Previews

SPACED OUT IN STOKE, WEIRDED OUT IN WORCESTER!! Step into the “Blue Room” as THE ORB, one of trance music’s most revered acts (and secret prog-rockers in their spare time) bring their intimate show to the Sugarmill on May 11 and Marrs Bar on May 19

SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF SUTTON COLDFIELD!! THE MOTHER (S 2) OF ALL PROGRESSIVE BILLS HITS THE MIDLANDS ON MAY 10

YOU GO TO MY ‘ED!! Seminal jazz hornman EDDIE HENDERSON returns to Brum with full quartet on May 8

IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!! Get “Teenage Kicks” right through the night with THE UNDERTONES and a true “Staple” of the West Midlands music scene at Coventry Empire On May 3

TUBULAR BELLS FOR TWO UK TOUR, SPRING 2019! MIKE OLDFIELD’S CLASSIC ALBUM PERFORMED LIVE – not by Mike Oldfield himself, although his kids ARE in the support band. Confused? You will be…

A PLACE FOR POST-ROCK PROGRESSION…and its name is Balsall Heath!! Birmingham Promoters bring New York noise moichants A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS back to the Castle & Falcon on April 30

I HEARD A RUMOUR THEY WERE PLAYING…and it’s true!! BANANARAMA, the most beautiful mature women in UK pop, return to Brum for intimate Glee Club show on April 28

VOTE FOR THEM!! Two-tone gods THE SPECIALS, one of the Midlands’ most important acts, hit the road for eagerly-anticipated 40th anniversary tour this April- with Midlands dates on the 24th and 26th (and FIVE more in July)

TOM PAXTON IN TOWN!! The “Ramblin Boy” is “Outward Bound” again- on a full UK tour including Birmingham Town Hall on April 25

WOH-OH HERE THEY COME!! Let’s get “X-Static” as DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES make our dreams come true at Birmingham Resorts World Arena on April 24

ALL HAIL THE KINGS OF METAL!! The mighty, magnificent MANOWAR doth “into Birmingham ride” with swords aloft and steel by their side on April 19 and 20 for the ONLY UK dates of their farewell tour

HE ONLY HAS (BRIGHT) EYES FOR YOU- AND YOU, AND YOU!! The incomparable ART GARFUNKEL returns to the UK for a Spring tour- including an evening of songs and stories at Birmingham Symphony Hall on April 17

BILSTON GETS BLUE!! Time to “get to the point” and take the Train To Nowhere – SAVOY BROWN are bach in town on April 15

DOUBLE-HEADLINING PROG FRENZY IN DOWNTOWN BILSTON!! Get ready for some serious melodic widdlage as THAT JOE PAYNE and “this” DORIS BRENDEL rock up to the Robin for a twin-pronged aural assault on April 14

TIERS ARE NOT ENOUGH!! Take your seats as ABC unleash their complete “Lexicon Of Love” show at Symphony Hall on April 9

PUNK IN PERSHORE!! DIAL 999 FOR A NIGHT OF GOOD LURKIN’ ROCK’N’ROLL ON WEDNESDAY 3RD APRIL

GET READY TO FEEL LOVE as GIORGIO MORODER hits Birmingham Symphony Hall with full band and orchestra for the first ever time on April 1

FELIXITATIONS!! JULIE FELIX, BRITAIN’S “FIRST LADY OF FOLK”, RETURNS TO THE RED LION, KINGS HEATH MARCH 27

ANOTHER PINE’ MESS YOU GOT ME INTO!!West Country progsters THE PINEAPPLE THIEF hit Birmingham March 23 as part of ongoing ‘Dissolution’ tour

DON’T JUST ‘SIT DOWN’… JAMES ARE IN TOWN!!! Indie gods hit the Midlands March 12, 15 and 21

RAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT!!! TREMBLE IN YOUR BOOTS AS THE STRANGLERS HIT THE ROAD FOR 2019 UK TOUR WITH SPECIAL GUESTS DR FEELGOOD, TWO MIDLANDS DATES INCLUDED

HE’S THE ONE!!! The one and only ROY HARPER prepares for his final ever full UK tour. You can leave your hat(s) off…

A STIFF PROPOSITION IN KING’S HEATH ON MONDAY 11 MARCH!! 8 O’CLOCK ROCK CHATS BRINGS NOTED INDIE LABEL SUPREMO TO BRUM FOR ONE-OFF SPOKEN WORD SESSION

IT’S MEOWSIC TO MY EARS!! Contemporary melodic rock gods CATS IN SPACE join forces with forceful femmes ROCK GODDESS for hotshot double-headline tour, hitting Birmingham on March 9…

YEH YEH, HE’S BACK AGAIN… Lancastrian rhythm’n’blues hero GEORGIE FAME gets ready to boogie into Bromsgrove on March 3

