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Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer live at Gullivers 17.07.2017

Chap Hop! Hoorah!

It’s been 10 years now that Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer has been traversing the world to gentify the world of rap and introduce a sense of decorum and, if nothing else, better grammar. He returned to Manchester to play Gullivers again. As he quipped to the crowd: “you only play Gullivers twice… once on the way up…”

He was here to stir up a hullabaloo about his new long player There’s A Rumpus Going On, as well as a snazzy range of handkerchiefs, and a slightly less snazzy range of “undershirts”.

He opens his summer soirée with ‘All Hail The Chap’ with not only pays an ode to his magazine of choice but lays out ground rules for attendees and prospective party members. From then on it’s his calling card, ‘Chap Hop History’. Over the last decade he must have played it a thousand times but he still keeps it fresh and never shows signs of wearying of it.

The show is a mix of the old and the new, There’s A Rumpus Going On is represented by ‘Still Can’t Play The Trombone’ and ‘We Need To Talk About Kanye’. The latter goes down a storm with a parody of the subject matter’s appearance at Glastonbury thrown in for good measure. Not played tonight but from the same album is…

There’s a rare outing of the ever green pop song ‘Curtesy For Me’ from The Tweed Album and we get a rousing Bavarian sing song too.

What with Mr B being in t’North he rolls out his classic medley of traditional folks songs from t’Mondays, t’Inspiral Carpets and t’James. He rounds it off with the chorus of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ before a few cheeky gags at a Mr Ian Brown’s incapacity to carry a tune in a bucket.

Prompted by the audience, but not by much we suspect, there is a healthy dose of songs from his frankly phenomenal debut album, Flattery Not Included. Ironically, a large section of the lyrics on that album are about unhealthy doses. These songs are still as bawdy and hilarious as they were when I first saw them live in 2010. ‘Timothy’ rips up a formerly well-known DJ, ‘Crack Song’ prefigures Amy Winehouse’s decline and then the song that always brings the house down, ‘Kissing In Porn’.

Which just leaves us with his usual ending: ‘Songs For Acid Edward’ and a hearty love song to the little pills that once made him feel rather queer. This being Manchester everyone had a nice little dance.

A short and sweet encore with a cutesy, heartfelt cover of Bowie’s ‘Starman’ then it’s off to mingle with the chumrades.

Raconteur par excellence, Mr B never disappoints, always entertains.

Can’t Stop Shan’t Stop review


Live – The Sundowners at Jimmy’s 29.04.2017

Here at colourhorizon we used to love the Roadhouse; Manchester’s famous dingey dive. So we were happy to go to Jimmy’s which is keeping the tradition alive. It’s a different venue but it’s in the same building; it’s underground, the floors are sticky and you can barely see the stage. It’s great.

We’re here to see The Sundowners, who sold out the venue amidst a buzz of anticipation. They whipped up a terrific set. Sure, they’re psych and they may initially sound a little similar to some of the other bands around but there are a few very important weapons in their arsenal which make them stand out from the competition.

Firstly, they’re tighter than battleship bulkheads, each member of the band contributing equal parts, but there’s no one swinging the lead here! Similarly, what is really commendable is that the songs are deliciously short. A dozen other band would happily crank out these songs for ten minutes a go. We mean this in the best way possible; but The Sundowners know when to stop! And make no mistake, these songs are hot and full of aggro; snapping little crocodiles. The rhythm section really purrs too, giving a forceful post-punk vibe to the sweaty dance-psych jams. All in all they’re somewhere between The Au Pairs and Lola Colt. Or not at all.

Then the final piece of the jigsaw is the double barrel attack of Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly’s vocals; warm and energising. Imagine Grace Slick and Patty Smith cruising the freeways. Plus they give The Sundowners a cheeky shot of The B-52s party-hard antics. You can keep your shoegaze mopers and your hipsters with their Noel Fielding wardrobes.

The Sundowners; they have a sack-load of what you want.

