Tonight Alive It’s 9:30 and everyone is eagerly waiting for Tonight Alive to take to the stage. The flash of a torch from the stage signals the start of the show. The lights go down as drummer Matt Best takes to the stage followed by Jenna McDougall to an eruption of screams from the crowd. The stage is dark with a single spotlight on Jenna creating a atmospheric silhouette as the two of them start to perform ‘The Other’, it wasn’t long before a flash of bright light broke through the darkness and changed the pace in the song, with a frenzy of colourful lighting Jake Hardy and Cam Adler joined them onstage.


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The Decemberists Against an impressive backdrop of a skull with swirling eyes surrounded by serpents the band enter to the accompaniment ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’. For the stage play Greig intended the tune as a dream like fantasy to mark Peer Gynt’s entrance into the troll king’s hall. It is an appropriate choice for The Decemberists as they embark on an evening of whimsy, fantasy and irony.


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Chronixx This was my first time seeing Chronixx live, as much as I had admired his music over the years, through a series of events, timing and life just happening I always missed out the opportunity. Not tonight, having scaled that breath taking hill in a figurative sense to get to Alexander Palace or as the locals like to call it Ally Pally, I knew I was in for a treat with the amount of dreadlock bearing folks that I saw on my way up. The atmosphere was very carnival, every facet of your senses are being used, the smell of the flavoursome variety of Jamaican food, the plethora of colours that we have come to expect from Jamaican Fashionistas.


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Leon Bridges On this most special of days, 100 years on, the country, festooned in poppies and everyone remembering those who had gone before us, it was fitting to see such a special artist as Mr Leon Bridges at Birmingham's Institute.


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Dashboard Confessional Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba enters to Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Sweetness’; rocking a Sabbath shirt. However, the failure to turn the mic on ruined the full impact of his acoustic opener of ‘Best Deceptions’, despite half the crowd singing along hesitantly at the lack of sound before them.


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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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Sam Fender There are few artists nowadays that truly captivate me and sound completely 'fresh' to my ears, Newcastle born Sam Fender however is one of those. I was lucky enough to see the shields songwriter this summer at Y Not festival and was immediately struck by the power of his voice, the unity of his band and how different his music was to the usual 'trendy' songwriter or indie styles around at the moment. He is currently on an EU and UK tour in support of his debut up 'Dead Boys' which is to be released on the 20th November. I was lucky enough to catch him at Birmingham's Castle and Falcon.


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Kurt Vile Kurt Vile emerges, partly hidden behind a mop of hair, along with his backing band The Violators. They open with ‘Loading Zones’, the first track of his latest album ‘Bottle It In’, and certainly the most popular. It is pretty awesome – it has all the best of his finest work. The instrumental is strong but relaxed, and cleanly played. His voice is powerful but mellow. He sings, almost speaking, plucks his guitar with effortless skill. His music is easy to enjoy; smooth, quirky and assured.


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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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Neko Case It’s a privilege to catch talented American singer-songwriter Neko Case at her sold-out Leeds gig, one of only two UK dates on the current tour. Neko Case has certainly led a life in music, as a solo artist, as a member of several bands (notably The New Pornographers) and also as a serial collaborator (The Sadies, The Corn Sisters, Calexico and most recently as a member of ‘supergroup’ Case/Lang/Viers).


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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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I’m convinced Connan Mockasin comes from another planet. Like any good shape shifting alien you never really know what to expect from him. Thankfully the UK had three chances to experience his warped and wonderful world on his current tour supporting his latest album 'Jassbusters'. I flew up to his former homeworld of London to catch his final stop, a live performance and signing at Rough Trade East.


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First Aid Kit I’ve been waiting for this night for 12 months. I was lucky enough to see First Aid Kit at a one-off show in Shoreditch this time last year and as we all filed out of the town hall that night, I spotted two of the Staveley-Taylor sisters popping backstage to see Klara and Johanna. The thought crossed my mind – wouldn’t it be great if they played a show together. Fast forward a year and here we are – Newcastle O2 Academy for a night of harmony and some of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear.


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Less Than Jake Tonight's gig was a real treat for ska punk fans, featuring two of the genre's biggest names as double headliners, with support from two more well established bands. Despite the early start time, Nottingham's famous Rock City was packed to the rafters and the energy was palpable from the very beginning.


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