Villagers I’d been missing the Villagers for years - always being in the wrong place at the wrong time - another town, or another part of another festival. We made it tonight though, to the modest and cosy interior of Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms.


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IDLES Luckily it wasn't a portent of doom that the evening commenced with the slogan 'Anger is an Energy' right before my peepers. Some hours later, Idles had done a striking job of recreating this refrain in aural form, and then some.


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SEventh Wave Following on from the inaugural The Seventh Wave Festival of electronic music late in 2016, Festival No.2 took place over 4 days and a series of events celebrating classic and contemporary electronica. Over the weekend a procession of artists performed, talked, and taught fans of electronic music here in Birmingham.


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Gabrielle 90’s chart favourite Gabrielle, graced Birmingham Wednesday night at the Town Hall with a raw and intimate show.


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bluedot-thumb bluedot Festival Set over three glorious summer days at Jodrell Bank, (the Cheshire observatory at the cutting edge of humanity’s quest for knowledge), bluedot is a brand new three-day festival of discovery that promised to fuse a complex mix of artists, speakers, scientists and performers into an event unlike any on earth which looks to inspire the scientists of the future.


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Godiva-thumb Godiva Festival Godiva Festival, now in its 18th year, takes place at Coventry War Memorial Park and is a Council run, free festival. Godiva played host this weekend to a record breaking audience of around 148,000 visitors (up 7000 on 2015) for three days of live music, dance, street theatre, comedy and disco as well as a host of family activities including craft stalls, funfair and lots more besides.


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Gabrielle Aplin Following the positive reception that greeted her new album Light Up The Dark, Gabrielle Aplin approaches a major UK and Ireland headline tour that includes a Birmingham show at O2 Institute!


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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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INALA: A Zulu ballet featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo Tonight at the delectable Symphony Hall we have a unique mix of the  classical sound of South Africa complimented by contemporary modern Western ballet, as the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo bring INALA - A Zulu Ballet to Birmingham.


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Mike and the Mechanics The Symphony Hall and surrounding area is a very busy place tonight. Ant and Dec (not in person) are filming a fling thing in Centenary Square, while there's a posh black tie do on in one of the halls. But we're here in the lovely Symphony Hall auditorium to see Mike Rutherford’s ‘side project’ Mike and the Mechanics.


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Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip It’s been nearly seven years since Le Sac and Pip’s first hit, Thou Shalt Always Kill, a deliberately provocative swipe at the mindless hero worship of many a sacred musical cow (everyone from The Beatles through to Lostprophets... hmmm they may have had a point there in retrospect). Okay, perhaps it had a vague whiff of the novelty one hit wonder about it but the pair have since gone on to produce some of the freshest most thought provoking hip hop around, hence the pretty much capacity crowd tonight.


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THEBAND Fred Perry has always had a unique relationship with British subcultures over the last 6 decades. Once a notable symbol for sport it is now firmly placed on the shoulders of those who frequent the coolest gigs in town. Fred Perry undoubtedly represent heritage- but their also at the forefront of the up and coming too.


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Layers Ahhhhh springtime, dontcha just love it? Longer days, buds on the trees, daffs springing up everywhere, the sudden reappearance of our old friend Mr Sun...except someone, somewhere seems to have failed to read the script this year as the temperature allegedly plummeted to a nut shrivelling -10 today (with wind chill). Good grief. Happily tonight’s compact and subterranean venue rapidly achieved a slightly more tropical feel courtesy of This Is Sinister. They’ve been knocking around for a few years now and what was once an odd mix in their early gigs seems to have gelled remarkably well. Psych, prog, country, rock, beat...no genre’s immune but somehow they make it work. Musical trainspotters might make links to Pearl Jam and At The Drive In in places but this lot are frankly impossible to pigeonhole and there aren’t too many bands you can say that about these days. Pick of the set included Idle Pleasures and the country rock tinged Never Find A Way, complete with added harmonica, neither of which I can find online anywhere so you’ll just have to go and see ‘em instead. Oh, and ask them to do tonight’s closing number too, a spirited and pant wettingly enjoyable version of Twist and Shout that might just be one of the greatest covers of all time...


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The Computers There’s a limb flying through the air. It’s difficult to tell if it’s still attached to its owner. It seems unlikely given the mayhem that’s unfolding in a compact basement in Birmingham. Welcome to the world of The Computers... Lordy, it’s been a while since my last live gig. Nearly a month in fact. I’ve got some decent excuses though, what with the nut shrivelling cold, 3 cm of snow and a misguided attempt to go ‘dry’ for most of the month. Avoiding booze at home is tough enough, not drinking when you’re out at a gig...well...it just don’t seem right. What better way to pop my 2013 gig virginity then than a gig from The Computers eh? Rock and motherhumpin’ roll.


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