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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Avenged Sevenfold, Manchester Arena

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Avenged Sevenfold smashed on to the scene with success from a string of best-selling albums including 2005 platinum hit record ‘City Of Evil’  and 2007’s self titled ‘Avenged Sevenfold‘ Their self titled record topped the Billboard Alternative, Hard, and Rock Charts which got things started then followed two consecutive No 1’s albums. On top of that ‘Hail To The King‘ achieved Diamond, Platinum and Gold awards for album sales in nearly 12 countries. Avenged Sevenfold fill Manchester Arena will 21,000 metal fans On top of their album sales success the band have also had a series of top 10 singles including Bat Country, Almost Easy, Scream, Nightmare,…

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Cage The Elephant, Albert Hall, Manchester

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“Cage The Elephant Take To The Stage With Moves Like Jagger, Moves Like Jagger & “ Opening tonights show was Spring king. Their grungie-rock, early Jam/clash sounds are played with a awesome, hyper pop-punk energy that pulls you in. On bass James, bounces around is at such an high level of hyperactivity it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that their rider consists solely of redbull. The band come across very high spirited and full of energy. During the show, the lads came across as very friendly and they also seem like quite nice bunch of guys sowing off their great…

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Embrace, Olympia Theatre, Liverpool

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Embrace return to Liverpool to a loyal audience. The guys dropped on Liverpool as a taster for their new album out in 2017. After an interview with Flick Of The Finger in October, I managed to catch Embrace at the Olympia Theatre, for the Liverpool leg of their tour. The crowd was jammed in, and after speaking to various fans I found that people had travelled far and wide to attend. It seems that Embrace still have a very loyal fanbase and have no trouble drawing a big crowd and filling a theatre. After playing as a backing band for…

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Kula Shaker, O2 Academy, Bristol

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Kula Shaker the psychedelic rock band, led by frontman Crispian Mills have just started there 20 year anniversary K album tour and they arrived in Bristol with a bang. I saw them 20 years ago performing the album and was blown away, would I be blown away again I was asking myself before I entered the venue? It was a wet, damp night and soon as I got in the O2 it felt warm and had a real nice vibe, Josh sticks were burning on stage smelling like india and Kula Shakers back drops looked absolutely stunning. Crispian Mills came on stage looking very…

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Ash 1977 Anniversary tour, O2 Ritz, Manchester

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Ash asked the question, “Do you know the time I Knew a girl from Mars”? This crowd did. There are albums that from time to time almost define a generation, Ash’s debut LP 1977, named in honour of the year Star Wars hit cinema screens and “opened” by the scream of a TIE Fighter. Which was the same backing track the band took to the stage this evening. 20 years have passed since three young lads got themselves together in Norther Ireland, the band was made up of Vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler along with Bassist Mark Hamilton and Drummer…

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The LaFontaines, Night & Day Café, Manchester

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The LaFontaines kick off their UK tour in Manchester The Scottish powerhouse tears up Manchester’s Northern Quarter with an energetic cross-genre performance. It’s a Monday night at Night & Day Café, a low-lit bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Beer is flowing, and while the rain is pelting down outside, the venue slowly fills up with a sea of fans. Like us, they’ve braved the terrible weather and cast aside Monday sluggishness to see The LaFontaines kick off their UK tour. The evening begins with a promising half-hour set from newcomers Delphina Kings, followed by Manchester-based Artizans, who stir up the…

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Primal Scream Liverpool Olympia

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Formed in 1982 by Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie, Primal Scream were originally part of the indie scene but they quickly evolved, taking on board psychedelic and garage rock influences before embracing the flourishing dance scene of the 1990’s. Their classic 1991 album Screamadelica was a massive financial and artistic success and Primal Scream were propelled to the front of the UK music scene and world fame. Screamadelica is still acknowledged as one of the most important and influential albums of the last 25 years.As well as albums the band produced a series of iconic singles, Loaded, Rocks and Come…

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The Front Bottoms, O2 Institute, Birmingham,

