Live at Leeds Still the best 1-day festival for emerging talent, Live at Leeds continues to shine as a must not miss opening to this year’s festival season.


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Lucy Rose The newly stripped back ‘No Words Left’ album tour leaves audiences gasping for more, Lucy Rose triumphs in Leeds at the City Varieties Theatre.


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IDLES With Brexit continuing to crash around Parliamentary heads this week, what better way to spend a night than shouting pro-immigration lyrics back at punk band IDLES as their tear up Sheffield on the opening of their biggest UK Tour to date.


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Thunder Danny Bowes has a Thunderous voice but a less than 50% Rock’n’Roll performance, sat down for 100% of the time, it all fell a little short of the mark in York tonight. We came for Thunder but only witnessed some light drizzle.


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Clare Grogan's Altered Images Time for some 80’s Pop nostalgia and to see how my latter schooldays crush and poster girl Clare Grogan has fared in the 35 years since I last saw her perform live on the Altered Images ‘Pinky Blue’ tour. There are different layers of fandom with our Clare, for men of a certain age it was the quintessential girl next door charm shown in Gregory’s Girl, for others Dave Lister’s unrequited love interest Kristine Kochanski in Red Dwarf, maybe even singer Niamh Connolly in one episode of Father Ted. None of that is anything to do with a post punk pop songstress, but there is nothing but strong and loyal affection shown for this Glasgow girl.


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Avatar I feel I’ve come a little late to the show for Avatar, despite the band being around for well over ten years, my first experience was at Download only last year, where they blew most of the opposition away with their metal freakshow circus antics. Since June last year I have managed to catch them on more than one occasion supporting Halestorm on their tour of the UK Academy circuit.


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MGMT Arty Electro Psychedelic Pop in Yorkshire remarkably goes down fairly well on a cold wet Sunday night in December. MGMT’s second coming to the UK in 2018 is full of fake green plants, pomp and an electric feel.


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The Magpie Salute The Magpie Salute bring some Americana, Earthy Blues and Southern Rock to Manchester. Showcasing new songs from album ‘High Water I’, they were so much more than former members of The Black Crowes.


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Sunflower Bean Self-assured visionary American girls in rock music, there’s an endless supply of them at The Wardrobe in Leeds on a Tuesday night. Jesse Jo Stark, Miya Folick and the incomparable Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean all hugely impress on only the 2nd date of this UK tour.


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St. Paul & The Broken Bones Birmingham Alabama Soul comes to Leeds and Saint Paul Janeway preaches to the converted. St. Paul & The Broken Bones live at the Irish Centre. This gig was supposed to be at The Brudenell, then I saw it advertised as the O2 Academy, eventually we are advised that it has been moved to the Irish Centre, which is exactly where I saw St Paul & the Broken Bones 2 years ago. Inside, this place resembles a large working men’s club with two levels and a handful of seats spread along the walls. It probably hasn’t changed much in 30 years and tonight it will play host to some slick blues and funky soul, some of the best and authentic southern American soul you will see this side of Otis Redding.


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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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John Fogerty The Space Cowboy, Joker and the Fortunate Son prove that old rockers don’t die they just keep rolling on – Bluesfest 2018 at the O2 Dome in London kicks off in style with Jo Harman, Steve Miller Band and then a marathon 20+ song Creedence Clearwater Revival based setlist from John Fogerty.


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U2 I have a history with U2 in that I have managed to miss every UK live tour since turning down tickets in 1983 to see them at Leeds Uni. No malice intended, it just never happened for many reasons – I’m not a fan of huge shows where I can’t see the whites of the artist’s eyes without the aid of a TV screen or a second mortgage, so U2 being the stadium filling £££ generating monolithic enterprise, I have avoided them until now. Having lost Bowie, Prince and Tom Petty and missed the chance of seeing them live for the same reasons, I vowed I would make every effort in future to catch a legendary band or artist before it becomes too late.


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Echo & the Bunnymen Echo & the Bunnymen amble into York for the last night of the UK leg of the tour promoting new album ‘The Stars, The Ocean & The Moon’. As the title suggests (Stars Are Stars, Ocean Rain, The Killing Moon) the album is a reworking of old Bunnymen favourites (plus two new tracks), carefully picked by Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, the songs are given a more stripped back ethereal quality. It seems to have split the hardcore fanbase, in particular the transformation of ‘The Killing Moon’ into a piano and strings led ballad but it works. It really works. It’s also a brave move but over a forty year career The Bunnymen have never really played by the rules.


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