IDLES Luckily it wasn't a portent of doom that the evening commenced with the slogan 'Anger is an Energy' right before my peepers. Some hours later, Idles had done a striking job of recreating this refrain in aural form, and then some.


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Goodnight Lenin At last, after a gestation period that makes the average Elephant birth seem a tad premature (apparently it takes around 2 years between getting jiggy and wetting the baby’s trunk...who’d be a lady elephant eh?) this year will finally see the release of Goodnight Lenin’s debut album. Definitely. 100%. No question at all. Hurrah! To prove they can deliver the goods against the clock a few weeks back they set themselves the challenge of recording, mixing and mastering a single for Record Store Day in just one mammoth 24 hour session. The resulting recording, just 24 copies of which have been pressed, will be sold on Record Store day itself, this Saturday 19th April (hence the timing of this gig I guess).


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Table Scraps A moshing butler, a raffle prize that included a Bubba Ho-Tep action figure, a Fray Bentos Pie, drumsticks and...er...’lube’ (answers on a postcard please...) and five bands for £5 with all proceeds go to kicking cancer’s butt (does cancer have a butt...I guess it does...), what’s not to love eh? First off high fives to Thomas Wagstaff (Female Smell) and Nat Jones for organising it all. Happily Wags beat the disease a few years ago and tonight was his way of paying back the Teenage Cancer Trust who clearly gave him oodles of support during his treatment and recovery.


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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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DUMB "Birmingham independent record label, One Beat Records and the city's best music magazine, Brum Notes combine together to present 4 of the best local breakthrough bands all on one night." So ran the billing for this near capacity-rammed gig and jolly well done because it was an eclectic line-up with a near seamless continuity. (Hell of a well-done job by the sound-man and swop-over crews, by the way.)


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THEBAND These are heady... Bulls Heady in fact... ahem... times for the Birmingham music scene. In fact in 25 years or so of gig going in the second city I can’t recall a time when there was as much good shit going on than right here, right now. We’ve got the bands, the venues and, as tonight underlines, the publications (online and ‘real’) in the shape of Brum Notes (an honourable mention must go the marvellous Counteract Magazine too who’ve also pimped this show).


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Busdriver Bo! Word to your mother. Break it down etc etc. Yep, tonight Digbeth’s legendary boozer, The Rainbow, is well and truly bouncing along to a hippity hoppity beat kicking off with a rising local collective Abes Oddysee. Keeping it old skool there’s a pleasing hint of of J5’s laid back grooves in this four pieces set. Lyrically they’re focused on the key subjects of young inner city kids these days (1) What the fuck am I going to do with my life? and (2) Where can I score some weed? All four took the mic at various times and the different styles worked well together. Of course there’s a rich history of rap collectives going back to the early 80’s but few young crews (yes, crews...I’m down with the street) seem to be making it right now. Shame. No mention of the local rap scene in the recent NME feature on Birmingham either so kudos to tonight’s promoters Fantastic Damage for giving it more of a platform. “Make hip hop one of your 5 a day” one of ‘em shouted at the start of the set. If it’s this good I’d be inclined to agree with him.


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