Albert Hammond Jr Feel Good Indie Rock – Albert Hammond Jr offers some kind Strokes in Manchester. It’s a difficult job for a rhythm/lead guitarist from a highly successful worldwide band to make it as a solo artist. Like Carl Barat without his oppo in The Libertines, you are reduced to playing drastically smaller venues and releasing introspective, much more personal but probably less commercial albums, with various collective friends and acquaintances forming members of your live band.


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Janelle Monáe It's possible to say the crowd that were going wild, hearing hit after hit from Janelle Monáe at the Academy, however, I feel that would be a discredit to this icon. Manchester saw how much more this icon gives in terms of music bringing anthems of honesty, rebellion and love, lifting up the crowd with her immense stage presence and colourful emotive pictures.


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Goat Girl Goat Girl are a young all-female band from South London who have real attitude and write great songs. Their debut album, released last April, contains 19 short (most under 3 minutes), diverse and punchy songs and has received great reviews and radio play. The Brudenell is sold-out tonight for the Leeds stop on the band’s extensive tour. Goat Girl are really working hard at gigging: earlier this year I saw them in Montreal during their tour of North America supporting Parquet Courts. They were very well received by the Canadian audience and are making new friends wherever they play.


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Garbage Let me begin with a word on the venue. Digbeth Arena is not an arena. That would be too grandiose a term for what is essentially a small space between a railway track and a old viaduct. The enclosed nature of the space acts as a natural amphitheatre that results in possibly the best sound quality I have ever heard at any gig. In short, this is a dream performance space for any artist worth their salt. In Birmingham, we are treated to three bands worth enough salt to keep the second city in fish and chips for a lifetime...


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Jonathan Wilson Six months after his last UK appearance, Jonathan Wilson is back in town with what looks to be a different band and an ever so slightly improved video backdrop. Three keyboardists are in the line-up including Drew Erickson who played with Wilson as part of Roger Waters’ touring band. Ny Oh’s backing vocals are a particularly welcome addition. The setlist is largely unchanged (notably ‘Dear Friend’ is substituted for ‘Moses Pain’) and focusses on his recent Rare Birds album.


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Ezra Furman “Are you nervous? I’m not nervous!” says Ezra Furman at the start of his Brixton Academy set.


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Incubus “Is Incubus still a band?” is mounted as one of the top 4 Google searches to include the word ‘Incubus’ at the moment, which is interesting considering they’re currently getting ready to wrap their final dates of a world tour, their first in many years. That being said, the atmosphere in tonight’s completely sold out o2 Academy definitively confirms that an army of people in Birmingham never forgot about them for a second.


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King Creosote Even if he wasn’t a great wordsmith, tunesmith, singer, musician and performer, out of curiosity you’d have to go and see an act with the name King Creosote. Mr Creosote (no, not the character in the Monty Python film) is actually Kenny Anderson, resident of Fife. Staunchly independent, he has released truckloads of recordings and founded the Fence record label in 1995. One of his most successful albums, nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2011, has been ‘Diamond Mine’, his collaboration with electronica musician Jon Hopkins. However, he has many albums very worthy of investigation, including the most recent, 2016’s ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’.


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Moseley Folk Festival 2018 The festival god's blessed the 13th Moseley Folk Festival with glorious sunshine for the whole three days, which is only fair and right seeing as how they damned Moseley’s sister festival, Lunar to a torrents of rain for much of that weekend. And no matter how much rain makes for the "proper" festival experience, being dry, warm to hot (possible for the last time this year), makes for a much more pleasant festival. So karma readdressed and lucky 13 for some and all, Moseley got under way on the afternoon of Friday 31st August.


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Cool Britannia Day three of the inaugural Cool Britannia Festival brings the memories flooding back... Boasting some of the biggest names in British rock and pop from the last 30 years, the Cool Britannia Festival was a three-day event held at legendary venue Knebworth Park in Hertfordshire from Friday, 31st August (though the opening day showcased slightly lesser-known acts) to Sunday, 2nd September.


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Bingley Music Live 2018 After climbing an unreasonably large hill to arrive at the Bingley Music Live festival site, I emerged into the beautiful West Yorkshire sunshine just as the Lightning Seeds were closing out their set. Songs such as Life of Riley and Change provide a certain nostalgic satisfaction, but these tracks haven't aged particularly well, and the omission of Three Lions is keenly felt by all in attendance.


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St. Vincent Watching a St. Vincent show is what it is to witness a creative mind expressing itself in the most beautiful way. A performance that’s all about the performance with everything from the music, the pulsating lights and the hypnotic video projections all working together in harmony with one thing in mind - to make you feel sexy.


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Justin Timberlake Arriving at The Arena Birmingham there were queues and confusion all over the place; I quickly discovered that this was the result of a well-known ticket vendor having a hiccup resulting in long queues and ID checks at the box office, but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the eager fans waiting to get inside for Justin Timberlake.


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South West Four Spread over the Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday South West Four (SW4) sees some of the biggest DJs and dance acts descend onto London's Clapham Common.


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