Blink-182 It was summer 2001 and the sun shone down on the Spanish isle of Lanzarote, the cool young lad with his baggy shorts and trucker cap lent me his headphones and thus began the journey of enlightenment that is Blink-182. The holiday romance fizzled out but the love of the punk-rock cheeky ditties did not and here we are sixteen years later, older, wiser and at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.


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Phil Collins On the day which forecast torrential rain the sun beamed brightly over Hyde Park for day one of the annual British Summertime Series, as couples and families laid out their blankets for the stellar line up that was boasted over the three stages.


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Echobelly When Echobelly announced new album 'Anarchy and Alchemy' after a thirteen year hiatus it took me right back down memory lane, staying over at my nan's on a Friday night as a twelve year old and raiding my 28 year old uncles CD, to collection nostalgically playing the likes of Oasis, Space, Sleeper and the mystical sounds and poignant lyrics from Sonya Madam belting out 'King Of The Kerb'.


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The Vamps As the Genting Arena fell into darkness, the curtain dropped for an explosive pyrotechnic bang as The Vamps bounced onto the stage to smash hit ‘Wake Up’ ready for the last date of the UK tour and homecoming gig. Front man Brad Simpson whipped the crowd into a frenzy decked in his trademark floral pattern shirt as he asked the crowd, “are you ready to have a sing and dance with us tonight?”


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Ed Sheeran Returning to Birmingham for the first time after headlining Fusion festival two years ago, it was no surprise that the Barclaycard Arena was filled to the rafters, the 15,000 crowd sold out within less than a hour of going on sale and on the second night of his Birmingham leg chart sensation Ed Sheeran didn’t disappoint.


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You Me At Six Support acts Black Foxxes and Tonight Alive warmed up the crowd perfectly at the packed O2 Academy Birmingham arena - scores of twenty somethings waiting in adoration for their idols to play. Ten years after debut album 'Take Off Your Colours' was released Surrey pop-punk rockers You Me At Six are back with yet another infectious album 'Night People' and, as frontman Josh Franceschi and his band took to the stage, the screams literally blew the roof off the venue!


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All Time Low Outside the 02 Academy, the crowd barrier were ladened with duvets and blankets abandoned on a cold Spring evening in Birmingham, however inside was a different temperature altogether on this the sell-out school-night. Playing to a jam packed O2 Academy, support acts Watermarks and SWMRS warmed up the crowd for American teen rock favourites All Time Low encouraging the crowd to clap along and stomp their feet.


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Ida Neilsen With a top 50 ranking in Bass Magazines all time bassists, Danish funk stress Ida Nielsen may be a name you recognise through past collaborations with 3rd Eye Girl and New Power Generation. However the past twelve months, her album 'Turn It Up' has skyrocketed her status as a solo performer showering the funk scene with mesmerising vocals and a raunchy bass riff as well as keys - there is no end to this lovely lady's talents.


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Steel Panther On a wet and windy night in Soho a crowd of 50/60 huddle into the infamous Crobar, Manette Street's premium bar, music sheet wallpaper and memorabilia adorning the walls with wooden vintage floors to give the feel of an old school rock bar, on entry names were taken and crossed off whilst vouchers were handed out for a drink to cure your "Valentine's hangover!" - courtesy of Glam Rockers Steel Panther.


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Steel Panther Humorous hit after hit hounded the stage as the Los Angeles super band exhilarated the crowd with tongue in cheek 'Just like Tiger Woods' and 'Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World' before slapstick 'Asian Hooker' echoed around the arena, crowd chanting along whilst male crowd surfers were being pulled from the crowd by security.


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Rat Boy So the story goes a little like this. As eager fans braved a wet, blustery night in what seemed to look like a never-ending queue at Birmingham Institute to see one of 2016`s hottest rising stars, the lone Gig Junkies contributor heard a voice after dodging traffic crossing the road enquiring where she was going, who was on and would it be a good night? A bit of “chit chat” as she enquired, to the out-of-town group of handsome young men “if they were going there too?” A cheeky grin flashed as “Rat Boy” coolly replied he was performing and then it dawned, talk about an #Epicfail but explaining who,why, where and when we parted with this Chelmsford charmer reminding to “write him a good review..."


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Rick Astley “I know your only here for Never Gonna Give You Up” quipped 80’s icon Rick Astley, echoing a social media feed I took part in earlier in the day, 28 years in the business but the song he’s most remembered for, “you’ll just have to wait, you buggers!”


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The Cult “Don't put your hands up to me man… I can see you, putting up your fists, it's violent, we need a cool vibe here… none of that Peaky Blinders s**t” lead Singer Ian Astbury boomed over the microphone to an overzealous member of the crowd. “We're all adults, we need to show love, if it kicks off by you we need to intervene and look after each other”. The sweaty crowd had started to get leery in the crowded conditions within the Birmingham O2 Institute and cheered after The Cult leader reached out to his disciples to make it a peaceful night.


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The Libertines The Libertines rocked into Birmingham Barclaycard arena as if it was no different from any of the smaller venues they had previously played, performing with the energy that was longed for during the ten years that passed before 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' emerged onto the scene late last year.


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