Mini Mansions Swaggering through their suave suits, Mini Mansions balance their smooth coolness with pure energy at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds.


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Mercury Rev Mercury Rev are currently on a short UK tour and this is the first of two sold-out nights at Leeds Brudenell Social Club. It’s a rather special tour celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their brilliant breakthrough album, ‘Deserter’s Songs’. What’s more they’ve dispensed with their trademark big band presentation and the tour promises a stripped-down and very personal performance of the album. There have been some great reviews of the tour and it’s a gig I’m really looking forward to.


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I’m convinced Connan Mockasin comes from another planet. Like any good shape shifting alien you never really know what to expect from him. Thankfully the UK had three chances to experience his warped and wonderful world on his current tour supporting his latest album 'Jassbusters'. I flew up to his former homeworld of London to catch his final stop, a live performance and signing at Rough Trade East.


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The Limiñanas Based in Perpignan, The Limiñanas’ core comprise 'forty-somethings' Marie and husband Lionel Limiñana. Recording since 2010 they recently released their fifth album 'Shadow People', produced by Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.


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Deep Purple Deep Purple are one of the legends of rock. Formed way back in ’68, in a time that gave us local legends Sabbath and Zeppelin, they are too are one of the pioneers, that spawned a million rock fans. And tonight their 'The Long Goodbye Tour' reaches Birmingham Arena, with special guests, and legends in their own right Europe.


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The Lemon Twigs Sometimes you happen upon an event which is so mesmerizingly spectacular that it stays with you for an eternity. Only a day in and I know, FOR A FACT, that last night The Lemon Twigs at the gloriously indie Leadmill in Sheffield, will be one of those.


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Warpaint @ Somerset House Somerset House on a summer's evening isn't the worst place to be. The sun sets over the top of the regal building, making its flag- rainbow for Pride- glow. The square is the perfect size for a gig of this scale; there are no bad views. There are quality food vendors that are the envy of larger festivals. Warpaint are headlining..


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bluedot-thumb Standing in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope, bluedot Festival returns for the second year. Over this balmy summer weekend, festival goers land at Jodrell Bank, (the Cheshire observatory at the cutting edge of humanity’s quest for knowledge), bluedot for a three day intergalactic journey of discovery that combines live music and science with artists, speakers, scientists and performers.


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Glass Animals A dense colony inhabited Birmingham’s O2 Institute on Friday night, long-anticipating the indie-tronic hums of Oxford’s alt-rock band, Glass Animals. Headlining their very first Birmingham gig, their colossal fan base (unbeknown to me) penetrated my ear-drums upon the lad’s entrance to the stage.


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Kula Shaker How times flies. It's been 20 years since these guys brought their brand of psychedelic pop rock to the airwaves, on the crest of the Brit-pop wave, one of the more eccentric and somewhat mystical of the bands of the time. A raft of top #10 hits and a #1 album - Kula Shaker an in town tonight - to celebrate those twenty years ago when that album 'K' was riding high.


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Brian Wilson It was the majestic surround of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the pure majesty of a certain Mr Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame celebrating the 50 year anniversary of ground breaking album Pet Sounds that awaited us last night and to say there was a palpable excitement by all inside the impressive arena - many of whom were clad in Hawaiian Shirts and floral Leis in honour of the great man.


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Animal Collective The fact that weird electro-pop-experimenters Animal Collective have sold out Manchester’s Ritz tonight suggests they have become relatively mainstream. Much of their mass appeal is down to 2009’s highly successful crossover album, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ and now they are touring to promote their latest album, ‘Painting With’.


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