Saint Saviour With some deservedly impressive reviews rolling in for her latest album, In The Seams, there’s a better turn out for tonight’s gig at the Hairy Hounds than there was back in 2012 when Saint Saviour last played here. At that time she was seriously considering packing touring in altogether as, in common with a sadly growing number of artists, she was pretty much doing everything herself which is undoubtedly (a) pretty ruddy time consuming and (b) soul destroying if the turnout’s a little, ahem, slim.


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Kate Tempest Poet, rapper, playwright, novelist, Mercury nominee, winner of the prestigious Ted Hughes Award, inventor of a cure for the common cold (okay, so the last one was made up but frankly you wouldn’t put it past her)...for many Kate Tempest has seemingly sprung from nowhere over the past year or so. The reality’s radically different but no less impressive...


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Just Talk After fighting our way through the infighting Tories currently polluting the good streets of Brum and dozens of Horrors fans (they were also playing The Institute tonight...The Horrors that is, not the Tories...) the relative peace and tranquillity of The Temple (think of it as The Institute’s loft conversion) came as a blessed relief. Of course you can have too much peace and quiet though.


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Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox Okay, so imagine if Lady Gaga had hung around the Noo Yoik jazz clubs of the 30s and 40s or if Robin Thicke had been ‘blurring lines’ in Appalachia back in the 50s? That, in essence, is the brilliant but simple premise behind Postmodern Jukebox, take ‘modern’ pop songs and re-imagine them adding a little (or in most cases a lot) more musical magic all with a distinctively vintage twist. To quote the chap behind it, US jazz musician Scott Bradlee, it’s all about the creation of “an alternate pop universe” (and let’s face it some of today’s pop songs...and their singers...could certainly do with being transported to an alternate universe at times). It’s been pretty ruddy successful too, with one of the group’s best efforts, a heartbreakingly poignant cover of Lorde’s Royals sung by a 7ft tall clown (yep, seriously), picking up almost 8million hits on You Tube to date...and all without the aid of breakdancing kittens, grannies battering would be muggers or drunk frat boys falling off roofs. Impressive eh? Now, after a sell out US tour, the Jukebox has popped over the Atlantic for a mere handful of dates, one of which is in Brum’s suitably vintage Institute.


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Courtney Barnett I was pretty much sold on Courtney Barnett from the moment I discovered that one of her songs was called Avant Gardener. Clever. I do love a good pun. Happily the track’s as impressive as the title which, despite a still relatively low profile over here in the UK (Courtney’s from Melbourne), probably explains why this gig at the Hare and Hounds sold out a while back.


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Radkey “We are three brothers on a quest to save the world from false rock”. So reads the rather bold claim on Radkey’s Twitter page. Hell, it's not just 'false rock' that the world needs saving from these days so let’s hope they deliver eh?


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Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip It’s been nearly seven years since Le Sac and Pip’s first hit, Thou Shalt Always Kill, a deliberately provocative swipe at the mindless hero worship of many a sacred musical cow (everyone from The Beatles through to Lostprophets... hmmm they may have had a point there in retrospect). Okay, perhaps it had a vague whiff of the novelty one hit wonder about it but the pair have since gone on to produce some of the freshest most thought provoking hip hop around, hence the pretty much capacity crowd tonight.


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Summer Camp Having recently moved into the Hare and Hounds permanently (got myself a sweet little spot just beneath the bar in the back room...no more nightmare journeys on the bus of the damned - aka the Number 11 - for me) tonight’s gig was just a mere stumble away.


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Untitled Music Project It’s been quite a week for noisy cult Birmingham based bands to reform for a ‘one off’ gig. Last Saturday witnessed the second coming of Distophia during the rather excellent All Years Leaving festival and tonight was the turn of much loved shouty, screamy, punky trio Untitled Musical Project to deafen the nation’s young...and not so young... once more.


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Goodnight Lenin Were one given to idle speculation as to where Goodnight Lenin drew inspiration for the band's name - historical antecedents might suggest it to be one of Uncle Joe Stalin's many sick-humored euphemisms used during his pogroms of mass liquidation. Said despotic maniac infamously arranged the demise of his exiled enemy, Trotsky, via a bizarre 'gardening accident' when the unfortunate Leon reluctantly, and very much terminally, head-butted an ice pick: ergo - ‘Goodnight Lenin.’ Sympathetically observed, you will of course recall, by The Stranglers' - in No More Heroes - because it '...made his ears burn!


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Goodnight Lenin With their much anticipated debut album still being mixed and just a few festival shows lined up this year (albeit including Glastonbury and Moseley Folk Festival) 2013’s been relatively low key for Goodnight Lenin so far. ‘Low key’ certainly isn’t a phrase you’d apply to tonight’s show though, their first headline appearance since selling out Birmingham Cathedral last December...


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Dumb It seems slightly perverse that George Barnett’s tonight’s opening act, especially given the fact that his cover of Daft Punk’s new single Get Lucky has (at the time of writing) racked up an incredible TWO AND A HALF MILLION hits on You Tube. Still, it doesn’t seem to trouble him and once again he delivers a set full of hits in waiting that blow most of the current chart guff off the face of the earth. From the cowbell extended clap along version of Lone Rose through to the light pop funk of Cassi and on to the Queen’s We Will Rock You meets hip hop of Light A Fire Barnett bounces around the stage in the same relentless (and seemingly effortless) way in which the music seems to pour out of him. Speaking of which he dropped a couple of new songs into the set this evening, Falling and Crowd, the latter you can easily see becoming an arena staple one day.


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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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The Travelling Band For one moment we shivered in anticipation of Spinal Tap schadenfreude as The Travelling Band stacked the stage with racks of back-up guitars and rock-tech paraphernalia - turns out they put it all to great effect. (My son tells me we saw this lot at Greenman Festival but I was distracted by the beckoning songs of the 8% scrumpy Sirens... rock n' roll!)


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