F.F.S ‘Collaborations Don’t Work’ is a promotional single from the new album by F.F.S, the band that is a collaboration of British indie rockers Franz Ferdinand and US quirky alternative-popsters Sparks. Well do collaborations work in this case? Clearly a lot of people think so as their gig at Manchester’s Albert Hall is sold out tonight and expectations are high.


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The Offspring Having seen The Offspring play a couple of lacklustre performances over the years at various different festivals I was looking forward to taking another trip down memory lane with their nostalgic skater songs at one of their own headline shows and seeing if there was any difference in their show.


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Deerhoof Deerhoof have forged a reputation for experimentation and style changes over their twenty year and 13 album career. On record they can come over as quite a ‘technical’ band, but I really wasn’t prepared for the manic, noisy, avante-garde, fun garage rock on display at Manchester’s Gorilla tonight.


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Trembling Bells Having seen the tour de force of Trembling Bells backing The Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron back in January and then hearing their newest material aired on Radio 6, I couldn’t resist a return visit to Preston’s Continental to see them perform in their own right. Trembling Bells have an eclectic musical palette. They’ve developed rapidly from their folky roots and they mix musical genres like no other band. What’s more, they are really exciting live performers.


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Funeral for a Friend Resurfacing after a quiet few years, Funeral for a Friend carry on their long stint as a hard-core metal rock quintet, with a showcase of their new album ‘Chapter and Verse’ at tonight’s event in the intimate and tired venue of the Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton.


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Less Than Jake Less Than Jake are regulars on these shores and their dedication to their UK fans surpasses most bands from across the pond. As a result they've built up a sizeable, dedicated fanbase, and it was great to see them returning for another tour.


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Badly Drawn Boy It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) released his first album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast. It proved to be his breakthrough album - it achieved critical success and won him the Mercury Music Prize, whilst catapulting firmly into the public consciousness.


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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Scala was sweaty even before King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard came onstage. In typical London fashion, everybody was complaining about the tube strike and the fact it is far too hot in the capital. Thankfully, the sold-out room shut up as soon as King Gizzard jumped onstage, a snug fit for the seven-piece.


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NOFX NOFX take to the stage after a somewhat delayed start, technical difficulties halt proceedings but singer Fat Mike takes this in his stride and uses the time to warm the audience to his liking.


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John Legend 2014 was quite a year for the 9 times Grammy winner Mr John Legend. A year in which he toured the word and saw his beautiful soulful love song ‘All Of Me’ become a Multi-platinum seller (12.3 million copies worldwide)! But that wasn’t enough for Mr Legend as in November of last year he announced that he’d be back in the UK in June/July 2015 for his biggest arena tour to date, and Birmingham welcomed him back with open arms!


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Taylor Swift We last reviewed Taylor Swift on her ‘Red’ tour a year and a half ago. It’s incredible how much has changed in the last 18 months. The phenomenal success of her first ‘pop’ album has catapulted her into being one of the most influential entertainers in the world (not even Apple would argue with that it seems). So it was without hesitation that we went down to the Manchester Arena to catch one of only three shows in England on the 1989 World Tour. Swift’s gig was the hottest ticket in town this evening; with everyone we came into contact with professing their desire to be there.


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Suzanne Vega The brief introduction of "From New York City, Miss Suzanne Vega", sees Gerry Leonard take to an understated stage and begin looping guitar riffs and sounds to create a musical backdrop for Fat Man And Dancing Girl whilst an unassuming Suzanne Vega follows and begins delivering her warm vocal line.  No matter how many times you may have seen Vega, you cannot fail to be impressed by her calm and flowing voice which fills the Town Hall and draws you in no matter how far away from the stage you are sat. As the first song draws to a close, Vega places a top hat on her head for the spine tingling Marlene On The Wall.


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Incubus Perhaps it’s the summer heat outside, or maybe the fact that Incubus were due onstage half an hour ago, but Hammersmith Apollo is bubbling with excitement. It has been a number of years since the Californian band were at the height of their popularity, but tonight their return is more than welcome. It’s been three years since they performed in London, and the crowd, full of hardcore fans and nostalgic 20-somethings, are more than up for it.


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Bridget St John Back in the days of my youth I was a regular listener to DJ John Peel’s Radio 1 ‘Top Gear’ programme (not to be confused with the TV programme of the same name associated with some chap called Clarkson). Peelie specialised in bringing to the attention of us listeners all sorts of bands and artists that were ignored by the mainstream. So dedicated was the man that, not satisfied with just playing such artists on his radio programme, he actually set us his own record label, ‘Dandelion’, to record and distribute their work. Of course, this was in the days before indie record labels and home recording. One of the major artists on Dandelion Records was Bridget St John, who Peel described as “the best lady singer-songwriter in the country”. Bridget emigrated to New York in the mid-1970s and largely disappeared from the public eye. However, she’s now re-emerged and is doing a rare tour of the UK.


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