The Vaselines The Vaselines were only a band for two years. They broke up within a week of releasing their 1989 debut ‘Dum Dum’. Nonetheless, their cult status was cemented in the early 90s when Nirvana covered a number of their songs, and the Glasgow pair are now in their sixth year as a reformed band. While the indie-pop jangle of ‘Dum Dum’ can be heard in many current acts, including the likes of Courtney Barnett and Big Deal, the band’s recent albums, 2010’s ‘Sex With an X’ and this year’s ‘V for Vaselines’ prove that they are the true pioneers of the genre- and tonight at the Garage, new songs are just as heralded as the old favourites.


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John Grant Having last toured the UK in 2013 in support of the distinctly electro flavoured Pale Green Ghosts album Grant’s back this time with a modest, ahem, 34 piece orchestra in tow. It makes sense though given the lushness of that voice and the soaring songs (many of which focus on Grant’s struggles to come to terms with himself, his life and his loves) that practically cry out for the gravitas that only a full fat orchestra can really deliver. The venue’s pretty perfect too, Brum’s grand old Town Hall, a Victorian Grade I listed building that’s seen everyone from Charles Dickens to Black Sabbath do their thang (although sadly not on the same night).


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Sharon Van Etten Sharon Van Etten is on a bit of a rollercoaster. Following the breakthrough success of her 2012 ‘Tramp’, this year’s ‘Are We There’ seems to have fulfilled her promise and is already being listed as one of the best albums of 2014. Tonight she and her band bring the new album to Manchester.


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James Bay Just days after topping the iTunes Chart with his new E.P. ‘Hold Back The River’James Bay headed to the O2 Academy 2 in Birmingham. Bay's songs and guitar playing would be presented to a sold out venue tonight, but first it was time for Port Isla to take to the stage. With their set ranging from melodic anthems to soft indie ballads, the four piece band from Norwich more than paved the way for James Bay to grace to the stage.


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The Pretty Reckless With the curtains drawn and bells ringing to the backdrop of a moody guitar riff and some very suggestive moaning, the stage (and atmosphere) were literally set for The Pretty Reckless to take their bow. Boom, the curtains dropped and they were off like a shot with the catchy ‘Follow me Down’. A splendid opener.


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Kasabian It’s been quite a year for Kasabian. Fresh on the heels of headlining Glastonbury this summer followed by an a historic hometown show in front of 50,000 people at Victoria Park. Being announced as the Best Act in the World (Q Awards) and the launch of their critically acclaimed 5th album 48:13. Then to top it all off, a sell out tour! Not bad for a bunch of lads from Leicester!


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John Foxx I’m in the Capital at the British Film Institute (BFI) on Southbank. The BFI is running a programme of Sci-Fi based events which started on 20th October and runs until 31st December. With three sci-fi based themes (Tomorrow’s World, Altered States and Contact!) a range of film, art and live music events linking in are arranged as part of BFI Southbank’s regular film/music event “Sonic Cinema”. During the sci-fi season, artists such as DJ Yoda, and Radiophonic Workshop will be appearing a series of special Sci-Fi themed live performances. The programme for this evening brings a range of audio/visual and film performances from a range of artists. Stuart Brown of the BFI introduces each act in turn to the full theatre.


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Robert Plant On a very wet Friday evening, the Wolverhampton Civic Hall is the busiest I have ever seen it, all waiting in anticipation for local rock royalty to take to the stage in the form of Robert Plant. As the house lights fade, the stage takes on a purple hue whilst Indian folk music replaces Sonic Youth and after a few minutes the Sensational Space Shifters enter followed by the living legend himself. Dressed simply in a black shirt and jeans with his trademark hair tied back, Plant still has the stature of a true rock star.


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The Specials Thursday night, Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, it must be The Specials. It's cold outside, but inside The Civic, the crowd are warming up nicely for an evening of classic Two-Tone from The Specials and some Dancing with The Rude Boys.


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The Jesus And Mary Chain The Jesus and Mary Chain (JAMC) are back on the road, joining the ranks of established bands reforming and playing their iconic works live. In this case the album is 1985’s feedback fest ‘Psychocandy’.


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A Day To Remember As A Day To Remember are due to take to the stage Eminem - Lose Yourself was blasted through the speakers; ensue the crowd erupting with noise and everyone having a giant sing along. For a moment I thought I was at another gig. The lights went down and then BOOM! Confetti greeted the crowd together with deafening screams. A taste of things to come.


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Jackson Browne It takes a unique artist to receive a standing ovation before they have even played or sung a note, but that is the welcome that is bestowed upon Jackson Browne by the audience of Symphony Hall tonight.  There is no support as Browne is intending to deliver a lengthy set split by a brief interval of fifteen minutes.


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The Gaslight Anthem The first two words that come to mind when I hear the words ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ are ‘cult following’. Whilst they never seem to be part of the mainstream music consciouness, they have garnered a huge following that has made them one of the most popular rock bands of the past decade. That cult following is definitely evident in Manchester’s Apollo this Monday evening.


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Kate Tempest Poet, rapper, playwright, novelist, Mercury nominee, winner of the prestigious Ted Hughes Award, inventor of a cure for the common cold (okay, so the last one was made up but frankly you wouldn’t put it past her)...for many Kate Tempest has seemingly sprung from nowhere over the past year or so. The reality’s radically different but no less impressive...


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