John Smith Confined within the grade one Georgian church, fairy lights twinkled from the rafters as the historic St Paul's church's pews filled up with patrons eagerly awaiting the fun filled folk night ahead. The refined crowd waited in anticipation as candles flickered on the stage for the intimate evening with John Smith and Katherine Priddy. Huddled in the wooden pews the crowd clapped loudly as Katherine appeared at the altar.


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Pip Blom Well, this place is a real surprise. If you were one to use generic stereotypes you would think you had hit Hipster central. In fact, this is just a really nice place that serves their own beer and happens to have the fabulous Pip Blom in the cellar. Not tied up down there, just playing their fabulous music. Yes, the Hyde Park Book Club does have books, but it also has a lot of music fans and I reckon tonight would be like the rest of their tour - SOLD OUT!


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U2 I have a history with U2 in that I have managed to miss every UK live tour since turning down tickets in 1983 to see them at Leeds Uni. No malice intended, it just never happened for many reasons – I’m not a fan of huge shows where I can’t see the whites of the artist’s eyes without the aid of a TV screen or a second mortgage, so U2 being the stadium filling £££ generating monolithic enterprise, I have avoided them until now. Having lost Bowie, Prince and Tom Petty and missed the chance of seeing them live for the same reasons, I vowed I would make every effort in future to catch a legendary band or artist before it becomes too late.


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Villagers I’d been missing the Villagers for years - always being in the wrong place at the wrong time - another town, or another part of another festival. We made it tonight though, to the modest and cosy interior of Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms.


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Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Built in 1908 and Grade II listed, Manchester’s Albert Hall is another of those cherished Edwardian community buildings that are enjoying new life as a live music venue. The horseshoe gallery of the former Methodist chapel looks out towards a magnificent organ directly below which stand Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.


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The Parrots The Parrots have long garnered themselves a reputation as a band that prove to be as wonderful as they are wild at any given performance. Energetic, engaging, and anthemic to boot, theirs is a show that can bring even the dreariest of evenings to life.


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Tom Grennan It seems like he’s been around for ages but 23 year old Tom Grennan arrived on the scene a little over 2 years ago with his first single ‘Something In The Water’ back in July 2016. Since then he has released a steady stream of singles and EP’s and has built up large and loyal fan base. Initially an acoustic guitarist he has now become an accomplished frontman delivering an Indie/Alt rock sound, and his current tour is to promote his debut album ‘Lighting Matches’ which was released in July of this year.


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Rex Orange County As I stood in the enormous queue outside the O2 Institute, I noticed the rare September sunset had turned a beautiful Peach colour. It seemed even the sky was excited for Rex Orange County’s sold out set tonight.


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Goat Girl Goat Girl are a young all-female band from South London who have real attitude and write great songs. Their debut album, released last April, contains 19 short (most under 3 minutes), diverse and punchy songs and has received great reviews and radio play. The Brudenell is sold-out tonight for the Leeds stop on the band’s extensive tour. Goat Girl are really working hard at gigging: earlier this year I saw them in Montreal during their tour of North America supporting Parquet Courts. They were very well received by the Canadian audience and are making new friends wherever they play.


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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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Travis I was ecstatic to see one of my favourite bands of all time Travis on Monday night at Symphony Hall Birmingham.


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James Halifax, a town famous for Cat’s Eyes (the reflecting studs on the road that keep you safe), chocolate and banking has a rich musical history, but of late the calibre of acts playing here has had a bit of a boom with the Stone Roses, Kasabian and Florence + the Machine having all played at the Victoria Theatre recently. Tonight it was the turn of Mancunian legends James to bring their unique show to the beautiful venue tonight.


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Gomez Gomez emerge from the stage door to a massive cheer from this patient crowd, the opening synth sound of ‘Get Miles’ fills the room and we are off. The album will be played live in full, and in the same listing order, exactly how it should be. No major deviation or changing of styles, this is a perfect rendition sent to awaken your nostalgic senses and prompt the loudest singalong this venue has seen for a while.


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Shonen Knife On Sunday night I was pulled back in time, up into space, and transformed into an Osaka Ramone. Didn’t you go? Are you jealous? You should be! All three acts were excellent. They followed one another beautifully, but were diverse enough to give three wildly different experiences.


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