Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party featuring Nik Kershaw It’s Christmmmmmassssss! (in a Noddy Holder like scream!) And tonight we’re invited to a party with an 80’s festive vibe, Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party to be precise with support from former snood wearer Nik Kershaw.


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The Mission And all we want for Christmas? Well we’ll take a bit of nostalgic Gothness as Revelations rolls into town. Featuring the Fields of the Nephilim and The Mission, this gig was ‘announced’ well over a year ago. In September 2012 The Mish supported The Cult (initially with the intention of Killing Joke in tow) at this very venue (downgraded from the LG Arena) in one of their first full band reformations in a few years. In the middle of the gig Hussey announced he was talking to his mate Carl McCoy (who surprisingly few in the audience recognised) about a December gig. Well it wasn't December 2012 - 2013 it was and here we be…


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Basement Jaxx Although now a heritage dance act dating back to the 1990s, Basement Jaxx have certainly maintained a strong following, as proved by what looks like a sold out gig at the large Academy 1.


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Howard Jones It's thirty years since Howard Jones asked us to “throw off our mental chains”; to challenge our preconceived ideas. How time flies by. And now, in celebration of this milestone Mr. Jones is here to entertain us with a tri-part set as part of a unique three-date series of shows taking place across the UK.


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Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar’s appeals runs to a wide range of people if tonight’s crowd at the O2 Academy is anything to go by. Bespectacled indie kids rub shoulders with hardcore rap fans and every kind of music fan in-between in the prickly June heat, illustrating the crossover success of 2012’s impeccable good kid, m.A.A.d city.


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DUMB "Birmingham independent record label, One Beat Records and the city's best music magazine, Brum Notes combine together to present 4 of the best local breakthrough bands all on one night." So ran the billing for this near capacity-rammed gig and jolly well done because it was an eclectic line-up with a near seamless continuity. (Hell of a well-done job by the sound-man and swop-over crews, by the way.)


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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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King Charles Nope, the Queen hasn’t gone to that great walk about in the sky leaving her eldest in charge (lord help us), this particular King Charles has bugger all to do with the Windsor lot. He looks the part though, far more than any member of our royal family has for...ooooh...the odd century or four. With enough hair to make several thousand merkins and a suitably raffish moustache he cuts a dashing figure, part Pirates of the Caribbean, part Barbara Cartland’s wet dream. King Charles the pop star men want to be and women want to... ahem... be with.


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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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