Skunk Anansie The atmosphere in the Manchester Academy was electric as the crowd waited for returning heroes Skunk Anansie to play a career spanning mega set.


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Prophets of Rage It says a lot that even a tyre blowing out on the motorway and 2 hours waiting to be rescued at 1am in the morning and getting just 3 hours sleep before setting off to work couldn’t kill the feeling that I had just seen, for me, the gig of the year... Prophets of Rage at Manchester Academy.


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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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Graham Nash Opened in 1901 the Victoria Theatre provides a splendid venue for Graham Nash’s visit to Halifax. Now aged 77 years Nash’s trim figure and bone-white mop of hair puts all of his former collaborators and most of tonight’s audience to shame. He has aged well. More importantly the voice has barely changed… he hits the high notes on ‘A Day in the Life’ in a way that McCartney and Young can now only dream of.


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Doves After a 9 year hiatus that came at a time when the Manchester band had just achieved a seldom seen kid breakthrough of their own with Kingdom Of Rust, Jimi, Jez and Andy, aka Doves are back. Their show at Somerset House proved that the band have picked up exactly where they left off, and reminded us why they are one of the greatest British bands of modern times.


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KISS You wanted the best you got the best… the hottest band in the world… KIISSSSSSSSSS! For forty something years the American quartet KISS have jetted around the world unleashing their own brand of fire laden glam rock to the masses and tonight the ‘End of the Road’ farewell tour exploded its way into Birmingham Arena.


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The Who The greatest bands and musicians are slowly fading away and, being 20 years old, I’ll never be able to say I’ve seen many of the legendary rock bands to have ever lived because they’re either too old or dead by now. But after a trip to Wembley stadium one Saturday night in July, all of that changed with two legendary acts of the rock world taking over the stage.


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Piece Hall, Halifax This weekend saw some incredible live music in one of the most spectacular settings you could imagine as Futuresound Events hosted 4 days of music at the iconic Piece Hall in Halifax. We were there for 3 of those days and we witnessed an anthemic hometown show from Embrace, massive party sets from Terrorvision and The Levellers as well as an astounding show from Elbow.


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Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow doesn’t come to the UK nearly as often as I would like her to, but whenever she does it’s an absolute pleasure to be in the same room listening to her and the incredible band perform some of the greatest songs of the last 25 years. She’s been one of my top 5 go-to artists for the last quarter of a century and has sound tracked some of my most favourite moments with some of my most favourite friends.


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Men At Work Like many people of my generation, my first experience of Men At Work was Colin Hay, strumming his guitar in the daydreams of JD, in popular 2000s sitcom Scrubs. Overkill was the song in question, and once I’d busted out the dial up connection and spent 45 minutes downloading the track via Napster, I was hooked.


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Brass Against 9 times out of 10 Facebook’s suggested posts are just wallpaper that get unceremoniously scrolled passed, but seeing one for a brass band playing Cochise as a tribute to Chris Cornell caught my eye – as a massive fan of his – and it blew me away. That was my introduction to Brass Against and I was instantly hooked. So getting the chance to see them live was something I wasn’t going to miss.


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Stereophonics Welsh maestros Stereophonics have a busy summer ahead and so it is that they announced three intimate warm up shows. Admittedly the Bonus Arena holds 3,500 I believe so it all depends on your own personal interpretation of intimate. Given the last time I saw them I was in a crowd of somewhere around 40,000 it’s all relative really.


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Sting & Shaggy They go together like cats and motorways as Alexei Sayle would say, and yet this strange reggae/rock combo works live better than anyone could have imagined. Let’s face it, Sting is a little dry in the humour stakes, Shaggy is the yin to his yang in that nothing is actually serious for him. Shaggy plays the role of warm up man, frequently getting the crowd hyped up, clapping, singing and screaming, while Sting is being Sting, wearing a tight black T shirt showing off a trim muscled bod for a 67-year-old but rarely speaking or smiling too much (unless Shaggy is thrusting his groin forward towards him – in which case he makes a run for it).


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Terrorvision Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than in front of the TV, and by that I mean the giant totally Vegas style letters that adorn the stage whenever Terrorvision are in town.


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