Angie Stone For the past couple of weeks I’d had friends call me, asking what I wanted to do for my birthday, I told them, Angie Stone is in town, seriously it is not going to be the gig to miss this year. It’s not everyday such a powerful and inspirational singer comes to play in your backyard on a Thursday night in mid October, and for once London weren’t the only ones having all the fun.


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Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.


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Jess Glynne Having developed a bit of a reputation for cancelling gigs, I was a little apprehensive that the unpredictable weather conditions on Saturday may have prompted the 29-year-old singer-songwriter to ‘do an Isle of Wight’ (she was banned from the festival for life in June after cancelling her performance right before she was due on stage) and pull out at the last minute.


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Nile Rodgers & CHIC Meltdown is the longest running artist-curated music festival in the world. This year is it curated by the legend that is Nile Rodgers. I don’t use the word 'Legend' frivolously - he is a three-time Grammy award winner as well as recently been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. There is no doubt that Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. But more important that any of that – this man knows how to throw a party! Nile Rodgers & CHIC are opening the festival to a sold-out audience and a good time is guaranteed.


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Mavis Staples Not many 79 year olds can get up on stage at Glastonbury and blow the crowd away as much as the younger artists, but after all there is definitely something special about Mavis Staples. Six days away from her eightieth birthday, Chicago born Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and American gospel singer, Mavis Staples returned for the second year of Innervisions Festival at Camden’s Roundhouse after the success of her first year at Union Chapel.


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Janelle Monáe The Manchester International Festival, held every two years, brings 18 eclectic days of culture, music, world premiers and special events hosted across the city and this year’s kicked off in glorious fashion with an incredible, spellbinding show from the uniquely talented Janelle Monáe at Castlefield Bowl.


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Love 4 Music Festival 2019 Now in its second year, Love 4 Music is a small one day dance festival created by Cultural Events Promotions, and whilst it would be fair to say that this event was by no means a sell-out, it would be equally fair to say that this is a festival very much in its infancy, but shows great promise, and has all the potential to become a bigger and permanent fixture in an already busy festival schedule in the UK.


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Rita Ora What an amazing past 12 months it has been for Rita Ora, with ‘Phoenix’ marking her first solo album release in five years, the album has received numerous nominations and won awards even though it was only released in the latter half of 2018. ‘For You’ was one of the biggest hits of the year, not a day went by when you didn’t hear it at least three times on the radio, a headline slot at Manchester Pride and returning to the screen as Mia in the 50 Shades film series and just when you thought there was no end to the singer songwriter’s talents she transforms into Dr. Ann Laurent for Pokémon Detective Pikachu with latest offering ‘Carry On’ featuring on the soundtrack, appealing to a whole new set of fans. Not forgetting to mention numerous charity work and an announcement to appear for Soccer Aid this summer, it’s so easy to see why people love her.


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Gabrielle The spectacular venue otherwise known as Leeds Town Hall gave a capacity crowd warm welcome to Gabrielle who was calling in on Saturday night as part of her 10 date ‘Under my Skin’ tour following the release late last year of her 6th studio album of the same name. It would be fair to say that both she and the crowd enjoyed every minute of it...


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Nao I’ve genuinely never heard a crowd response as loud as the one Nao got at Albert Hall in Manchester. You’d have thought it was a hometown show for the Nottingham born singer. She was clearly taken aback herself too but was completely deserving of the hysteria. She matched the energy and intensity of the audience throughout, making for an incredible night.


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Nile Rodgers & CHIC There is so much to be said for the power of music and its ability to bring people together and break down barriers, and tonight I can say that I saw one of the greatest ever living musician in the presences of Nile Rodgers and the iconic catalogue of music he has arranged, produced, written and co-written.


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Mabel The past 18 months can only be described as a whirlwind for songstress Mabel. Her phenomenal rise through the UK charts has seen her perform on some of the hottest dance tracks over the past two years winning fans all over the globe, as well as supporting Harry Styles on his tour.


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Ocean Colour Scene A rainy Wednesday night saw the Ocean Colour Scene and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas provide Christmas cheer on their tour which is covering all points of the UK. A few people had wondered why a Motown legend was on the same bill as a band that were in the vanguard of the Britpop era of the late 90’s. But I have to say that it was a glorious clash of musical styles that worked a treat, and was well received by the large crowd in Leeds.


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All Saints Fans heading to the iconic Birmingham Institute certainly knew where the hottest tickets in town were at as All Saint’s Testament Tour rolled into the second city.


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