New For 2019

  Last Live in 2018

  My Best Albums 2018

  Piano Week Liverpool

  Brexit - Now We Know

  Download 2019 First Bands

  50th Anniversary White Album

  Christine and The Queens Tour

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Tip For The Top: Shred Kelly

  The Dangers Ahead

  Spear Of Destiny Live

  Jazz On A Summer’s Day 1958

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Let The People Decide

  The Secrets of Piano Solo-III

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  Madeleine Peyroux Tour & New LP

  John Lennon Interview

  The Edwin Hawkins Singers

  Thelonious Monk Tapes Emerge

  Anna Burch Live

  My 100 Greatest Albums

  Road To Nowhere - Brexit

  Tom Baxter’s 2018 LP and Tour

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Frank Turner LP, Tour & Single

  Josh Rouse New LP & UK Tour

  Two New Must-Have Albums

  Stick In The Wheel Live

  Halo Maud, Baxter Dury Live

  Matthew Logan Vasquez Live

  The Barr Brothers Live

  Best New Album Reviews

  Glen Hansard Album Review

  My Best Albums of 2017

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Katey Brooks New Single/Album

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Album Of The Year?

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Nitin Sawhney New Live LP

  Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live CD/DVD

  Grandaddy Live

  George Vjestica’s Bandante

  Laura Marling Live

  Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

  Martha Wainwright Live

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  Swans Live in Manchester

  Nick Cave With Feeling

  Ben Folds & yMusic Live

  Dan Patlansky Live Blues

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  Wolfmother Live

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  Barry Adamson Live Manchester

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  Mercury Rev Live

They Might Be Giants Live

tm-2 Manchester Academy, 1 February 2016

Lock the doors, we are going all night long” orders John Flansburgh to security from the get go. And with over 30 years of friendship and playing together with John Linnell since high school you get the sense they can and will just keep on playing. The setlist starts at over 30 songs before even considering any additional material and anecdotes which litter the proceedings like old flames you stumble upon on Facebook - but in a good way.

The band is delighted that so many people have turned out and that fans know every song old, new and covered. This is magnified by the expertly set up venue on demand from the band to have the crowd as close to them as possible - which makes photographing them more intimate than is normally the case. Flansburgh acknowledges this and embraces all the other people working with kind words and a broad smile.


They kick off with ‘The Statue Got Me High’ with Linnell rocking the accordion and Flansburgh prowling by his side barely able to contain himself. There is an energy which is so often neglected by younger musicians these days - it is not about running and jumping about, which Flansburgh attempts with the poise and athleticism you can only admire in a man in his mid 50s - this is about the songs and the almost feral need to play and play hard. Linnell moves to the keyboard for ‘Can’t Keep Johnny Down’ and from there things become a joyful celebratory blur with equal comfort and ease they race through singles, album tracks, a quite intoxicating cover of Beyonce’s ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ and stories to accompany and entertain.

‘Don’t Let’s Start’ provides an early highlight, ‘Meet James Ensor’ sparkles mid-set and the utterly timeless ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’ as ever provides the perfect final flourish to this - and any show you’re likely to see! Flansburgh and Linnell are forever simmering with engaging banter and a surprised glint in their eyes that they can’t believe they are still doing this - like there is an in-joke they shared in high school and are still waiting for the punchline.

The charm and wit laden lyrics, perfected harmonies and solid backing band create a synergy that is being hailed as their greatest line up and tour to date. And after 30 years that is quite some feat. This is already going to be one of the musical highlights of 2016 and it was a genuine pleasure to have been part of it.



The Statue Got Me High
Can’t Keep Johnny Down
Music Jail, Parts 1 & 2
Don’t Let’s Start
I Love You For Psychological Reasons
Turn Around
Authenticity Trip
Nothing’s Gonna Change My Clothes
We Live in a Dump
When Will You Die

Man, It’s So Loud In Here
Bills, Bills, Bills (Destiny’s Child cover)
Trouble Awful Devil Evil
Meet James Ensor

The Famous Polka
Number Three
Where Your Eyes Don’t Go
Careful What You Pack

Let Me Tell You About My Operation
Alphabet Of Nations

James K. Polk
Doctor Worm
I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar (Jonathan Richman Cover)
Particle Man
Damn Good Times
She’s an Angel
Robot Parade
Birdhouse In Your Soul



Shakenstir Photo Supplement
Manchester 2009 - Gallery: The Low Anthem
The Low Anthem

Anna Burch
 - Gallery: Live Year 2018
Live Year 2018 Manchester - Gallery: Cardigans 2018
Cardigans 2018
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