Deerhunter Becoming a parent seriously affected my ability to discover new music. The days of scouring Last.fm or some such to find “similar” artists to my ongoing predilections, became the nights of little sleep and my rest-addled brain took succour in the familiar, the easy. Them the breaks… plus, our babies were ace. No problem.


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Pond Australia seems to be putting most countries to shame when it comes to exporting quality bands. One of the many to come from the thriving psych scene is Pond. Tonight they were in Birmingham, a very long way from home. With them they brought the future Aussie stars Jade Imagine, for a night to remember.


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Kurt Vile Kurt Vile emerges, partly hidden behind a mop of hair, along with his backing band The Violators. They open with ‘Loading Zones’, the first track of his latest album ‘Bottle It In’, and certainly the most popular. It is pretty awesome – it has all the best of his finest work. The instrumental is strong but relaxed, and cleanly played. His voice is powerful but mellow. He sings, almost speaking, plucks his guitar with effortless skill. His music is easy to enjoy; smooth, quirky and assured.


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Producers I’m of a certain age. Not as dangerous as the one Paul Weller’s currently singing about but, you know, the wrong side of...ahem...21. Aside from, funnily enough, some of 10cc’s tracks, Mud’s Tiger Feet and anything by ABBA, my real musical awakening occurred in the early 80’s and one man seemed to be the knob twiddler behind several of my favourites, Mr Trevor Horn. ABC’s Lexicon Of Love (regularly featured in the best British albums of all time lists) and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome both bear his fingerprints deep within the grooves (it’s a vinyl thing). Tonight Trevor’s out from behind his desk though, joined by fellow producer Steve Lipson, 10cc’s Lol Creme and drummer to the stars Ash Soan for a joyful romp through some of their collective hits and newbies from their new band's forthcoming album.


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The Destroyers So it's the "The Summer Gypsy Ball" and first on Urban Voodoo Machine... They lived up to their "bourbon soaked gypsy blues bop 'n' stroll" moniker during their performance initially but really came alive during the on stage antics later on in the performance. Most notable was a dynamic double drumming display by the green bearded Booshesque lead drummer and his sidekick. Other delights of their ensemble included the intermittent appearance of a sort of 1920s ‘gong girl’ dressed in a minuscule eastern inspired costume along with Valentinoesque headdress. Her image reminiscent of an old black and white movie still.


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