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Live Reviews

Welcome to the Flick Of The Finger live music review section. We cover live music and events across the UK, Denmark,  Nashville and Atlanta.    

Elbow, O2 Apollo, Manchester

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Tuesday saw Elbow take to stage for the final night of a 4-day residency at The Apollo. Hailing the end of a near month length tour of the UK. Doing my best to avoid a collection of superlatives, I was fortunate enough to catch the final night. Opening proceeding’s for Elbow was C. Duncan, and whilst the Mercury prize nominated musician certainly had very tight and enjoyable melodies, after the second track the atmosphere felt a little flat and frustrated as the set, for me became a touch monotonous. Given, however the wide demographic in the audience, it would have been…

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Strand of Oaks, Thalia Hall, Chicago

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Strand of Oaks captivated their nearly sold out audience Saturday night at Thalia Hall. Nothing could stop the crowd from being entranced from the moment Twin Limb took the stage until Strand of Oaks closed out the night. Twin Limb set the stage beautifully for Strand of Oaks tonight.  Lacey Guthrie has a magical voice that is even more enjoyable when accompanied by Ratterman and Bender. Kevin Ratterman’s guitar playing brings you on a spacey smooth rollercoaster of sounds while Maryliz Bender controls the rhythm of the songs with her  seemingly simplistic yet involved drumming.  Twin Limb  easily mastered their set…

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State Champs, O2 Institute, Birmingham

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As It Is are a band well known for their energetic live shows. Therefore, it was only reasonable that they tour with the ever-eccentric State Champs. With the release of their second full length album ‘okay.’ that graced the shelves in January this year, As It Is came out to prove to fans that their energy had no wavered, and showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. The band took to the stage, as fans had eagerly anticipated this tour for a while now. There was no denial that As It Is had the audience hooked from the very first…

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Weirds Rock Sheffield!

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Friday night saw the up and coming Psych Rock foursome Weirds, play the Picture House social in Sheffield as part of their latest tour. I turned up a bit early and spent some time backstage with the band, I was greeted with free beer! Any band that offers you free beer and hospitality like these guys did are ok in my book. After chatting to the guys from the band for a while I realised what a great bunch of guys they all were, genuinely nice blokes with a great outlook on life and music! 10.30 rolled around and before…

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Ten Fé Take To The Soup Kitchen Stage In Manchester

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Ten Fé take to the stage with hypnotic, looping and cool guitar effects companied with melodic electro indie vibes… With their atmospheric indie-pop songs with added electronic waves and thick vocal harmonies, the bands front men Ben and Leo take it in turns to lead the performance. It’s a pretty gentle and laid-back affair, but with lots of confidence in their ability to both perform technically and vocally. If your not familiar with the bands material, its possible, you could find yourself feeling a little lost in the bands dreamy/trancy vibes, which occasionally can a little repetitive however given a little time you’ll find…

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Stillia, The Soup Kitchen, Manchester

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Self taught musicians Stillia,  have been influenced by many great artists such as; The Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, The Smiths and Oasis – you get the idea… With influences from the above however, Stillia have certainly got their own sound down The St Helens based band are rising fast, theres no doubt! Radio 2’s Janice Long has described their forthcoming debut album as “the best debut she has heard since the La’s” and Jonny Vegas is directing and cameo’ing in the video to their upcoming debut single ‘Let Me In‘. Stillia started in the early days of 2011 as…

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Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes, Academy 2, Manchester

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Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes offer an unforgettable performance. Crowd surfers and mayhem were a given, but what Former Gallows and Pure Love frontman Frank Carter provides is so much more. With his band Rattlesnakes by his side they are set for unstoppable greatness as they embark on a sold-out tour. Check out photos from last night’s sold-out show at Manchester Academy 2. Joining them on tour are bands Yonaka and Strange Bones. www.andtherattlesnakes.com

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Glass Mountain, Leeds University Refectory

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“They’re a groovy band man” – Richard Chadwick – Hawkwind Last night Flick of the Finger were invited along to review Glass Mountain in support of the mighty Hawkwind. I had last seen the band back in September 2016 at Bingley Music Live and since then have kept in touch with their ever growing success. Now, after supporting the likes of Embrace,  we are seeing the fruits of their hard work. This is a band that have matured in terms of stage presence and musicality over the last 6 months. The really great thing about them is that the music…

