Ani DiFranco The first time I saw Difranco was probably 1998. I proceeded to see her at least once every year since, and even 3+ times in my especially obsessive years between 2001 - 2004.  I feel like I know her face better than many friends, her albums have accompanied me around the world, and she has been the soundtrack to some of my more intimate and lasting friendships.


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Tori Amos Birmingham was the 6th date of the European leg of Tori’s ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ tour, coinciding with the UK launch of her album of the same name. Pitched as being a return to ‘pop’ (which I confess had my toes curling), early reviews of this new release had been tentatively positive. Vocally, Tori is now at her strongest, combined with simpler tracks stripped of the experimentations, which turned many fans off over the past 5+ years. My expectations were high.


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Tom Odell I’ve been interested in Tom Odell, long before ‘Can’t Pretend’ was used to advertise the latest series of The Newsroom (at which my heart dropped as no good has ever come from someone whose song has been used in advertising before they’ve even established themselves). ‘Can’t Pretend’ reeled me in the very first time I heard it – not so much through any complexity, but instead through the rhythmic ebb and flow of a song whose melody blended with simplistic lyrics to create a rousing tidal wave crashing down and leaving only an empty flat refrain – an aftermath, acceptance of the unhealthy relationship described therein. A song written by a talented songwriter that left me wanting more. Fast forward through 2013, the release of Long Way Down, a string of nominations and awards, and now I finally had the opportunity to see him live.


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Har Mar Superstar Har Mar Superstar took to the stage – with Lizzo as one of his backing singers. Wearing a white tassled leather jacket with a black hoody underneath (the Hare and Hounds is a bit chilly in the winter!) he gyrated around the stage showing off his more mature well rounded funk sound. Great rapport between Sean and Lizzo during DUI and then it was off with the leather jacket, to reveal a sequinned poncho over a geometric print tee. I love his playfulness with fashion, and seemingly so do a lot of women in the crowd who were cooing over him.


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Har Mar Superstar Har Mar Superstar took to the stage – with Lizzo as one of his backing singers. Wearing a white tassled leather jacket with a black hoody underneath (the Hare and Hounds is a bit chilly in the winter!) he gyrated around the stage showing off his more mature well rounded funk sound. Great rapport between Sean and Lizzo during DUI and then it was off with the leather jacket, to reveal a sequinned poncho over a geometric print tee. I love his playfulness with fashion, and seemingly so do a lot of women in the crowd who were cooing over him.


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Interview with Har Mar Superstar Gig Junkies’ very own Lee and Adrienne had the pleasure of a pre-show natter with Har Mar Superstar (aka Sean Tillmann). Tillmann is currently touring extensively to support his strongest record yet, Bye Bye 17.


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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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Martin Rossiter The mid-90s were mostly overshadowed by the blundering giants of cock-er-nay ‘geezers’ Blur and grunting manc monkeys Oasis – though neither were of much interest to me. Gene were a band who piqued my interest with their intricate melodies, lyrics which spoke of dysfunctional relationships and yearning, and a lack of pretension. Though I was in the minority in believing that last statement, as frontman Rossiter was perpetually pigeonholed by the press as a fop, with aspirations of Morrissey-esque stylings. The latter, whilst no insult, is a lazy comparison fuelled purely by the fact that Gene’s music addressed similar themes, and Rossiter’s vocals are very clearly English. Not, mind you, the hackneyed faux-cockney of Blur, nor the nasal Mancunian drawl of Oasis – but the real sound of an English man singing in his own voice.


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