Hands Off Gretel It’s International Women’s Day and we’ve congregated at Alphabet Brewing Company on the outskirts of Manchester for a celebration of music with a predominantly female line-up.


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Azealia Banks Azealia Banks is the queen. For me, she’s the modern-day version of Betty Davis, the free spirit that inspired Miles Davis. Young and wild, nasty (in a nice way), playful and sultry - and more than anything, she’s absolutely unbeatable on stage. Whether she’s spitting fire over the nastiest of beats, singing over massive club bangers or playfully crooning over a trippy jazz beat she sounds incredible.


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Clutch It’s been a while since I’ve been completely blown away by a support band, and actually the last Clutch support that really did that was Clutch when they supported themselves as The Bakerton Group, but tonight both supports managed to do exactly that.


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BlackBerry Smoke Their t-shirts say ‘Too Country for Rock, Too Rock for Country' which may be true about Blackberry Smoke on record and may be the reason I have never properly given them an opportunity further than listening to an odd track now and then. Live though they are much closer to one of my favourite ever bands, fellow Atlantians the Black Crowes.


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Jessie J The premise behind Jessie J's R.O.S.E. tour is a really clever and well executed one. 4 sets within a gig each sectioned with a title that spells out R.O.S.E. the name of her most recent album, which was released in 4 parts across four days in May of this year.


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Greta Van Fleet I’d heard mixed things about Greta Van Fleet from ‘they’re just a Zeppelin covers band’ to ‘absolutely incredible stuff' but I’m usually not one to just take other people’s word for it so I had to check them out for myself. I love the album Anthem of the Peaceful Army, and yes, it is very Zeppelin-esque - but who cares - I love Zeppelin.


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MC50 MC5 were a massively influential band predating and inspiring the New York punk scene with their blues infused garage rock. A fact evidenced by the calibre of the all-star collection of musicians who have joined original member Wayne Kramer to play this 50th anniversary tour celebrating their music.


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Slayer Tonight’s Slayer show at Manchester Arena was momentous in more ways than one. They brought all the fire with them (and we mean ALL the fire), they brought not one, not two but three incredible bands along for the ride - and most of all - it will be the last time we get to experience Slayer on a world tour - Hell's house band are retiring.


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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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Rudimental Having seen Rudimental at Parklife Festival a few years back I knew that tonight’s show was going to be a lot of fun. I was expecting high energy, bouncy fun, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.


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Anna Calvi Anna Calvi is an artist cut from the same cloth as Nick Cave, St.Vincent and PJ Harvey. Unique, intriguing and completely breath-taking to see live. She’s one of those artists that creates their own off-kilter world and invites you in to share their vision for an hour and a half, drawing you further and further in with every note.


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Halestorm About 8 years ago I was completely blown away by a voice that captured everyone inside an arena within 30 seconds - completely acapella. It gave everybody goose bumps and stopped them in their tracks - and the performer wasn’t even on stage yet. It was an offstage intro from Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and it had everyone mesmerised from the get go. 8 years and 4 albums later and they have lost none of that ability to instantly capture a room full of people. If anything, that ability is even stronger now with a catalogue of incredible tracks to choose from.


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Bingley Music Live 2018 After climbing an unreasonably large hill to arrive at the Bingley Music Live festival site, I emerged into the beautiful West Yorkshire sunshine just as the Lightning Seeds were closing out their set. Songs such as Life of Riley and Change provide a certain nostalgic satisfaction, but these tracks haven't aged particularly well, and the omission of Three Lions is keenly felt by all in attendance.


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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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