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Monster Truck, The Marble Factory, Bristol

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Monster Truck opened their UK leg of their Truckin’ Heavy tour in Bristol tonight Monster Truck brings their own brand of Southern and blues rock from Ontario, Canada and went down very well with the crowd at The Marble Factory. Supporting them on the UK leg of the tour was The Picturebooks, who as someone in the audience decided sounded like “a heavy version of the white stripes”. I’m not sure of this ‘sounds like’ label that people feel a need to attach to a band. So for me I found them intriguing, and a great new band. The band…

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Black Star Riders, O2 Academy, Leeds

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Black Star Rider Boys are Back in Town. Black Star Riders have a coming of age party and blast Leeds Academy into submission with some Heavy Fire. The headline of this UK tour should really read that Black Star Riders are now finally a great rock band in their own right, with their own history and stories to tell. Sure – they have a significant connection to the Thin Lizzy legacy, most of the players are in both bands, and you can’t deny the signature twin guitar work is there in spades, even Ricky Warwick has that Lynott Irish rounded…

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With Confidence, Birmingham Asylum 2

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Nice cheesy punk, and With Confidence back with a vengence After the disappointment fans occurred when Real Friends cancelled their December UK tour, original support band With Confidence took it upon themselves to treat fans to their very own headline tour, hitting Birmingham on the 5th March. An intimate evening of cheesy pop-punk, support came from Milestones, Safe to Say and Broadside. Packing out Birmingham’s Asylum 2, loyal fans were in for a massive treat. UK’s very own Milestones took to the stage first with contagious energy, instantly getting those who had come early bouncing on the spot. Powerful movements around…

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Holy Bouncer, Proud Camden, London

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Spanish band Holy Bouncer make their sophomore visit to London. The five-piece Barcelona psych-blues-rock group played a fantastic energetic set at Proud Camden on 1 March 2017. Sometimes you come across a band (I can’t countenance the use of the word “discover”) that blow you away on initial viewing. Holy Bouncer are one such band. I first saw them when they were a late addition to a gig by promoter Permanent Vacation, who puts on regular evenings of psych and shoegaze, around London. One of the problems with those particular music genres is the bands are prone to take themselves…

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Blossoms Klub Stodola, Warsaw, Poland

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Over the past few years I’ve seen Blossoms many times, from the tiny Edgeley Labour Club “Bungalow” to headlining The Albert Hall and I was beginning to think it was time to move on until they started touring new material. However when the chance to photograph them on tour in Poland came up I couldn’t resist, which is how I came to be at an Academy sized club in an industrial area of Warsaw to see my home town band. On arrival there was already a fair sized queue outside but once inside we were directed upstairs to a smaller…

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Wilco, Chicago Theatre, Chicago

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Wilco blew fans away at their third consecutive sold out show at the Chicago Theatre. It was a typical Chicago night with temperatures below freezing, but the fans braved the blistering cold to come out and see their hometown favorites share their warmth with the crowd. James Elkington got the crowd started off with his intricate guitar accompanied by complex rhythm on the double bass.  The two masters of their instruments blended seamlessly.  They held the crowd in anticipation for the Wilco’s mouth-watering set that was to follow. Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline took stage and kicked off the show with…

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Sum 41, O2 Academy, Birmingham

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Sum 41 came back to the UK, proving that they are still a force as strong as ever. With fellow Canadian band Hollerado as support for the evening, fans were in for a wild ride. Bringing together a wide variety of older fans and new ones, Sum 41 bought their ‘Don’t Call it a Sum-Back Tour’ to Birmingham. With a set-list consisting of 26 songs from various different albums, the evening was bound to be full of non-stop energy. Hollerado took to the stage to an already filled out room. Their half hour set proved to the audience that the…

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Hastings Fat Tuesday – Unplugged Saturday 25/2/17

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Hastings Fat Tuesday; the first festival event of the year for me and the one I look forward to with hope and anticipation watching bands be creative in their sound, playing unplugged. Hastings Fat Tuesday has been running 9 years now and bands are queuing up to play on one of the days with this year being no different. Spread over 16 venues across Hasting Old Town there are 200 performances as bands play 15 minutes before upping sticks and moving along to the next bar. As with 90% of the festival this event is free and sees a wide…

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Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival 2017

