The Vamps The Vamps are already taking 2015 by storm, their first arena tour kicked off in April, which has seen them headline shows to over 150,000 fans across the UK and Ireland's largest cities.


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Foxygen Foxygen have released some great songs in their career to date, being at times very poppy, but also managing to be interesting, quirky and experimental. However, a major draw to one of their gigs will inevitably be their reputation for seriously unhinged live performances. It’s also been suggested that this might be Foxygen’s last tour, so there are certainly expectations tonight.


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Public Service Broadcasting “This is a public service announcement. We would like to welcome the people of Birmingham to Birmingham Institute. Tonight performing for your delectation and entertainment will be Public Service Broadcasting with support artists the Smoke Fairies. Thank you for coming along and enjoy tonight’s performance. Yes."


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Shawn Smith Shawn Smith is the prolific vocal and creative driving force behind a number of bands over the past twenty years or so, namely Brad, Pigeonhed and Satchel; however he is still relatively unknown and this is clear from the small number attending this intimate show. As he enters the stage, looking like a young Leon Russell, Smith engages with the audience straight away as he takes his seat at the keyboard and begins with the Satchel song Suffering.  Shawn’s voice powers over the keyboard and his distinctive vocal style takes you back to an era of the mid ‘90’s due to his involvement in so many influential Seattle bands. Through his use of humour Shawn Smith made the night informal, and it was more like a friend playing to a group of mates which led to some supportive heckling from the crowd that was received and responded to with sharp wit.


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Calexico It’s always a pleasure to see Calexico perform. Their concerts are fun, they effortlessly mix musical genres and their live musicianship is stunning. The current European tour is promoting their new album ‘Edge of the Sun’.


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Nick Cave Promptly at 8.30, Nick Cave swaggers on stage looking characteristically dapper, in a tailored suit and shirt, and takes a seat at the centrally positioned grand piano. To the one side sits his co-conspirator Warren Ellis, whilst Martyn Casey, Thomas Wydler and a replacement for Barry Adamson take their positions towards the back on a raised part of the stage.


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Man Overboard Tonight felt like I was 13 again hanging out at the Red Rose in Rugeley. The Slade Rooms has an air of the 6th form common room full of hormonal teenagers ready to release some tension by going crazy in the pit. Tonight’s show is a rescheduled tour that was originally meant to see a now defunct Hostage Calm and scandalicious Front Porch Step supporting.


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The Specials Album Review So The Specials are about to re-releasing a trio of albums, just to remind us all exactly how great they were. Their take on life, their political overview is indeed a musical historical sign of that specific moment in time. This trio of double CDs’ featuring  'Specials', ‘More Specials’, ‘Rarities By The Special AKA’ plus ‘In The Studio (Special Edition)’, is a set of remastered and expanded releases from the Specials and the Special AKA. A  total a massive 75 tracks by the 2-Tone heroes.


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Theory of a Deadman Tonight playing to a sold out crowd at the Manchester Academy 2 are Canadian rockers, Theory of a Deadman. 10 years since releasing their first record and 5 albums later, its nice the see the band finally getting the recognition they deserve from UK audiences.


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Mike + The Mechanics Tonight the traffic into Birmingham is dire - clearly something has occurred to snare up the road system terribly as we make our way into town. But it’s okay, we know the short cuts. We’re making our way to the delectable Symphony Hall to see a ‘side-project’ that has done very well, thank you every much. This chap may have been in another band that did a tad better - but tonight we’re here to see Mike Rutherford and his band of brothers that make up Mike + the Mechanics.


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Sharon Van Etten Love hurts. Love scars. And there's nobody who quite knows how to document the more painful side of love than Sharon Van Etten. Ever since she first appeared in 2009 with an album inspired by a former partner who smashed up her guitar and told her that her music was pointless (note to that man - you are very wrong), she's specialised in writing love songs that are painful and startling in their honesty.


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Hit The Deck Festival 2015 Today brings us to Nottingham, home of 2 football teams, Robin Hood, trams & a festival by the name of Hit The Deck. Having avoided the numerous speed cameras, parked up and grabbed a bite to eat, I headed inside to see what was going on.


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Ella Eyre From originally featuring on Bastille’s cover of 'Scrubs' with The XX’s 'Angels' (No Angels) the West London singer songwriter Ella Eyre has made it to number one in the UK charts featuring on Rudimental’s 'Waiting All Night' and has also featured alongside Wiz Khalifa and Tinie Tempah.


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Cancer Bats Even if you aren’t a fan of Cancer Bats you have to concede that these guys know how to put on a show. They enjoy what they do and they take time hanging out with fans in the smoking area prior to their set. The interlude music of Andrew WK fits perfect for these guys to enter the stage.


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