Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival in Birmingham, 10 + 11 + 12 July 2015 Want to know how great this year’s Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival was? Try this for size... Public Enemy rolled up on Friday to headline that night and loved it so much they came back on Saturday to watch Roy Ayers before heading over to the Moseley Dance Centre for the after show. Rumours that they’re recording DO Believe The Hype as the festival’s new official anthem are still unconfirmed but if you see Flavor Flav queuing up in the Kingfisher Fish and Chip Bar anytime soon don’t be surprised.


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The Correspondents Having formed in 2007 it’s taken a whole 7 years for The Correspondents (DJ Chucks and singer/dancer Mr Bruce) to get around to releasing their debut album. But then again Mr Bruce (aka Ian Bruce) also has a career as an artist to keep him busy so we can kind of forgive them. Besides that given the energy that he expends during tonight’s gig I reckon he probably needs to lie down for a month or six every time they play live...


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Table Scraps A moshing butler, a raffle prize that included a Bubba Ho-Tep action figure, a Fray Bentos Pie, drumsticks and...er...’lube’ (answers on a postcard please...) and five bands for £5 with all proceeds go to kicking cancer’s butt (does cancer have a butt...I guess it does...), what’s not to love eh? First off high fives to Thomas Wagstaff (Female Smell) and Nat Jones for organising it all. Happily Wags beat the disease a few years ago and tonight was his way of paying back the Teenage Cancer Trust who clearly gave him oodles of support during his treatment and recovery.


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Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip It’s been nearly seven years since Le Sac and Pip’s first hit, Thou Shalt Always Kill, a deliberately provocative swipe at the mindless hero worship of many a sacred musical cow (everyone from The Beatles through to Lostprophets... hmmm they may have had a point there in retrospect). Okay, perhaps it had a vague whiff of the novelty one hit wonder about it but the pair have since gone on to produce some of the freshest most thought provoking hip hop around, hence the pretty much capacity crowd tonight.


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Untitled Music Project It’s been quite a week for noisy cult Birmingham based bands to reform for a ‘one off’ gig. Last Saturday witnessed the second coming of Distophia during the rather excellent All Years Leaving festival and tonight was the turn of much loved shouty, screamy, punky trio Untitled Musical Project to deafen the nation’s young...and not so young... once more.


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Troumaca Tonight at the Rainbow really is a night for Brummies to be proud - as both bands on the bill hail from the Midlands. First up is Dumb a four piece who despite their tender years, perform an accomplished and tight set. It’s clear despite their age that their sights are focussed on big things. They play a series of guitar based ballads, which are reminiscent of late nineties American based pioneers Nirvana, Pixies and The Smashing Pumpkins. Dumb keep it short and sweet with a six tune set that certainly gets the crowd warmed up with a few indie chicks drawn to rock out at the front, and at their crescendo big up tonight’s head-liners Troumaca… ’enjoy’.


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Moseley Folk Festival 2013 Oh lordy, the OAPs are right you know. The older you get the faster the years fly by. It seems like only yesterday that we were singing along lustily to All Around My Hat (the degree of lustiness being in direct proportion to the quantity of cider consumed) and yet here we are again at another MoFo. I’m not complaining, it’s the bit between festivals that gets my goat... real life I think it’s called. Jolly silly idea.


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Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul 2013 And the award for the most appropriate closing number of a festival goes to...drum roll please...Nile Rodgers and Chic for Good Times at Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival 2013...cue loud applause. Yes, once again this small but perfectly formed musical gem in the festival calendar delivered more ‘good times’ than any sane person could rightfully expect. And here’s how it all went down.


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George Barnett It’s always an odd time between Christmas and New Year. Most of us are still recovering from turkey overdose (quite literally going ‘cold turkey’) and desperately necking those chocolate liquors that always seem to find their way into the house somehow (who buys those things?!), eager to stave off the inevitable return to work and the horror that is... JANUARY. Urgh. Bears have the right idea, hibernate through the whole darn thing and wake up just as the daffs are daffing and the bees a buzzing. That would certainly explain the absence of bears at last night’s gig but a surprisingly decent number of humans managed to rise from the sofa... and ruddy glad they were too I bet.


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Castrovalva Ho ho ho. Whilst Christmas may mean carols, hymns, X Factor nonsense and Cliff singing about ickle baby Jesus to most of the population happily some people are still fighting the good fight, musically speaking at least. So a Santa’s sack full of respect to Distorted Tapes / Rhi Lee for putting together four bands that well and truly stuff most of the musical turkeys around at this time of year. Not Cliff obviously. Cliff is God. No... really... he actually is... a tramp outside Wetherspoons told me.


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Scott Matthews Tonight at the Town Hall in Birmingham, I again witness the poised brilliance of Scott Matthews. Up there on stage with just a simple black back drop, and, to set the scene, smoke lingering in the air around him - like an ethereal spirit rising from a funeral pyre. Matthews gives us a short but sweet first half performance just on his own with an ever-changing array of acoustic guitars all vying for his attention. They are brought from the wings one by one as if waiting to be consumed by Matthews' touch - like groupies awed in silence. He lulls the audience into a trance with songs from his three studio recorded albums, and unexpectedly at the end of a short first set he plays what could be considered his masterpiece "Elusive" (released 2006 on his debut first album "Passing Stranger"). I think I must have been expecting a special announcement or something, as he drops this one on us without warning -and that's a bit of a shock (be it an understated version too). In my mind, and from what I know about the man, Matthews is attempting to move beyond the dizzying heights of his Ivor Novello award winning song. My notion is that he's conflicted here - as he cannot deny the audience his greatest song to date, and yet is attempting to surpass his own genius, which lingers in the air as if caught in amber for eternity.


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Steeleye Span It’s strange how some festivals seem to be blessed with good weather and others...well...seem to be doomed to suffer plagues of frogs. Barring the odd shower every single Moseley Folk has been reliably dry and pleasant. Given the fact that this year’s been the most relentlessly grim since Noah took up boatbuilding you’d have been forgiven for packing a lifejacket or two...but no...MoFo was pretty much a rain free zone again, with...yes...some sunshine. Maybe the good lord’s a folk fan eh? That beard’s a dead giveaway, I hear he’s often at the Prince Of Wales necking the real ale too.


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Japandroids at Summer Sundae 2012 Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we get to go to some fantastic events and festivals. Summer Sundae is just one of those events. Spanning 3-days in August 2012, about when we were blessed by glorious sun and cooling winds, I got the chance to shoot bands from a very varied cross-section of the popular and alternative music scene. Get in!


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Maylight Given the frankly apocalyptic weather conditions (flash floods, lightning, hails stones the size of your head, plagues of locusts... that kind of thing) that struck the Midlands the day before this year’s MoJaFuSo it’s a miracle that the entire site wasn’t washed away into the oceans, only to reappear somewhere on a beach in Trinidad sometime in 2014.


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