Issue 5

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Issue 5 2010 1 • July january

soundcheck w o l v e r h a m p t o n

Summer Festival Edition www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Editor: Contact:

Glenn Rossington editor@wlv-soundcheck.com

Design:

GR Creative

Advertising: Contact:

Kate Farrell kate@wlv-soundcheck.com

Contributions: Photos:

Glenn Rossington Andrew Gillard Glenn Rossington Shirlaine Forrest Karen McBride

Published By:

GR Creative

Contributions: Article and photo contributions are welcome. Prints and transparencies are sent at the owner’s risk and although every care is taken, soundcheck accepts no responsibility for loss or damage. Please email photos to editor@glennrossington.co.uk (all images must be at least 300dpi) or post them to our address Legal Bit: Copyright Š2009 Soundcheck. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission from Soundcheck. Information on events, products, reviews and anything else does not nessicarily imply recommendations by Soundcheck. We have done our utmost to make sure all the content in this magazine is correct and accurate, but would emphasise the we, Soundcheck, accept no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. All opinions expressed in this magazine are that of the individual contributor and are not nessicarily shared by Soundcheck Magazine

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Contents News 07 08 - 15

Editor’s Thoughts Music, Art & Food News

Features 18 - 21 22 - 31 32 - 33 36 - 39

Hayley Westenra Interview (Pt.1) This Summer’s Music Festivals Cyder Festival Spark Interview

Spot Light 40-41 42

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Cinema Listings

Film Reviews 43

45

John Richardson

Theatre 46 47

Derren Brown Hairspray

Reviews 48 - 49

New Albums

Live Music 51 52 53 54

Supergrass Richard Ashcroft We Are Scientists Liberation Works

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

DVD Reviews 44

Comedy

Goings On 58 - 59

Gig Listings

Lennon Naked www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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editor’s thoughts

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Welcome to the slightly revamped and jam packed summer special edition of Soundcheck Magazine. We have a right feast for you this month! Not only have we got a full guide to the best festivals locally, nationally and across europe, we have the first part of an exclusive interview with classical singer-songwriter, and New Zeland queen, Miss Hayley Westenra. As well as the main acts we all know about, I feel it is time to rejoice in the as-yet undiscovered talent we have to offer! This month we have an exclusive interview with new star on the block, the feisty ‘Spark’ from London. With the redesign, we are looking to add new features over the coming months with more emphasis on the loacl area, music, designers, fashion, food, art… you name it, our area has it. If you do any of the above and want to get you name across to 7,500 potential new clients and more, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do for you! Anyway, enjoy the issue, and let us know your thoughts on the new feel of things! Peace & Love to all…

Glenn Rossington (Editor)

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A round up of all things musical, artistic, food and fashionable…

Wolverhampton Gurls By now more or less everyone in the city has heard and been singing the biggest ‘hit’ on the airwaves of the last week. BBC Radio1 DJ Chris Moyles has recorded a new parody song based on Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’, and the subject? …’Wolverhampton Gurls’!

As soon as it had hit the airwaves, people around Wolverhampton were gushing over the track, making it a top trending topic on Twitter, and setting Facebook accounts alive with links to the video on YouTube. Undoubtedly it is one of his better parodies, and also helps to promote us as a city, taking us away from the negative ‘5th Worst City in the World’ in which we gained last year. For all his greivances in the past, Chris has done us a favour with this one… Thank You Mr Moyles! soundcheck magazine


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Pixie’s Crazy Cat Tour Hits Town Pixie Lott has recently announced her first ever headline tour including a date at our own Civic Hall on Tuesday 14th December. Kicking off in Glasgow, Pixie will play to over 40,000 people over the course of 4 weeks. Pixie says of the tour - “I am so excited for my first headline tour. I am happiest when I am on stage performing so I cant wait to get out on the road with my band and sing every night for all my fans. I am planning a very special show so come along, I want everyone to leave smiling.” Pixie released her current single Turn It Up recently, and exclusively performed it on Britain’s Got Talent. The single, taken from the album of the same name, was released through Mercury Records. What a year for Pixie - since the release of her first single Mama Do in June 2009, she has received three Brit nominations, sold 2 million singles, two of which were number 1’s, had three number 1 airplay hits, approaching 1 million albums sold globally and is quickly approaching Double Platinum in the UK. Pixie Lott is certainly one of the most exciting acts to emerge in 2009 and this year looks set to be even better – she recently supported Rihanna on her huge UK tour, did her biggest TV performance to date on Britain’s Got Talent (viewed by over 10 million people), graced the covers of various magazines and filmed her first movie. Tickets are on sale now via the usual outlets priced at £23.50 www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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A round up of all things musical, artistic, food and fashionable…

Carl Barat’s City Date Car Barat, the former Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things frontman has announced the first details of his as-yet-untitled solo album. Barat, who is reuniting The Libertines for the first time since 2004 this August, will tour the UK in support of his new solo record in October. It is currently unclear whether Barat will tour with a backing band or on his own. He is planning to release the album around the same time as the tour, and has warned fans to “expect the unexpected”. Alongside the album, Barat will release a book, a collection of memoirs, which he hopes will “tickle your curiosity”. Barat has set up a new Twitter page and MySpace, where he is expected to premiere new music over the coming weeks.

Bobby’s Silver Covers

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has unveiled a unique one-off collaboration featuring members of the Sex Pistols and The Who. The side project, entitled Silver Machine, have been announced to perform a special covers show at London’s 1234 festival in Shoreditch on July 24. The band will performing a collection of their favourite songs by The Troggs, MC5, Creation, Thr Flamin’ Groovies and The Chocolate Watch Band for the bash. “We’re great and we can’t wait,” declared frontman Bobby Gillespie. Festival director Sean McLusky added: “We did a show at the Whitechapel Gallery with S.C.U.M and a bunch of other artists, Bobby was playing and so I asked him if he would do more of the same at the festival, so now we have....The Silver Machine.”

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The Drumming Tour The Drums will go on a UK tour in the autumn. The band who have recently released their eponymous debut album, have lined up an 10-date jaunt, kicking off at London HMV Forum on November 24, before wrapping up at Manchester Academy on December 6. Before that, though, the band will also play a one-off date at Cambridge Junction on June 29. June 29th

Cambridge Junction

November 24th London HMV Forum 26th Bristol Anson Rooms 27th Birmingham HMV Forum 29th Glasgow O2 ABC 30th Belfast Mandela Hall December 1st Dublin Academy 3rd Newcastle Northumbria University 4th Leeds Metropolitan University 5th Nottingham Rock City 6th Manchester Academy 2 Tickets are on sale now from usual retailers.

30 Seconds To Mars Rockers 30 Seconds To Mars have announced details of an upcoming winter UK arena tour. Playing in support of their current album ‘This Is War’, Jared Leto and co will begin the jaunt in Brighton on November 29. November 29th Brighton Brighton Centre 30th London O2 Arena December 1st Birmingham NIA 3rd Aberdeen Exhibition Centre 4th Manchester Central Tickets are on sale now from usual retailers.

Adams Archived LP’s has announced that he is set to release a series of previously unreleased albums. In a message to fans on his official Facebook page, Adams firstly revealed how he had got a new Ryan Adams & The Cardinals LP back “fresh from the mastering plant”. Called ‘III/IV’, the double studio effort will be the follow-up to 2008’s ‘Cardinology’, and has been “in the vault since 2006”. Meanwhile, in a second post, the singersongwriter also added that he would be issuing a new solo album, which was recorded “over Christmas in 2005”. “Oh yeah, p.s. the ‘Blackhole’ LP is also back from the mastering plant,” he explained. “I f’n love this thing. It took 4 years to make it and to me it is basically ‘Love Is Hell Part 3’... lots of shimmery guitar love on this. Exciting times!!!” Despite the news, release dates for the albums are yet to be confirmed. As previously reported, in early 2009 Adams was “ready for quieter times” after quitting The Cardinals, but has recently released “his first fully-realised sci-fi metal concept album” in the form of ‘Orion’, and has also written 11 new songs inspired by his trip to Ronnie James Dio’s funeral. www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Deadly Goodbye Harry The last scenes of the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, have been shot. Warwick Davis, who plays Professor Flitwick and the goblin Griphook, wrote on his Twitter feed. “The end of an era - today is officially the last day of principal photography on Harry Potter - ever. I feel honoured to be here as the director shouts cut for the very last time. Farewell Harry & Hogwarts, it’s been magic! x ...and goodbye Griphook!” The Harry Potter films, which began with 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, are the highest grossing film series of all time, making an average of £600 million per film.

