Midge Ure Saturday night at the Apres Bar in Birmingham, and its a special one. The bar downstairs is full, with more than a little excitement about the Carl Froch/George Groves Super-Middleweight Championship. Upstairs in the Club Room, we’ve gone back to the 1980’s with a full house of “Darklings” (the collective noun for club members) who are excited about the appearance of a Musical Heavyweight for the Only After Dark (OAD) 5th Birthday Celebrations, some of which have come in from overseas to be here.


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Paul Heaton and Jacqueline Abbott On a very humid Friday evening, The Temple at Birmingham’s Institute is packed to the rafters and getting very hot. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and band are in the house tonight, touring their new album “What Have We Become” fresh of the presses, only being released on 19th May.


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The Struts It’s a bold claim, the one about the best gig to have been at in 2014, but I am convinced of it and that conviction was borne out by the headliners, The Struts. The Struts nominally hail from Derbyshire, but looking at their social profiles, come from all over but tonight they are truly Sheffield.


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Paolo Nutini From Glastonbury to Bridlington - part of the Paolo Nutini tour? No! Just the twice I have seen Mr Nutini over the years and the distinct difference in the places is very certainly reflected in the changes in Paolo’s music and live performance.


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Slam Dunk Festival Another year of Slam Dunk, another year of flitting between stages and attempting to avert the eyes from the tiny denim shorts and the flesh they are revealing in 80% of their wearers. Tattoos a plenty are on show. The boys are a mix of sleek quiffs, emo hair and long tresses, whilst the girls bring the colour to the hair from vintage rockabilly looks to straight up grunge, with a few corsets and heels for good measure.


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White Denim White Denim may not be ‘sassy’ and I’m not convinced they bring a ‘cool trash aesthetic’ either but one thing they do do (not dodo, that’s just a big extinct bird...) is...pause for dramatic effect...ROCK. Hell yeah! Ahem. In fact within just a couple of seconds of opening track Pretty Green they’d managed to blow a transformer. Now that’s ROCK.


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Tangerine Dream 6.30pm; London, after the rain, and long queues are trailing around the Shepherds Bush Empire to catch Tangerine Dream on their only UK date (a Sell Out) for their “Phaedra Farewell Tour”, which has already taken in Miami, Mexico, Honduras and Paris (last night) and will take in Netherlands, Germany and Poland and finish in Italy on 9th June in Turin.


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Tangerine Dream 6.30pm; London, after the rain, and long queues are trailing around the Shepherds Bush Empire to catch Tangerine Dream on their only UK date (a Sell Out) for their “Phaedra Farewell Tour”, which has already taken in Miami, Mexico, Honduras and Paris (last night) and will take in Netherlands, Germany and Poland and finish in Italy on 9th June in Turin.


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The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion There are various legendary bands that are on my bucket list of artists to see before I finally turn my toes up. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (or JSBX) is definitely one of those, so it’s off to Nottingham tonight to catch them on their UK tour.


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I am the Avalanche As soon as we knew Avalanche was doing a decent UK tour the only question was "which one are we going to?" The “we” being the photographer of tonight Lee Allen, me and my boyfriend.


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Belinda Carlisle One time member of one of the most successful American female bands of all time and pop icon in her own right; this singer is returning to the UK on a 7 date mini-tour which starts off tonight in Birmingham’s Town Hall. Following the recent chart success of new single ‘Sun’, one time Go-Go and pop goddess Belinda Carlisle is here tonight to give us a clue as to whether Birmingham is indeed heaven.


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Jagwar Ma On the basis of their album, ‘Howlin’ and a few YouTube clips, I must say I was really looking forward to this gig from newcomer Aussie émigré purveyors of revival Madchester indie baggy psyche-rock, Jagwar Ma. I was not disappointed. Any cobwebs on audience members at the start were soon blown away, by the bass vibrations as well as the fab tunes and the infectious urge to dance.


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Tori Amos Birmingham was the 6th date of the European leg of Tori’s ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ tour, coinciding with the UK launch of her album of the same name. Pitched as being a return to ‘pop’ (which I confess had my toes curling), early reviews of this new release had been tentatively positive. Vocally, Tori is now at her strongest, combined with simpler tracks stripped of the experimentations, which turned many fans off over the past 5+ years. My expectations were high.


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Janelle Monáe Janelle Monáe and special guest Cody ChesnuTT turn The Institute’s standing area into a dance floor as concertgoers indulge in an evening of genre-defying music, live instrumentation, social commentary and theatrical performance.


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