Luke Sital-Singh “Has everyone got the Monday night blues?” beams Luke Sital-Singh as he greets his audience, “Because you’ve come to the right place.” Tonight, the Bristol-based folk singer-songwriter celebrates a homecoming gig in the semi-intimate space of Rough Trade, where a large local crowd of devotees wait with bated breath. His words certainly set the tone as the whole night unfurls with a showcase of solemn, lovelorn music.


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The Magpie Salute The Magpie Salute bring some Americana, Earthy Blues and Southern Rock to Manchester. Showcasing new songs from album ‘High Water I’, they were so much more than former members of The Black Crowes.


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Courtney Barnett It was a bitterly cold Monday night in an empty Birmingham city centre. A symptom perhaps of the Black Friday shopping frenzy which it seems that we have ‘culturally appropriated’ from our friends across the pond which was happening later the same week? Not surprisingly the O2 Academy reflected this being half full for the visit of one Miss Courtney Barnett; the lady with the coolest middle name in rock.


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St. Paul & The Broken Bones Birmingham Alabama Soul comes to Leeds and Saint Paul Janeway preaches to the converted. St. Paul & The Broken Bones live at the Irish Centre. This gig was supposed to be at The Brudenell, then I saw it advertised as the O2 Academy, eventually we are advised that it has been moved to the Irish Centre, which is exactly where I saw St Paul & the Broken Bones 2 years ago. Inside, this place resembles a large working men’s club with two levels and a handful of seats spread along the walls. It probably hasn’t changed much in 30 years and tonight it will play host to some slick blues and funky soul, some of the best and authentic southern American soul you will see this side of Otis Redding.


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Killing Joke Killing Joke are a band you should know and if you don’t I can guarantee you’ve heard more than you think you have by them. Love Like Blood in particular is one of those instantly recognisable songs that you’ve probably heard a thousand times. They have been cited as an inspiration by many of the big names such as Trent Reznor, Metallica and Soundgarden. Dave Grohl was even their drummer for 2003's eponymous album.


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First Aid Kit I’ve been waiting for this night for 12 months. I was lucky enough to see First Aid Kit at a one-off show in Shoreditch this time last year and as we all filed out of the town hall that night, I spotted two of the Staveley-Taylor sisters popping backstage to see Klara and Johanna. The thought crossed my mind – wouldn’t it be great if they played a show together. Fast forward a year and here we are – Newcastle O2 Academy for a night of harmony and some of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear.


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Raye It’s a busy night at the o2 Academy. The two largest rooms are completely sold out and teenage girls have been sleeping in the streets outside since midday yesterday to secure their spot at the front of the 5 Seconds of Summer show taking place downstairs in Academy 1. Upstairs, though, up and coming contemporary R&B star RAYE is entertaining 600 loyal fans in her self-proclaimed ‘first ever sold out show.’


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John Fogerty The Space Cowboy, Joker and the Fortunate Son prove that old rockers don’t die they just keep rolling on – Bluesfest 2018 at the O2 Dome in London kicks off in style with Jo Harman, Steve Miller Band and then a marathon 20+ song Creedence Clearwater Revival based setlist from John Fogerty.


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Echo & the Bunnymen Echo & the Bunnymen amble into York for the last night of the UK leg of the tour promoting new album ‘The Stars, The Ocean & The Moon’. As the title suggests (Stars Are Stars, Ocean Rain, The Killing Moon) the album is a reworking of old Bunnymen favourites (plus two new tracks), carefully picked by Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, the songs are given a more stripped back ethereal quality. It seems to have split the hardcore fanbase, in particular the transformation of ‘The Killing Moon’ into a piano and strings led ballad but it works. It really works. It’s also a brave move but over a forty year career The Bunnymen have never really played by the rules.


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The Brian Jonestown Massacre It’s almost time for The Brian Jonestown Massacre to take the stage. How do I know? I know because an extremely enthusiastic fan spots someone backstage and cries, “Here it is! Denim on denim!” Oh my. That’s nothing on Anton Newcombe’s deerstalker. Newcombe is general emperor, vocalist, and one of the guitarists. They have many guitarists, and many, many, many guitars. They’re living proof that there’s no such thing as too many guitars or sunglasses. There are seven band members on stage in total, and the majority of them are wearing sunglasses. I can only assume that they’re going for the too-cool stoic look. (Either that or they’re hiding an infection).


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The Parrots The Parrots have long garnered themselves a reputation as a band that prove to be as wonderful as they are wild at any given performance. Energetic, engaging, and anthemic to boot, theirs is a show that can bring even the dreariest of evenings to life.


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Tash Sultana Where to start? Well, to give some context, at least for me personally (actually, I’m certain as with many, many others too) the obsession started with FIFA, obviously. I’m making my way through the menus and this song comes on, the kind that make your ears prick up, cat-like. It catches me so off-guard, this isn’t what I had planned for my afternoon! The intro has already got me, then these vocals come in and yes, this is a bit of me. Forget FIFA, YouTube is now the mission. Who is this? I must know. This song (Jungle) will be on loop for the foreseeable future. Dramatic, I know, but as I write this, just shy of a year later, not a lot has changed.


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Goat Girl Goat Girl are a young all-female band from South London who have real attitude and write great songs. Their debut album, released last April, contains 19 short (most under 3 minutes), diverse and punchy songs and has received great reviews and radio play. The Brudenell is sold-out tonight for the Leeds stop on the band’s extensive tour. Goat Girl are really working hard at gigging: earlier this year I saw them in Montreal during their tour of North America supporting Parquet Courts. They were very well received by the Canadian audience and are making new friends wherever they play.


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Jonathan Wilson Six months after his last UK appearance, Jonathan Wilson is back in town with what looks to be a different band and an ever so slightly improved video backdrop. Three keyboardists are in the line-up including Drew Erickson who played with Wilson as part of Roger Waters’ touring band. Ny Oh’s backing vocals are a particularly welcome addition. The setlist is largely unchanged (notably ‘Dear Friend’ is substituted for ‘Moses Pain’) and focusses on his recent Rare Birds album.


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