Inner City Live INNERCITY LIVE BIRMINGHAM comes to town, putting the senses into overload with a night of exceptional live music and extraordinary visuals with The Flaming Lips, plus special guests Public Service Broadcasting, Amber Run and Hoopla Blue.


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The Mekons The Mekons are a musical institution. Starting off as an arty punk band with attitude at Leeds University in the 1970s, they’ve evolved over the years as a politically and socially-aware collective of musicians expanding out of the punk genre into folk, country, dub and all sorts. They decamped to the USA in the 1990s and have, as they say, a large cult following including one Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy). However, tonight we’re privileged to witness one of only a few reunion gigs being performed by the original 1977-9 line-up of drummer Jon Langford, guitarists Kevin Lycett and Tom Greenhalgh and singers Mark White and Andy Corrigan.


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Live from Times Square Inner City music events seem to be de-rigeur for a lot of Britain’s cities and the ‘Toon is not one to be left out of a trend! This particular event was interestingly called “Live from Times Square” and although it was not the New York square made famous by New Year, it was certainly busy busy and eager with anticipation for the bands of the evening…. The Old Pink House, Dream Wife, Public Service Broadcasting, The Cribs and headliners the Manic Street Preachers - that and it was sold out and it was Saturday night in Newcastle which, if you don’t know, is always a damn good party.


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u2 “There are more than 300 languages spoken in this city. Is London not the capital of the World?” These were the words of iconic front man Bono, as Irish rockers U2, performed in London on Saturday night in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their 1987 ground-breaking album, The Joshua Tree. Nostalgia was tangible in the air and Twickenham Stadium was packed with excited fans that likely were at this very album’s promotional tour three decades ago.


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Linkin Park It's a very warm night as a few thousand head towards Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena. Tonight's main (and only) artists have always kinda divided opinion; like Marmite - you love them or hate them. Their latest offering has also added to that confusion with somewhat of a backlash from the critics. The fans are here in droves, so clearly they don't feel that; so welcome tonight to Bennington, Shinoda and the rest of the chaps who make up Linkin Park, this date part of their 'One More Light' World Tour.


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Gogol Bordello Leeds on the 5th of July was thronged with gig-goers, mostly for some band called Blink 182, but the more discerning music fan (sorry Blink fans) headed not to the vast shed of the Arena, rather they were popping along to what was about to become the sweatiest place on the planet to listen to some Ukrainian Gypsy Punks do their stuff. Yes, Gogol Bordello were in town!.


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Radiohead This is one of the most difficult reviews I can recall being asked to do. People fall into two camps, they either love and adore Radiohead, in which case very few words are needed to tell them how great they were last night (they were likely already there), or the other side are those who don’t “get” the band, they fail to see how visionary they are, pushing boundaries, making you think, not giving you what you expect, and for these people, I have no chance at all to convince them of the greatness of Radiohead in the few words I have.


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elbow So tonight's gig takes us to a forest. Quite literally in Cheshire. Delamere Forest to be precise. Few thousand camping chairs, picnics going on - we've set up camp and wait for tonight's headliner; we're building rockets in forests with the delectable and friendly bunch that are elbow.


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Phil Collins On the day which forecast torrential rain the sun beamed brightly over Hyde Park for day one of the annual British Summertime Series, as couples and families laid out their blankets for the stellar line up that was boasted over the three stages.


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Ani Difranco At a seated Birmingham Town Hall, with hardly half of the seats filled, a man with long long dreadlocks took to the stage to introduce the evening. I’ve seen Ani Difranco over 15 times now, and this wasn’t a face I recognized, but in recent years I’ve seen her less and less, so perhaps this is the new norm.


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Cheap Trick With a 40 year back catalogue of American pop rock hits to play, Illinois Cheap Trick thrill a packed Manchester crowd who surrender to a selection of the expected and some obscure, and even some new stuff!


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Rainbow Tonight's main act is not so much the band, but the legendary guitarist who formed said colourful band. Ranking high in every list of the World's Greatest Guitarists; one of the original line-up of Deep Purple, formed this band way back in '75, the concept expanding from a solo to band outfit, with then lead singer Rodney James Dio. After long period of hiatus, Richie Blackmore is now, once again back out on the road with Richie Blackmore's Rainbow.


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Kiefer Sutherland + Sound of the Sirens It's hot. Very hot! The weatherman tells us the hottest night in something like 40 years. So it's a great night to go into the city centre to the mid sized venue in the 02 Academy to be even hotter! But then again we have a Hollywood 'A' lister in town. So who wouldn't give up their evening to spend in the delectable company of Kiefer Sutherland, this time as musician and rock god, on his 'Not Enough Whiskey' Tour.


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Coheed and Cambria This power-house American prog-rock band Coheed and Cambria performed their 2005 smash-album, “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” in its entirety at KOKO, London on an absolutely sweltering Monday night as part of their “The NEVERENDER GAIBSIV” tour. To see a band, play an entire album from start to finish is a unique experience and a first for me. The second night of two London dates was attended by a lot of clearly obsessively dedicated fans which nearly packed out the 1500 capacity venue.


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