Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds For me, this is the gig of the year. At last I get to photograph and review one of my all time favourite bands, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. And what an evening it turns out to be.


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Warpaint Unusually, it's a totally female cast at the Manchester Apollo tonight, headlined by acclaimed Californian band Warpaint, playing some rare UK dates.


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The Boomtown Rats The Boomtown Rats formed in 1975 in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, before moving to England in 1976 searching for a record deal, rejecting Richard Branson’s Virgin in favour of a new label “Ensign”. 1977 saw their first gigs and single and album releases. Their debut “Looking after no 1” reached no.11 in the charts, with their debut album, the eponymous “The Boomtown Rats” reaching no.18 in the UK album charts.


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Alison Moyet I mentioned to someone the other day I was reviewing a singer who started off in a band called Yazoo. They thought I meant Yazz (as in ‘The Only Way Is Up’) #fail. So to explain to this person, read on because tonight, in the delectable Symphony Hall, we here to be entertained by the iconic and beautiful bluesy dulcet tones of Alison Moyet.


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Travis On a wet and windy night in Brum we feel that we really should be chilling out in meadows in a festival field on a summer’s day, as the uplifting and charismatic Travis make a return. Instead we hum the lyrics to one of their biggest hits as we make our windswept way to the O2 Academy - why indeed does it always rain on me?


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The Apples Tonight sees the return of The Apples, an eight piece jazz funk outfit from Israel. They are neatly paired with supporting act Byron Street Social to deliver an adventurous musical voyage far removed from Holmfirth’s unvaried diet of tribute and reformed bands (Big Country were on the previous night). So tonight’s the night for another music in a different kitchen.


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Arctic Monkeys It started quietly, overnight. One YouTube upload, one tweet, one Facebook post. The Arctic Monkeys unleashed ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ and took over 2013. It continued on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Drum beats and the opening of a guitar riff silencing the critical anticipation and hype. The deal was sealed with the unveiling of ‘AM’; Arctic Monkeys were back and ready to be bigger than ever.


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Daughter ‘Landfill’ was one of the show highlights for me, taken from their self-released EP “His Young Heart”. By this point, the sound was sorted, and Elena’s plaintive ennui rang out clear over the heads of the entranced audience. Lyrics such as, “this is dangerous, ‘cause I want you so much, but I hate your guts”, commandeers my attention back from staring out across the crowd, and snares the mournful teenager in me.


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PINS You wait ages for three female fronted (in the case of two of tonight’s bill 100% female line ups too) bands and then three come along at once. Okay, I know there are other testicle free groups out there (and there always has been) but given the fact that ladies make up roughly 50% of the population it’s a never ending source of puzzlement that you see relatively few women only or women dominated bands. Why? Beats me. Answers on a XX chromosome please.


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Goo Goo Dolls Some bands seem to have been around forever. They've been good enough to never really leave the public consciousness but they haven't been setting the world alight for years on end either. They've made their mark, had some classic hits and got on with doing their own thing. They've grown up with their fans and managed to retain them and acquire a group of new ones along the way. It's fair to say American rock band Goo Goo Dolls fall into this category. Formed in 1985, they have stood the test of time and aren't ready to give up or go anywhere yet. They rocked up in Manchester on Wednesday evening to promote their latest record and we were there to check it out.


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Sebadoh Tonight is a very special night indeed, as I get to see one of my all-time favourite bands, Sebadoh, back on tour with their first new album (‘Defend Yourself’) for 14 years. And they’re only doing two gigs in the UK, so this is a quite an occasion.


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Tony Hadley Tonight in the exquisite Symphony Hall we are here for a ‘different’ and rare concert performance by one of the New Romantic stars of the 80s accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Anne Dudley (former core member of The Art of Noise, composer and pop musician). In his very suave crooning style, in one of only three concerts across the UK, tonight ladies and gentlemen Tony Hadley will be performing the hits of Spandau Ballet.


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Impericon Never Say Die! Tour Impericon Never Say Die! Tour landed in the UK, kick-starting in Birmingham! Brutal metal band Emmure headlined, with co-headliners, just as brutal metalcore band, Miss May I. Alongside them were performances from Hand of Mercy, Northlane, Hundredth, Betraying the Martyrs, I Killed the Prom Queen and Carnifex. O2 packed out full extreme bruising metal heads for a night of rampage and headaches and they weren’t disappointed. Exploding performances and heart pounding drops shook the floor! Was a night not to be missed.


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Ellie Goulding A Halcyon, for those that are unaware, is a kingfisher which is said to be a peaceful and happy creature. However, Ellie Goulding’s Halcyon tour was anything but peaceful. Her fusion of electro-pop had the sold out gig bouncing off the walls and even Ellie herself brought her cheesy dance moves to the party.


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