Birmingham news and blogs Sunday 13 March 2016
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The Hearing Aid

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Weaves a spell… 

10 Mar 16

Flip me, yes, this is more like it.

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Richard Alston Dance Company @ Exeter Northcott Theatre, Tuesday March 8th 2016 

9 Mar 16

“Dancing is a very inspiring thing that humans do.

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Pete Williams – songs in the quay (of life) 

8 Mar 16

Wonderful to see Pete Williams getting the kind of acclaim and coverage he deserves.

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Field Music / The Drink @ The Phoenix, Friday March 4th 2016 

5 Mar 16

Bands are a bit like wine.

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Mutual Benefit – Not For Nothing 

4 Mar 16

If the hustle and bustle of the big wide world is well and truly getting on your wick cop a load of this slice of laid back chamber pop tinged loveliness from Mutual Benefit (AKA Jordan Lee and an ever changing collective of his buddies).

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The Day Ends – Ripples 

3 Mar 16

Yet another new track spews out from The Day Ends and this is their best yet, a visceral slap round the chops from Miles Perhower and co replete with suitably trippy video that, together with the music, is probably a pretty fair representation of …

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Field Music hit the road! 

3 Mar 16

Somehow 12 years and six albums into their career Sunderland’s Field Music have hit the form of their lives with a brace of classic singles – The Noisy Days Are Over and the Hall and Oates-tastic Disappointed – and a critically acclaimed new album…

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Holy Pinto – Matches 

1 Mar 16

Freshly signed to Soft Speak Records indie rock duo Holy Pinto celebrate with Matches their brand new single (all 90 seconds of it) that lulls you gently into pretty chilled-ville before dropping the mighty f-bomb…

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Sunday Xpress…this Saturday! Nah…only joking…SUNDAY… 

26 Feb 16

There are many things I miss about not living in Brum and Sunday Xpress is one of ’em.

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The Day Ends – The Mentality Mob 

23 Feb 16

Emerging from the twisted still smoking wreckage of Miss Halliwell Miles Perhower’s new musical assault vehicle is The Day Ends and this track, The Mentality Mob , is its first missive…

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Taking the Mic @ Exeter Phoenix, Wednesday 17th February 2016 

18 Feb 16

Second time at Taking the Mic and, if anything, an even higher standard of performances than the last one.

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Tricot Tricot little stars… 

15 Feb 16

If this doesn’t get your limbs twitching like you’ve been wired up to the mains and doused in water then you may well need to check you’re still alive.

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The Baron’s Lucky Dip # 3 Kirsty MacColl – Walking Down Madison 

11 Feb 16

Continuing the random eyes closed trawl through 35 years worth of record collecting today’s gem is Kirsty MacColl’s Walking Down Madison, perhaps the rockiest and most ‘street’ she ever got in a career tragically cut short by a complete and …

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Mark Chadwick / The Sweet Black Angels @ The Beehive, Honiton – Saturday February 6th 2016 

8 Feb 16

The last time I saw Mark Chadwick I was surrounded by a couple of thousand other punters at the Birmingham Academy and he was surrounded by the band he formed way back in 1988, The Levellers .

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Maurice White RIP 

5 Feb 16

And so it goes on…

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Boat to Row – Handsome Beats 

4 Feb 16

Another perfect piece of post pastoral folk from Boat to Row together with a video that, now I’m living in the wilds of Devon, sparked more than the odd pang of nostalgia for dear old Brum (even if the ‘planners’ are currently doing their level…

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Paul Murphy RIP 

29 Jan 16

Well this year is really taking it’s toll on the legends.

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The Day Ends…and begins 

28 Jan 16

Okay, had enough of death already this year, time for a birth for a change…

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A Black day…RIP Colin Vearncombe 

27 Jan 16

Whilst it was expected the sad news that Black aka Colin Vearncombe died yesterday after suffering serious head injuries in a car crash two weeks ago was still a shocker.

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Animal Collective – FloriDada 

26 Jan 16

And the award for the most addictive track of January 2016 goes to…

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Jim Simpson on the beginning of The End… 

22 Jan 16

Oh hell…

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Taking the Mic @ The Phoenix, Exeter – Wednesday January 20th 2016 

21 Jan 16

First time at Taking the Mic (see what they did there?), a monthly poetry / singer songwriter / stand up comedy event that seems to be open to all comers, although most of the performers tonight appeared to be regulars.

