Adele, The Cult, The Wonder Stuff – March Madness!: 15 awesome gigs to catch in Birmingham this month

Adele, The Cult, The Wonder Stuff – March Madness!: 15 awesome gigs to catch in Birmingham this month

Adele - The Cult - The Wonder Stuff - March Madness - Frankie and the Heartstrings

Gig season is in full flow, so we’ve rounded up 15 gigs worthy of your attention in Birmingham this month, ranging from tiny bands in tiny venues right through to global mega-stars in arenas.

Tuesday 1 March – The Cult @ O2 Institute 

It’s easy to forget just how important a band The Cult are – across the other side of the Atlantic in particular they are serious business – so any chance to see them in a relatively small venue should be grabbed. Ian Astbury is one of the all-time great frontmen too (you’d have to be, to sing with the remaining members of The Doors, wouldn’t you?) so expect a great night.

Saturday 5 March – Sleeping With Sirens @ O2 Academy

It’s less than a year since Sleeping With Sirens played the very same venue on a co-headlining run with Pierce the Veil, but that hasn’t stopped Kellin Quinn and co rushing back to these shores. To be honest, they were comfortably second best on that run, so it will be good to see them play a longer set on their own terms. It’s just a shame about their choice of support bands – no need to get there early for this one!

Monday 7 March – Rudimental @ O2 Institute

Drum and bass act Rudimental are the real deal – they’ve won Brit awards, a MOBO award, been nominated for a Mercury Prize, have sold an absolute tonne of records and have collaborated with a number of great singers, including Emilie Sande and Ella Eyre. With all that to boast, you’d have to think that they’ll put on quite a special show, so make sure you’re down at the Institute to see it.

Friday 11 March – Frankie and the Heartstrings @ the Rainbow

We saw them support The Charlatans at the end of last year and our reviewer said “great pop tunes with a real indie-rock undercurrent”. We are anticipating a great night seeing them in their own right, why don’t you get down there and join us?

Monday 14 March – Defeater @ the Rainbow

When it comes to melodic hardcore, pretty much the only band you to hear is Defeater; they’ve not put a foot wrong on their recorded material and on stage they are incredible. This is their second visit to the Rainbow in less than a year, giving you another rare chance to get up close and personal with them – literally, as there will be no barrier. If you like riffs and heartstring-tugging lyrics, this is for you.

Tuesday 15 March – The Dear Hunter @ the Sunflower Lounge

Another band on this list making a swift return to the second city is The Dear Hunter, who were last here in September. Quite simply, they are a glorious musical offering that plays intelligent, interesting and wonderful songs. With the right people watching, this lot could go far – expect a fantastic evening.

Saturday 19 March – The Wonder Stuff & The Wedding Present @ O2 Academy

The Wonder Stuff in Birmingham on a Saturday night – what’s not to love about that?! It’s going to be great, 30 years (yes really) since they started, new album “30 Years Around The Sun” due the week before and bringing special guests and indie survivors The Wedding Present with them. We will see you at the front for this one.

Sunday 20 March – Mariah Carey @ Barclaycard Arena

As we get towards the end of March, it seems as though Birmingham is awash with global megastars, starting with pop diva Mariah Carey, who is making a somewhat rare tour of the UK to play a career-spanning setlist. Come on, what else do you need? It’s Mariah!

Monday 21 March – Ellie Goulding @ Barclaycard Arena

Another night, another pop superstar at the NIA, this time in the form of Ellie Goulding. Her career seems to have been on an almost permanent upward trajectory, and it will be fascinating to see how her material sounds in a vast arena.

Tuesday 22 March – The 1975 @ Barclaycard Arena

Rounding off a busy few days for the NIA staff is a big show from The 1975. To be hitting arenas on only your second album is pretty impressive, so expect something of a celebration from these British alternative rockers.

Thursday 24 March – Mushroomhead & American Head Charge @ O2 Academy 2

Let’s interrupt the megastars for a moment and instead travel back in time to the early noughties – look at this for a double header! Mushroomhead were always an interesting prospect, even if they did try and start an argument with Slipknot about masks and stuff, but their music was always decent, while American Head Charge are one of those bands that really ought to have been huge. Interestingly for AHC, their new album comes out the day after this gig, so they should be in the mood for an excellent show. Nu metal lives!

Friday 25 March – The Vamps @ Genting Arena

It’s kind of strange – and, for many music fans, pretty sad – that a band can go from posting cover versions on YouTube to headlining arenas in the space of a couple of years, but fair play to The Vamps for grabbing their opportunity. If you want slick pop songs and screaming fans, this night will be for you.

Saturday 26 March – Refused @ O2 Institute

When a band has made one of the best albums in all of music from all time, they are absolutely worth watching. Refused’s name is the name found on the incredible album ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’ therefore you need to go and watch them when they come to the Institute. Seriously. Listen to that album and you will understand why.

Yep, Adele – she’s quite famous. probably not much else we can add here…it’s Adele. Playing live. That really doesn’t happen much.

Wednesday 30 March – Janet Jackson @ Barclaycard Arena

Just when you thought Birmingham couldn’t possibly handle any more megastars this month, we squeeze one in right at the end, with the visit of Janet Jackson. Part of one of the most famous musical families on the planet, provider of one of the more memorable Super Bowl half time shows, this should be a good one.


Words – Dave Musson

Photograph of Frankie and the HeartstringsStephanie Colledge

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