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Caitlin Rose, Dingwall's, London

With 2010’s gorgeous and largely understated ‘Own Side Now’, there emerges some incongruity between Caitlin Rose’s hard-drinkin-hyper-sassy on-stage presence and the gentle material which she is touring. Gently strumming to vulnerable lyrical sentiments like ‘who’s going to take me home?’ isn’t entirely becoming of her denim-wearing, Stella-glugging, joke-cracking demeanour - in spite of its effortless craft and frequent beauty.

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Kid Koala, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

It is a guarantee that you will never, ever witness a show quite like Kid Koala’s! Robot puppets, trampoline turntables, dancing airhostesses and not to mention a life size Koala bear – this is performance arts at its finest. Eric San, the Canadian DJ and turntablist stuns with his musical talent. Spinning three vinyl at once, he looks upon a crowd always in awe.  He continually thanks and expresses his delight with the audience - of which not one looked disappointed with his immense musical skill.

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Trwbador, Buffalo Bar, Cardiff

A Cardiff boy born and bred, I have never thought the Welsh language was ‘cwl’. Uncritically adopting a disdainful sneer towards my land’s mother tongue - which is easily triggered in a teenager forced to complete a GCSE in the language in the English Capital of Wales – I nevertheless find myself as playfully attracted to Trwbador as I am to the Welsh spelling of ‘tacsi’.

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Villagers, Village Underground, London

Although still pivoted around Connor O’Brien’s distinctive voice and song writing, this year’s stellar {Awayland} was a huge leap forward in sonic ambition for Villagers – a move which has been met with widespread critical acclaim, but also one which threatened to put the band in a rock-and-a-hard-place situation when it came to their stage show, opening a potential fissure between the material of the two LPs.

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Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2013 w/ Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets & Peace, Cardiff University

Given my recent history of attending small, local gigs and/or occasionally just listening to my cat’s melodic purr whilst crying into a bowl of cereal, alone – the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2013 was a welcome change, to say the least. Despite being cumbersome, the sponsor-filled title of this annual event is in fact wholly appropriate for such a showbiz spectacle - which is evidently pumped fulla dolla and whose acts’ reception on the night is directly correlated with their ability to provide fitting music for a hair gel advert.

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