Paul Heaton live in Birmingham – on his own at this one

This handily timed, well-priced gig gave me a chance to take the natural next step to seeing The Housemartins and The Beautiful South. No Jackie Abbott tonight due to illness but Heaton carried on regardless.

Deep Purple – live in Birmingham

My gig going tonight strays into the traditional heavy rock scene – never thought when I was a dismissive punk influenced youth that one day I would be at a Deep Purple gig, lapping up Smoke on the Water along with the hairies.

The Gaslight Anthem – live in Birmingham

Seven years after first hearing The Gaslight Anthem, supporting The Killers at Wembley Stadium, I finally catch up with the band again, having collected several albums and seen them split up since.

“Oh no, they’re playing the NEC.” Birmingham’s premier gig venue revisited.

Looking back at my occasional visits to see bands at the NEC Birmingham in the 80s and 90s and in recent years.