Funeral For A Friend Tonight Birmingham bids farewell to a band that have seemingly always been there, that band that you’re pretty sure that you support, that band you once saw, that band that have a tonne of songs you didn’t know you knew... that band is Funeral For A Friend.


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Richard Hawley Richard Hawley takes to the stage and gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to the welcoming audience before playing the first of the evening's songs, Which Way, that is taken from his recent album, Hollow Meadows. From the outset, it is evident that this is going to be a special gig as the sound flowing through the venue has a richness rarely heard. Hawley draws the song to a close by using the head of his guitar to conduct the other four members of the band to ensure a clean finish before the reason for his cheerful mood is divulged. It turns out that Hawley's beloved Sheffield Wednesday are beating Arsenal 3 - 0 and his son is currently watching the match so he dedicates an older track, Tonight The Streets Are Ours, to him.


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Anti-Flag Anti-Flag showed their political activism on their amps with imagery of a child holding a gun, and a drone. These stalwarts of the scene open with Turncoat to a rather lack luster crowd. A few songs in, with the delivery of fan favourite ‘Broken Bones’, and the crowd finally wake-up to it being a punk rock show. You can’t blame the crowd for an apathetic response; bassist Chris Barker offers up continual scissor kicks that feel contrived whilst the rest of the band just feel like they are going through the motions, all be it professionally delivered motions.


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Circa Waves Last time Gig Junkies caught up with modern day Mersey Beaters Circa Waves it was down on the glorious Cornwall Coast basking in the sun at Boardmasters Festival. Their upbeat indie pop sound coming across perfectly in the summer sun to the backdrop of the Ocean waves. I was therefore interested to see how their upbeat act transcended on a dark chilly Friday night at Birmingham’s Institute.


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Leftfield Shock and awe!! Leftfield are playing the O2 Institute in Birmingham... what?! Really?!! For me this was a gig not to be missed. Leftfield's 1995 release 'Leftism' was one of the most important soundtracks of my youth. More than any other record the heady and fascinating rhythms of Leftism, were the perfect accompaniment to a few drinks and 'indoor boogie' getting ready with chums for various heavy techno and psychedelic all-nighters in the heart of Birmingham and it's more bohemian quarters.


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Wolf Alice Birmingham has become something of a second home for London grunge/rock group Wolf Alice. They’ve enjoyed many-a-gig in England’s second city, and their rise in stature and fame is personified through the bigger-sized venues. Tonight’s packed-out gig at the Institute shows just how much the band have been propelled into the mainstream.


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James Arthur A worthy winner of the X Factor ITV show. Having spent 17 of my formative years growing up in Middlesbrough I know how ‘unfairly’ difficult it can be breaking through into any creative area of the arts being a Northerner, and although there has been some controversy surrounding James Arthur it should not detract from the fact that James is an impressive performer.


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Cancer Bats Even if you aren’t a fan of Cancer Bats you have to concede that these guys know how to put on a show. They enjoy what they do and they take time hanging out with fans in the smoking area prior to their set. The interlude music of Andrew WK fits perfect for these guys to enter the stage.


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Catfish and the Bottlemen Catfish and the Bottlemen - or to continue an abbreviation theme CATBM - have been blessed with a fairly meteoric rise to fame over the last 12 months, which although they find hard to comprehend themselves, is no surprise to anybody who follows the music industry and certainly not to the team at Gig Junkies HQ.


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Chuck Ragan Tucked away, so far from the merch, in the Temple Room of the Institute you would have found me huddling into myself for warmth.


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Architects Exactly a year ago to the day Architects were in Birmingham unleashing their blockbuster record Lost Forever // Lost Together onto a thronging Institute crowd, tonight they returned to hammer home their message and brought with them some friends in the form of Every Time I Die, Bless The Fall and Counterparts.


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Idlewild Birmingham is awesome and I'm telling everyone!! Scottish veterans Idlewild headed here as part of their present UK/EU tour and were greeted with open arms by an energetic/warm audience, the atmosphere within the room making the evening all that more electric.


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Catfish and the Bottlemen Surprisingly, it was the little room (AKA the Library) that we were directed to see the current media darlings Catfish and the Bottlemen at The Institute in Brummieland. Splendid! Based on what I’d seen online of their previous gigs, it was going to get niiiiiccceee and sweaty!


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Pulled Apart By Horses As I walked into the Institute well aware of whom Pulled Apart by Horses were, I was greeted with a sign politely stating “No Stage Diving” I found this a tad ironic with tonight’s visit of Yorkshire's finest, ready to rip the place apart.


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