Kioko If you’re reading this it’s safe to assume that you love music, and hopefully you hate racism. If that’s the case, check out Love Music, Hate Racism! They were founded in 2002 during a time of increasing prejudice (remember that time the BNP started to gain support? *Shudder*). They’ve been peacefully campaigning for equality across all ethnic groups ever since, using gigs that celebrate love and acceptance.


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Jesca Hoop Tonight we take a trip to the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham to see songstress Jesca Hoop supported by Lucas Oswald.


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Young Fathers From winning both the Mercury Prize and the Scottish Album of the Year Awards in 2014 (for Dead and Tape Two respectively) through to earning the kind of gushing praise that’s normally reserved for visiting deities Edinburgh’s Young Fathers seemingly came from nowhere. They’ve actually been a going concern since hooking up at an under 16s hip hop night in 2008 though, fusing three distinctly different backgrounds (Liberia via Ghana, Maryland and Drylaw, apparently a suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh...who says the internet ain’t educational eh?) to create something that’s undeniably different. And at this stage in musical evolution development that’s a pretty rare thing indeed.


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Saint Saviour With some deservedly impressive reviews rolling in for her latest album, In The Seams, there’s a better turn out for tonight’s gig at the Hairy Hounds than there was back in 2012 when Saint Saviour last played here. At that time she was seriously considering packing touring in altogether as, in common with a sadly growing number of artists, she was pretty much doing everything herself which is undoubtedly (a) pretty ruddy time consuming and (b) soul destroying if the turnout’s a little, ahem, slim.


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Charlotte Carpenter The two support slots set up the headliner nicely and Charlotte Carpenter takes to stage initially in a trio backed by guitar and drums. "Woes" from the October 2014 released EP "Take It All" kicks of the headliner's set in soft yet enchanting style.


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Kate Tempest Poet, rapper, playwright, novelist, Mercury nominee, winner of the prestigious Ted Hughes Award, inventor of a cure for the common cold (okay, so the last one was made up but frankly you wouldn’t put it past her)...for many Kate Tempest has seemingly sprung from nowhere over the past year or so. The reality’s radically different but no less impressive...


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Norman Watt-Roy Ian Dury and The Blockheads, The Clash, Madness, Nick Lowe, Rodger Daltrey, Nick Cave, Frankie Goes To Hollywood...as CVs go that’s not a bad line up eh? In a career that’s lasted 47 years and counting Norman Watt-Roy’s been the face with the bass and, despite being just a couple of years away from collecting his pension, he’s showing no signs of slowing down, in fact this is his second gig at the Hare and Hounds in less than 12 months.‘Watt’ a trooper.


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Roland Gift So way back in the 80’s, as one classic Brum band ‘dissolved’ another one was born. This new band did rather well,  worldwide success, and a couple of platinum albums beckoned before they too went their separate ways. But no matter, as tonight, in an exclusively snug venue, their lead singer plays in his own right, playing the old and new - it is the immense vocal talent of Roland Gift, of Fine Young Cannibals fame.


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Roland Gift Acclaimed soul-pop singer and actor Roland Gift has announced a handful of small  dates across the UK -leading off in the city where he was born - playing at The Hare & Hounds in Birmingham.  Gift came to national attention after forming the Fine Young Cannibals in Birmingham with Andy Cox and David Steele of The Beat.


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Larkin Poe Okay, quick quiz for you...how many famous ‘Poes’ can you name? Go on...if you’re lucky you might just come up with the one, the granddaddy of horror himself Mr Edgar Allen Poe. Even so I was more than mildly surprised to discover that tonight’s band, Larkin Poe (sisters Rebecca and Megan) are actually related (albeit distantly) to the dude behind The Raven, The Tell Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (serves him right for releasing rubbish records...). Cool eh? Formerly trading as The Lovell Sisters (that’s the sister’s surname, Larkin Poe was their great, great, great grandfather and cousin of Edgar), Larkin Poe have been around since 2010 and tonight they’re fresh from Glastonbury...well as fresh as you can be after spending several days ankle deep in mud and...er...other ‘stuff’...I guess.


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Courtney Barnett I was pretty much sold on Courtney Barnett from the moment I discovered that one of her songs was called Avant Gardener. Clever. I do love a good pun. Happily the track’s as impressive as the title which, despite a still relatively low profile over here in the UK (Courtney’s from Melbourne), probably explains why this gig at the Hare and Hounds sold out a while back.


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Radkey “We are three brothers on a quest to save the world from false rock”. So reads the rather bold claim on Radkey’s Twitter page. Hell, it's not just 'false rock' that the world needs saving from these days so let’s hope they deliver eh?


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Summer Camp Having recently moved into the Hare and Hounds permanently (got myself a sweet little spot just beneath the bar in the back room...no more nightmare journeys on the bus of the damned - aka the Number 11 - for me) tonight’s gig was just a mere stumble away.


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Har Mar Superstar Har Mar Superstar took to the stage – with Lizzo as one of his backing singers. Wearing a white tassled leather jacket with a black hoody underneath (the Hare and Hounds is a bit chilly in the winter!) he gyrated around the stage showing off his more mature well rounded funk sound. Great rapport between Sean and Lizzo during DUI and then it was off with the leather jacket, to reveal a sequinned poncho over a geometric print tee. I love his playfulness with fashion, and seemingly so do a lot of women in the crowd who were cooing over him.


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