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Hannah Tinker



Lorely Rodriguez AKA Empress Of is fiercely fighting-the-good-fight. With lyrics delivered with her LA twang that wraps around millennial vocals – see “don’t be pissy with me” and “I don’t even smoke weed / it gives me anxiety” – Empress Of may have the ingredients for your run-of-the-mill pop songstress but she’s working with a different recipe to the norm.

Of course, releasing an LP infused with an R’n’B basis (her debut album Me) wasn’t a rarity in 2015 but Rodriguez stepped it up a level with the catchy electronica influxes throughout and a tracklist that smacks the stereotype of a dismissive female off its feet. From Kitty Kat to Need MyselfMe is rife with angsty feminine empowerment and, you’re invested in every word. These cries for self-love and fighting back are expanded on with the feat that the album was all, entirely self-produced. In comparison, 2018’s sophomore record, Us, sees her work alongside the likes of Dev Hynes, duo DJDS (Kanye West, Khalid, Kacy Hill), Cole M.G.N. (Ariel Pink, Christine and the Queens). It’s a collaborative piece that offers less of an internal monologue but more of a discussion on about mutual relationships.

It’s clear that the record, and Lorely’s method of creating it, cultivated from her peers and her relationships with them. When we catch her, she’s in Cologne, having played Amsterdam the night before at 12:30 am. Images enter the mind of fluoro-brightened rooms and revelers lip-syncing her high-octane hit track Woman Is A Word – as featured on another female-fronted plotline, the recently aired Killing Eve. She speaks of her relationship with Dev Hynes – who produced Everything To Me, the first track on Us – as “friends first and then collaborators”, with the singer recruiting him particularly because she penned When I’m With Him about their friendship. Yes, yet another stereotypical barrier is broken down, this time in the form of a song about platonic relationships.

Her reign began when ‘Empress’ was brought up on a tarot card that a friend pulled out for. “I related to it so much, the mothering, strong, feminine energy of it. There are so many parts of me. The anxious side, the insecure side but I feel so empowered by my own music and I wanted to show that to people.” What really translates is that she’s by no means calling herself the Messiah though – “I can’t be that person…” Instead, she wants to embody a character that raises others up, be that showcasing her friends’ talents through collaboration or sanctioning positivity into the minds of her audience.

Empress Of isn’t just about empowering women. A feminist through and through, equality is the name of the game, as best transcribed by the recent Perfume Genius cover of the aforementioned Us track When I’m With Him. “I love that he sang the song from his perspective. It’s just beautiful.” Lorely mentions how her version of the track is from the point of view of a heterosexual woman and Perfume Genius takes it and eloquently ties it in, from his own point of view.

As we continue, the talk turns to social media as Lorely reveals that she no longer uses Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth – Facebook. “Everyone’s constantly resharing political stories and views. I’ve seen friends go down spirals about ‘fake news’ and other political garbage.” Being from LA she is of course mostly aware of North American news and media but, we’re not too different over this side of the Atlantic. Globally, Facebook and generally all social media platforms have morphed from ‘hey look at my holiday snaps’ into a full-blown news site with twenty-four hour, twenty-four-seven, updated every microsecond. “I find it important to stay in touch with what’s happening in the world but I don’t want to be clouded by it.” A valid point of view amongst a society where ‘procrastination’ is a regular in our vocabulary.

The next two months sees Lorely take to writing once more, so perhaps You is in the pipeline? Two particular characters that always catch her attention are Mariah Carey and French new wave artist, Lizzy Mercier Descloux. “Before every show, I look at these two photographs and, it makes me feel like, they’re watching over me.” Let’s hope that these two iconic acts only continue to watch over this LA protégé.

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Disko Never Dies – Remembering The Fall


When Mark E Smith died in January 2018, nights playing only The Fall seemed to spring up everywhere – well, London and Hebden Bridge – but surprisingly, not Manchester. Deciding this was not on, myself and Daniel Cooke, of Let’s Make This Precious, got in touch with the Star & Garter with a view of putting on a one-off Fall club night; strictly all The Fall, all night. Onlookers praised the talents of Smith and saluted his memory, late into the night.

