Mumford & Sons Nobody likes watching gigs at arenas. You can’t see the band, the tickets are expensive, the queues are huge and more often than not you spend your evening involuntarily staring at a giant screen instead of the stage. Tour after tour tries it’s best to combat the growing list of complaints and tonight in Birmingham, Mumford & Sons are giving it their best efforts.


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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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The Japanese House Whilst most of Birmingham were either crammed into the German Market, or upstairs downing Red Stripe for Peace’s homecoming gig, deep down below, in the underbelly of the O2 Institute 2, a future star was emerging in the form of The Japanese House.


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Bring Me The Horizon After a long intense wait Bring Me The Horizon finally entered the stage and as they did the crowd ended up covered in confetti along with the ceiling rig which ended up looking like someone had TP’d the place.


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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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Listener First of all I need to get this out I love Listener. I mean properly bloody love Listener. Some how I have always managed to miss them play live so tonight I was beyond excited and they didn’t disappoint.


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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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Unknown Mortal Orchestra Bedroom pop is the in thing at the moment. Long gone are the days of artists booking out recording studios and expensive equipment. Now anyone with the right equipment and determination can record at home. At the forefront of this music revolution, especially in the psychedelic genre is Ruban Nielson also known as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Currently touring the album 'Sex & Food' and the instrumental album 'IC-01 Hanoi', the O2 Institute was paid a visit on a chilly Monday night.


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The Cat Empire The Cat Empire are back once again touring the UK, and although I’ve seen them live many times before, this is my first visit to the O2 Academy in Bristol and it's the first of two nights here as a second night was put on due to demand for tickets. The Cat empire are one of those bands that are well known for their live shows, rumour has it that they are often the closing act at festivals because no other band wants to take to the stage after them.


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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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Seth Lakeman It has been a little over a year since Seth Lakeman last appeared at the Picturedrome. Judging by the familial welcome the packed house gives him, most were here last time around with a few more (like me) who were introduced to his viola and fiddle talents when supporting Robert Plant’s band on the recent Carry Fire tour of Europe and North America.


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Boy George and Culture Club I’d been planning on having a quiet night in, to be honest. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and a relaxed Friday of Netflix and wine would’ve been a nice detox. Obviously, though, how could I pass up the chance to see Culture Club? I don’t think I’d be able to resist the opportunity of seeing someone even half as iconic as Boy George on stage. A couple of times earlier in the day I mentioned that I’m going to see Culture Club – cue the widening of eyes and sharp intake of breath. Even my taxi driver was impressed.


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Florence + the Machine This being the High as Hope Tour, it’s only fitting that Florence + the Machine open the show with the opening track from the latest album of the same name. ‘June’ is strange, beautiful, and builds up into an epic crescendo as she repeatedly wails “I’m so high, I can see an angel!” in her signature falsetto. Our star is the last of her ensemble to make her way down the illuminated staircase on stage, with her musicians receiving a huge ovation as they shuffle onto the stage before her. Stepping quite literally into the spotlight, this sermon is underway.


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Greta Van Fleet I’d heard mixed things about Greta Van Fleet from ‘they’re just a Zeppelin covers band’ to ‘absolutely incredible stuff' but I’m usually not one to just take other people’s word for it so I had to check them out for myself. I love the album Anthem of the Peaceful Army, and yes, it is very Zeppelin-esque - but who cares - I love Zeppelin.


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