Future Islands "Woah buddy! I'll take all of that you've got!". Those were a grinning David Letterman's words after Future Islands' performance of Seasons (Waiting For You) on his show last March, a performance that was soon to go viral. It was one of those videos you kept going back to, without quite knowing why - but something undefinable kept drawing you back to watch that most watchable of frontmen, Samuel T Herring.


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McBusted Entering the Barclaycard Arena I was instantaneously met by a mass of nostalgic noughties crazed music fans, ecstatically awaiting the new pop rock and punk pop fusion band McBusted. The six piece have begun a hysteria with their Most Excellent Adventure Tour. Blackout set off an immensity of screams and with their infinite energy McBusted entered, pinging into position one by one from below the stage like they’d just landed onto the screen of an arcade game.


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Catfish and the Bottlemen Catfish and the Bottlemen - or to continue an abbreviation theme CATBM - have been blessed with a fairly meteoric rise to fame over the last 12 months, which although they find hard to comprehend themselves, is no surprise to anybody who follows the music industry and certainly not to the team at Gig Junkies HQ.


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Four Year Strong Finally, headline act Four Year Strong punk rock quartet entered the stage with their melodic hardcore style, the room stepped up the tempo with a conventional mosh pit. Instantly setting a buzz within the venue with their powerful and aggressive intro, Alan Day (Vocals/Guitar) greeted the front row audience with his gritty vocals.


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Wolf Alice Wolf Alice have been on our radar for a while. They’ve been gaining momentum for the past couple of years, often tipped on people’s ones-to-watch list. It feels like they are one big record away from really making it into a wider stream of consciousness. It was a treat to hear they were touring early this year; the chance to see them before they really set the world alight was one which we could not turn down.


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Interview with Architects' Ali Dean Architects must surely be one of the hardest working British bands out there right now. We managed to grab a few minutes with bass player Ali Dean before their show at the Birmingham Institute recently to talk about AirMiles, stealing Kerrang! Award trophies and the whirlwind tour cycle for their amazing album Lost Forever // Lost Together.


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Chuck Ragan Tucked away, so far from the merch, in the Temple Room of the Institute you would have found me huddling into myself for warmth.


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Jane Weaver Seemingly from nowhere, Jane Weaver shot to prominence last year with her cosmic, trippy, space-folk-rock album, ‘The Silver Globe’, the title taken from a 1970s sci-fi film. However, Weaver has been making music since the 1990s with various bands and solo, as well as running a record label.


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Dropkick Murphys The pipes start playing and we’re into Your Spirits Alive. Rock City is already bouncing with bodies flying everywhere before security drag the crowd surfers out, usher them to the side of the pit so they can dive in and start again. Dropkick Murphys are relentless. It’s a full frontal Celtic punk assault and it’s magnificent. A 26 song set picked from the majority of their back catalogue with some spectacular covers thrown in for good measure. (The reggae/Celtic Guns Of Brixton was very special indeed). First of these covers was AC/DC’s T.N.T. As bassist/singer and primary songwriter Ken Casey has stated, ‘I think our goal is to be the AC/DC of Celtic punk rock’.


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The Lovely Eggs It’s a bit of an odd coincidence, but with The Lovely Eggs I have now reviewed three bands in a row made up of married couples. The Eggs are Holly Ross and David Blackwell from Lancaster. Holly sings and plays guitar and David is the drummer, which sounds like a sort of English White Stripes, with gender reversal. However, the Stripes were steeped in the American blues and rock, whereas the Eggs look more towards a punk tradition with a distinct northern English edge.


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Placebo Once upon a time there was a band - quirky by look and quirky by nature and named after a ‘simulated or medically ineffectual treatment for disease.’ Well this particular treatment has indeed had the desired effect - they’ve sold around 11 million albums in their near 20 year career. And back in Brum tonight at the start of a two year twentieth anniversary restrospectove - enjoy the androgynous independence that is Placebo.


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The Handsome Family Nowadays country music is a pretty broad genre and, since around the time of Gram Parsons, mutated versions, often dubbed ‘alternative country’ and ‘Americana’, have proliferated. A band with a very quirky take on alt-country are The Handsome Family, who offer a rather unique Gothic country-noire flavour. They’ve performed in Leeds on several past occasions and this time it’s at the palatial, by rock music standards, Irish Centre. The gig is in the posh Tara Suite, laid out with tables and chairs for the comfort of punters.


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The Charlatans I first saw The Charlatans waaaaaaayyy back in 1990 on a bleak Wednesday night, in Leeds at some tiny little club which housed 1000 people tops. Halcyon days. They'd literally just released 'The Only One I Know' and Tim Burgess was an impressionable floppy haired twenty three year old with mahoosive lips. They oooozed enthusiasm, potential and passion before what has now been a 25 year journey into the glorious world of the music industry. Interspersed in this last quarter century are colossal performances like Knebworth in 96 (Oasis) and a headline slot at Scotland’s T in the Park when they were bang on top of their game.


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Hardcore Superstar In January 2008 when Hardcore Superstar (HCSS) announced the departure of guitarist Thomas Silver and their new relationship with Nuclear Blast Records I really thought that was the end of the band as they were. However Crazy Lixx guitarist Vik  Zino slot straight in as a temporary measure and then soon became a permanent fixture within the group.


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