Dropkick Murphys Sometime in the mid-late 80s I entered Rock City for the first time for what I always maintained was the sweatiest gig I’ve ever been to (Georgia Satellites). Admittedly 19 year old me was front and centre and having a good old mosh. The older, more damaged, me was stood at the back for this one yet still ended the gig drenched with sweat. It was a veritable sauna in there. Admittedly one with bodies flying everywhere in a joyous celebration of one of the greatest proponents of Celtic/Punk there has ever been. I rather think the young me would have had a new sweatiest gig. Dropkick Murphys have brought their juggernaut of a live show steaming once again into a sold out Rock City.


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Black Spiders So where to start with this one. Well the parental advisory message may be both apt and too late but nevertheless anyone of a sensitive disposition should probably look away now. Sometime last year Black Spiders announced they were to be no more. One last gig was planned and that was to be it. The fans clamoured for more and eventually Pete ‘Spider’ Spiby kicked in the door of their collective padded cell and unleashed his Spiders on the UK one last time. An eight date "F*** Off Black Spiders" Final Tour.


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The Saw Doctors Tonight we are heading to Rock City in Nottingham for the first time ever, to see a six piece Irish Folk Rock formed in 1986, though with only two of the remaining members Leo Moran and Davy Carton, tonight's gig with The Saw Doctors made for an interesting night!


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Bear's Den As the London based duo Bear's Den graced the stage they were met with an excited cheer from the packed out Nottingham Rock City crowd, and effortlessly chimed into first track 'Red Earth & Pouring Rain', closely followed by 'Emeralds'. The stage was alight with a warm golden glow that cast a misty haze across the band which had you believing you could quite easily be at a folk festival rather than cramped into a two tiered room in the middle of the East Midlands.


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Wolfmother Wolfmother made their way onto the stage at the rather early time of 8 bells to make sure they finished in time for another modern phenomena, the 10pm curfew. Not that it mattered a jot as the now packed out Rock City greeted the band noisily and enthusiastically.


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Rudimental Blissfully unaware of Rudimental’s new album release, I felt somewhat ignorant turning up to Rock City as a follower of the band rather than a fanatic. Hitting the music scene in 2012 their drum’n’base rhythms remind me of my summer nights back at high school; times I cherish and was in hope of reliving at the gig.


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New Model Army All come all ye faithful….. as peoples from across the land converge on Nottingham Rock City for a night with Cromwell’s anti-establishment army - as this icon venues celebrates it’s 35th birthday (literally the day before this gig), this band of brothers are just 3 months older. Welcome all to a night with New Model Army.


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Alt-J

Alt-J welcome you with open arms to their last night of the ‘This Is All Yours’ tour. The men in black are here to defend you from those bitterly ice cold winds & dreariness we have so far had this winter.  Settle down with a glass of Shiraz & relax into this sensory overload of warmth.



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Shawn Smith Shawn Smith is the prolific vocal and creative driving force behind a number of bands over the past twenty years or so, namely Brad, Pigeonhed and Satchel; however he is still relatively unknown and this is clear from the small number attending this intimate show. As he enters the stage, looking like a young Leon Russell, Smith engages with the audience straight away as he takes his seat at the keyboard and begins with the Satchel song Suffering.  Shawn’s voice powers over the keyboard and his distinctive vocal style takes you back to an era of the mid ‘90’s due to his involvement in so many influential Seattle bands. Through his use of humour Shawn Smith made the night informal, and it was more like a friend playing to a group of mates which led to some supportive heckling from the crowd that was received and responded to with sharp wit.


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Nick Cave Promptly at 8.30, Nick Cave swaggers on stage looking characteristically dapper, in a tailored suit and shirt, and takes a seat at the centrally positioned grand piano. To the one side sits his co-conspirator Warren Ellis, whilst Martyn Casey, Thomas Wydler and a replacement for Barry Adamson take their positions towards the back on a raised part of the stage.


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Hit The Deck Festival 2015 Today brings us to Nottingham, home of 2 football teams, Robin Hood, trams & a festival by the name of Hit The Deck. Having avoided the numerous speed cameras, parked up and grabbed a bite to eat, I headed inside to see what was going on.


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Dropkick Murphys The pipes start playing and we’re into Your Spirits Alive. Rock City is already bouncing with bodies flying everywhere before security drag the crowd surfers out, usher them to the side of the pit so they can dive in and start again. Dropkick Murphys are relentless. It’s a full frontal Celtic punk assault and it’s magnificent. A 26 song set picked from the majority of their back catalogue with some spectacular covers thrown in for good measure. (The reggae/Celtic Guns Of Brixton was very special indeed). First of these covers was AC/DC’s T.N.T. As bassist/singer and primary songwriter Ken Casey has stated, ‘I think our goal is to be the AC/DC of Celtic punk rock’.


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New Model Army To a city filled with the legend of a man who robbed the rich to feed the poor, we’re in Nottingham's iconic Rock City to see Cromwell’s anti-establishment army, as the ‘family’ roll into town for a special and unique take of this particular band’s 34 year career. With just two dates in the UK - welcome all ye faithful to ‘Between Blood and Wine’ - an evening with the New Model Army.


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A Day To Remember As A Day To Remember are due to take to the stage Eminem - Lose Yourself was blasted through the speakers; ensue the crowd erupting with noise and everyone having a giant sing along. For a moment I thought I was at another gig. The lights went down and then BOOM! Confetti greeted the crowd together with deafening screams. A taste of things to come.


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