Cross The Tracks Recent years have seen festivals falling by the by and the big-name players even reducing schedules and missing out years. The team behind Cross The Tracks did an amazing job as they celebrated the opening year of Brixton's first funk, soul and jazz festival. As the crowds descended on the inner city's Brockwell Park, it was refreshing to see communities bonding, all ages and races excitedly arriving at the park as the sun shone through overcoming the predicted bad weather.


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Rita Ora What an amazing past 12 months it has been for Rita Ora, with ‘Phoenix’ marking her first solo album release in five years, the album has received numerous nominations and won awards even though it was only released in the latter half of 2018. ‘For You’ was one of the biggest hits of the year, not a day went by when you didn’t hear it at least three times on the radio, a headline slot at Manchester Pride and returning to the screen as Mia in the 50 Shades film series and just when you thought there was no end to the singer songwriter’s talents she transforms into Dr. Ann Laurent for Pokémon Detective Pikachu with latest offering ‘Carry On’ featuring on the soundtrack, appealing to a whole new set of fans. Not forgetting to mention numerous charity work and an announcement to appear for Soccer Aid this summer, it’s so easy to see why people love her.


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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs stormed into The Hare & Hounds. The five piece Geordie rockers packed the room to the rafters and not a big bad wolf was in sight. With the heat of the room rising, front man Matt Baty shouted to the back regarding sound distortion "Have you got any tape as this keeps slipping and causing impromptu solos?" This all unknown to their adoring fans who were having such a good time they hadn't even noticed.


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Noname The sassy student crowd filled the Institute, waiting eagerly for one of the most promising rappers to come out of Chicago for a long time as Noname brought her sell out Room 25 tour to Birmingham.


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Drake Flying Ferraris, phenomenal pyrotechnics and a half time show that saw an audience member attempt to win £20,000. This could only mean one thing as music royalty Drake tore down Birmingham for the opening night of three dates in the city for the 'Assassination Vacation' tour.


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James "We're gonna play you some miserable songs cause your Birmingham and way too happy" observed frontman Tim Booth as James opened with a 40 minute acoustic set, stripped back bare to entertain the masses that had come to the Birmingham Academy tonight for the sold out show.


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White Lies White Lies cascaded into Birmingham for the final night of their UK Five tour before heading out to Europe and sell out shows in the Americas. The three piece from Ealing brought their synth fused indie style to the iconic Institute main room supported by Canada's Boniface, the crowd warmed up pretty quick as they were in for a treat tonight.


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John Smith Confined within the grade one Georgian church, fairy lights twinkled from the rafters as the historic St Paul's church's pews filled up with patrons eagerly awaiting the fun filled folk night ahead. The refined crowd waited in anticipation as candles flickered on the stage for the intimate evening with John Smith and Katherine Priddy. Huddled in the wooden pews the crowd clapped loudly as Katherine appeared at the altar.


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Mabel The past 18 months can only be described as a whirlwind for songstress Mabel. Her phenomenal rise through the UK charts has seen her perform on some of the hottest dance tracks over the past two years winning fans all over the globe, as well as supporting Harry Styles on his tour.


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All Saints Fans heading to the iconic Birmingham Institute certainly knew where the hottest tickets in town were at as All Saint’s Testament Tour rolled into the second city.


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Rick Astley It's pretty hard to believe it’s 31 years since the boyhood squeaky clean charms of Rick Astley exploded from Stock, Aitken and Waterman's vault. However tonight was even more surprising and a little sad that with eight albums and over 20 singles he gets his biggest crowd reaction from his debut single and only number one as a solo artist when there is so much more to Rick Astley.


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The Prodigy I love it when you go to a festival and the smaller stages present some absolute crazy out of the world acts that blow you away so you have to see them again, tonight at Birmingham Arena it was time to do that twice fold. Having first seen The Prodigy supporting Oasis back in the day at those legendary Knebworth gigs, you could tell then they were in it for the long haul, both entertaining and infectious beats left a long standing impression and the excitement tonight was immense as they came to my hometown.


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Curtis Harding It was after a hellish 16 hour long coach trip to Paris when I discovered Curtis Harding. Tired and weary from making the trek to see Lenny Kravitz in the summer, before he announced the UK leg and I thought was my last chance to see him I threw heck to the wind and purchased tickets without regard to travel arrangements or how I'd feel when I already a heavy week of gigs booked in. However Lenny’s support was a ray of sunshine that woke me up instantly, his catchy lyrics and stage presence immediately caught my attention and the short set that won the audience over left me eager to listen to more of this talented young man and his band.


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Enrique Iglesias As female libidos flew through the roof, the excitement in the air built up for Madrids' finest Enrique Iglesias. Finishing off his European tour in rainy old Birmingham, he brought summer vibes and heated the Genting Arena up with a phenomenal show the king of latino pop wowed the audience with his first return to Birmingham since 2014's Sex and Love tour.


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