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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Bastille Almost unclassified in genre, four-piece Bastille are known for their echoic-indie synth vibes, now they present us with their Reorchastrated tour an element that enhances their fan base to all ages.


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The Wonder Stuff + Ned’s Atomic Dustbin The last time The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin toured together was back in 1990s and tonight they share the stage again at Birmingham’s O2 Academy for first night of two shows. They even brought along another Stourbridge character Graham Crabb from Pop Will Eat Itself who played a Nostalgic DJ Set.


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The Vaccines The Vaccines storm into Sheffield on the back of their 4th studio album ‘Combat Sports’, released just 2 weeks previously. It’s hard to pigeonhole The Vaccines. They’re not your standard indie rock outfit, for a start several songs have a definite 50s influence.


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Arcade Fire A multi-sensory audio visual experience from a band who are often branded the best live band in the world. I discover many reasons why this is the case and I find myself thinking that I would pay more to see them. This is the 2nd night of a three night London leg of the #InfiniteContent Tour for Arcade Fire, following the release of their 5th album, Everything Now.


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Girl Ray North London indie trio Girl Ray are still in the early stages of their career and in fact they were all just 19 when they recorded their debut album, ‘Earl Grey’. Amazingly for such a young band Girl Ray have already developed their own distinctive sound, distilled from a melting pot of very diverse influences and they’ve gained a lot of attention and radio play for their well-crafted songs and sincere live performances.


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Daphne & Celeste Ask a random in the street if they have heard of Daphne & Celeste and if they have, chances are that they will mention at least one of two things. One is for either of their two incredibly catchy bubblegum pop singles that landed in the UK charts near the millennium; the other is for a now legendary performance at the Reading festival that saw them pelted with bottles full of urine.


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Embrace Having liked Embrace for over 20 years and only having seen them a handful of times I was more than a little excited. The older clientele in attendance would suggest that I wasn't alone in my 20 year love affair with the Leeds band, and based on the crowd’s reaction it wasn’t the first time many of them had seen them.


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Sunflower Bean Bizarrely, I’d never been instructed to ‘step into the room on the right’ whilst attending any one of a number of gigs at the Hare & Hounds in King's Heath, but I was on this night. The fact that it’s twice the size of the other room is testament to the sudden popularity of New York’s newest rock trio, Sunflower Bean.


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The Wombats A relentlessly energetic crowd jumped, danced and screamed their way into the weekend as The Wombats brought their sold out UK tour to Birmingham’s O2 Institute on 23rd March!


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Tom Walker We meet Tom Walker exactly halfway through his biggest tour to date and wait in anticipation to see what the singer-songwriter has brought to the table this time. It’s been just over a year since we were last left melodically satisfied from his exceptionally promising performance at The Sunflower Lounge, not even a 15 minute walk away from where we stand at the O2 Institute in Birmingham. It’s fair to say that since then Tom has nabbed some great achievements. From releasing his first EP, to playing at Glastonbury festival and Radio City Hall in New York his worldly presence and intriguing music has captivated a huge audience and it’s no surprise the tour is sold out.


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Tom Grennan It was an expectant crowd last night at the O2 Institute waiting for one of the current darlings of the airwaves, Bedford's Tom Grennan. Almost as cold inside as it was out, there was an eclectic mix of punters from many backgrounds, but all shared that palpable sense of excitement for the singer's performance.


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Belle and Sebastian Glasgow indie heroes Belle and Sebastian are back on the road promoting their latest music and reviving classic and much-loved songs from their 1990s heyday. Over the past few months B & S have released a trilogy of mini-albums under the ambitious collective title of ‘How to Solve Our Human Problems’ and they are now in the midst of an extensive world tour.


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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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