The evening went off without a hitch so, it felt only right to do it once more, this time on Saturday 23rd March 2019 – one year on from the previous display of memorial affection for the Fall singer. Entry is £5 per person, with the night running from 11 pm ’til 3 am. Want to know more? You can RSVP to the event right HERE.

There’s room for this to become an annual celebration. Taking a look back at his career here are some tracks that we’ll be playing on the night that speak to a unique artist that remains peerless from his generation.

Rock n Roll isn’t even music really. It’s a mistreating of instruments to get feelings over

The Fall would have happened regardless of punk – the young Mark E Smith was already chaining Captain Beefheart, The Velvet Underground, CAN etc – but the ’76 moment provided an open door for Smith to sneak through and an infrastructure on which to launch. 

Industrial Estate is probably the only point in the Fall’s history where they sound aligned with what’s going on around them. This track was recently used at the end of Ben Wheatley’s film of the Ballard book High Rise, and was perhaps the only good thing about that film. There’s a bit of a parallel with Smith and Ballard; both lived in suburbia, writing about the weird from a non-metropolitan vantage point, and were sneered at for this.

The fact that weird fiction/horror writers like HPLovecraft, Arthur Machen and MR James are widely read now is thanks in no small part to Smith championing their work at a time when those names (especially Machen) had fallen well out of favour. Pulp horror would be a huge influence on Smith’s writing (Mark Fisher wrote brilliantly on this in his essay Memorex for the Krakens), and The Fall track, Wings, is the most successful, most thrilling embodiment of that. The song’s protagonist appears to be shot during the US Civil War, which is the trigger for him hitting a cosmic timelock darts him back to 1825 and then forward to the present, via gremlins and flabby time-traveling wings. Billy Bragg this ain’t.

The fact that The Fall burned through some sixty-six members is well-documented but is also a bit of a red herring if you’re looking for clues about the man. He was a great artist, he just looked nothing at all like our expectations of great artists. 6ft with a stoop and wearing your grandad’s slacks, he dressed like a man twenty years older than his age and cultivated an image more akin to a world-weary mafia boss than an avant-garde musician. But he was an avant-garde musician, which does mean that a lot of The Fall isn’t really aimed at the dancefloor. When it is, however, the results are thrilling. Hear the birth of LCD Soundsystem on Telephone ThingJames Murphy would even directly lift the track’s “I’m tapped” hook for the 2005 single Movement.

As Let’s Make This Precious‘ co-DJ Daniel Cooke likes to remind me, The Fall were nothing if not a great cover’s band. Victoria, There’s a Ghost in My House, White Lightening – some of the group’s definitive cuts were covers. Lost In Music is my personal favourite. Released in 1992, you can hear the influence of this track’s louche WMC disco all over Pulp’s His’n’Hers, which would come out two years later. Sensibly, Mark E Smith sat out the Britpop thing. Insensibly, he used it as an opportunity to go bankrupt.

There was a view peddled in obituaries last year that Mark E Smith declined as an artist, that the booze got to him; this is a wrong view. Imperial Wax Solvent, The Unutterable, Your Future Our Clutter – just three utterly indispensable post-millennium Fall albums, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Just listen to Dedication Not Medication, the electroclash banger from The Fall’s penultimate LP. You know that awkward moment when you go to the doctors over your chronic bedwetting, but the GP is Piers Brosnan and he’s prescribing you Curly Wurly bars? More than anything, Mark E Smith was overlooked as a surrealistic, a Manchester Magritte. And, just so you know, that bassline is about to demolish your flat.

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LIVE: Neneh Cherry @ Albert Hall


The cult of personality can be a strange thing and Neneh Cherry exemplifies that phenomenon in one package. She did when she exploded into public consciousness as the most famous Buffalo Girl and she does 30 years later. A sold-out Albert Hall was thick with the air of Adidas, cagoules and old Hacienda regulars, as the crowd made their way into the venue and it was clear that it was going to be a very generational thing.

All areas were completely full and beautiful staging surrounded the musicians as they took the stage just before Ms. Cherry herself. Dressed entirely in Die Marke Mid Den 3 Striefen (Adidas), draped black and white dress, white shell toes and hair tightly braided. She bounded on stage and immediately threw herself into the rhythms of the band.

