Richard Hawley One of Sheffield’s most beloved sons. A South Yorkshire troubadour that still has the fire and skill to make you laugh and cry in the space of a couple of verses and a chorus. Richard Hawley takes to the stage to the haunting tones of Al Bowlly’s The Very Thought of You and from there the Sheffield audience, his audience, are enraptured and enchanted by a set that never strays too far from the spellbinding.


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Richard Hawley I met Richard Hawley years ago at the bar before a Nick Cave show I’d gone to on the spur of the moment. I didn’t know I’d met him until he appeared on stage as the support act for the night, but that’s where it all started for me. I loved every minute of that set, the 7 or 8 times I’ve seen since and every minute of tonight’s show in Holmfirth.


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Just Talk After fighting our way through the infighting Tories currently polluting the good streets of Brum and dozens of Horrors fans (they were also playing The Institute tonight...The Horrors that is, not the Tories...) the relative peace and tranquillity of The Temple (think of it as The Institute’s loft conversion) came as a blessed relief. Of course you can have too much peace and quiet though.


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The B-52s I first came across The B-52s almost 25 years ago on a popular chart show, uncannily called ‘the Chart Show’ as an impressionable 16 year old teenager just finding his way in the musical World. Pre-internet, the Chart Show was one of the few ways in which we could come across new and inspiring music videos and thus it was on a Saturday morning – armed with my dressing gown and cornflakes – that I came across a natty little ditty called ‘Love Shack’ which was unlike anything I’d ever hear. Immediately I was hooked by the 5 piece who hail from Athens Georgia.


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The Rebel Beats Back in 2006 Bromheads (then trading as Bromheads Jacket) briefly flirted with fame and fortune thanks to a bit of a top 10 single (they provided the B side to The Streets’ When You Wasn’t Famous) and the odd comparison or two to fellow Sheffielders The Arctic Monkeys. A couple of albums followed, spawning some great singles of their own but, as is so often sadly the case, they didn’t get the recognition or following they deserved. Resisting the temptation to...ahem...’jacket’ in following the loss of bassist Jono in 2010 the remaining duo, Tim and Dan, hunkered down and cracked out 12 singles in as many months, dropping the Jacket bit of their name...possibly in recognition of their new leaner, meaner incarnation. Then things went quiet. Very quiet. For a good two years in fact the world was a Bromheads free zone. But like some garage rock chrysalis they were locked away somewhere, mutating, sprouting hair, growing wings...


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The Computers There’s a limb flying through the air. It’s difficult to tell if it’s still attached to its owner. It seems unlikely given the mayhem that’s unfolding in a compact basement in Birmingham. Welcome to the world of The Computers... Lordy, it’s been a while since my last live gig. Nearly a month in fact. I’ve got some decent excuses though, what with the nut shrivelling cold, 3 cm of snow and a misguided attempt to go ‘dry’ for most of the month. Avoiding booze at home is tough enough, not drinking when you’re out at a gig...well...it just don’t seem right. What better way to pop my 2013 gig virginity then than a gig from The Computers eh? Rock and motherhumpin’ roll.


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Chris Isaak “Other than his two classics name a Chris Isaak song?” This was how the conversation went on the way to the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton on Saturday night. We struggled. Fast forward two hours and whilst we still couldn’t name more than a handful of his hits the Gig Junkies photographer and I were reeling from the spectacle we had just witnessed. Superlatives a-plenty could be used to describe what we had seen, ‘spellbinding’ and ‘amazing’ being merely a couple.


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Richard Hawley Richard Hawley’s gig at the HMV Institute tonight was a resounding success and he seemed genuinely surprised by the packed-out audience’s rapturous response. He declared that Birmingham was his favourite audience on the tour so far and said he would consider buying a holiday home in the city. He did then have second thoughts about the holiday home. And, of course, his view on audiences may well change when he plays at his next, sold-out, gig tomorrow, in his home city of Sheffield.


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Love in the Asylum Saturday night gigs are great at the Academy. Why? Well, being an old git that I am, and because of the curfew which means they have to finish at 9pm, means that I can be back home, tucked up in bed, watching Britain's Got Talent whilst it's still dusk. Smashing. This one was particularly enjoyable as it meant we got to hang out and then review our new buddies Love in the Asylum - a cheeky 4 piece from London, who are receiving plaudits a plenty, who look and sound like a band going places.


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Imelda May It’s turning into a bit of a retro week, what with Brownbird Rudy Relic and C.W. Stoneking covering off the 1920s and 30s just a couple of nights ago and Imelda dragging us forward to the 50s tonight. I guess that’s the benefit of living in a time which has such a rich musical legacy to look back on although, perhaps for many of the people here tonight, the spirited rockabilly style that Imelda’s making her own is probably something new (check out Wanda Jackson to see Imelda’s spiritual grandma though).


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