Courtney Barnett I was pretty much sold on Courtney Barnett from the moment I discovered that one of her songs was called Avant Gardener. Clever. I do love a good pun. Happily the track’s as impressive as the title which, despite a still relatively low profile over here in the UK (Courtney’s from Melbourne), probably explains why this gig at the Hare and Hounds sold out a while back.


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The Correspondents Having formed in 2007 it’s taken a whole 7 years for The Correspondents (DJ Chucks and singer/dancer Mr Bruce) to get around to releasing their debut album. But then again Mr Bruce (aka Ian Bruce) also has a career as an artist to keep him busy so we can kind of forgive them. Besides that given the energy that he expends during tonight’s gig I reckon he probably needs to lie down for a month or six every time they play live...


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Goodnight Lenin With their much anticipated debut album still being mixed and just a few festival shows lined up this year (albeit including Glastonbury and Moseley Folk Festival) 2013’s been relatively low key for Goodnight Lenin so far. ‘Low key’ certainly isn’t a phrase you’d apply to tonight’s show though, their first headline appearance since selling out Birmingham Cathedral last December...


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Tribes The video for The Brute Chorus’ Death Came Walking Parts 1 & 2 isn’t for the squeamish, featuring as it does buckets of fake blood splashed liberally all over the distinctly hirsute band members (fake blood and hairy chests...urgh...not a great look). Happily this evening the only bodily fluid in evidence is sweat, as the group crank out their particular blend of rockabilly, blues and pop. Sporting a modest quiff and rather fetching moustache lead singer James manfully does his best to get the crowd going, strutting about, lunging and throwing shapes, his vocals a mix of Lux Interior meets Billy Childish...with a little 50s Elvis thrown in for good measure. There’s a touch of cabaret about it all from time to time as James ramps up the energy but hell, you’d rather your frontman give it some welly than just stand there like a lemon eh? Good dirty fun.


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Dumb It seems slightly perverse that George Barnett’s tonight’s opening act, especially given the fact that his cover of Daft Punk’s new single Get Lucky has (at the time of writing) racked up an incredible TWO AND A HALF MILLION hits on You Tube. Still, it doesn’t seem to trouble him and once again he delivers a set full of hits in waiting that blow most of the current chart guff off the face of the earth. From the cowbell extended clap along version of Lone Rose through to the light pop funk of Cassi and on to the Queen’s We Will Rock You meets hip hop of Light A Fire Barnett bounces around the stage in the same relentless (and seemingly effortless) way in which the music seems to pour out of him. Speaking of which he dropped a couple of new songs into the set this evening, Falling and Crowd, the latter you can easily see becoming an arena staple one day.


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Admiral Fallow Admiral Fallow are admirable fellows (and a lass) to be sure and the comfortably full Hare were savvy sure with many of their previous materials’ lyrics. A smooth blend of contemporary Glaswegian eclectic/electric Celtic Folk was enhanced by some haunting harmonies, not least with the acapella ‘Four Bulbs’. The enchanting counter-play between clarinet and flute made for an all smiles and couples hugging jollily along.


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Admiral Fallow Admiral Fallow are admirable fellows (and a lass) to be sure and the comfortably full Hare were savvy sure with many of their previous materials’ lyrics. A smooth blend of contemporary Glaswegian eclectic/electric Celtic Folk was enhanced by some haunting harmonies, not least with the acapella ‘Four Bulbs’. The enchanting counter-play between clarinet and flute made for an all smiles and couples hugging jollily along.


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Gary Numan We’ve had biopics of musicians before of course but surely Numan’s life story is rich for the picking? Son of a bus driver does a series of menial jobs before achieving global pop success and becoming one of the best stunt pilots in the UK. His plane crashes...quickly followed by his career then, after years in the wilderness, some of the biggest names in music start crediting him for influencing them. Finally he marries a member of his fan club and lives happily ever after...it’s got it all!


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King Charles Nope, the Queen hasn’t gone to that great walk about in the sky leaving her eldest in charge (lord help us), this particular King Charles has bugger all to do with the Windsor lot. He looks the part though, far more than any member of our royal family has for...ooooh...the odd century or four. With enough hair to make several thousand merkins and a suitably raffish moustache he cuts a dashing figure, part Pirates of the Caribbean, part Barbara Cartland’s wet dream. King Charles the pop star men want to be and women want to... ahem... be with.


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Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six There’s an art to putting on lipstick. Arguably taping it to your guitar and trying to apply it WHILST playing isn’t usually the best technique. But then again the chap doing it (yes, I said chap), Mr. Louis Barabbas, isn’t your usual musician either...


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Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six There’s an art to putting on lipstick. Arguably taping it to your guitar and trying to apply it WHILST playing isn’t usually the best technique. But then again the chap doing it (yes, I said chap), Mr. Louis Barabbas, isn’t your usual musician either...


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Pond Great rock band names... Black Sabbath! Iron Maiden! Hawkwind! Def Leopard! Metallica! Motorhead! You know what you’re in for just by the name eh? ROCCCCKKKKK! Call yourself Pond though and you could be a fey folk band with a penchant for songs about Maypoles and a hey nonny no. Any ill informed folk fans who may have stumbled in to this gig expecting a gentle rendition of All Around My Hat though may well now be undergoing counselling...


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Morten Harket As dozens of grasping hands strain forward to claw at Morten Harket one or two manage to get a grip and from there on in it was all over. More hands join them and the former A-ha frontman is slowly, inexorably pulled off the stage and into a frenzied pit of hormones and fake nails. Within seconds he’s stripped naked and the ravishing begins...


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Friends Next door (in the big room) the newly reformed Happy Mondays are twisting the melons of hundreds of mums and dads on the old ‘topping up the pension’ circuit. Meanwhile, here in the Academy 2, the night gets off to an equally twisty (but infinitely cooler) start thanks to the sinuous ass shaking of Aluna Francis, one half of new London R&B-tronica duo AlunaGeorge.


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