The Seventh Wave In March of 2017 the second ‘The Seventh Wave Festival of Electronic Music’ takes place across four days and across three venues. The stellar ‘live’ line-up includes members of one of the most influential early industrial acts Test Dept., revered ‘Kraut-rock’ and electronica collective Gnod, Tubeway Army member Chris Payne (who co-wrote ‘Fade to Grey’ by Visage), DJ Rusty Egan of Visage fame (put simply, with-out Rusty Egan there would be no Steve Strange) and Richard Barbieri (currently of Porcupine Tree but he cut his teeth as the highly respected synth player for new wave pioneers Japan in the 1980’s).


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Of Mice and Men Manchester is the second night of the tour for Of Mice and Men and there is a great turn out not only for the headliners but also for the support acts as the Apollo is already starting to fill up at the early time of 7.30pm.


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bluedot-thumb Rewind North Festival There’s an old saying “its Grim up North”, well it ain’t necessarily so. Last weekend the Rewind Tour bus landed at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire for the second of three festivals under the “Rewind” banner. This is the third Rewind North at Capesthorne Hall, and over the sunny, summer weekend of 6-7th August, 80’s music fans were treated to a myriad of acts to celebrate all things 80’s.


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Festival No.6 Returning for 2015, Festival No.6 is an intimate, bespoke banquet of music, arts, food and culture taking place over the weekend of the 3-6 September in the magical village of Portmeirion, Wales, home of the cult TV series The Prisoner. With many more music acts, new venues and world famous chefs yet to be revealed, the fourth Festival No.6 is certain to be the biggest and most impressive to date with over 550 acts lined up to perform over the weekend.


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Picnic In The Park Warley Woods Community Trust organised this year’s Picnic in the Park on Sunday 5th July 2015 between 1.00 and 6.00p.m. This free event attracted large crowds to the live music and assorted food and craft stalls and even a dog show....


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Sparks Now celebrating an incredible 41 years together Sparks (essentially brothers Ron and Russell Mael) have been hailed as an influence on everyone from Kurt Cobain to Duran Duran and The Pixies (let’s face it, Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys based their entire acts on them too). It’s unusual enough for a group to make it to their fifth decade but even rarer still for them to be producing decent work too, witness exhibit A, their rather fine last album 2009’s The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman, which the duo are ambitiously planning to transform into a full length movie and stage show. Makes most other bands seem positively slack in comparison eh? It’s this continuing quest to, as Ron later put it this evening “Keep pushing the envelope” that seems to be behind this latest tour, Two Hands, One Mouth, a stripped back chance to see “Sparks in the nude”. We can thank Russ for that particular mental image.


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Blancmange They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Given Blancmange’s 25 year absence that might go some way to explaining the rapturous reception the band got this evening. In fact I’ve seldom seen so much love for a band in my life. Remarkable. The applause began when Neil, Pandit and Graham (original keyboardist Stephen was cruelly diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurism…with complications…on the eve of the tour) came onstage and it was every bit as loud and enthusiastic when they left an hour or so later.


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Gojira Tonight’s night of Metal comes from the “best of a bad bunch of Birmingham venues”, the basement of The Barfly. Conditions seem to differ at The Barfly from gig to gig, so let’s see what’s in store...


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The Destroyers Tonight’s gig at the Town Hall, billed as Curzonora, was the opening night in Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival. Now in its third year the film festival delivers a mix of rare and interesting films and live events such as tonight’s performance by Birmingham’s own, The Destroyers, providing the music for a series of short films from the early 1900’s.


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Lights Action After walking past the vast queue waiting to see T-Pain in the O2 Academy, I entered Bar Academy only to be met by a handful of people and unfortunately this tiny crowd did not grow much as the night progressed. First on was Ché, a 5-piece band from Worcester...


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Hot Leg Love him or loathe him Justin Hawkins can’t be dismissed, and appearing at Birmingham's Academy 2 with a “Hello Wembley” was not entirely unexpected...


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36 Crazyfists First up tonight were ‘Christian Metalcore’ band Gwen Stacey. Hailing from Illinois (as they constantly reminded the crowd), they seemed an unlikely choice of opening act, and judging by the faces in the audience, I wasn’t the only one who thought it. To be honest I can’t tell you what they played in their set as all their songs are very similar, and unfortunately for them, there are many bands out there doing the same as them but better...


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Half Man Half Biscuit The Robin 2 has to be one of the hidden gems for live music in the Midlands. It’s easy to get to, nearby bus and metro station, and if you drive the car park is next door and free. For those who travel there is even a hotel within the venue and a room with breakfast starts at £35. Can it get any better? Well yes it can, you can add some cracking music, and the list of future gigs offers more than the usual tribute bands you’d expect from a venue like this...


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Imelda May The support act for tonight's gig is a local band called The Toy Hearts. They are essentially a family band who play a mixture of Bluegrass and Swing, and have a monthly residency at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in King's Heath. It isn't often that I enjoy a support act, but this is one of those rare events...


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