Gwenifer Raymond When it comes to spotting interesting new artists, for me it often starts with hearing something on the radio then following it up with an album purchase or a live gig. Going to a gig is often a great introduction to an artist as you get to experience their personality and body of work, all providing context to the music. So it is with Gwenifer Raymond, a new talent who burst onto the music scene last year with her debut album, ‘You Were Never Much of a Dancer’.


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Kacy and Clayton Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum are cousins who grew up in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Kacy and Clayton’s musical partnership was forged by a mutual love of timeless old traditional music. Starting off playing in local venues they’ve since gained many fans and admirers and their most recent acclaimed album ‘The Siren’s Song’ was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. The duo are currently touring in Europe and tonight they follow up their London gig with a debut visit to The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge. Recently they’ve gigged with an electric band, but for the current tour the pair are playing acoustic.


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Teddy Thompson Flame-haired country singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson is one of those rare things: nostalgic yet modern, passionate yet unsentimental. It is perhaps a curious kind of venue, then, that he finds himself in tonight.


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Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats As The Night Sweats open the set, Nathaniel Rateliff’s presence is met with an overwhelming onset of applause and cheering. His hands take hold of the mic and his powerful voice resonates with every spectator.


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The War On Drugs The War On Drugs’ latest album, ‘A Deeper Understanding’, was released in the summer of 2017. Since then, we’ve welcomed the band to London on three occasions: first at Ally Pally last November, then a mammoth show with The National for All Points East this summer, and now at the o2 Arena.


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Neko Case It’s a privilege to catch talented American singer-songwriter Neko Case at her sold-out Leeds gig, one of only two UK dates on the current tour. Neko Case has certainly led a life in music, as a solo artist, as a member of several bands (notably The New Pornographers) and also as a serial collaborator (The Sadies, The Corn Sisters, Calexico and most recently as a member of ‘supergroup’ Case/Lang/Viers).


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First Aid Kit I’ve been waiting for this night for 12 months. I was lucky enough to see First Aid Kit at a one-off show in Shoreditch this time last year and as we all filed out of the town hall that night, I spotted two of the Staveley-Taylor sisters popping backstage to see Klara and Johanna. The thought crossed my mind – wouldn’t it be great if they played a show together. Fast forward a year and here we are – Newcastle O2 Academy for a night of harmony and some of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear.


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James Bay As one of my favourite solo artists and a big fan his debut album, ‘Chaos & the Calm’ PLUS having waited over three years for a new release and a tour, I was elated (and apprehensive) about covering the James Bay Roundhouse gig on Tuesday. James released this very highly anticipated new album, ‘Electric Light’ on Friday, 18 May and is currently on tour supporting it.


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George Ezra With his 2nd Number 1 album out for only a week, George Ezra kicks off his ‘Staying at Tamara’s’ tour in Leeds in front of thousands of Pretty Shining People.


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The Handsome Family Husband and wife duo Rennie and Brett Sparks have been performing as The Handsome Family since the mid-1990s and have a string of critically acclaimed albums under their belts. Currently based in New Mexico in the USA their style might be described as something like gothic alt-country noir. Their songs frequently focus on the dark side of life, with death, madness and general strangeness emerging as subjects time and time again. However, their unsettling lyrics are delivered set to gorgeous timeless tunes and, particularly live, with a wicked sense of humour. The current UK tour is centred on a performance of their classic 1998 album ‘Through the Trees’, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.


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Jake Bugg Over the years we have been spoiled by the talent that has come from Nottingham. From the legendary Bruce Dickinson to the legendary drummer, Ian Paice. But if you happened to find yourself at the London Palladium on the 26th of February this year, you would have been treated to a very different style of musical talent to have emerged from the English midlands. The incredibly talented Jake Bugg graced the London theatre tonight to spread his eclectic mix of Americana Indie rock.


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The Mavericks With their uptempo party tunes and general good-time vibe, The Mavericks have a wide-ranging appeal – counting country fans, Latin music lovers, jazz hounds and pop pickers among their numerous admirers.


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Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer A guitarist; drummer and bassist take the stage and do a short warm up to herald the entrance of Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer. The two are sisters, raised in rural Alabama, bound and sometimes separated by a deeply tragic event witnessed during their teenage years. Both went on to individual and critically acclaimed recording careers but, now as ‘forty-somethings’, they have just recorded their first album together. Tonight they play all ten songs from Not Dark Yet in virtual track-list order.


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First Aid Kit The Swedish Söderberg sisters, First Aid Kit, return with a not so quiet night in and plenty of headshaking and dancing for the hipster Shoreditch set. Yes! I’m in Shoreditch, hipster central, and for a man from Yorkshire who doesn’t have any facial hair, I’m as far removed from my normal habitat like a giraffe at a small shrubbery convention. However, the reason I have traversed 200 miles south is to see First Aid Kit. This is a band I have loved on record for many years, but never quite managed to catch them in a live setting before.


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