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Mass Gothic – Every Night You’ve Got To Save me 

19 Jan 16

Doleful meets joyful in Mass Gothic’s rather splendid new single, Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me, plucked from the band’s self titled album due out on Sub Pop on February 5th.

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Back to Black… 

15 Jan 16

It’s been a bad week for lovers of great music.

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Ashes to ashes… 

11 Jan 16

We’ve seen a fair number of musical icons die over the years but the outpouring of grief and sheer shock resonating through the world today following Bowie’s passing is something else.

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New Year, new music… 

6 Jan 16

The annual BBC Music Sound of 2016 longlist thingy has just been released and a couple of names spring out straight away, Blossoms (who were one of the many highlights at last year’s MoFolk) and Dua Lipa (from the management team that brought us …

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Lemmy RIP 

4 Jan 16

Happy New Year and all that jazz.

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And so-ul this is Christmas… 

23 Dec 15

Funk Soul Christmas special by Jazzcat on Mixcloud Nothing says Christmas like a soul and funk mix eh and in what has become something of a Christmas tradition I’ve trawled the internet to pluck one of the very best out for your delectation and …

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Feel the Love… 

23 Dec 15

Fed up with Christmas songs yet? Check out this great new track from The Assist (fresh from supporting Slade a few nights back) with the kind of instantly catchy laid back baggy groove that would give the Happy Mondays or the late lamented Flowered …

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Rich pickings… 

22 Dec 15

Look, it’s tough enough for a lot of musicians to keep body and soul together so the last thing you need is some numbnuts nicking the tools of your trade.

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The Baron’s Lucky Dip # 2 

17 Dec 15

Okay, singles this time and a neglected glam synth classic from Sheffield’s Pink Grease, one of a squillion bands from the incredibly fertile mid noughties who sadly fell by the wayside (see also Rumble Strips…

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Howard Marks – Live in Exeter this Wednesday! 

15 Dec 15

Howard Marks may have become (in)famous for smuggling brain melting quantities of cannabis back in the 70s and 80s but he’s spent much of the last 20 years or so touring his one man shows, writing hugely entertaining books and generally living up to …

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The Baron’s Lucky Dip # 1 

10 Dec 15

One of the twisted benefits of moving house after 20 odd years in the same place is the discovery of stuff you’d stashed away sometime in the 90s and kind of forgotten about.

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Semi-Toned / Orchard Harmony @ St Mary’s Church, Whimple, Saturday December 4th 2015 

7 Dec 15

There’s a fair chance that St Mary’s Church has witnessed some jolly fine voices over the generations but perhaps tonight was the first time that 15 of them performed the Macarena complete with the obligatory dance moves.

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A tale of two cities (well, one City and one village) 

4 Dec 15

Not for the first time in life I wish I could be in at least two places at once this Saturday.

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Sunday Xpress’s end of the year bash! 

27 Nov 15

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww, going to miss this one now I’m in deepest Devon but if you’re in or around Brum there’s frankly no excuse.

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The Mercury’s rising… 

20 Nov 15

Almost time for this year’s Mercury Prize winner to be announced (one of the few awards I pay any attention to these days) and I’ve certainly got my favourites, in no particular order they are (along with the pick of their respective albums): …

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Aimless Comet – Roscoe Balaban 

19 Nov 15

It’s always a treat to have a cool new track spurt out of whatever social media nipple you happen to be suckling on and today’s (via Facebook…

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In these shoes… 

17 Nov 15

It’s been a difficult old week for reasons that are too personal for this humble little blog, but suffice to say I have my reasons for posting up this vid…

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Jim Causley @ The Beehive, Honiton – Saturday 7th November 2015 

9 Nov 15

“It’s great to ‘bee’ here”, as far as opening lines are concerned playing a venue like The Beehive is pretty much a pun lover’s gift.