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Alien Prequel Confirmed Ridley Scott has announced that the script for a prequel to his 1979 film Alien is ready. Speaking at the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival, Scott declared: “It’s written. I’m prepping it now.” The director gave several hints about the new prequels, including that filming might commence as early as January 2011 and that 3D filming techniques might be used. He also said the setting would take place 30 years prior to the original film, giving him space for a second prequel. Discussing the film, Scott explained: “I sat thinking about the franchise which died on the road way back and lying in the dust and I thought, ‘What I should do is go back. . .’

Skins Reunited Movie Channel 4 teen drama Skins is set for the big screen after the producers confirmed a film will be made The movie version of Skins is set to start filming in September for a release next summer. Skins has become known for being the launching pad for young British talent, after Dev Patel went on to star in the Oscarwinning Slumdog Millionaire, and Nicholas Hoult won critical acclaim starring in last year’s A Single Man. Kaya Scodelario, who plays queen bee Effy, is the latest set for a big screen career after being cast as Cathy in Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, apparently amid competition from the likes of Natalie Portman and Gemma Arterton. The show changed almost its entire cast in the third season in order to retain the sixth-form as the show’s setting – and will do again for the forthcoming fifth season. However, producers say the Skins film will bring back characters from the first two series, along with new characters. The most recent series of Skins was the most watched to date, with more than 1.5m people tuning in, and has become something of a guilty pleasure for older viewers as well. www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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A round up of all things musical, artistic, food and fashionable…

TION: EXCLUSIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION: EXCLUSIV

Bus Station Revamp Making Way This is the last picture of Wolverhampton’s Pipers Row House before it was pulled down on Wednesday 7th July to make way for the entrance to the new £22.5 million bus station. The building, which used to house a Spar shop and a trade union office, is left of the middle in this bird’s eye view as work goes ahead on the first stage of a £174m revamp of public transport in Wolverhampton. With Pipers Row House gone the Queens Building seen above it will be given more prominence as it forms a key part of a development,due to be complete by next summer. Today, with its mounds of rock and concrete, it is easy to mistake the sprawling bus station site for a quarry. But transport bosses believe it will be worth the wait for a modern terminus. The former station has been gutted and foundations are being laid for a 19-stand replacement. The Queens Building is being protected with boards as work goes on. But there are plans for it to become shops, leisure space or even a restaurant as part of the redevelopment. The blue and white building is a temporary office set up by the contractors Bam. soundcheck magazine


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Garden’s Open Day Beautiful floral displays are expected to attract gardening enthusiasts from all around to an annual event this month. The grounds of Ludstone Hall, near Claverley, will be opened to the public for the only time this year. The open day is on July 18. The grounds are home to a kitchen garden, expansive lawns and flower beds, a pool and a moat. The house was built in 1607 by John Whitmore and remained in his family for more than 250 years. Gardener Graham Barker said: “The event is always very well attended, with all proceeds going to All Saints Church at Claverley.” Admission is £3 for adults and free for children. Donations will be requested for entry to the hall’s museum.

Led Zeppelin’s Big Bully Black Country legends Steve Bull and Robert Plant are teaming up next month to launch a new charity initiative by the former Wolves and England star. The Molineux favourite is extending his fund-raising activities by setting up the Steve Bull Foundation. And Bull has pulled off the coup of persuading rock superstar and Wolves “nut” Plant to perform a one-off gig at a VIP launch party for the new Foundation at Molineux. The pair have become increasingly pally in recent years as they have taken on behind-thescenes roles at Wolves . The gala night will be hosted by former GMTV presenter and Loose Women anchor Jackie Brambles and goes ahead at the Hayward Suite on August 20.

Conservatory’s Upgrade The conservatory at Wolverhampton’s West Park will close for six weeks during the summer to be repainted and repaired, the city council revealed today. The Grade II-listed glasshouse, popular with visitors who flock to see its floral displays, will shut from July 12 for a £50,000 makeover. The repairs, which include repairing and replacing parts of the timber framing, will last for 25 years. www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Hayley Westenra By Glenn Rossington soundcheck magazine


weeks time, which is pretty much in the middle of the Battle of Britain tour. It wasn’t in the original plans, but sometimes these things just happen... so it’s fine! It keeps me out of trouble!

Not many artists have been in a position to release a Best Of album at the age of 21, but there’s never been anyone quite like Hayley Westenra. She began performing when she was 6 and made her first recording in a professional studio at 12. She was still only 16 when she released her debut international record,’Pure’. It rapidly became the fastest-selling debut album from a classical artist, and reached the Top 10 of the pop charts in 11 countries. Her popularity and approachability have brought all kinds of opportunities, including offers to perform for royalty and assorted heads of state. She’s also UNICEF’s youngest-ever ambassador, an energetic supporter, both in awareness and financially, and is now on her second project in Ghana, Matron of the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN), and the first patron of Classic FM’s charity, Music Makers. We caught up with Hayley as she was preparing to go out on tour across the UK with the RAF Central Band. In the first of this 2-part interview, we discuss what can be expected on this unique tour in honour of our forces for 70 years. So hi Hayley, how are you? I’m good im good im pretty busy at the moment, a little bit frazzled but everything’s all very exciting. It’s all go things so I can’t complain. So there’s a little hint of stress in the air then! Yeah, im working on a new album at the moment and im recording in a couple of

So I assume songwriting has taken up the first part of the year then? Yeah, kind of! Songwriting and just working on my voice really. Taking a bit of time off. This album is a collaboration with the legendary composer Ennio Morricone, so he’s doing all of the music and I’ve been doing some work on the lyrics. It’s not just songwriting that takes up the time, it’s the sorting of which songs we’ll be doing and working out all the keys I’ll be singing in, and all the legal bits So it’s quite intensive then! Yeah definitely! It was only the other day we put the recording dates in the diary, so suddenly it’s realising that im going to be on that plane to Rome and I’ll be in the studio. But yeah it’s suddenly heated up! So you are going on a few dates around the UK with the ‘Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary tour’. This seems like a step away from the kind of performances you’re used to. What can we expect to see for the performance for the shows? I guess so, I do a variety of different concerts anyway and I have worked with the RAF Central Band before – they are fantastic musicians! Im really looking forward to working with them again and I feel inceredibly comfortable with them for this tour. But yeah im certainly going to be singing some songs that I haven’t performed live before. Some more 1940’s songs from the era. Some songs that Dame Vera Lynne had performed and recorded, they’ll be in keeping with the theme of the evening. So what’s inspired you to get involved with this tour and inparticular your involvement with the troops? Well, a couple of years ago I was invited out to perform at a commemorative service at Passchendaele which was for the 90th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele. It was a free concert for everyone who was coming along to the memorial service. What was really special about that trip www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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was that the organizers had done some research on my behalf and had discovered that one of my relatives, my great great uncle had actually faught in the battle of Passchendaele and he lost his life unfortunately. His name was on the wall to ‘soldiers with no known grave’ and they were able to point out his name to me, and also took me to the piece of land where they guessed that he had lost his life. This was all quite new to me and I hadn’t really spent much time researching my family, I guess because I was still quite young and you don’t really have the urge to do it until you’re usually a bit older. But this is what basically kick started me into looking at my family history and I discovered that one of my great uncles had been commisiioned into the Royal Air Force and he was a Squadron Leader, so he was highly decorated aswell. After that I was keen to support the armed forces. I was also invited to perform at things like the ‘Festival of Rememberance’. But then of course those sort of events have taken on more significance now I know more about my family’s history, and then I was invited out to Iraq to launch the Poppy Appeal, and that gave me another perspective of what it’s like to be a part of the armed forces. Meeting up with people my own age who are serving out there in Iraq in a pretty hostile environment, just shows that you’re a long way from home and the heat is incredible. It’s a very disciplined line of work, I am just in awe of the men and women out there serving. I can only imagine that all of us back home only get half of the story of what really goes on out there, we cant grasp hot hot the climate is, it must be absolutely mindblowing! Yeah I just don’t know how they do it! It’s incredible work that they do. I guess all of these things just kind of added upto taking part in this tour and I was just invited to be involved in it so it just seemed like a great match. I think my voice does suit the songs of that era, and I have actually become really good friends with Dame Vera Lynne, im the vice president of her charity for children with cerebal palsy, her trust fund, so all these things just kind of added up into making the right decision to do it. I think it will be a really great evening, it’s not soundcheck magazine

