JP Cooper It wasn’t too long ago that ‘September Song’ dominated the radio airwaves, even before its release the soulful melody and catchy tune warmed the hearts of listeners, easily becoming one of the top tunes of summer. A few months prior Cooper had accompanied Jonas Blue on their number 2 smash ‘Perfect Strangers’, 2016 was the year that highlighted the talented British singer-songwriter JP Cooper into the public.


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Hootie & the Blowfish Leeds fans are treated to a big slice of Southern USA alt rock as Hootie & the Blowfish return to the UK after a 23-year absence, and they bring along Drivin’ & Cryin’ and Patrick Davis for the ride.


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Amber Run Nottingham’s indie rock quintet Amber Run delivered an intimate, emotional set that captured the hearts of all fans, new and old.


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Pale Waves Manchester’s female-fronted goth-pop quartet are back in the Midlands, with a whole new confidence. It’s been a year since Dirty Hit’s Pale Waves released their critically acclaimed debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, and the group are showing no signs of slowing their ever-growing confidence. Playing a large smattering of shows since the album dropped, it sounds like the act have gone from strength to strength, refining their sound at every show. Having seen the foursome only a month ago at a festival, I was already excited for their headline show, but from the minute they swaggered onto the mesmerisingly colourful, laser-clad stage, we were taken on an unanticipated journey of emotions and musical exploration.


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Pixies It was only 2 years ago that Pixies were playing this room last, ending their evening by filling the venue with thick plumes of white smoke and disappearing off into the night. We haven’t seen them since, until now, when they surprisingly emerged from the haze with a critically acclaimed new record and a world tour.


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Common Who’d have guessed it’s been 23 years since Common first appeared in London, supporting De La Soul… The love in the room is electrifying as Chi Town’s finest is appearing tonight on the first of two UK gigs following the release of his latest offering ‘Let Love’, the rapper turned actor’s 12th studio offering has a sell out crowd eagerly waiting at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.


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Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.


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Andy Black Tonight Andy Black brought his ‘The Ghost Of The United Kingdom’ Tour to Birmingham’s O2 Institute which concluded his UK run of dates with support from drag queen artist Adore Delano.


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Men At Work Like many people of my generation, my first experience of Men At Work was Colin Hay, strumming his guitar in the daydreams of JD, in popular 2000s sitcom Scrubs. Overkill was the song in question, and once I’d busted out the dial up connection and spent 45 minutes downloading the track via Napster, I was hooked.


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Taking Back Sunday This is the 20th anniversary tour for Taking Back Sunday being a band and to celebrate the occasion we’re treated to Tell All Your Friends in full, followed up with a storming second half full of big hitters. There couldn’t have been a more perfect TBS set.


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Manic Street Preachers It seems almost a cliche at this point for artists to play older albums in full, relying on nostalgia to bring in the audience for a quick cash grab. However that’s not always the case, some do it for the right reasons, making it a celebration for themselves and the fans. The best example of this at the moment is the Manic Street Preachers, who over the past few years have been playing a slew of excellent 20th anniversary shows of their 90’s albums.


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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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Disturbed The Manchester Apollo was absolutely heaving for the Disturbed show tonight. Not just busy, but absolutely jam packed full of rock fans. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue as full as it was for the first of their two nights in the city to close the Evolution World Tour. It was full right from the get-go too due to the support act tonight being the one and only Skindred, who are, in their own rights a massive draw.


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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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