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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JP Cooper It wasn’t too long ago that ‘September Song’ dominated the radio airwaves, even before its release the soulful melody and catchy tune warmed the hearts of listeners, easily becoming one of the top tunes of summer. A few months prior Cooper had accompanied Jonas Blue on their number 2 smash ‘Perfect Strangers’, 2016 was the year that highlighted the talented British singer-songwriter JP Cooper into the public.


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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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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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Van Morrison What a wonderful night for a moon dance as Innervisions Festival 2019 drew to a close with the legend that is Van Morrison performing not one, but two sell out shows at Camden’s iconic Roundhouse venue. The Northern Irish crooner wowed the crowd as he performed with a full band and boy was he on rare form, treating the crowd to an hour and half stellar performance and I'm sure there was even a rare smile thrown in now and again from this megastar.


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Maceo Parker Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ani DiFranco and Parliament are just some of the acts the incredible American saxophonist Maceo Parker has performed with. Having started his career with the Godfather of soul himself James Brown, Maceo's talent shone through leading the North Carolinian native to be hot property in the jazz industry. In the early millennium Maceo was one of the first wave of Prince's New Power Generation horn section having contributed to eight albums and performing in sell out shows such as the legendary 21 nights at London’s O2, so to see him return to the capital is a huge treat for this flexible musician.


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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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Noname The sassy student crowd filled the Institute, waiting eagerly for one of the most promising rappers to come out of Chicago for a long time as Noname brought her sell out Room 25 tour to Birmingham.


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The Internet It seems like a lifetime ago since the endless hype around the infamous rap collective Odd Future was in full force. Over the past few years it’s been fascinating to see its members mature and leave a lasting impact on the music scene. But tonight at the O2 institute it was all about The Internet.


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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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Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats As The Night Sweats open the set, Nathaniel Rateliff’s presence is met with an overwhelming onset of applause and cheering. His hands take hold of the mic and his powerful voice resonates with every spectator.


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St. Paul & The Broken Bones Birmingham Alabama Soul comes to Leeds and Saint Paul Janeway preaches to the converted. St. Paul & The Broken Bones live at the Irish Centre. This gig was supposed to be at The Brudenell, then I saw it advertised as the O2 Academy, eventually we are advised that it has been moved to the Irish Centre, which is exactly where I saw St Paul & the Broken Bones 2 years ago. Inside, this place resembles a large working men’s club with two levels and a handful of seats spread along the walls. It probably hasn’t changed much in 30 years and tonight it will play host to some slick blues and funky soul, some of the best and authentic southern American soul you will see this side of Otis Redding.


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Leon Bridges On this most special of days, 100 years on, the country, festooned in poppies and everyone remembering those who had gone before us, it was fitting to see such a special artist as Mr Leon Bridges at Birmingham's Institute.


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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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