Now that rings a Brel

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IF a band from Liverpool playing the songs of lamented Belgian singer and actor Jacques Brel in French and English sounds unlikely, then drop into The Lantern Theatre tonight.

Dead Belgian also perform a selection of traditional European dance tunes and the occasional song by Brel-inspired Yorkshireman Jake Thackray.

For a flavour of what Matthew Wood (accordion, piano, vocals), Fionnuala Dorrity (vocals, ukulele, guitar) Andy Delamere (percussion, vocals), and Simon James (sax, flute, clarinet, mandolin, vocals) get up to check this footage of them at their Potting Shed Cabaret:

Spiders with a big Hart

MIGHTY Download festival will have Black Spiders, Saxon and Dead Harts waving the sonic flag for South Yorkshire this weekend.

Pete Spiby’s men – nominated Best UK band in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods – join Barnsley-born Saxon and city regulars Dead Harts in the three-day onslaught.

Harts won the chance to play after entering Red Bull’s Bedroom Jam competition and saw off nearly 700 other would-be Donington performers. Formed in 2009, the now Sheffield-based band have since released a video for Smoke Wagons through BlankTV in the US and debut Crooks EP.

Download clocks up 10 years with a bill that includes Black Sabbath and The Prodigy.

Enjoy a Citizens arrest

SUBVERSIVE pop act Citizens! do pop but they won’t do autotone - and making sure they kept their word was Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos who produced their album Here We Are.

“We had this vision of the songs we wanted to write and it was all about making pop music that was imaginative, exciting and interesting,” says lead singer Tom Burke ahead of a Sheffield SOYO debut on June 18.

“We had a strict set of rules we forced ourselves to abide by. We weren’t allowed any studio trickery, so there’s no autotune or correcting mistakes on the record. Then there was the idea that no element of any given song was allowed to sound as if it came from the same place. It’s the thing of doing what people least expect but making it sound addictive and exciting.”