Hands Off Gretel Allow me to introduce the bubblegum-coated blaze of glory that is Hands Off Gretel. They describe themselves as having “Gwen Stefani style swagger” with “Nirvana-esque grunge”, and I’d say that pretty much sums them up. Their sound is heavy and dirty, with the type of energy and beat that would make the devil himself want to dance.


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JAWS Having released four sonically diverse singles and ahead of their highly anticipated fourth album and return, JAWS announced a quartet of live dates around the UK. Calling at Glasgow, Manchester, London and finally their hometown of Birmingham, the shows were curiously large for the band and after following their meteoric rise as a completely unsigned band, I was intrigued to see how they matched up to these larger venues at their Birmingham date.


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Drenge The title of Drenge’s latest album 'Strange Creatures' seems to sum up the band’s recent history pretty well. The band have mutated over the years into a hulking four piece grunge beast, a far cry from the simple double act they used to be. Under the cloak of darkness they arrived at the O2 Institute, hungry and ready to devour Birmingham whole.


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Hands Off Gretel It’s International Women’s Day and we’ve congregated at Alphabet Brewing Company on the outskirts of Manchester for a celebration of music with a predominantly female line-up.


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Melvins I’d heard rumours after the Melvins set in Digbeth last year that ear drums were blown and minds were melted. I expected much of the same when they played the O2 Academy on Tuesday, and with my ears still ringing I can easily say they delivered.


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Pearl Jam What do you get when you see a band like Pearl Jam two nights running? Well, normally you’d get two pretty much completely unique and different set lists, a sore throat from singing along like you were 18 again and a euphoric feeling that turns you into one giant goose bump.


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Alice in Chains Seattle legends Alice in Chains paid a flying visit to the UK for two shows in the run up to the release of their new album due later this year and before they spend the whole summer on a huge run of festival shows. We were lucky enough to catch them at Leeds Academy, the first of the two nights.


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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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Elvana “Sometimes I sound like Nic Cage. Sometimes it’s Matthew McConaughey. If you’re very f***in’ lucky, I might sound like Kurt Cobain. Mostly… I DO NOT sound like Elvis f***in’ Presley! But DO WE CARE!?” Not one bit. A packed house at the O2 Academy2 in Birmingham were firmly behind Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana as they brought their UK tour to the West Midlands on 9 September.


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Bush If, like me, you are a 30-something who grew up in South Africa, you almost certainly owned a copy of Bush’s ’94 album ‘Sixteen Stone’. You were also most likely a teenage girl with a crush on frontman Gavin Rossdale, or a teenage boy who had to lie about owning said album because you could NEVER listen to both Nirvana AND Bush. So, with Bush tracks dominating the soundtrack of my rebellious and tortured youth (my youth was neither rebellious nor tortured, but it makes me sound cooler than I am), it was with much excitement, and slight trepidation, that I made my way to o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Tuesday evening, to see the band return to the stage after a couple of year’s absence from touring, with a headline UK show, and a new album to boot.


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Candlebox On Friday night at Plug in Sheffield, a select crowd was treated to music of the finest by American rockers Candlebox, who were supported by the fantastic Pete RG and outstanding Jeff Angell’s Staticland..


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Chris Cornell Emerged from a now iconic music scene in Seattle. Tick. Gained international success in band from said scene. Tick. Twice and ongoing. Tick. International and acclaimed solo success. Tick. Member of more than one supergroup. Tick. Multiple Grammy awards. Tick. we could gone on - instead we’re hear to listen. To the rock voice of a generation. Laid bare, just the main man, his voice and guitar - Chris Cornell is back with 'Higher Truth' Songbook style..


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Darlia On a Friday night where the winter weather and cold seemed to be setting in, Darlia took to the stage and gave nothing more than an red hot explosive set. The Blackpool trio are touring off the back of their latest release ‘Petals’, a catchy-grungy handful of songs. Their performance is just as entertaining as their songs, a blend of energy and rock music thats not afraid to punch you in the face. Only on this occasion you’re grateful for it.


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Babes in Toyland by Gig Junkies, on Flickr A lot of legendary bands seem to be reforming to play tours at the moment and tonight Manchester’s Gorilla is sold out for one of only a small number of UK gigs by seminal US female punk ensemble Babes in Toyland. This is the band’s first tour in 18 years and so there is a lot of excitement in the air. For the next hour there is a full-on musical assault, as the trio of singer / guitarist Kat Bjelland, bassist Maureen Herman and drummer Lori Barbero take us on a rapid-fire journey through the three uncompromising and highly influential albums the band made between 1990 and 1995. Babes in Toyland fell apart rather acrimoniously in the years after their last album so it’s great to see the definitive line-up together on stage and so obviously enjoying the proceedings.


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