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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...  

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


NILS FRAHM

German pianist, composer & producer Nils Frahm operates in a space somewhere between classical and electronic music, achieving a unique sound which, in harness with a captivating live-performance style, has seen him build an international reputation as a truly unique musician. 
“I’m interested in how human beings react in certain situations, and what music does to people’s emotions,” Nils told The Quietus. “After I’ve played a good concert, people leave the room happy... When people feel down and like it’s all going to shit, at least we can give them some music and change their attitude, so that people don’t think it’s all shit... That’s my religion.”   

Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Tuesday 2 July

Nils Frahm


LANTERNS ON THE LAKE

Mercury Music Prize-nominated indie rockers Lanterns On The Lake hail from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and have been going strong for 17 years, generating a rich sound that beautifully combines searing guitar with fluttering vintage synths and swarming melodic lines. Their fifth and most recent album, last year’s Versions Of Us, saw them recruit Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, a move which allowed them to take their melancholic sound to brand-new heights.  

The Tin Music & Arts, Coventry, Saturday 6 July

Lanterns On The Lake


SEAN PAUL

Jamaican dancehall megastar Sean Paul returns to the city of his grandmother’s birth, six long years after he last performed at Coventry’s indoor arena. 
Making a breakthrough back in the early noughties with Gimme The Light and Get Busy (both tracks reached the UK Top 40), Sean has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa, David Guetta and Fuse ODG. 
“Sean’s music has stood the test of time,” says Arena Managing Director Paul Michael. “This is a global star who has a real connection to Coventry & Warwickshire, so we’re excited to be welcoming him back after his incredible sell-out show in 2018.”       

Coventry Building Society Arena, Tuesday 9 July

Sean Paul


NILE RODGERS AND CHIC

When Chic burst onto the music scene in the mid-1970s, they described themselves as a rock band for the disco movement that made good on hippie peace, love and freedom... They certainly made good on their other intention: to pump out some chart hits. Formed by bassist Bernard Edwards and the now-legendary guitarist Nile Rodgers, the band enjoyed disco-era success with Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Everybody Dance and Le Freak - the latter being the biggest-selling single in the history of Atlantic Records...  
Rodgers and the band play Wolverhampton this month as part of a short UK tour. “Mark your calendars,” Nile urges, “because we’re gonna light up the night, celebrate life, and dance like there’s no tomorrow.”

The Civic at The Halls Wolverhampton, Tuesday 9 July

Nile Rodgers and CHIC


THE LONGEST JOHNS

Lichfield’s landlocked landlubbers are in for a treat when Bristolian three-piece The Longest Johns pack their woolly jumpers and set sail for the foreign shores of the West Midlands. Having met and bonded over shanties across a kitchen table a decade ago, the fellas have since been sailing the seven seas in the name of ‘the rock & roll of 1752’, along the way racking up over 500 million streams across all platforms and signing up more than half a million YouTube subscribers. 

Lichfield Cathedral, Wednesday 10 July

The Longest Johns


CALVA LOUISE

A multicultural band, identifying as British  (they came together for the first time in London) but hailing from Venezuela, France and New Zealand, Calva Louise have been making waves on the alt rock scene for a good few years now. Taking their inspiration from bands including Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, System Of A Down and Muse, the metalcore trio visit Birmingham in support of fourth album Calva Louise On Audiotree Live.   

The Asylum, Birmingham, Wednesday 10 July

Calva LouisePic credit: Henry Calvert


JLS

They may have been beaten by Alexandra Burke in the final of the 2008 series of The X Factor, but there was no doubting the fact that JLS were something special. 
Oritsé, JB, Aston and Marvin gave the impression of being four unassuming guys who were maybe just a little bit taken aback by their own popularity. 
With that kind of modesty and an enormous and irrefutable talent in their favour, there’s little wonder the guys enjoyed such stellar success in the years that followed.
Reuniting in 2020 after a seven-year hiatus, they are this month playing Shrewsbury in celebration of the 15th anniversary of their chart-topping debut single, Beat Again. Support comes from Tinchy Stryder, a man who himself is marking the 15th anniversary of hitting the number-one spot. 

