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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John Grant Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we go to some fantastic events and festivals. John Grant is just one of those events. Since our review of the intimate Royal Shakespeare Company gig back in 22 June 2014, John has released his glorious "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" album back in October 2015. Interestingly he touched upon the reason for the title explaining that "Grey Tickles" is a translation from Icelandic to describe entering middle-age, which is a lovely way to see it, far more cheeky and certainly in John's style. "Black Pressure" was also mentioned as being Turkish for "nightmare", which was quite the opposite from tonight, as it was a dream.


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Duran Duran I was very excited to hear Seal would be supporting Duran Duran on tonight's bill at the new plush Genting arena. When he enters on stage a lady in front of me shouts out "I've only come to see you!" which has the crowd laughing, and I must admit, I would have paid good money to just see Seal himself too. Highlights for me are Crazy, and Adamski's Killer, which is just one of those era defining songs from the 90's Acid House scene. There is something so electric about Seal's voice - which is soulful, and yet something more, sitting so well with an electronic track - much in the same way that Rhianna's voice can.


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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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V Festival, Weston Park, Stafford For years, the chart topping foundations of V festival has drawn in the mainstream music crowds, the playlist hand-picked when ripe by the elitists of the industry; put together with the ease of celebrity status. Yet, this year, they seemed to have missed their quota amongst the to-be-seen at summer events loosing a third of ticket sales, with something lacking from their line up.


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Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival in Birmingham, 10 + 11 + 12 July 2015 Want to know how great this year’s Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival was? Try this for size... Public Enemy rolled up on Friday to headline that night and loved it so much they came back on Saturday to watch Roy Ayers before heading over to the Moseley Dance Centre for the after show. Rumours that they’re recording DO Believe The Hype as the festival’s new official anthem are still unconfirmed but if you see Flavor Flav queuing up in the Kingfisher Fish and Chip Bar anytime soon don’t be surprised.


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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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Royal Blood Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we get to go to some fantastic events and festivals. "Royal Blood" is just one of those events. Coming off the back of their recent best British group for 2015 prize win; these guys are on a crest of a wave at the moment. They appear to be level-headed and down-to-earth guys, and it is certainly doesn't appear to be adversely affecting their humility in-front of this avid Wolverhampton Civic crowd.


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Roy Wood and friends There's nothing like a bit of old skool glam rock to get you in the mood for Christmas... Roy Wood is aiming to make this event at Birmingham's Symphony Hall an annual event, like a brummy variety performance, I'm loving a bit of retro talent to kick off the festivities.


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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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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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Scott Matthews 1777. I still find it an unbelievable fact that it's the year that tonight's venue - The Huntingdon Hall in Worcester - was built. With beautiful curved wood panelled pews, some with their own glazed saloon doors to form private booths for worshippers, this converted Methodist church is a testament (no pun intended) to the crafts people that both built it and renovated it.


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Just Talk After fighting our way through the infighting Tories currently polluting the good streets of Brum and dozens of Horrors fans (they were also playing The Institute tonight...The Horrors that is, not the Tories...) the relative peace and tranquillity of The Temple (think of it as The Institute’s loft conversion) came as a blessed relief. Of course you can have too much peace and quiet though.


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