When Jack Garratt descended on Birmingham’s O2 Institute on his latest tour, the entire evening became a celebration, both of the music and the man behind it. Or should I say, the man behind the drum machine contraption set up on stage. Seeing a master of his craft perform live is a delight, and this was no exception: from the minute Garratt stepped on stage and assumed his position – drumsticks in hand, snapback in place – we knew we were witnessing the start of something special.
One only has to utter a single name and everyone is aflutter: Adele. The last few years have been wonderful for Miss Adkins, having received critical acclaim from every outlet possible the minute debut album, 19, was released in 2008. It is not that often you get to witness true talent on a firsthand basis, so thank heavens she visited Birmingham for four exceptional nights on her live tour this week. Attending the second night of these dates, it was pandemonium from the outset, with people queueing for an age just to get to their seats.
On his latest tour, James Morrison descended on a slightly more unusual venue: Birmingham’s gorgeous Symphony Hall. Considering how on previous occasions, the singer-songwriter has sold out academies and arenas across the country, it was a surprise decision, but one that worked surprisingly well.
It seems these days that it is the ‘in thing’ to hate The 1975. Before NME were splashing their photos on their front cover, they named them the Worst Band of 2014, with indie Twitter seemingly awash with berating of the band and their material. Be that due to their outspoken frontman Matt Healy, their ever-so-slightly irritating // M A R K E T I N G C A M P A I G N S // or simply that you don’t like their music, there is one thing you have to give them credit for: they are an extremely talented live band. Having formed over 14 years ago in Manchester, it is clear from witnessing them play ‘the biggest show of [our] lives’ at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena that they have truly honed their craft.
Back in February 2014, Yannis Philippakis attempted his usual jump from the balcony at Birmingham’s O2 Academy during Foals‘ headline tour, only to be restrained by security. Flash forward two years later, and he finally achieved his stage-jumping dream in Birmingham, only this time in a much large setting: the Barclaycard Arena.