BlackBerry Smoke Their t-shirts say ‘Too Country for Rock, Too Rock for Country' which may be true about Blackberry Smoke on record and may be the reason I have never properly given them an opportunity further than listening to an odd track now and then. Live though they are much closer to one of my favourite ever bands, fellow Atlantians the Black Crowes.


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Rudimental Having seen Rudimental at Parklife Festival a few years back I knew that tonight’s show was going to be a lot of fun. I was expecting high energy, bouncy fun, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.


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Halestorm About 8 years ago I was completely blown away by a voice that captured everyone inside an arena within 30 seconds - completely acapella. It gave everybody goose bumps and stopped them in their tracks - and the performer wasn’t even on stage yet. It was an offstage intro from Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and it had everyone mesmerised from the get go. 8 years and 4 albums later and they have lost none of that ability to instantly capture a room full of people. If anything, that ability is even stronger now with a catalogue of incredible tracks to choose from.


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Lenny Kravitz It's not everyday a legend like Lenny Kravitz appears at Manchester's Apollo. After four years away from the UK the intimacy is electric as he stopped at the venue a quarter of the size of the gigs he has sold out over Europe earlier.


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Stone Sour Having already played a couple of festivals around Europe this summer Stone Sour are now ready to hit the UK with a few dates, first up is tonights gig at the Manchester Apollo. Arriving at the venue there is a buzz around and fans are here in their numbers with the que reaching far into the distance.


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HAIM As the crowd entered Manchester Apollo it was American singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers who kept them entertained before HAIM stormed the stage.


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Evanescence Six years after their last UK tour, Evanescence have returned with their newly released album Synthesis which features a combination of brand new material and some of their older classics (with a twist). Tonight the Manchester Apollo is buzzing with an unexpected and different vibe to your average 'rock' concert. The audience has matured somewhat, gone are the days of baggy jeans and chains, thrashing about a sweaty mosh pit, as tonight, people have traded that in for formal attire, ready for this seated only show.


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Steel Panther Queues snaked around the Manchester Apollo of both young and old ready for the treats that behold inside. A flurry of Lycra, leather and big hair it was pretty obvious which Californian Glam rock 4 piece they were ready to be 'Community Property' for... Welcome Steel Panther!


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Marilyn Manson The black curtain is raised in the O2 Apollo in readiness for the unveiling of Marilyn Manson. The crowd is chanting in anticipation as 'This is the End' by the Doors echoes out into the arena.


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Weezer Tonight is a real treat for the fans here in Manchester, seeing Weezer play live in the UK is a rare sight (something lead singer Rivers Cuomo apologises for during the show) so there is a lot of expectation in the crowd. Would they deliver?


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Bonobo With crowd-pleasing support from Jens Kuross and Daktyl, and a sold-out tour of the newest album Migration, there’s no denying that Bonobo have returned with a bang. Performing to a packed-out O2 Apollo crowd in Manchester, Simon Green (Bonobo), was shrouded in darkness for much of the show, with focal lighting on the stunning vocalist Szjerdene Mulcare and the almost-orchestral 12-piece band consisting of strings, brass, guitar, drums and keys.


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Panic! At The Disco It feels odd referring to Panic! At The Disco as a “band” when in fact, technically it is now the solo project of front man Brendon Urie after original members parted ways a couple of years back. Not that you would know this from the music as Urie has stayed true to Panic’s happy but emo but edgy but a little bit racey style with new album Death Of A Bachelor.


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Radio X Road Trip - Manchester

When XFM first started broadcasting it was a breath of fresh air for indie fans in the UK.  The antithesis to existing radio stations, it managed to bridge the divide between playing classic indie and alternative tracks and introducing and championing new bands. It was with some surprise that it was replaced earlier this year by ‘Radio X’, a similar offering but with new presenters like Chris Moyles and Johnny Vaughan brought in to revamp the offering and to recharge its appeal. Has it captured any new fans? Is it helping to rejuvenate the English indie scene? Time will tell, but there seems to be an initial commitment to bringing indie fans closer to their favourite acts through a series of pre-Christmas road trip gigs across the country.



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Catfish and the Bottlemen Catfish and the Bottlemen played a brilliantly energetic performance to a sold-out O2 Apollo Manchester on Tuesday 3rd November, with another proceeding it the following night-so high in demand is their indie-rock sound; predictable considering their debut album 'The Balcony' reached number ten in the UK official chart.


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