Clutch It’s been a while since I’ve been completely blown away by a support band, and actually the last Clutch support that really did that was Clutch when they supported themselves as The Bakerton Group, but tonight both supports managed to do exactly that.


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The Magpie Salute The Magpie Salute bring some Americana, Earthy Blues and Southern Rock to Manchester. Showcasing new songs from album ‘High Water I’, they were so much more than former members of The Black Crowes.


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Starsailor It’s a staggering 15 years since Starsailor’s second album ‘Silence Is Easy’ was released and to celebrate the band are out playing three anniversary gigs. Manchester is sandwiched between Glasgow and London. Those who own the album (and if you don’t then you really should) will know the part strings play throughout and so it is that the band are enhanced by a six piece string section for the three gigs.


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BlackBerry Smoke Their t-shirts say ‘Too Country for Rock, Too Rock for Country' which may be true about Blackberry Smoke on record and may be the reason I have never properly given them an opportunity further than listening to an odd track now and then. Live though they are much closer to one of my favourite ever bands, fellow Atlantians the Black Crowes.


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Jessie J The premise behind Jessie J's R.O.S.E. tour is a really clever and well executed one. 4 sets within a gig each sectioned with a title that spells out R.O.S.E. the name of her most recent album, which was released in 4 parts across four days in May of this year.


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Greta Van Fleet I’d heard mixed things about Greta Van Fleet from ‘they’re just a Zeppelin covers band’ to ‘absolutely incredible stuff' but I’m usually not one to just take other people’s word for it so I had to check them out for myself. I love the album Anthem of the Peaceful Army, and yes, it is very Zeppelin-esque - but who cares - I love Zeppelin.


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The Decemberists Against an impressive backdrop of a skull with swirling eyes surrounded by serpents the band enter to the accompaniment ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’. For the stage play Greig intended the tune as a dream like fantasy to mark Peer Gynt’s entrance into the troll king’s hall. It is an appropriate choice for The Decemberists as they embark on an evening of whimsy, fantasy and irony.


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MC50 MC5 were a massively influential band predating and inspiring the New York punk scene with their blues infused garage rock. A fact evidenced by the calibre of the all-star collection of musicians who have joined original member Wayne Kramer to play this 50th anniversary tour celebrating their music.


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Slayer Tonight’s Slayer show at Manchester Arena was momentous in more ways than one. They brought all the fire with them (and we mean ALL the fire), they brought not one, not two but three incredible bands along for the ride - and most of all - it will be the last time we get to experience Slayer on a world tour - Hell's house band are retiring.


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Killing Joke Killing Joke are a band you should know and if you don’t I can guarantee you’ve heard more than you think you have by them. Love Like Blood in particular is one of those instantly recognisable songs that you’ve probably heard a thousand times. They have been cited as an inspiration by many of the big names such as Trent Reznor, Metallica and Soundgarden. Dave Grohl was even their drummer for 2003's eponymous album.


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Parquet Courts It’s good to be back in The Ritz, one of Manchester’s best larger venues. The listed Grade II building has real character. It was built 1927 as a dancehall and even has a genuine sprung dance floor. It’s been hosting rock gigs since the 1960s and has seen performances by many now legendary acts including The Beatles, REM, The Stone Roses, Magazine, The Smiths and The Arctic Monkeys. Tonight we add Parquet Courts to that list.


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Rudimental Having seen Rudimental at Parklife Festival a few years back I knew that tonight’s show was going to be a lot of fun. I was expecting high energy, bouncy fun, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.


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Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Built in 1908 and Grade II listed, Manchester’s Albert Hall is another of those cherished Edwardian community buildings that are enjoying new life as a live music venue. The horseshoe gallery of the former Methodist chapel looks out towards a magnificent organ directly below which stand Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.


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BC Camplight Tonight is a really significant gig for BC Camplight (aka Brian Christinzio), as he opens his UK tour in his adopted home city of Manchester. Although he’s been making music for quite a few years it’s only now that he’s started to get the recognition that he truly deserves, with the release of his new album, ‘Deportation Blues’. There’s a real human story behind the album, but more on this later.


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