…AND THEN CAME THE LAST DAYS OF…FEBRUARY? BLUE OYSTER CULT prepare to destroy Birmingham 02 Institute on February 27 with special guests THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT

EIGHT O’CLOCK ROCK CHATS WELCOMES….PETE ATKIN!! Legendary guitarist, pianist, singer, songwriter, wit and raconteur plays Kitchen Garden Cafe Feb 24

GET READY TO REEL IN THE YEARS (WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE, that is) as STEELY DAN and STEVE WINWOOD play BIRMINGHAM RESORTS WORLD ARENA on FEB 23

YES SHE IS!! MELISSA ETHERIDGE RIDES INTO BIRMINGHAM ON FEB 21ST WITH HER ALL-NEW “MEDICINE SHOW” – FULL TOUR DATES BELOW

THE SOUND OF FREEDOM IS ALIVE IN BIRMINGHAM!! Renowned avant-jazzman EVAN PARKER joins forces with THE RIOT ENSEMBLE and KIT DOWNES’ ENEMY for uncompromising, challenging MAC show on Feb 19

STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN KINGS HEATH- DOCTORS OF MADNESS MAN HITS TOWN FOR UNIQUE SHOW

AND YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THE QUEUE STRETCHING DOWN THE MOSELEY ROAD!! – yes, the incredible And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead celebrate 20 years of “Madonna” at the Castle & Falcon on Feb 2

OCH AYE THE BLUES!! – Rising Glaswegian rockers King King prepare to reign over Birmingham Town Hall on Feb 1

IIIIIT’S CRIME TIME!! – Fun Lovin’ Criminals get ready to assault Brum on Jan 31

A Maid Of Constant Song: the one and only JUDY COLLINS hits Birmingham on January 29

CHARLIE DORE IN BIRMINGHAM THIS THURSDAY JAN 24!! Legendary singer-songwriter, actress and producer plays rare show at Kings Heath’s most intimate venue

Looney Tunes Are Here Again

JANE SIBERRY plus NICOLA HARDMAN, KITCHEN GARDEN CAFE, TONIGHT (December 10 2018) A final reminder….

Bound By The Beauty…in BRUM!!!

Bound By The Beauty…Of The Malvern Hills

Gret-cha Ya Ya’s Out!!

NEPHILIM AND CHURCH TOUR HITS UK

TOM ROBINSON- “POWER IN THE DARKNESS” 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR KICKS OFF THIS WEEK…

KILLING JOKE 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES AND BOX SET DETAILS

FISH TOUR DATES AND RELEASE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

ROSE TATTOO and GIRLSCHOOL: the dirtiest, meanest rock’n’roll circus of all hits town!!

SKYLINE SERIES…A REMINDER

BROOKE BENTHAM TOUR HITS NOTTS (AND THE REST OF THE UK TOO…)

August 2018

Here at Midland Mania, it’s often not enough to just review the show AFTER the event- we also like to preview some of them too, to draw our readers’ attentions to certain things they may have otherwise missed. Therefore, heralding the first of what will hopefully be a monthly feature, please find below a list of some of the shows I intend to be checking out in the West Midlands over the next two months. Inevitably, there WILL be some date clashes- even more so as more venues get added- but hey, that’s what happens when you’re living in one of the most exciting regions of the country for live music!!  What can I say? Verilye and indeede, taketh thy pick, ar kid….

SKID ROW- KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton, Fri August 24

Tickets: £25.00 plus booking fee  http://www.kkssteelmill.co.uk

After all these years, the Youth are still going wild- and this year, they’ve chosen to do it in the Black Country’s best brand new all-Metaaaaaaaaaaaaaal venue, owned and run by none other than ex-Judas Priest axeman KK Downing. Having retired from the band a while ago, KK vowed that his next step would be to give something back not just to the area that forged his roots, but heavy metal itself- and now, it looks like he’s finally gone and done it. And what better band to launch it with than the mighty Skid Row- the band that, as teens, looked to the mighty Priest for inspiration and guidance, even covering their classic “Delivering The Goods”? Now fronted by ex-Dragonforce vocalist ZP ‘Zippy’ Theart, they’re about to celebrate their own thirtieth anniversary- so it looks like cause for DOUBLE celebration in Wolvo that night!!

BRIAN WILSON- Digbeth Arena, Birmingham, August 24

Tickets: from £49.50 plus booking fee http://www.gigantic.com http://www.seetickets.com

Yes, that’s right, BRIAN WILSON!! Coming to a specially-constructed arena in Digbeth of all places!! It’s been a long, hot, unbearable summer across the West Midlands, but if there’s one musician guaranteed to make you see the positive side of things, it’s the Californian sunshine pop legend himself. Now 78 years old and STILL kicking ass, and ably supported by fellow Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, the composer of ‘California Girls’ ‘Surfer Girl’ Fun Fun Fun’ ‘Surf’s Up’ Sail On Sailor’ ‘Til I Die’ and ‘God Only Knows’ shows little or no signs of letting up- and good thing too. Obviously, we don’t have a beach round here per se- except maybe some shingle surrounding Earlswood Lakes- but that shouldn’t stop us from being able to party like it’s Los Brumgeles. For one night only!!