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Today begins the five-day Hastings Fat Tuesday music festival (and the UK’s largest Mardi Gras celebration) springs into action, showcasing Hastings’ thriving music scene and opening its doors to a wealth of musical talent and music fans alike. Hailed as Hastings’ answer to SXSW in Texas, or Brighton’s Great Escape festival, Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrates its 8th year and is now one of the jewels in the town’s cultural crown. So why are we only hearing about it now? Well Flick Of The Finger has grown its feelers since sprouting up into the big wide world and has had its…

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Touché Amoré, O2 Academy 3, Birmingham

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A band well known for their performances filled with passion and emotion, Touché Amoré managed to blow away the fans of Birmingham with an energetic yet heart-wrenching evening. The fans were treated to Touché Amorés drummer, Elliot Bambin, and hardcore band ANGEL DU$T as supports. Due to health reasons, the original support from Departures could not happen. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing, as drummer Elliot Bambin took to the stage with his solo project. The calm before the storm, Bambin’s voice created a soothing atmosphere before Angel Du$t came on, putting a unique twist on the evening.…

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Metallica

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In the Eighties — when big hair and small ideas dominated heavy metal — Metallica’s blend of brains and brawn gave the genre a much-needed charge. As their career wore on, the band’s lyrics took on war, censorship, and other political issues metal didn’t typically address, and the group sharpened their focus as songwriters, with singles like the horror-movie stomper “Enter Sandman” becoming huge rock anthems. Fans responded to in droves, buying six million copies of the group’s fifth full-length album, Metallica, and elevating their previous LPs to platinum. In the process, grim-faced guitarist-singer James Hetfield became not only a…

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Israel Nash, The Islington, London

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Americana singer-songwriter Israel Nash at The Islington, London on 22 February 2017 Israel Nash played an intimate, stripped-down acoustic set for his London fans, while on tour supporting Band of Horses. When people talk about intimate gigs it is usually code for “no one showed up”, but occasionally well-known artists will do a small, sometimes secret, show in the middle of a major tour. Americana singer-songwriter Israel Nash, and his band, is currently touring Europe as support for Band of Horses. On the rest day of the sold-out London leg of the tour, Nash gave the rest of his band…

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Have The Chainsmokers Ruined Coldplay?

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The Chainsmokers, comprised of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, have evolved into a dominating musical force with a diverse repertoire of songs that have led them to become today’s hottest young artist/producer duo. With a signature sound that deftly reaches across indie, progressive and pop realms, their original tracks and remixes have topped the charts throughout the world. Their evolution as producers and as songwriters has seen them dial up some of the biggest breakthrough songs of the year. The Chainsmokers have won a GRAMMY Award and an American Music Award, while being nominated for three GRAMMY Awards, four American…

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Yes, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta, Georgia

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From the summer of 1968 until present time the English rock band Yes has amazed music lovers of all ages with their symphonic rock sounds. Delivering a progressive rock masterpiece is still a walk in the park for the band and they show no signs of that changing anytime soon.   In the lobby of the Symphony Hall fans lined up at wine tables giddy with excitement. They exchanged stories about seeing the band live over the years and discussing the current line-up. One fan in particular stood out in the crowd. While most were wearing vintage Yes T-shirts or…

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Deaf Havana, O2 Institute, Birmingham

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Deaf Havana are back, and boy do they mean it. I headed down to the O2 Institute in Birmingham last night to catch Deaf Havana do their thing on their first full UK Tour in three years. First up to the stage was UK metal band, Dead!, who obviously came to rock the stage as rock is what they did. With questionable facial expressions from the vocalist, the four-piece played a stellar half-hour set that I think shocked everyone in the room who had not heard them before. With a rather contrasting stage set up that included lamps and flowers,…

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Band of Horses, O2 Academy, Leeds

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Tonight in Leeds we had a choice of great live music. Here at the O2 Academy you can expect a healthy dose of Country tinged indie-rock, over the road at The First Direct Arena its southern garage rock. There is one thing for certain for me the O2 was definitely the place to be, for tonight on the bill we had singer /songwriter Israel Nash and Band Of Horses showing us just how things should be done. Israel Nash, hailing from Missouri, opened the evening with a superb display of quality songs, performed in his inimitable psychedelic country style. Simple, no…

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Four Year Strong Take Over Birmingham