only music from the era, it’s also going to include excerpts and speeches from the time given by our narrator for the evening which happens to be the son-in-law of Dame Vera, Tom Jones. So there’s going to be stories, backgrounds and information to guide people through the concert. Musically it’s just really exciting, I love working with the RAF band. Also I just think it will be a really special concert that’s taking place. From the press release that we’ve had, it does seem like an absolutely incredible and unique night’s worth of entertainment. As you say, you’ve got the songs, the stories, I can imagine ithat not only for you as performers, for the audience too it will be a highly charged set of emotions that will come across throughout the performance. Yeah, there will also be lots of other extras that will be taking place through the night aswell, im not sure exactly what is in place but there will certainly be special effects and things. I think we’re all just really keen to make it a memorable evening’s worth of entertainment. Hopefully it will be an inspiring one too! So what are you looking forward to most about these shows? I’m just looking forward to performing these fantastic songs from the era and working with the RAF band, just joining forces with these great musicians. That’s what I’m looking forward to most in a selfish way I guess! (laughs) it’s always exciting when you’ve got new pieces to perform like ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’ it’ll just be incredible. So with these new songs that you’re performing for the first time, would you consider – given the right sort of circumstances and of course if you wanted to – recording them at a later date? Definitely yeah! Definitely! Once we get this next album done, never say never, I always like to try something new. However i do have a list of tracks as long as my arm that fans have requested me to put on record over the years. But yeah, this is something i would certainly consider. Join us next month for part 2 where we discuss her plans for the future, and her next recording sessions.


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s festivals, r’ e m m u s is the best of th , aswell as a re a r u o Our guide to to ls local festiva featuring the ean biggies! p ro u E e th d n nationwide a

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Local Festivals Godiva Festival - 2nd - 4th July

War Memorial Park, Coventry - Free The Midlands’ biggest three-day FREE festival, attracting over 85,000 people to an eclectic mix of rock, hip-hop, folk, comedy, poetry, and world music returns. Friday’s line-up includes Hazel O’Connor, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and ABC. Saturday’s line-up is headlined by Ash with Badly Drawn Boy, Senser, Morning Parade, and Detroit Social Club, also confirmed. Sunday’s headliner will be Joshua Radin. soundcheck magazine

Midlands Music Festival - 17th - 18th July

Castle Grounds, Tamworth - £29.50 / £50 The Festival held at Staffordshire’s Tamworth Castle Grounds expands this year to a two day event. Saturday has Billy Ocean, Hot Chocolate, Hue and Cry, and Kajagoogoo. Sunday it’s the turn of Scouting For Girls, Alexandra Burke, and The Saturdays with more acts still to be announced. Saturday will see acts from the 80s on the festival stage and Sunday will play host to many of today’s biggest chart stars.


If you are unsure of which festival to go to this year, then let us try and help. We have compiled a guide to our favourites throughout the summer. These include the best of the local festivals, National favourites and European stunners…

Wolvestock 2010 - 24th - 25th July

The Flapper, Birmingham - £5 / £8 / £18 Birmingham’s most treasured canalside venue plays host this year to Chapel Club, Pulled Apart By Horses and 35 Seconds. Supported by the cream of local talent which includes the likes of Malpas, Tall Ships, Talons, Maybeshewill, Boat To Row and Holy State.

East Park, Wolverhampton - Free The FREE sixteenth Wolvestock takes place at East Park, Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton, on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July, and offers two days of line dancing and listening to live Country Music bands. This years highlights include Swing Commanders Band, Diablos Band, Henry Smith’s Country Dreams, Texas Tornadoes, Magill, Brian Hughes & The Lone Sharks, John Cheshire, Special Guest Gaye ‘Kill the Spiders’ Teather and more.

Indietracks Music Festival - 23rd - 25th July

Global Gathering - 30th - 31st July

Off The Cuff Festival - 23rd - 25th July

Butterley Station, Derbyshire - £60 / £32.50 In 2010 Indietracks expands to a three day festival that combines heritage trains and indiepop music located in the Derbyshire countryside. Guests are free to enjoy the regular facilities of the Midland Railway Butterley such as the steam train rides, farm and museum, and enjoy a range of new and established indiepop bands. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart will headline with Love Is All, Ballboy, The Pooh Sticks, White Town, The Sunny Street, This Many Boyfriends, and Winston Echo.

Long Marston Airfirld, Warwickshire - £120 The tenth anniversary of Global Gathering will cover the entire spectrum of dance music with musicians, DJs and performers entertaining up to 50,000 people. Acts confirmed for 2010 are headliners Faithless, and Dizzee Rascal plus 2ManyDJs, Chase & Status, Carl Cox, Above And Beyond, Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, Sidney Samson, Judge Jules, Fake Blood, Kissy Sell Out, and many more. Following its successful debut in 2009, the Godskitchen Boombox will be returning again. www.wlv-soundcheck.com


The Big Chill Festival - 5th - 8th August

Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire - £155 Set in a picturesque location and offering both families and ravers a diverse range of alternative, dance, electronica, and chilled beats from live bands and DJs. This years line up includes Massive Attack, M.I.A, Lily Allen, Thom Yorke, Terry Callier, Plan B, Tinie Tempah and many more.

Summer Sundae Weekender - 13th - 15th August

DeMontford Hall, Leicester - £105 / £45 A three day family friendly music festival with full camping facilities offering festival goers over 100 acts with an eclectic mix of live bands of all styles and genres over six stages, and high calibre comedy in the eFestivals Comedy Tent. The acts announced include headliners Seasick Steve, Tinchy Stryder, and Mumford & Sons, along with acts including Teenage Fanclub, Roots Manuva, Steve Mason, Diana Vickers, Turin Brakes, The Invisible, Fionn Regan, Liam Frost, The Go! Team, and many more.

V Festival - 21st - 22nd August

Weston Park, Shropshire - £140 / £78.50 Held over a large site, and offering a bill of predominantly commercial acts, crowd favourites, and radio friendly indie upstarts in a corporate festival atmosphere. Kasabian will headline Saturday and Kings of Leon headlining Sunday with Stereophonics, Faithless, The Prodigy, Paul Weller, Cheryl Cole, Madness, Editors, Skunk Anansie, Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding and Pixie Lott. With a capacity of 90,000 the site will open (for weekend campers) from 10am Friday until midday Monday.

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Shambala Festival - 26th - 29th August

A Secrt Location in the Midlands - £109 The line-up might be kept under wraps, for this Shambala’s tenth year, but this great family friendly festival promises four days of fun, with a large kids area, masses of workshops, woodland antics, crazy carnivals, roaming theatrics, and everyone in fancy dress. Venue details aren’t available until you buy a ticket and band line-ups aren’t made public in advance. Ticket holders find out who’s performing when they get there.

Shrewsbury Folk Festival - 27th - 30th August

WM Showground, Shrewsbury - £46 / £92 The Shrewsbury Folk Festival is a four day event blending a tradition of folk music and dance and offers musical and cultural diversity in a family friendly format with something for everyone. Artists confirmed are Afro Celt Sound System, Billy Bragg, McCusker, and Woomble, and Adrian Edmondson & the Bad Shepherds.

Moseley Folk Festival - 27th - 30th August

Moeseley Park, Birmingham - £77 / £37 The fifth Moseley Folk Festival takes place at Moseley Park, Moseley, Birmingham, across two stages. Friday has two headliners The Divine Comedy and The Turin Brakes. Saturday see’s Donovan supported by The Low Anthem and more. On the Sunday the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain headline.

Arts Fest 2010 - 10th - 12th Septembert

Various Venues, Birmingham - Free ArtsFest is an annual free festival and is billed as Birmingham’s biggest and most vibrant cultural festival. Full festival details, including bands, performances and the general theme are still to be announced. www.wlv-soundcheck.com


Glastonbury Festival - 23rd - 27th June

Worthy Farm, Somerset - £180 2010’s event will mark the 40th anniversary of music and arts festivals at Worthy Farm. Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder headline the Pyramid stage. The line-up also includes Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Orbital, Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, Seasick Steve, Jackson Browne, Faithless, Jack Johnson, Ray Davies, Slash, The Flaming Lips, Delphic and many more.

