Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.


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Mac DeMarco It’s the first hot day of summer, and Margate is packed. The beachfront is full of bikini-clad sunbathers, Kentish families slurping melted 99s and locals strolling with panting dogs.


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Manic Street Preachers It seems almost a cliche at this point for artists to play older albums in full, relying on nostalgia to bring in the audience for a quick cash grab. However that’s not always the case, some do it for the right reasons, making it a celebration for themselves and the fans. The best example of this at the moment is the Manic Street Preachers, who over the past few years have been playing a slew of excellent 20th anniversary shows of their 90’s albums.


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HOMESHAKE It’s been six years since Peter Sagar aka HOMESHAKE released his first cassette to the world. His reputation as a master of the chill wave sound has continued to grow with each of the four albums released since then. Returning to the Hare & Hounds for the second time, I was intrigued to see how his new album ‘Helium’ would translate to the live setting.


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Mini Mansions Swaggering through their suave suits, Mini Mansions balance their smooth coolness with pure energy at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds.


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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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Benny Sings The Moth Club’s iconic shimmering gold background was the perfect setting for Benny Sings' pop music. 'City Pop' finally seems to be the album that’s getting him the recognition he rightfully deserves after over 15 years on the scene. With a King Midas like songwriting ability, the sold out crowd were about to worship their new golden god.


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Sundara Karma The glam-some foursome return to stage with a collection of their most adventurous and sonically-challenging gems from their discography. Following the recent release of their latest album, ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’, Sundara Karma proved they are capable of an even more conceptual feel, both musically and visually - moving more towards the ‘glam rock’ genre, the boys are demonstrating a beautiful fusion of music that feels like the lovechild of Bowie and Queen.


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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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The Internet It seems like a lifetime ago since the endless hype around the infamous rap collective Odd Future was in full force. Over the past few years it’s been fascinating to see its members mature and leave a lasting impact on the music scene. But tonight at the O2 institute it was all about The Internet.


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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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