The Kooks Fresh into their mammoth ‘comeback’ tour of the UK, The Kooks presented a night of nostalgia, rock ‘n’ roll and explosive energy at their sold out gig at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Saturday night. The pop-rock band made up of Brighton boys Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris, Alexis Nunez, and Peter Denton, are playing 17 gigs to coincide with the release of their current single ‘Be Who You Are’ whilst they ready us for the release of their fifth album, treating us to a taste of what to expect.


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Esprit D'Air Esprit D'Air returned as a trio with the members, Kai, Ellis and Daishi to announce their upcoming new single 'Guiding Light' due to release on 12 April after the successful released of 'Rebirth' in late 2016, their first single in four years.


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Blackberry Smoke Southern Rock is a funny genre, it’s coloured fruit from a hotch potch of original blues, soul and rocknroll and yet mainly played by white blokes with long hair, beards and hats. Name me three Southern Rock bands and I guarantee there is a hat and beard in there somewhere, in fact most people would probably struggle to name three anyway. Lynyrd Skynyrd with Freebird/Sweet Home Alabama would be the populist call, and yet there have been many others more recent to take their trophy. Most notably for me personally are The Black Crowes from Atlanta Georgia, back in the early 90’s they developed a blues rock sound that had more than a nod to the Allmans, Grateful Dead and other jam bands of the 70’s. And it’s back to that same State in the US which has sent 2 current bands out to the world with a similar trade to sell – Blackberry Smoke and Biters might both be from the same city but are clearly different in style and attitude on stage.


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Blossoms As a callow youth I thought I was too cool for support bands. That changed sometime in the ‘90s when I discovered that the band I missed out on supporting Inspiral Carpets was a fledgling Oasis, going under the moniker Rain. Now sometimes it just can’t be helped. I was at a wedding yesterday which meant by the time we got to the O2 we’d already missed Rory Wynne. Cabbage have been on my must see list for some time but despite my promises to myself I always keep missing them. I did manage to catch 5 minutes of them once supporting Blossoms at The Leadmill. This time I was determined to catch the full set. Failed..


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Emeli Sandé Four years ago, this young lady was everywhere. After a couple of hits with others, her debut album went stratospheric. She played at the Opening and Closing of London 2012 Olympics, won a couple of BRITS and also performed for the President of the United States of America. As you do. And now she's back, older, wiser, social justice campaigner, personal life challenges and new album in tow. Before the arenas cometh smaller venues - welcome tonight to the o2 Academy in Brum, Emeli Sandé.


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Circa Waves Kicking off their UK tour, Circa Waves came to the o2 Academy in Sheffield to entertain with their high-energy and fun alternative rock and to perform songs from their latest release ‘Different Creatures’. Support on the tour comes from two promising acts, INHEAVEN and The Magic Gang, each of which brought their own following with them.


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Lower Than Atlantis Lower Than Atlantis finally graced London last Friday as part of their biggest UK Tour with 3 supporting acts, ROAM, Hands Like Houses and Young Guns to warm the crowd up before Lower Than Atlantis made their appearance at O2 Brixton.


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All Time Low Outside the 02 Academy, the crowd barrier were ladened with duvets and blankets abandoned on a cold Spring evening in Birmingham, however inside was a different temperature altogether on this the sell-out school-night. Playing to a jam packed O2 Academy, support acts Watermarks and SWMRS warmed up the crowd for American teen rock favourites All Time Low encouraging the crowd to clap along and stomp their feet.


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Laura Marling I’m used to seeing Marling seated. I say ‘used to’ as I first saw her tour with her debut album ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ in 2008, when you were able to purchase a limited edition kit with album AND gig ticket (and prints, and more!) in one. I’ve seen her at least once on every tour since then, as a committed (and some may say obsessive) fan ever since.


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Bush If, like me, you are a 30-something who grew up in South Africa, you almost certainly owned a copy of Bush’s ’94 album ‘Sixteen Stone’. You were also most likely a teenage girl with a crush on frontman Gavin Rossdale, or a teenage boy who had to lie about owning said album because you could NEVER listen to both Nirvana AND Bush. So, with Bush tracks dominating the soundtrack of my rebellious and tortured youth (my youth was neither rebellious nor tortured, but it makes me sound cooler than I am), it was with much excitement, and slight trepidation, that I made my way to o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Tuesday evening, to see the band return to the stage after a couple of year’s absence from touring, with a headline UK show, and a new album to boot.


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Glass Animals A dense colony inhabited Birmingham’s O2 Institute on Friday night, long-anticipating the indie-tronic hums of Oxford’s alt-rock band, Glass Animals. Headlining their very first Birmingham gig, their colossal fan base (unbeknown to me) penetrated my ear-drums upon the lad’s entrance to the stage.


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The Fallen State I first came across The Fallen State when attending 3 Doors Down concert last November where The Fallen State was one of the opening acts and I become a fan since then. When they announced their tour, I just knew that I must attend and so I did! They owned the stage!


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Lady Leshurr Melesha O’Garro, or as you’ll know her best: ‘Lady Leshurr’ bought down the house at Birmingham’s O2 Institute on Thursday night.


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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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