Don’t Get Caught Out! The Courteeners All Set For Boro’s Mighty Empire! Plus Loads More


On Monday the sad news hit the town on the departure of Tony Mowbray from their beloved Middlesbrough football club, it’s residents needed cheering up and fast and what better way than the announcement of Manchester’s finest, The Courteeners.

Courteeners toured the UK earlier this year with a huge sold out tour which was their biggest headline tour yet and included a packed out Brixton Academy show in London. The band performed at UK festivals this year including Glastonbury, T in the Park and V Festival, which were all second headline performances, and recently performed at their own sold out two night concert at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl with support from the likes of Miles Kane and The Strypes.

The Manchester show of their December tour will be the third time Courteeners have headlined Manchester Phones 4U Arena in the last 4 years and follows last December’s packed out show to 17,000 people. It will round off what has been a hugely successful year for Courteeners.

Courteeners released their third top ten album ‘ANNA’ earlier this year which followed a two year break since the band’s last album ‘Falcon’, which charted at #6 and was the follow-up to the bands #4 debut album ‘St. Jude’. They released new single ‘Van Der Graaff’ in May, the follow-up to ‘Lose Control’ which was the first single from ‘ANNA’, and will be announcing the release of a new single from the album soon.

The Empire date has just been added and takes place on the 5th December. This venue is superb and looking at the rest of the tour has to be one of the places to seem them.  It’s small,intimate and will give you a far better chance of seeing the band properly compared to their final homecoming show.


What a great start to the Christmas season!!!!!!!!!




Jake Burns formed Stiff Little Fingers In 1977 after seeing the Clash play in his hometown Belfast. (The band’s name was taken from a 1977 Vibrators lyric “If it wasn’t for your stiff little fingers nobody would know you were dead”…) Gordon Ogilvie, a local journalist, caught their live show and was impressed. He encouraged them to write their own songs about what they knew best–life in Belfast. Jake came back twelve days later with “Suspect Device” and “Wasted Life”. In November of ’77, with Ogilvie’s help, they released those two songs on their own Rigid Digits label, with an initial pressing of only 350. Ogilvie sent a copy to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing it every night. The interest generated resulted in a distribution deal through Rough Trade in England.

These were the first of what became SLF’s signature style: lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment.The band released the classic Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster singles in 1978. A local fanzine named Alternative Ulster asked the band to write a song specially for a giveaway flexi-disc. Although the plans for the flexi fell through, “Alternative Ulster” became the first single released by Rough Trade in October of ’78. Jake once introduced it as “a song about having nothing to do.” It became a punk rock classic. In 1979 they became the first band ever to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label – with their debut Inflammable Material.

A string of incendiary LP’s followed and though focused on their new material, they always play the old favorites at gigs. Jake said, “You have to strike a balance. The difficulty with a band like ourselves is to try not make it sound like a cabaret band. Obviously, it’d be very easy to go, ‘Hey, here’s another old one you may remember.’ A lot of the old songs the audience greet like old friends….I suppose it’s the same as any band that’s been around for any length of time….And yes, there are nights that we don’t particularly want to play “Alternative Ulster” or “Suspect Device” because we’ve heard them ’til they’re coming out our ears. But there’s always the possibility that somebody out there has never seen the band before, never heard them.”



We can reveal that East-Anglian rock-based-pop-music-band THE DARKNESS are to undertake a lengthy UK & Ireland tour to round off their 2013. Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their legendary number one debut album ‘Permission To Land’ – which featured the classics – ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’ and ‘I Believe In a Thing Called Love’ and garnered the band 3 Brit Awards – they will play the record in full alongside their hits from the subsequent two top ten albums ‘One Way Ticket To Hell And Back’ and last year’s ‘Hot Cakes’.

Taking in some of the less-frequently-visited parts of the UK, the band have dubbed the tour something of an ‘Outreach Programme’*.   Shows in some major cities are included in the run, but you will note that these events will happen in rooms that can be safely described as ‘intimate’ compared to March’s tour of large city halls across the UK. Having played some smaller North American dates following those March shows (not to mention 2012′s tour of stadia and arenas with Lady Gaga), the band was reminded how much they enjoyed the sweat and heat of the ‘club show’ environment, and so the idea for this tour was born.



Recording under the alias Fatboy Slim, British DJ/producer Norman Cook was one of the major pioneers of big beat; he ranks second only to the Chemical Brothers in terms of breaking the genre in the States. Cook samples from a wide range of music—house, funk, even rock—to create electronic music specifically designed for dancing. This emphasis on hedonism over experimentalism caused many techno purists to scorn Fatboy Slim, though it granted him immense success both at home and in America.

Cook, who was christened Quentin, started DJ’ing at age 15. In 1985 he changed his name to Norman and joined the British pop band the Housemartins, replacing departing bassist and founding member Ted Key. The Housemartins were known for their socially conscious, no-frills image and scathing sarcasm. Their 1986 and 1987 albums yielded several Top 20 pop hits, including “Caravan of Love” (Number One U.K., 1986) and “Happy Hour” (Number Three U.K., 1986).

Following the band’s split in 1988, Housemartins frontman Paul Heaton and drummer Dave Hemingway formed the Beautiful South; Cook, meanwhile, returned to his dance-music roots with Beats International, which scored a Number One hit in the U.K. with its 1990 single “Dub Be Good to Me.” Cook also recorded under numerous other monikers, including Pizzaman, Freakpower, and Mighty Dub Katz – who all charted in the U.K. – before embarking on his Fatboy Slim project.

He made a minor splash in America with 1996′s Better Living Through Chemistry and its single, “Going Out of My Head,” which drew its defining guitar sample from Yvonne Elliman’s remake of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain.” But it was 1998′s You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby that transformed Cook into an international star with its inescapable hits “The Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You,” the latter of which stayed on the U.S. pop chart for 20 weeks in 1999. Cook veered away from big beat for his next venture, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, on which he worked with live vocalists (including R&B singer Macy Gray) for the first time. The single “Weapon of Choice” went on to hit Number 33 on the Modern Rock charts, and drew attention for its music video featuring a dancing (and flying) Christopher Walken, which won six MTV video awards in 2001.


By Andy on October 25, 2013

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