Steve Cropper Walking into Woody’s bar at The Robin 2, and seeing a genuine legend propping up the bar, chatting with the punters is one of the more surreal moments of my life*. But, as Steve Cropper (for it was he) was to say later “I’m just an old man, having some fun”.


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Tame Impala Tame Impala is the brainchild of Australian musician, Kevin Parker, and the band have come to prominence in the last four years, mostly noticeably with their second album Lonerism that received critical acclaim.


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The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a cult band with a complex history and notoriety that precedes them. The band is led by Anton Newcombe, whose temperamental disposition and various addictions have been well documented throughout the band’s long recording history, plus founding members Matt Hollywood and Ricky Maymi and longstanding members Joel Gion, Dan Allaire, Rob Campanella, Frankie “Teardrop” Emerson, and Collin Hegna. Needless to say, it is a tight squeeze on the Academy 2’s stage as all eight take their places and begin Whoever You Are in a composed manner, demonstrating none of the chaos that ensued in their earlier career.


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Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips are a quartet that formed in San Francisco who have been creating psychedelic stoner rock for the last eight years or so. They take to stage and undertake a brief soundcheck before beginning their set for real. Black and white images are projected across the stage and over the first few rows of the audience whilst the band immerse us with their hypnotic brand of rock.


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White Denim White Denim may not be ‘sassy’ and I’m not convinced they bring a ‘cool trash aesthetic’ either but one thing they do do (not dodo, that’s just a big extinct bird...) is...pause for dramatic effect...ROCK. Hell yeah! Ahem. In fact within just a couple of seconds of opening track Pretty Green they’d managed to blow a transformer. Now that’s ROCK.


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NME Awards Tour On a cold Tuesday evening in Birmingham city centre, I was cordially invited to see NME’s award tour, on the bill were Circa Waves, Royal Blood, Temples and Interpol. NME editor, Mike Williams, says: "Here at NME we are always championing the best new talent, so securing three of Britain's most in demand breakthrough bands to kick off proceedings for the tour is totally exciting. Backed up with the world-beating return of Interpol – one of the most important bands to come out of New York ever – is also a massive coup for us".


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Temples Whoooooooah...hey man, what’s happening? Going to see Temples at The Institute? Cosmic...faaaaar out dude. Okay, enough of the trippy 60s lingo (for now at least, I’m still having flashbacks from this show so frankly anything could happen in the next few paragraphs) but tonight was another of those time travelling gigs that made you question which decade you were living in.


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The Wytches The Wytches are a Brighton based band that have recently been signed to Heavenly Records and undertaken a number of support slots for tours with the likes of Drenge. Their music has been described as “surf doom” which is a fair assessment; however, I would also add that there are distinct psychedelic influences which dilute the pure surf guitar sound. Marc Riley has been championing their music on 6Music and they have drawn in a sizeable crowd, many of which know most of the lyrics to the majority of the tracks and are thoroughly enjoying the set.


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Midlake Usually, if a band loses its chief songwriter and frontman, that would be it. But, sometimes bands pull through - take Fleetwood Mac after Peter Green quit, for example. Last year Midlake lost its leader, Tim Smith. Instead of winding up the ensemble, guitarist and singer Eric Pulido was promoted to lead singer and the band pooled their songwriting talents. The resulting new album, ‘Antiphon’, has received good reviews, but how will the new Midlake come over live?


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Connan Mockasin Time then for Mr Mockasin, this evening bedecked in white trousers, a white silk blouse top, black leather jacket and what looked suspiciously like his granny's sun hat. Proof that you can sometimes judge a book by its cover Connan’s music is a similar mix of the masculine and feminine, blending woozy psychouts with a vocal that’s occasionally so high pitched only dogs and particularly attentive teens can hear it. Swigging from a bottle of wine (naturally) throughout the gig the set’s relatively short on tracks but given that some of them stretch out languidly to 10 minutes or more that’s no real surprise.


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Connan Mockasin Time then for Mr Mockasin, this evening bedecked in white trousers, a white silk blouse top, black leather jacket and what looked suspiciously like his granny's sun hat. Proof that you can sometimes judge a book by its cover Connan’s music is a similar mix of the masculine and feminine, blending woozy psychouts with a vocal that’s occasionally so high pitched only dogs and particularly attentive teens can hear it. Swigging from a bottle of wine (naturally) throughout the gig the set’s relatively short on tracks but given that some of them stretch out languidly to 10 minutes or more that’s no real surprise.


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Jonathan Wilson Thekla in Bristol is a novel venue as it is a cargo ship moored in Bristol’s Mud Dock area, and as we climb aboard the support act Omar Velasco is finishing the final song of his set.  However, this means it is not long until the main act, Jonathan Wilson, is due to take the stage.


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Hawkwind Hawkwind are one of those legendary bands that seem to have been around forever. Much of their reputation comes from their superb live shows, which are audio-visual extravaganzas, featuring psychedelic lighting and dancers. Their current tour showcases their classic 1975 album ‘Warrior on the Edge of Time’ – plus a few other old favourite songs.


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Warpaint Unusually, it's a totally female cast at the Manchester Apollo tonight, headlined by acclaimed Californian band Warpaint, playing some rare UK dates.


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