Heaven On Earth At The Halle 22.04.2017

Down at the Halle St Peters on Saturday, a deconsecrated church, afternoon mass was being held. Sermons with guitars and gospels with pedals. A congregation of spiritual brothers-in-arms in attendance and a selection of Manchester’s most heavenly bands. Colourhorizon is happy to produce the parish newsletter to report how a sunny days indoors offered enlightenment.

The first artist we saw was Hana (Hannah Nicholson), resplendent in pink. Putting the dream back in dreampop, backed by sporadic Vini Reilly-ish guitar, tender keys and even more sporadic drums, this is more of a showcase for ornate vocals. Most impressive is when she lets the high notes float and you know you’re watching a magnificent singer. One song was called ‘Jasmine’ which seems a perfect title for songs as delicate as this.

The Maitlands follow in the grand tradition of Mancunian pop that stretches back to the Buzzcocks and beyond. They’re bright, witty and fizzy. Playing an essentially best-of set list that showcased their recent Salford Democracy EP they rattled through their time with energy in abundance. It is easy to be won over by the simple charms of The Maitlands; their songs are uncomplicated and highlight the sheer thrill of a guitar riff, some smart words and enervating drumming. Moreover, frontman Carl always gets people laughing in-between the songs. Here he was musing about the heights of the previous band from the length of the mic cable and asking the thermostat to be turned down to 18 degrees. Due to some sound issues he was experimenting with two microphones, which won’t help the Mark E Smith comparisons, but in truth he’s closer to Alternative TV’s Mark Perry. The band later reported sound issues from stage but from the audience side is sounded sharp and crisp, with plenty of space for all the instruments. The cheeky cowbell number ‘A Few Choice Words’ continues to be a highlight.  It’s pretty impossible to dislike The Maitlands.

The Creature Comfort are full-bodied, full-blooded rock ‘n’ roll. It’s the kind of two guitar attack that is best associated with the pirate swagger of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers but when frontman Ben takes to the stage the comparisons always veer towards Iggy Pop. Ben is a whirling maniac on stage; flailing and falling, crooning and careering, shrieking and shaking. He loves leaving the stage and at one point sits with down to sing to some children, thus influencing the next generation of stars. His band are tighter than two coats of paints and they ripped through a headshot of songs like controlled explosions. Creature Comfort need to be seen to be believed. Consider yourself cleansed on the altar of rock ‘n’ roll.

Headlining the afternoon mass were the mighty Hey Bulldog. I’ve seen the Hendrix fuelled Psych-Blues boogie outfit a few times now but here they were transcendent. A power trio for the new age, they tore through a breathtakingly fluid set, with sky-high guitar offset by a magnificently supple rhythm section. Playing a bigger room clearly suits Hey Bulldog well, with space for those dynamite riffs to ring. The highlight of the set was probably ‘Under My Spell’ in which guitar slinger Rob blasts a riff that is the equivalent of an 8 year olds’ drawing of a fire spewing drag racer.  With a set that seemed to pass by in seconds, the crowd was left stunned and begging for more.

You are all absolved. Another cucumber sandwich, vicar?

Hey Bulldog ‘Divide And Conquer’

Hey Bulldog; the spiralling Strat wizard Rob M and his unstoppable rhythm machine Ben & Matt are back.
‘Divide & Conquer’, a favourite from their fabulously entertaining live set, has captured in all its pomp and circumstance for the world to enjoy.
It’s been played on 6music amongst others and is available to buy right now. But what does it sound like?

Like 8 top-secret military hovercraft on manoeuvres in the desert.
Like dangling precariously on the top gantry of a burning oil rig.
Like a Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee showdown.
Like a phalanx of red clad Spartans; shields locked.
Like the obsidian eyes of the Giant Squid.
Like the children of the Hydra’s teeth.
Like the level boss you can’t beat.
Like Connery vs Moore.
Like Hey Bulldog.


Buy: https://heybulldog.bandcamp.comhey bulldog


Video Premiere – Three Dimensional Tanx with ‘Son Of Go’

Ladies and gents, take your seats in the fleapit and get ready for a premiere!

