Luke Sital-Singh “Has everyone got the Monday night blues?” beams Luke Sital-Singh as he greets his audience, “Because you’ve come to the right place.” Tonight, the Bristol-based folk singer-songwriter celebrates a homecoming gig in the semi-intimate space of Rough Trade, where a large local crowd of devotees wait with bated breath. His words certainly set the tone as the whole night unfurls with a showcase of solemn, lovelorn music.


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Miles Kane One part Bowie, one part Bolan, one part Lennon, one part Holden, Miles Kane embodies all that is great about British rock ’n’ roll. It’s true the guy is as cool as they come!


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Madness And so to Madness... I say and so to Madness as I managed to miss The Fratellis and so I will, dear reader, have to leave it at that. I was however in good time for the headliner and so managed something I have never achieved before, namely to see the Nutty Boys in all their glory! And what glory, but more of that later perhaps.


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Ocean Colour Scene A rainy Wednesday night saw the Ocean Colour Scene and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas provide Christmas cheer on their tour which is covering all points of the UK. A few people had wondered why a Motown legend was on the same bill as a band that were in the vanguard of the Britpop era of the late 90’s. But I have to say that it was a glorious clash of musical styles that worked a treat, and was well received by the large crowd in Leeds.


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The Magpie Salute The Magpie Salute bring some Americana, Earthy Blues and Southern Rock to Manchester. Showcasing new songs from album ‘High Water I’, they were so much more than former members of The Black Crowes.


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The Alarm Equals is the first studio album from The Alarm for eight years, of course in-between medical diagnoses and treatments, Mike Peters has toured as a solo performer, and personally for me, those shows are his most personal. To be stood within touching distance of the man is quite something, but tonight was an equal (forgive the pun) to those shows.


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The Good, the Bad & the Queen A historic Victorian pier in Blackpool is not somewhere you would normally expect a high profile gig to take place. Trust the Damon Albarn fronted supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen to make the exception.


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Heaven 17 Heaven 17 never toured when The Luxury Gap album first came out even with it being their most successful album. It contains masterpieces such as Come Live With Me, Let Me Go, We Live So Fast and of course their most well-known track, Temptation. To hear it played live is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This is a phenomenal show and Glenn and Martyn know how to throw a party. The London leg of the tour was hosted at Shepherd’s Bush Empire – a favourite venue of the band. The tour is currently over halfway through and yet on this cold November night, London came out in droves, queuing up to see these 80’s legends. The audience were rewarded by Heaven 17 telling them that they were the best audience – apparently even better than Liverpool. The audience lapped it up.


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Paul Smith A beautiful lil’ gathering took place at Birmingham’s Mama Roux’s on Tuesday as Paul Smith took to the stage for a super-intimate showcase of his solo material.


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You Me At Six Tonight at the O2 Academy Birmingham You Me At Six bring their headline tour to the venue for a sold out show. As well as the headline dates they have been performing special anniversary shows to celebrate the 10 year release of their debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ where they will play it in its entirety.


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Starsailor It’s a staggering 15 years since Starsailor’s second album ‘Silence Is Easy’ was released and to celebrate the band are out playing three anniversary gigs. Manchester is sandwiched between Glasgow and London. Those who own the album (and if you don’t then you really should) will know the part strings play throughout and so it is that the band are enhanced by a six piece string section for the three gigs.


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Sunflower Bean Self-assured visionary American girls in rock music, there’s an endless supply of them at The Wardrobe in Leeds on a Tuesday night. Jesse Jo Stark, Miya Folick and the incomparable Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean all hugely impress on only the 2nd date of this UK tour.


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Courtney Barnett It was a bitterly cold Monday night in an empty Birmingham city centre. A symptom perhaps of the Black Friday shopping frenzy which it seems that we have ‘culturally appropriated’ from our friends across the pond which was happening later the same week? Not surprisingly the O2 Academy reflected this being half full for the visit of one Miss Courtney Barnett; the lady with the coolest middle name in rock.


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Hinds They say that the third time is a charm, this point was proven as Hinds returned to Birmingham. With Sports Team as the high quality support, it was set to be another fun night at one of Birmingham’s newest venues The Mill.


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