My Mind Makes Noises by Pale Waves There is a misconception amongst casual music listeners that there is such a thing as an ‘overnight success’. In reality, for every award, every hit single and every massive show, there are untold hours of blood, sweat and tears that each artist needs to endure before they can own their success.


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Coup De Grace by Miles Kane Miles Kane inhabits that weird sweet spot in indie guitar music wherein he is pretty much a household name without ever becoming a bona fide pop star. His third album Coup De Grace finds Kane in defiant mood, embracing his heaviest sound yet.


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Better Than That by James James have always been a great singles band. One of the few artists about which you could confidently state that their Greatest Hits defined a decade, songs such as ‘Sit Down’, ‘Laid’ and ‘She’s a Star’ will forever be ingrained on the public consciousness. A brand-new EP then will always come with a certain level of anticipation. And so, to Better Than That…


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Sleepwalkers by Brian Fallon Is Sleepwalkers the album to push me kicking and screaming back into Fallon’s brand of Americana? Maybe... Opening track If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven is vintage Brian Fallon. Catchy, melodic and deceivingly simple, the New Jersey songwriter has clearly lost none of his soul. Indeed, this album is more upbeat generally than pretty much anything Fallon has been involved in since the Gaslight Anthem’s American Slang.


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Reel Big Fish Reel Big Fish are often wrongly dismissed as a novelty or nostalgia act by the uninitiated, but there is so much more to them than that. I last saw the California band at Leeds festival 2004 but since then they have lost the integral multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Scott Klopfenstein to family commitments. This is hardly the Aaron Barrett show though, with long time members Johnny Christmas and Derek Gibbs still sharing centre stage with the irrepressible frontman.


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Slaughter Beach, Dog With some musicians, the phrase ‘side project’ would strike fear into even their most ardent fans. The general consensus being that to step away from their main band is to indulge their most eye rollingly, pretentious whims. Occasionally though, a side project comes along that may just be a match for the band that spawned them. Slaughter Beach, Dog are the brain child of Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald.


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Milburn "This could never have happened 10 years ago because our heads were too big..." smiles Joe Carnall Jnr to his adoring Sheffield crowd. Whether that is true or not is debateable, what is clear however is how much this band mean to this crowd. Sheffield loves Milburn and on a rainy night in South Yorkshire, Milburn loves the steel city right back…


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White Lies The last time I saw White Lies it was a freezing November evening way back in 2009. I started the night by drinking an outrageous amount of vodka and I ended it singing along to the casualty theme tune in my mates front room with my top off... This time around, I arrived at Sheffield Academy half asleep after my wife and I spent all day moving house. While I am obviously delighted with that considerable change in my personal life, it is somewhat comforting to know I can slip back into the world of White Lies and nothing much has changed. Same plain, black t-shirts, same massive choruses and the same important themes.


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The Courteeners The Courteeners. Manchester's sons are often dismissed in the music press, presumably because of some kind of London centric snobbishness aimed at the North of England. The Courteeners and their army of fans care not for such an attitude. One of the reasons the band are so popular is that they know their audience. Whether it be recruiting Milburn to join them in Yorkshire or coming out to the fevered howl of Oasis' 'Morning Glory', they know how to raise excitement to fever pitch.


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