Three Dimensional Tanx is proud to present the creepy new video for ‘Son Of Go’, lead single for the rabble rousing, ruckus raising new album Attack!

So let’s turn down the lights and get on with the show!

Well, that was a little creepy wasn’t it? Looks like a Devo home movie.

Well kids, we hope you all enjoyed it!

And don’t forget to buy the album of course!

three dimensional attack

Going with more of a Hannah-Barbera theme, here’s the video for ‘I Am Go’ from the previous self-titled album…

Click for an interview with Three Dimensional Tanx!

Three Dimensional Tanx – Attack!

Three Dimensional Tanx are revolting!

Lancaster’s very own garage-punks of psych appear to be kicking against the pricks. With so much smooth BJM influenced psych around at the moment, these lads are making their songs shorter and dissonant. Instead of the 8 minute jams preferred by their contemporaries, they’re moving towards sub 2 minute splurts of guttural energy. Hell, the fact that their second album is simply titled Attack! does offer something of a clue…

three dimensional attack

Even the aggravatingly cheap and nasty album art reinforces this move towards the artificial and the fractured. The Technicolor sci-fi of debut album Three Dimensional Tanx is gone, long gone.

But with spliced anarchy we also see increased humour. Half Man Half Biscuit would be proud of a song titled ‘Astral Plane Flight Attendant’. So even when Spacey and the boys are putting their bovver boots on, they still have the same impish smile. And a drummer who usually can’t keep his pants on.

The chaos starts with the amphetamine rush of ‘Motorbootin’, an earache inducing bashing of drums that gives way to Spacey at full pitch, spinning words a mile a minute, shooting straight on while the music roars behind him. He sings of dirty floors while his band writhe on one.

‘Scene Not Herd’ chugs on a sleeze-ball riff. Spacey’s oily croon. Icksville.

‘Spacey’s Cure’; heavy on the keys and swirling in the grand old 3D tanx style.

‘Breathe Brother Breathe’ is pure punk rammalamma, sloppy backing vocals and breakneck guitar. Overshooting The Saints they splat closer to The Dead Kennedy’s.

‘Pink Spaceship’ will get ’em pogoing. Careering like Wacky Races in Death Valley; breakneck, thrilling and daft.

The aforementioned ‘Astral Plane Flight Attendant’ closes the album off with their specialist style of lava lamp dance, suggestive of a world where Hawkwind presented Rainbow.

In conclusion, The Stooges for the real ale age have smashed it up.

Don’t forget the read the review of the first album and an interview with the band!

The Maitlands live 19.08.2016

“Thanks for coming down. Or coming up. Whichever way you’re coming”

On Friday The Maitlands seemed like three different bands colliding. Ste on guitar plays fast and hard, buzz-bombing Clash-like. Frontman Carl has the charm and wit of Nigel from Half Man Half Biscuit. And then there’s Jonty on drums. I was impressed last time I saw them, but he was a demon here (Mike from The Lucid Dream congratulated him on the size of his testicles after the gig). Jonty has escaped from a power trio’s Transit Van somewhere. Logically, a punk band with a rock hero drummer and a laid back 6 foot 6 quipster on vocals shouldn’t work. The fact that they sound tight and unified is as impressive as it is puzzling. But then, when did a Manchester band ever let logic get in the way of a good time?


The set is brisk and swerves from poppy to heavy, a shirtless Jonty falling off his stool at one point. The highlight was ‘A Few Choice Words’ which ended the set, splattered all over with cowbell (more cowbell!). Partway between Gang Of Four and a burning oil rig.

If there was one drawback it was the sound. Jonty was awesome but the drums were so loud in the mix Carl was struggling to make himself heard, like a lecturer competing with a cement mixer (albeit a perfectly timed, top-of-the-range cement mixer). A shame considering he is one of the few singers around actually worth listening to.

This band is not mithered about looking good, but whether the crowd is having fun. The crowd, (nice and large) did, thanks.

Pint, anyone?