The Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival There are people saying that there are too many music festivals these days. However, why should there only be a few major regional events, with the accompanying big crowds, travel chaos and heavy commercialisation? Why not have smaller events that we can all easily get to, which are more comfortable all round, can give more exposure to local bands and which still attract big names? The Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival seems to fulfil this role admirably.


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Badly Drawn Boy It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) released his first album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast. It proved to be his breakthrough album - it achieved critical success and won him the Mercury Music Prize, whilst catapulting firmly into the public consciousness.


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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds I’ve said it before, I’m unlikely to stop saying it: Manchester loves its musical children. The reception they receive at homecoming gigs is unparalleled and Noel Gallagher never finds himself short of an audience or a deafening cheer. Gathered at Castlefield Bowl for the latest in the Summer In The City gigs is undoubtedly the largest crowd in the venue yet and the excitement in the air is palpable; people know Noel Gallagher doesn’t play Manchester very often, it’s pretty special when he does.


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Paloma Faith It was the glorious surround of Cannock Chase that greeted us on a warm summer's Friday evening to enjoy the musical stylings of Paloma Faith and Liam Bailey. Forest live takes part in a modern day amphitheatre - minus the slaying of Christians, where as one woman correctly pointed out in broad Black Country accent, “the queue for the coffee is bigger than the beer queue”. It was that kind of gig, very refined. You know the sort, the one where people throw toilet rolls instead of pints of warm beer.


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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Scala was sweaty even before King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard came onstage. In typical London fashion, everybody was complaining about the tube strike and the fact it is far too hot in the capital. Thankfully, the sold-out room shut up as soon as King Gizzard jumped onstage, a snug fit for the seven-piece.


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The Charlatans After a successful start featuring Paolo Nutini, ‘Summer In The City’ had its first Saturday night show headlined by Britpop stalwarts The Charlatans. Fresh off entertaining gig-goers at Glastonbury, Tim Burgess and co. arrived in a sunny Manchester to face a small but noisy crowd, ready to celebrate the heydays of indie music.


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Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott Summer In The City, a series of gigs at the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, is definitely about offering variety. Kicking off with soulful Paolo Nutini and featuring Britpop-indie legends The Charlatans, sandwiched neatly in the middle is the reunited Beautiful South duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott.


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Godiva 2015 Now in its 17th year, the Council run free Godiva Festival played host at Coventry War Memorial Park this weekend to a record breaking audience of around 141,000 visitors for three days of live music, dance, street theatre, comedy and disco as well as a host of family activities including craft stalls, funfair and lots more besides. The music was a diverse range of rock, indie, pop, punk, ska, rap, including local talent from some of Coventry’s finest talent and some from further afield.


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Paolo Nutini Summer arrived in Manchester this week, at long last, and with the humidity came Summer In The City; a series of gigs hosted at outdoor venue Castlefield Bowl. With a line-up including The Charlatans and Noel Gallagher, it's a must-see set of gigs, especially with the first night being headlined by Paolo Nutini.


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NOFX NOFX take to the stage after a somewhat delayed start, technical difficulties halt proceedings but singer Fat Mike takes this in his stride and uses the time to warm the audience to his liking.


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