The Joy Formidable A slightly humid Thursday night was home to a tiny Welsh invasion in the O2 Institute’s third room. Rockers The Joy Formidable had returned to the venue nine years after playing it last.


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Nils Frahm Nils Frahm is sparking a movement which challenges the conventions of music today. Without little introduction, no support act and a packed room, Nils Frahm graced a captive O2 Academy with his first ever Birmingham performance.


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Jay Rock In my opinion Jay Rock is the most underrated member of famed rap label TDE. He produces consistently good albums, but gets easily overlooked against bigger names like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. His current tour is titled ‘Redemption', could this be his moment to truly shine on his own merits?


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Wild Nothing The unusual New Orleans setting of Mama Roux’s housed Wild Nothing supporting their new album ‘Indigo’. It felt like we were in the French Quarter, but tonight was all about the Virginia based Jack Tautum who is the sole studio recording member of the band.


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Her's Pierce Brosnon, back massages and Robbie Williams. Her’s sold out gig at the Sunflower Lounge somehow brought them seamlessly together for a joyous set, that truly kicked away the January blues.


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The Good, the Bad & the Queen A historic Victorian pier in Blackpool is not somewhere you would normally expect a high profile gig to take place. Trust the Damon Albarn fronted supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen to make the exception.


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The Japanese House Whilst most of Birmingham were either crammed into the German Market, or upstairs downing Red Stripe for Peace’s homecoming gig, deep down below, in the underbelly of the O2 Institute 2, a future star was emerging in the form of The Japanese House.


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Unknown Mortal Orchestra Bedroom pop is the in thing at the moment. Long gone are the days of artists booking out recording studios and expensive equipment. Now anyone with the right equipment and determination can record at home. At the forefront of this music revolution, especially in the psychedelic genre is Ruban Nielson also known as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Currently touring the album 'Sex & Food' and the instrumental album 'IC-01 Hanoi', the O2 Institute was paid a visit on a chilly Monday night.


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Hinds They say that the third time is a charm, this point was proven as Hinds returned to Birmingham. With Sports Team as the high quality support, it was set to be another fun night at one of Birmingham’s newest venues The Mill.


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Wand There are few bands that master dynamics quite like Wand. Performing at the Hare & Hounds in Birmingham, the LA outfit brought their music to life with the spirited energy that they've become renowned for.


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I’m convinced Connan Mockasin comes from another planet. Like any good shape shifting alien you never really know what to expect from him. Thankfully the UK had three chances to experience his warped and wonderful world on his current tour supporting his latest album 'Jassbusters'. I flew up to his former homeworld of London to catch his final stop, a live performance and signing at Rough Trade East.


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The Voidz In support of their second release ‘Virtue’ earlier this year, The Voidz will play a handful of European dates this fall that includes stops at the pitchfork festival and a two night residency at Village Underground London.


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Melvins I’d heard rumours after the Melvins set in Digbeth last year that ear drums were blown and minds were melted. I expected much of the same when they played the O2 Academy on Tuesday, and with my ears still ringing I can easily say they delivered.


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Paul Cherry The Night Owl proved itself to be a fantastic gig venue, hosting Thursday’s gig headlined by Paul Cherry.


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