Posts Tagged ‘Manchester Music’


When a band releases a Best Of it’s easy to be cool and write it off as a cash grab, the band in question might have split up, might be going on an indefinite hiatus, might be at the end of their contract, there’s lots of reasons for them in fairness. For a long time I didn’t get Elbow’s Best Of, that’s not be being cool by the way, it just passed me by. I’ve spent the best part of a month with it and I really really didn’t want to like it but I’m here to tell you the boys have done well with it. I wanted to be all yeah well buy the albums, scoff scoff scoff, they’ve missed off such and such well this isn’t for the Day One crowd is it scoff scoff… but it is. This isn’t the end of their story, but this collection works as the end of a phase – I don’t even want to say Phase One because at over twenty five years thats some first chapter. Whatever you call it, from Asleep to Little Fictions it’s been a journey; they were some way down the road before the world seemed to wake up to them after all, and the journey is told in this collection.


Daystar In Demand

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Local
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“We will spread like wildfire!”

Daystar’s Simon Monaghan talks to Given to Sound about the band’s hopes for 2012, making a name on the national scene and… gravel.

The Manchester band Daystar have always been seemed like a band comfortable in their own skin; they have tipped their hat to the sounds that inspired them but at no point have they felt crushed by the ghosts of a Manchester sound. We liked that about them and we liked their self titled album, so much so that we urged you to part with actual money to buy it. Since Given to Sound shone a light on them last March, the boys have been busy trying to get the rest of the country to jump on their bandwagon.

In the past year they have moved on and their confidence has grown; confidence in the music and in the band, importantly they are full of ideas on how to progress it all. Daystar will not stop until the whole nation is singing from their hymn sheet and let’s just say, the nation might well be clearing its voice.

Lead singer Simon Monaghan recently caught us up on all things Daystar. It’s fair to say they’ve worked quite hard:

“We were the only band asked to play on TV for ESPN Talk of the Terrace for the second time which we were proud of”, Monaghan told us. The band has also been featured in the match day football programmes of Simon’s beloved Manchester United and the official magazine of Ste Wood’s favourite, Manchester City. The wider football world seems to be catching on to them as well; around half the teams in the Premier League have already played the band’s music on match day.

Daystar are working hard to achieve success and it’s not a manufactured affair; they have the tunes to make their musical statement and they play them live. When they do walk onto the stage they aren’t playing to one or two people either, make no mistake – the people are supporting this band: they won Pure FM’s Band Of 2011 because people voted in their thousands to make it happen.

The band release Don’t Need This  on March 12th, the third release from their self titled debut album. Here’s a random blast from the past, remember 1996’s Slight Return from The Bluetones? It’s a bit similar. Monaghan’s voice yearns delightfully at the chorus and the guitars keep the whole thing moving.

“The song is about the pretension and conformity of the murky underbelly of the Manchester club scene and the social whores who frequent it. It’s one of my favourite songs to sing live” says Simon.

When we covered the band last year we said we’d be interested to hear what a pissed off Daystar sounded like, what if the vocals snarled every now and again and the band let some songs go past the three minute mark? Some of the tracks were crying out to be extended because musically they pull you in. Maybe we influenced Simon as he told us about performing the song live; “We do an extended vocal at the end where the gravel in my voice really comes out!”

In all seriousness, Daystar deserve success. They have a growing fan base and they have the ear of some of the music’s big hitters such as the legend that is Clint Boon. Simon is ready to see where the band goes and has every right to have high hopes:

“Our hope for this year is to become well-known across the UK. We already have some national coverage but not enough so this year is when we hope to build on everything. Our plan is to be massive obviously and we believe we have the potential to do it.”

We can also confirm that they are also working on new material:

We are working on the yet untitled new album and have five or six tunes pretty much ready to record and loads more ideas. We’re hoping to release something from it in the second half of the year.”

That’s that then, their star is ready to ascend and there will be lots of happy people around when it does, they can’t stay our local secret forever and they wouldn’t want to;

“We have learnt a lot over the last 2 years and grown as a band. When we show people what we have been working on we will spread like wildfire. That’s the plan.”

Daystar perform at  This Feeling in Shoreditch tonight (24th February) and support The Rifles at the HMV Ritz on the 29th March.  Check out Upcoming Gigs for more details. You can also buy the music here.

Thanks to Si Monaghan for giving his time and his comments. Words © Simon A. Moult / Moultymedia 2012. Photography © Stephen Campbell. Used by permission.

Daystar Believer!

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Local
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We at Given to Sound are really excited about a new Manchester band called Daystar. There. That’s the first sentence done. It was a tricky one, because the Manchester thing brings with it the baggage of Madchester and ghosts of bands that swaggered into many a music buyer’s heart and strolled off having made a phenomenal impact. It may lead many to read Manchester band and switch off, preferring to cling to the memories instead.

Daystar are a five piece Manchester band with influences such as The Buzzcocks, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, The La’s, The Kinks and The Sex Pistols. It’s easy to get protective over that and think that you’ve heard it all before. One recently defunct Manchester band with brothers in it told us over and over that the same bands influenced them. Then you’ve got, The Stone Roses; a Manchester band that made self-imploding cool well before Noel and Liam, they also had a similar list of influences.

It’s okay to have those influences, those bands made good music. It’s not the influence, it’s what you do with it that counts – and Daystar do something good.


Approaching Home

Home is where the start is for Elbow, on Leaders of the Free World.


When you’ve written about wanting to get somewhere and you’ve written about what you feel like when you’ve got there, you’ve got to find your way home. Elbow do this with a stomp and a wink with Leaders of the Free World (2005). Whereas they certainly needed grace under pressure to complete Cast of Thousands, the band had learnt that the right approach this time was to capture ideas as and when they happened on the road, whenever and wherever inspiration hit them.


The second string to the Elbow came in 2003. Two years on from that second first album and with more than a few people looking in their direction to see what was going to come next from this band. Elbow seem to deliver contrasts. They create a universal intimacy which is evident in spades on Cast of Thousands along with a feeling that now they are reaching an audience and they know it (quite literally when you remember that the crowd at their Glastonbury performance sings on Grace Under Pressure).