Skindred

It's not often you go to a gig that has four acts on in one night, and you can definitely cut that number in half again if you can say that none of them are filler. Well on paper I can definitely say tonight is one of those special cases where we get the later.



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Fightstar

It's Saturday Night and The Ritz in Manchester is heaving. It's uncomfortably warm and a sense of anticipation hums through the air; post-hardcore band Fightstar are the cause. In town to promote their latest album 'Behind The Devil's Back', just released this month, it's clear from the size of the crowd that the band have lost few fans during their 2010 - 2014 hiatus, especially not in Manchester.



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The Offspring Having seen The Offspring play a couple of lacklustre performances over the years at various different festivals I was looking forward to taking another trip down memory lane with their nostalgic skater songs at one of their own headline shows and seeing if there was any difference in their show.


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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds I’ve said it before, I’m unlikely to stop saying it: Manchester loves its musical children. The reception they receive at homecoming gigs is unparalleled and Noel Gallagher never finds himself short of an audience or a deafening cheer. Gathered at Castlefield Bowl for the latest in the Summer In The City gigs is undoubtedly the largest crowd in the venue yet and the excitement in the air is palpable; people know Noel Gallagher doesn’t play Manchester very often, it’s pretty special when he does.


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Wolf Alice Wolf Alice have been on our radar for a while. They’ve been gaining momentum for the past couple of years, often tipped on people’s ones-to-watch list. It feels like they are one big record away from really making it into a wider stream of consciousness. It was a treat to hear they were touring early this year; the chance to see them before they really set the world alight was one which we could not turn down.


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Steel Panther Tonight is the opening night of the tour and everybody is in high spirits. A lot of the fans here have taken it upon themselves to get glammed up for the occasion and why not? With the line up of bands that we have on show tonight everyone is in a for a treat.


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Fightstar It was a sad day for Fightstar fans back in 2010 when announcing their hiatus however after four years absent, they ended their hiatus and announced a small run of UK shows for early 2015 which we were lucky enough to attend. Fightstar's main support for these handful of shows were the young and fresh Moose Blood who released their debut album late 2014, who look to have a very bright future. So with four years absence from live shows do Fightstar still have what it takes to put on a tremendous show? Or will the stage rust take longer than anticipated to shake off?


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Queen + Adam Lambert Live Aid, 1985, Queen take to the Wembley stage. Freddie Mercury plays the opening chords of Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano and begins a 20 minute set which is universally recognised as one of the most phenomenal live performances of all time. I was two years old when that took place. Thirty years later, I’ve just left the Manchester Arena having spent  the past two hours in absolute awe; dancing along to some of the same rock anthems as performed by Mercury that day, courtesy of Queen’s latest tour featuring Adam Lambert as their accompanying vocalist.


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The Gaslight Anthem The first two words that come to mind when I hear the words ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ are ‘cult following’. Whilst they never seem to be part of the mainstream music consciouness, they have garnered a huge following that has made them one of the most popular rock bands of the past decade. That cult following is definitely evident in Manchester’s Apollo this Monday evening.


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Volbeat It might be a chilly mid-November Sunday night but Manchester's Academy is bursting at the seems. Metal fans, young and old, have gathered eagerly to see Danish band Volbeat on their Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies tour.


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In Flames Despite most of their setlist tonight coming from their latest albums 'Siren Charms' and 'Sounds Of A Playground Fading' , which are considered by both fans and critics to be two of their less heavy but more melodic albums, In Flames still manage to pack one hell of a punch live. Appearing against what is a surprisingly good stage set up they launched themselves into the explosive opener, 'In Plain View'. The crowd are definitely up for it as they bounce to every beat and are clearly enjoying themselves.


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Chuck Ragan Coming into the gig Billy the Kid was somewhat of an unknown to me but like all Chuck Ragan gigs the support never disappoints. Ever since The Revival Tour days you could always guarantee if you hadn't heard of the the other acts before, you would end up loving them before you left, and Billy The Kid is no different. A shy but confident woman took to the stage with just an acoustic guitar and microphone and eases her way through a great performance. It's safe to say I will be going home and listening to some more of her music.


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Alkaline Trio When I entered the Forum it was hard not to notice the shear beauty of the venue, Manchester certainly has its fair share of great venues but being my first time here it will certainly leave an impression on me. As I was hoping tonight's headline act Alkaline Trio would. Having not seen them on a headline tour before this gig was one I have had on my calendar for quite some time.


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The Wildhearts It may surprise many to know that The Wildhearts debut album 'Earth vs the Wildhearts' came out in 1993, a massive 21 years ago. The band have since gone through various line-up changes, drug problems and break ups but each time they seem to have come back stronger. So the question is what can this reincarnation bring to the table?


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