THEBAND Cool music, lovely people, real ale, steam trains, sun...sun...even more sun...wouldn’t the country be a better place if it was run by the good folk behind Indietracks and the bands who played? Yes, yes it would. MJ Hibbert would be Secretary of State for Education, Hidden Cameras would be in charge of the armed forces and Gruff Rhys would be Prime Minister, although given his wonderfully laid back drawl and thoughtful pondering Prime Minister’s Question Time may well last a week.


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JAY-Z Is Jay-Z the best rapper ever? This was the topic of conversation between my friends and I on the way to the LG Arena Wednesday night. You see people always mention names like Eminem, Tupac and Biggie but people seem to sleep on the man born Shawn Corey Carter. Jay-Z is critically acclaimed within the whole of the rap industry, with 10 Grammy awards (and many more nominations) to his name whilst selling around 40 million albums worldwide. His latest album and 11th studio release “Blueprint 3” went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 last year (like each album before it), which was a record for a solo act in the history of the album charts, surpassing the late, great Elvis Presley who had 10. With the album sales, awards and even historical records piling up, surely Jay deserves to be mentioned as one of the greatest solo artists of our generation, never mind just the rap game?


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Paramore "Wow! This is the biggest show we’ve ever played!’’ said the 20-year-old Hayley Williams as she looked out at the 13,000 strong fans. Many of the front row had queued for hours and a few even camped over-night to be close to their idols. Paramore from Franklin, Tennessee formed in 2004, and with two songs on the massive Hollywood hit film 'Twilight', even being nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2008 proved the reason why they have such a growing popularity on stage at the NIA in Birmingham on the 11th December 2009.


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Calvin Harris When last we reviewed Calvin Harris, it was back in May at The Kasbah in Coventry. He literally blew us away on the night and we came away from the evening with bloody big grins on our faces. I commented at the time that I sensed a quantum shift taking place that would be felt upon release of the next album. So I approached this gig with wonderment at what we would get. Oh and did I mention I bloody love it when I’m right?! Calvin in May wore a tracksuit top/jeans/trainers combo and thoroughly entertained us with great tunes and good old electro beats. It was synthesiser city and he didn’t have much to say. He let his music do the talking.


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