John Grant Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we go to some fantastic events and festivals. John Grant is just one of those events. Since our review of the intimate Royal Shakespeare Company gig back in 22 June 2014, John has released his glorious "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" album back in October 2015. Interestingly he touched upon the reason for the title explaining that "Grey Tickles" is a translation from Icelandic to describe entering middle-age, which is a lovely way to see it, far more cheeky and certainly in John's style. "Black Pressure" was also mentioned as being Turkish for "nightmare", which was quite the opposite from tonight, as it was a dream.


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Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival in Birmingham, 10 + 11 + 12 July 2015 Want to know how great this year’s Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival was? Try this for size... Public Enemy rolled up on Friday to headline that night and loved it so much they came back on Saturday to watch Roy Ayers before heading over to the Moseley Dance Centre for the after show. Rumours that they’re recording DO Believe The Hype as the festival’s new official anthem are still unconfirmed but if you see Flavor Flav queuing up in the Kingfisher Fish and Chip Bar anytime soon don’t be surprised.


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Ocean Colour Scene In the late 80’s a group of lads from the outskirts of Birmingham, formed a band morphing from the ashes of two: The Boys and Fanatics. First few years weren’t easy, they got signed and company ownership changes meant then went into dispute with the label. Then one Paul Weller, picked up and mentored them and with support gigs with Oasis, they got their break, especially with second album 'Moseley Shoals'. The boys are back in town with a couple of homecoming gigs to celebrate a remarkable 25 year career. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Ocean Colour Scene in the poshest venue in the city, going all acoustic as part of their celebration tour.


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The Waterboys Would Morrissey pop along for a quick guest appearance during Johnny Marr’s set (ahem...)? Would Richard Thompson ride onto the stage on a Vincent Black Lightening 1952? And would The Waterboys show us the whole of their moon...yes...it’s Moseley Folk Festival time again!


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Goodnight Lenin At last, after a gestation period that makes the average Elephant birth seem a tad premature (apparently it takes around 2 years between getting jiggy and wetting the baby’s trunk...who’d be a lady elephant eh?) this year will finally see the release of Goodnight Lenin’s debut album. Definitely. 100%. No question at all. Hurrah! To prove they can deliver the goods against the clock a few weeks back they set themselves the challenge of recording, mixing and mastering a single for Record Store Day in just one mammoth 24 hour session. The resulting recording, just 24 copies of which have been pressed, will be sold on Record Store day itself, this Saturday 19th April (hence the timing of this gig I guess).


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Moseley Folk Festival 2013 Oh lordy, the OAPs are right you know. The older you get the faster the years fly by. It seems like only yesterday that we were singing along lustily to All Around My Hat (the degree of lustiness being in direct proportion to the quantity of cider consumed) and yet here we are again at another MoFo. I’m not complaining, it’s the bit between festivals that gets my goat... real life I think it’s called. Jolly silly idea.


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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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Jenn Bostic Behold ye who forswore to venture into this cold, gentle night and weep mightily for your perfidy! Perhaps you’d given up ever believing that an artist of disarming charm, of engaging, folksy apple-pie sincerity could also sing like an angel breathing thunderbolts? ‘In Nashville,’ Jenn Bostic, comments wryly, ‘they think I'm a little bit too Pop for Country.’ Well, yes and no. Her songs are intelligent, crafted Country power-Pop ballads for sure and mightily sung too.


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Jenn Bostic Behold ye who forswore to venture into this cold, gentle night and weep mightily for your perfidy! Perhaps you’d given up ever believing that an artist of disarming charm, of engaging, folksy apple-pie sincerity could also sing like an angel breathing thunderbolts? ‘In Nashville,’ Jenn Bostic, comments wryly, ‘they think I'm a little bit too Pop for Country.’ Well, yes and no. Her songs are intelligent, crafted Country power-Pop ballads for sure and mightily sung too.


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Thurston Moore Two genuine 100% guitar legends for the price of the one. Not bad eh? Whilst Thurston Moore, one of the poster boys of the alt rock scene and founder of Sonic Youth, might be the bigger name of the two Chapman’s been a folk hero for coming up to six decades now with none other than the mighty John Peel muttering his praises and playing his records (no doubt occasionally at the wrong speed) over the years. So what do you get when you bring a 70 something folk/jazz musician from Yorkshire together with an American noise rock icon? We had to wait until the end of the gig to find out...


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Elmo Sexwhistle Headlining was the gorgeously dressed and precipitously fringed Elmo Sexwhistle. Honestly, the names parents choose back in the mid 80s! It’s default Keytar/keyboards again but back-lined by some seriously focused good old guitar and bass. From the opening brief hammer blast of electro funk minimalism segueing into what seemed a pre-programmed interpretation of a spacecraft being sick the set was an inspired poseur potpourri of giddy eccentricity.


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Steeleye Span It’s strange how some festivals seem to be blessed with good weather and others...well...seem to be doomed to suffer plagues of frogs. Barring the odd shower every single Moseley Folk has been reliably dry and pleasant. Given the fact that this year’s been the most relentlessly grim since Noah took up boatbuilding you’d have been forgiven for packing a lifejacket or two...but no...MoFo was pretty much a rain free zone again, with...yes...some sunshine. Maybe the good lord’s a folk fan eh? That beard’s a dead giveaway, I hear he’s often at the Prince Of Wales necking the real ale too.


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Maylight Given the frankly apocalyptic weather conditions (flash floods, lightning, hails stones the size of your head, plagues of locusts... that kind of thing) that struck the Midlands the day before this year’s MoJaFuSo it’s a miracle that the entire site wasn’t washed away into the oceans, only to reappear somewhere on a beach in Trinidad sometime in 2014.


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Booker T at Mostly Jazz 2011 Thankfully, having vented his spleen on the good folk at the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury Festivals recently, Mr Rain seems to have taken some time off for day one of the second annual Mostly Jazz Festival. I feel compelled to begin by defending the name again a little, just as I did last year, mainly because some people imagine it’ll be three days of cool cats in berets playing 6 hour sets of improvisational freeform noodling. In reality there’s a good mix of funk and soul in there too, but I guess ‘Mostly Jazz But With a Fair Bit of Funk and Soul Festival’ is a hell of a mouthful. If you’re looking for proof of the groove though, opening live act 9-piece Manchester based The Mouse Outfit, bought it by the bucket load. Imagine an i-Pod shuffle stuffed full of some of the best funk, hip hop and soul tracks ever recorded and that’s pretty much what you get from a Mouse Outfit show. Playing snatches of everything from Babe Ruth’s Mexican to Isaac Hayes’ Theme From Shaft along with a whole bunch of self penned jazzily laid back hip hop (sung in French...I’m guessing the lead dude is French...didn’t sound it when he spoke though) they’re the perfect festival headliners...a little wasted perhaps in their opening slot. Still, plenty of people were there to see it and I’m betting that, for the early birds, this was the highlight of their day. Make ‘em headliners next year. Please. They’ll blow the place apart. Mighty, not Mickey.


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