The first couple of tracks were standouts from her recent critically acclaimed album Broken Politics. Cheap Breakfast Special being the first song which she messed up but was rescued by Rosie (the incredible multi-instrumentalist ) then apologised with great genuity. This was followed by Fallen Leaves / Shot Gun Shack and Deep Vein Thrombosis – which some found ironic taking into account the average age in the venue. She engaged readily with the audience with charm throughout. Riffing on Vimto coming from the city, Shaun Ryder and all her other connections to Mancunia. This is a multi-faceted woman with numerous influences who has always filtered them into her creative ventures whether that be cooking, music or fashion.


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She headed then into upbeat Four Tet-produced tracks from the last two albums. Percussion led and manna to all the mid ’40s/early 50’s ravers who were by now well oiled and ready to dance. Her voice is a lot more powerful live than you’d imagine and her excellent musicians taking her through Afro and Latin-inspired breakdowns allowing her to show off her own floor moves with aplomb. She returned to her most recent album for an excellent rendition of Kong before half apologising for time traveling back to perform Man Child which was an obvious crowd favourite.

The acclaim and noise after each track seemed a little disproportionate to the performance from my perspective. No doubt she was professional and vibrant but as she hit the end of the set she dropped Buffalo Stance and the place erupted in wild applause. Almost as loud as I ever heard in the venue which is saying something.  She returned for a two-track encore and included 7 Seconds another global hit from the back catalogue. Overall a short but tight show with excellent musicianship and staging. However, the overwhelming feeling leaving Albert Hall was how much the perception of cool and nostalgia can affect peoples relationship to music.

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Having toured with SLAVES and been compared to the likes of Deerhunter, Kurt Vile and Mac DeMarcoWillie J Healey is fast making himself heard. Summarised by a headline tour that started in February this year and is fast selling out, the Oxford native is making his way to YES in Manchester on said tour (20th February to be precise, you keen kids). 

His first album People and Their Dogs took months to pull together with the musician overthinking and stop/starting numerous times trying to get the perfect hit. Of course, it was suitably perfect because it had been meticulously fine-tuned and refined by its composer’s skilled mindset. By the time People and Their Dogs came to fruition, his second album was already on the cards. Subconsciously attracted to the phrase ‘666 Kill’ like a reverse exorcism, he constructed an ominous lyrical sketch of his own death at the hands of the devil. This unlikely muse possessed his creativity to the extent that he rushed downstairs to his garage-based studio and single-handedly recorded the vocals and all of the instrumentation in a single session.

“I’m not some kind of devil worshipper or anything like that,” he laughs. “I was trying to touch on different ideas I had: weird things like planes going missing and an obsession with death, which sounds depressing but at the time I found it really interesting. We all have weird little things that run across our minds and we generally don’t say them out loud. For good reason! But it felt like an exciting process to write in that style and not put a filter on it.”

Having performed with bands in Oxford from a young age, Healey turned to songwriting and developed his skills via open mic nights, acoustic shows and local support gigs. So it all fell into place and, in particular, the tour with SLAVES cemented him on the indie scene and not as ‘just-another-singer-songwriter’ but something with a punk twang that delves into broader topics than romantic emotions. “I try not to be too aware of trends, so I can focus on writing the best song I can regardless of whether I think it will be cool or not.” He notes how the great albums of the ‘70s feel out of time in contrast to the booming drums and slick production that places many ‘80s records firmly within their era. “A timeless classic will never go out of fashion.”

But what tracks are constantly on Healey’s ‘top tracks’ lists, always cemented in his mind and always looked to as a point of inspiration? Look no further than right here. You can see that he doesn’t follow the trends or stick to one genre just by listening in. So, what are you waiting for?

Joe Jackson – Is she really going out with him?

A classic, I can completely relate to young Joe in this track.

Squeeze – Cool For Cats

Another classic. A special british treat that makes my ears smile. Love you squeeze

Happyness – Anna Lisa Calls

I love this song so much. I must have played it 1000s of times, I wish I wrote it. More people need to hear it because it’s sick

The Boom Town Rats – Rat Trap

Bob G at his best. Most savage bass tone dirty dirty boys got the crowds going loopo

The Stranglers – Peaches

Another filthy british classic about oily skin and a love for bums so strong that they wrote a hit about it, good one gizzas.

