Rationale Arriving (slightly later than originally planned) at Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath tonight is Tinashe Fazakerley, better known as Rationale, for his rescheduled date following cancellation of his (Birmingham and Brighton) October shows due to a chest infection. Tonight’s gig is the penultimate show of the tour, but the band will be out on the road again supporting Rag ’n’ Bone Man on his UK tour within a couple of weeks.


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Julia Jacklin With support from Keto, Julia Jacklin plus band took to the stage to woops and applause in the intimate basement room of The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, the stench of cheesy feet not seeming to perturb band nor audience. Filling the room with her warming, self-assured vocals and indie-alt rock/country sound, with lyrics that explore the intimate intricacies and universal qualities of relationships and life, Jacklin was enchanting.


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James Bay I won’t deny, I was a bit of a sceptic of James Bay before attending his gig at The Leadmill, Sheffield on Thursday night. Sure, I knew his hit ‘Hold Back The River’, but it was hard not to, considering its popularity on the radio, reaching number two in the UK, with over sixty-four million listens on Spotify (a large percentage of which had taken place in my flat, by my infatuated friends).


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Paolo Nutini By all accounts, 2014 has been a hell of a year for Paolo Nutini. After years in relative obscurity following the release of his second album, he burst back onto the music scene with phenomenal third album 'Caustic Love' which has once again sky-rocketed him to superstardom. It's not hard to understand why every seat in the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester is filled; the room humming with anticipation for what such a unique artist will bring to the table this evening.


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Paolo Nutini From Glastonbury to Bridlington - part of the Paolo Nutini tour? No! Just the twice I have seen Mr Nutini over the years and the distinct difference in the places is very certainly reflected in the changes in Paolo’s music and live performance.


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Lianne La Havas Every now and again, you go to a gig and although the act has played well and ticked all the boxes, the night lacked that certain pazzazz. Sometimes however, something special, nay magical happens. A night to savour. Some might call it a 'wow night'. Monday at The Glee Club in Birmingham was one such evening. The omens were good from the start when the main act, Miss Lianne La Havas pottered past and said hello to me. Glorious! Support came from the uber talented Marques Toliver who offered an act seldom seen, belting out glorious vocal on top of looped violin, whilst playing lead violin over the top. Ingenious. In a time when people are trying find a unique twist this was certainly one.


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Marina and the Diamonds I love Marina and her Diamonds (ahem!). She's everything a woman should be... Young, sexy, curves in all the right places, sassy, seemingly intellectual, talented both musically and vocally and generally just awesome! In short - she hot! And any girl that can still look tidy in a Micky Mouse jump suit certainly has that je ne sais qua!


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Florence + The Machine Florence casually sauntered on stage suggesting a relaxing gig, but I was wrong. Wearing in a black lacy dress over knickers and vest, she kicked off her shoes quite quickly and built up more and more energy with each song. Banging on a drum at her side and jumping around on stage, the audience were soon eating out of her hand. Her interaction with the audience created a really good atmosphere in the hall, which was just the right size, not allowing the intimacy she created to be lost and not letting her powerful voice overwhelm the room.


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Rihanna Nothing to do with the performance - that was stunning - but more to the point, the fact that Rihanna didn't come on to the stage till nearly 10pm - almost an hour and a half after Pixie Lott had finished her performance. Now, it didn't really bother me, I had my iPhone to potter about with and there was a LOT of eye candy about, but - and it's a big BUT - the majority of the crowd were young girls, many of whom would be reliant on lifts off beleaguered parents/public transport to get home. I think even superstar Divas have a responsibility to their fans. It could have been a technical fault or she could have been applying another layer of make-up, who knows, but not a word of explanation or apology was uttered from either Rihanna or her management amongst the multitude of boos from the increasingly frustrated crowd as to why it was sooooo late to kick off. Bad form! Rant over!


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