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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Liam Gallagher Liam Gallagher swaggered on to the Birmingham stage to rapturous applause and the opening chords of ‘Rock 'n' Roll Star’. The brummy crowd were treated to tracks from Liam’s first solo album ‘As You Were’ interspersed with classic Oasis tracks that made him the legendary frontman that we all know and love today.


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Scouting For Girls A lot can change in ten years, but Scouting for Girls still hold up as one of the hottest pop-rock acts around. The Londoners returned to a sold-out Oxford O2 Academy to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their self-titled debut album and play – in their own words – whatever they want!


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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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Lost Horizons Tonight is a step into the unknown to see a new band, Lost Horizons, performing songs from their debut album ‘Ojalá’ (meaning ‘hopefully’ in Spanish). I’m prompted to check them out as Lost Horizons is a return to playing music for a musical hero, Simon Raymonde, formerly of The Cocteau Twins and the man behind the revered Bella Union record label. Lost Horizons is a joint project with drummer Richie Thomas, formerly of 1980s post-punk band Dif Juz and a guy with an impressive musical pedigree, having toured with iconic acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Felt, as well as The Cocteau Twins.


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Steve Lamacq Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), lifts the lid on Rock’n’Roll at Birmingham’s Glee Club in an evening of anecdotes and observations on his life and a 30 year career in music media. ‘Going Deaf For A Living’ takes you on an adventurous journey (often hilarious, sometimes sombre and with occasional violence!) through music culture from the mid 70’s to the current day.


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The War On Drugs There are hoards of people, all dressed in some iteration of the indie rock uniform- black drainpipes, long, black coats, curly, unkempt hair- making a pilgrimage to Ally Pally for tonight’s show.


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Lucy Rose For a quintessential British singer songwriter (plus superb band) concert experience then look no further than Lucy Rose, inspiring charismatic storytelling with a beautiful voice in the finest independent music venue in the North – Leeds Brudenell Social Club. What a magical night!


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First Aid Kit The Swedish Söderberg sisters, First Aid Kit, return with a not so quiet night in and plenty of headshaking and dancing for the hipster Shoreditch set. Yes! I’m in Shoreditch, hipster central, and for a man from Yorkshire who doesn’t have any facial hair, I’m as far removed from my normal habitat like a giraffe at a small shrubbery convention. However, the reason I have traversed 200 miles south is to see First Aid Kit. This is a band I have loved on record for many years, but never quite managed to catch them in a live setting before.


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The Pigeon Detectives On Friday, I postponed binge-watching Stranger Things 2 to go and review The Pigeon Detectives at Birmingham’s O2 Institute, supported by Little Comets and The Clause. But was it worth it? The initial melodrama involving a member of security staff asking me my age, and then reacting with embarrassment when I told her, was not a good start (I am more than double the 14+ age requirement for this gig). However, things seemed a bit more reasonable once I got inside.


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Weezer Tonight is a real treat for the fans here in Manchester, seeing Weezer play live in the UK is a rare sight (something lead singer Rivers Cuomo apologises for during the show) so there is a lot of expectation in the crowd. Would they deliver?


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Clean Cut Kid One of the most exciting breakthrough bands, Liverpool’s peppy fuzz-pop supremos Clean Cut Kid head to Leeds' Brundenell Social Club with their own inventive take on anthemic guitar-pop.


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The Horrors The Horrors return with their monstrous new album ‘V’, exhibiting class & creativity on their latest UK tour. The boys from Southend-on-Sea delighted Birmingham with a real swagger about them. An indulgent performance that stimulated the senses & entertained throughout.


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London Grammar Gracing the stage to a warm welcome of applause London Grammar kicked off their Birmingham show with 'Who Am I' from their much awaited new album 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing'. Followed by two classics 'Flickers' and 'Help Me Lose My Mind', taken from their 2013 hit album 'If You Wait'.


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