Great Music Coming to the Midlands

Blimey! How much good music is there in the Midlands right now? So much, actually, that you might not realise it - let me point some highlights out for you.Take the O2 Academy in Birmingham - this month they're playing host to The Courteeners, Delphic, General Fiasco and Paloma Faith. How good is that?! A lot of the stuff here sells out pretty quick, so coming up, they've got Futureheads and The Temper Trap on May the 4th (be with you), the Black Eyed Peas official aftershow part on May 8th, Boyz II Men (random or what?) on 10th. Get your tix before they go!Ellie Goulding (god I love her!) is playing the Dot to Dot Festival along with Mystery Jets, Zane Lowe, Daisy Dares you and many more at Nottingham Rock City on May 30th. Again, i'm telling you now so you can grab tickets before it sells out. Last year, Loughborough University hosted gigs by the likes of N-Dubz, Calvin Harris and Daniel Merriweather. I can tell you that real soon, they'll have gigs from Tinie Tempah and Mr Hudson - so keep an eye on for ticket details. Have you heard the latest album by Alicia Keys? Normally, the idea of listening to some American songstress blubbing on about New York would have me reaching for the off-switch, but Alicia has well and truely won me over. I got my ticket to see her in Birmingham this May - if you want to join me and the other several thousand people in Alicia's company, you can bag some tickets in the entertainment section and lastminute.comRage Against the Machine have a lot to thank Joe McCelderry for. The publicity they received on the back of last year's anti-X Factor campaign has brought them back to the fold, and they'll be headlining Donington's Download festival. It's hard to believe that deep within the midlands countryside, lies one of the UK's fastest growing festivals - this year headlined by RATM along with AC/DC and Aerosmith. If you want to get away, there are plenty of festivals further afield (and no mud either). You can get early bird tickets for this year's EXIT festival which has got a great line up to including; Mika, Royksopp, Crystal Castles, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Ricardo Villalobos, Moderat live, Josh Wink, Crookers, Boys Noize, Erol Alkan, Ed Banger’s SebastiAn, Busy P and DJ Mehdi.