Duran Duran I was very excited to hear Seal would be supporting Duran Duran on tonight's bill at the new plush Genting arena. When he enters on stage a lady in front of me shouts out "I've only come to see you!" which has the crowd laughing, and I must admit, I would have paid good money to just see Seal himself too. Highlights for me are Crazy, and Adamski's Killer, which is just one of those era defining songs from the 90's Acid House scene. There is something so electric about Seal's voice - which is soulful, and yet something more, sitting so well with an electronic track - much in the same way that Rhianna's voice can.


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Roy Wood and friends There's nothing like a bit of old skool glam rock to get you in the mood for Christmas... Roy Wood is aiming to make this event at Birmingham's Symphony Hall an annual event, like a brummy variety performance, I'm loving a bit of retro talent to kick off the festivities.


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Saint Saviour With some deservedly impressive reviews rolling in for her latest album, In The Seams, there’s a better turn out for tonight’s gig at the Hairy Hounds than there was back in 2012 when Saint Saviour last played here. At that time she was seriously considering packing touring in altogether as, in common with a sadly growing number of artists, she was pretty much doing everything herself which is undoubtedly (a) pretty ruddy time consuming and (b) soul destroying if the turnout’s a little, ahem, slim.


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Gary Barlow Here at Gig Junkies we’re so lucky. We get to photograph some fantastic gigs. Gary Barlow's gig at The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton on the penultimate day of 2012 is just one of them. Gig Junkies' very own Lee got to shoot the superstar songwriter's show. We hope that you like what he saw.


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George Barnett It’s always an odd time between Christmas and New Year. Most of us are still recovering from turkey overdose (quite literally going ‘cold turkey’) and desperately necking those chocolate liquors that always seem to find their way into the house somehow (who buys those things?!), eager to stave off the inevitable return to work and the horror that is... JANUARY. Urgh. Bears have the right idea, hibernate through the whole darn thing and wake up just as the daffs are daffing and the bees a buzzing. That would certainly explain the absence of bears at last night’s gig but a surprisingly decent number of humans managed to rise from the sofa... and ruddy glad they were too I bet.


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Jake Bugg There’s a lot of fervour about a certain Mr Jake Bugg at the moment. Having supported the likes of the Stone Roses as well as gigging with (and receiving plaudits from) the singer/song writing legend that is Mr Noel Gallagher you can see why. Now, I’m not one to gloat but the Gig Junkies team have been supporting the wee fella for an age and beyond and quite frankly think that he is rather splendid indeed!


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Castrovalva Ho ho ho. Whilst Christmas may mean carols, hymns, X Factor nonsense and Cliff singing about ickle baby Jesus to most of the population happily some people are still fighting the good fight, musically speaking at least. So a Santa’s sack full of respect to Distorted Tapes / Rhi Lee for putting together four bands that well and truly stuff most of the musical turkeys around at this time of year. Not Cliff obviously. Cliff is God. No... really... he actually is... a tramp outside Wetherspoons told me.


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The Dirty Old Folkers Bain of the bankers' bloated bonus, no succor to the politicians' humbug, the pioneers of alt.punk 'Inappropriate Folk', The Dirty Old Folkers, celebrated their fifth year of Yuletide mayhem with a singularly alternative interpretation of the evergreen childrens' pantomime favourite, Dick Whittington - the dramatic conceit being predicated, presumably, on the childish audience comprising mostly of The Midwich Cuckoos. (And, that might explain the Boris Johnson platinum wigs later on!).


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The xx Today is a rather special date in the calendar. Not only is it 12-12-12, but it’s also the first visit to Wolverhampton for The xx. The concert is sold out and there is excitement in the air. There is certainly plenty of band merchandise being shifted, with designer xx carrier bags in abundance. The xx’s sound is a defined by whispered vocals, often sparse instrumentation and very personalised lyrics about relationships. The question is how their subtle material will come over in such a big venue. We are about to find out that the band’s apparently small sound works brilliantly in a cavernous hall.


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The Black Keys Here at Gig Junkies we’re so lucky. We get to photograph some fantastic gigs. The Black Keys' gig at The NIA in Birmingham on 9th December is just one of them. Gig Junkies' very own Bianca got to shoot the Akron Ohio duo's show. We hope that you like what she saw. Were you there? We would love to hear what you thought. Tweet us @GigJunkies and we'll post your thoughts, right here alongside the photos.


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Orbital Clearly, when Douglas Adams, in describing Eccentrica Gallumbits’,* the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six claims that Zaphod Beeblebrox was the ‘best bang since The Big One’ sadly couldn’t have anticipated an Orbital gig. (Though ‘Disaster Area’s’ space-pod ‘Sun-Dive’ finale was pretty close.)


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The Courteeners Manchester is famous for being kind to its musical children. The city loves nothing more than to celebrate its own, and when they are musicians this usually leads to their homecoming shows being the hottest ticket in town. We've seen it just recently with the Stone Roses reunion gigs but on Friday night it was the turn of The Courteeners to entertain their home crowd.


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The War of the Worlds The sci-fi novel “The War of the Worlds” was first published by Herbert George Wells (H.G. Wells) in 1898, and was the forerunner for every alien invasion story since. Wells was the Grandfather of Science Fiction and a true visionary, with his prophecies for many of mankind’s developments in the hundred years since coming to fruition.


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Band of Skulls Listening to Kerrang Radio on the way to the gig – as is obligatory for all self-respecting Gig Junkies, it seemed that uber-hot bass playing front woman Emma Richardson was poorly and wasn’t well enough to attend the pre-gig interview. Whilst mass hysteria and a heightened state of panic didn’t necessarily ensue in the GJ mobile, the photographer and I, firmly cross our fingers in unison wishing her a speedy recovery so she could entertain us at the HMV Institute a little later on. Fast forward 3 hours and we needn’t have worried. Not a jot. Excellent gig delivered by the Band of Skulls and once more they justified the entrance fee with their brand of melodic, blues based, bass driven rifftastic rock. Phew!


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