Happy February! Another year older, another year no wiser for this little Zenner! After a weekend of excess in Paris, I'm starting to feel a touch more human and I've manned up enough to sit down at the computer and tell you about my lighter than usual, but nevertheless interesting January in the music industry!

Well what a whirlwind, it kicked off At Baby's All Right in Brooklyn where I started my New Year with DIIV as mentioned in last months column. I'm truly hoping 2014 brings us a new DIIV record, the Captured Tracks shop was insanely good, I totally could have moved in! Big ups to the new Rough Trade NYC shop too, need any staff!?

As usual January was a drought of alcohol and gigs and I kicked off my month chatting to two Manchester artists that I'd been meaning to catch up with for months: Liam Frost and Ghost Outfit. Both interviews aired on my Amazing Radio show and you can listen back to the interviews on my show page here.

I got to see Liam Frost play solo for the first time in a while at the Sound Control's 4th birthday (Happy Birthday Sound Control!) which saw two Manchester venue legends (the Taylor brothers) take to the stage with their band Bone Box in support. Liam has been busy of late recording with his band Tokolosh and is just starting to mess around with new solo material and the first taster was certainly worth the wait!

My next visit to the venues of Manchester was to catch Manchester based Darlia playing a raucous set downstairs at Sound Control. I've charted their progress from playing Fallow Café upwards and their increasing success is clear to see..

Also look what I gained?! (Modelled by the lovely Simon). Thanks guys!

It doesn't take long for these feet to start to itch for different climes though, so a trip to Sheffield was planned and executed. I first saw Liverpool band Outfit at Constellations festival back in 2011 where we chatted and I got to witness their huge potential live. Fast forward two years and there is an EP and debut LP Performance out on Double Denim Records. All but one of the band are residing back in Liverpool after a spell living in London and their live show is bigger and better than ever, packed with vibes. It's amust see. Unfortunately I missed support act Abe (it's a bit of a trek after work over the snake pass) but having listened to their tunes on soundcloud, there is certainly something atmospheric and dramatic about them. I'll be keeping an ear out, as should you...

The following day it was a heroes welcome on the return to Manchester for The Heartbreaks! Their second sold out show in two days was an energetic affair which resulted in a stage invasion of huge proportions. The cheeky band of merry Morecambe men exclaimed "there may be hope yet" on the internet recently, and on the spirit of this show that's an understatement..

I was ecstatic to see East India Youth return to Manchester for his first headline show post debut album release. It's completely mint and I've already invested in my gorgeous vinyl with stunning artwork from Will's talented girlfriend Tida. I got to catch up with Will for the first time in a year in interview guise and you'll be able to hear our chat on my Amazing Radio show on Saturday between 1 and 3pm on February 15th.

That rounds up another month in the musical world of Zenner, but a trip to Paris for birthday escapism was too tempting. See you next month. * hiccup *



This months five choices are:

Autobahn: Not the road and they're not German either. Leeds is becoming a mecca for some of the best punk and industrial emerging sounds from the UK and fitting neatly into that sphere is the raw and edgy sound of Autobahn. They're still playing at small venues (I was gutted I was out of town for their Fallow Café show recently) but be sure to catch them before they hit the bigger venues, as that is just a matter of time.


Hartheim: I can now confidently say that I know of three of the members of new Manchester based band Hartheim. The one I know the most previously dabbled in local band BLOOM who set the blogs alight with their dark and spirited ambience. 'Yellow' is their first tentative step into the limelight, and they're channeling the intense spirit of M O N E Y and Embers through its brooding tones.


ALECS: London-based Alex Treharne has impressed me hugely with his mix of pop and beats on his Fulham Tapes EP. With the likes of Bastille and The 1975 riding high in the charts over the past year, the stage is set for ALECS to step into the limelight.


Jaakko Eino Kalevi: Finnish musician Jaakko is signed to Weird World Records and his soulful songs touch on disco, new-wave, jazz and dub all performed in his own inimitable style. He released his Dreamzone EP in December and his Dreamzone Remixes EP is out this month. Dive in and let it wash over you...


Michael A Grammar : It's not a guy, but a band of four. They're not from Manchester, they're from Nottingham too, ok? Described by the Guardian as a hybrid of baggy and shoegaze, their heady mix of hazy melodica makes me melt.