I wrote for Counteract for a couple of years whilst studying in Birmingham (2017-'19). I wholeheartedly loved every moment of writing for them.

Counteract (est. 2010) is a fiercely independent, music-and-culture-loving website founded by the lovely, legendary Richard Franks.

Concert Reviews

Profiles & Interviews

Interview: The Ting Tings on their ten-year career and new album release

With the Salford duo’s fourth album due out on October 26th, Counteract caught up with The Ting Tings to chat about switching creative gears, their ten-year career and upcoming record, The Black Light.

It’s 2018. The Ting Tings have been bending genres, ripping up rule books and diligently crafting away for a decade now. ‘That’s Not My Name’ and ‘Shut Up And Let Me Go’ from We Starting Nothing filled dance floors in 2008, whilst Sounds Of Nowheresville and Super Critical, not as well-received,

Review: Sam Hollis impresses on debut EP, LYFE

After departing from the Glow in the Dark Lizards, Sam Hollis has carved his solo place in Birmingham’s music scene, with the 8th January self-release of his debut solo EP, LYFE.

Opening up the EP is pretty mid-tempo single track Looms Over You, an electro-bop with all the bells and whistles, and a funky-fast psychadelic riff which bloops and layers over words a bad relationship – complete with a sample from American TV.

Segueing into the hipster-pop of All Day, Sam’s favorite from the EP – he

Introducing El Sam: Birmingham's dreampop non-conformist

El Sam is a dream-pop performance artist based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. He has self-produced and self-released two full-length albums, and is currently in the infant stages of writing album three.

Dudley-born, he moved to the Middle-East, then came back to Birmingham in the Autumn of 2011. Of his musical upbringings, he listened to Bowie, the Spice Girls, Sinatra. At present he’s in love with the music, artistry, and possibly macabre persona of Lana Del Rey. These, combined with his backgrou

Culture Writing

The best of Birmingham's museums and art galleries

If you’re in need of a chilled but informative Birmingham day out, you can’t go wrong with one of Birmingham’s wonderful museums or art galleries. All of those listed are within the city centre, so they are perfectly walkable on a day trip or day off.

A combination of both historical artefacts and art, Birmingham’s flagship museum houses a expansive gallery covering Pre-Raphaelite works, Egyptian artefacts, a child-friendly mini-museum and the Gas Hall with its rotating roster of exhibits. Ther

An ode to Digbeth: Birmingham's gritty creative quarter

The first record of Dyghbath can be traced back to 1533, when the area was Birmingham’s first industrial district, and the high street was the main thoroughfare for trading visitors from neighbouring towns to the east. Then, after the industry packed up and left, the neighbourhood went with it, leaving it undesirable and unused, save for sparse garages, empty warehouses and construction.

The new millennium brought change to Digbeth and Deritend – which are now seen as an amalgamation of the sam

The best gay, lesbian and LGBT+ bars in the Gay Village, Birmingham

Birmingham’s LGBT+ neighbourhood, The Gay Village, is a vibrant and lively party/dining area found next to Chinatown and the theatre district in central Birmingham; less than a ten minute walk from the Bullring and the Rag Markets.

The main area of the ‘Village’ is found on Hurst Street – which has the main ‘strip’ of popular LGBT+ nightlife in the city – but the criss-cross layout of ‘Gay Town’ hosts some fantastic party venues, as seen below.

The mainstay nightclub of Hurst Street which bega

10 European festivals in 2018 with tickets under £150

Mainland European festivals offer fantastic bang for your buck, with some of them offering three or four days of live music and a week’s worth of camping for less than £150. From France to Finland and Serbia to Spain, here are some of the best European festivals in 2018 you should definitely look in to attending! Ticket prices are correct at the time of publishing.

Last year’s environmentally-friendly and cashless festival showcased a range of talent, including a line-up of prolific BAME artist

Music Reviews

'The Best Of Newton Faulkner ... So Far' recaps the last decade of the singer-songwriter's career

Virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Newton Faulkner releases his first Hits collection, with a unique twist and a heartfelt culmination of cult fan favourites sitting next to his biggest hits.

Now having edged over a decade in the music industry, Newton Faulkner is celebrating with a 2-disc set that celebrates his career and solidifies elements of his live shows that keeps fans coming back in unison.

The first disc is a collection of his biggest and best tracks from his previous 6 albums, from sign

Mumford and Sons bring back the banjos and layer on the heartbreak on atmospheric 'Delta'

Raw tales of heartbreak, divorce and loss pepper the fourth album from seasoned London quartet Mumford and Sons. Delta expands the creative palette on which the band paint their craft.

Thankfully, the banjos are back. But this reinvention is much more lush and deeper than an outright rebel against what brought Mumford and Sons to established fame in the first place. ‘Picture You’ delves into the modern trend of high-pitched distorted vocals against a textured electro-R&B background; leading sin

Review: Gary Numan's 'The Fallen' EP offers an extension of his recent, goth-tinged output

Capitalising on the success of 2017’s dark-rock ‘Savage (Songs from a Broken World)’, the synth giant turned goth-pop protégée makes a modest return a year later with new EP The Fallen, three tracks on a more accessible scale – whilst retaining grandeur and drama.

The stark cover artwork in the similar vein of his preceding album has a somewhat stratospheric atmosphere about it, as though he is walking on the moon. Sonically, this is reflected in the visual aspect of the record. Gary Numan will

Concert Announcements

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