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For the second time this year, The Front Bottoms came back to the UK to put on shows for dedicated fans. With many fans having waited in the cold for two hours even before doors opened, The Front Bottoms came on to prove that their wait hadn’t been wasted. Coming along for the ride were Apologies, I Have None and Gnarwolves. When Gnarwolves were first announced as a support for this tour it seemed slightly odd due to the difference in genre; The Front Bottoms indie rock vibe seemed quite tame in comparison to Gnarwolves punk. However, I was excited…

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Slow Readers Club, O2 Ritz, Manchester

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The Slow Readers Club Headline A sold out Ritz without any support from the corporate mainstream, only a belief and drive to deliver their infectious brand of electro indie. Having sold out the venue weeks in advance, and technically the bands biggest headline gig to date, which must be commended at any level, many well established bands have graced the stage over the years and many have not sold the place out. The Slow Readers Club, have plotted a pathway culminating into tonight’s 1500 capacity sell-out. The great thing about tonight’s gig is we are blessed with support from Larkins…

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Feed The Kid, 100 Club, London

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Feed The Kid bring their Mancunian version of West Coast rock to the iconic London venue. The six-piece Manchester band showed that the country-blues-rock of the 70s is still very much alive, when they opened for the recently reunited Audioweb at London’s 100 Club on 16 November. Londoners are often accused of being an unfriendly bunch, but anyone who has to travel on the public transport at rush hour will know that civility and politeness soon withers away in the forced proximity to our fellow humans. But, when Manchester band Feed The Kid came to play at the legendary 100 Club…

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Catfish and the Bottlemen, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

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In the Shadows of Old Trafford Catfish and the Bottlemen, move into the Premier League. Victoria Warehouse, stands in the shadows of Manchester United’s, Old Trafford stadium. It is fast becoming a real powerhouse venue for touring artists. Tonight’s host, not so long ago where gigging and playing many small venues all over the Northwest, probably passing the venue on so many occasions. This is the third night of sellout concerts in front of 4,500 crowd, 13,500 over the three evenings, that is the same number of attendees at many arenas around the country. It’s not difficult to envisage that…

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Dinosaur Jr, Amager Bio, Copenhagen

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On tour in Europe, Dinosaur Jr. visited a cold Copenhagen on a regular Wednesday night. The crowd turned out to be a difficult kind. It took some time, but they eventually woke up. The last couple of weeks of tiring american election controversies, followed closely by the Danish people and the rest of the world, has left people with election hangovers and in desperate need of something positive to hang on to. Dinosaur Jr. visited an almost sold out Amager Bio in Copenhagen. The Grandfathers of grunge have been a major inspiration for bands like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Pixies and…

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Saxon – Sheffield O2 Academy 08-11-2016

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“Welcome to the coldest venue in the world” declared Biff as Saxon took the Stage at Sheffield O2 Academy. However, that did not stop the Saxon faithful, they were in and ready to rock. The last time I saw Saxon I was indeed wearing “Denim and Leather”, however that is a story for another day. Taking to the stage first were Girlschool who were determined to get us going and warmed up, opening up with “Demolition Boys” the “girls” hit the crowd hard. Kim McAuliffe was in fine form with her banter and as they roared through songs such as…

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Clint Boon’s Set2Go, Sound Control, Manchester

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Manchester’s Sound Control was the setting for an afternoon and evening showcase of eleven local bands over two different stages with a couple of DJ’s thrown in all for the bargain price of £6. Last Sunday saw the first ever outing for Clint Boon’s Set2Go event in association with B33. As is always the case with multiple bands playing sacrifices have to be made so the first band I caught was Bolton’s The Jade Assembly who’s infectious indie rock is already well known on the Manchester scene. The band soon had the crowd dancing to their latest EP, Sundays And Occasional…

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Cabbage, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

