March was full of gallivanting and not much local Manchester and Salford gigging action after I headed to SXSW festival for a week to check on the latest and greatest emerging talents worldwide! But before I get to that, I kicked off my month at the 6 Music Festival in Trafford's Victoria Warehouse venue - which is a hell of a lot closer to home! Checking out new Wild Beasts, The National, Lykke Li, but the highlight without a shadow of a doubt for me was Jagwar Ma. They get better and better and will be setting alight a festival stage near you very soon. On the final day of the festival I got to check out some of the fringe events which were really interesting and fun. More please!

A few nights in Manchester before I headed off to Texas saw me check out the awesome Great Ytene live at long last. I'm in love with their new Bella Union released EP and it was great fun to chat to them and realise that Leon runs Marshall Teller Records and that Jorge has played in an array of bands including Rory Atwell's Warm Brains along with the now infamous 'Wet Look' alongside one of Fat White Family and superstar producer Iggy. Talking of Iggy, he produced both MONEY and Patterns - who I got to see play live for the first time in months recently at St Phillips Church in Salford. What a spectacle it was, they even had the Manchester Community Choir playing with them. Nothing says rebel like drinking alcohol in a church right? Great support on the night from Manchester two-piece UV, as well as Beaty Heart.

I've been a huge Breton since their early days and have seen them grow into a phenomenal success in Central Europe whilst consistently wondering why the same hadn't happened in the UK. I've witnessed them support Tom Vek at his return gig in Manchester as well as playing solo shows in the area. It was absolutely incredible to witness them play a packed out show at Manchester's Soup Kitchen after the release of their second album War Room Stories backed with their innovative visuals that recalled those early days when they made the Sharing Notes synth boxset EP.

Enough Greater Manchester fun though, Austin and a BBQ rib bigger than my head were calling! I would go into details, but I already did! Read my SXSW updates here , here and here...

After tacos, pancakes, BBQ, margaritas, friendly faces, broken feet and a stack of the most exciting new music I departed slightly overcast Austin to check in at hipster central, aka Portland. Over the last few years I've been struck by how much exciting music has bee coming out of Portland In Oregon. Ruban Unknown Mortal Orchestra lives there as does Gary from The Cribs, so I thought it was about time I took a visit and did some exploring, little did I know that Austin had wiped me out so badly that I couldn't leave my hotel room on the first afternoon. Heres a tip kids, do not walk around a city for 14 hours solid the next day to make up for it. Big love to Voodoo Donuts, The Jupiter Hotel and The Doug Fir venue for saving me! Incase you were wondering, the live scene is vibrant, the scenery pretty, the vintage shops banging and there isno sales tax. Handy for buying that industrial strength concealer for covering up your post SXSW black bags! Big love to 94.7fm in Portland for letting me stop by!

Onto Seattle I ventured. What a visit! I ended up on air at KEXP talking about how incredible Nadine Shah is, I had dinner with Verlaine and learnt about Seattle's musical history as well as their new album and I even stopped by Beat Connection's studio to catch up with Reed who played me some new tracks. We're all in for an absolute treat!

Just ahead of the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, I visited his former home as well as some of Seattle's historical music sites. I didn't get to catch any shows, unfortunately Nils Frahm and Douglas Dare sold out before I got my hands on a ticket and I missed Nick Waterhouse in Portland by just a matter of days... gutted!

On my return to the UK, a trip to the Leicester Soundhouse to see Pusher was just the ticket. The return of northern guitar music is well overdue and the quality musicianship and dark brooding vocals on Pusher's brand new single 'Let It Break' is totally refreshing.

This months new music picks:

Goodbye Chanel: They're from Leeds, their forthcoming six track album is called Hot City Nights and FOREVA is a slice of their self described chillwave dream pop tropicalia.


La Luz: Seattle surf doo-wop all girl four-piece La Luz are signed to cool label Hardly Art but have released on Burger Records, Water Wing and Suicide Squeeze too. They are the absolute coolest and I can't wait to check them out live!


Perfect Pussy: The elusive Perfect Pussy are finally releasing an album on Captured Tracks this year, it's called Say Yes To Love and 'Driver' is the first track taken from it. There are also rumblings of a split 7 inch with Joanna Gruesome, which would be totally RAD!


Nick Waterhouse: I've only just been introduced to Nick's solo music by my friend Pauline - thanks doll! But I've since realised Nick has produced one of my favourite bands of recent years - The Allah Las. His new record is apparently a dream, but this is a great introduction to him: