Mumford & Sons Nobody likes watching gigs at arenas. You can’t see the band, the tickets are expensive, the queues are huge and more often than not you spend your evening involuntarily staring at a giant screen instead of the stage. Tour after tour tries it’s best to combat the growing list of complaints and tonight in Birmingham, Mumford & Sons are giving it their best efforts.


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Paul Smith A beautiful lil’ gathering took place at Birmingham’s Mama Roux’s on Tuesday as Paul Smith took to the stage for a super-intimate showcase of his solo material.


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Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott Striding onstage in his trademark parka jacket with drunken bellows of 'HEEEATON' ringing in his ears, it is clear from the off that the former frontman for the Housemartins and the Beautiful South means business.


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The Japanese House Whilst most of Birmingham were either crammed into the German Market, or upstairs downing Red Stripe for Peace’s homecoming gig, deep down below, in the underbelly of the O2 Institute 2, a future star was emerging in the form of The Japanese House.


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Peace Birmingham welcomes indie rock quartet Peace back for their small, yet mighty ‘world tour’ in their hometown with open arms. Ready for an eclectic mix of nostalgia and a modicum of their latest guitar-driven anthems.


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Bring Me The Horizon After a long intense wait Bring Me The Horizon finally entered the stage and as they did the crowd ended up covered in confetti along with the ceiling rig which ended up looking like someone had TP’d the place.


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You Me At Six Tonight at the O2 Academy Birmingham You Me At Six bring their headline tour to the venue for a sold out show. As well as the headline dates they have been performing special anniversary shows to celebrate the 10 year release of their debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ where they will play it in its entirety.


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Starsailor It’s a staggering 15 years since Starsailor’s second album ‘Silence Is Easy’ was released and to celebrate the band are out playing three anniversary gigs. Manchester is sandwiched between Glasgow and London. Those who own the album (and if you don’t then you really should) will know the part strings play throughout and so it is that the band are enhanced by a six piece string section for the three gigs.


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Listener First of all I need to get this out I love Listener. I mean properly bloody love Listener. Some how I have always managed to miss them play live so tonight I was beyond excited and they didn’t disappoint.


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Sunflower Bean Self-assured visionary American girls in rock music, there’s an endless supply of them at The Wardrobe in Leeds on a Tuesday night. Jesse Jo Stark, Miya Folick and the incomparable Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean all hugely impress on only the 2nd date of this UK tour.


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Courtney Barnett It was a bitterly cold Monday night in an empty Birmingham city centre. A symptom perhaps of the Black Friday shopping frenzy which it seems that we have ‘culturally appropriated’ from our friends across the pond which was happening later the same week? Not surprisingly the O2 Academy reflected this being half full for the visit of one Miss Courtney Barnett; the lady with the coolest middle name in rock.


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Unknown Mortal Orchestra Bedroom pop is the in thing at the moment. Long gone are the days of artists booking out recording studios and expensive equipment. Now anyone with the right equipment and determination can record at home. At the forefront of this music revolution, especially in the psychedelic genre is Ruban Nielson also known as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Currently touring the album 'Sex & Food' and the instrumental album 'IC-01 Hanoi', the O2 Institute was paid a visit on a chilly Monday night.


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The Cat Empire The Cat Empire are back once again touring the UK, and although I’ve seen them live many times before, this is my first visit to the O2 Academy in Bristol and it's the first of two nights here as a second night was put on due to demand for tickets. The Cat empire are one of those bands that are well known for their live shows, rumour has it that they are often the closing act at festivals because no other band wants to take to the stage after them.


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Hinds They say that the third time is a charm, this point was proven as Hinds returned to Birmingham. With Sports Team as the high quality support, it was set to be another fun night at one of Birmingham’s newest venues The Mill.


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