Neil Young – Walk On

Neil Young’s response to people talking breeze behind his back. Feel ya Neil you beautiful hippy

Childish Gambino – Red Bone

This track is already a classic and it’s only been out for a couple of years.

Grover Washington Jr. – Just The Two of Us

Our old friend Grover WJ making hot sauce with chicken legend Bill Withers. Tears flow down my cheeks Bill, ya got me again. Sing me to sleep GOAT

Supertramp – The Logical Song

A song I’ve always loved. A young man losing his innocence..

Bill Withers – Use Me

Say no more Bill, sometimes it feels good to be used.

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Mealtime are the Manchester-based six-piece splashing a cotton candy coloured hue on to the grimy indie scene. With slots in the city’s smaller venues now under their belt, they’re soon taking to YES’ Pink Room for a full-frontal headline shake-up with Wyvern Lingo and Darcie, for the masters of promotion: DHP. Of course, ahead of this breakthrough, we wanted to sit down with the Mealtime organism. There were no shaking, quivering nerves here, pleased with themselves and humbled by the opportunity, Mealtime are keen to take the stage.


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@__mealtime , sick new band 😎🕺

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Having started its days as Sam Craighan’s solo project, Mealtime is now a completely harmonious entity consisting of six creative individuals who each understand Sam’s process. “It happened naturally! I’m very lucky to have been surrounded by five songwriters and producers. The creative process is 100% egalitarian now.” They wanted to be different from the norm, something new in a sea of whining, politically-orientated singer-songwriters and even in each of their sets Mealtime switches it up. A different member plays a different instrument for each track (bar Sam and Georgia who generally tend to stick to the lead vocal roles), further switching up the stereotype.  

Of course, their sound is different too. Inspired by noughties pop and R&B their sound is not the colloquial, indie anthems, instead, theirs is a robust synth-boosted indie-pop set that catches your attention throughout. Backed up by impressive visuals, you need just take one look at their social media platforms and you can see that Mealtime are ever the professionals. Currently, it’s brightly coloured fruits against similar coloured backdrops. “We’re tongue in cheek, but we don’t want a gimmick. We’re constantly evolving.”

A headline slot at one of Manchester’s most highly admired stages is quite the feat for Mealtime – or any band for that matter – during their early days. We’re told that they’ve acquired quite the back catalog now, having worked on their setlist and technique for the past 6 months, compared to the two tracks they currently have on music platforms. Sam expresses their keenness to get on the stage later this month: “We’ve been locked away, crafting it, and we really looking forward to playing it live.”

If you look at it technically, they’re supporting act at YES – Wyvern Lingo have a larger fanbase and have built up more gigs under their title. But realistically, Wyvern Lingo is little known in Manchester compared to their native Ireland, whereas “although [Mealtime] is a new project, we’re all seasoned musicians and Manchester is where we’re based. But we’d love to support them in Ireland given half the chance.” Coming up post-YES, Mealtime are releasing new music and also have festival features too (but they’re all very hush-hush at the moment) whilst they plan to present themselves as more defined, more polished and “distinctly Mealtime.”

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There’s a glimmer of hope peering through the gaps of posing perfectionists amongst the independent music scene. A flash of incandescent lyrics and avid instrumentals stray away from the usual tried and tested, singer-songwriter-guitar-A-chord-B-chord type and twist heads at double time. MOLD are here. A key player in this unaccustomed field, their new track Cannibal Date Night summarises why this new medley of sound is embraced with open arms.

Having graced the music scene only recently, the band have begun a refreshing take to the DIY scene, deriving inspiration from The Fat White Family but with an artistic, masterful edge. More than just the founding duo of Shane and Dan, plus drummer Samuel, this collective-like band are pushing boundaries beyond just their genre, with aspirations to have a fleet of MOLD-eans at their beck and call.

Rather fittingly, the trio are launching Cannibal Date Night on the day of St. Valentine that is the 14th February 2019, at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen. The night is set to represent all that is MOLD in their artistic, murky aesthetic. RSVP accordingly and we’ll see you for Date Night.

Of course, ahead of everything, you should indeed love yourself ahead of loving anyone else. You’re number one, only you can appreciate yourself enough to reach your goals. Sentimental speech over. We’re never ones to dismiss love as a lesser emotion, the ‘L’ word makes the World go round. Whether it’s towards a friend, family member, yourself or of course your lover – L O V E allows harmony. So why celebrate it just one day of the year?