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Holy Pinto – Best Pals 

9 Nov 15

The world’s run by lizards you know, well at least it is if you believe some of the odder theories out there…

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Shit Present / Young Adventurers / Will Rene / Honey Pot @ The Cavern, Exeter – Thursday 5th November 2015 

6 Nov 15

First gig in months and first gig in Exeter too and we picked a cracker (although rather boringly public transport cocked up the end of the night and we had to miss pretty much all of Shit Present’s set to catch the last ruddy train at 11.00…

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Shit Present…great line up! 

3 Nov 15

Exeter’s very own pop punksters Shit Present launch their brand new record this Thursday (November 5th) at The Cavern with support from Young Adventurers, Will Rene and Honey Pot (hmmm, wonder if they’ve ever played The Beehive…

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Jim Causley…live at the Beehive! 

2 Nov 15

Multi Folk Award nominee Jim Causely plays The Beehive in Honiton this Saturday, November 7th, quite possibly performing tracks from his forthcoming new album (Forgotten Kingdom) plus a smattering (at the very least) of traditional tunes to boot.

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Diane Charlemagne RIP 

29 Oct 15

Sad to report that Diane Charlemagne, the voice behind Urban Cookie Collective’s The Key The Secret and Goldie’s seminal Inner City Life, passed away on Wednesday.

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Zuri Aura – Luminous Shift 

28 Oct 15

Ooooooooooooh this is double lush with an extra helping of lush on the side, Zuri Aura live and unplugged as part of Exeter’s very own edition of Balcony TV dishing up the kind of chilled out reggae summer time vibes that’ll warm the cockles (and any…

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Exeter gig venues 

27 Oct 15

I knew Brum’s best gig venues like the back of my hand but Exeter’s still uncharted waters at the mo.

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Krafty Kuts – A Golden Age of Breakbeat 

27 Oct 15

Still struggling to get back into the swing of things…

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Oooooooooh Devon is a place on earth… 

22 Oct 15

Well, I’ve finally relocated to sunny Devon so I’d better get a shift on and find some gigs to big up/review/loiter outside looking a bit shifty.

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Gigs, gigs, gigs… 

6 Oct 15

I might be up to my neck in cardboard boxes (moving house…

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Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes – Barry Norman 

5 Oct 15

Taking a much needed break from packing up the detritus of a life spent trawling car boot sales/charity shops/skips/bins I stumbled across the new one from Brum’ very own Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes .

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Everything must go… 

30 Sep 15

Just occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting The Aid for the last week or so but in case you’re wondering what I’m up to I’m on the move (hopefully…

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Geoff Foulkes – RIP 

18 Sep 15

Sad news yesterday from Troumaca announcing the passing of band member Geoff Foulkes who’d been battling cancer for the past year.

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King Crimson @ Symphony Hall, Monday 14th September 2015 

15 Sep 15

Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Nirvana, Primus, Iron Maiden…

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The Whiskey Brothers – Bottle Up and Go 

14 Sep 15

Okay, so they’re not really brothers (and they’re drinking beer instead of whiskey on the CD insert!) but that’s pretty much the only artifice on this brand new, lovingly put together set of blues numbers old and new.

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Moseley Folk Festival 2015, Friday 4th September – Sunday 6th September 2015 

7 Sep 15

Festivals come and festivals go but there was something that little bit magical about the very first Moseley Folk waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2006 that made all those who were there then feel that this one was a bit of a keeper.

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Ready. Get set. Mo! 

4 Sep 15

Yep, Mo Folk’s tenth instalment kicks off today with oodles of great acts ranging from former Duran Duran lead singer Andy Wickett, firm Mo Folk favourite Scott Matthews (a late addition to the bill), Anna Calvi (boy that woman can sing) and Beth …

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Love Me Tender @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Monday 24th August 2015 

25 Aug 15

More than two dozen of the King’s best loved songs, one of Brit Soul’s finest voices and Barry Evans from EastEnders, these are just some of the ingredients of Love Me Tender, a brand new jukebox musical from the production team behind Hairspray…

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Just over a folking fortnight to go! 

19 Aug 15

In just over two weeks Moseley Folk celebrates its tenth birthday with one of its strongest line ups ever.

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Jjuke – A Little More Love 

18 Aug 15

Oh dear, what happened to the summer this year? Okay, so I’m not a fan of the sweaty dusty too hot to think kind of days but a little gentle heat and just the merest hint of sunburn wouldn’t go amiss would it eh? It’s actually cold here in Baron …