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With a number of the UK’s biggest and most impressive venues in our patch, we Midlanders are guaranteed a chance to see some of the music industry’s brightest stars as they tour the country. Our grass-roots music scene is super-cool, too. Here’s a selection of gigs worth grabbing a ticket for over the next few weeks...  

KENNY THOMAS

“Live gigs are one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a musician,” says British soul star and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Kenny Thomas. “It’s where my fans come together for a night of soul music and serious partying... It’s an opportunity for us to play songs from my third album, Him, which was never commercially released. Over three decades on from when I first started out, this tour demonstrates that soul music is here to stay.” 

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Thursday 16 May

Kenny Thomas


BRYAN ADAMS

To say Bryan Adams has done well for himself over a near half century of musicmaking would be a spectacular understatement. With worldwide record sales in excess of 75 million, he’s long been established as one of the world’s greatest-ever rock performers. 

The 64-year-old Canadian is this month bringing his So Happy It Hurts tour to Coventry Building Society Arena - a venue which he last played 19 years ago. 

Coventry Building Society Arena, Friday 17 May

Bryan Adams


BLUE ROSE CODE

Seamlessly blending folk, Americana, jazz, rock and pop, Blue Rose Code - led by Edinburgh-born singer Ross Wilson - visit Shrewsbury in support of brand-new offering Bright Circumstance. 

Coming nearly five years after the last studio album, the 10-track record is being marketed as ‘a return of the Caledonian soul and roots mastery that has built them the kind of cult live following that most indie artists would kill for’.

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Friday 17 May

Blue Rose Code


GRANNY'S ATTIC

Granny’s Attic comprises a trio of young folk musicians who started performing together at Bishop Perowne College in Worcester in 2009. Taking a lively and vibrant approach to traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk music, all three performers are accomplished vocalists who between them also play an impressive array of instruments, including melodeon, concertina, guitar, fiddle and mandolin.

Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, Friday 17 May

Granny’s Attic


THESE WICKED RIVERS

“In a dark and cruel world,” says These Wicked Rivers’ lead guitarist, Arran Day, “we feel very honoured to provide an escape through music for our loyal followers.” Soulful - indeed, bordering on spiritual - live performances of blues-infused modern rock have seen These Wicked Rivers develop a significant fanbase across the 10 years they’ve been performing.

Hailing from Derby and drawing inspiration from the likes of Black Stone Cherry and Rival Sons, the band play Stoke in support of new album Force Of Nature.

The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent, Saturday 18 May

These Wicked Rivers


ARAB STRAP

Featuring core members Aiden Moffat (vocalist) and Malcolm Middleton (multi-instrumentalist), Arab Strap built their reputation around stark and sordid autobiographical narratives concerning the misadventures of youth. Time moves on, however, and Aiden is comfortable about admitting the inspiration for their lyrics in more recent times has tended to come from “things I’ve read that interest me”. 

The boys’ Birmingham stop-off comes in support of their latest album, the 12-track I’m Totally Fine With It Don’t Give A Fuck Anymore. 

Castle & Falcon, Birmingham, Wednesday 22 May

Arab Strap


LADY NADE

Folk, Americana, soul, jazz, blues and roots are combined to excellent effect in the music of Bristol-born Lady Nade - aka Nadine Gingell - who crowdfunded her first album and has since produced two further records. Boasting vocals that call to mind Nina Simone, she’s stopping off at St Lawrence’s to play her part in The Mystery Tour. The initiative sees her joining Daisy Chute ‘to champion the essence of collaboration in music - paying homage to the strength and creativity of female artists in the industry’.

St. Lawrence’s Church, Biddulph, Wednesday 22 May

Lady Nade


GARY NUMAN

London-born electronic & industrial pioneer Gary Numan first caused a stir as lead singer of new wave band Tubeway Army. 

He released debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979 - scoring a number-one hit with his most famous song, Cars - and visits Birmingham to celebrate the record’s 45th anniversary.

O2 Institute, Birmingham, Friday 31 May

Gary Numan


TEDDY SWIMS

Creating music which touches its forelock in the direction of a variety of genres, rising-star Teddy Swims - real name Jaten Collin Dimsdale - has made a big splash in a short time, having initially built a significant following via song covers performed on his YouTube channel back in 2019 & 2020.

The Georgia-born singer-songwriter is making not one but two Birmingham stop-offs this month in support of his debut studio album, I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1). The record is described by its publicity as ‘a heart-on-your-sleeve... cards-on-the-table body of work brimming with soul, sorrow and solace’.  

O2 Academy, Birmingham, Friday 31 May

Teddy Swims


EMMA RAWICZ QUARTET

Creating music that fuses multiple influences - from lilting Afro Cuban-inspired grooves to hard-hitting modern jazz & funk numbers - award-winning saxophonist & composer Emma Rawicz is a new star burning brightly in the musical firmament. 

Voted best newcomer at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2022, and a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician competition that same year, she is joined for this Wolverhampton gig by Ivo Neame (piano), Freddie Jensen (bass) and Asaf Sirkis (drums).

Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton, Friday 31 May

Emma Rawicz Quartet