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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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Dan Deacon, Village Underground, London

It sets the bar pretty high when you open a show by blaring ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in its entirety, set to pulsating strobe lights. And it should undercut any anticipation you might have created when, upon finally taking the stage, you set things into motion with a near ten minute monologue, guiding the audience through a cultish repeat-after-me exercise, while we’re all on our knees, with our eyes closed, pointing at randomly selected would-be loved ones (because it is, after all, Valentine’s Day). But this is Dan Deacon, a man who, for all the fuss made of his ‘move to the stage’ after gaining his reputation as master of goofy anarchy by performing as a member of his own audiences, still puts on one of the most genuinely eccentric stage shows touring today.

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