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Mayhem, madness and magic probably sum up Cabbage’s biggest headline show to date Halfway through a UK tour they returned to Manchester to play a sold out Ruby Lounge. Ticket touts outside the venue are an indication that Cabbage really have arrived. There was a palpable atmosphere of anticipation and excitement once inside as a Cabbage shows are always wonderfully unpredictable. Queen Zee and the Sasstones along with Meat Raffle were the support act and both bands were above average getting the crowds attention and support from what could have been an unresponsive audience just there for the main event.…

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Dub Pistols & Kioko, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

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Another triumphant return to Manchester for Dub Pistols You just know a Dub Pistols gig is going to be great as they are probably one of the best live acts around at the moment and Manchester, one of their favourite places to play, is always a special night. Tonight its Manchester’s Ruby Lounge who have the pleasure of hosting the gig and the place is packed with a crowd clearly in a party mood. Support comes from Birmingham seven piece outfit Kioko who soon have the place dancing to their infectious blend of ska, reggae and dub rock. This young…

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Exclusive Interview with DMA’s

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There’s so much more to these lad’s than the ‘Brit-pop’ pigeon hole which they generally get shoe-horned into. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being compared to some indie’s legends of sort but these guys have their own thing going on that most certainly rivals that of their 90’s counterparts.  Meeting Johnny (Guitar) and Tommy (vocals) in a local, Manchester boozer, prior to their show, I got the chance for a quick catch up over Guinness. We discussed all things album, tour, UK, weather, Aus, inspirations and what’s next for the DMA boys…. (Interview coming soon) It’s quite a challenge to get your head around…

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The Cure, Forum, Copenhagen

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The Perfect Imperfect The Cure played a full 2 hours and 45 minute set in Forum Copenhagen this friday. 30 years on top of their game and they’ve still got it. Forum (Copenhagen) has always been challenging for the most established bands. The gray concrete block with the tacky neon sign on the front, has been repeatedly guilty of ruining numorous concerts the last 10 years, but not this time. This was some how very different experience, it actually sounded nice. The sound of the venue was far more tight, then I have ever heard it. The Cures sound fitting in…

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Blossoms, Manchester Academy

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Well what a year for the Blossoms, selling out venues up and down the country, Two weeks at the top of the album charts already under their belts, its onwards and upwards for Stockport, s adopted Mancunians. 3,000 plus people have turned out and are in fine voice as the band take to the stage. The opener “At most a kiss”, sees the band straight in action, quickly followed by “Cut me and I will bleed”,and the ever popular “Blow”. Already showing a confidence and what seems to be a more relaxed approach that has definitely been honed on a…

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OK Broken, O2 Ritz, Manchester

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It’s always a pleasure to be present in the next chapter of a band’s evolution, when that band is a local group of lads who have steadily been building momentum, gig on gig, it’s particularly satisfying. It’s easy to try and pigeon-hole the band into the Indie/Rock market, I feel they showed that there are many different levels to this well drilled and smart dressed band, not many bands are given a sponsorship from a major clothing company like Lambretta, maybe a taste of things to come. I think most people would have expected them to come out all guns…

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Heart, Amphitheater, Nashville

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The fierce female force that is Heart continued their “The Rock Hall Three For All” tour with Cheap Trick and Joan Jett with a stop at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee. Closing the house down on a sold out show, the duo was given a perpetual standing ovation by many in the crowd. Ann and Nancy Wilson started their musical journey over four decades ago. Still holding the reins of responsibility for helping start a revolution in rock music, the duo inspired women to pick up a guitar and thank goodness they did. Even though the sisters were never impressed…

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Gary Numan, Olympia, Liverpool

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When Machines Rock On April 28th I boarded a coach from Oldham town centre down to London on a coach full of like minded fans to see the final performance of a singer who had been a huge musical influence over the previous two years. Gary Numan had announced his retirement from live shows the previous year on Radio One. The DJ was that stunned they went into one of Numan’s tracks, I guess well they talked off air about what Gary had just said. No one could understand why after two successful years and worldwide success, he would suddenly…

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The Enemy, Final Farewell Tour, O2 Ritz, Manchester