T in The Park - 9th - 11th July

Balado, Kinross, Scotland - £180 / £75 Offering a huge variety of music for 85,000 music fans across seven main stages with large camping areas, as well as other attractions. Headliners Kasabian, Muse and Eminem joined by Black Eyed Peas, Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Dizzee Rascal, Faithless, Florence And The Machine, Jay-Z, Kele, Echo & the Bunnymen, Paolo Nutini and Stereophonics.

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Oxegen - 8th - 11th July

Punchestown, Ireland - €224.50 Ireland’s annual three day multi-stage music festival weekend offers festival favourites, big name international acts and a variety of musical styles. Headlined by Eminem, Muse, and Kasabian, the line-up also sees Arcade Fire, Fatboy Slim, Kate Nash, Bell X1 and more.

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The Green Man Festival - 20th - 22nd August

Glanusk Parc, Powys, Wales - £120 A four day event with three days of music and more than 100 acts playing indie, psychedelia, Americana, and folk across 5 stages. Doves, The Flaming Lips, and Joanna Newsom will headline the festival, with Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, Fionn Regan, Tindersticks, Fuck Buttons and still more acts still to be announced.

Reading & Leeds Festival - 27th - 30th August

Little John’s Farm, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds - £180 / £75 From punk and metal, through rock, alternative and indie to dance and nu rave, Reading and Leeds offers 70,000 music fans a chance to see hot new acts, and local bands beside big established ones, plus the odd exclusive performance. Arcade Fire, Blink 182 & Guns ‘N’ Roses headline the notorious rock festival.

Electric Picnic - 3rd - 5th September

Stradbally Hall Estate, Eire - €240 Ireland’s complete music and arts festival that offers an array of fine music, theatre, comedy, holistic health and art. Roxy Music, Leftfield, and Massive Attack lead the acts announced that include Eels, Friendly Fires, Laurent Garnier, The Fall, Bonobo, LCD Soundsystem, The Frames, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew77, and more.

Bestival - 9th - 12th September

Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight - £150 Bestival is offering a line-up of big music names and scene setters in a world fancy dress, packed full of surprises, secret stages, fun, and rockets. Acts include Dizzee Rascal and Hot Chip on Friday, The Flaming Lips and Roxy Music on Saturday, and The Prodigy on Sunday, plus Wailers, Jonti, Wild Beats, Mumford & Sons, Echo and the Bunnymen, Rolf Harris and many more.

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Rock Werchter - 1st - 4th July

Werchter, Rotselaar, Belgium - €180 / €76 Belgium’s biggest rock festival offering four days of varied international well known acts in a well organised commercial festival setting. The acts confirmed so far are Muse, Green Day, Rammstein, Pink, Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam, Faithless, La Roux, Florence & The Machine, Vitalic, Editors, Them Crooked Vultures, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Ting Tings, Phoenix, Skunk Anansie and more already confirmed.

Roskilde - 1st - 4th July

Roskilde, Denmark - £200 Often mentioned in the same breath as Glastonbury, Roskilde is continental Europe’s biggest festival. The festival offers a variety of international acts and four days of music. Acts announced includes Them Crooked Vultures, Muse, Kasabian, Prince, Wild Beats, Alice in Chains, Beach House, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Boban & Marko Markovic Gypsy Orkestar, Casiokids, Dirty Projectors, Dulsori, Efterklang, Florence And The Machine and more.

Bilbao BBK Iive - 8th - 10th July

Recinto Kobetamendi, Spain - £80 BBK Live festival is a three day festival that takes place in the outskirts of Bilbao in Northern Spain. The headliners have been announced as Pearl Jam and Rammstein with Biffy Clyro, The Maccabees, Band of Skulls, Gomez, Anti-Flag, Manic Street Preachers, Slayer, Faith No More, Alice In Chains, Paul Weller, Skunk Anansie, Jet and Gogo Bordelo also confirmed. soundcheck magazine


Festival International de Benicassim 2010 - 15th - 18th July

Valencia, Spain - £160 Benicassim has something to offer across the whole musical spectrum, as indie and rock bands rub shoulders with DJs and more experimental music projects. The first acts have been announced as Gorillaz, Kasabian, Ian Brown, The Specials, Public Image Ltd. (PiL), Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Leftfield, Klaxons, The Courteeners, The Prodigy, Ellie Goulding and more to be confirmed.

FM4 Frequency Festival - 19th - 21st August

St. Pölten, Austria - €127 FM4 Frequency Festival is a three day festival held in Austria. Latest announcements include LCD Soundsystem, Peaches, Archive, Johnossi, Martina Topley Bird, Stompin Souls, Goldhawks, special guest Alf Poier & Die Obersteirische Wolfshilfe, Serj Tankian, Deadmau5, Klaxons, Blue October, The Drums, and General Fiasco.

Pukkelpop - 19th - 24th August

Kempische Steenweg, Belgium - €145 / €76 One of the largest music festivals in Belgium catering for 180,000 people, well organised and has eight stages showing the best in a whole range of music. Iron Maiden will headline with Queens Of The Stone Age, Placebo, 2manydjs, The Prodigy, Soulwax, Blink 182, Garcia plays Kyuss, Gallows, Bad Religion, The Kooks, Jonsi, Boys Noize, Limp Bizkit, The Flaming Lips, Pendulum, Snow Patrol, Kate Nash and more.

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It’s a Summer of Cyder…? Cornish Cyder is the dream as new festival takes off There’s no doubting that cider is the drink of the summer, with sales soaring and new flavours being introduced all the time. One Cornish farm got in on the act and organised its first ever cyder festival (that’s cider to most of us). The Healey’s Cyder Fest was such a success, raising more than £1,500 for the Cornish Community Foundation, that they’ve vowed to do another one next year. The fest was a cyder lovers dream with endless pints of the good stuff, Cornish pasties and live music, including local bands Grey Dog and Rudi’s Message. It saw the launch of Berry Rattler Cyder, a refreshing mix of Cornish Rattler with red berries and a bit of fizz. With the blossom season in full swing, the event was also the occasion for the selection and crowning of the annual Blossom Queen. Healey’s Orchard Manager Darren Sutton selected Clare Ray from St Columb Minor from the crowd as the 2010 Healey’s Blossom Queen. Clare was then crowned in the traditional manner, on a throne under the maypole in the centre of the Healey’s Cyder Farmyard. Led by the Tatters Morris Morris Dancers, members of the crowd danced round Clare to complete the blossom blessing ceremony.

Organiser Sam Healey said: “We were delighted with the success of this, our first Healey’s Cyder Fest. We had a great mix of ages, contributing to a really chilled Cornish atmosphere. We have been overwhelmed by local support for all we do here at Healey’s and for the Rattler brand and wanted to use this evening as a way of saying thank you to Cornwall, whilst also raising money for the Cornwall Community Foundation. “Rudi’s Message and Grey Dog put in some awesome performances on the night and I am very grateful that they managed to change their schedules to be with us. I am also incredibly grateful to the Healey’s team who gave their time on the night for free and worked so hard to make the evening such a success. “On the basis of the response to this year’s event, I see no reason why we should not make the Healey’s Cyder Fest an annual event to coincide with the blossoming of the apple trees in our orchards.” This year’s event was massively oversubscribed so anyone interested in being put on the invitation list for next year’s event (tickets will be limited with priority given to those who booked this year) should email Healey’s at info@thecornishcyderfarm.co.uk www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Spark is a feisty 18 year old from London who captured audiences up and down the country with her support slot to Marina & The Diamonds. We took a bit of time out with her to discuss the finer points of music, her debut single and her collaboration with Rap mogul, Eminem! How are you? I am very good! All happy and smiling so it’s all good! So for the readers who have not come across you yet, how would you describe your sound? That’s hard because no artist really wants to put themselves in a box, but I guess it’s pop music. I like pop music, but it depends... my intention when writing changes all the time. Sometimes I write something that I really feel or mean and sometimes it’s something else. Sometimes it’s just something that I would like to dance to, or I’d like other people to dance to. But I guess all of my intentions lead to pop music. Maybe edgy pop, not straight pop. So pop with a twist then? Yeah. Yeah! Twisty pop! How did you get into the music business to start with? Umm... that’s another hard question because I didn’t really... there was never a decision made. I didn’t ever decide that I want to do music, I’ve just literally sung since I can remember. I wrote my first song when I was 12. It was basically like the same way soundcheck magazine

you learn how to talk, and you learn how to walk and it’s just so natural, I was just into music and just didn’t question it. So you’ve just finished a tour supporting Marina & The Diamonds, how was that as an experience for you? That was pretty special! Pretty amazing, pretty intense and crazy, but it was a dream. I would do it all again tomorrow if I could! Marina is the diamond, and I have told her on many many occasions. She says it’s the fans, but I think it’s her. She is very very very special. We saw you on the opening night in Birmingham, and from the second you came on stage you just seem to instantly have everyone’s attention... That’s funny because Birmingham was the first one and I had only finished school the day before, so I was pretty nervous! It was the first one and I was seeing Marina perform for the first time. My voice wasn’t completely on point as I was performing at my last day of school the day before, so I didn’t think Birmingham was the one, but I feel better about it now! But as the tour went on, I became more confident and at ease with performing everyday. I had only ever had one gig before the tour, which was in Brighton to about 10 people! So Birmingham was basically my first proper gig, well the first one with a proper audience! Also, I knew it was a sold out tour, but I thought people would only be there purely for Marina, and I would still only have little audiences. Obviously that wasn’t true!


