I must confess… despite knowing a few of their big hits, I’ve not actually listened to any of Suede’s albums pre-2016. Shocking, I know, and something that I probably should address at some stage.
I’ve got no idea then why I suddenly decided to give Night Thoughts a whirl but I’m glad I did. What a phenomenal record and it’s been brilliant to re-visit it this week. I know some may not like the glossier sound but I love how huge and sweeping it is yet still having a real intimacy and tenderness to its songs. I’m gutted that I didn’t see them on that album tour but I couldn’t drive at the time and I landed too late in Barcelona to see their free set on the Wednesday night at Primavera that year but I’ve always wanted to see them since. I bounced off of The Blue Hour upon my first few listens at the time - not really sure why - but I’ve really been enjoying Autofiction after letting it pass me by last year. There’s a real bite and menace to the record and the bass work on some of the tracks is phenomenal.
I still really enjoyed the gig despite being somewhat removed from the experience during their older material. I hope I have the energy of Brett Anderson when I’m older although retaining my superior dance moves - sometimes he’s like a caged animal, sometimes he’s like a stroppy child in a 50 year-old man’s body. Within three seconds of coming laconically on stage, he had the whole place on its feet and people flooding to the front within four songs. I loved watching long-time fans being properly encaptured by his performance as well. It was nice to have that infectious energy of seeing other people really enjoy it.
Two small negatives - I sadly didn’t buy any of their condoms that were on sale at the merchandise stand and the car park at the venue was a nightmare to get out of…
Ah, I almost went to this as it was my birthday and I suddenly had a strong desire to see a band somewhere vaguely local, and Shacklewell seemed to be the only small venue in east London that actually had something on that night. Listened to their album and liked it, but my daughter ended up getting sick so I couldn’t go. Glad it was good. I’ll keep an eye out for their return…
Been waiting for this one for a long time! By the time I’d got into her she’d stopped touring; had a check and her last show before this current run was back in 2016. Think she’s severely underrated by a lot of folks. I thought Bon Voyage was a really special record, and the new one is a great follow up. but she seems to have been largely ignored/dismissed by critical circles. Anyway, I’d grabbed my pal a ticket for his birthday, so we met up and grabbed a Pizza Union/a few beers first then scooted to Scala. It’s been ages since I’ve been there, and forgot how much of a crush it can be with a sold out crowd (admittedly we did get there late), but we managed to manouver ourselves to the back of the floor bit in front of the sound stage which had a bit of room.
I was super impressed with the show. Considering her records have so many sound textures I was wondering how they’d translate live, but her band absolutely killed it. Think it might be some members of Dungen which would explain it? But don’t take my word for that. Played a good mix of tracks from across all albums, including an insanely good version of Crystallized that was extended out for about 10 minutes. Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?, Quand Les Larmes D’un Ange…, Personal Message and The Hypnotist being other highlights. Melody herself was also great, her voice came across crystal clear. Also as a side note, far and away the most enthusiastic London crowd I’ve seen in a while, which was really lovely. People seemed genuinely over the moon to be seeing her and she responded in kind, definitely seemed overwhelmed by the reponse of the crowd.
You wait 2½ years for his understandably endlessly rescheduled gig from 2020 to take place and then he plays again in a relatively short time.
Galaxie are a huge band for me. I was late to the party with them and really only heard them in 1998 or 1999 and instantly felt they were “my band”. Seen Wareham and Damon and Naomi plenty of times.
Same feelings with tonight as with last summer’s Islington Assembly Hall. My relationship with Galaxie 500 is “individual”; just me and the band on earphones or speakers. They’re one of my go to’s when feeling shit, tired and need my mood “buffered”. They’re also one of my favourites to put on on crisp cold winter days especially if snowing.
More often I put them on late at night…usually early hours … after late drinks and listen to a few tracks whilst finishing off a red wine or strong IPA before bed.
Despite the above paragraph, tonight was probably one of the best times I’ve seen Wareham. Some tracks like Ceremony and Temperature’s Rising were played brilliantly and far louder than expected.
It wasn’t that packed tonight. Perhaps the high price for the gig and the fact that many had seen the Islington show recently meant that they didn’t fancy it again, I don’t know. I turned up at around 8:40pm after work and easily ended up at the second row without trying. I happily saw him/the band close up for my first pint and then headed at the back for the another and the rest of the show.
They played their usual big ones very well. Good gig.
Excellent. Felt like I was in the minority as I’ve not really watched Tim & Eric and his comedy stuff but really like his recent (soft-rock?) albums. Was 50-50 on buying tickets for that reason but ended up loving the whole thing. Stand-up set was great and the full band live set was better than I was expecting.
Very funny, very likeable man and an under-rated songwriter. If he’s playing in your city I’d really recommend going.
Yeah, the venue’s still shit but we were lucky enough to get a decent spot on the balcony above the sound desk. The Comet Is Coming were excellent as ever, but I do always think back to seeing them at Ramsgate Music Hall with about 100 other punters. That was electric! Still, awesome show, awesome lights, lots of sax. A total space-jazz masterclass!
Maybe it was subconscious because I was one of the 100 other punters at RMH back then I think. Also saw them at Dreamland over the years twice, indoors and outdoors. The outdoor one last year on a gloriously sunny day was my favourite, they are a superb live experience.
Lisa Hannigan, David Keenan - Custom House Square, Belfast
This was a free ‘pre-Patrick’s Day’ show. Quite early as it was a family event, so no alcohol, and kids in face paint running around with balloon swords screaming at each other throughout the music. Also it was an outdoor show in March so I got soaked. But had a nice time nonetheless.
David Keenan was on first. I had it in my head that he was a bit of a bland singer-songwriter type but I listened to his most recent album yesterday and there was some really good stuff on there, including a collab with Junior Brother, and a couple of songs that reminded me of him or Richard Dawson - rusty folky guitars and heavily accented spoken word. Live he was somewhere between the two - I didn’t hear any of those album tracks I’d enjoyed in the live set, there were a couple of similar ones that were pretty good, the rest of the set was a bit ordinary folk rock - not bad but not as weird and interesting as I’d hoped from that album. But decent, and I think I recognised the guitarist from playing in Myles Manley’s band, he added some nice textures as always.
Lisa Hannigan was great, played for an hour, started solo and was joined by 3 backing singers and a cello player a few songs in. Such a good voice. She hasn’t released anything in quite a while so it was mostly the same set as when I’ve seen her before, though there was a track towards the end that I don’t think I recognised. It was a bit drizzly all evening but started absolutely bucketing down during that song, while the lyrics sounded like ‘rain down on my head’. We the Drowned was very appropriately the next song and she gave a knowing and sympathetic look during the first line. Then finished on Undertow which is also appropriately about water and weather. Was surprised she didn’t play Knots this time but A Sail was a highlight.
Left to go and get a pint in McHughs out of the rain after Lisa but there was another band called Jiggy on at the end, I was very surprised the one I’d never heard of was the finisher. We ended up coming back over to the gig for a bit to get some food from the food stalls and caught a bit of them from the back, they were like a trad fusion band and actually sounded quite fun, but went back to the pub soon after.