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It’s been a whole ten years since pop-punk band Four Year Strong released their second album ‘Rise or Die Trying’. We caught them in Birmingham for a show that fans will never forget. Known for their energetic live shows, Four Year Strong had sold fans by playing RODT in full, an album full of punchy riffs and catchy synths. For the UK leg of the tour, Four Year Strong had bought Homebound, Boston Manor, and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! along to create an evening full of push-pits and finger pointing. Homebound opened the night, captivating an audience straight from the…

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Natives, O2 Academy, Birmingham

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Natives took the stage by storm with their half hour set at the O2 Academy. Oozing with confidence and passion, the four-piece tribal pop band were the perfect openers for a huge act like Busted. On Saturday 18th February, I headed down to the main room of the O2 Academy Birmingham to catch Natives’ opening for Busted on their Night Driver Tour. They came on to the stage at 8pm after a mix of classic songs, such as Ignition – R Kelly, had been blasting through the venue since the doors opened to warm the crowd’s voices up. Now, I…

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Johnossi, Oslo, London

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Scandi-rock duo Johnossi played at Oslo Hackney, London on 15 February 2017. Crowd-pleasing anthemic songs were the order of the day for the Swedish pop-rockers – singer-guitarist John Englebert and drummer Oskar “Ossi” Bonde. For better or worse, Abba put Sweden on the musical map. The country’s musicians have been trying to get from under that shadow ever since. On the upside, as with most of the other nordic/Scandinavian countries, there is a lot of government support for its pop/rock artists, and rightly so. In Iceland, for example, music is the second biggest export, after fish. It was through an almost accidental…

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The Dillinger Escape Plan, Copenhagen

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The Dillinger Escape Plan played a sold out Pumpehuset,Copenhagen This is Mathcore mastery. While it seemed like everyone was going to the newly opened Royal Arena, The Dillinger Escape Plan managed to sell out their show in Copenhagen. The venue “Pumpehuset” (roughly translated to Pump House) an old water pumping plant in the heart of Copenhagen is tonights venue. “Pumpehuset” has a special history and is an important part of Copenhagen live underground and mainstream music scene. The walls has seen some shit through time. Like any other live rock venue in Copenhagen, “Pumpehuset” has been struggeling to keep their…

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Cabbage, The Shimmer band and April, Gorilla, Manchester

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Gorilla Manchester was packed on Saturday evening for three bands who going off current form are likely to feature large in the coming months. Opening the night was the young Nuneaton band April, who’s experience in opening for The Enemy and Reverend And The Makers stood them in good stead as they soon had a boisterous crowd on their side. That they list most of the 90’s Brit Pop bands as influences was pretty obvious in their sound and their lead singer George Cooke, who paced the stage in a cross between Ian Brown and Liam Gallagher. Only together for…

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Nearly Their, Bridge Tavern, Bradford

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As we stand in the photo pit awaiting the arrival of a multi-platinum band we sometimes forget as reviewers and photographers, that around the world there are bands plying their nightly trade in small bars and indeed that is all they live for. Well tonight was one of those nights where I took myself off to a local pub, The Bridge Tavern and had a great time. Nearly Their a Bradford 5 piece a bunch of talented musicians who just want to play because they can, and it shows. With a set comprising of mainly 70’s and 80’s rock classics…

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Metallica @Royal Arena, Copenhagen

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Culmination Of A Week With The Kings Of Thrash: Metallica Are Still The Biggest Out There! Copenhagen, Denmark, February 9: Four nights in one week culminated tonight, with a band and audience on fire, and a show of no less than epic proportions! Royal Arena – Copenhagen’s brand-spanking new arena with room for up to 16000 people, was inaugurated on February 3rd with a massive four-show marathon, by the biggest metal band in the world. It didn’t happen without its pitfalls though – James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet was plagued with sore throats and general fatigue from both being ill,…

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Black Peaks, Birmingham 2017

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With the release of their most recent album ‘Statues’ in April 2016, Black Peaks had been almost non-stop throughout the year, playing a variety of festivals and tours. Now, it was time for their own tour, and Flick of the Finger caught Black Peaks on the last night of tour on the 5th February.  An odd line up consisting of Bad Sign and Tigercub as support, this was not going to be a typical Sunday evening. Three-piece rock band Bad Sign opened the night, with hard breakdowns and heavy riffs. With a bigger following, these guys could have made any…

