Bingley Weekender Going back to work after six weeks off is always pretty challenging but to be whisked off to a festival straight afterwards certainly softens the dull ache of no longer being able to eat Coco Pops in your pants at midday. We arrived at Bingley Weekender cautiously optimistic after organisers had stepped in last minute to arrange the festival in place of the institution that is Bingley Music Live.


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Mel B Tonight’s show at The Grand Theatre in Leeds is a bit different to shows I normally go to, but then again I’ve always been a massive Mel B fan, so I wasn’t going to miss the chance to see her in conversation in the ‘Brutally Honest and Fabulous, Evening with…’ show. A chance to get up close and personal with THE best Spice Girl, in her hometown.


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Prophets of Rage It says a lot that even a tyre blowing out on the motorway and 2 hours waiting to be rescued at 1am in the morning and getting just 3 hours sleep before setting off to work couldn’t kill the feeling that I had just seen, for me, the gig of the year... Prophets of Rage at Manchester Academy.


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Janelle Monáe The Manchester International Festival, held every two years, brings 18 eclectic days of culture, music, world premiers and special events hosted across the city and this year’s kicked off in glorious fashion with an incredible, spellbinding show from the uniquely talented Janelle Monáe at Castlefield Bowl.


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Piece Hall, Halifax This weekend saw some incredible live music in one of the most spectacular settings you could imagine as Futuresound Events hosted 4 days of music at the iconic Piece Hall in Halifax. We were there for 3 of those days and we witnessed an anthemic hometown show from Embrace, massive party sets from Terrorvision and The Levellers as well as an astounding show from Elbow.


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Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow doesn’t come to the UK nearly as often as I would like her to, but whenever she does it’s an absolute pleasure to be in the same room listening to her and the incredible band perform some of the greatest songs of the last 25 years. She’s been one of my top 5 go-to artists for the last quarter of a century and has sound tracked some of my most favourite moments with some of my most favourite friends.


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Metallica You can hear the juggernaut that is Metallica rolling into town for weeks if not months before it arrives. This date has been marked in many calendars for a long time with the excitement reaching fever pitch hours before the headliners take the stage with fans filling the streets of Manchester for a pre-gig pint.


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Brass Against 9 times out of 10 Facebook’s suggested posts are just wallpaper that get unceremoniously scrolled passed, but seeing one for a brass band playing Cochise as a tribute to Chris Cornell caught my eye – as a massive fan of his – and it blew me away. That was my introduction to Brass Against and I was instantly hooked. So getting the chance to see them live was something I wasn’t going to miss.


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Lights Lights shone in Manchester as they played their first show of the year at the historic Night and Day Cafe – a venue I’d hazard a guess was chosen for it’s incredibly close proximity to Manchester’s Forbidden Planet comic book store (they are literally opposite each other).


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Disturbed The Manchester Apollo was absolutely heaving for the Disturbed show tonight. Not just busy, but absolutely jam packed full of rock fans. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue as full as it was for the first of their two nights in the city to close the Evolution World Tour. It was full right from the get-go too due to the support act tonight being the one and only Skindred, who are, in their own rights a massive draw.


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Gods of Rap Gods of Rap brought together three of the most iconic names in hip-hop for an incredible celebration of music along with the legendary DJ Premier of Gang Starr steering the ship throughout the show. De La Soul, Public Enemy and Wu-Tang Clan joined forces in Manchester and took the roof of with a combination of feel-good vibes, political power and camaraderie.


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Marina Absolutely everything about Marina shows class - from the clarity of the sound, the elegance of her movements and how she interacts with her dancers to the respectably early finishing time of the show.


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Terrorvision Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than in front of the TV, and by that I mean the giant totally Vegas style letters that adorn the stage whenever Terrorvision are in town.


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Richard Hawley I met Richard Hawley years ago at the bar before a Nick Cave show I’d gone to on the spur of the moment. I didn’t know I’d met him until he appeared on stage as the support act for the night, but that’s where it all started for me. I loved every minute of that set, the 7 or 8 times I’ve seen since and every minute of tonight’s show in Holmfirth.


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