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Die hard fans packed the o2 Ritz to witness what was possibly Manchester’s gig of the year so far… It was always going to be an emotional farewell when The Enemy announced that this would be their final set of shows… and emotional it was! The night was opened by none other than Manchester’s very own – The Tapestry. Now, any act out of this “band manufacturing city”, which is fronted by a guy called Liam, has a good to fair chance of success – then in true style you hear, and I quote “We’re The Tapestry, we’ve just come from work – because we’re c*nt’s…. like…

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Faithless, Brixton Academy, London

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If Wikipedia is to be believed “Faithless are a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The group is best known for their dance songs (“Salva Mea”, “Insomnia”, “God Is a DJ” and “We Come 1”).” and “The band announced it would split up after their Passing The Baton dates at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. However, in February 2015 they reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band.” Based on last night’s show at the O2 Brixton Academy this is only tells a tiny fraction of the story as the band…

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, DR Koncerthuset 11. August

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Weird reverb and sound, but the legend delivered a rock gig with lots of arrogance and big hits in Copenhagen As someone who grew up listening to Oasis, I was kinda expecting to witness a living legend working, but I was left with a strange feeling, both over the venue (sound), the lighting, and the show itself. People was coming in from near and far to DR’s new concert hall, and you could tell that it must be a 90’s Brit-rock star in town, as half the audience was wearing their Liverpool/Manchester United jerseys – something often associated with those…

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Hands Off Gretel at Liverpools, Krazyhouse

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Saturday 13th August found me at Liverpool’s, Krazyhouse. Probably the best rock venue in the city! There were 3 acts on, but I’d made the trip to catch Hands Off Gretel. The band launched in Feb 2015 with the release of their first video ‘Be Mine’ and a 3 track EP for free download. In less than 3 months Hands Off Gretel were invited to play both Camden Rocks Festival, after being selected from over 3,000 band entries and Devolution Magazines 10th year Anniversary event. The band have also been recognised Internationally, including the US, where Alternative Press picked them out…

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Ghost Live at Myth, Minnesota

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Ghost came to the Minnesota area on Thursday, July 28th to play for a packed house at the Myth! I got the main floor was full of people ready to see the show! Macabre opened the show and it seemed there were a few people that were familiar with them. After the first song, they told a gruesome story about the next song they were going to play. Many of the stories dealt with cannibalism or some type of murder of other lewd act. The music was pretty much the same throughout their set and it was funny to see…

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ZZ Top Sofiero Castle, Helsingborg Sweden,

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The beards of boogie in excellent form, with a few surprises A nice and laid-back support with bluegrass/country/folk-rock roots, provided excellent warm-up for the bearded legends: The Missouri based support act was, genre-wise, far away from the main act. Playing traditional American country/bluegrass folk rock with violins, banjos and guitars, the movie “O Brother Where Are Thou” comes to mind. With his slide guitar, Ben Mille himself gave the band a raunchy sound that sent you to a dusty road in the American south. Along with “Smilin’” Bob Lewis on drums and percussion, the beautiful Rachel Ammens in a red…

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Hoodoo Daze, The Old Blue Last, London

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There was a certain sense of déjà vu at the gig on Tuesday night. Two weeks earlier I attended a show put on by promoter Lost in the Manor at The Finsbury in North London (definitely one of my favourite small venues, mostly because they have great stage lighting, which makes for great photos). It was three bands I’d never heard of – as is often the case – and it was free – as is also often the case. The opening and closing bands were great, but sandwiched in the middle was a phenomenal band called Moses. Great, anthemic…

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The Christians, Frodsham Festival 2016

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While most people in the country had watched the Wimbledon Final and where settling down to watch the UEFA Cup Final, I was flying down the motorway to attend the Frodsham Festival final night, where The Christians were due to perform. Trust me, the settee dwellers missed out……big time! The night before, they were doing their thing in front of 12,000 people at the Chilfest festival and after tonight, they were winging their way to France to perform at the Festival Des Nuits Des Sud.  They sure do get around, such is the demand for their music. But tonight, they…

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