VINCE NEIL- KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton, September 1

Tickets: £43.00 plus booking fee http://www.kkssteelmill.co.uk

Following on from August’s prestigious launch in the company of Noo Joisey noiseniks Skid Row, the Steel Mill moves way out West for its second foray into live rock’n’roll- and welcomes the one and only Vince Neil, former frontman of possibly THE quintessential LA hair metal party band, Motley Crue. Now that fabled quartet have finally hung up their black leather motorcycle boots, their ebullient singer is striking out on his own (for the second time in his career) and again, we’re privileged that he’s chosen Wolvo as one of the places in which to do it. His heart may be in Californ-i-a, but inside him still lurks the soul of a boy raised on West Midlands legends like Zeppelin, Sabbath, Priest, Slade and Mott The Hoople, and for that reason alone, we should give him a bostin’ Black Country welcome.

THE THE- Digbeth Arena- September 7

Tickets: £49.75 plus booking fee http://www.gigantic.com http://www.seetickets.com

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the mad yet ever-positive genius of Mr Wilson lurks a man of equal talent- but of a far darker, twisted nature, borne of a colder, bleaker climate. The Londoner. The loner. The man in the permanently bad mood, spitting venom at an ungodly world in the most beautifully poetic, musically adventurous manner possible. That man is Matt Johnson, and the band is The The, functioning as the vehicle for his vitriolic outpourings for almost 40 years now. With the reconstituted lineup having already played several acclaimed gigs in London, Manchester and Nottingham this year, it was only a matter of time before they graced Brum with their singular, unclassifiable presence- and now they’re about to do just that. Whether you call them rock, indie, post-punk or any other vaguely-befitting name, the fact remains that they still sound like nobody and nothing else on earth. Prepare to be amazed.

ROSE TATTOO/GIRLSCHOOL- Birmingham Academy 2, September 11

Tickets: £28.15 plus booking fee http://www.academymusicgroup.com/02academybirmingham http://www.ticketmaster.com

AT LAST!! After over a decade’s absence, the legend of hard-kicking, ball-biting Aussie rock that is Angry Anderson, and the one and only Rose Tattoo, are finally returning to the UK- and we at Midland Mania can’t wait. And as if that wasn’t good enough, their tour support for this jaunt is none other than the legendary GIRLSCHOOL- still, after over 40 years, the greatest British female rock act EVER. What a double bill!! With a headliner laying down such cast-iron classics as “Nice Boys” “Bad Boy For Love” “Branded” “Rock N Roll Is King” , and a very special guest assaulting us with a “Hit N Run” whilst reminding us to “Please Don’t Touch” their “Tush”, at several zillion decibels, how could it be anything less than one of the greatest live experiences of the year? Get ready to ROCK.

FISH- Leamington Assembly, September 24

Tickets: £31.25 plus booking fee http://www.leamingtonassembly.com http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk

SHAH!!! The Haddington Bear is back- to deliver a set of hits, oldies, newies, obscurities and more at Warwickshire’s most visually stunning venue. 30 years since he left A Certain Band (who are almost out of tickets for their annual weekend bash in Leicester next month, by the way, so hurry) the giant Scots wit, raconteur and prog songsmith extraordinaire is STILL going strong: he keeps threatening to retire, but as long as he keeps releasing albums of such high quality as 2015’s “Feast Of Consequences”, I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be with us a while yet. Expect a truly magical journey through a wilderness of mirrors, as the sun sets on the empire of the raingods with Zippos, and thus begins the Web. Dilly dilly.

THE BLUETONES- Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, September 26

Tickets: £23.52 plus booking fee http://www.wolvescivic.co.uk http://www.seetickets.com

Always unfairly overlooked during the great “Britpop Wars” of the 90s- largely because they didn’t release their first album, the seminal Expecting To Fly, until 1996- West London’s Bluetones have nonetheless been a constant and consistent force on the British indie-rock scene since their inception. Their first brace of singles are now regarded as classics of their genre, guitarist Adam Devlin is a force to be reckoned with on his instrument, and frontman Mark Morris still possesses one of the finest, most soulful voices in British guitar music: sure, they may not be “cool” anymore, and the “kids” may be now listening to bands that were barely born when classic tunes like Cut Some Rug, Solomon Bites The Worm, Sleazy Bed Track , Bluetonic and Marblehead Johnson were doing the rounds, but they’re STILL an incredible band- and to see them in the intimate surroundings of the Slade Rooms will be quite something. It’s not just a “Slight Return”, it’s a hero’s return. So get on down there and flop that fringe.

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