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Live Reviews

New Found Glory, Manchester Academy

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New Found Glory promised a party, and that’s exactly what they delivered. The Floridian punk rockers returned to Manchester last Friday, to celebrate ’20 years of pop punk’, playing their albums Catalyst and Stick and Stones in their entirety. Fresh from an Australian tour, a US tour and two festival appearances, New Found Glory prove that a hectic touring schedule does not dampen the energy of this notoriously dynamic quartet.…

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Sparks, 02 Ritz, Manchester

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Its 33 years since I was woken up by my radio alarm clock to the sound of This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us, at the time a completely different sound to anything else around and, coupled with seeing the duo on Top Of The Pops, pretty mind blowing. Tonight Sparks are at the Ritz in Manchester touring what is their 23rd studio album Hippopotamus, looking not…

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Santana, Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville

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The irreplaceable Rey of Latin rock blessed Nashville with some of the most instantly recognizable guitar chords on warm Sunday night. Incense wafted through the air as Carlos Santana and his band transformed Ascend Amphitheater in to a space of love and peace. With a sound unbound and so pleasing he has never had to reinvent himself to stay relevant, Santana took the stage with his current band and peeled out the first notes…

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X Ambassadors, ULU Live, London

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X Ambassadors were full of surprises at The Venue (the recently refurbed venue at the University of London), as part of their current VHS tour. The US four-piece played an energetic set of old songs and new to a packed room of adoring fans on 29 August 2017. My mate Mike first alerted me to X Ambassadors. We have a thing where we recommend new music to each other, which…

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Gary Numan- Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

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 I must admit, I’m a Numan fan. I have been since 1979. When he took that stage at the Apollo in Manchester, my musical tastes changed overnight.  My interest in three minute punk songs had gone. It was a powerful and mesmerising performance that I will never forget. In fact I’ve seen almost every tour since. Unfortunately it’s been a bitter sweet relationship since that debut performance. Numan “retired” in…

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Clutch, Eagles Club, Milwaukee

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Clutch bring their psychedelic rock n’ roll to a packed Eagles Club, Milwaukee. From the first notes of ‘Cyborg Bette’ the crowd was in full swing.  The stage was dimly lit.  The crowd was already sweating from packing in tight to get closer to the front of the stage.  The band filled the stage and cheers filled the room once lead singer Neil Fallon was visible on stage.  They opened…

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Federal Charm, The Cheese and Grain, Frome

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First gig out for new vocalist Tom Guyer was supporting UFO at the Cheese and Grain, an interesting little venue in a sleepy Somerset Town. Despite taking me almost as long to get out of the town as it did for the whole Journey back, it made for an Interesting night. It could be argued that it isn’t the first gig with the new line up as they played a…

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United We Rock Tour, Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre, Chicago

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Both REO and Styx brought nostalgia back to life for a packed crowd. It was a sweaty night in Chicago, and the bands only turned it up as the night went on. I managed to hit some traffic on my way to the show and came in a bit late only to catch the tail-end of Don Felder’s set.  He capped it off with a cover of ‘Hotel California’ complete…

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Richard Ashcroft, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

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It seems more and more these days, I find myself walking away from gigs saying the same thing… “that has to be in my top 5 gigs of all time” That said there’s nothing better than going to a gig and seeing the band or artist perform like it’s their last ever show and I think it’s performances like these that make some gigs stand out over others. This was…

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Punch Cabbie, Live Wire Lounge, Chicago

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Punch Cabbie brings the noise to LiveWire Lounge! The lights dimmed as Punch Cabbie took the stage and the fans cheered in excitement. Punch Cabbie played with fire tonight.  After much excitement from the three opening bands, Punch Cabbie started their set around 12:30am. LiveWire Lounge is a small venue, but the room was filled with fans ready for the impending onslaught to their ears.  Overall the band sounded tight.…

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FOTF Download Festival 2017 Review

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Download.. the heaven for all metalheads, emo kids and those who seek refuge in the heavier side of music. Although I’m more used to head nodding than heading banging, for one weekend in a summery June, I find myself in midst of a sea of mosh pits, devil horns and the worst array of haircuts since Woodstock 69, and after a hungover, 4 hour coach journey, I find myself standing…

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Sigur Rós, Auditorium Theatre, Chicago

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Sigur Rós brings two full sets and an amazing light show to the Auditorium Theatre. The trio took stage with high anticipation from the crowd. Sigur Rós started the night off with some slower, softer songs.  They opened the set with ‘Á’ which is a newer unreleased track.  The audience watched in awe as the mood for the evening was set.  The band managed the emotion in the room through…

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The Kooks – Liverpool Olympia 29th April 2017

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I don’t know what it is about Liverpool Olympia, but as venues go, this one always seems to bring out the best in bands and their audiences. Tonight was no different The young crowd were gathering outside early doors, all eager to get inside for what was a great line-up (and I must give a special mention to the fashionista’s in the audience who push clothing boundaries with such eclectic…

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The Saw Doctors, O2 Academy, Leeds

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Tonight a virtually sold out Leeds O2 played host to Galway’s own The Saw Doctors. Formed in 1986 by Leo Moran and Davy Carton, the Celtic rockers have gone through a number of lineup changes but Leo and Davy have remained a constant. The gig was rescheduled due to Carton’s throat operation in the Autumn of 2016, but tonight he was back on form and ready to lead the party.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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