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London

The Rifles Unplugged, Islington Assembly Hall, London

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While the Gunners were pleasing their fans at Wembley, The Rifles were pleasing theirs at Highbury, or Islington to be more precise. The London band finished the England leg of their unplugged tour with a hometown concert at Islington Assembly Hall on 27 May 2017. With increased security and a football match on, there were very few people in the venue to see opening act Frankie Forman, perform a selection of…

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Tom Chaplin, The Palladium, London

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Tom Chaplin delights the capital with songs old and new. The ex-Keane frontman confronted his recent demons during an emotional performance at The London Palladium. It’s a cliché that bleak emotional turmoil can be a stimulating force for creativity. You have to reach rock-bottom to climb your way back into the light. If ever the cliché held good, it does so in the case of Tom Chaplin. Since he last…

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Hey Violet, The Garage, London,

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Californian power-pop band Hey Violet played to a packed The Garage in London on 8 May 2017. It was the first UK date on their European tour to promote their debut album From The Outside. Despite being a fully fledged, card-carrying introvert, I feel at home at gigs. OK, the first time I went to an arena concert (Michael Jackson’s Bad Tour at Wembley), and saw the packed stand doing Mexican waves…

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Mallory Knox, KOKO, Camden Town

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Mallory Knox bring ‘Wired’ to the road. Cambridgeshire five-piece Mallory Knox blew the plaster from the walls of Camden’s KOKO on the first of their two-night headline residency promoting new album ‘Wired’. I’ve been listening to the latest Mallory Knox album in the car. As a result, my journey times have been reduced by an average of 17%. I’m not condoning or advocating speeding as a means of getting from…

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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…

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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…

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‘As Lions’ Announce Headline Show in London

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As Lions. Photo by John McMurtrie

As Lions announce headline show at London’s Boston Arms Music Rooms on Wednesday 22nd March! Following the release of their highly acclaimed debut album Selfish Age via Better Noise Records last month, UK band As Lions have announced a London headline show at the Boston Arms Music Rooms on March 22nd. This special date in the capital serves as the perfect warm-up for the band’s 10-date US tour with Shinedown that kicks off in April. Check out the…

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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…

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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…

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Richard Ashcroft, O2 Arena, London

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The former Verve frontman thrills under the Docklands big top with material new and old. An awful lot of bad things have happened this year. Richard Ashcroft’s ‘These People’ album and the subsequent tour promoting it were not either of those things. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t own a single recorded work by Richard Ashcroft; either as a solo artist or from when he was fronting The…

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Black Grape, The Electric Ballroom, Camden

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Black Grape descend on iconic Camden venue to continue the 21st anniversary celebration of ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’. The Electric Ballroom swung to memorable beats as Shaun Ryder, Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge and the 2015 reboot of Black Grape re-ignited the flame that shone all-too briefly in the mid-nineties. One thing’s for sure; Black Grape fans might like their music, but they obviously like the pub in at least…

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Van Morrison & Jeff Beck, The O2 Arena, London

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Two iconic heavyweights of popular music close out BluesFest 2016 in London’s docklands. Jeff Beck and Van Morrison shared the limelight in the capacious environment of the O2 Arena on Sunday night and basked in the sound of rapturous applause and sight of standing ovations as they did so. This was the closing act to a three-day festival that for the past couple of years has been held under the…

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Garbage, Troxy, London

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Troxy, in Tower Hamlets East London, is a marvellous place. Constructed in 1933 as a grand Art Deco cinema, Troxy’s extravagant chandeliers and giant mirrors reflected the confidence and glamour of the early part of the period. As with many such buildings, in later years it had experienced some decline – being left empty for a period and used as a bingo hall for quarter of a century. In 2010,…

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