Lily Allen “Lily, Lily, Lily F***ing Allen” was the chant which went up a little after 9 to the obvious rapture of the excitable crowd. Donning a beautiful sparkly green dress and sporting flowing golden locks, the singer reciprocated the excitement, with opener from her latest long play offering ‘Come on Then’. It was gonna be a party.


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The War On Drugs The War On Drugs’ latest album, ‘A Deeper Understanding’, was released in the summer of 2017. Since then, we’ve welcomed the band to London on three occasions: first at Ally Pally last November, then a mammoth show with The National for All Points East this summer, and now at the o2 Arena.


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Bury Tomorrow It’s a freezing cold night out in Birmingham but outside the O2 Institute there’s a crowd drawing to see Bury Tomorrow and I personally couldn’t think of a better way to end my gigging year, as these boys always bring the fire. 

The Lights go down and a purple haze of light is cast across the stage as the lads take their places creating a series of silhouettes but within moments chaos erupts with a frenzy of lights resulting in the crowd going mental from the get go, fuelling the band’s energies to go higher and this was just the first track of their set.


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August Burns Red August Burns Red took to the stage with massive cheers from their loyal UK fanbase who turned out.


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Mabel The past 18 months can only be described as a whirlwind for songstress Mabel. Her phenomenal rise through the UK charts has seen her perform on some of the hottest dance tracks over the past two years winning fans all over the globe, as well as supporting Harry Styles on his tour.


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Ocean Colour Scene A rainy Wednesday night saw the Ocean Colour Scene and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas provide Christmas cheer on their tour which is covering all points of the UK. A few people had wondered why a Motown legend was on the same bill as a band that were in the vanguard of the Britpop era of the late 90’s. But I have to say that it was a glorious clash of musical styles that worked a treat, and was well received by the large crowd in Leeds.


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All Saints Fans heading to the iconic Birmingham Institute certainly knew where the hottest tickets in town were at as All Saint’s Testament Tour rolled into the second city.


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Blossoms Over the last few years Blossoms have emerged from Stockport and headlined some of the biggest events in the music calendar. I've interviewed Blossoms in the past, but I've never managed to catch them live, and let me tell you - the five piece exceeded my expectations in Glasgow as part of their mammoth UK tour this week.


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The Alarm Equals is the first studio album from The Alarm for eight years, of course in-between medical diagnoses and treatments, Mike Peters has toured as a solo performer, and personally for me, those shows are his most personal. To be stood within touching distance of the man is quite something, but tonight was an equal (forgive the pun) to those shows.


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Kioko The Midlands has a rich and prominent history revolving around reggae and ska, and tonight at the o2 institute, Birmingham’s very own Kioko are out to prove that their deadly roots have inspired an auspicious legacy.


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The Japanese House Whilst most of Birmingham were either crammed into the German Market, or upstairs downing Red Stripe for Peace’s homecoming gig, deep down below, in the underbelly of the O2 Institute 2, a future star was emerging in the form of The Japanese House.


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Peace Birmingham welcomes indie rock quartet Peace back for their small, yet mighty ‘world tour’ in their hometown with open arms. Ready for an eclectic mix of nostalgia and a modicum of their latest guitar-driven anthems.


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Starsailor It’s a staggering 15 years since Starsailor’s second album ‘Silence Is Easy’ was released and to celebrate the band are out playing three anniversary gigs. Manchester is sandwiched between Glasgow and London. Those who own the album (and if you don’t then you really should) will know the part strings play throughout and so it is that the band are enhanced by a six piece string section for the three gigs.


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Courtney Barnett It was a bitterly cold Monday night in an empty Birmingham city centre. A symptom perhaps of the Black Friday shopping frenzy which it seems that we have ‘culturally appropriated’ from our friends across the pond which was happening later the same week? Not surprisingly the O2 Academy reflected this being half full for the visit of one Miss Courtney Barnett; the lady with the coolest middle name in rock.


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