From the men themselves: “The creation of holidays to sell shit and make people feel sad n’ unwanted are illegal where we live. Here at MOLD HQ, we firmly believe you should feel sad and unwanted all year round! Which is why we’re making love illegal.”

MOLD – Cannibal Date Night

Music to eat your loved ones too.

Mothers Of Invention – What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?

Your mind. 

The Cramps – Lonesome Town

10/10 holiday destination.

Brenda Lee – I Want to be Wanted 

Hear the pain in her voice. A prime example of why love should be outlawed.  

Bobby Vinton – Blue on Blue 

A chorus catchier than herpes.  

Violent Femmes – Gimme The Car

Those fancy wheels don’t make it any bigger mate. 

Sonic Youth – Drunken Butterfly

This one’s dedicated to anyone who’s said the wrong name during sex 

Sly & The Family Stone – Frisky

You know how it is. 

Modern Lovers – I’m Straight

For all the bitter, recently single folks out there. 

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What Went Down?


Having formed in Oxford almost fifteen years ago, life for an indie millennial is unimaginable without Foals. Whether it’s that Hummer or Spanish Sahara come to mind whenever you think of the hit coming-of-age series that explained it teenagehood to us – Skins. Or, you spent a long Summer with What Went Down on a repetitive loop: the iconic sound of the five-piece is continually recognisable.

The post-punk tinged debut album Antidotes from the quartet shot the band to fame in 2008, reaching Number 3 in the UK Album Chart and formally putting the ‘math-rock’ sub-genre on the mainstream map. Fourteen years on, social media was rife with their announcement of not only a fifth studio album in the works, but also a sixth this very same year, from the infamous alt-rock group.

Antidotes and the band themselves were a catalyst for this fresh take on indie rock, with a pop-like beat that splattered a burst of colour across the dark independent scene and coaxed it out of the dreary depths it was headed toward. The emergence and rise of acts such as Everything, Everything, and Bombay Bicycle Club (with a young Lucy Rose on backing vocals) saw a new, refreshing electronic twist on indie. Yes, there are still lyrics of love-lost and political anguish but presented with a quirky smile and a synthesiser accompaniment.


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Foals @ Citadel Festival #foals #citadel #london #victoriapark #festival #lovebox #summer #band #live #photographer #photography

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Foals’ identity is personified with singles featuring on classic noughties TV shows Misfits and Skins, which featured depictions of wayward teenage nights fueled by hormones and hyperactivity. Perhaps they were picked because they embodied that lifestyle already, as young men in their prime. The now legendary house parties that the band would host after the gigs of their early days, in the Victorian terrace which they inhabited in Oxford were quite rightly, the place to be. It may now be folklore but once upon a time Foals would swoop into the after-parties of local friends and gig-goers, drill out a makeshift version of Antidotes and effervescently accompany attendees until the early hours of the morning. If lucky enough to attend, it could perhaps be compared to Dave Haslam’s early claim to fame that Sonic Youth slept on his floor?

Since the aboriginal days of Foals, they became not uncommon amongst festival lineups and would easily sell-out an arena tour, but will also happily dwell within smaller venues – thus highlighting their adoration for meeting the need of the every-man. Their show is equally glorious whether at Bristol’s SU – The Anson Rooms (2015) – or headlining the world’s largest festival; Glastonbury in 2016. Alongside their two new albums that are quickly approaching us in 2019, they’re once again in their rightful place. Slotted in amongst festival lineups at Truck, INMUSIC, Y Not and what seems like every day-to-day breakdown  – as well as a stand-alone worldwide tour – there’s a buzz around Foals yet again. Though perhaps it never left.

Each time they’re on stage, an audience gyrates to the likes of Two Steps Twice and Inhaler, lip-syncs every word and leaves with a beaming sense of euphoria. Oxford, the city that brought us Radiohead, also brought us Foals, two indisputably British bands that remain amongst music chatter decades after their debut on to the circuit. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (parts 1 & 2) will satisfy our quench for more when really we’ve already had so much – but not nearly enough.

