Deerhunter Becoming a parent seriously affected my ability to discover new music. The days of scouring Last.fm or some such to find “similar” artists to my ongoing predilections, became the nights of little sleep and my rest-addled brain took succour in the familiar, the easy. Them the breaks… plus, our babies were ace. No problem.


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Rival Sons Californian blues rockers Rival Sons have been doing their thing now for 10 years and during that time have steadily grown in popularity, putting out six albums - the most recent of which, the well-received 'Feral Roots', was released earlier this year - and expanding their fanbase.


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Friendly Fires A lot has changed in the 8 years since Friendly Fires last played Birmingham. When the band announced they were returning with new album 'Inflorescent', they owed the second city a long overdue visit.


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Warmduscher It’s 60-plus years since rock’n’roll was invented and a lot of ‘new’ music just sounds like something you’ve heard before. So how great is it when you hear something that jumps out at you and says "Hey! You’ve not heard stuff like this before". And so it is with Warmduscher. Well strictly speaking you may have heard this music before but not all in one band, as Warmduscher seem to have incorporated a whole range of genres and styles in one.


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Benny Sings Back in April I was lucky enough to catch Benny Sings at his sold-out show at the Moth Club. It was a fantastic, sprit lifting gig, and from them on I couldn’t get enough of his music. So when I saw the announcement of a return gig at The Garage, I knew it would be the place to be on Halloween Eve.


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Weyes Blood Weyes Blood (the working name of US singer, songwriter and musician Natalie Mering) released her fourth solo album ‘Titanic Rising’ to critical praise earlier this year. The lush album is superficially an easy listen, dominated by beautiful melodies and her languid golden voice, but underneath lie sober lyrics about the state of things and the human condition. Tonight at Manchester she plays to a sold-out Club Academy: back in 2007, she tells us, she first played in Manchester to just a handful of people.


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Dream State It was now time for Dream State to take to the stage. CJ appears first from behind the curtain and before I knew it the rest of the band were on stage but I didn’t see them appear due to someone having a rather happy trigger finger on the smoke machine so it was near impossible to see them.


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Cher Ahead of the very welcome appearance at this impressive venue of one of pop music's biggest names, the main question on my mind - apart from what songs from the past 50-plus years might feature - was how many costume changes there would be.


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Little Simz Little Simz is a performer that is at the peak of her powers, her presence, sound and catalogue in British Rap music over the years has solidified her work as truly one of the greats. Mama Roux's is a very intimate venue designed perfectly for shows like what we had the joy of witnessing, pure energy, enthralling storytelling and a connection with the audience that was second to none. The lighting on the night very much complimented the mood. Performing a mixture of her album catalogue to date.


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Gary Numan Marking his 40th anniversary, Gary Numan shows no sign of slowing down, putting his feet up or anything else you’d expect for someone who’s been in the business for so long. In fact, as he ages, he becomes more prolific, more influential.


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Angie Stone For the past couple of weeks I’d had friends call me, asking what I wanted to do for my birthday, I told them, Angie Stone is in town, seriously it is not going to be the gig to miss this year. It’s not everyday such a powerful and inspirational singer comes to play in your backyard on a Thursday night in mid October, and for once London weren’t the only ones having all the fun.


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Issues HEAVY! If I were to describe the evening it one word, ‘Heavy’ would definitely be the one I’d go for. Coupled with ‘moshpit’ and ‘sweaty’, you can already get an accurate picture the mayhem that took over The Underworld in Camden on a quiet Thursday night for Issues.


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Thurston Moore Thurston Moore is best known as a member of Sonic Youth, the avant-garde experimental rock band from New York who helped turned electric guitar music on its head in the 1980s and 90s. The band employed unusual guitar tunings and modified instruments and made full use of feedback and electronic noise, while at the same time writing great tunes and lyrics. Since Sonic Youth, Moore has pursued a solo career, producing a variety of different music.


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Lindsey Stirling On the last night of the ‘Artemis’ tour, American violinist Lindsey Stirling returned to London to take the Hammersmith Apollo crowd on a unique journey of sound and image. Putting forward a modern take on a classical instrument, she captivates the audience’s ears from the first notes of her violin accompanied by electronic drops, while her ballet performance locks their eyes on her elegant yet energetic moves, all to convey a very important message.


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