The Hotelier The Hotelier can only ever open with one song “An Introduction to the Album”. The sound has been a bit ropey throughout the supports but it's all resolved for these headliners from Massachusetts.


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Avenged Sevenfold Bringing their show to the Genting Arena, Birmingham tonight are a trio of metal rock goodness. Support In Flames plus a double headliner of Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold.


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Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes There is always a moment when you know the band you're about to see is on the verge of exploding. Tonight holds that moment and it’s bittersweet. It means the end to a show fuelled by raw hunger, an energy searching for acceptance and instead is replaced by a sense of arrival. Wolverhampton was the last date on the tour to sell out and is often a rarity for a Slade Rooms show, in fact Midlands dates in general. It seems us Midlanders can be lackadaisical in our approach to supporting bands passing through our fair towns; which further reinforces the magnitude of what’s next for this band.


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Black Peaks + Heck Black Peaks take the headline spot and are welcomed on stage by a whistling crowd. Opening with ‘White Eyes’ they deliver a pitch perfect set. I have to confess I've yet to listen to their debut album, I had intended to listen the shit out of it, as Black Peaks singles have been a slow burn for me. Instead I was waiting to blown away live.


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Jesca Hoop and Sam Beam FORTUNATELY I was not disappointed by Beam & Hoop. I’d heard one track of theirs shared by a friend who loved both their solo careers, and I instantly bought the album. I’ve since listened to it incessantly, and LOVE their harmonies, but was largely unfamiliar with them as individuals or as solo artists. Part of me worried there would be an aloof hipster-esque snobbery to them and their performance – standoffish. Nothing could be further from the truth!


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Funeral For A Friend Tonight Birmingham bids farewell to a band that have seemingly always been there, that band that you’re pretty sure that you support, that band you once saw, that band that have a tonne of songs you didn’t know you knew... that band is Funeral For A Friend.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes The air was thick with building anticipation for Frank Carter's latest incarnation and what promise of former brutal delivery. A break to the tension was found as the crowd heartily ooohed along to Weezer's 'Buddy Holly' and as I scanned the room one couldn't help but wonder if the venues for this tour were scouted for hardcore parkour potential. The crowd still left a semi circle of open dance floor and after the cheers for The Rattlesnakes entrance, Frank declared "I haven't seen something like this since I was 14, get in". His combination of humbleness and assertiveness never fails to gain idolatry; “Thanks for coming to see a band with only 3 songs I wouldn’t have done that”.


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Us lucky Gig Junkies got to go along to this year's Slamdunk Festival 2015 at Wolves Civic. Every year the question of stage location raises it's head. This year they realised a riser under the marquee wasn't gonna cut it when it became the Impericon Stage of Hardcore. And so a new outdoor stage was birthed outside the Wulfrun and thus the joy of crowded corridors within the Civic was born for the crowds.


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Man Overboard Tonight felt like I was 13 again hanging out at the Red Rose in Rugeley. The Slade Rooms has an air of the 6th form common room full of hormonal teenagers ready to release some tension by going crazy in the pit. Tonight’s show is a rescheduled tour that was originally meant to see a now defunct Hostage Calm and scandalicious Front Porch Step supporting.


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Cancer Bats Even if you aren’t a fan of Cancer Bats you have to concede that these guys know how to put on a show. They enjoy what they do and they take time hanging out with fans in the smoking area prior to their set. The interlude music of Andrew WK fits perfect for these guys to enter the stage.


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Rob Lynch Rob Lynch seems to have combined alcohol with flu drugs to create an increasingly winning combination of wit and mirth. Corralling the remaining seated dregs of an audience into action by likening the scene to Phoenix Nights.  Opening with album opener ‘31/32’ picks up perfectly from the making the most of life reflections that Allison Weiss left us with.


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Mastodon To quote Jane Austen "What are men to rocks and mountains?" This is the genre where men try and bridge that gap. This is a show for museos who like their proficient twiddly guitar and old school metal fans. This feeing is further emphasised by the wide age ranging male dominated crowd and the length of hair on show.


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Mallory Knox With a four-band line up on a Sunday evening the early doors of 6:30pm were to be expected, however this soon became a 7pm doors opening for this first night on the tour. As we walk through the door into the main room, tonight’s opening act, Moose Blood have just started their set whilst the rest of the huge queue of MCR and Knox fan girls are still waiting to enter the building.


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Lamb Lamb take to the stage and, despite the venue being far from full, they are greeted like returning heroes. Having just released studio album number 5 (Backspace Unwind) Andy Barlow is clearly fired up punching the air and whooping at every opportunity.


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