Rationale Arriving (slightly later than originally planned) at Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath tonight is Tinashe Fazakerley, better known as Rationale, for his rescheduled date following cancellation of his (Birmingham and Brighton) October shows due to a chest infection. Tonight’s gig is the penultimate show of the tour, but the band will be out on the road again supporting Rag ’n’ Bone Man on his UK tour within a couple of weeks.


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Jake Bugg It’s not often that you go to a sold out gig to see two bands, without an amp or a drum kit in sight, unless of course you’re attending a Folk Festival. This however was exactly what we were confronted with when seeing Jake Bugg doing his acoustic thing at De Montfort Hall on Monday night. Throw into the equation multiple members from the Bugg clan (one of whom performed as support) his lovely Nan and some glorious singalongs and it made for the perfect evening.


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Justin Sullivan New Model Army Tonight we’re off to the valleys of the green and the grey - to see a general, a special time, without his army, just this man, by himself. To a town in rural Worcestershire, to a friendly local pub - The Boars Head- comes the leader of New Model Army - Justin Sullivan


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Jim Adkins Jimmy Eat World’s front man Jim Adkins is venturing solo, and upon his humble entrance to the small stage of the Glee Club, he considerately asked if phones could be switched off: “Seated gigs are all about listening”.


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Elvis Costello by Gig Junkies, on Flickr Tonight's gig is all about this particular legendary figure. From when you walk into the auditorium until you leave. What can you say about a man who has had more classic hits than most of us have had hot dinners, with over 60 singles, thirty-odd albums in a career spanning well over thirty years. And that’s before you event mention his lyrical prowess! Welcome to the delectable Symphony Hall - Elvis Costello.


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James Bay I won’t deny, I was a bit of a sceptic of James Bay before attending his gig at The Leadmill, Sheffield on Thursday night. Sure, I knew his hit ‘Hold Back The River’, but it was hard not to, considering its popularity on the radio, reaching number two in the UK, with over sixty-four million listens on Spotify (a large percentage of which had taken place in my flat, by my infatuated friends).


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Ocean Colour Scene In the late 80’s a group of lads from the outskirts of Birmingham, formed a band morphing from the ashes of two: The Boys and Fanatics. First few years weren’t easy, they got signed and company ownership changes meant then went into dispute with the label. Then one Paul Weller, picked up and mentored them and with support gigs with Oasis, they got their break, especially with second album 'Moseley Shoals'. The boys are back in town with a couple of homecoming gigs to celebrate a remarkable 25 year career. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Ocean Colour Scene in the poshest venue in the city, going all acoustic as part of their celebration tour.


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Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party featuring Nik Kershaw It’s Christmmmmmassssss! (in a Noddy Holder like scream!) And tonight we’re invited to a party with an 80’s festive vibe, Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party to be precise with support from former snood wearer Nik Kershaw.


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The Magic Numbers As the lights dimmed, violins strummed and the particularly dapper Magic Numbers made their way to the stage to serve the small band of seated fans up an acoustic treat, it seemed that the venue, the artists and the set they were about to embark on, were the perfect marriage. Nice one promoters. What immediately strikes you with the softly, well-spoken Numbers is their angelic, somewhat perfect three-way harmonies. Haunting and mesmerising are two adjectives which spring to mind.


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Vinnie Caruana It was just over 11 years ago that I first saw Vinnie perform in Brum in The Movielife at the Flapper and Firkin; so to say I was a little excited to see Vinnie play solo acoustic would be an understatement. With my objective reviewer head on it can be hard to lose yourself to the music and the moment but Vinnie didn't disappoint.


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Rodrigo y Gabriela If you’re unfamiliar with the Mexican musical duo better known as “Rod y Gab” it’s difficult to know how to describe their genre. In fact they are their genre! They combine expert traditional Spanish guitar, with Death Metal which would be more at home at a Metallica concert utilising a myriad of guitar pedals whilst creating their own drum machine courtesy of their guitar head.


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Chris Cornell Dozens of rock fans make their way tonight to the delightful Symphony Hall for somewhat of a different rock gig. One of THE rock voices of the past twenty years is on stage, stripped down and laid bare - an entire acoustic set - tonight Chris Cornell brings his Songbook to Birmingham.


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Amy Macdonald Having made it big as a teenager after sending her demo tape in to NME, the fiery Scot immediately drew comparisons with her compatriot KT Tunstall. Opening with 'Earlier' from her first album 'This is Life' the Guitar wielding, powerful pop vocalist wearing a dress similar to that worn by Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz which complimented her dazzling blue eyes instantly impressed with a voice that belied her tender years.


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The Invisible Village Crossing genres, cultures and generations The Imagined Village really shouldn’t work (the basic idea is to take a bunch of traditional folk tunes and reinterpret them for 21st century Britain). In fact it should come across as some awful mish mash of sounds, like two competing car radios (one playing Radio 4, the other 1 Extra) at a set of traffic lights. The fact that it does work says a great deal about the musical talents at the core of this project and the openness of everyone involved to really mess around with what ‘folk’ music means these days. In truth, although the first Imagined Village album (released in 2007) won ‘folk’ awards, this stuff is closer to ‘world’ music than anything else, given the strong Asian and Middle Eastern flavours running through some of the arrangements. Anyway, that’s the musical analysis over with (there’ll be questions at the end).


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