My mental month of festivals kicked off over in Liverpool for two days of the three day Soundcity festival. I got to spin discs for the Musicians Union and listen to Thurston Moore in conversation with Dave Haslam which started with Dave questioning Thurston over his spit with Kim, whoaaaaaa. For those that haven't attended it before, Soundcity is a music festival akin to The Great Escape. It's become bigger and better over the past few years with outdoor areas and the use of innovative spaces. I even got to catch up with Bipolar Sunshine and Drenge.

I also managed to nip over to Live At Leeds Festival and take a wander round the new Belgrave venue which is pretty swanky! I couldn't work out how to get food at the venue though and I needed a 'Patty Smith' burger in my life so bad at this point. I'll chalk it down to brain melt and hope to track one down at Beacons Festival in August.

In the safety of local surrounds I trust, so I returned home for entertainment to check out this years Sounds From The Other City Festival in Salford. I got to check out the newest Salford gig venue on the block 'The First Chop Ale House', witness an early live set of Manchester band Girl Friend and I also got to mosh to Shopping in classic Salford boozer The Crescent!

The final day of the bank holiday saw me drag my shattered bones back into Manchester to check out the FREE, yes totally FREE festival that was hosted by Music In Beta. After four days of festivals, it was some effort just to stand up at that point I tell you! But it was totally worth it. I got to see Philadelphia band The Districts who you'll no doubt see support Kings Of Leon or The Black Keys in the coming months / years and I got to see Wet play in the tiny venue that is The Castle Hotel as well as watching Lizzo work her 'Batches and Cookies' famed bum bag around the Night & Day. Someone called it a fanny pack the other day. I'm not the only person that thinks that's a bit weird right?

After a few days back at the coal face, I packed the shades and Windcheater and headed off towards the Pier in Brighton! In typical Zenner style I was in a venue within ten minutes of stepping off the train checking out the awesome As Elephants Are with a big smile on my face and a cider in hand.

Firmly back in Manchester a week later for Dot To Dot Festival, where I caught approximately 21 acts. What a day! Wolf Alice played to a packed out Gorilla, Ezra Furma showed more leg than I anticipated, and it was all rounded up by watching a band play pizza oriented covers of Velvet Underground songs led by Macaulay Culkin. FOR REALZ.

A ride up the motorway to Gateshead saw Screaming Maldini join me for a live session at Amazing Radio before I decamped to the Cumberland Arms to check out some bands at Evo Emerging Festival. It was great to check out some fresh North East talent such as Gallery Circus and International Departures too.

Back to Leeds to get my ROCK ON at the inaugural Gold Sounds Festival where I shared a "pizza cookie" with a mate (I'm going to turn into a pizza at this rate). A surprise Hookworms set whet my appetite for the second record, Joanna Gruesome reaffirmed just how magnificent they are live and I was pretty hyped to finally check out Polterghost, Theo Verney and Eugene Quell.

I was going to list all the bands I saw last month, but It was in excess of 100! So just in case you fancy checking some new artists, I've put an extensive Spotify playlist together here. Apparently it's 6 hours long so yeah, have a nice day!

Unfortunately Blossomer, Palace, Seoul, Girl Friend, Saltwater Sun, You, Fe, Tor Miller, The Spills, Eugene Quell, The Fruit Tones and of course The Pizza Underground don't have any music on Spotify, so needless to say, keep your eyes peeled for them.

Time for my five new artists picks of the month:

JUCE: Groovy, soulful and classy pop from this three-piece signed to Island Records and destined for big things.


Tenterhook: London's Archie Faulks' gorgeous voice sounds magnificent on the most un-demo like demo I've ever heard. I can't wait to hear more!


Gospel: 'Disasters Running Wild' is the debut single from Beth Anderton-Allen and Chris Willsher which showcases a melodic yet modern sound. It's out on Not Like That Records in July but you can hear it here:


EKKAH: Once upon a time I was a fan of a band called the Arcadian Kicks; I supported them with airplay and checked them out live on numerous occasions. After the band's unfortunate demise, the two Bekkahs from the band have set up this new soulful pop outfit.


Frett: Simon and Elliot from Suffolk and Essex have been grossly overlooked in their latest EP3 release in my opinion. The intricate beginning that explodes into something rather special, gorgeous harmonies and an almighty hook. I'm sold.