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Do you think her fans have taken you under their wings, so to speak? Yeah. I think that there have been some that have really stood out, which I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t so happy after the Birmingham gig because I didn’t feel that it was the best that it could have been, but I am a perfectionist! But what I wasn’t expecting was for people to ask me to sign autographs and for their photograph with me! So that was a shock! Following that, more people have been following me on Twitter and Facebook and my MySpace. It has just been a really lovely welcoming crowd that I’ve had. So on the back of this tour you’re releasing your debut single ‘Shut Out The Moon’, are you nervous and or excited about it? I am excited! It’s being released on Pure Groove, and we’re doing an acoustic Instore there on the day of release (12th July). The acoustic versions of all the songs aren’t typical, they’re all arrangements. It’s not just the same song with a guitar. I’m playing keys, i’m playing glockenspiel and we’ve got string sounds. It’s all very different but in a special way. The day after that, we’re doing a full set at a place called The Camp in East London, which will be the official launch party for the single. So I am very very very excited! Also on tour, I think I got so used to there being a ‘gig-a-night’ and knowing there was going to be an audience, I think you get into the swing of it, and you take for granted the fact that you’re going to be doing a gig. You can forget just how special it is. But now I’m off tour and I’ve done one gig since, and I have another gig tomorrow night. So one gig every two weeks is completely different to what it was so now when I have a gig I am so excited! I just can’t wait! Can you tell us what the song is about? People make assumptions really, which is completely what it’s there for. I love that people can feel something different to what it is. I try and leave all of my songs open for interpretation. I feel that once I have written a song and put it out for people to hear, then it becomes theirs aswell. But I feel that it is about escapism, and the way that in relationships and society things can be taken for granted. For example; in a www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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relationship if a boy likes a girl or a girl likes a boy and they really try to impress them, they end up going out. But once they are together, the effort stops. Its just comfortable and girls don’t have to make sure they look nice and boys do the same, and they aren’t always as polite or kind or generous to each other as they used to be. It’s just about trying to regain that ‘je ne sais quoi’. Shut Out The Moon is just a metaphor. People tend to think that it’s personal, it’s about me thinking or feeling that the spotlight is on me and have people look at me or notice me, but it’s not. It’s not about that for me, but I am more than happy for people to make their own interpretations of it. Who have been your influences on the music and writing lyrics? That’s another really tough question because I never really had any. People find that really hard to understand sometimes. Like I said it was just very natural for me to go into music, and it just happened. I was born in 1992 so growing up it was acts like the Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. But I never really listened to much music, I just sang. I started off as a singer songwriter, I wrote my first song when I was 12, so when people started to say that I was like Alanis Morrisette – I obviously wasn’t but it was only because I was a girl and I had a guitar! Joni Mitchell was another comparison, but I didn’t know who they were when I started writing! I now get compared to people like Kate Bush, Blondie and Annie Lennox. I still didn’t know who these people were at the time. Also when I was writing I didn’t want t listen to too much because I didn’t want to write something that has already been written, I wanted to do something completely new and that was completely me. So people are starting to hear the single now, how has the feedback affected you? It has all been so positive! So the way that is affecting me is that it is just making me smile a lot! It’s making me want to do it even more, and want to sing for more people. I want more and more people to hear it too! So beyond the gigs surrounding the single’s release, do you have any plans to go out on another tour or do more gigs? Well the plans for the rest of the year really are to do these couple of gigs in London, and then maybe towards the end of the year, just

do a mini club tour, or maybe another support tour. Then it’s a second single release and the album next year! Is there anyone you’d love to do duet with at some point in the future? This will probably be really really random, but I would love to collaborate with Eminem! That’s a bit random but I really would. I have songs like ‘Shut Out The Moon’, ‘Receiver’ and ‘Damage Done’ which are all kind of singy, then I have songs like ‘Scream’ and ‘Blow’ which are edgy and full of attitude. I think that my personality comes out a bit, and I think that me and Eminem would just hit it. It would be pretty amazing and very funny I think! I can imagine the music video being funny! I think it would be so amazing, but so jokes. Our final question is one that we ask everyone we interview. What are you currently listening to? Is there anyone that you would recommend to our readers to check out, besides yourself obviously? Going back to what I said earlier about not listening to music, I am totally out of touch with what’s going on at the moment so I don’t really know any new bands or artists really. The only thing I can really relate to are the other ladies around and killing it at the moment, like Marina, Ellie Goulding, La Roux, Pixie Lott, Florence & The Machine and all of those girls, but apart from that I don’t really know. There’s a girl called Lissie who is American and she is incredible. Apart from her I cant really say really, so I’ll just encourage everyone to listen to the girls! Now I’ve finished school I suppose I should do some homework really and get up to speed! On my ipod, I sort of have a crazy obsession with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Eminem! It’s a really big mix, it’s got Abba, Plan B, the girls, Britney Spears, N Sync, The Spice Girls. It’s just very eclectic! Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with us, we wish you good luck for the future with the single and future aspirations. And hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with you at some point in the future! Yeah definitely! Thank you! Spark’s debut single ‘Shut Out The Moon’ is released on 12th July via Pure Groove. www.sparkthemusic.co.uk www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Spot Light: Galleries

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Current Exhibitions * • • • • •

Staffordshire Hoard Until 11th July - Entry is Free. Aspects of China Until 30th Sept - Entry is Free Trex: Killer Question Until 5th Sept - Entry is £5 / £4 Steve McCurry: Retrospective Until 17th October - Entry is Free Heard not Seen Until 8th July - Entry is Free Funky Beach Photo Frames 10th July Only - Entry is Free

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH Tel: +44 (0)121 303 2834 Admission: Free entrance. Some exhibitions and events may charge. Opening Times: Monday - Thursday 10am - 5pm Friday 10.30am - 5pm Sat 10am - 5pm Sunday 12.30pm - 5pm

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It is 125 years since Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery first opened its doors beneath the clock tower on Chamberlain Square. Inside you will find everything from Renaissance masterpieces to 9,000-year-old Middle Eastern treasures. Famous for its Pre-Raphaelite paintings. You can see art and objects spanning seven centuries of European and World history and culture. Find out more about Birmingham’s history or see the Egyptian mummies. Currently, the Museum is holding one half of the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard, it is the largest and most important historical find from our area in recent years. Admission to this exhibition is free thanks to the grant that has been made to keep the collection here in it’s home. The gallery itself is part of a larger chain of building situated throughout Birmingham. The others are: Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall and Museum of The Jewellery Quarter. For more info: http://www.bmag.org.uk


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Cinema Listings

The Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT

Bentley Bridge Leisure Park, Wednesfield Way WV11 1TZ

T: 01902 716055 W: www.light-house.co.uk

T: 0871 200 2000 W: www.cineworld.co.uk

Currently Showing Sex & The City 2 Greenberg Wild Target Girl On The Train

Showing Later This Month Whatever Works Wild Grass City Of Life & Death Swan Lake Please Give White Material

2nd - 6th 2nd - 6th 9th - 15th 9th - 15th

15 15 12a 15

16th - 22nd 16th - 19th 20th - 22nd 22nd only 23rd - 29th 23rd - 29th

12a 12a 15 N/A 15 15

Currently Showing

The Twiglight Saga: Eclipse Greenberg I Hate Luv Stories Killers Letters To Juliet Tooth Fairy Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Shrek Forever After 2D & 3D Death At A Funeral Get Him To The Greek Sex & The City 2 The Collector Predators

