Tangerine Dream If you ask most people if they have heard of Tangerine Dream, they would probably assume you were talking about some kind of citrus-based dessert. However, I can guarantee that those same philistines would certainly recognise a whole handful of the German legends best-known tunes, whether they knew it or not. Be that via the soundtrack of one of their favourite TV shows or movies, Stranger Things and Bandersnatch are just two recent examples that have introduced the iconic synth act to a new realm of fans.


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Fatboy Slim As the acid house smiley face carpet is laid down on the podium, you realise how much faster the changeover between DJs is compared with bands as it is only a brief period of time before the breaks legend that is Fatboy Slim takes to the stage, adorned in a Hawaiian shirt that is as colourful as his performance. Needless to say, Norman Cook is unlikely to let you down when stood behind the decks considering he has been honing his craft for the past 25 years of so yet his ability to create such an electrifying atmosphere is niche.


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Nils Frahm Nils Frahm is sparking a movement which challenges the conventions of music today. Without little introduction, no support act and a packed room, Nils Frahm graced a captive O2 Academy with his first ever Birmingham performance.


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FKJ Tuesday night in Manchester saw the coming together of an exponent of 80’s style Funk in the shape of French musician Dabeull and the dazzling musicianship of one man band FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) in the Manchester Ritz which was packed to rafters to catch one of his four dates in the UK as part of his European and US tour running right through to May 19.


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John Grant Promoting the recently released ‘Love is Magic’ album, John Grant is finally undertaking a full tour, taking in both Europe and The States. He did of course tease the UK audience last year with a handful of shows and festival appearances, but it was only on the final dates of 2018 when he unleashed his full ‘Love is Magic’ set, and the Bath show was visually stunning and the first time I’ve known him to use background graphics.


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Enter Shikari There are not many bands out there who have been in the scene for 20 years who will announce a mega small venue European tour visiting every corner of the UK including Llandudno, Inverness, Southampton, Norwich, Leicester and on top of that, a 10th Barrowland Ballroom appearance in Glasgow.


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Years & Years You haven’t seen much until you’ve seen Olly Alexander – of Years & Years – thrust and twerk in a macramé top and platform heels. The quintessence of LGBT, the sensual showman and his crew, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen bring their synth-pop swagger to Arena Birmingham for an all-out energised gig.


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Heaven 17 Heaven 17 never toured when The Luxury Gap album first came out even with it being their most successful album. It contains masterpieces such as Come Live With Me, Let Me Go, We Live So Fast and of course their most well-known track, Temptation. To hear it played live is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This is a phenomenal show and Glenn and Martyn know how to throw a party. The London leg of the tour was hosted at Shepherd’s Bush Empire – a favourite venue of the band. The tour is currently over halfway through and yet on this cold November night, London came out in droves, queuing up to see these 80’s legends. The audience were rewarded by Heaven 17 telling them that they were the best audience – apparently even better than Liverpool. The audience lapped it up.


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The Japanese House Whilst most of Birmingham were either crammed into the German Market, or upstairs downing Red Stripe for Peace’s homecoming gig, deep down below, in the underbelly of the O2 Institute 2, a future star was emerging in the form of The Japanese House.


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Rudimental Having seen Rudimental at Parklife Festival a few years back I knew that tonight’s show was going to be a lot of fun. I was expecting high energy, bouncy fun, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.


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The Orb Most of you will (I hope) have a musical bucket list, and I’m glad to say that The Orb have been on my list for a long time, and Saturday night in Newcastle provided another tick on this list.


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Maribou State On an unusually warm autumnal Friday night it was a chance to catch critically acclaimed Maribou State on their current tour to promote their new album and EP which were released earlier this year.


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The Sixth Lie What is Hyper Japan, you ask? It’s a festival dedicated to representing the culture of todays’ Japan, all the way from food to fabrics. If you haven’t been yet, you definitely should. For me it’s one of the most enjoyable weekends of the year (and I promise that’s not just because I acquired about a thousand free sachets of wasabi). The next Hyper Japan is 16-18th November 2018 – book your tickets! Pro tip: Also book tickets for the Sake Experience. You won’t regret it.


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Wolfgang Flür There’s a good turnout at the Brudenell tonight to see a rare UK live show from ex-Kraftwork member Wolfgang Flür. Flür appeared as electronic percussionist on all Kraftwerk’s classic albums from 1974’s ‘Autobahn’ to 1986’s ‘Electric Cafe’. The audience at the Brudenell is a really unusual mix, ranging from long-in-the-tooth Kraftwerk fans to young enthusiasts of everything techno and electronica.


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