Win tickets for rare gig by The Pastels

Legendary Glasgow band, the highly influential Pastels are playing their first Manchester gig for years on Friday Nov 17th.

Or you could just buy tickets for the gig…

Tickets are £12 per day or £20 for a pass for both days and are available in person at Islington Mill and Piccadilly Records or on-line from


The band have never sounded better and the gig will be  classic…we have 2 tickets for the winner…all you have to do is follow Louderthanwar on Twitter and tweet the message ‘I want to win tickets for The Pastels…please RT’

The gig is part of great weekend of gigs…please read on…

Comfortable on a Tightrope  8th Birthday Party  

Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November at Salford Islington Mill




Manchester promoters Comfortable on a Tightrope (C.O.A.T.) have carved their own niche in the local music and arts scenes and their amazing birthday shows have become a welcome tradition in the city.  For their 8th  birthday party, C.O.A.T. have taken over Islington Mill in Salford for a celebration of D.I.Y. culture running over 2 days featuring the cream of the UK pop underground, great DJs, food, fanzine/record stalls and surprises.


The Friday show is presented in a collaboration with Tuff Life Boogie (promoter of the recent Un-Peeled programme of John Peel session veterans in Preston and Manchester) and features a super-rare show from THE PASTELS as well as performances from Belfast’s SEA PINKS (their first show in England), FORMER BULLIES and BY THE SEA.


On Saturday, the magnificent VERONICA FALLS headline alongside VERITY SUSMAN (Electrelane), LA LA VASQUEZ and APOSTILLE, plus more acts to be confirmed.





The description “cult band” usually suggests a group that has been going for a while but is only really important to a very small number of people. This definition can be applied to The Pastels, in that they are a permanent feature of student bedrooms, scouring out the back rooms of the Western world. Such an impression may be unfair, as is the fact that good fortune always seems to have eluded them. But their music has been a breath of fresh air – and a fistful of dollars – to a whole generation of musicians, and it doesn’t stop with Teenage Fanclub. Sonic Youth rate them, and JAMC and Kurt Cobain revered them.


Since the early 80s, The Pastels built up a huge body of work, helping to create the modus operandi for underground pop music and leaving clues for how it will develop for others to follow.  The band have recorded for legendary labels such as Rough Trade and Creation Records and currently reside with Domino Records, the UK’s most respected independent label.  Their music has featured prominently in films such as the adaptation of  Irvine Welsh’s ‘Acid House’ stories and they have legions of devoted fans all over the world.   The band have only done a handful of shows of the last few years and we are delighted they agreed to play C.O.A.T.’s birthday celebrations.

On the surface a 2 boy/2 girl construct resembling an indie-pop Frankenstein’s monster, Veronica Falls bend the classic template with a gothic twist that prevents them from being throwaway twee.  Whilst their vocal harmonies recall the Mamas and Papas, lead singer and guitarist Roxanne Clifford’s lyrics might be about death, suicide or ghosts.  Impeccable music recalls The Byrds, The Velvets, Shangri Las, the lighter side of 60s garage, The Clean and Orange Juice.


The band put out several barnstorming singles on boutique UK and US labels to massive critical acclaim before signing to Bella Union and releasing their self-titled debut album last year, after the initial version was scrapped because it didn’t meet their high standards.  Veronica Falls are clearly one of the best bands in the UK at the moment.


A founding member of psychedelic rock outfit Electrelane, Verity Susman is an experimenter of song form and she is returning to Salford having been one of the highlights of this year’s ‘Sounds from The Other City’ festival.

Also dabbling under the guise of Vera November, Susman’s latest music shows greater focus on electronic mastery with a slight dust of jazz. A human hallucinogen, Susman’s mesmerising live sound is accompanied by stunningly captivating visuals, together celebrating music and film.



Sea Pinks are a great band from Belfast inspired by sea glass, bleached grass and ghost guitars. Flying Nun Records and Merseybeat are touchstones for their sound.  Two years on from the garage fuzz of debut Youth Is Wasted (Japanese Knotweed), and following on from last year’s jangle pop mini-odyssey Dead Seas (Fountain Tesserae, Peripheral Vision), Freak Waves, the third album from Sea Pinks, is the fullest realisation of their sound so far.

From pristine guitar pop (A Pattern Recognition, Shrinking Violet) to full-blooded, brooding rock (False Spring, Subliminal Messaging) to the epic closer of the title track and all points in between, this is the band at their most dynamic. And while the songs seem to dwell on disillusion, broken communication, and ambivalence in general; the bright, buoyant melodies therein perform the perfect counterweight. This is classic sounding, bittersweet pop at it’s effortless best.  Despite being on their third album, the C.O.A.T. birthday is the band’s first English show.




Hailing from the Southeast of England, La La Vasquez are Rachael Finney, Merida Richards and Freya Watson. The trio have worked together for two years, have released singles on OneC and M’ladys records and are currently recording their debut album.


Interested in the history of women and punk music the group seek to carve out their own place in this lineage.  La La Vasquez’s sound is currently equal parts angular beats and dreamy tones, and their ability is rapidly catching up with their ambition: an exciting prospect.



It’s hard to believe that Manchester’s Former Bullies have been on the scene for 10 years now, and their current incarnation is very different from their early Americana-influenced performances.  Expanded to a three-piece over the last couple of years, Former Bullies now combine the best excess of moronic 60s teen-garage smothered with priceless, unavoidable melody.   Their debut vinyl album ‘Golden Chains’ finally emerged last year following a few singles and couple of 2 cassettes, (one of which was a suite of Sam Cooke covers) and was noted as one of the best releases of 2011 by those in the know.


Specially picked by Stephen Pastel for this show along with Former Bullies, By the Sea are a fast-rising shoegaze band from the Wirral on Merseyside. The group released their first single ‘Old Coasts,’ June 2011 through the boutique Great Pop Supplement label,followed by, ‘Always an End,’ and then ‘Stay where the Sun Is’.  .

Their eponymous debut album mixed by their friend Bill Ryder Jones (The Coral) is set for release in November 2012.


By The Sea make music that can’t contain itself, that is so bursting with joy it sounds like it is tripping over itself in its desire to get out of the speakers. Whilst some of these songs sound like anthems, there is a constant introspection that stops them from ever sounding bloated.  There have been comparisons to early Stone Roses, The Go-Betweens and dreampop.  By The Sea are pulling on past influences and making them sound like the most disorientating love affair that ever failed.


APOSTILLE is a brand new, electro-ecstatic solo project from Michael Kasparis of Please and Nightschool Records. Insistent flickering beats hold down a sturdy framework for Kasparis’ clouds of echoed vocals and keyboard cluster quests. Sometimes Michael’s voice soars above the music, hanging their like an apparition, other times the cloaked music surges forwards, bouncing between distorted handclaps, wonky basslines and oblique incantations to delirious and wondrous effect.



Ticket links


Weekend :


Pastels 16th Nov


Veronica Falls 17th Nov


Comfortable on a Tightrope webpage:

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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