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Hello Warriors!

Here we sit in the middle of the midsummer theatre and drama of a major football event as it dominates the summer schedule with huge crowds packed into streets and stadiums whilst gigs are still no go zones!

Not sure how the logic of this is working now - Eem Covid is a football fan but not a music head! Of course being outdoors makes a difference but with most festivals now canceling again I’m as confused as anyone else as to how all of this works! In music quite a few events cancelled this week and everyone is hanging in there for the autumn…

Football itself feels different now - maybe it’s covid that has put a stop to the usual round of hooliganism that spoils the fun or maybe its because its spread across Europe with games in many different cities. It also genuinely feels like a new generation of football - England, Scotland and Wales are full of many unfamiliar young names with new and different music tastes. Is that why there is no England song? We did try and find it online but there was no sign of it anywhere.

As much as we like to listen to a bit of grime and drill as part of our portfolio for being listeners seeking new sonic sensations, we don't feel those styles lend themselves that well to a football anthem but please prove us wrong. Out of my window in city centre Manchester grime is the dominant beat bouncing between the humungoes blocks of modern Manchester. It’s either home grown grime like Aitch or there London crews - it seems to seep out of every car and every window in those rare long hot sticky summer nights. The flip side is the containing dominance of indie with The Courteeners recently selling 40 000 tickets for an upcoming Manchester hometown gig in one hour. Different soundtracks. Different narratives. Different world. I like that. The future should always look like the future whether your part of it or not.

Not that we have abandoned old faves. In the last week we posted a brilliant Steve Diggle interview where the last Buzzcock standing detailed his life - with some great info about his pre punk years and the tough streets of a long gone post industrial Manchester.

We also gave the upcoming Factory exhibition in Manchester big coverage with two pieces. Nigel Carr went to the launch and even as a Factory buff was surprised at the amount of stuff he hadn’t seen before in this review and interview.

Meanwhile our American corrospondent Audrey Golden wrote a great think piece on Factory Records and the exhibition here.

Young Manchester doesn’t sleep and despite the Grime bouncing from cars or the nu Arabic music bouncing around Rusholme's shisha bars, the indie guitars are still ruling their roost. New band of the day : Pastel may come from Swansea but they have updated the Manc model for 2021 and are fittingly signed to the Nu Madchester scene leader’s and fellow band, Afflecks Palace label. Both bands deal in the hallowed moves of the past but have the songwriting nous to reinvent the form.

There have been gigs of a sort - I went to a live cast by upcoming Welsh guitar heroes Himalayas who delivered a set full of the the raw passion of their national team who were playing on the giant screen after their set.

Iain Key travelled to Lancaster to attend his first gig since February 2020. The ‘Fear Records presents…’ promotion featuring Rich Kid Problems, ROLLA, The France and SHADE, here’s how it went…

Rock n roll is not all stoned staring at the navel - some bands pack an insane work ethic - just how busy are King Gizzard? The Australian band have returned with album eighteen and it’s not as we know it. Ditching guitars for a sun drenched opus filled with complex synths and MIDI effects that’s meant for listening in full. Wayne AF Carey chills out to the sound of summer…

Former KLF pop culture maverick Jimmy Cauty spoke in depth to John Robb about his current exhibition which creates scaled down versions of tower blocs in a mind blowing example of dystopian art.

In the post punk era Liverpool Erics was one of the key from line venues. The venue was the home of the amazing late seventies Liverpool scene and cast of vibrant characters that are mostly still out there to this day. Our man wrote this great piece about his five fourth gigs there.

IDLES have been making a great noise in the last few years and scored number one albums doing it. I love it when the underground storms the mainstream and especially with a big heart like the Bristol band as the new film about them documents.

Bossk, are at the cutting edge of metal, putting together their new album, Migration, a stunning mix of post-metal music, electronics and sampling, and breathtaking vocals. Louder Than War caught up with Tom Begley from the band to ask about the new album, playing live, and their upcoming headlining tour.

Oh and you can win some tickets for Victorious Festival here!

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