12a 15 12a PG PG 12a U 15 15 15 18 15

Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, West Midlands WS2 0LE

ODEON Telford, Forgegate, Telford Town Centre Telford, Shropshire, TF3 4NE

T: 0871 220 1000 W: www.showcasecinemas.co.uk

T: 0871 22 44 007 W: www.odeon.co.uk

Currently Showing Get Him To The Greek Sex & The City 2 Robin Hood Lymelife Heartbreaker (L’arnacoeur) Killers Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Predators Bad Lieutenant The Collector Iron Man 2 Shrek Forever After 2D & 3D Streetdance 2D & 3D The Twighlight Saga: Eclipse

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15 15 12a 15 15 12a 12a 15 18 18 12 PG PG 12a

Currently Showing Shrek Forever After 2D & 3D Furry Vengeance Get Him To The Greek I Am Love Killers Letters To Juliet Predators Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Robin Hood Sex & The City 2 Streetdance 2D & 3D The Collector The Twighlight Saga: Eclipse Tooth Fairy

U PG 15 15 12 PG 15 12a 12a 15 PG 18 12a PG


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Spot Light: Cinema

The Disappearance of Alice Creed Starring - Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan and

Martin Compston Reviewed by Andrew Gillard If there is one thing which British cinema can do which seems to be Hollywood’s Mission: Impossible is to do a film like Alice Creed. Hollywood seems incapable of making films which make you feel genuinely uncomfortable as you are watching as the scenes are disturbing and worrying, very few exceptions to this rule exist, maybe Deliverance (1972) and/or Vulgar (2000) ; whether it is down to the money men saying “no, you can’t do that” or some other reason it is unclear. Even Hollywoods ‘Horror’ movies don’t really give you that horrible “ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod! What’s happening?” feeling, not since Evil Dead (1981) anyway. The story of Alice Creed is a very simple one, and as such is filmed very simply. Set for the vast majority in a flat somewhere in London, Alice (the wonderful Gemma Arterton) is kidnapped by two men, relatively meek Danny (relatively unknown Martin Compston) and the maniacal Vic (the maniacal Eddie Marsan). Vic and Danny are holding Alice to get £2million from her millionaire father. The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a film about power, and how people act when

they either have it or they don’t. It also a film about love, greed, duality and the difference within the sexes. With only 3 characters onscreen, it is a tall order to keep the interest of the audience throughout, but with a strong script and excellent directing from J Blakeson (directing his first feature film). The path the film follows from Beginning to End is chocked full of twists and turns and red herrings, whilst one or two might be quite obvious twists, but some come completely out of the blue. The acting of the trio is on a par with any British film you will see. Although one would now expect solid performances from Gemma Arterton - future-American sweetheart and the girl who reminds us why we used to like Keira Knightly before her reverse-Pinochio transformation (from human to woodenpuppet) - and Eddie Marsan as ever gives us a top notch performance, Marsan and Paddy Considine could be the Di Niro and Pacino of their generation if they were given a fair crack at the Hollywood whip. However, it is the unknown entity that binds this film together, Martin Compston. Known for very little in this country, but on a performance like this do not be surprised if his star rises, and the fact that he has another half-dozen films due this year shows just that. Rating – 8/10 www.wlv-soundcheck.com


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Spot Light: DVD’s

Lennon Naked Starring - Christopher Eccleston, Christopher Fairbank and Naoko Mori Reviewed by Andrew Gillard Not going out? Or fancy a night in with a DVD? Then July 3rd sees the release of Lennon Naked. A BBC film by Producer/Director Edmund Coulthard chronicling a 15 year or so period of Lennon’s life. The Doctor is playing the Master musician, Christopher Eccleston picks up the title role supported by Naoko Mori (Toshiko from Torchwood) portrays Lennon’s muse and life partner, Yoko Ono. “Everybody loves you when you’re 6 feet underground” said Lennon, and never a truer sentence could be used to describe the man himself. The world knows the story of Lennon, how he treated those closest to him and that to all intents and purposes he was a bit of bastard to everyone, but this image of Lennon is rarely – if ever - shown. So when the film starts with the message “The following drama is based on real events, although some scenes are the invention of the writer”, we think that this film might actually give us a representation of something different. The opening scene is Brian Epstein (Rory Kinnear) telling Lennon that his father, Freddie Lennon (Christopher Fairbank – Moxey from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet) wants to meet up after being conspicuously missing from John’s life from the past 15 years. Unfortunately, from this first scene it skips along to the Death of Epstein, and then onto showing the miserable marriage John and Cynthia (Claudie Blakley – Lark Rise to

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Candleford), and then onto his meeting to Yoko, and the end of his marriage to Cynthia and the end of the Beatles, and then..., and then...and so it continues. The film just seems to rush from one moment of Lennon’s life onto the next, never stopping to give us a real portrait of the man, his demons or his troubles. Most of the scenes show the moments of Lennon’s life away from the music, but very famous anecdotes of his life nonetheless. Such as John’s anger that it was Paul who was first to depart The Beatles, the Maharishi conning The Beatles and Lennon going into therapy about his abandonment issues, leading onto the Primal Scream therapy. Whilst all of the small segments were interesting they never got inspected in any depth. This film could’ve been a really remarkable 6-part series, each episode devoted to two or three years of his life that was in the film given a 5-6 minute scene. Whilst performances from Eccleston, Blakley and Nori are fantastically observed and an amusing scene with some banter between John and Cynthia’s mother, Lennon Naked had endless potential, but delivered so little. Ultimately, fans of The Beatles and Lennon will have read about everything shown within the film, and whilst they might enjoy the visualization of these stories they will feel dissatisfied that there were no revelations, no depth in character and a shallow storyline. This film did not do justice to the life of a very complicated man who led a very interesting life.

Rating – 5/10


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Spot Light: Comedy

Jon Richardson Glee Club Birmingham - June 2nd 2010 Reviewed by Andrew Gillard At 27 years-old of age, Jon Richardson is a relative babe-in-arms in the cut-throat world of Comedy. Yet, despite his tender years Jon has numerous accolades to his name. His first year alone saw Jon win his heat in the BBC’s New Talent Comedy Search, reach the semi-finals of the Laughing Horse New Act of The Year and the final of the J20 Last Laugh Comedy Search. 2006 saw Jon support Alan Carr on his 60-date UK Tour. Over the last 3 years, Jon’s star has begun to rise, ’07 had Jon was nominated for the if.comedy Best Newcomer award for first full-length show ‘Spatula Pad’. The Chortle Awards accredited Jon with the Best Breakthrough Act in 2008 for his show ‘Dogmatic’, and most impressively of all 2009 saw Jon nominated for the main Best Act award in Edinburgh for his show ‘This Guy At Night’. As well as live comedy Jon has been Russell Howard’s partner in crime on the 6Music Sunday morning Russell Howard Show, even taking over from Howard on the re-branded Jon Richardson Show until leaving in March this year. TV has beckoned – Buzzcocks, The Bubble and Have I Got News to name but a few. Jon is currently following the footsteps of comedy greats Bill Bailey and Sean Lock as the curator in the Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4 Jon, once again brings his wares to the Glee Club Birmingham, a favourite venue of his. Like all of Jon’s shows This Guy At Night had a theme, how his Obsessive Compulsive ways and his

constant search for perfection brings nothing but imperfection and pain. With the audience early and in place the show started 10 minutes before time (a sign of premature ejaculation Jon informed us). The show started strongly; banter with the crowd and some self-deprecation and praise for being Labour Red rather than Tory Blue – “at least you can’t say you didn’t try to stop them”. Then, rather abruptly, after only 15 minutes it was obvious that Jon wasn’t going to stay with us much longer, an early intermission? No. It was the “ledge” himself, it was Forde. Matt Forde (or Fordy) was Jon’s co-presenter on 6music and gained a reputation for being a man with an infectious laugh, large appetite for life and a larger appetite for food. Not known for being a comedian, Fordy fulfilled a life ambition of his to perform at the Birmingham Glee. Fordy regaled the audience with some truly filthy, but fantastically funny tales of an Alan Partridge impersonator and a text message sent to the wrong person. Jon returns for the second half to give us the bulk of his show. Jon delivers his usual brand of hilarious anecdotes and side-splitting vitriol. Stories of how time and again of how his OCD ways of ensuring that his life runs a perfect and faultless path, end up being the reason life is anything but faultless or perfect. Jon’s name may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries, but his skills far outstrip the likes of some of the other up-and-comers, like Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh and Kevin Bridges.

