Another month rolls by towards winter... how time flies eh? Rocktober was as jam-packed as ever at Zenner Towers though! So full on, that after the final few days of the month at Iceland Airwaves I'm basically a gibbering wreck.

My month kicked off with a band that have been suggested headliners of Glastonbury 2014, Fleetwood Mac. It is still to be seen if that will happen, especially after founder member John McVie was diagnosed with cancer recently. I rarely attend large venues but couldn't pass up this opportunity. They were so good. Stevie Nicks sashaying across the stage with her floating attire and disappearing sporadically for a costume refresh, what a babe. Lindsey Buckingham didn't leave the stage for the entire show and his guitar solo? Wow.

A trip to Sheffield was on the cards though for The Crookes' last live show for a while as they knuckle down to make album three. After a trawl around the vintage shops of Sheffield it was time to head to the Harley for High Hazels' debut single launch, where in the words of their debut single, 'hearts were breaking' all over the show for the Sheffield newcomers. I love Sheffield.

After a rather messy couple of days, I headed off to Birmingham to be given an updated city tour by Amazing Radio's Birmingham maestro Jack Parker. After a two minute tour of the new library, which was just closing its doors for the day, we took a trip to the Sunflower Lounge to check out Leeds upstarts China Rats, who didn't fail to impress with their upbeat brand of indie.

Soon enough it was time to pack my travel bag and head home because the yankees were coming to town... well... Small Black were heading back to Manchester for the first time since December 2010. The show was as dreamy as expected and a tour of Tescos speciality beer section educated the guys in a variety of special brews including the inappropriately titled 'proper job'.

My next outing saw me head to the apollo to meet Guards for a chat on their support tour with MGMT. I've been a big fan since 2011 and was so happy when their debut album was released. Having caught them live at The Great Escape earlier this year, I decided to head across town to see Chvrches and Thumpers play a sold out Ritz. I got to meet Thumpers too after they came and found me after the show. So happy they've signed to Subpop, they're absolutely mega.

Why go on one road trip a month when you can go on multiple, eh? Whilst some of the music industry headed to CMJ in New York, I drove to Cardiff for my second visit Swn festival; a really intimate and friendly new music festival that takes over the venues of Cardiff for four days. Highlights this year for me included Telegram, Drenge, Heavy Petting Zoo, Radkey, The Yawns and Gulp. I was also there with some of the Wichita crew and got to see gorgeous new Peggy Sue material and chat to twin sisters Alison (Swearin') and Katie (Waxahatchee), as well as seeing their kick ass shows that have been taking Europe by storm over the last couple of months.

My return to Manchester saw Bleached and Veronica Falls settling into Gorilla for the night, for an enjoyable show despite my eyes being almost crossed with tiredness. I was so worth the wait to see Bleached play live... those girls have it going on and dig the Allah Las as much as I do. Viva LA. A newly rebranded Fallow Café was the host to the artful analogue champions Candy Says, with support from the ever entertaining Lottery Winners. Good vibes all round, stunning merch and I even came home with a bag of pick 'n' mix. It's the simple things, yo?

Never one to shy away from an adventure, I decided to head to Liverpool to finally catch up with Jaws. I'm obsessed with their song 'Gold' and despite a guy collapsing during the set on me (he was fine), I was buzzing to hear it live. Totally magical guys, giddy with tour buzz. After their kick-ass set we headed across to the newly renamed East Village Arts Club (less NYC more Liverpool style) to catch the end of The Thespians and the start of Spaces' set. Remember them? Apparently they have a new album out next year?! If that wasn't enough for one night, we headed across to McGuires Pizza bar. Yes a pizza bar in Liverpool, wonders never cease. In any case we saw Islet. Anyone who has ever seen Islet live will know how incredible and unpredictable they are and man they were awesome.

Whilst half of Manchester went mental to Parquet Courts, I headed to Academy 1 to proudly watch local band Pins support Warpaint. It was a delight to see Pins on the big stage after releasing their debut album this year and the new Warpaint material sounded impressive. What a night. If that wasn't enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, I headed into the deep heart of winter at the end of the month on a trip to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves, but that's a whole other story and best kept for next month's entertainment.



My five tips for the month?

The Yawns: Glasgow band The Yawns have been high on my list of bands to see for months, and their Swn show say me drive through the night to ensure I didn't miss their wonderful brand of slacker pop.

Heavy Petting Zoo: Swansea's Heavy Petting Zoo tore up Swn with their own conga and the welsh equivalent of Bev. Debut single 'Broken Bone' shows huge promise.

Bambi: A hit to my ears when I was working my way through the Fresh On The Net listening post a few weeks ago. Melodic and uplifting indie, intricate guitar work with the easy going side of Foals about it.

Jaedia: At Greetings From Beacons festival this year I went into the woods to see a band called Tibetan Youth play in the wee hours/ Well, they've renamed and relaunched and 'Fruit Bowl' is nourishment to the ears.

Boxed In: This one has been a long time in the making and I'm giddy as a kipper that it's finally out there. I've been a huge fan of Olly since he fronted manchester band Keith. I used to go see them in my early days in Manchester. He resides in London now and has been working behind the scenes with an impressive array of artists until stepping out of the shadows to play in Steve Masons' band. Wrap your ears around the forthcoming Moshi Moshi release.