Joanna Newsom Joanna Newsom on the back of the recently released 4th studio album Divers plays her first UK date for some three years and the setting of the gothic Manchester Albert Hall is fitting on this Halloween evening. The serene building, cool and stark quickly becomes filled with life and colour as the Sold Out show paints its own picture of what will become a very special evening and performance.


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Foxes Since the last time I witnessed English, singer-songwriter Foxes on her first album tour ‘Glorious’ her style seems to have expanded to resonate with a huge demographic, as the fans of Birmingham’s O2 Academy 2 comprised of all ages.


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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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Fightstar

It's Saturday Night and The Ritz in Manchester is heaving. It's uncomfortably warm and a sense of anticipation hums through the air; post-hardcore band Fightstar are the cause. In town to promote their latest album 'Behind The Devil's Back', just released this month, it's clear from the size of the crowd that the band have lost few fans during their 2010 - 2014 hiatus, especially not in Manchester.



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Songhoy Blues Since the launch of their debut album and an appearance on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ earlier this year, Songhoy Blues seem to be taking the UK by storm and most of their current tour gigs are sold-out, including tonight’s show at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.


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Anti-Flag Anti-Flag showed their political activism on their amps with imagery of a child holding a gun, and a drone. These stalwarts of the scene open with Turncoat to a rather lack luster crowd. A few songs in, with the delivery of fan favourite ‘Broken Bones’, and the crowd finally wake-up to it being a punk rock show. You can’t blame the crowd for an apathetic response; bassist Chris Barker offers up continual scissor kicks that feel contrived whilst the rest of the band just feel like they are going through the motions, all be it professionally delivered motions.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Back in June, Frank Carter brought his bunch of Rattlesnakes to the Rainbow for what was only their seventh gig together… Four months later the Rainbow is literally bursting at the seems for their sold out return - but before the main course we had a couple of entrees.


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Kwabs As we arrived at Anson Rooms on at briskly cold Autumn evening, my guest and I, already sold on Kwabs’ music mellow voice soul phenomenon, that has been slowly building a tidal wave of followers via social media (mainly Youtube) with his incredibly melodic sound. With Kwabs’ channel having 240k viewers and each video averaging more than that in views, it was easy to see why this intimate venue had easily met its capacity.


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The Bohicas The Bohicas are rock’s latest offering, consisting of lead singer Dominic McGuinness, Dominic John on guitar, bassist Ady Acolatse and Brendan Heaney on drums. Hot on the heels of the release of their debut album, ‘The Making Of’, The Bohicas are playing at The Dome, Tufnell Park tonight for the last U.K. stop of their headline tour. Building on success after success, from having supported acts such as Franz Ferdinand and Royal Blood in the past, to being nominated at this year’s Q Awards for Best New Act, there’s a buzz surrounding The Bohicas and it's sounding pretty sweet.


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Kid Ink It was a cold wet evening at the O2 Academy in Birmingham however the presence of American starlet Pia Mia taking to the stage certainly warmed up the young crowd as they waited for Kid Ink to arrive. Fresh from her hit "Do It Again" with Chris Brown, she wowed the crowd with her identically dressed dancers performing both her songs and a couple of covers, a broken down version of Fetty Wap's hit "Trap Queen" had the crowd singing along and showed Pia Mia's voice to be why she had become one of the ever increasing discovered on YouTube starlets.


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Darwin Deez Darwin Deez took to the stage at the Leadmill, Sheffield, in the smaller, intimate side room, packed with people and fairy lights, each member with a disposition so cheery it seemed to bounce off the walls. With support from trio Peluché, Darwin’s quirky indie-pop band performed an upbeat, charming set, intermittent with the usual synchronised dance routines, with obvious 80s influences.


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Editors So for a modern day twist on indie on an autumnal night at the 02 Academy Birmingham. These chaps, local lads (well hailing from Stafford) are back with their new outing after platinum selling albums and Mercury Music and Brit Award nominations for their past works. Welcome people of Birmingham - come and spend the night in the company of the Editors.


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A$AP Rocky + Wiz Khalifa Here I was at a Wiz Khalifa + A$AP Rocky concert on a cold October evening at the newly rebranded Genting Arena, The venue is a 14,000 capacity venue but unfortunately only 3,000 was in attendance but you would not be able to tell by the energy in the room.


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Miguel As druid figures stood on the stage strumming a funky beat to the eagerly awaiting crowd, as if to summons up a God. The crowd exploded as their martyr appeared, looking angelic with a white fringed cowboy jacket, white jeans and Cuban heels Miguel gyrated his way with his top bearing toned flesh into “The Thrill“. Having earlier this year performed with Minneapolis legend Prince in the Baltimore Rally for Peace, it was clear to say looking at the 29 year old Californian, you could see how his influence had rubbed onto him, resembling a Love sexy era purple one with his raunchy dancing and racier lyrics, he knew how to work the crowd as the majority of female admirers gazed longingly at him and those who were accompanied by their partners, were left pleasantly surprised at what the singer delivered.


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