Glenn Hughes A year ago in ‘The Church’, a Leeds venue set in... a Church, Glenn Hughes brought his solo tour to Yorkshire, but unbeknown to us at the time when he walked out on stage that night, he had just heard the news that his mother had passed away. It was, to say the least, a very emotional night for Hughes and those lucky enough to be in the room. This hard rocker who has witnessed many ups and downs in his life was significantly reduced in stature by his emotions, but the audience here pulled him through, and he did say that his mother had expressly wished him to go on whenever it happened. That bond has stayed with him for the last 12 months and he now holds Leeds as a very special place, this time though he’s not at the Church, he is further down the road in the University Union and the Stylus bar for his Deep Purple tour.


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Neighbourhood Festival 2018 What better way to spend a Saturday than to run around Manchester’s music venues looking for your next favourite artist. My festival year always starts at Live at Leeds in May and then finishes here in Manchester at Neighbourhood Festival in October. Both of this year’s metropolitan day festivals have been superb, packed to the brim with fresh new talent and if you are prepared to stray away from the larger venues then there are some real goodies to be found amongst the also rans. Be prepared though for quite a trek to some of the places - walking from Albert Hall or Jimmys to the Academy is well over a mile, so I decided early on not to go to those extremes and stay in the nucleus of talent and go to the smaller venues that I hadn’t visited before.


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Albert Hammond Jr Feel Good Indie Rock – Albert Hammond Jr offers some kind Strokes in Manchester. It’s a difficult job for a rhythm/lead guitarist from a highly successful worldwide band to make it as a solo artist. Like Carl Barat without his oppo in The Libertines, you are reduced to playing drastically smaller venues and releasing introspective, much more personal but probably less commercial albums, with various collective friends and acquaintances forming members of your live band.


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Ray LaMontagne Hats off to Ray LaMontagne - He’s ‘Just Passing Through’ but calls in at Sheffield City Hall for an incredible intimate acoustic session. He is an elusive beast this Ray Lamontagne, quick to hide and squirrel away back in his US home, never venturing too far away and therefore in the last 14 years I’ve not managed to catch a live performance ever, in fact he hasn’t even been on these shores for 7 years, despite releasing some stunning albums over that period.


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Jungle There was a large crowd out in Nottingham on Tuesday to enjoy the musical prowess of Jungle a collective of musicians that captivated the ears of British summer barbeques and festivals just over four years ago. The night started with a queue bending around the Rock City venue.


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Manic Street Preachers The first time I saw the Manic Street Preachers was at the Adelphi in Hull back in 1991, at the time they raced through their soon to be released debut double album in 70mph post punk fashion, the sound was abysmal but that didn’t matter as they were the band of their time, fashionably brash and didn’t give a damn about what they said, or who they said it to.


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Bryan Ferry Trying to hold back the years, septuagenarian Bryan Ferry celebrates the re-release of the 45-year-old eponymous ‘Roxy Music’ album and some of his greatest hits at the London Palladium, he still retains the uber-cool style and panache of someone 20 years younger, and the finest sax appeal with Jorja Chalmers in his backing band.


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Gomez Gomez emerge from the stage door to a massive cheer from this patient crowd, the opening synth sound of ‘Get Miles’ fills the room and we are off. The album will be played live in full, and in the same listing order, exactly how it should be. No major deviation or changing of styles, this is a perfect rendition sent to awaken your nostalgic senses and prompt the loudest singalong this venue has seen for a while.


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George Ezra With his 2nd Number 1 album out for only a week, George Ezra kicks off his ‘Staying at Tamara’s’ tour in Leeds in front of thousands of Pretty Shining People.


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Rae Morris Rae Morris is ‘Reborn’ tonight with a new band, new look and nearly a non-stop danceathon.


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Myles Kennedy Myles Kennedy, frontman for Slash’s solo band, Guitarist and Singer in Alter Bridge, brings a much stripped back intimate acoustic blues session at his new potential home in the Midlands.


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Chris Robinson Brotherhood The Furry Freak Brothers from across the pond take over Student Central in London to give a lecture in Psychedelic Country Blues and Stoner Rock’n’Roll. Two stunning sets from The Chris Robinson Brotherhood saw this packed house get all warm and fuzzy inside.


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Ellie Goulding & Friends The Best of British Pop curated by Ellie Goulding explodes on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for the Streets of London Charity.


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Bad Touch It’s almost panto season and tonight we have ‘Beauty & The Beast’ in the shape of Mollie Marriott and Bad Touch, live at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. Classic Rock n’ Roll tales as old as time. I’m back at my favourite independent music venue in the North – Leeds Brudenell Social Club for a night of Classic Rock that could have been made in the 70’s. We have the long hair, flares, boots, beards and loud guitars – we also have beer at £1.99 but that’s not as a throwback gimmick, or even because it’s Black Friday. This is a normal night here, a social music club deep in the mainly student community of Leeds. Now having 3 stages and every night is booked, it’s so great to see it thriving when many others are closing down.


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