Foals relate to your every-man who sailed through their teenage years with Providence as the backdrop, even just twisting to it alone in your bedroom. It’s their history of house parties and comradery with fans that pins them down as an act that we can relate to. “I’m an animal just like you” repeated in Yannis’ signature deep vocals, whilst Jack, Jimmy, and Edwin breakthrough with a feisty calamity of instruments. I for one have had “I’ve seen Foals seven times” “well I’ve seen them ten times” moments, is even witnessing them a claim to fame? They’re like you, they started from nothing and now here they are.

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LIVE: Sam Rabin @ Fuel


Describing himself as a ‘shouty Leonard Cohen’ the genre of his inspiration – folk-punk – does not do Sam Rabin any slight justice. Drawing musical aesthetic and dialogue from the likes of Jamie T and The Streets with their authentic, gritty, British edge the coin is flipped as his lyrics come from a softer side – think Lana Del Rey and Bill Ryder-Jones. Sam’s raw punk energy but poetic complex verses, makes for an interesting juxtaposition. Playing upstairs at Greater Manchester’s quirky haunt in Withington – Fuel – he literally, brought the roof down.

Support acts came from A Finch & The Forest and Bebeluna; acts curated and chosen by Sam for their own uniqueness and newcomer stance. Bebeluna is a queer femme producer, rapper, singer and musician from London who combines lo-fi, hip-hop and ambient trap. Immersing the audience in sonic energy with feminist lyrics, she was the ideal warm-up, marking a political stamp on the evening from the very beginning.

A Finch & The Forest are an upcoming hip-hop grime influenced duo. Using chill, lo-fi ambient beats and drawing inspiration from London nightlife, they brought us back down to earth – but by no means in a dull manner, instead, they transfixed the room – ahead of Rabin’s entrance.


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Look it’s the next Jamie T go check him out now

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Opening the set with an acapella rendition of a poem he’s written, there was little left to the imagination. Themes of time, nostalgia and FOMO (fear of missing out) were on the cards and all too relatable they were. Although still quite under-the-radar, Sam’s tracks were recognised by his favourable audience in the packed-out venue. A highlight of the set came from ‘Top Button Nostalgia’: lively and chaotic but with great vocal control, it was a sight to behold, showing Rabin’s range and aspirations.

We weren’t kidding when we mentioned the roof. Sam’s impressive set was brought to a close (fortunately with only one song left) due to the ceiling of the terraced Victorian venue falling through downstairs, and the upper floor being evacuated. Was it the building’s own sighs at the relatability of Sam’s themes or was it the 20th-century infrastructure?

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WORLD PREMIERE: ‘Blue Like Me’ – Gianni Paci

With an ominous video posted in December last year titled just ‘Who Was Gianni Paci’ there’s an air of mystery around the solo artist that is Gianni Paci. Although young in age, the New York native has quite the CV behind him, having worked with the likes of Jon Anderson, Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s backing band), and Ace Frehley (of KISS).

Having performed as the lead singer for the trio that was The Pine Hollows – an act that released two albums as teens and even performed at CBGB before amicably parting ways in 2013 – there are no signs of Gianni trailing behind. His journey to fame has been one of the lofty heights indeed, as he took his debut EP to production extraordinaire Perry Margouleff (Maroon 5, Led Zeppelin) hoping for a reaction that might also launch him further. Of course, the chance was taken.

Scooped out from his former band’s self-titled first album, a fresh-faced video has been unearthed that fills in the blanks in case you’re wondering of Paci’s musical stylings. Recorded when he was practically a child, here at MCR Live, we’re more than content in sharing with you the world premiere of ‘Blue Like Me’.

There’s a baroque air of The Lemon Twigs voices in Gianni’s vocal cords. Each lyric tells the unnervingly vulnerable tale about how a fanciful relationship unfolds in today’s culture of speaking out. Similar to the aforementioned duo (also coincidentally American citizens), Gianni’s verses in ‘Blue Like Me’ tell of love-lost tales: “You and I, we’re scarred the same/we can only relate” Gianni estimates, with pain in his voice. A dreamy 70s hue filters through the video, matching the theme of the track and laying down the musings that suit Gianni Paci. With a back-catalog to boot, alongside the ascertained track, you’re more than encouraged to keep an eye on this rising youngster.

