Sting & Shaggy They go together like cats and motorways as Alexei Sayle would say, and yet this strange reggae/rock combo works live better than anyone could have imagined. Let’s face it, Sting is a little dry in the humour stakes, Shaggy is the yin to his yang in that nothing is actually serious for him. Shaggy plays the role of warm up man, frequently getting the crowd hyped up, clapping, singing and screaming, while Sting is being Sting, wearing a tight black T shirt showing off a trim muscled bod for a 67-year-old but rarely speaking or smiling too much (unless Shaggy is thrusting his groin forward towards him – in which case he makes a run for it).


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The Specials Tonight is crackling in the O2 in Sheffield, positively crackling. The Specials are here for a sell out date on their Encore 40th Anniversary Tour and by the looks of it every Tyke that has ever been a fan (that’s a Yorkshireman for those not in the know) is out in force… and then some.


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The Undertones John Peel knew a good tune when he heard one, and 'Teenage Kicks' was described by him as his favourite song of all time, and was his families tune of choice at his funeral in 2004. Whilst the band may be a little older, it’s good to see that they’re back on their 40th anniversary tour celebrating the release of their first album 'The Undertones', and tonight was a joyous, raucous gig delivered by one of Derry's finest exports to date.


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Suede When David Bowie passed away in 2016 I vowed I’d never again miss the opportunity to see a band I loved, when the opportunity presented itself. So I took the grey and long road from Birmingham to Leeds on a Wednesday night to see one of my favourite all time bands, Suede.


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Sleaford Mods Sleaford Mods. Don’t let the band name mislead you. Sleaford Mods can’t be pigeon holed as a ‘mod band’ - because they're not. Their vocalist Jason Williamson has described their sound in the past as "electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class.” They are certainly political, and certainly of the people. Yet in an interview with Channel 4 (2015) Williamson has alternatively said that he doesn’t want the music to be described as working class - as when you're talking about alienation or unemployment there really shouldn’t be that assumption, or stereotype.


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James "We're gonna play you some miserable songs cause your Birmingham and way too happy" observed frontman Tim Booth as James opened with a 40 minute acoustic set, stripped back bare to entertain the masses that had come to the Birmingham Academy tonight for the sold out show.


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The Wailers Bob Marley passed away back in 1981, but his legacy and stunningly good musical output is safe in the hands of The Wailers who delighted the crowd at Leeds O2 tonight. Ably supported by Jeramiah Ferrari from Manchester, this was an evening which went down an absolute treat.


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Nils Frahm Nils Frahm is sparking a movement which challenges the conventions of music today. Without little introduction, no support act and a packed room, Nils Frahm graced a captive O2 Academy with his first ever Birmingham performance.


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Jay Rock In my opinion Jay Rock is the most underrated member of famed rap label TDE. He produces consistently good albums, but gets easily overlooked against bigger names like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. His current tour is titled ‘Redemption', could this be his moment to truly shine on his own merits?


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HRH Metal 2019 Once upon a time, there was a young writer who found herself presented with the opportunity to review a music festival. But ah! This wasn’t just any festival. This was HRH Metal 2018, and a more magical experience the writer couldn’t possibly have imagined. Sadly the spell only lasted for one weekend, and she had to leave the enchanted world before the O2 Academy turned back into a pumpkin. Or something like that. Many moons she waited for the festival to return. At last, her patience is about to be rewarded. Take her hand and walk with her into the mystical depths of the metalhead Heaven which is Hard Rock Hell. (It’s me, by the way. The writer is me. ‘Sup.)


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Mayday Parade 12 years after their Scottish debut, Mayday Parade returned to join forces with The Wonder Years for a co-headline tour around the UK, kicking off at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on Saturday night. With four bands taking to the stage over four hours, ticket holders were in for a mega-bill of a treat which included support slots from rockers Movements and New York's Pronoun.


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Bastille Bastille have plucked at the heart strings of fans since 2010. An amalgamation of their captivating sound, moving lyrics and charismatic presence make them easy to love. Their mix of experimental mash-ups, rock textures and dance rhythms mixed with Dan’s blissfully choral voice make them one of the most dynamic Indi-pop bands around. Bastille have put on the most incredible performances in the past, but on Saturday night Bastille stepped it up a level as they performed the penultimate date of the UK leg of their ‘Still Avoiding Tomorrow Tour’ at the iconic O2 Academy in Brixton.


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DMA's The hordes of Burberry wearing, lager drinking, hugely partisan crowd are here for one thing and one thing only. Like the Courteeners before them, DMA’s have developed a rabid following despite indifference from the mainstream music media. The fact that they are already selling out O2 Academy’s across the country despite only releasing their first album Hills End in 2016 is a testament to their popularity.


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MGMT Arty Electro Psychedelic Pop in Yorkshire remarkably goes down fairly well on a cold wet Sunday night in December. MGMT’s second coming to the UK in 2018 is full of fake green plants, pomp and an electric feel.


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