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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...  

DRAHLA

Skilled in the knack of bringing together post-punk and art-rock, Leeds-based three-piece Drahla make robust, bass-heavy and enticingly hook-laden music. They’re also a band with a glowing reputation for the quality of their live performances - a fact which augurs well for 13th of June visitors to the Tin Music & Arts. The trio stop off at the venue in support of latest release Angeltape. 

The Tin Music & Arts, Coventry, Thursday 13 June

Drahla


CARA LUFT

Founding member of Canadian folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, Cara Luft’s solo sound has been moulded by such diverse influences as 1980s pop music, folk music, church music and, er, Led Zeppelin! 

Presenting what she once described as “rockin’ folk for the discerning listener”, the 50-year-old’s natural warmth and delicious sense of humour ensure that an evening in her company offers much, much more than some spellbindingly good musicianship.

Kitchen Garden, Birmingham, Thursday 13 JuneBerwick House, Shrewsbury, Friday 14 June

Cara Luft

EMBRACE

After building a following through their EP releases, Yorkshire rockers Embrace went straight to number one in the UK albums chart with their 1998 debut offering, The Good Will Out. They’ve since enjoyed a colourful career, bagging themselves further number one albums and even being chosen to record an official England World Cup song (2006’s World At Your Feet). 

The boys stop off in Coventry this month to perform a warm-up gig in preparation for a summer of festivals and an autumn tour.

hmv Empire, Coventry, Saturday 15 June; O2 Institute, Birmingaham, Saturday 30 November

Embrace


BAT FOR LASHES

With two Ivor Novello wins, three Mercury and three BRIT nominations to her name, London-based British Pakistani artist  Natasha Khan is back in Birmingham this month to promote The Dream Of Delphi, her recently released sixth album which reflects on the conception and birth of her daughter. Natasha has performed under the Bat For Lashes moniker for the last 15 years. “The name doesn’t really mean anything,” she once revealed to the New York Times. “It just conjured up Halloween-y images and sounded metal and feminine.” 

Birmingham Town Hall, Tuesday 18 June

Bat for Lashes


THE AMY WINEHOUSE BAND

Amy Winehouse’s friend, long-term musical director & bass player Dale Davis here leads the late singer’s original band in a ‘joyful and emotional’ celebration of her songbook. 

Fronted by vocalist Bronte Shandé and coming complete with on-screen visuals and unique footage, the show is being promoted (and not without good reason) as ‘the only completely authentic reimagining of the Amy Winehouse sound’.

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Thursday 20 June; Birmingham Town Hall, Wednesday 18 December

The Amy Winehouse Band


ALBERT LEE

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Albert Lee has no shortage of celebrity admirers. Included among them is Eric Clapton, who has hailed him ‘the ultimate virtuoso’, and Ralph McTell, who’s called him a musical genius. 

Then there’s Emmylou Harris, who says of Albert’s sound that it is ‘often emulated, never equalled’, and Jools Holland, whose admiration for the Herefordshire-born 80-year-old seemingly knows no bounds. “Great musicians make you want to dance, make you cry and make you fall in love,” says Jools, “and Albert does that with his playing.”  

Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, Thursday 20 June

Albert Lee


ORA COGAN

“Writing this album was very much a lifeline; transformative and healing.” 
Ora Cogan is talking about her critically acclaimed record, Formless, which she’s supporting with this Birmingham gig. 
The album, which took form in the abyss of pandemic isolation (“I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly in the woods with my dog”) sees the Vancouver Island-based singer-songwriter “re-calibrating an internal compass constantly thrown off by the magnetism of a deranged world.” 

Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, Monday 24 June

Ora Cogan


THE CHARLATANS & JOHNNY MARR

This is one of three late-June Forest Live concerts in Cannock Chase Forest and brings together two hugely respected names on the UK music scene... 

Midlands-formed indie stalwarts The Charlatans are celebrating their 35th anniversary this year. They’re joined in the woodland by venerable musician & singer-songwriter Johnny Marr, who’s still going strong 30-plus years on from his days as guitarist & co-songwriter in The Smiths. 

The Charlatans and Johnny are being joined in Cannock Chase Forest this month by Anne-Marie, who’s in concert there the night before, and Olly Murs (the night after).     

Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire, Friday 28 June

The Charlatans &  Johnny Marr


BLOC PARTY

Indie rock band Bloc Party here warm up for their biggest concert to date, in London’s Crystal Palace, by celebrating the 20th anniversary of seminal debut studio album Silent Alarm. Recorded in Copenhagen and London with producer Paul Epworth in mid-2004, the hit record, which featured tracks including Helicopter, Banquet and So Here We Are, peaked at number three in the UK albums chart.

O2 Institute, Birmingham, Friday 28 June

Bloc Party


TY SEGALL

Ty Segall is not a man to rest on his laurels. If he’s not out on tour, the California-born musician & singer-songwriter is likely to be found in the studio making albums. 

Initially inspired by glam, heavy rock and punk influences, including David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Black Sabbath and The Stooges, Ty specialises in urgent-sounding garage-rock, generated with the assistance of howling vocals and a distortion-heavy guitar. His output has somewhat mellowed in style across the years, nowadays taking its cues from, among others, Neil Young, The Beatles, early T-Rex and Grateful Dead.

He visits Birmingham in support of latest album Three Bells, a January 2024 release which has gone down well with the critics.

The Crossing, Birmingham, Saturday 29 June

Ty Segall


SKIDS

Green Day and Manic Street Preachers are among the bands whose influences include Skids, the legendary Scottish punk rockers who rose to stardom in the late 1970s and scored a still-loved hit with 1979 single Into The Valley. 

Following an initial five years together, Skids went their separate ways for the next quarter century, re-forming in 2007 to celebrate their 30th anniversary. 

Another lengthy hiatus then followed, before the landmark of their 40th birthday once again brought them back together - at which point they even released a new album; their first since 1981!

The Robin, Bilston, Saturday 29 June; The Crossing, Birmingham, Saturday 16 November

Skids


NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS

Nathaniel Rateliff may have caused something of a stir with his introspective, early-career, folk-based albums, but it was following the formation of high-energy band The Night Sweats that he really began to make a splash. 

Since their debut offering nine years ago, the boys have taken their winning blend of folk, Americana, R&B and soul to bold new heights, their thought-provoking songs about the pleasures and pains of life all being greatly enhanced by the welcome addition of Nathaniel’s whiskey-soaked vocal.   

Wulfrun Hall at The Halls Wolverhampton, Sunday 30 June

Nathaniel Rateliff &  The Night Sweats