Marilyn Manson The black curtain is raised in the O2 Apollo in readiness for the unveiling of Marilyn Manson. The crowd is chanting in anticipation as 'This is the End' by the Doors echoes out into the arena.


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Bo Bruce First up is Gary Nock, a one-man vocal and acoustic extravaganza. Nock, starts off by telling us almost wearily that he can be found on a variety of media including facebook, instagram, myspace...blah blah. In a world now consisting of artist's competitive and avid self-promotion through various media, I could see how this could get a little tiresome. Anyway! With guitar in hand Nock belts out a series of nu-folksy heart felt acoustic tunes, the type that is currently very popular as a heart-warming soundtrack to peoples lives.


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Alabama Shakes!  New!  Improved!  Now with BIGGER venue! Yes. That's right people, remember you heard it here first (or maybe you were on the HMV Institute mailing list like me ;o) ) If you were upset that you missed-out on a Birmingham ticket to see the hotly tipped Alabama Shakes, then fret no more! They've been upgraded to the BIG ROOM! I know! But be quick as they're obviously selling fast HERE. The gig is still on Friday 11 May 2012, by the way.


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Grace and Danger: The Songs of John Martyn Part of the English Originals Weekend tonight saw a veritable cornucopia (yep, I’ve been reading the dictionary again) of artists pay their own tribute to a man who, in my humble opinion, is hugely underappreciated. Of course John did himself no real favours during his 40 odd year career... what with all the drink and drugs... and more drink... and... oh go on... just a few more drugs. Having his leg lopped off in 2006 probably didn’t help matters either, but the overwhelming feeling that you got after he passed away last year was that John well and truly lived life to the full. Inevitably if you’re going to do that you can expect massive highs and crashing lows and listening to John’s songs it’s clear that’s just what he got. Anger, love, hate, bitterness, regret, joy... he covered pretty much every emotion under the sun and tonight’s gig gave us a chance to see how others manage to interpret what are, often, intensely personal songs.


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