Tag Archives: Brum Live

Free Radio Live @ LG Arena, Birmingham – Saturday 30th November 2013

This review very nearly didn’t happen as I fell at the first fence! Somehow I had convinced myself despite written proof to the contrary, that this event was at the NIA and not the LG. So after few minutes of puzzling the box office staff at the NIA I finally worked out that I was […]

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Gary Numan @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 19th November 2013

Gary Numan closes his hugely successful Splinter tour tonight in Wolverhampton. The venue is packed out with different generations of Numan fans. The critically aclaimed new album has given Numan his first top 20 album chart spot since the Warriors album in 1983, and definitely one of his best in a long time. Tonight’s opening act […]

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Stereophonics @ LG Arena – Tuesday 19th November 2013

Prior to Stereophonics taking to the stage, a number of videos are played including Kasabian and Red Hot Chili Peppers but the most interesting is the choice of The Kills track U R A Fever which sees dry ice released over the crowd. As the arena goes dark, the sound of a helicopter blares through […]

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Editors + British Sea Power @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Saturday 16th November 2013

En route to tonight’s near to sell out show, it suddenly dawned on me that this is as close to a homecoming show as Editors get. Rather selfishly, my feeble brain starts to calculate, with some dread, the length of the inevitable congregation of parasites -me included- scrambling for guest list tickets. Sure enough, it […]

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KT Tunstall @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Wednesday 13th November 2013

KT Tunstall seems to have made a conscious decision of late to veer down her own path and ignore, perhaps, what people are expecting of her. Her latest album, Invisible Empire, is a far more stripped back album with no big radio-friendly singles and is, dare I say it, all the better for it. Tonight […]

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The National @ The Apollo, Manchester – Monday 11th November 2013

Brooklyn indie rock band The National have been slowly but surely building a dedicated fan base across the globe for almost 15 years now and, following the success of their last two albums, are now playing to the biggest UK crowds of their career. Not really a tour, but four shows across two venues, this […]

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Kodaline @ The Institute, Birmingham – Friday 8th November 2013

The queue stretched far around the corner from the doors of the HMV Institute half an hour before they opened. A sign of the great anticipation of what was to come, as Dublin’s band of 2013 came into town. This was a crowd of people out to love every minute of what was about to […]

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Dillinger Escape Plan @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Thursday 7th November 2013

Ever since I caught their half an hour set at Download festival a few years ago, I have to admit, I’ve wanted to see The Dillinger Escape Plan play a smaller venue. They have been widely acknowledged as one of the most energetic live bands on the planet right now and even if you’re not […]

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Boomtown Rats @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Wednesday 6th November 2013

It’s a strange animal, the Boomtown Rat: they rose to prominence in the wake of punk, but were more ‘Springsteen rock’ than ‘Lydon punk’ so became disliked by punks for being fake; they became more successful than all of their peers, but were not pop enough to keep the fickle public satisfied; and they were […]

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Mark Lanegan @ The Institute, Birmingham – Saturday 2nd November 2013

It isn’t often that you see rows of seats at the Institute, but they are filling up fast for so early on a Saturday evening. The first support act is Lyenn, a musician based in Brussels and New York who creates thoughtful and sparse music swapping between an acoustic guitar and a mandolin. His vocal […]

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Brooke Bentham – “This Rapture” EP released 17 November

Before you read this and listen to Brooke Bentham’s latest release “This Rapture”, if you haven’t already I need you […]

Morrissey – Low In High School LP

Some thirty years ago Morrissey famously sang about dead people who had “loves and hates, And passions just like mine”. […]

Deaf Havana + Black Foxxes + Decade @ Kasbah Coventry, 14 November 2017

Norfolk band Deaf Havana, formed in 2005, have changed their style considerably over the years, going from pop-punk to a […]

Alice Cooper + The Mission @ Arena Birmingham, 14th November, 2017

Despite his age, Alice Cooper still tours regularly with his traditional shock rock show and tonight he has the support […]

