Love, and caught the attention of the likes of Coldplay, Africa Express and the Rolling Stones, all of whom asked the band to join them on tour, whilst they also graced the stages of major festivals including Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Coachella. In between they were nominated and won a number of prestigious ARIA Awards in Australia, as well as receiving a nomination for best international group at the BRIT Awards.


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