Band of Skulls Listening to Kerrang Radio on the way to the gig – as is obligatory for all self-respecting Gig Junkies, it seemed that uber-hot bass playing front woman Emma Richardson was poorly and wasn’t well enough to attend the pre-gig interview. Whilst mass hysteria and a heightened state of panic didn’t necessarily ensue in the GJ mobile, the photographer and I, firmly cross our fingers in unison wishing her a speedy recovery so she could entertain us at the HMV Institute a little later on. Fast forward 3 hours and we needn’t have worried. Not a jot. Excellent gig delivered by the Band of Skulls and once more they justified the entrance fee with their brand of melodic, blues based, bass driven rifftastic rock. Phew!


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Stereophonics It’s not often you get the chance to see a MASSIVE band in a relatively small venue, so when it came up on the gig roster at Gig Junkies HQ that The Stereophonics were playing at Derby Assembly Rooms I was all over it like a cheap dress. Having never been to the venue I was amazed at how well organised and clean it was – two words you don’t often associate with gigs! Because of this and probably because the audience was a little bit older, there seemed to be a more serene atmosphere to the event. By Jove it was even cordial!


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Maximo Park Aside being named after my mate's moggy (or is it the other way round?) I didn't know a great deal about Maximo Park, but that mattered not a jot as we made our way down to the Glee Club in Birmingham. Before we even got into the venue, there was a furvour - a buzz of excitement around the place. The queue was the biggest I'd seen at the Glee Club - most of the revellers visibly brimming with anticipation. A splendid start...


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Michael Kiwanuka Every now and then you go to a gig that you’re not overly excited about and then, a couple of hours later, you walk out of the venue spellbound by what you've just seen and heard. It’s as if you’ve witnessed history, something magical that futuristically will be written in annuls of time. Monday night at the Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton, was – in my humble opinion – one such occasion.


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Delilah It’s not often you can come away from a gig saying “WOW! That person’s voice was phenomenal”. When you do it’s something to treasure, a memory to hold. True, there are lots of good singers, some brilliant front men and some talented songstresses, but the term phenomenal needs to be reserved for the very special indeed. So, to witness not one, not two but three all on the same stage in front of little over 200 people on a grim Wednesday night in Birmingham was nothing short of miraculous and not likely to be emulated any time soon.


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Enter Shikari Enter Shikari are a band that have had epic proportions of airtime on mainstream radio since their debut album ‘Take to the Skies’. Their new release ‘Flash Flood of Colour’ has primed the lasers again for another onslaught on the metal/electronic scene.


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Lianne La Havas Every now and again, you go to a gig and although the act has played well and ticked all the boxes, the night lacked that certain pazzazz. Sometimes however, something special, nay magical happens. A night to savour. Some might call it a 'wow night'. Monday at The Glee Club in Birmingham was one such evening. The omens were good from the start when the main act, Miss Lianne La Havas pottered past and said hello to me. Glorious! Support came from the uber talented Marques Toliver who offered an act seldom seen, belting out glorious vocal on top of looped violin, whilst playing lead violin over the top. Ingenious. In a time when people are trying find a unique twist this was certainly one.


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Band of Skulls It's all coming together for Band of Skulls with massive radio play, healthy album sales and a sell-out tour, it certainly seems that they're poised to become the UK’s most bona fide Blues act. Dubbed as a “Blues/Rock Outfit” and fresh off the UK leg of The Black Keys Tour it was no surprise that there were a few 'Keys' T-shirts in the crowd of Band of Skulls’ gig at the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton.


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The Black Keys The packed Apollo crowd of 3,500 revellers were lapping it up. From the minute they kicked off with 'Howling for You' through to the oh so catchy ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ the crowd went bonkers. ‘Little Black Submarine’ with its beautiful vocal melody and mesmerising guitar solo, was most definitely the live performance highlight from the new album.


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