Bingley Weekender Going back to work after six weeks off is always pretty challenging but to be whisked off to a festival straight afterwards certainly softens the dull ache of no longer being able to eat Coco Pops in your pants at midday. We arrived at Bingley Weekender cautiously optimistic after organisers had stepped in last minute to arrange the festival in place of the institution that is Bingley Music Live.


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Embrace Everyone has that first big breakup album don't they. On reflection my first breakup wasn't even a breakup, it was just a rejection. The heartache is long gone but my love for The Good Will Out, the debut album from Huddersfield heroes Embrace, stubbornly remains. The opportunity to see that record played in its entirety is an intriguing one...


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DMA's The hordes of Burberry wearing, lager drinking, hugely partisan crowd are here for one thing and one thing only. Like the Courteeners before them, DMA’s have developed a rabid following despite indifference from the mainstream music media. The fact that they are already selling out O2 Academy’s across the country despite only releasing their first album Hills End in 2016 is a testament to their popularity.


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Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott Striding onstage in his trademark parka jacket with drunken bellows of 'HEEEATON' ringing in his ears, it is clear from the off that the former frontman for the Housemartins and the Beautiful South means business.


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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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Bingley Music Live 2018 After climbing an unreasonably large hill to arrive at the Bingley Music Live festival site, I emerged into the beautiful West Yorkshire sunshine just as the Lightning Seeds were closing out their set. Songs such as Life of Riley and Change provide a certain nostalgic satisfaction, but these tracks haven't aged particularly well, and the omission of Three Lions is keenly felt by all in attendance.


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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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Ocean Colour Scene The Leadmill in Sheffield is undoubtedly the city's most iconic venue. A blazing hot weekend in August has seen the Leadmill host a trio of massive outdoor gigs at the Don Valley Bowl, just outside of the city centre. I arrived on the Sunday for the third of these shows with a song in my heart and a few extra pounds round my waist. It has been a summer of indulgence...


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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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