Embrace @ The Slade Rooms, 7th November, 2017

Some bands never reach the finish line, instead falling at the first hurdle. Some make it a little further and fall at the third hurdle; for that, read “difficult third album”. Some bands reach the finish line in record time and collapse in a hyperventilating heap, hype being the operative word. Some bands however never reach the finish line. They can can set their own, have it moved from in front of them or just jump across into a different track. Embrace fall firmly into the latter category. They don’t need to re-invent themselves by jumping tracks, they might have stuttered in the past when the line was moved by record labels, but equally, they set their own finish lines, run their own race and at their own pace. This year sees the band release their latest single, the beautiful orchestral string strewn, “The Finish Line”, complete the recording of their new album, “Love Is A Basic Need”, perform a short run of six dates on this tour, and finish with a headline slot at Shiiine Weekend in mid-November. Oh…. and the small matter of two dates at Principality Stadium, Cardiff supporting their old mates Coldplay. Tickets for this intimate Slade Rooms gig and all others on this tour sold out in next to no time, many going before general release and to their dedicated following. You can see this at most of their gigs where you will see the same faces night after night gathered together in a few local hostelries pre-gig. So, here we are at a sold-out Slade Rooms, intimate for a band with such history, awaiting their arrival on stage. Coming on to the dying strains of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” they are welcomed like heroes. Like a band that has been around enough to have a set of crowd-pleasers in their bag which is precisely what they proceed to treat us to. A greatest hits package with a big lump of soon-to-be-crowd-pleasers to back up their still-got-it credentials. Opening with “Protection” from the last album with almost New Order-like echoes, they are quickly into their stride as they launch directly into one of their biggies, “All You Good Good People”. Almost twenty years old and still as fresh as it was in the 90s. It glides on disc, but live it positively soars and Danny McNamara uses his arms in the gesticulations of a football manager telling his players to get up the pitch. Here it is to lift the whole crowd in the first of several singalongs. They instantly oblige. “Nature’s Law” is another song that builds and then soars followed by a newer one, “Follow You Home” with “Oh,ohh! Oh ohh!” singalongs. We’re then back into crowd fave territory with “Come Back To What You Know” which lets the crowd stretch their lungs again. Newer tracks like “Refugees”, preceeded by “Where You Sleeping”, and both sung by guitarist Richard McNamara, and the latest single “The Finish Line” sit as easy as any other song in the set. If you don’t know the words, and so many of the people there tonight do know them, every single word, then there is sure to be a belter of a hit along shortly that you can sing to. The last five of the set are total killer hits; “One Big Family”, early full on Indie hit and anthemic growler that gives it’s name to the online social media group that follow the band with extreme zest. Next the emotional “Gravity” which, whilst being penned by Chris Martin of Coldplay and given firstly to tonight’s heroes , it is undoubtedly fully Embrace. “Someday” from the same album, and one of my personal faves, drifts over the venue dripping reverb and gentle feedback on the heads of all of us, before leading into the set closer, “Ashes”. Cue another bouncer of a song; uplifting, soaring and  full of phoenix from the ashes positivity. All the way through the set Danny McNamara has urged us onwards, those waves of the arms looking like he is almost trying to physically lift the audience and make us soar the same way that the songs soar. How close he is to doing that is hard to say but it was close enough that it means that the band are not getting back to their tour bus alive if they don’t oblige us an encore. A couple of tracks from the new album include a duet with a young lady called Eevah (?) who has the sort of vocals that much of the generic dross on X-Factor would give their right Autotune to have! Final track of the four song encore, the ultimate Embrace singalong, and possibly the song that typifies the band is “The Good Will Out”. Danny tells us that this was the song when they, as a band,  realised who they were and that they sounded like themselves only. The moment when they became Embrace. Well, yeah hell yeah. This is Embrace going to the heart of it. This is them being their most honest and emotional. However, above and beyond that, for me when a song is so strong, you can hear how someone else could drop in and put their own spin on the song making it sound different but equally as good with ease. That’s not to say it’s in some way simplistic. I mean to emphasise how strong a song it is. As I stand there in the midst of the crowd, as they out pour their emotions back at the band, I’m imagining my favourite vocalists, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, and how they and their bands would have covered such a great song. It’s a killer of an end to a great set and the band take centre stage to take a well deserved bow. Still not there yet. Many more Finish Lines still to chase down. Reviewer: Mark Veitch Photographer: Phil Veitch

Black Star Riders @ Wulfrun Hall, 8th November, 2017

Tonight Birmingham Live have the chance to see Black Star Riders a band we’ve followed for a long time, our […]