Belinda Carlisle Belinda Carlisle delights a York crowd with the whole Runaway Horses album and many other hits including 'Heaven is a Place on Earth'.


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Pale Waves Manchester’s female-fronted goth-pop quartet are back in the Midlands, with a whole new confidence. It’s been a year since Dirty Hit’s Pale Waves released their critically acclaimed debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, and the group are showing no signs of slowing their ever-growing confidence. Playing a large smattering of shows since the album dropped, it sounds like the act have gone from strength to strength, refining their sound at every show. Having seen the foursome only a month ago at a festival, I was already excited for their headline show, but from the minute they swaggered onto the mesmerisingly colourful, laser-clad stage, we were taken on an unanticipated journey of emotions and musical exploration.


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Jimmy Buffett People dressed in Hawaiian shirts, garlands and a variety of weird and wonderful headgear standing outside this lovely venue could only mean one thing: singing legend Jimmy Buffett and his dedicated fans - the Parrotheads - were back in town.


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The Sisters of Mercy I’ve always had an admiration for Goth culture, being unapproachable, black leather, The Cure, what’s not to like? But until tonight I’ve never been to a true Goth gig, and what better way to start than with The Sisters of Mercy. The Leeds band may not have been the creators of the culture, or even necessarily pioneers, but for so many people they defined the scene.


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Pixies It was only 2 years ago that Pixies were playing this room last, ending their evening by filling the venue with thick plumes of white smoke and disappearing off into the night. We haven’t seen them since, until now, when they surprisingly emerged from the haze with a critically acclaimed new record and a world tour.


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Spiritualized With the sumptuous surroundings of Hackney Empire; red velvet curtains and a few flickering candles front of stage hinted at what was to be revealed, the anticipation for something very special was palpable! This Spiritualized gig was part of ‘Somewhere Festival’ launched by an art collective in Tokyo, now touring bringing unique performances in classic theatres with their trademark 1001 candles.


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Common Who’d have guessed it’s been 23 years since Common first appeared in London, supporting De La Soul… The love in the room is electrifying as Chi Town’s finest is appearing tonight on the first of two UK gigs following the release of his latest offering ‘Let Love’, the rapper turned actor’s 12th studio offering has a sell out crowd eagerly waiting at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.


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Peaches "I don't have to make a choice/genderfluid- make some noise" is the opening statement of Peaches' night at the Royal Festival Hall. Warning: This post contains some nudity.


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Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.


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Sharon Van Etten Sharon Van Etten’s (SVE) four piece band (drums; bass; two keyboards) take the stage and a stark drum beat sets the scene for a minute or three. The cool promise of ecstasy fills the air before Sharon appears with just microphone in hand and belts out the line: ‘our love’s for real’. Everything about her is unrecognisable from when I last saw her seven years ago at the Queen’s Club in Sheffield. She’s embraced the classic rocker look - think Chrissie Hynde - shorn black hair; tattoos, red lippy and leather pants but what is remarkable is the confidence, swagger and sheer energy that she brings to the performance. Her moves are positively Jagger-esque (‘touching your face’) and tightly choreographed as she poses for the cameras and commands eye contact. The sound is bigger, darker, keyboard heavy and mostly guitar free.


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Skunk Anansie The atmosphere in the Manchester Academy was electric as the crowd waited for returning heroes Skunk Anansie to play a career spanning mega set.


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Yo La Tengo Yo La Tengo (YLT) have been around for some 35 years and have 15 studio albums to their credit. Since Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley formed the band they’ve had 14 bass players, but James McNew has occupied that spot since 1992, so they are now a very stable musical trio. When asked later how the band manages to be so relaxed on stage they agree that it’s down to their confidence in each other as musicians.


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Prophets of Rage It says a lot that even a tyre blowing out on the motorway and 2 hours waiting to be rescued at 1am in the morning and getting just 3 hours sleep before setting off to work couldn’t kill the feeling that I had just seen, for me, the gig of the year... Prophets of Rage at Manchester Academy.


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Nile Rodgers & CHIC Meltdown is the longest running artist-curated music festival in the world. This year is it curated by the legend that is Nile Rodgers. I don’t use the word 'Legend' frivolously - he is a three-time Grammy award winner as well as recently been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. There is no doubt that Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. But more important that any of that – this man knows how to throw a party! Nile Rodgers & CHIC are opening the festival to a sold-out audience and a good time is guaranteed.


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