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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Jessie J The premise behind Jessie J's R.O.S.E. tour is a really clever and well executed one. 4 sets within a gig each sectioned with a title that spells out R.O.S.E. the name of her most recent album, which was released in 4 parts across four days in May of this year.


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Curtis Harding It was after a hellish 16 hour long coach trip to Paris when I discovered Curtis Harding. Tired and weary from making the trek to see Lenny Kravitz in the summer, before he announced the UK leg and I thought was my last chance to see him I threw heck to the wind and purchased tickets without regard to travel arrangements or how I'd feel when I already a heavy week of gigs booked in. However Lenny’s support was a ray of sunshine that woke me up instantly, his catchy lyrics and stage presence immediately caught my attention and the short set that won the audience over left me eager to listen to more of this talented young man and his band.


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Raye It’s a busy night at the o2 Academy. The two largest rooms are completely sold out and teenage girls have been sleeping in the streets outside since midday yesterday to secure their spot at the front of the 5 Seconds of Summer show taking place downstairs in Academy 1. Upstairs, though, up and coming contemporary R&B star RAYE is entertaining 600 loyal fans in her self-proclaimed ‘first ever sold out show.’


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Alexander O'Neal As an 80’s baby growing up amongst the bright neon lights, catchy melodies and awesome anthems were the soundtrack to my childhood. As I neared adulthood the buzz of nostalgia filled, as the last Thursday of the month was 80’s night at Rosie’s in Solihull. 17 year old me snook into the club to party to the sounds I was born into with my group of college friends we used to always love nagging the DJ to play ‘Criticize’ and then belted it out to the boys who broke our hearts on the dance floor, so it was pretty apt my last night as a 35 year old was spent with the 80’s icon Alexander O'Neal.


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Jorja Smith Team Gig Junkies have been lucky enough to find themselves in delectable company of a certain Miss Jorja Smith twice this year. In the summer, on the day that a cartoon blimp depicting the American President was floating around London being roundly booed and jeered by 1000s of revellers like a modern day Court Jester, she was putting on a more classy showpiece at the wonderful surrounds of Somerset House. It was the perfect anecdote to all the political craziness.


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Janelle Monáe It's possible to say the crowd that were going wild, hearing hit after hit from Janelle Monáe at the Academy, however, I feel that would be a discredit to this icon. Manchester saw how much more this icon gives in terms of music bringing anthems of honesty, rebellion and love, lifting up the crowd with her immense stage presence and colourful emotive pictures.


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