The Cat Empire It's a lovely sunny day - leaving the beach - feeling in the mood for a bit of those Cat Empire vibes. Tonight they are playing at The Lemon Grove in Exeter, I'm looking forward to this gig for a couple of reasons, The first one being that The Cat Empire have a great reputation for their live shows and the second one being that the Lemon Grove is a tiny venue by TCE standards, so I was looking forward to seeing them in a smaller, more intimate room.


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The Specials Tonight is crackling in the O2 in Sheffield, positively crackling. The Specials are here for a sell out date on their Encore 40th Anniversary Tour and by the looks of it every Tyke that has ever been a fan (that’s a Yorkshireman for those not in the know) is out in force… and then some.


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Madness And so to Madness... I say and so to Madness as I managed to miss The Fratellis and so I will, dear reader, have to leave it at that. I was however in good time for the headliner and so managed something I have never achieved before, namely to see the Nutty Boys in all their glory! And what glory, but more of that later perhaps.


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The Cat Empire The Cat Empire are back once again touring the UK, and although I’ve seen them live many times before, this is my first visit to the O2 Academy in Bristol and it's the first of two nights here as a second night was put on due to demand for tickets. The Cat empire are one of those bands that are well known for their live shows, rumour has it that they are often the closing act at festivals because no other band wants to take to the stage after them.


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Less Than Jake Tonight's gig was a real treat for ska punk fans, featuring two of the genre's biggest names as double headliners, with support from two more well established bands. Despite the early start time, Nottingham's famous Rock City was packed to the rafters and the energy was palpable from the very beginning.


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Toots and The Maytals 1964 was a big year in history the first pirate station went live the civil rights act came into play making a big impact on music and what musicians could record and Toots and The Maytals burst onto the music scene a as pioneers of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae music with debut hit 'Never Get Weary'.


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Reel Big Fish Reel Big Fish are often wrongly dismissed as a novelty or nostalgia act by the uninitiated, but there is so much more to them than that. I last saw the California band at Leeds festival 2004 but since then they have lost the integral multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Scott Klopfenstein to family commitments. This is hardly the Aaron Barrett show though, with long time members Johnny Christmas and Derek Gibbs still sharing centre stage with the irrepressible frontman.


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The Beat The Selecter and The Beat, two of the best bands from the Ska and reggae scene of the late 70s and 80s brought their double headliner show to the Old Granada Studios in Manchester on Saturday night.


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The Specials Forming in Coventry in 1977, these guys were a legendary part of the 2 Tone and ska scene if the time. Truly dance-able with lyrics of a political and social stance, they broke with tracks such as 'Too Much Too Young' and the unemployment themed spooky 'Ghost Town' - a track that hit the top spot in the UK charts. In two years they shone brightly, with seven UK top ten singles, before three members left to form Fun Boy Three, with the rest continuing on as the Special AKA. In 2008, they reformed and have been touring ever since. Welcome to Wolverhampton tonight - The Specials.


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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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The Specials Album Review So The Specials are about to re-releasing a trio of albums, just to remind us all exactly how great they were. Their take on life, their political overview is indeed a musical historical sign of that specific moment in time. This trio of double CDs’ featuring  'Specials', ‘More Specials’, ‘Rarities By The Special AKA’ plus ‘In The Studio (Special Edition)’, is a set of remastered and expanded releases from the Specials and the Special AKA. A  total a massive 75 tracks by the 2-Tone heroes.


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Yellowcard Since their beginnings in 1997, Yellowcard have considered Less Than Jake to be one of their main inspirations. The two bands were formed within 100 miles of each other and regularly toured the same venues while climbing from nobodies to the stars they are today.


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The Specials Thursday night, Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, it must be The Specials. It's cold outside, but inside The Civic, the crowd are warming up nicely for an evening of classic Two-Tone from The Specials and some Dancing with The Rude Boys.


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The Levellers Anticipation was high for this one. The 4th time of seeing The Levellers and they’d only let me down once, V99 when they inexplicably played a mid-afternoon slot to a crowd steel reeling from Mel C (‘I am an antichrist, I am a Sporty Spice’) and their set was cut short on the instructions of headliners Manic Street Preachers. Far outweighing this was a Brid Spa gig in ’95 that is still talked about amongst my fellow gig goers that night and a storming headline slot at this year’s Galtres Festival.


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