Janelle Monáe The Manchester International Festival, held every two years, brings 18 eclectic days of culture, music, world premiers and special events hosted across the city and this year’s kicked off in glorious fashion with an incredible, spellbinding show from the uniquely talented Janelle Monáe at Castlefield Bowl.


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Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow doesn’t come to the UK nearly as often as I would like her to, but whenever she does it’s an absolute pleasure to be in the same room listening to her and the incredible band perform some of the greatest songs of the last 25 years. She’s been one of my top 5 go-to artists for the last quarter of a century and has sound tracked some of my most favourite moments with some of my most favourite friends.


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Metallica You can hear the juggernaut that is Metallica rolling into town for weeks if not months before it arrives. This date has been marked in many calendars for a long time with the excitement reaching fever pitch hours before the headliners take the stage with fans filling the streets of Manchester for a pre-gig pint.


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Brass Against 9 times out of 10 Facebook’s suggested posts are just wallpaper that get unceremoniously scrolled passed, but seeing one for a brass band playing Cochise as a tribute to Chris Cornell caught my eye – as a massive fan of his – and it blew me away. That was my introduction to Brass Against and I was instantly hooked. So getting the chance to see them live was something I wasn’t going to miss.


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Kamasi Washington “Let’s Do It”, announces Kamasi Washington, as he and his band take the stage at Manchester's Academy. The venue has a fine pedigree starting life in the sixties with jazzers such as Humphrey Lyttelton before embracing the likes of Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd. An audience of around one thousand are here tonight, mostly students. Some are here out of curiosity but most will be familiar with Washington’s contributions to fellow Angelino Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly – that landmark 2015 chart topper which fused hip-hop with jazz and opened up the genre to a new young audience.


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Lights Lights shone in Manchester as they played their first show of the year at the historic Night and Day Cafe – a venue I’d hazard a guess was chosen for it’s incredibly close proximity to Manchester’s Forbidden Planet comic book store (they are literally opposite each other).


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Kendal Calling's First Ever Photography Exhibition A photography celebration of Kendal Calling, the UK’s most vibrant music festival is set to go on show at Manchester’s newest music bar, 33 Oldham Street.


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Disturbed The Manchester Apollo was absolutely heaving for the Disturbed show tonight. Not just busy, but absolutely jam packed full of rock fans. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue as full as it was for the first of their two nights in the city to close the Evolution World Tour. It was full right from the get-go too due to the support act tonight being the one and only Skindred, who are, in their own rights a massive draw.


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Marc Almond Marc Almond is one of the rare artists who find themselves in the envious position of not having to churn out albums to order. In fact he pretty much pleases himself these days, and so it was that he thought why not do a mini six date UK tour featuring songs from his musical heroes and of course one or two Soft Cell tunes.


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Marina Absolutely everything about Marina shows class - from the clarity of the sound, the elegance of her movements and how she interacts with her dancers to the respectably early finishing time of the show.


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Terrorvision Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than in front of the TV, and by that I mean the giant totally Vegas style letters that adorn the stage whenever Terrorvision are in town.


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Papa Roach Papa Roach's set began with 10 of the most iconic and recognisable words in rock with the explosive intro to ‘Last Resort’, and playing ‘Last’ first was a bit of a masterstroke getting everybody going from the outset.


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The Japanese House Since the start of The Japanese House that we know today, Amber Bain has taken her sound from quality to quality. Crafting a unique blend of lush dream pop and musing electronica, The Japanese House take to stage after a short break, having released the much awaited debut album Good at Falling on March 1st, the release ties together the sounds we have been teased over the last four years.


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Anderson .Paak Welcome to Andy's Beach Club World Tour... Californian superstar Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals set the temperature soaring at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. With a set comprising of songs from the latest album Oxnard through to Venice, Malibu and future release Ventura (April 2019) the crowd were well and truly whipped up into a frenzy.


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