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COMPETITION: 12 Days of Christmas

By now the Christmas festivities have (possibly) subsided, you’ve schmoozed with distant relatives, devoured the leftovers and watched re-runs of The Royle Family Christmas special – at least – four times. Well, regardless of what was laying under the tree this year, over at MCR Live, we’re feeling generous! Think of us as Santa’s gal-about-town, music-loving, Manchester-dwelling elves. 🎁

This year, we’ve gone all out with even bigger (and better?) prizes! We’ve collected the very best of the best treats from across Manchester and split them up into three separate competitions. Starting on the 26th December 2018, each competition is slightly different to the last, ticking each and every of those who keep an eye out and enter. Although we do apologise, each competition is only open to those aged 18 and above. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, with delicacies to enjoy upon collection and tickets for events to look forward to, at a later date in 2019. Here’s what’s up for grabs in this year’s MCR Live 12 Days of Christmas competition:


Our first day of the Christmas competition, there’s the chance to get your hands on entry for you and a friend to one of the countries number one inter-city festivals – Dot To Dot – plus some £40 towards some fresh vintage garms to wear at the festival from COW. Check out the full list prizes and how to enter, below:

– 2x tickets to Dot To Dot Festival in either Bristol, Nottingham or Manchester.
– £40 worth of COW vouchers to spend in any of their UK stores.
– 1x The Vaccines poster SIGNED by the band, from their secret Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey gig at Victoria Baths.
– Northern Soul Grilled Cheese t-shirt, £10 gift card and Limited addition Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
– A crate of Camden Town Brewery beers.



The second day of our Christmas competition is ideal for those who enjoy music, a day-out, (beer) and records! Enjoy an afternoon/evening with a £30 bar tab at the NQ’s new bar Beatnikz, followed by a night at Band On The Wall or a Strange Days gig. Then, nurse the hangover with a trip to Grub (featuring 2x food + booze) and a listen of your one-off signed Her’s album. Check out the full list prizes and how to enter, below:

– 1 year Band on the Wall classic membership (worth £30). Find more info about what this includes HERE.
– 2x free entry (one for you, one for your +1) to one Strange Days gig of your choice in 2019.
– 1x SIGNED Her’s ‘Invitation To Her’s‘ debut album (vinyl)
– 1 x Honey Moon self-titled EP (vinyl)
– 1x Simian Ghost self-titled album (vinyl)
– Heist or Hit merch
– 2x food + booze from GRUB
– 2x tickets to GRUB‘s Winter Beer Fest 2019
– £30 bar tab at Beatnikz Republic + merch



Finally, it’s the big one. Well they’re all phenomenal but this one is for those who like the *finer*, more ~eclectic~ things in life/Manchester. Enjoy a selection of vinyls, as well as an exclusive tasting and tour at a boutique gin distillery. Fan of a wild night? Get free entry to EACH and EVERY club night at BOTH The Deaf Institute and Gorilla! Check out the full list prizes and how to enter, below:

– 2x free entry (one for you, one for your +1) to each and every 2019 club night at Gorilla The Deaf Institute. Must be names given by the winner. Both names will be on the guest list to each and every night. Does not include gigs or exclusive DJ sets.
– 1x Jungle self-titled album (vinyl) + t-shirt (size unisex L).
– 1 bottle of Divine Gin and tasting session at their micro-distillery in Holme Firth, Huddersfield for the winner + 3 friends.
– 2x tickets for Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Vibration – All Night on the 25th January 2019 at Gorilla.
– 1x Gary Numan ‘The Fallen’ EP (vinyl).
– 2x Bottomless Prosecco at Disco Brunch on the 27th January 2019 at Gorilla.
– 1x Perfect Body / Zac White ‘Split’ EP (vinyl)
– 1x Ivan Moult ‘Longest Shadow’ album (vinyl)
– 1x HMS Morris ‘Inspirational Talks’ album (vinyl)
– 1x MY NAME IS TED ‘The Point Of No Return’ album (vinyl)
– 1x The Gentle Good ‘Y Gwyfyn’ album (vinyl)
– 1x Sock ‘Fresh Bits’ album (vinyl)


For full T&Cs, please visit our terms and conditions HERE.

Best of luck to all and of course, Merry Christmas and have a fab New Year! Struggling for something to do over the holidays? Take a read of our blog!