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Spot Light: Theatre

Derren Brown Alexander Theatre, Birmingham – June 16th 2010 Reviewed by Andrew Gillard How could one label Derren Brown? A magician? Sort of. A sideshow circus act? Kind of. A con-artist? Possibly. A one-man Vaudeville act to some extent. A consummate showman? Undoubtedly. Brown’s TV career started all the way back in the year 2000 on his show Mind Control, and since then Derren has taken us on quite a wild and thoroughly enjoyable ride showing us the good, the bad and the truly incredible. Brown has never claimed to be something he is not, whilst others lay claims that they have access to a higher plane of existence, to be able to contact the dead, read minds or see through solid objects using their “talents” for financial gain, as all the while masquerading that what they are doing is a public service. Brown’s claims are of an earthly nature, he is able to do what he does because of what he has studied, not because of some “divine intervention”. With that said, some of the things which Brown has shown us time and again appear to defy science and logic. Enigma is no different. Like with previous shows Something Wicked This Way Comes and An Evening Of Wonders; Derren relies heavily upon audience participation, without the willing participants the show would not be able to work. This point was enforced when Derren gave the opportunity for the audience to leave during the interval, if they felt they weren’t prepared to risk being put into

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a somnambulistic state, and no one did, as we had safety in numbers... or so we thought. Derren showed us fantastical, seemingly impossible feats of human physiology and psychology, as well as his usual pre-emptive style – showing us time and again that we are not as “random” and freewilled as may like to think we are. Brown did ask of any journalist/blogger/writer that they did not give details of the show, suffice to say that makes reviewing it hard work. The best way to summarize the show is in the title of the show itself; Enigma. DICTIONARY DEFINITION: e-nig-ma 1. a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation 2. a person of puzzling or contradictory character 3. a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle These 3 definitions sum up the show – almost. The word Enigma doesn’t quite cover it alone; Enigmatically – brilliant or awe-inspiring or fantastic or unimaginable or amazing... the list of superlatives could continue. Whatever you think of Brown it is undeniable that he is a skilful performer and enthralling raconteur,.This show has something for fans of magic, mystery, comedy and those just enjoy the sense of the ‘theatre’ of it all. Maybe the only way to label Derren Brown is to say he is a “Jackof-all-trades and a master of all” – or so he would have you believe.


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Spot Light: Theatre

Hairspray Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton - June 19th 2010 Reviewed by Andrew Gillard

romance with Link and falling onto the wrong side of the law.

Starring - Brian Conley, Les Dennis, Liam Doyle, Wayne Robinson, Emma Dukes, Sandra Marvin, Seliza Sebastian, Shakira Akabusi, Richard Dale, Darron Gifty, Gemma Knight-Jones, Emily LukeTaylor, Yohemy Prosper, Spin, Helen Ternent, Mark Hilton, Charles Ruhrmund, Lauren Stroud, Debbie Jenkins, Harry Francis, Danny Bayne, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Saayeng, Matt Thorpe and Dina Tree.

Hairspray started life at the tail end of the 1980’s in the John Waters film of the same name, which was then adapted for Broadway in 2002 and then led on to the more famous 2007 film version staring a John Travolta and Christopher Walken, and now Hairspray is embarking on it’s first UKwide tour.

Hairspray is a story of America during the 1960’s, or more specifically Baltimore in 1962. The period of great divide was in the early stages of being brought down, although many opposed ending segregation the inevitable march towards white AND black was starting to pick up speed. The end of segregation is only the backdrop to which the story of Tracy Turnblad (Laurie Scarth) is set. Tracy is a pleasantly plump, happy-golucky, celebrity obsessed teenager who wishes to audition for a role on Baltimore’s favourite teen dancing show, The Corny Collins Show. Whilst auditioning she bumps into the boy of her dreams; the super cool, all singing all dancing, up-and-coming star Link Larkin (Danny Boyne – winner of GMTV’s search for Troy in High School Musical 2). When Tracy is sent to detention she meets Seaweed, son of Motormouth Maybelle host of The Corny Collins Show on “Negro Day”, this chance meeting is where the story really starts as Tracy decides that “every day should be Negro Day” on the show. However, her protestations have her risking her budding

The show is full of great quips, satirical postmodern one liners and fantastic singing. The real show stealers though are Mommy and Daddy Turnblad; Edna and Wilbur. Brian Connolly plays Edna. Edna hasn’t left the home in years as she is too scared to let people see her ample girth that is until Tracy shows her how the world is different now. Wilbur is performed by comedian Les Dennis. Affable and supportive father of Tracy, who wants only that his ‘girls’ are happy, and will do anything in order to protect them. Dennis and Connolly share a wonderful moment on stage when singing together, so romantic you may believe that they are man and wife...well not quite. Genuine moments of chaotic comedy come from seeing Connolly and Dennis singing, dancing, hugging and staring longingly into one another’s’ eyes, those tender moments are enough to send both actors and the audience into fits of laughter. This show projects a wonderful sense of community and family. Reminding us all that beauty is only skin deep, and that we all have to share this place so we may as well make it a good spot to share.

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Spot Light: Albums

Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws

7/10

(Island) The gap between Bombay Bicycle Club’s first and second albums is - in contrast to The Vaselines - incredibly short. Their debut, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose was released in July last year and their new one, Flaws, will come out in July this year. According to Bombay Bicycle Club’s Twitter, they are to make a video for every single track on that album. An ambitious project? Well, it all depends on how ambitious the videos are, doesn’t it? The lead single is ‘Flaws’ and has been released this week and is receiving rave reviews weherver you look. Bombay Bicycle Club are a band who we need to pay more attention to. Their first record was a mix of pure Indie rhythms and bluesy riffs with broken vocals. This is the sound of a band progressing. Not backwards, but forwards into new realms. This is one the existing fans will nourish, and the new fans will lap it up. It’s a bold move for a band so young, but a brillinat one at that.

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Spot Light: Albums Eliza Doolittle Eliza Doolittle

(Parlophone) The lazy and obvious Lily Allen comparisons are inevitable really, but fortunately what Eliza Doolittle lacks in lyrical wit and brashness, she makes up in a variety of hummable tunes. Single ‘Skinny Genes’ reveals her true pop nature. Other tracks, such as ‘Moneybox’ and ‘Rollerblades’, are equally excellent.

7/10

Tom Jones Praise & Blame

(Island) At the age of 70, most people are already or have thought about retiring. But Welsh legend Tom Jones hits back with his new record. An album of low key folk covers would normall fail epically, but he breatehs new life into these classics. It is not another ‘Reload’, this time it is personal and reflective - and it works incredibly well.

8/10

Magic Numbers - The Runaway

(Heavenly) Magic Numbers are a band who seemed to have suffered from a lack of support over the years. The Runaway may not be the year’s most thrilling release, but it is finely crafted The Runaway may not be the year’s most thrilling release, but it is finely crafted. Single ‘The Pulse’ is a perfect slice of poppy summery-ness.

6/10

Cherry Ghost Burning Shoreline

(Heavenly) Their follow-up to 2007’s Thirst For Romance finds Cherry Ghost making huge strides beyond their former countrytinged indie stylings. Opening track ‘We Sleep On Stones’ breaks us in gently with its sweeping brushed tones. This is an album full of highlights, and should recaptur the crowd from 3 years ago with luck.

8/10

The Coral Butterfly House

(Deltasonic) The Coral have been missing from British music for quite a while now. After taking a break after guitarist Bill RyderJones quit, most bands would think about disbanding, but The Coral have returned with their most endearing album to date. ‘1000 Years’ and ‘Butterfly House’ are good samplers for the record. A good comeback.

7/10

Professor Green Alive ‘Til I’m Dead

(Virgin) At the moment the nation seems to be split two ways, you either love or loathe Professor Green. Currently in the limelight for his collaboration with Lily Allen, the single ‘Just Be Good To Green’ is a cheesy take on the old dub classic. An interesting eclectic mix of material on this but could do with being more refined.