The Quarry, Shrewsbury, Sunday 14 July

JLS


MEGAN THEE STALLION

Rap artist and three-time Grammy Award winner Megan Thee Stallion’s summertime visit to Birmingham comes some five years after she caused a significant stir with hit song Hot Girl Summer. 
Chart-topping singles have followed in the wake of her mainstream breakthrough (think 2020’s Savage, featuring Beyoncé, and this year’s Hiss), as has plenty of drama and controversy, most notably an incident in which rapper Tory Lanez shot her in both feet (he’s now doing time for the crime). 
A legal battle against her record label, fake and ‘sickening’ AI footage, and a recently filed lawsuit accusing her of creating a ‘hostile and abusive work environment’ have further ensured the Texas-born singer is rarely out of the news.         

Utilita Arena Birmingham, Tuesday 16 July

Megan Thee Stallion


THE JUNGLE GIANTS

Nowadays widely considered to be Australian indie-rock royalty, The Jungle Giants have played sold-out shows across the globe and accumulated in excess of half a billion streams worldwide. Determined never to stand still, the talented four-piece are constantly evolving their genre-agnostic sound, nowadays blending buoyant melodies with infectious choruses to create music which is unmistakably theirs.     

Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, Friday 19 July

The Jungle Giants


ALAN FLETCHER

Devotees of long-running Aussie soap opera Neighbours will best know Alan Fletcher as Dr Karl Kennedy, the character he’s played in the show for a staggering 30 years (a stint which means he’s the third longest-serving actor in an Australian television serial). 
Away from the trials and tribulations of Ramsey Street, Alan has toured the UK several times as lead singer of rock & roll band Waiting Room. He last year released solo album The Point - a record comprising alternatively poignant and funny songs about life, love, loss and, er, beer...
Support for this Worcester gig comes from Riley Catherall - ‘Melbourne’s rising star of alt-country music’.   

Marrs Bar, Worcester, Saturday 20 July

Alan Fletcher


THE JACK FLETCHER BAND

 

Brandishing a refreshingly youthful spirit and displaying a real flair for writing timeless compositions, made-in-the-Midlands indie-rock four-piece The Jack Fletcher Band have been causing quite a stir of late with their stripped-back guitar music and live-for-the-moment attitude. 
This Wolverhampton gig brings to an end their month-long World Of Colours tour. 

Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton, Saturday 20 July

The Jack Fletcher Band


BENJI KIRKPATRICK

Hailed a master musician of all things stringed (bouzouki, mandolin and tenor banjo), local lad Benji Kirkpatrick is best known for being part of award-winning big band Bellowhead and ‘bloke folk’ trio Faustus. He’s also collaborated with Seth Lakeman, played with the legendary Steeleye Span (40 years after his dad, John, was in the band), and recently released his first solo album in eight years.   

Temperance, Leamington Spa, Sunday 21 July

Benji KirkpatrickNOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS

 

Formed in 2010 by ex-Oasis star Noel - and having last year released their fourth studio album, Council Skies, to great critical acclaim, the High Flying Birds are widely credited with creating music that merges the melodies of The Beatles with the power of The Who. They play Warwick Castle as part of the popular visitor attraction’s ‘summer concerts’ season. Johnny Marr and The WAEVE complete the evening’s line-up.

Warwick Castle, Sunday 21 July

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds


ELBOW

Across 20-plus years and 10 studio albums, Manchester band Elbow have scored some massive successes, in the process winning, among other coveted gongs, three Ivor Novellos, a Mercury Music Prize and a Brit Award.
Comprising lead singer Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Mark Potter, Pete Turner and - joining this year - touring & session drummer Alex Reeves, the band boast a well-deserved reputation for delivering shows that combine scale with intimacy... This month’s Ludlow concert features special guests Villagers, Nadine Shah and Katherine Priddy.     

Ludlow Castle, Friday 26 July

Elbow


GUY DAVIS

“There is no tale so tall that I cannot tell it, nor song so sweet that I cannot sing it.” 
So says two-time back-to-back Grammy nominee Guy Davis, a man whose lyrical storytelling sees him blend roots, blues, folk, rock, rap, spoken word and world music to comment on and address the frustrations of social injustice.
Guy is joined for this Worcester gig by US guitarist Michael Roach, a well-respected performer who promotes African American culture through the use of blues music.

Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, Saturday 27 July

Guy Davis


ALKALINE TRIO

Sweet melodies and stark, unflinching lyrics are combined to excellent effect in the output of grungey punk rockers Alkaline Trio. The 27-year-old Chicago band visit Birmingham this month in support of 10th album Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs, a follow-up offering to 2018’s Is This Thing Cursed?.

O2 Institute, Birmingham, Wednesday 31 July

Alkaline Trio


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.

O2 Institute, Birmingaham, Saturday 30 November

Embrace