Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips open their set with fragments of sound and a TV static type lighting effect. The lights pulsate as the beat creeps in, and I find myself being hypnotised by ‘Eclipse’. This is the opening song of their 2018 album ‘V.’, and a gorgeous representation of their ‘garage-styled psychedelia’. The firm bass and drum instrumentals, layered with murmuring vocals from Erik ‘Ripley’ Johnson, are entrancing.


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Yo La Tengo There’s a unique charm to Yo La Tengo, one they’ve possessed throughout the full span of their decades-long career, and is evident as ever on their latest album, ‘There’s A Riot Going On’.


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IAMX There was no better place to be than Electric Ballroom, Camden on Saturday. Those lucky enough to have got a ticket caught IAMX on stage in support of the release of his latest LP, ‘Alive in New Light’, released earlier this month. What made this an extra special one, is that legendary tattoo artist, Kat von D would join him on stage. She makes an appearance on four tracks on the new album and this was the first time she would perform live music. Electro artist, IAMX began back in 2004 in London as a solo project by now LA based, Chris Corner, formerly of Sneaker Pimps.


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The Weather Station “In order to successfully put on a performance you have to take up space in a room and you have to allow it to be a situation where people are listening to you and you have to be comfortable with that and you have to feel like you have something to say”. So said Tamara Lindeman aka The Weather Station in her documentary short ‘Sentiment & Memory’. Despite suffering from a cold and the inevitable angst associated with the first night of a headlining UK tour she, to use her words, “made it” at the Leeds Brudenell.


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Ho99o9 It seems natural that a band with such a name as Ho99o9 would one day rock up to play within the walls of Brighton venue The Haunt. Not solely due to their shared ghoulish names, but rather due to this venue being the kind of one that punk spirited bands such as Ho99o9 thrive in.


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ENTER SHAKIRI So to accompany their recently released album 'The Spark' these eclectic musicians bring their tour to Nottingham, as part of a series of arena tours. Welcome to the Motorpoint Arena tonight, Enter Shakiri.


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Radiohead This is one of the most difficult reviews I can recall being asked to do. People fall into two camps, they either love and adore Radiohead, in which case very few words are needed to tell them how great they were last night (they were likely already there), or the other side are those who don’t “get” the band, they fail to see how visionary they are, pushing boundaries, making you think, not giving you what you expect, and for these people, I have no chance at all to convince them of the greatness of Radiohead in the few words I have.


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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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Jesca Hoop I came late to the Hoop train, as mentioned in my earlier review of her tour with Sam Beam (of Iron and Wine fame). It’s no secret that I obsess over female singer songwriters - specifically those whose songs elicit feelings of sorrow and loss. Hoop’s earlier work varies in sound to my ears - unbeknownst to me, I’d heard ‘Born To’ many many times on BBC 6Music, without registering who she was, with it washing over me. But that song is heavily produced, with full band. And my preference is Hoop on her own with a guitar, stripped back and intimate.


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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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Psychic Ills US psych band Psychic Ills hit Manchester tonight for one of only two UK tour dates, before traveling on to the continent for more gigs. So it’s a rare chance to see the band in action. Just recently their new album, ‘Inner Journey Out’, has been getting plays and praise on the radio and their star is definitely on the rise.


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Steve Mason It’s a cold and damp Sunday evening in Manchester and the largely deserted Oxford Road around The Academy is festooned with fenced-off road works. Not an appealing start to the evening, but fortunately we are about to come in from the cold and witness a spirited solo performance from former Beta Band man Steve Mason.


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Animal Collective The fact that weird electro-pop-experimenters Animal Collective have sold out Manchester’s Ritz tonight suggests they have become relatively mainstream. Much of their mass appeal is down to 2009’s highly successful crossover album, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ and now they are touring to promote their latest album, ‘Painting With’.


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John French The Magic Band’s ‘United Kingdom’ tour offer was taken up by English venues only but a handful of Scots fans joined the good people of Preston for a memorable night in the north of England. The Continental is a small, friendly venue situated on the banks of the River Ribble. The hall is attached to a bar and restaurant which dealt perfectly with my requests for cask ale and vegetarian food. To make things even better, Magic Band members mixed with devotees before the show, adding to the already relaxed and intimate atmosphere.


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