Gogol Bordello Leeds on the 5th of July was thronged with gig-goers, mostly for some band called Blink 182, but the more discerning music fan (sorry Blink fans) headed not to the vast shed of the Arena, rather they were popping along to what was about to become the sweatiest place on the planet to listen to some Ukrainian Gypsy Punks do their stuff. Yes, Gogol Bordello were in town!.


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Dropkick Murphys Sometime in the mid-late 80s I entered Rock City for the first time for what I always maintained was the sweatiest gig I’ve ever been to (Georgia Satellites). Admittedly 19 year old me was front and centre and having a good old mosh. The older, more damaged, me was stood at the back for this one yet still ended the gig drenched with sweat. It was a veritable sauna in there. Admittedly one with bodies flying everywhere in a joyous celebration of one of the greatest proponents of Celtic/Punk there has ever been. I rather think the young me would have had a new sweatiest gig. Dropkick Murphys have brought their juggernaut of a live show steaming once again into a sold out Rock City.


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The Stranglers It's that time of year again. The last day of the 6 Nations Rugby. The F1 Motor Racing season starts shortly. Spring is well on the way. And like a clock that is set the same time every year - it is time to tack a trip to Brum, to the o2 Academy, as the Men In Black are back - say the Brummie annual hello to The Stranglers.


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Frank Turner Anyone who knows me will know I love a good name drop so let’s get that out of the way first. I was lucky enough to be involved with a live interview with Frank Turner on Sine FM the afternoon of the gig. I mention this not only for shameful name dropping but also because one of the things we touched on was support acts for the tour. Frank hand picks his support acts and they are invariably worth watching.


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The Tubes And so tonight to a packed Robin 2, us little Gig Junkies take a trip to Bilston, to the legendary Robin 2 to see a band who are legendary in their own right for lots of reasons. They have always been standout, different, notorious, way back in the day their '77 tour was banned in the UK due to British censorship.But now 40 years on - and still on form - The Tubes are here tonight - with their 'Mondo Pulp tour celebrating the pulp art era with all their classic hits.


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Godiva-thumb Godiva Festival Godiva Festival, now in its 18th year, takes place at Coventry War Memorial Park and is a Council run, free festival. Godiva played host this weekend to a record breaking audience of around 148,000 visitors (up 7000 on 2015) for three days of live music, dance, street theatre, comedy and disco as well as a host of family activities including craft stalls, funfair and lots more besides.


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Rich Kids Punk. Post Punk. New Wave. Tonight gives us an eclectic mix of what happened to the ‘others’ after the Sex Pistols. Glen Matlock gathered his buddies and formed Rich Kids. Steve Jones and Paul Cook formed The Professionals. Both ventures were a tad short-lived - however, tonight, for a one off only, both bands will take to the stage in London in an intriguing double headliner, featuring a few familiar faces.


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The Stranglers Well the Spring alarm clock has gone off! Woohoo! And it’s that time of year again - we set our clock 12 months ago with this date, this time of year, this venue. Mid March. And here in Brum, at the o2 Academy they be waltzing on in - the return of the Men in Black: welcome The Stranglers.


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Electric Six

Michigan six-piece Electric Six are currently on a world tour in support of their 11th studio album ‘Bitch, Don't Let Me Die!’ The last time Gig Junkies witnessed Dick Valentine and co belt out the famous line ‘I wanna take you to a Gay Bar!’ was 364 days ago (to be exact).



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Skindred

It's not often you go to a gig that has four acts on in one night, and you can definitely cut that number in half again if you can say that none of them are filler. Well on paper I can definitely say tonight is one of those special cases where we get the later.



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Squeeze Well on an autumn’s Saturday evening you can always curl up in front of the tele and be ‘tempted’ to watch The Doctor. Well tonight, it’s a twist on the theme as we head to Symphony Hall to see The Doctor of poetry, and those with a lyrical disposition to indeed be ‘Tempted’. Welcome Birmingham to Dr John Cooper Clarke, our literary accompaniment to Squeeze.


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Hinder So we’re invited to the press launch of the PUNK ROCK!! SO WHAT? exhibition, curated by designer and punk historian Russ Bestley in conjunction with senior lecturer in music industries at Birmingham City University Matt Grimes. This exhibition features a range of punk graphic and visual material spanning the past forty years, demonstrating connections, stylistic conventions, patterns of engagement and the evolution of punk’s visual language and identity across diverse regions and cultures.


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Less Than Jake Less Than Jake are regulars on these shores and their dedication to their UK fans surpasses most bands from across the pond. As a result they've built up a sizeable, dedicated fanbase, and it was great to see them returning for another tour.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes The air was thick with building anticipation for Frank Carter's latest incarnation and what promise of former brutal delivery. A break to the tension was found as the crowd heartily ooohed along to Weezer's 'Buddy Holly' and as I scanned the room one couldn't help but wonder if the venues for this tour were scouted for hardcore parkour potential. The crowd still left a semi circle of open dance floor and after the cheers for The Rattlesnakes entrance, Frank declared "I haven't seen something like this since I was 14, get in". His combination of humbleness and assertiveness never fails to gain idolatry; “Thanks for coming to see a band with only 3 songs I wouldn’t have done that”.


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