Chilly venue, not full so a nice bit of space. Didn’t think much of the support band but Pigs sounded immense. I do like a band that make my trousers vibrate. I last saw them in the Exchange and they really seem to be a lot slicker and more theatrical now. Vocals a little too buried is my only complaint, at least where I was standing.
That specific group was mix of men and women of different ages. Not sure if they knew each other beforehand or not and one woman in her late 40s within that group seemed to be a go-between the drunk prick and the young girl.
Definitely not the band’s fault but some bands sound and style attract arseholes who think because they’re at a loud rowdy gig it gives them a pass to behave like pricks.
Palm Reader / Orchards / Phoxjaw
The Garage, Highbury.
Due to some incredible stupidity on my part I only caught 2 songs by Phoxjaw, which was a pity because those 2 songs were really good. Loads of energy and a bit more poppy than I was expecting. Hopefully I’ll get to see them again soon.
Orchards knew that they were not what the crowd were expecting. Off kilter indie pop would be the best description. The singer is a very tall woman who’s dancing style is sort of a jig with some high kicks thrown in for fun. If nothing else she kept the bassist on his toes.
Not my thing at all but they were fun and won over the crowd pretty well.
Palm Reader where having an incredibly shit day. On the way to London someone broke into their van at a service station and robbed some of their gear. It didn’t seem to slow them down much, they were playing their latest album start to finish as an album launch (For an album released a year ago now).
They started well but it became pretty obvious there was something wrong with the sound mix. The guitars were too quiet, so when the huge noisy parts arrived it just sounded empty. Which is a bit rubbish when you have 3 guitarists.
The sound didn’t get better and Josh’s voice became more and more grating as the set went on as it was far too loud.
I stuck around until they finished the album and just went home before the encore. Pretty gutted about it to be honest, I was really excited for it.
SE were wonderful as ever with Mario’s Cafe and Sylvie being particular highlights and Penlop from the new record sounded great live.
The crowd were terrible though. Just free from any emotion or enthusiasm like I haven’t seen for a very long time. Even when they played the “hits” no one was acting like they’re paying £30 for a band they cared about. Kinda makes me laugh when people talk about “difficult” London gigs and then see things like this. Ah well.
Amyl & the Sniffers at Rough Trade East. Lots of fun. Amyl is a great front woman and it’s easy to see why they are moving onto Academy sized venues next year.
I had plans to go onto a gig in Hackney but tube strike meant I had a 2 hour horror journey to get to east London and really couldn’t cope with the same in the opposite direction whilst trying to catch the last train home. In the end got home in an hour.
The guys (with Bob!) ripping through Captain as a warmup before the big 25th anniversary show later today - plus very solid support from a huge stoner trio and then a recently reformed Scottish cult alt country group.
Roddy admitted he couldn’t really hit the screams anymore but the crowd were very happy to pick up the slack there - and then they just barrelled straight into Chandelier, 4 People Do Good, I’m a Message and Listen to What You’ve Got. Threw myself into the melee for the last song, felt real good
Tons of energy, everyone grinning their faces off, never seen so many 40-somethings in a mosh pit before, and pretty consistent chants of BOB BOB BOB BOB 10/10
Big fan of their album from last year and this had the best stuff from that, plus some highlights from the older stuff, so I was very happy. Seeing heavy music again is such a rush. They could have maybe played a bit longer but it was a really fun and tight set, with no excess. Not sure why it was quite so undersold but talking to a couple of people afterwards everyone there was really impressed. Heard good things about the support bands CLT DRP and Heriot but sadly I missed them.
However it must be said, there were some people going way too far with the moshing. You get that at every metal gig to an extent, but what made this irritating/embarrassing was that there was only 6 of them (all blokes) who were into it, and in front of the stage was quite sparse. So they were swinging each other round in circles of space, then launching across open floor into people stood round the edges. It wasn’t horrible for the whole gig, but they got told off a couple of times by others in the crowd and kept going. One lad even tried to like, crowdsurf onto just 3 of the others, and as they inevitably fell they collided into a group of people. Maybe my tolerance for this stuff is lower than it was (it’s certainly not something I’ve missed during lockdown months), but yeah… very cringe. I don’t think anyone here would act like that, but if you do, you’re a knob. Thankfully - everyone else was really sound and it was a good night.
Went to see Owen at Union Chapel last night. Another COVID rearranged gig. Was in two minds as tube and trains were up the spout but glad we went.
Just Mike and his battered acoustic. He warned us that there would be a lot of tuning and he wasn’t wrong ! But even so, it was still sublime. A range of chunes across the years, not as many off The Avalanche as you might expect. Lovely version of Home Is Where The Haunt Is.
Union Chapel as completely feckin freezing as one might expect.
My first gig down in Dublin since January 2020. I’ve seen Junior Brother a few times in Belfast but usually as a support act to a less familiar audience (he’s done a couple of headline shows up here too that I’ve not been able to make it to). His Dublin shows always seem to have a great atmosphere and lots of singing along so decided to travel down for this.
I’ve seen him both solo (just acoustic guitar and foot tambourine) and with his old backing band (a mandolin player and another guy on bodhrán/tin whistle etc) but the band has evolved a bit recently with the addition of a couple of members of The Bonk - Philip Christie (ex O Emperor) on keys and Dan Walsh (also of Fixity and I think several of @Kallgeese 's bands) on drums and flute. Sounds really great. Would recommend him to anyone who likes Peasant by Richard Dawson.
Set leant pretty heavily on new material but I’ve heard most of it on various livestreams and stuff over lockdown, and a couple of the new songs have been in the set for so long already before covid that they already feel like old fan favourites (cannot wait for a studio version of No Snitch). Hope the album is out soon. Was quite crowded so I headed up to the balcony after a couple of songs for a bit of space and a better view. I should do that more often in Whelans.
Supported by the aforementioned The Bonk - great band that are hard to describe other than general jazzy weirdness, also seen them a few times up here, missed them supporting Junk Drawer recently as it sold out so it was nice to see them again. Former members of O Emperor, who I think there are one or two fans of on here?
This was supposed to be The Altered Hours with Documenta supporting, but one of The Altered Hours had a positive antigen test so they had to cancel/postpone. Documenta went ahead with the gig on their own. I’ve seen them tons of times but this was their first show since January 2020 I think. New material from their much delayed third (and final?) album is sounding really good, looking forward to it eventually coming out.
There’s seven of them (four guitarists!) and they play what they call ‘drone pop’, basically psych for fans of Spacemen 3 and the like (and a few post-rock leanings now and then). They opened with a long droney instrumental last night where they took to the stage two at a time to gradually build the track from the ground up, which was great.
Managed to snag a last-minute ticket for this last night. Every bit as good as people have been saying, it was the most joyous thing I’ve been to in the longest time. The best crowd I can remember being in for years too.
Not wanting to start a debate on masks and vaccination status etc. at gigs here. Copy this into one of the many Covid threads if you want to start a debate. The mask wearing at gig thread that I wanted to post this in has been locked.
But just a heads up that I got an email from organisers of The Fallen Women gig at The Lexington this Sunday that entry requirements include being given the booster vaccination, a negative lateral flow or PCR test as well as natural immunity after a positive PCR test within 10 to 180 days of the gig.
Just for information and that perhaps the booster vaccination evidence via The NHS app might become an entry requirement soon for future gigs too.
The (at least) 2 days isolation after coming from abroad rules seem like they could potentially cause issues for any international bands that are touring at the moment. Surely most would have planned to arrive here and then play their first gig within the next day or two?