Heaven 17 Two years after their last major tour which saw them revisiting their debut album Penthouse and Pavement Heaven 17 are back on the road showcasing its follow up, The Luxury Gap. Developing the sound they’d pioneered on their first release The Luxury Gap added an even more sophisticated soul sheen to the mix with impressive results. The band’s biggest selling album shifted over 300,000 copies in its first year of release and spawned the ruddy massive hit single Temptation. Of course they famously neglected to play that, or indeed any other of the tracks from the album live back in the day so, as with the Penthouse and Pavement tour, this is one of the first times that most of the audience will have heard them ‘au naturel’.


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Friends Next door (in the big room) the newly reformed Happy Mondays are twisting the melons of hundreds of mums and dads on the old ‘topping up the pension’ circuit. Meanwhile, here in the Academy 2, the night gets off to an equally twisty (but infinitely cooler) start thanks to the sinuous ass shaking of Aluna Francis, one half of new London R&B-tronica duo AlunaGeorge.


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Thomas Dolby There are beards and there are beards. Opening act tonight, Aaron Jonah Lewis has a BEARD. Big, bushy and possibly home to a family of travellers it’s the kind of beard that threatens to take over a room. If the music thing don’t work out this dude’s a shoe in for one of those Father Christmas jobs one day. Ignoring the beard for a moment, as if you could, wow...just wow...our Aaron’s a bundle of banjo and fiddle based loveliness, playing the sort of stuff that no doubt floored the crowds back in the 1900’s. Fast forward 100 years and it’s still a powerful force. There’s something magical about banjo and fiddles, don’t ask me what, perhaps it’s just that joyful hit of sound that makes you want to jig around like you’re auditioning for Riverdance?


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