Tag Archives: Rock

I Love Manchester

“Following last month’s tragic incident, and the subsequent temporary closure of the main area outside the venue, Blink-182’s forthcoming concert on Friday 14 July will no longer be able to take place here at Manchester Arena.
We apologise for not being able to stage this event and for the inconvenience caused to Blink-182’s Manchester fans.
Blink-182 have announced that they will play Manchester Castlefield Bowl on Friday 14th July 2017. This show replaces their cancelled concert at Manchester Arena on the same date.”


I have not attended a gig since before the events of 22nd May 2017. The last gig I went to was Maximo Park at Albert Hall on 19th May, just days before that awful night. Although I was not at the Arena when the attack took place, this was something that shook our entire city, our home, my home.

I have been lucky enough to attend concerts at many venues over the years. I was around 4 years old at my first ever concert at G-Mex (Manchester Central), and I was 7 years old when I went to my first gig at Manchester Arena, or as we knew it back then, “Nynex”.

I hold many of Manchester’s venues dear, and the Arena is one of those places. No matter who you’re about to watch, as soon as you walk through those doors into the dark it takes hold of you. It’s so exciting! It’s part of what makes going to live gigs and events so special. No matter your age, taste, colour, background or beliefs, there is something for everyone, not just at the Arena but in all our live venues. That’s part of what made 22nd May 2017 even more devastating; thousands of young people with friends and relatives just having the best time, unaware and oblivious that their lives were about to be cruelly snatched away from them so fast. However, we must all keep going to these events, keep enjoying ourselves, and most importantly, keep on living!


I recall some of my favourite concerts at Manchester Arena, and there have been so many… Roger Waters, Electric Light Orchestra, Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Slipknot, Give It A Name Festival 2006, and to bring me to my next gig (while also being fond memory) – Blink-182.


As the message at the start of this post reads, Blink-182 will now be performing their show at Castlefield Bowl tomorrow evening. I have not been there for a gig since d:percussion in 2006! Castlefield Bowl has hosted some absolutely outstanding acts recently; James, Blossoms, Arcade Fire to name but a few, and I’m sure Blink will not let us down!

Blink-182 are without Tom DeLonge, which for some people may be a positive thing, but I’ve always adored Tom and his instantly recognisable tones… (“WHERRREEEE ARRRRREEEE YOUUUUUU?!” If you know, you know…!) However, I’m really looking forward to hearing them perform with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, and I’ve definitely enjoyed their new music together so far.


Blink-182 fill me with nostalgia. I’ve listened to them since I was around 12 or 13 years old after listening to their songs mostly via The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back). I can’t wait to see them again and I hope to hear some of my old favourites.

Anyway, I highly doubt that I will be in a position to write a post-gig review after tomorrow night… I’ve invested in a hip flask…!

I will leave you all with two YouTube links. The first is one of my favourite Blink songs… the second video is for all those who were affected either directly or indirectly by the events on 22nd May 2017 at Manchester Arena. Tony Walsh’s poem, “This Is The Place”.

I love Manchester.

Blink-182 – “Aliens Exist” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=672WYeU1f4U
Tony Walsh – “This Is The Place” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r0L3VjkFsc


Vukovi at Sound Control, Manchester

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Scottish four-piece rock outfit Vukovi are without doubt one of the most exciting bands around right now and are touring their debut new self-titled album across the UK.

Vukovi have been working extremely hard on their new album and that is evident as soon as you hear it, whether you’ve bought the record or have been lucky enough to hear them perform it live. The noisy pop/rock show went down a treat at Sound Control in Manchester this week. Plus, the band were able to play in the bigger room upstairs due to a PA failure in the small room downstairs, but this just made it all the better.

Their music at times can be reminiscent of the likes of No Doubt fused with Incubus, with a flicker of Foals. They have an eclectic mix of rock, pop and even a little trance, and this blends brilliantly for an all-round live show that was enjoyable all the way through.

The gig began with the track “La Di Da” which was a superb way to open the show, with a pounding bassline and lyrics full of attitude. Right away the guitars and vocals blew the audience away, and it was LOUD! This set the tone for the evening ahead, following on with “Weirdo”. This is quite an upbeat, poppy track but the instrumentation and vocals again just continued to flow, totally saturating the crowd, it sounded immense. Janine got the audience involved, taking an enthusiastic fan’s mobile phone in her hand to film the band on stage live which was a great touch, giving it a more intimate feel despite being in the larger room.

“And He Lost His Mind” has a fast punk vibe and the build-up to the chorus was great, with the punchy bassline, heavy riffs and a combination of delicate vocals in the verse to the potent chorus melodies.

Before the album came out, Vukovi had released a number of singles, and the next song, “Bouncy Castle” was one. This got the crowd jumping, just like being on a bouncy castle, and with some more onstage phone filming from Janine there were certainly a few more happy fans!


The middle of the set consisted of songs such as “Prey”, “Wander” and “He Wants Me Not”. There was that cosy feeling whereby you felt close to the band, particularly in “He Wants Me Not”; Janine asked the crowd to get their mobile phones out and shine their lights and the crowd duly obliged. The catchy, well-played guitar riffs were still consistent throughout the middle of the gig with excellent drumming in the backdrop, all topped off with Janine’s powerful voice.

A song which struck a chord was the beautiful “Colour Me In”. This could be classed as a love song, maybe even a bit of a ballad. Regardless, it is a stunning track from the new album and it sounded just sublime in a live setting.

The last few songs of the set were just supreme, from the Enter Shikari trance-style tones of “I’m Wired” to one of my favourites, “Animal”. The crowd interaction with the band was loads of fun throughout the whole show, but the band and crowd were perfectly coordinated in simultaneously pulling shapes with their arms in the air for“Animal”.

The show concluded with “Boy George”, which was also released as a single before the album. This song just emits attitude, with fast, punky upbeat riffs and lyrics with intent and demeanor.

Vukovi are an electrifying rock band who are all incredibly, individually musically talented which makes them such a great act live. Their debut album is well-produced and I loved it from start to finish. It’s great to finally hear their album in full as I have been listening to them over and over since I stumbled across this band for the first time in May 2016. This was an even better gig than I’d expected, and I’ll be making a conscious effort to go and watch them again at Y Not Festival in July!


La Di Da
And He Lost His Mind
Bouncy Castle
So Long Gone
He Wants Me Not
Colour Me In
I’m Wired
Target Practice
Boy George

Listen to “Animal” by Vukovi here on the official YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1TgTVXEpYQ