Richard Hawley One of Sheffield’s most beloved sons. A South Yorkshire troubadour that still has the fire and skill to make you laugh and cry in the space of a couple of verses and a chorus. Richard Hawley takes to the stage to the haunting tones of Al Bowlly’s The Very Thought of You and from there the Sheffield audience, his audience, are enraptured and enchanted by a set that never strays too far from the spellbinding.


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The Rasmus "You’re going to see The Rasmus? THE Rasmus?" is the main question I received when I informed people if my Tuesday night plans. The Finnish rock band have been on the scene since ’94 and still manage to draw in a crowd worldwide in 2019. Arguably the groups most popular album, Dead Letters, was the focus of this tour with the band playing the album in full and then finishing with a selection of songs from their other records.


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Hootie & the Blowfish Leeds fans are treated to a big slice of Southern USA alt rock as Hootie & the Blowfish return to the UK after a 23-year absence, and they bring along Drivin’ & Cryin’ and Patrick Davis for the ride.


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Sebadoh I’ve been a Sebadoh fan for years and love their brand of lo-fi indie rock. It’s really pleasing to see them now getting the recognition they deserve, with a recent radio-session for Marc Riley on Radio 6 and tonight playing to a sold-out Brudenell Social Club. Sebadoh’s best known member is Lou Barlow who has had an on-off parallel career as bass player in Dinosaur Jr.


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Common Who’d have guessed it’s been 23 years since Common first appeared in London, supporting De La Soul… The love in the room is electrifying as Chi Town’s finest is appearing tonight on the first of two UK gigs following the release of his latest offering ‘Let Love’, the rapper turned actor’s 12th studio offering has a sell out crowd eagerly waiting at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.


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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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Sharon Van Etten Sharon Van Etten’s (SVE) four piece band (drums; bass; two keyboards) take the stage and a stark drum beat sets the scene for a minute or three. The cool promise of ecstasy fills the air before Sharon appears with just microphone in hand and belts out the line: ‘our love’s for real’. Everything about her is unrecognisable from when I last saw her seven years ago at the Queen’s Club in Sheffield. She’s embraced the classic rocker look - think Chrissie Hynde - shorn black hair; tattoos, red lippy and leather pants but what is remarkable is the confidence, swagger and sheer energy that she brings to the performance. Her moves are positively Jagger-esque (‘touching your face’) and tightly choreographed as she poses for the cameras and commands eye contact. The sound is bigger, darker, keyboard heavy and mostly guitar free.


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Skunk Anansie The atmosphere in the Manchester Academy was electric as the crowd waited for returning heroes Skunk Anansie to play a career spanning mega set.


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Prophets of Rage It says a lot that even a tyre blowing out on the motorway and 2 hours waiting to be rescued at 1am in the morning and getting just 3 hours sleep before setting off to work couldn’t kill the feeling that I had just seen, for me, the gig of the year... Prophets of Rage at Manchester Academy.


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Johnny Marr I'm back at the Royal Festival Hall for part two of my Meltdown residency and as if Johnny Marr wasn't enough, the criminally overlooked Mystery Jets are here to offer support.


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Anna Calvi Anna Calvi is an artist who seemed to emerge fully-formed with her acclaimed debut album in 2011. Winning early endorsement from luminaries like Brian Eno and Bill Ryder-Jones, she played support gigs for the likes of Nick Cave and The Arctic Monkeys before she had even released an album. The debit album spectacularly demonstrated her abilities as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, as well as demonstrating a trend-setting grasp of style and presentation in the vein of early Roxy Music. Her third album, ‘Hunter’, was released in 2018.


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Boat To Row The Castle and Falcon is undergoing something of a renaissance within the Birmingham music scene. Its industrial brick walled cavern of a gig room has played host to artists such as Cloud Nothings, Boy Azooga, Deap Vally and Yak, in the past year alone. The thought of heading down for my latest fix of music in one of Birmingham’s more intriguing venues really pulls me through an arduous day of work. Boat To Row will headline proceedings, with the undercard being Katherine Priddy and Faux Palms. I must say, I've not seen any of them live before but let’s see what I’m in for.


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The Cat Empire It's a lovely sunny day - leaving the beach - feeling in the mood for a bit of those Cat Empire vibes. Tonight they are playing at The Lemon Grove in Exeter, I'm looking forward to this gig for a couple of reasons, The first one being that The Cat Empire have a great reputation for their live shows and the second one being that the Lemon Grove is a tiny venue by TCE standards, so I was looking forward to seeing them in a smaller, more intimate room.


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Doves After a 9 year hiatus that came at a time when the Manchester band had just achieved a seldom seen kid breakthrough of their own with Kingdom Of Rust, Jimi, Jez and Andy, aka Doves are back. Their show at Somerset House proved that the band have picked up exactly where they left off, and reminded us why they are one of the greatest British bands of modern times.


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