5/10

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Photography: G.Rossington

Spot Light: Live

Supergrass

2010-06-09 - Manchester Academy A little over six weeks ago, I received the news that would actually break my heart. Those cheeky scamps Supergrass had decided to call it a day, and had announced that they would play 4 final farewell shows. Tonight is a double whammy as the support comes from ‘Charley Coombes & The New Breed’, but surprise 2nd act tonight is a set from Liverpool’s The Coral, playing their first gig in over 2 years. Both bands set the scene nicely for the main act. There is a little tension in the air as the lights fade, but the roar of the crowd signals a celebration is about to be had for one final time. Manchester certainly is ‘Mad fer it’ tonight. Supergrass enter onstage and launch straight into ‘Diamond Hoo Ha Man’, followed in quick succession by other hits from that era.

The interesting thing about tonight’s set is the way it is played out. Presenting each album with the singles and a band favourite, they work in reverse order from 2008’s ‘Diamond Hoo Ha’ back to 1995’s ‘I Should Coco’. Each set is presented witht he band walking off stage and a montage from the recording sessions and tours introduces the next. Watching them perform tonight, it’s amazing to think that they will never be seen again. ‘Grace’, ‘Moving’, ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ and ‘Richard III’ are amongst the many highlights, but it is reserved for their two majors in the encore that chokes you. ‘Alright’ and ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ ring out into the night. It is emotional watching them disappear off stage. It was a mixture of emotional, sad and yet sublimely brilliant. Reviewed by Glenn Rossington

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Photography: S. Forrest

Spot Light: Live

Richard Ashcroft

2010-06-15 - Manchester Academy In 2008 Wigan superstars The Verve walked off the stage at the V Festival in Chelmsford having just wowed the crowd. News started to seep out that they hadn’t spoken after the gig and it was all over again. With no confirmation on a word of what’s happened to The Verve, Richard Ashcroft announced a new solo record supported by a new bunch of musicians called ‘United Nations of Sound’. His first shows in Europe were classed as ‘spellbinding’ and ‘amazing’. Only time would tell. Tonight’s support is superstar Northern Soul DJ, Wayne Griggs. Although the biggest tunes of the era were played out, tonight they seemed tedious and couldn’t pass by quick enough. Eventually the time passes by and he is ushered off stage. As the lights fade, United Nations of Sound walk out minus Richard and start to jam. To a rapturous applause, Richard strides on soundcheck magazine

stage and they launch straight into ‘Are You Ready’. Within seconds The crowd are lapping it up and being whipped into a frenzy. The set is heavy with new material, but no one seems to mind. Tracks like ‘Beatitudes’, ‘Born Again’ and ‘She Brings Me The Music’ show a vast improvement from previous outings. The first encore is made up of acoustic hits of old. Opeing with ‘Weeping Willow’ the crowd are wild. We also get ‘C’mon People We’re Making It Now’ and ‘Sonnet’. The second encore comprimises of a couple more new songs, the notable ‘This Thing Called Life’ calls out to the masses. He finishes on ‘Break The Night With Colour’ to a mass singalong. Even with the lack of The Verve’s classic ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, the gig was extraordinary. Reviewed by Glenn Rossington


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Photography: K. McBride

Spot Light: Live

We Are Scientists

2010-06-22 - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall After another scorcher of a day came a scorcher of an evening. With the World Cup in full swing and Glasto kicking off in the morning, We Are Scientists roll into town to give us all a bit of a break from the norm. Getting the shindig started the Scientists brought with them a couple of up-andcomers, garage rockers The Whigs and electro-trio Chew Lips. Georgian 3-piece, The Whigs rocked out to rapturous applause and even the monotonous droning on of the drum machine of Chew Lips was well appreciated, but all of this did nothing but whet the appetite for the main event. With their new album in tow WAS wanted to show why it should be brought, and if you already own it, then why, if you need a reason, should be loved! Giving us several new tracks from their new album – Barbara and then throwing in a little bit of 2006’s monster hit With Love and Squalor.

Mostly delivering tracks from With Love and Squalor and Barbara WAS shied away from their heavily 80’s sounding Brain Thrust Mastery, giving us only singles After Hours and Chick Lit. WAS gave us what we have come to expect; raucous guitars, smooth Californian vocals and thumping drum beats. However, anyone who knows the Scientists know that the music is only half of the event, it’s what happens when the guitars stop that sets them apart from the usual indie-wannabes. Between virtually every song the audience was treated to Reeves and Mortimer-esq banter, non-sequiturs and one-liners. Like Blink-182, but without the knob-gags. We Are Scientists live shows are a strange mix of punchy, pacey indie-rock anthems and an episode of Shooting Stars. You just couldn’t ask for more fun. Reviewed by Andy Gillard

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Photography: S. Forrest

Spot Light: Live

Liberation Works

2010-04-02 - Wolverhampton Slade Rooms There is always a good feeling when you stumble upon a great band, and it’s even better when you find out they are local! Liberation Works are one such band and we ran a feature on them back in the March Issue. Shortly after that they played the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton to launch their new e.p titled ‘The Incomplete Works’. Support tonight comes in the form of 3 more local groups. Rogue States, Circus Town and Loutish Lover. All 3 put in a superb perfromance and certainly won over a few new fans tonight. But all eyes in the house were waiting purely for the men of the moment… With a large fanbase of family and friends in the wings, and fans from all across the Midlands, the Birmingham boys took to the stage and launched straight into opener, the rather feisty ‘Out Here’. Instantly soundcheck magazine

comparisons to the likes of Mumford and Sons come to mind, but dig deeper and a far more colourful array of influences come out to play. The raunchy ‘Baby Don’t Bite’ has a spikey almost Indie undertone and sets the pace for the audience to clap along to. ‘Sleep In The Water’ and ‘Home’ follow in quick succession, and it is not long before the closer ‘I Know’ rings out across the venue. Seeing a local band playing with such vibrancy and passion is a rarity, especially when the music is so finely crafted. These boys have worked very hard on the circuit over the last 12 months now, and their sheer professionalism and quality of music stands out big time. Next time these guys play in the area, do yourself a favour and have a fun night out! Reviewed by Glenn Rossington


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Spot Light: Events July 08th 09th 09th 09th 12th 12th 12th 13th 13th 14th 14th 14th 15th 15th 15th 16th 16th 16th 16th 16th 17th 17th 17th 17th 17th 18th 19th 19th 20th 20th 20th 21st 21st 22nd 23rd 22nd 22nd 22nd 23rd 23rd 23rd

Bowling For Soup Gundogs Chris Helme Sick City Club Robert Cray The Coral Toro Y Moi Converge The Sound of Music Eve Selis Kele Dean Friedman The Sound of Music Bombay Bicycle Club First Aid Kit The Wedding Present The Clock Tower [Spunge] One Night Only The Sound of Music Sepultura Generic Eric The Sound of Music Stephen Dale Petit Celebration of Dexys Ray Manzarek The Sound of Music NAS & Damian Marley Jody Has A Hitlist The Sound of Music Max Raptor & Rase The Sound of Music Earth Wind & Fire Zip Theatre Presents Zappa Plays Zappa The Boy With X-ray Eyes William Control The Sound of Music Kid British One Thousand Sons Jameson Raid

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Coventry Kasbah Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham Alexandra Theatre Birmingham Hare And Hounds Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton The Robin 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham St Paul’s Cathedral Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Civic Hall Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham The Flapper Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham NIA Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham The Flapper Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham O2 Academy 2


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Box Office Details To book tickets for any of the shows above, please use the following direct numbers, or contact them via the web Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Birmingham Flapper & Firkin Birmingham 02 Academy Birmingham LG Arena Birmingham Rainbow Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe Coventry Kasbah Coventry Warwick Arts Centre Dudley JB’s 23rd 23rd 24th 24th 24th 24th 24th 26th 26th 27th 27th 28th 28th 29th 30th 30th 30th 31st 31 st 31st 31st

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01902 552 121 01902 711166 01902 401211 0121 236 2421 0844 4772000 0844 338 0338 0121 772 8174 0121 443 4725 024 7655 4473 024 7652 4524 01384 253597

The Sound of Music Cryer Second Hand Story Chris Wallbank The Sound of Music Room 94 The Sound of Music Hot Club De Paris The Sound of Music Page 44 The Sound of Music The Sound of Music Heaven’s Basement The Sound of Music The Rimes Jah Wobble The Sound of Music Vanity of Kings Secondhand Story The Sound of Music Leon Jackson

Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham The Asylum Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy3 Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton Bar Alchemy Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hippodrome Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 3

Peter Murphy The Sound of Music Me vs. Hero Out of Sight Xavier Rudd

Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 2

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