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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Good Charlotte Acting as a pit stop between their headline slot on the Lock Up Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, Good Charlotte graced the good people of Birmingham with their angst riddled, pop punk tunes on a rather fittingly rainy, emo Saturday.


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John Grant Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we go to some fantastic events and festivals. John Grant is just one of those events. Since our review of the intimate Royal Shakespeare Company gig back in 22 June 2014, John has released his glorious "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" album back in October 2015. Interestingly he touched upon the reason for the title explaining that "Grey Tickles" is a translation from Icelandic to describe entering middle-age, which is a lovely way to see it, far more cheeky and certainly in John's style. "Black Pressure" was also mentioned as being Turkish for "nightmare", which was quite the opposite from tonight, as it was a dream.


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The Cult “Don't put your hands up to me man… I can see you, putting up your fists, it's violent, we need a cool vibe here… none of that Peaky Blinders s**t” lead Singer Ian Astbury boomed over the microphone to an overzealous member of the crowd. “We're all adults, we need to show love, if it kicks off by you we need to intervene and look after each other”. The sweaty crowd had started to get leery in the crowded conditions within the Birmingham O2 Institute and cheered after The Cult leader reached out to his disciples to make it a peaceful night.


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Mayday Parade Opening with ‘One of Them Will Destroy the Other’ off their last album ‘Black Lines’, you can’t help but liken the logo to a vertical Black Flag logo. The energy levels are ramped up as lead singer Derek Sanders bounces around the stage with abundant enthusiasm.


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Maxïmo Park

Maxïmo Park celebrate their 10-year existence with a sold-out performance within the faux Grecian décor of Birmingham’s O2 Institute. Support comes from Stealing Sheep, who appear on stage through smoke and UFO-like lighting, clad in black & neon capes and matching sunglasses, to sounds reminiscent of the X-Files theme tune.



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Nothing More

Up next was the band that everyone was waiting for, the four-piece from San Antonio, TX Nothing More. As Jonny, Daniel and Mark took to the stage the place erupted.



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Lianne La Havas The stunning Lianne La Havas made her way to the stage donning a beautiful full length dress and trademark scooped up hair-do. Always elegant, always beautiful, tonight was much the same. The only difference tonight was her opening guitar of choice, as she was wielding a bass guitar – something I’d not seen her do before. Not that it mattered a jot, seemingly at home plucking 4 slightly thicker strings than the 6 of her more traditional guitar.


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Richard Hawley Richard Hawley takes to the stage and gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to the welcoming audience before playing the first of the evening's songs, Which Way, that is taken from his recent album, Hollow Meadows. From the outset, it is evident that this is going to be a special gig as the sound flowing through the venue has a richness rarely heard. Hawley draws the song to a close by using the head of his guitar to conduct the other four members of the band to ensure a clean finish before the reason for his cheerful mood is divulged. It turns out that Hawley's beloved Sheffield Wednesday are beating Arsenal 3 - 0 and his son is currently watching the match so he dedicates an older track, Tonight The Streets Are Ours, to him.


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Circa Waves Last time Gig Junkies caught up with modern day Mersey Beaters Circa Waves it was down on the glorious Cornwall Coast basking in the sun at Boardmasters Festival. Their upbeat indie pop sound coming across perfectly in the summer sun to the backdrop of the Ocean waves. I was therefore interested to see how their upbeat act transcended on a dark chilly Friday night at Birmingham’s Institute.


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