Neneh Cherry Like fine wine, some people seem to improve as they get older, having witnessed Neneh Cherry at the Stylus in Leeds, I can safely say that in this case this analogy seems rather apt.


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Frank Turner Frank Turner must be one of the hardest gigging musicians around, fresh off his punk Möngöl Hörde tour, records a new album ‘Be More Kind’ travels out on an extensive UK Tour and then announces this Arena tour in early 2019. Playing some of the biggest venues in the UK, we caught up with Frank Turner in Leeds.


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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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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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Mercury Rev Mercury Rev are currently on a short UK tour and this is the first of two sold-out nights at Leeds Brudenell Social Club. It’s a rather special tour celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their brilliant breakthrough album, ‘Deserter’s Songs’. What’s more they’ve dispensed with their trademark big band presentation and the tour promises a stripped-down and very personal performance of the album. There have been some great reviews of the tour and it’s a gig I’m really looking forward to.


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Madness And so to Madness... I say and so to Madness as I managed to miss The Fratellis and so I will, dear reader, have to leave it at that. I was however in good time for the headliner and so managed something I have never achieved before, namely to see the Nutty Boys in all their glory! And what glory, but more of that later perhaps.


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Ocean Colour Scene A rainy Wednesday night saw the Ocean Colour Scene and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas provide Christmas cheer on their tour which is covering all points of the UK. A few people had wondered why a Motown legend was on the same bill as a band that were in the vanguard of the Britpop era of the late 90’s. But I have to say that it was a glorious clash of musical styles that worked a treat, and was well received by the large crowd in Leeds.


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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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Pip Blom Well, this place is a real surprise. If you were one to use generic stereotypes you would think you had hit Hipster central. In fact, this is just a really nice place that serves their own beer and happens to have the fabulous Pip Blom in the cellar. Not tied up down there, just playing their fabulous music. Yes, the Hyde Park Book Club does have books, but it also has a lot of music fans and I reckon tonight would be like the rest of their tour - SOLD OUT!


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Neko Case It’s a privilege to catch talented American singer-songwriter Neko Case at her sold-out Leeds gig, one of only two UK dates on the current tour. Neko Case has certainly led a life in music, as a solo artist, as a member of several bands (notably The New Pornographers) and also as a serial collaborator (The Sadies, The Corn Sisters, Calexico and most recently as a member of ‘supergroup’ Case/Lang/Viers).


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The Blinders On this particular Sunday this is definitely our church. Arguably the finest small venue in the country play host to the force of nature that is The Blinders. It marks the halfway point of their first headline tour on the back of phenomenal debut album ‘Columbia’. That it entered the charts at number 54 is testament to the word of mouth buzz that this Doncaster trio have been creating over the last few years.


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Glenn Tilbrook As Glenn Tilbrook says in his promotion for this tour, "It’s shameful that in the 21st century people can’t afford to put food on the table". This tour is intended to raise awareness of this sad situation and all proceeds from his 4 track EP and merchandise are being given to The Trussell Trust, who are working hard to try and make life better for a lot of people. His tour is currently covering the length and breadth of the UK and runs right through to April 2019. Full details of forthcoming dates are here.


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Maribou State On an unusually warm autumnal Friday night it was a chance to catch critically acclaimed Maribou State on their current tour to promote their new album and EP which were released earlier this year.


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