Live Review / Jack Garratt @ O2 Institute (8.04.16)

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.

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Live Review / Adele @ Genting Arena (30.03.16)

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.

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Live Review / The 1975 @ Barclaycard Arena (22.03.16)

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.

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Live Review + Interview / Spector @ The Temple, O2 Institute (14.10.15)

With the release of their second album Moth Boys, it is becoming impossible to pigeonhole Spector into a specific musical genre. Not just your average ‘indie pop’ band, their second LP is particularly influenced by the ‘80s. Speaking to frontman Fred Macpherson ahead of their gig at the Institute’s Temple, he spoke of how during the recording process “[the band] were all listening to different music… ‘80s pop bands and stuff… but also really emotional, modern stuff like Drake, anyone who gets overly emotional in their lyrics.” It seems that despite being a band that, as a collective, listen to very different music, this has helped rather than hindered their musical direction following on from debut Enjoy It While It Lasts. “I guess there’s stuff that we listened to growing up like Depeche Mode that’s in there but we wouldn’t all sit down and listen to it together now, I think it’s just in the blood of our music.”

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