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Fun Lovin Criminals, Plug, Shefield

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If you’ve ever been to a Fun Lovin Criminals gig then you’ll know just how chilled out a vibe it is. Tonight was no exception, a chilled out crowd, chilled out band and chilled out music. It was also a chilled night and Huey did think that the crowd were a bit mad for coming out on such a cold night. But the hearts of 500+ kept the chills away. The band bust their way into the popular music scene back in 1996 hailing from New York City and have thankfully endured. You get such a variance in music with…

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Matt Boroff, The Old Blue Last, London

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Matt Boroff and the Mirrors impressed an intimate audience at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch. The Austria-based American guitarist and singer, and his band played a set of superb musicianship deserving of a much larger audience. The London live music scene is a strange one. There’s no doubt that it’s in rude health at the moment, with no shortage of gigs every night of the week. Everyone still wants to play London, and it’s not uncommon to see well-known overseas artists playing small venues usually reserved for burgeoning underground scene. The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch is a prime example…

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Stillia Launch Party, Jimmy’s, Manchester

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Under the umbrella of This Feeling, Saturday night saw the launch of Stillia’s debut single Let Me In. The basement of a relatively new Northern Quarter bar, Jimmy’s, was sold out for this performance by St Helen’s finest and though curfew restraints meant it was a short set, the crowd was literally left shouting for more. Opening act for the evening was Liverpool’s Red RumClub a six piece band with a massive sound who filled Jimmy’s both physically and musically with their powereful guitar and trumpet driven sound. Next another Liverpool band , Bribes, a power trio of the guitar,bass…

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Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, London.

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On the 2nd February 2017, Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years performed a one-off, full band show with his side project ‘Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties’ at The Dome in London. For those unfamiliar to Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, Aaron West is a fictional character that Campbell made up for this project, stating on his Facebook page that it is a “character study conducted through music”. Campbell performs Aaron West shows completely in character. The show had originally been booked at The Boston Music Rooms, but with a high demand that left the tickets selling out in…

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RedFaces, Sound Control, Manchester

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RedFaces take to the stage at Manchester Sound Control as they continue their headline UK tour. No Hot Ashes opened the night with a catchy, indie pop vibe. It was a real mix of genres with songs that wouldn’t go a miss on a 1975, Hard Fi or even an 80s synth, new romantic album and with their fresh summery vibe it worked incredibly well. The local lads, from Stockport, really knew their crowd and the bouncing fans lapped it up. Certainly a band to keep an eye on in the future.  Moving on to the headliners, RedFaces, this is…

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Alex Clare, Gorilla, Manchester

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Alex Clare, king of heartbreakingly beautiful love anthems, is back on the road The British singer-songwriter has embarked on a European tour, new album in tow. Alex Clare doesn’t mess about. Kicking off his first gig in Manchester in over three years, he launches straight into a dynamic rendition of ‘Up All Night’, the first single off his 2011 debut ‘Lateness of the Hour’. Less than a minute later, the audience is already stomping their feet and joining in the chorus. Next, he plays ‘I Will Never Let you Go’  from the 2014 LP ‘Three Hearts’, followed by his latest single ‘Tell…

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Two Door Cinema Club, Leeds O2 Academy

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It’s a cold Monday night in January, but that has not stopped the sell out crowd queuing outside the O2 Academy in Leeds. After a slight delay in gaining access to the venue (thanks Loz) it was clear that this could turn out to be a special night. On stage first are, London based, Anteros. Lead vocalist Laura Hayden commands the stage like she was born to be there, with more than hint of Stevie Nicks in her vocals. Their catchy indie- pop soon had the audience dancing along. The set covered the majority of their 2016 Breakfast EP, highlight’s…

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Tyketto, Liverpool O2 Academy 2

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Tonight was a night that will be remembered by those in attendance for a long time. As we entered the venue many were heard to say ..”wow this is intimate”, and indeed it was. A smaller 500 capacity venue below the main arena was just right for tonight.  What was interesting form the off were the number of families in the room. A fact commented upon by Danny Vaughn, lead singer of Tyketto. Formed in 1987 by  the former Waysted frontman this band were rose to prominence with their first release on Geffen records “Don’t Come Easy” and have attracted…

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