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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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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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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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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The Waterboys Would Morrissey pop along for a quick guest appearance during Johnny Marr’s set (ahem...)? Would Richard Thompson ride onto the stage on a Vincent Black Lightening 1952? And would The Waterboys show us the whole of their moon...yes...it’s Moseley Folk Festival time again!


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Moseley Folk Festival 2013 Oh lordy, the OAPs are right you know. The older you get the faster the years fly by. It seems like only yesterday that we were singing along lustily to All Around My Hat (the degree of lustiness being in direct proportion to the quantity of cider consumed) and yet here we are again at another MoFo. I’m not complaining, it’s the bit between festivals that gets my goat... real life I think it’s called. Jolly silly idea.


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Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul 2013 And the award for the most appropriate closing number of a festival goes to...drum roll please...Nile Rodgers and Chic for Good Times at Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival 2013...cue loud applause. Yes, once again this small but perfectly formed musical gem in the festival calendar delivered more ‘good times’ than any sane person could rightfully expect. And here’s how it all went down.


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Steeleye Span It’s strange how some festivals seem to be blessed with good weather and others...well...seem to be doomed to suffer plagues of frogs. Barring the odd shower every single Moseley Folk has been reliably dry and pleasant. Given the fact that this year’s been the most relentlessly grim since Noah took up boatbuilding you’d have been forgiven for packing a lifejacket or two...but no...MoFo was pretty much a rain free zone again, with...yes...some sunshine. Maybe the good lord’s a folk fan eh? That beard’s a dead giveaway, I hear he’s often at the Prince Of Wales necking the real ale too.


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Japandroids at Summer Sundae 2012 Here at GigJunkies we're lucky-so-and-so's as we get to go to some fantastic events and festivals. Summer Sundae is just one of those events. Spanning 3-days in August 2012, about when we were blessed by glorious sun and cooling winds, I got the chance to shoot bands from a very varied cross-section of the popular and alternative music scene. Get in!


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Busdriver Bo! Word to your mother. Break it down etc etc. Yep, tonight Digbeth’s legendary boozer, The Rainbow, is well and truly bouncing along to a hippity hoppity beat kicking off with a rising local collective Abes Oddysee. Keeping it old skool there’s a pleasing hint of of J5’s laid back grooves in this four pieces set. Lyrically they’re focused on the key subjects of young inner city kids these days (1) What the fuck am I going to do with my life? and (2) Where can I score some weed? All four took the mic at various times and the different styles worked well together. Of course there’s a rich history of rap collectives going back to the early 80’s but few young crews (yes, crews...I’m down with the street) seem to be making it right now. Shame. No mention of the local rap scene in the recent NME feature on Birmingham either so kudos to tonight’s promoters Fantastic Damage for giving it more of a platform. “Make hip hop one of your 5 a day” one of ‘em shouted at the start of the set. If it’s this good I’d be inclined to agree with him.


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The Irrepressibles There seems to be a bit of a vogue for gigs in Birmingham churches at the moment. St Paul’s has had a few this year and now St Martin’s is getting in on the act too. It’s a cracking idea. They’re generally gorgeous buildings, perhaps somewhat underused in these more secular times and the acoustics can be...er...heavenly. Tonight we’re here to worship at the altar of St Jamie McDermott, the frankly inspirational life force behind The Irrepressibles, a chamber pop band that’s currently wowing our European neighbours but still seem to be criminally underrated here in their homeland. C’est la vie. Given that this is their first UK tour though (and this is a band that you really need to see live) perhaps all that is about to change.


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Lunasa Day the third. The scrumpy cider’s now burnt a small hole in my intestines but I’m still standing. We arrived at the unholy hour of 11am for one reason and one reason only. Sam Walter.


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