Beyond The Tracks 2017 In it's initial year as a first festival, Beyond The Tracks had a point to prove. With a lineup full of Indie/Alt greats from Birmingham and Beyond carefully cultivated by the masterminds behind the City's prestigious Moseley Folk Festival, it certainly did this. Over the course of the weekend, the Festival hosted acts such as Orbital, Faithless, indie royalty Maximo Park and the Coral before closing on Sunday evening with The Jesus and Mary Chain pioneers of the early noughties Birmingham Indie scene, Editors. Sadly the weather was not on the side of Beyond The Tracks, but this didn't stop music fans showing from far and wide to enjoy a well crafted line up.


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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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Gary Numan Following the release of the album Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) late last year and the subsequent UK, European and US tours, in little over six months Gary Numan has returned to the UK from his US base playing 9 dates (plus Sonisphere). The Leamington Spa gig was the penultimate of the tour.


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John Newman A number 1 album and single, Brit Award nominations, sell out tours, heralded as an MTV Artist To Watch...short of delivering world peace and discovering a cure for cancer things couldn’t be going much better for John Newman right now. A quick glance at his back story and you can’t help but feel he sort of deserves it though. Aside from that voice he had a tricky childhood (alcoholic father who left home when he was six leaving the family pretty much broke), but in the best traditions of all great soul singers he used this as a positive force, writing and producing his own stuff in his early teens before moving to the smoke at 20.


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Haim With an album that’s gone top 10 pretty much everywhere that matters, several Glastonbury appearances (including showing up during Primal Scream’s set at Bobby’s request) and somewhat bizarrely a slot on The Andrew Marr Show with Cammo (boo...hiss...he’s behind you etc) in attendance, 2013’s been a pretty good year for Californian sisters Alana, Este and Danielle Haim (FYI it rhymes with ‘time’ not with ‘lame’). It’s not been an overnight thing though. Danielle and Este were in The Valli Girls way, way back in the early noughties before starting Haim in 2006 so they’ve clearly paid their dues.


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Alice in Chains If you were to do a ‘Rock Family Tree’ of the Seattle music scene and those associated with it, it would become a crazed scribble like a spider had gone mad on the page. And in Brum tonight (another ‘legendary home of metal’), some of that scrawl comes our way, with a rather unusual left-field ‘blip’ in the middle. Alice in Chains, with a Ghost and some Walking Papers.


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Gary Numan Gary Numan hits Rock City in Nottingham again, this time with his brand new album 'Splinter' which has given Numan his first top 20 album chart spot in 30 years, and definitely one of his best in a long time.


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Travis On a wet and windy night in Brum we feel that we really should be chilling out in meadows in a festival field on a summer’s day, as the uplifting and charismatic Travis make a return. Instead we hum the lyrics to one of their biggest hits as we make our windswept way to the O2 Academy - why indeed does it always rain on me?


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PINS You wait ages for three female fronted (in the case of two of tonight’s bill 100% female line ups too) bands and then three come along at once. Okay, I know there are other testicle free groups out there (and there always has been) but given the fact that ladies make up roughly 50% of the population it’s a never ending source of puzzlement that you see relatively few women only or women dominated bands. Why? Beats me. Answers on a XX chromosome please.


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Layers Last up, and celebrating the release of their rather spanking new EP, it’s Layers. Any fears that recent fatherhood and engagement (awww bless...more on this later) would have taken the edge of lead singer Lance’s performance were rapidly dispelled. Famous for his neck threatening backflips and relentlessly energetic performances (seriously, the man makes the Duracell Bunny look like a slacker) he and the band kick off (‘kick off’ being the right phrase too) with the punk fuelled Mind On Fire, two minutes of pedal to the metal machine gun drumming, filthy guitars and Lance leaping about like he’s on hot coals.


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Gary Numan On a balmy June evening a full Leamington Assembly plays host to a one-off Gary Numan show ahead of the release of his forthcoming album “Splinter” in October and eagerly anticipated tour in November. Numan’s story is one of legend; a meteoric rise to fame with Tubeway Army’s “Are Friends Electric” and as a solo artist in the tail end of the seventies and beginning of the eighties with tracks such as “Cars”, “I Die, You Die”, “We Are Glass” et al. The rest of the 80’s became a rollercoaster ride of fame and (some mis)fortune up to the late 90’s where Numan finally began to receive some long overdue critical acclaim for his work.


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Goodnight Lenin Were one given to idle speculation as to where Goodnight Lenin drew inspiration for the band's name - historical antecedents might suggest it to be one of Uncle Joe Stalin's many sick-humored euphemisms used during his pogroms of mass liquidation. Said despotic maniac infamously arranged the demise of his exiled enemy, Trotsky, via a bizarre 'gardening accident' when the unfortunate Leon reluctantly, and very much terminally, head-butted an ice pick: ergo - ‘Goodnight Lenin.’ Sympathetically observed, you will of course recall, by The Stranglers' - in No More Heroes - because it '...made his ears burn!


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Alternative Dubstep Orchestra ADO (Alternative Dubstep Orchestra) took to the stage for a gig on home turf last Friday night like a force of nature, opening with a Specials cover that quite literally had the room rattling with bass and vibrating with heavy electric guitar. This is the next generation of dubstep according to Juno Records and from the word go ADO stated their mission... to quite simply get the room and everyone in it to wobble like jelly.


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Alternative Dubstep Orchestra ADO (Alternative Dubstep Orchestra) took to the stage for a gig on home turf last Friday night like a force of nature, opening with a Specials cover that quite literally had the room rattling with bass and vibrating with heavy electric guitar. This is the next generation of dubstep according to Juno Records and from the word go ADO stated their mission... to quite simply get the room and everyone in it to wobble like jelly.


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