Friendly Fires A lot has changed in the 8 years since Friendly Fires last played Birmingham. When the band announced they were returning with new album 'Inflorescent', they owed the second city a long overdue visit.


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Benny Sings Back in April I was lucky enough to catch Benny Sings at his sold-out show at the Moth Club. It was a fantastic, sprit lifting gig, and from them on I couldn’t get enough of his music. So when I saw the announcement of a return gig at The Garage, I knew it would be the place to be on Halloween Eve.


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Gary Numan Marking his 40th anniversary, Gary Numan shows no sign of slowing down, putting his feet up or anything else you’d expect for someone who’s been in the business for so long. In fact, as he ages, he becomes more prolific, more influential.


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Angie Stone For the past couple of weeks I’d had friends call me, asking what I wanted to do for my birthday, I told them, Angie Stone is in town, seriously it is not going to be the gig to miss this year. It’s not everyday such a powerful and inspirational singer comes to play in your backyard on a Thursday night in mid October, and for once London weren’t the only ones having all the fun.


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Ty Segall As London is drenched by the weekend's rain, something special was taking place at The Oval Space. Ty Segall had been beamed in for a three night residency playing three different albums in full. The second night was all about his 2011 album 'Goodbye Bread', was an unmissable night for any fan of the psych rock wizard.


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Pale Waves Manchester’s female-fronted goth-pop quartet are back in the Midlands, with a whole new confidence. It’s been a year since Dirty Hit’s Pale Waves released their critically acclaimed debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, and the group are showing no signs of slowing their ever-growing confidence. Playing a large smattering of shows since the album dropped, it sounds like the act have gone from strength to strength, refining their sound at every show. Having seen the foursome only a month ago at a festival, I was already excited for their headline show, but from the minute they swaggered onto the mesmerisingly colourful, laser-clad stage, we were taken on an unanticipated journey of emotions and musical exploration.


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Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.


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Mac DeMarco It’s the first hot day of summer, and Margate is packed. The beachfront is full of bikini-clad sunbathers, Kentish families slurping melted 99s and locals strolling with panting dogs.


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Manic Street Preachers It seems almost a cliche at this point for artists to play older albums in full, relying on nostalgia to bring in the audience for a quick cash grab. However that’s not always the case, some do it for the right reasons, making it a celebration for themselves and the fans. The best example of this at the moment is the Manic Street Preachers, who over the past few years have been playing a slew of excellent 20th anniversary shows of their 90’s albums.


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HOMESHAKE It’s been six years since Peter Sagar aka HOMESHAKE released his first cassette to the world. His reputation as a master of the chill wave sound has continued to grow with each of the four albums released since then. Returning to the Hare & Hounds for the second time, I was intrigued to see how his new album ‘Helium’ would translate to the live setting.


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Mini Mansions Swaggering through their suave suits, Mini Mansions balance their smooth coolness with pure energy at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds.


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JAWS Having released four sonically diverse singles and ahead of their highly anticipated fourth album and return, JAWS announced a quartet of live dates around the UK. Calling at Glasgow, Manchester, London and finally their hometown of Birmingham, the shows were curiously large for the band and after following their meteoric rise as a completely unsigned band, I was intrigued to see how they matched up to these larger venues at their Birmingham date.


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The Blinders It’s not often that Birmingham gets the opening night of the tour, so when it does happen it’s an unmissable occasion. thankfully Doncaster’s finest The Blinders chose Birmingham for the kick off of their 2019 UK and Europe dates. Just like Birmingham’s own Peaky Blinders this gang are not to be messed with, they have already proved themselves a formidable live band with the tunes to back them up. Now it was time for them to be unleashed onto Digbeth.


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Benny Sings The Moth Club’s iconic shimmering gold background was the perfect setting for Benny Sings' pop music. 'City Pop' finally seems to be the album that’s getting him the recognition he rightfully deserves after over 15 years on the scene. With a King Midas like songwriting ability, the sold out crowd were about to worship their new golden god.


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