Rex Orange County Two years ago I saw the incredibly talented Rex Orange County at the Peckham Liberal Club for the release of first studio album, Apricot Princess. The venue held just over a hundred people and the tickets only cost a tenner. When he walked onto the stage he gave a hint of a smile but it seemed there was a slight sense of nervousness to his being. After a few songs, he settled in when he realised that most of the people in his line of sight were friends from school and he played a very cool and calm show for us all.


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Halestorm Of all the shows I’ve been to this year, this was one of the most enjoyable, and probably the most important.


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Tokio Myers There is something totally rootsy about Tokio Myers. He’s appeared on large stages full of thousands of people, but you could just as easily imagine him busking alongside many of the talented musicians that line the streets & subways of central London. He’s classical, and yet urban all at once. He is the unexpected winner of 2017’s Britains Got Talent. But how so unexpected? Perhaps in the most part, due to how authentic he is as an artist - a self made musician and composer. Already forged from his own melting pot of rich experience - not that of any generic talent show format.


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Pumarosa The wealth of options available to music lovers of Manchester on this particular Thursday night with the likes of Yonaka, Tokio Myers and Mancunian legends the Happy Mondays all playing within a ½ mile radius you’d be spoilt for choice if you wanted to see a gig. I opted for London based Pumarosa and boy was I glad I did.


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Bang Bang Romeo Fresh from supporting P!NK on the European leg of her Beautiful Trauma world tour (and with barely enough time to enjoy some home comforts) Bang Bang Romeo are on the road again. Tonight is the 4th night of a sold out 17 date tour. They’re out promoting debut album ‘A Heartbreaker’s Guide To The Galaxy’, released digitally on the 1st November and so it is that all but one of tonight’s 12 track set list is featured on the album.


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Hands Off Gretel Allow me to introduce the bubblegum-coated blaze of glory that is Hands Off Gretel. They describe themselves as having “Gwen Stefani style swagger” with “Nirvana-esque grunge”, and I’d say that pretty much sums them up. Their sound is heavy and dirty, with the type of energy and beat that would make the devil himself want to dance.


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BEAK> There is a substantial amount of kit on stage that needs manoeuvring before BEAK> can start their set, but this is done swiftly and efficiently so that the banter may begin. Surprisingly, BEAK> are ridiculously entertaining between songs in a slightly old-school Top Gear style, by making jokes at each other's expense which starts as soon as they walk on to the stage.


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The Blinders It’s not often that Birmingham gets the opening night of the tour, so when it does happen it’s an unmissable occasion. thankfully Doncaster’s finest The Blinders chose Birmingham for the kick off of their 2019 UK and Europe dates. Just like Birmingham’s own Peaky Blinders this gang are not to be messed with, they have already proved themselves a formidable live band with the tunes to back them up. Now it was time for them to be unleashed onto Digbeth.


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The Good, the Bad & the Queen Following the release of the culturally relevant album Merrie Land late last year, supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen announced a string of one off live dates around the UK. I was lucky enough to catch them at their sold out show at the prestigious London Palladium.


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Her's Pierce Brosnon, back massages and Robbie Williams. Her’s sold out gig at the Sunflower Lounge somehow brought them seamlessly together for a joyous set, that truly kicked away the January blues.


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The Faim This week in the UK we’re experiencing freezing cold temperatures from the Arctic air current changing direction, but that doesn’t stop the people turning up to Bodega in Nottingham to see Halflives, Chapel and The Faim on their first UK headline tour.


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Hobo Johnson & The LoveMakers Just mere months ago we were at the smaller Village Underground in Shoreditch. It’s been precisely 5 months and 15 days and the crowds now wind their way around the entirety of the venue, waiting for doors at the sold out Camden KOKO, such is their ever-growing popularity.


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Courtney Barnett It was a bitterly cold Monday night in an empty Birmingham city centre. A symptom perhaps of the Black Friday shopping frenzy which it seems that we have ‘culturally appropriated’ from our friends across the pond which was happening later the same week? Not surprisingly the O2 Academy reflected this being half full for the visit of one Miss Courtney Barnett; the lady with the coolest middle name in rock.


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The Cat Empire The Cat Empire are back once again touring the UK, and although I’ve seen them live many times before, this is my first visit to the O2 Academy in Bristol and it's the first of two nights here as a second night was put on due to demand for tickets. The Cat empire are one of those bands that are well known for their live shows, rumour has it that they are often the closing act at festivals because no other band wants to take to the stage after them.


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