Michael Kiwanuka I made a conscious decision recently to never listen to music through a pair of headphones ever again, reason being, having spent my formative years consuming live music in some of the best musical venues in the country, coupled with very acute hearing and constantly, breaking, losing or having my headphones stolen by thin air, it is a brave decision, but it was one I was ready to live with, tonight was the point of no return, It was a brisk night on the 16th of October 2017, I had the pleasure of close friend to accompany me to see Michael Kiwanuka at The Symphony Hall Birmingham being supported by Bedouine, a very charming, charismatic an very funny soulful and folky songstress.


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Beverley Knight As if she really needs a reason to be back on stage in the West Midlands, Beverley Knight was in town last night, bringing her 'I Love Soulsville' tour to Birmingham's Symphony Hall.


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Squeeze Way back in 1973 two chaps from South London formed a band that saw them christened the ‘The New Lennon and McCartney’. Three decades later they are still performing, now with a massive back catalogue of hits and they're on an extensive run of UK dates starting at the delectable Symphony Hall in Birmingham. So welcome to the 'new Paul and John' - Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook in full band mode as Squeeze.


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Ani Difranco At a seated Birmingham Town Hall, with hardly half of the seats filled, a man with long long dreadlocks took to the stage to introduce the evening. I’ve seen Ani Difranco over 15 times now, and this wasn’t a face I recognized, but in recent years I’ve seen her less and less, so perhaps this is the new norm.


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Rick Astley Back in the mid-eighties, the charts were filled with songs from the so called Hit Factory, masterminded by Stock, Aitken and Waterman. They sounded much the same but were very successful and from it spawned two notable stars. The first was a soap actress, who went on to become a global star, and the other, a young white man with the most incredible soul voice, had a similar destiny laid out before him. However, that young man had other ideas, and at his height of fame walked away. That young man was Rick Astley


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10cc Tonight's band were at their people in the early mid 70s. What seems a million miles away, these guys brought artmusic to the fore, mixing genres and creative inspirations and giving the world a raft of iconic hits. 40 odd years on, in the luxurious Symphony Hall, we’re here to take a peek into 10cc's hugely creative musical journey…


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ARW And so to the Symphony Hall for some symphonic prog rock by the legends of the genre. The foundations of tonight's performance started out half a century ago. Quite literally. When two blokes met in a bar in Soho. And went on one hell of a journey - musically and as a band. The current version of said band is somewhat different - but tonight, for the first time in 25 years, three members of the classic line-up (including one of the original founders) are here to perform for your delectation. Welcome, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman - aka ARW - with an Evening of YES music.


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Roy Wood So with just a handful of sleeps before Christmas it is only truly festive to pop along to see one of those people who gave us one of those true Christmas songs we've sung along to for all these years. In the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, with a plethora of special guests, and a pretty much sold out crowd in full Christmas spirit akin in Santa hats and festive garb - let us welcome the Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band


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Agnes Obel YES YES YES! AN ALL WOMEN SET! (I couldn't help but hop excitedly from foot to foot at this. I'm so tired of all male backing, even for women! Nice one, Agnes!) her crew consisted of a cellist, oboe player, Agnes on keyboards, and another woman on drum machine. All dressed in white - they appeared formidable.


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Divine Comedy These guys are one of those bands who cleverly and eloquently comment on life in their lyrics - singer songwriter's Neil Hannon words are quirky and original and they are here tonight showcasing their eleventh album 'Foreverland' - welcome Birmingham to the world of The Divine Comedy.


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Brian Wilson It was the majestic surround of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the pure majesty of a certain Mr Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame celebrating the 50 year anniversary of ground breaking album Pet Sounds that awaited us last night and to say there was a palpable excitement by all inside the impressive arena - many of whom were clad in Hawaiian Shirts and floral Leis in honour of the great man.


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Chris Cornell Emerged from a now iconic music scene in Seattle. Tick. Gained international success in band from said scene. Tick. Twice and ongoing. Tick. International and acclaimed solo success. Tick. Member of more than one supergroup. Tick. Multiple Grammy awards. Tick. we could gone on - instead we’re hear to listen. To the rock voice of a generation. Laid bare, just the main man, his voice and guitar - Chris Cornell is back with 'Higher Truth' Songbook style..


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Rick Astley “I know your only here for Never Gonna Give You Up” quipped 80’s icon Rick Astley, echoing a social media feed I took part in earlier in the day, 28 years in the business but the song he’s most remembered for, “you’ll just have to wait, you buggers!”


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Chris Hadfield There's a starman waiting in the sky, he’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds…” - an apt lyric from a lost legend. Well tonight we have the opportunity to meet a real life starman, who is here to meet us. Colonel Chris Hadfield blew our minds when he circled the earth in a tin can, just like Major Tim Peake is doing right now. He talked to us, through the power of social media - from up there. And tonight he’s right here.


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