Jonathan Wilson Six months after his last UK appearance, Jonathan Wilson is back in town with what looks to be a different band and an ever so slightly improved video backdrop. Three keyboardists are in the line-up including Drew Erickson who played with Wilson as part of Roger Waters’ touring band. Ny Oh’s backing vocals are a particularly welcome addition. The setlist is largely unchanged (notably ‘Dear Friend’ is substituted for ‘Moses Pain’) and focusses on his recent Rare Birds album.


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Moseley Folk Festival 2018 The festival god's blessed the 13th Moseley Folk Festival with glorious sunshine for the whole three days, which is only fair and right seeing as how they damned Moseley’s sister festival, Lunar to a torrents of rain for much of that weekend. And no matter how much rain makes for the "proper" festival experience, being dry, warm to hot (possible for the last time this year), makes for a much more pleasant festival. So karma readdressed and lucky 13 for some and all, Moseley got under way on the afternoon of Friday 31st August.


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John Grant I rock up to The Symphony Hall looking forward to seeing Susanne Sundfoer support the every charming John Grant. Unfortunately she has taken the night off to rest her voice and instead we are treated to Cate Le Bon. This welsh singer songwriter has an incredible band behind her, constantly changing instruments and creating an incredible sound. She has a beautiful and haunting voice that seems to capture those of us in the crowd who arrived early.


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Ben Howard Having sold out almost immediately, Ben Howard played to a packed-to-the-rafters Manchester Albert Hall on a hot and sweaty Friday evening on the 29th June. Being the first set of announced dates in support of his highly anticipated new album Noonday Dream, it was the first chance for fans to hear the tracks from the often elusive Totnes born songwriter.


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Laura Veirs Manchester’s music scene is buzzing. Last night it was the old guard – Patti Smith at the Apollo; The Rolling Stones and Richard Ashcroft playing at Old Trafford. Tonight LCD Soundsystem grace the Apollo and here at the Deaf Institute we have American singer-songwriter, Laura Veirs.


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Frank Turner In a packed out Camden Roundhouse, just under 2,000 fans eagerly anticipated the grand entry of the greatest showman that is Frank Turner. And his entry is certainly epic as his band mate trips him over whilst running onto the stage, falling flat on his face. An extremely embarrassed Frank Turner curses and laughs at guitarist Ben Lloyd as he continues to start the show with the energetic and upbeat ‘1933’.


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Jonathan Wilson Jonathan Wilson is a forty-something Los Angeles based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He’s released four albums as a solo artist, most notably 2013’s Fanfare which featured a stellar supporting cast.


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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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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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A Tribute to Dave ‘Swarb’ Swarbrick Dave Swarbrick was an iconic figure in the folk music scene, probably most famous for being fiddler, singer and composer with folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention and for his collaborations with English folk-revival legend Martin Carthy. Gig Junkies reviewed their concert at Settle’s Victoria Hall in 2015, on what turned out to be their final tour together. Alas Dave passed-away in 2016 leaving instructions that there should be no funeral. However, before he died he did talk about one last celebratory bash with his friends. Now some of those musical friends and collaborators have got together to organise a touring tribute to the man and his music – ‘Swarb! Suits Him Well’. Hebden Bridge is the first date of the tour and The Trades Club is sold-out.


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Gogol Bordello The audience for Gogol Bordello were an unexpected mixed bag - the punks, goths, and musos in their requisite uniforms - with the addition of a lot of younger children with parents. GB don’t strike me as the MOST child friendly band, but their infectious energy clearly appeals to a very broad demographic.


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The Pictish Trail Isle of Eigg resident Johnny Lynch has been performing as Pictish Trail since the early 2000’s. He describes himself as ‘svelt, intelligent, adorable balladeer, trapped inside the body of an oversized, oft-bearded folk ogre’ and his musical genre as ‘lo-fi scmaltz’. A larger-than-life figure, Lynch is co-organiser of the Howlin Fling Festival on Eigg, he has apparently played at every single Green Man Festival and is head of Lost Map records (he previously ran Fence Records). Clearly unmissable.


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Mark Lanegan Before he starts playing, Mark Lanegan demands that the minimal onstage lighting be dimmed even more and when he is satisfied he begins his ninety minute set with Death’s Head Tattoo from his latest album Gargoyle.


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Skinny Lister Have a look at the Xtra Mile Recordings roster. It is a list of some of the finest acts out there. Diverse, but each one worth your time and money. Two of the best live acts this country has to offer are Xtra Mile artists Skinny Lister and Beans On Toast and they’re currently touring their blistering sets around this sceptred isle.


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