BEAK> There is a substantial amount of kit on stage that needs manoeuvring before BEAK> can start their set, but this is done swiftly and efficiently so that the banter may begin. Surprisingly, BEAK> are ridiculously entertaining between songs in a slightly old-school Top Gear style, by making jokes at each other's expense which starts as soon as they walk on to the stage.


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Disturbed The Manchester Apollo was absolutely heaving for the Disturbed show tonight. Not just busy, but absolutely jam packed full of rock fans. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue as full as it was for the first of their two nights in the city to close the Evolution World Tour. It was full right from the get-go too due to the support act tonight being the one and only Skindred, who are, in their own rights a massive draw.


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Live at Leeds Still the best 1-day festival for emerging talent, Live at Leeds continues to shine as a must not miss opening to this year’s festival season.


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The Vamps Before we knew it The Vamps arrived on the stage behind a curtain casting silhouette shapes before dropping to the floor revealing Brad who surprised the crowd with ‘Just My Type’. The opening track for the evening had the crowd singing loudly and dancing non-stop from the get go.


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JAWS Having released four sonically diverse singles and ahead of their highly anticipated fourth album and return, JAWS announced a quartet of live dates around the UK. Calling at Glasgow, Manchester, London and finally their hometown of Birmingham, the shows were curiously large for the band and after following their meteoric rise as a completely unsigned band, I was intrigued to see how they matched up to these larger venues at their Birmingham date.


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The Blinders It’s not often that Birmingham gets the opening night of the tour, so when it does happen it’s an unmissable occasion. thankfully Doncaster’s finest The Blinders chose Birmingham for the kick off of their 2019 UK and Europe dates. Just like Birmingham’s own Peaky Blinders this gang are not to be messed with, they have already proved themselves a formidable live band with the tunes to back them up. Now it was time for them to be unleashed onto Digbeth.


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Tom Walker Over the last year, Scottish beanie wearing success Tom Walker released his Number 1 debut album ‘What a Time to be Alive’, which nabbed British Breakthrough Award at the BRIT Awards as well as selling out an early 2019 and late 2019 tour.


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Dropkick Murphys The boys are back, the boys are back, the boys are back and they’re looking for trouble! Dropkick Murphys never disappoint for a night of high-energy fun celtic-folk-punk style.


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Papa Roach Papa Roach's set began with 10 of the most iconic and recognisable words in rock with the explosive intro to ‘Last Resort’, and playing ‘Last’ first was a bit of a masterstroke getting everybody going from the outset.


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Drenge The title of Drenge’s latest album 'Strange Creatures' seems to sum up the band’s recent history pretty well. The band have mutated over the years into a hulking four piece grunge beast, a far cry from the simple double act they used to be. Under the cloak of darkness they arrived at the O2 Institute, hungry and ready to devour Birmingham whole.


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Sleeper In a time when the country seems to be in a never-ending cycle of political chaos, it is nice to be reminded of a time when we were considered cool (and even a little rebellious). The Brit-Pop era of the 90s brought us Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede and, of course, Tony Blair. Amongst them, although never quite reaching the same giddy heights of stardom, were Sleeper. Reforming in the past couple of years, their reunion has resulted in a new album and sell-out gigs. It seems that they are living up to their name and are now finally getting the wider recognition that their music deserves.


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Easy Life It’s a cold, wet, and frankly horrible night in Birmingham. Yet upon entering the O2 Institute for a night with Easy Life, the atmosphere suddenly washed anyway the hints of cold air that were loitering around.


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Sleaford Mods Sleaford Mods. Don’t let the band name mislead you. Sleaford Mods can’t be pigeon holed as a ‘mod band’ - because they're not. Their vocalist Jason Williamson has described their sound in the past as "electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class.” They are certainly political, and certainly of the people. Yet in an interview with Channel 4 (2015) Williamson has alternatively said that he doesn’t want the music to be described as working class - as when you're talking about alienation or unemployment there really shouldn’t be that assumption, or stereotype.


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Lee Scratch Perry Lee Scratch Perry is the godfather of dub, a pioneering producer and definitely the most flexible 83-year-old I’ve ever seen. Well 82-year-old… it’s not his birthday until tomorrow. Tonight, he started his birthday celebrations early in style.


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