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Photo: Parklife.uk.com

Parklife Festival 2011

Manchester’s own end-of-exams summer festival returned with a sterling line-up, including names such as Chase and Status, Kelis and Mark Ronson.

Reading Festival 2011

One of the UK’s biggest and most popular festivals returned this year with headline acts Muse, My Chemical Romance and The Strokes, but who stood out and who just flopped?

In only its second year, High Voltage has certainly targeted the dads market. With a line-up relying heavily on classic rock, prog and metal, as well as none of that tiresome camping malarkey, it’s not difficult to see why. Two days of legendary acts however, means that students shouldn’t shy away from a fantastic festival.

As a plethora of female artists dominate the charts, another joins the party in the form of Jessie J and her recently released debut, Who You Are. Much like everything else in the music world, it’s divided our writers into opposing camps where, on the one hand, this new pop sensation deserves the ever-expanding success thrown her way. On the other, Who You Are is a painful attempt to be different, rendering her another generic pop princess.

Ke$ha has been one of the rising stars of 2010, most notable for her “sing-talk” method and catchy songs, but being seen as a “metalhead”, it seems almost unspeakable that I enjoy listening to her music. The lyrics may make very little sense whatsoever, yet Ke$ha contributes a large amount to the writing of her songs, as opposed to many other pop stars who rely on professional song-writers to compose their hits.

Judas Priest, Slash and Dream Theater, to name but a few, graced the stages at this year’s High Voltage but who impressed Tom Geddes and your dad the most?

Christmas Day 1999 was a day of contrasts for me. On one hand, I finally got a PlayStation and a BMX scooter, which made my nine-year-old head explode. I’d have been happy with these, more than happy in fact, but there was another present to open, which had a distinct, CD shaped look about it. “Great”, I thought to myself. I’d just started getting into music and I was happy to think that my sister had noticed my growing interest in AC/DC, Motörhead and Metallica.

Returning to Academy 1 in support of their seventh album, the wonderfully-titled Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, post-rock veterans Mogwai deliver a stirring, two-hour set that spans their entire career. They showcase a whole host of tracks from the new record, opening with the chirpy and upbeat ‘White Noise’, with ‘Mexican Grand Prix’, ‘I’m Lionel Richie’ and new single ‘Rano Pano’ also aired, the latter brilliantly blending grinding guitars with subtle synths. This is a band capable of conveying an incredibly wide range of emotion in their music, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that the vast majority of it is purely instrumental.

Feeder have had a mixed career, from the low points of the unfortunate suicide of drummer Jon Lee and replacement drummer Mark Richardson leaving to rejoin Skunk Anansie to creating their own label, Big Teeth Music, and over 20 Top 40 singles.

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