Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips open their set with fragments of sound and a TV static type lighting effect. The lights pulsate as the beat creeps in, and I find myself being hypnotised by ‘Eclipse’. This is the opening song of their 2018 album ‘V.’, and a gorgeous representation of their ‘garage-styled psychedelia’. The firm bass and drum instrumentals, layered with murmuring vocals from Erik ‘Ripley’ Johnson, are entrancing.


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Garbage Let me begin with a word on the venue. Digbeth Arena is not an arena. That would be too grandiose a term for what is essentially a small space between a railway track and a old viaduct. The enclosed nature of the space acts as a natural amphitheatre that results in possibly the best sound quality I have ever heard at any gig. In short, this is a dream performance space for any artist worth their salt. In Birmingham, we are treated to three bands worth enough salt to keep the second city in fish and chips for a lifetime...


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Moseley Folk Festival 2018 The festival god's blessed the 13th Moseley Folk Festival with glorious sunshine for the whole three days, which is only fair and right seeing as how they damned Moseley’s sister festival, Lunar to a torrents of rain for much of that weekend. And no matter how much rain makes for the "proper" festival experience, being dry, warm to hot (possible for the last time this year), makes for a much more pleasant festival. So karma readdressed and lucky 13 for some and all, Moseley got under way on the afternoon of Friday 31st August.


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RDE and Setting Son Records Presents The August Showcase Welcome to the latest instalment of ‘Stop being lazy – it’s Sunday Funday!’ If the local music scene has taught me anything, it’s that there is always, always something interesting happening on a Sunday night. Get yer gladrags on. Sleep is for wimps. (Cue the sound of me snoring in the distance.)


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Lunar Festival 2018 Seven weeks of continuous hot glorious sunshine, an unrelenting heatwave that England hasn’t seen the like of since 1976. What perfect conditions to send a weekend outside and put all that extraordinary weather to good use at Lunar Festival 2018. Friday 27th July is one such day, swelteringly hot, a few tufts of little fluffy white clouds in a brilliant blue sky and the sun super-heating the festival site and festival goers as they unload various bits of camping equipment for the weekend.


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Nouvelle Vague This tour is being billed as the Acoustic Shows Tour so tonight Nouvelle Vague are a stripped down four piece consisting of acoustic guitar, keyboards, a fine collection of hand-held percussion instruments plus a melodica. It’s fair to say that the boys haven’t gone overboard as regards stage costume; functional workaday jeans and trainers seem to do the job. Whereas Melaine, in a black velvet backless dress and Élodie in a long split skirt with lace top, look chic, classy and like they’re ready to tango in a 1920s Parisian nightclub.


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Nap Eyes There is a short change over time before Nap Eyes take to the stage. I was fortunate enough to catch the Nova Scotian quartet at last year’s Moseley Folk Festival which led me to seek them out on their return to King's Heath. They open up the set with Judgement taken from the latest album, I’m Bad Now, with their usual laid back ease and understated approach to music making.


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Kioko If you’re reading this it’s safe to assume that you love music, and hopefully you hate racism. If that’s the case, check out Love Music, Hate Racism! They were founded in 2002 during a time of increasing prejudice (remember that time the BNP started to gain support? *Shudder*). They’ve been peacefully campaigning for equality across all ethnic groups ever since, using gigs that celebrate love and acceptance.


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Shonen Knife On Sunday night I was pulled back in time, up into space, and transformed into an Osaka Ramone. Didn’t you go? Are you jealous? You should be! All three acts were excellent. They followed one another beautifully, but were diverse enough to give three wildly different experiences.


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Rews It may have been a schoolnight, but that didn’t stop the gig junkies of Birmingham turning out in force for an evening of heavy happiness. This show was sold out in advance, and was Rews’ second sold out show in Brum. Take that as prior warning for next time! Their popularity is unsurprising. It’s difficult to pass up the opportunity of seeing a rising rocket so early in their career, and the incredible talent as support was a bonus!


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Gary Numan You went to see Gary Numan live? Who’s that? Oh yeah, he did the one that goes, “Here in my car, I feel safest of all”. That’s cool. Was that 1979? Is he really still touring? - You bet your bum he’s still touring! Not only that, but he’s still creating new material. I won’t go into detail quite yet, but spoiler alert; his new album is phenomenal.


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Bowling For Soup If you’re a fan of bargains, then you can get two for one on music and stand up comedy if you purchase a ticket to the incredibly funny Texas quartet, Bowling For Soup who brought back their Get Happy Tour to Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Tuesday night.


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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Garage rock icons Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are touring of Europe, the US and Canada in support of their upcoming 'Wrong Creatures' album; and tonight, they've landed in Birmingham for a show at the O2 Academy.


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Moseley Folk Festival 2017 This is the 12th year that the Moseley Folk Festival has commandeered the park hidden away in the centre of Moseley village that gives a full folk three-day experience with a raft of artists including daily headliners Amy Macdonald, the legendary Fairport Convention and Laura Marling.


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