Metallica You can hear the juggernaut that is Metallica rolling into town for weeks if not months before it arrives. This date has been marked in many calendars for a long time with the excitement reaching fever pitch hours before the headliners take the stage with fans filling the streets of Manchester for a pre-gig pint.


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Foals Foals take Birmingham by storm for two sold-out nights of pure magnificence. Without a doubt, Digbeth Arena is one of Birmingham’s most creative and innovative music venues, boasting an impressive large open-air space bordered by railway arches and loading bays. Ready to take the packed space on a journey through jittery dance rock and spacey atmospheres, Foals jump onto the stage performing new material from the off, a bizarro rendition of an instant bop hit, ‘On The Luna’ graces the crowd this evening, fresh off the grill from their latest album, 'Part 1 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost'. The boys immediately lead into one of the their most popular hits, ‘Mountain at My Gates’. This pulsating duo of opening tracks raised hands and pints across the arena. And as if bringing luscious guitar licks and harmonies wasn’t already enough, Foals’ latest stage design incorporates captivating abstract video design in the background to really transport you to another place.


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Taking Back Sunday This is the 20th anniversary tour for Taking Back Sunday being a band and to celebrate the occasion we’re treated to Tell All Your Friends in full, followed up with a storming second half full of big hitters. There couldn’t have been a more perfect TBS set.


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Billie Marten Billie Marten with some ethereal vocals on show in Leeds, her 2nd album ‘Feeding Seahorses by Hand’ gets a rapturous welcome at her homecoming show at The Wardrobe.


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Meat Puppets Until this gig I mainly knew Meat Puppets as one of the seminal US alternative bands of the 1980s and 90s, perhaps most known for the three Meat Puppets songs recorded by Nirvana for their ‘Unplugged In New York’ album. Kurt Cobain was a big fan of the band and Cris and Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets were invited to play on Nirvana’s unplugged session. However, tonight Meat Puppets really demonstrate that they are a force of their own.


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Cross The Tracks Recent years have seen festivals falling by the by and the big-name players even reducing schedules and missing out years. The team behind Cross The Tracks did an amazing job as they celebrated the opening year of Brixton's first funk, soul and jazz festival. As the crowds descended on the inner city's Brockwell Park, it was refreshing to see communities bonding, all ages and races excitedly arriving at the park as the sun shone through overcoming the predicted bad weather.


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Brass Against 9 times out of 10 Facebook’s suggested posts are just wallpaper that get unceremoniously scrolled passed, but seeing one for a brass band playing Cochise as a tribute to Chris Cornell caught my eye – as a massive fan of his – and it blew me away. That was my introduction to Brass Against and I was instantly hooked. So getting the chance to see them live was something I wasn’t going to miss.


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All Points East 2019 The second weekend of All Points East Festival kicked off with heavy distortions, headbanging and crowd surfing. Headlined by Bring Me The Horizon, day one of weekend two also saw performances by Architects, Run The Jewels, Nothing But Thieves, While She Sleeps, IDLES, Sleeping With Sirens, Yonaka, Alice Glass, Ladybird and many more.


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Gov’t Mule Gov’t Mule pack a 3hr setlist with some Classic Blues Jams and whilst they’re ‘Live in Leeds’ a long ride on The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’.


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Love 4 Music Festival 2019 Now in its second year, Love 4 Music is a small one day dance festival created by Cultural Events Promotions, and whilst it would be fair to say that this event was by no means a sell-out, it would be equally fair to say that this is a festival very much in its infancy, but shows great promise, and has all the potential to become a bigger and permanent fixture in an already busy festival schedule in the UK.


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APE 25/5/2019 Welcoming in the the first weekend of the All Points East Festival at Victoria Park. The second day saw The Strokes headlining with other brilliant performances by The Raconteurs, Johnny Marr, Courtney Barnett, Jarvis Cocker, Interpol, Anna Calvi and many others. There was a terrific vibe among the crowd with this being the start of the heatwave in London (according to the weather people but you never know with British weather). Gig Junkies’ photographer Bimal was there to capture the magic.


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Rita Ora What an amazing past 12 months it has been for Rita Ora, with ‘Phoenix’ marking her first solo album release in five years, the album has received numerous nominations and won awards even though it was only released in the latter half of 2018. ‘For You’ was one of the biggest hits of the year, not a day went by when you didn’t hear it at least three times on the radio, a headline slot at Manchester Pride and returning to the screen as Mia in the 50 Shades film series and just when you thought there was no end to the singer songwriter’s talents she transforms into Dr. Ann Laurent for Pokémon Detective Pikachu with latest offering ‘Carry On’ featuring on the soundtrack, appealing to a whole new set of fans. Not forgetting to mention numerous charity work and an announcement to appear for Soccer Aid this summer, it’s so easy to see why people love her.


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Kamasi Washington “Let’s Do It”, announces Kamasi Washington, as he and his band take the stage at Manchester's Academy. The venue has a fine pedigree starting life in the sixties with jazzers such as Humphrey Lyttelton before embracing the likes of Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd. An audience of around one thousand are here tonight, mostly students. Some are here out of curiosity but most will be familiar with Washington’s contributions to fellow Angelino Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly – that landmark 2015 chart topper which fused hip-hop with jazz and opened up the genre to a new young audience.


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Manic Street Preachers It seems almost a cliche at this point for artists to play older albums in full, relying on nostalgia to bring in the audience for a quick cash grab. However that’s not always the case, some do it for the right reasons, making it a celebration for themselves and the fans. The best example of this at the moment is the Manic Street Preachers, who over the past few years have been playing a slew of excellent 20th anniversary shows of their 90’s albums.


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