Tori Amos I know commitment. I know love, and dedication, and perseverance… as evidenced in my long time love affair with Tori Amos. Through her dabbling with electro (not keen, but I love her nonetheless), creating a beautiful musical theatre piece (vastly underrated), jetsetting to international gigs (staying in strangers houses all over the place), nurturing friendships with other similarly obsessed fans (she inspires obsession and camaraderie more than any other musician I know), and seeing her more than 25 times in my 20+ year love (and counting).


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DJ Shadow It is hard to believe that it has been 21 years since the release of DJ Shadow’s ground-breaking and highly influential experimental hip-hop album Endtroducing. Yet DJ Shadow has not lost an inch of his creative drive, pushing the envelope further yet again with his latest album The Mountain Will Fall. It was on this school night that Shadow was able to play his full set, having previously played cut-down sets at festivals, and hypnotise the packed Albert Hall with a perfectly melange of in-your-face turntablism and spectacular visual displays.


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Beautiful Day Out "A Beautiful Day Out" – you couldn’t wish to find a more aptly named gig. Five quality bands on a glorious sunny afternoon in the best outdoor venue I’ve ever witnessed.


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Cheap Trick With a 40 year back catalogue of American pop rock hits to play, Illinois Cheap Trick thrill a packed Manchester crowd who surrender to a selection of the expected and some obscure, and even some new stuff!


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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Wow! A truly mind-blowing evening at Manchester's Albert Hall with Aussie psych rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Catch them live if you can..


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The Staves The three Staveley-Taylor sisters return from America to play their first gig in the UK for almost a year. An emotional comeback in Manchester for The Staves, and they bring the first ever indie harpist Mikaela Davis along for the ride.


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Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow brought her ‘Be Myself’ tour to Manchester’s Albert Halls and treated everybody in this wonderful venue to a career spanning 2 hour show that had absolutely everything. To say I was looking forward to this show might be an understatement – well... definitely an understatement. I once paid an extortionate amount of money for Rolling Stones tickets purely because Sheryl was supporting them and I’ve traveled the length of the country to see her in the past....


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Ran N Bone Man Born Rory Graham, Rag N Bone Man exploded onto the scene in 2016 with his single 'Human', which was only kept off the top spot of the UK charts by a brace of Ed Sheeran tunes. His rise from Sussex care worker to double Brit Award winning artist is testament to years of hard work and commitment, making and performing music from the age of 15 under various guises.


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Chelsea Wolfe Warming up in the UK, Chelsea Wolfe added a few European shows around her performances at Roadburn, Hellfest, Dudefest, Smoke the Fuzz Festival, and Sideways Festival. Not one to complain about seeing Chelsea again, we went onto the 3rd show of the short tour in Manchester, which has the most about of homeless people in the space of 2 blocks I've ever seen... Very sad.


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The Beat The Selecter and The Beat, two of the best bands from the Ska and reggae scene of the late 70s and 80s brought their double headliner show to the Old Granada Studios in Manchester on Saturday night.


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Blackberry Smoke Southern Rock is a funny genre, it’s coloured fruit from a hotch potch of original blues, soul and rocknroll and yet mainly played by white blokes with long hair, beards and hats. Name me three Southern Rock bands and I guarantee there is a hat and beard in there somewhere, in fact most people would probably struggle to name three anyway. Lynyrd Skynyrd with Freebird/Sweet Home Alabama would be the populist call, and yet there have been many others more recent to take their trophy. Most notably for me personally are The Black Crowes from Atlanta Georgia, back in the early 90’s they developed a blues rock sound that had more than a nod to the Allmans, Grateful Dead and other jam bands of the 70’s. And it’s back to that same State in the US which has sent 2 current bands out to the world with a similar trade to sell – Blackberry Smoke and Biters might both be from the same city but are clearly different in style and attitude on stage.


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Bonobo With crowd-pleasing support from Jens Kuross and Daktyl, and a sold-out tour of the newest album Migration, there’s no denying that Bonobo have returned with a bang. Performing to a packed-out O2 Apollo crowd in Manchester, Simon Green (Bonobo), was shrouded in darkness for much of the show, with focal lighting on the stunning vocalist Szjerdene Mulcare and the almost-orchestral 12-piece band consisting of strings, brass, guitar, drums and keys.


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Julia Jacklin With support from Keto, Julia Jacklin plus band took to the stage to woops and applause in the intimate basement room of The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, the stench of cheesy feet not seeming to perturb band nor audience. Filling the room with her warming, self-assured vocals and indie-alt rock/country sound, with lyrics that explore the intimate intricacies and universal qualities of relationships and life, Jacklin was enchanting.


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Trivium If you had survived the Valentine’s Day Anthrax gig there is every chance you would have been returning to see Trivium tonight. One thing that Trivium are known for is being able to bring one hell of a support. In the past their tours have seen the likes of Children Of Bodom, In Flames and As I Lay Dying grace line ups. With that in mind fans are queuing up in their numbers even well before the 7pm doors to cast their eyes and ears over tonight's too.


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