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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Neighbourhood Festival 2018 What better way to spend a Saturday than to run around Manchester’s music venues looking for your next favourite artist. My festival year always starts at Live at Leeds in May and then finishes here in Manchester at Neighbourhood Festival in October. Both of this year’s metropolitan day festivals have been superb, packed to the brim with fresh new talent and if you are prepared to stray away from the larger venues then there are some real goodies to be found amongst the also rans. Be prepared though for quite a trek to some of the places - walking from Albert Hall or Jimmys to the Academy is well over a mile, so I decided early on not to go to those extremes and stay in the nucleus of talent and go to the smaller venues that I hadn’t visited before.


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Anna Calvi Anna Calvi is an artist cut from the same cloth as Nick Cave, St.Vincent and PJ Harvey. Unique, intriguing and completely breath-taking to see live. She’s one of those artists that creates their own off-kilter world and invites you in to share their vision for an hour and a half, drawing you further and further in with every note.


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Halestorm About 8 years ago I was completely blown away by a voice that captured everyone inside an arena within 30 seconds - completely acapella. It gave everybody goose bumps and stopped them in their tracks - and the performer wasn’t even on stage yet. It was an offstage intro from Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and it had everyone mesmerised from the get go. 8 years and 4 albums later and they have lost none of that ability to instantly capture a room full of people. If anything, that ability is even stronger now with a catalogue of incredible tracks to choose from.


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Albert Hammond Jr Feel Good Indie Rock – Albert Hammond Jr offers some kind Strokes in Manchester. It’s a difficult job for a rhythm/lead guitarist from a highly successful worldwide band to make it as a solo artist. Like Carl Barat without his oppo in The Libertines, you are reduced to playing drastically smaller venues and releasing introspective, much more personal but probably less commercial albums, with various collective friends and acquaintances forming members of your live band.


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