The Pictish Trail Isle of Eigg resident Johnny Lynch has been performing as The Pictish Trail since the early 2000’s. He describes himself as ‘svelt, intelligent, adorable balladeer, trapped inside the body of an oversized, oft-bearded folk ogre’ and his musical genre as ‘lo-fi scmaltz’. A larger-than-life figure, Lynch is co-organiser of the Howlin Fling Festival on Eigg, he has apparently played at every single Green Man Festival and is head of Lost Map records (he previously ran Fence Records). Clearly unmissable.


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Ellie Goulding & Friends The Best of British Pop curated by Ellie Goulding explodes on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for the Streets of London Charity.


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The Kerrang! Tour 2017 The Kerrang! Tour has always been a great showcase for new bands some of which have gone onto greater things such as Biffy Clyro, Bring Me The Horizon and All Time Low. Now in it’s 12th Year Kerrang continue to promote new bands and tonight is no exception with a very diverse line-up.


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Nothing More Until two weeks ago I’ve never heard of a band called Nothing More and to quote a recent article by TeamRock, “Who the f*ck are…Nothing More?” Fast-forward two weeks to last night, I knew exactly who they are and I’ve been listening to their fourth and the latest studio album, 'The Stories We Tell Ourselves' on repeat. The world has taken note of this American prog-rock band from Texas and Nothing More recently received 3 Grammy nominations for “Best Rock Album” for their mentioned latest release, “Best Rock Performance” for their song, 'Go To War' and “Best Rock Song”, also for 'Go To War'.


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Mastodon Now onto the big boys, Mastodon. The crowd are obviously looking forward to it and there is an almighty growl as the lights dim before they've even hit the stage. These boys know how to make an entrance and starting with 'The Last Baron' means from he start of the show everyone is in unison.


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Gorillaz So tonight will be an interesting gig as the crowds head to Arena Birmingham on this damp winter’s night, as this band are something entirely different - predominantly because they are made up of a cast of virtual characters - 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. Welcome tonight (with their real life vocalist), Damon Albarn - to the ecletic world that is Gorillaz.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes As is customary on ‘these types’ of evenings the ‘Facial Hair per attendee’ ratio was a good 30% higher than a normal gig. Yes ladies and gentlemen a certain Mr Frank Carter was in town with his Rattlesnakes to deliver their own unique brand of English hardcore punk. It was gonna be wild, gonna be raucous and gonna be a whole lot of fun.


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Scouting For Girls A lot can change in ten years, but Scouting for Girls still hold up as one of the hottest pop-rock acts around. The Londoners returned to a sold-out Oxford O2 Academy to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their self-titled debut album and play – in their own words – whatever they want!


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Northlane Tonight we visited the O2 Institute Birmingham for a night of fine modern metalcore with Northlane and some absolute gems in Invent, Animate and Erra in supporting roles. The venue itself was busy early on.


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Jesca Hoop Tonight we take a trip to the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham to see songstress Jesca Hoop supported by Lucas Oswald.


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Every Time I Die Every Time I Die need no introduction and have been smashing shows like this for nearly 20 years! Just let that sink in, 20 years and still more hungry and passionate than most new bands. Even in a cast Jordan Buckley flails around the stage like a man possessed. Brother Keith conducts the carnage and grins manically as he paces the stage. It was great to finally hear tracks from Low Teens in their natural environment and they sound magnificent.


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The Darkness For me, its always great to go to a Hard Rock gig. The lightshow is usually great, the music is really right up my street, the crowd is generally spot on and the atmosphere amazing. Tonight just imagine all of that times 10 - Why? Well beacuse The Darkness are in town, thats why.


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Skinny Lister Have a look at the Xtra Mile Recordings roster. It is a list of some of the finest acts out there. Diverse, but each one worth your time and money. Two of the best live acts this country has to offer are Xtra Mile artists Skinny Lister and Beans On Toast and they’re currently touring their blistering sets around this sceptred isle.


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Howard Jones It’s been well over thirty years since Howard Jones asked us to “throw off our mental chains”; to challenge our preconceived ideas. How time flies by. In support of his brand new ‘Best Of’ Howard Jones release entitled ‘BEST (1983-2017)’, and now with all new and extended Electric Band, he's put doing a series of five shows across the UK, including tonight's at Birmingham's o2 Institute.


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