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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Incubus “Is Incubus still a band?” is mounted as one of the top 4 Google searches to include the word ‘Incubus’ at the moment, which is interesting considering they’re currently getting ready to wrap their final dates of a world tour, their first in many years. That being said, the atmosphere in tonight’s completely sold out o2 Academy definitively confirms that an army of people in Birmingham never forgot about them for a second.


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King Creosote Even if he wasn’t a great wordsmith, tunesmith, singer, musician and performer, out of curiosity you’d have to go and see an act with the name King Creosote. Mr Creosote (no, not the character in the Monty Python film) is actually Kenny Anderson, resident of Fife. Staunchly independent, he has released truckloads of recordings and founded the Fence record label in 1995. One of his most successful albums, nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2011, has been ‘Diamond Mine’, his collaboration with electronica musician Jon Hopkins. However, he has many albums very worthy of investigation, including the most recent, 2016’s ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’.


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St. Vincent Watching a St. Vincent show is what it is to witness a creative mind expressing itself in the most beautiful way. A performance that’s all about the performance with everything from the music, the pulsating lights and the hypnotic video projections all working together in harmony with one thing in mind - to make you feel sexy.


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New Power Generation Indigo at the O2 last night laid down its funky weapons as the legendary New Power Generation came to town. The excitement in the queues with happy, smiling faces was a site to behold as Prince's legendary backing band returned to the historic home of the 21 nights aftershows back in 2007 kicking off the opening night of the European Summer 'Celebrating Prince Tour'.


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Bruno Mars Since 2013 BST Hyde Park has been see some of the greatest performers of our time have graced the Great Oak Stage, having first attended BST in 2014 the format is a little bit different, however the family fun is no less and keeps the masses entertained in this value for money festival. Targeting music lovers far and wide with choice of headliners today was the day for the cool kids to play and put their pinkies in the sky as Bruno Mars headlined in the 30 degree sunshine of the landmark London park. Revellers had the choice of various stages offering entertainment all day.


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