Steel Panther Tonight is the opening night of the tour and everybody is in high spirits. A lot of the fans here have taken it upon themselves to get glammed up for the occasion and why not? With the line up of bands that we have on show tonight everyone is in a for a treat.


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Band of Skulls Celebrating their last gig on the current tour, the rather splendid Band of Skulls found themselves on the stage at Nottingham’s gloriously titled Rock City a day before Mother’s Day and two days before the launch of their 3rd album ‘Himalayan’. Exciting times in the BoS camp.


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Runrig Spring is nearly here and it’s finally warming up - so tonight to the delectable Symphony Hall and to see a band who, to be honest, I don’t know too much about. Off the back of several large open-air, events held across Europe during 2013 at venues such as Edinburgh Castle, and culminating last August at Party On The Moor, Runrig come to Birmingham to celebrate their 40th anniversary with us.


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ABC Ahhhhh the 80s...was there ever a better era in pop? Nope, I don’t think there was. Take 1982 for instance, the year that ABC’s The Lexicon Of Love was originally issued. Number one singles included (deep breath) Don’t You Want Me (The Human League), The Model (Kraftwerk), Town Called Malice (The Jam), House of Fun (Madness), Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners), Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor), Pass The Dutchie (Musical Youth) and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Culture Club). Seriously...now that’s what I call (pop) music. Incidentally (and somewhat incredibly) ABC’s The Look Of Love was only the 32nd highest selling single that year, sandwiched between OMD’s Maid of Orleans and...er...Chas and Dave’s Ain’t No Pleasing You.


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NME Awards Tour On a cold Tuesday evening in Birmingham city centre, I was cordially invited to see NME’s award tour, on the bill were Circa Waves, Royal Blood, Temples and Interpol. NME editor, Mike Williams, says: "Here at NME we are always championing the best new talent, so securing three of Britain's most in demand breakthrough bands to kick off proceedings for the tour is totally exciting. Backed up with the world-beating return of Interpol – one of the most important bands to come out of New York ever – is also a massive coup for us".


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Heaven's Basement Having been a follower of Heaven's Basement since their early days some 6 years ago, I was eager to see how these UK rockers had evolved. Dominating the covers of many well known rock magazines and music channels and recently returning from touring countries such as Canada, America and Australia with some other well established bands, the boys finally return home to the UK for their much anticipated and majority sold out "Welcome Home" tour.


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Heaven's Basement Having been a follower of Heaven's Basement since their early days some 6 years ago, I was eager to see how these UK rockers had evolved. Dominating the covers of many well known rock magazines and music channels and recently returning from touring countries such as Canada, America and Australia with some other well established bands, the boys finally return home to the UK for their much anticipated and majority sold out "Welcome Home" tour.


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Franz Ferdinand The name Franz Ferdinand is extremely poignant this year, with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia in 1914 being the spark that ignited the First World War. However, it’s unlikely that this historic event is foremost in anyone’s mind tonight, as we wait for the arrival onstage of art school dancefloor-filling indie rock maestros Franz Ferdinand.


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Steel Panther So, where do you start with a band like Steel Panther? Well, I started based on the recommendations of lots of friends and my step son, they had all seen Steel Panther before and absolutely raved about them. Me? Well I still didn’t really know what to expect, so when we arrived at the O2 in Newcastle I had heard a few tracks tracks, marvelled at their lyrical capability – more later readers - but couldn’t wait to see them in the flesh.


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Among the Echoes It’s Saturday 15th March, and downstairs in the Flapper, it’s a sell out crowd, with an assembled audience from across the UK (and Sweden too!) for the “Ides of March” event (Beware of Julius Caesar references…) organised by Synthetic City Promotions (i.e. Ian Wall/Johnny Normal) with appearances by 5 electronic artists from around the country.


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Maxïmo Park Having dipped in and out of Maxïmo Park's career over the last ten years and having already seen several unbeatable live performances, I was excited to see how they'd evolved since the last time I caught them back in 2010. The Institute is the perfect setting for their typically decadent offering and the room fills up quickly despite the early Friday night start time.


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Metronomy Manchester’s Ritz is sold out tonight for the much anticipated gig by arty electro-popsters Metronomy, in the early stages of their UK tour and eager to promote their acclaimed new album, ‘Love Letters’.


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Ella Eyre Ella Eyre is a 19 year old British singer songwriter, BRIT school educated and signed to Virgin EMI Records. She has already collaborated with many top chart sellers. These include the likes of Tinie Tempah, Bastille, Naughty Boy, and Rudimental, whom she received her first joint number one with. Just last month she could be seen taking the stage by storm with Rudimental at the BRIT awards, going on to win a BRIT Award that same night. One of the highlights of her career so far however, would probably be that she was the runner up for BBC's Sound of 2014. To find out more about Ella Eyre, an outstanding talented upcoming artist, visit her Twitter and Facebook pages.


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Lissie After buzzing over Lissie’s cover of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ little did I know that very same evening I’d be watching her doing her thing live on stage… arriving at the close-nit venue of the Birmingham Institute I firstly found myself feeling the fresh vibes that came about with the support act, Norma Jean Martine.


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