Last night's gig was

Blonde Redhead at The Lower Third

Seen this band quite a few times over the last 20 years or so. My go to for them is always 23, Misery Is A Butterfly and Fake Can Be Just As Good; the latter I remember buying from Reckless Records in the late 90s and was the first time I’d heard their stuff and thought I’d risk the purchase not knowing anything about them apart from a few write ups somewhere. Those tend to be my favourites but they definitely have a great back catalogue that I dip into whenever I’ve a ticket to see them.

Tonight was stunning. Might even have been better than when I saw them at Shepherds Bush around the time when 23 came out. The atmosphere even at a big place like SBE that evening was amazing.

As it was a small intimate venue tonight I thought I wouldn’t fuck around doing the BMS1 thing of a pint at the back leant against the wall and instead went upfront. Glad I did.

A mixture of old and new and the new ones sounded brilliant. A great set. They might have started with Falling Man (I think) and ended with Elephant Woman. Often they end with Equus but not tonight…and yes we did get 23. A lovely appreciative audience tonight added to the atmosphere and the fun of watching a stunning set.

The band just grooved amazingly. Smiles from the band matched by bigger ones by the crowd. Loved it.

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Why is it that most people don’t like the sound of bodhran?

The National - Alexandra Palace, London


“This song is for our label.”
“That’s punk-rock

I arrived late as work were having a free drinks event (I have the hardest life in the world, btw) so unfortunately only saw the last two Soccer Mommy songs, including a Shania Twain cover.

I had seen the Sad Dads tote bag online and thought it was a goof but they were actually being sold, as well as a hoody with a blue :melting_face: emoji. I didn’t buy either.

This is my third time seeing The National after Dublin in 2013 and Amsterdam in 2017. I haven’t really liked any of their albums to the same extent since Sleep Well Beast, but it was good to see the likes of Tropic Morning News beefed up with some actual drums. Bryan Devendorf really is unreal, dressed up like he’s ready for a triathlon and making really intricate fills look easy.

Matt Berninger was in a suit, doing little Future Islands-y preacher movements with his hands, making gags about his brother. He was certainly a little more subdued compared to the previous times I saw them when he was a bit more erratic and seemingly prone to invade the audience unprompted. Whether that’s getting older, sobriety or the specifics of the venue I don’t know but it did add to the sense that The National are firmly a Big Band doing super profesh Big Band shows. I mean this in a good way though - I haven’t really had a “yay we are so BACK” moment at gigs since the pandemic despite going to plenty and this was the closest I got to it, surrounded by people singing Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks for the band, drowning out that guy behind me who wouldn’t stop going on about how hard it is to be a best man at a wedding. Read the room, we don’t talk about love here!

They’re doing two nights and have promised no repeats, which’ll be interesting as tonight had the likes of Fake Empire, Bloodbuzz and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks which is hard to imagine a National gig without. Also meant some surprises though, like Cherry Tree (which got cut off due to a medical emergency) and Pink Rabbits.

Not ashamed to say I got a bit weepy at times - 10 years since seeing them for the first time feels like several lifetimes ago, and if there was ever a soundtrack for that kind of melancholy reflection…

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Also wasn’t in a posting state of mind after I went but I saw Deafheaven last month

The mosh I did in my mind sitting politely on the balcony is still a mosh.

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It puts people to sleep because it’s so bodhran :smiley: :confused: :worried: (sorry)


The National - Alexandra Palace - 26/09/23

Seen The National probably about 8 or 9 times now. This wasn’t quite up there with their best performance, there were quite a few flubs and fumbles but it was very good, and had one or two moments of genuine transcendence (‘England’ and ‘Sea Of Love’ are fucking incredible live).

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Great pic! :+1:

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Nation Of Language at Heaven

They played a couple of months ago (at the fucking Koko) but they’re back touring their new album, Strange Disciple.

This was my fourth time of seeing the band tonight and all within two years; seems fairly frequent seeing that they’re from across the pond. Two users from here gave me the heads up regarding the band for which I’m very grateful as I’m now a huge fan. I’m kind of of unable to distinguish between their first two albums that were out when I first heard of them as I just loved putting those two on shuffle for hours.

A very strong new third album. Might be my top pick of the month in a very strong month for new albums.

Nicely busy tonight. Probably not sold out as tickets were definitely on the steep side for Heaven and their last London gig was only in mid-June.

Another excellent performance and their live songs are far more foot stomping than on record. Unfortunately we didn’t get I Will Never Learn which is the strongest track on the new album but we got a Kasabian-esque roof damaging version of The Wall & I. Great gig.

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Kylie at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Great fun. I was expecting half the set to be the new album, and half to be a greatest hits set, but it was bangers pretty much all the way, with a splash of tracks from the new album.

Some bad photos




And a link to the setlist

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Did you see any Famouses?

When is she ever going to drop Locomotion and Kids from her setlists :sob: :weary:

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We saw Alison Hammond, Rylan and Graham Norton up on the balcony. Pretty sure that there will have been loads of others that we didn’t spot, too.

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PJ Harvey at The Roundhouse

I’m suspecting quite a few people from here were here tonight. I’m also suspecting you’ve taken better photos than me. I’d love to see them.

Probably seen her well over ten times over the years but the last time was a while ago at an excellent Brixton Academy show in late 2016.

She’d obviously been around for a while before Is This Desire? was released but that was my first album purchase of hers, the one that really got me into her and remains my personal favourite. I first saw her live for the first time when she was touring that album at Shepherds Bush in 1998 and I think The Dirty Three were supporting that night. I’m glad we got a couple of songs from Desire tonight.

Angeline and The Garden were brilliant tonight. Would have loved to have had A Perfect Day Elise or The River but it’s a 25 year old album and having two from there is a still a massive bonus and so I’ll stop moaning.

The style of her gigs…actually…her gigs are often more performance than gigs and depend on which album she’s touring at the time:

Stories was pure big, glitzy, showy, rock n’roll Polly.

Let England Shake was theatrical and her peaking out from a darkened stage and often the only visible person on stage. Whilst the band though not visible were sublime. Tonight’s set up during the first part was somewhat similar.

The Hope Six shows were often big loud pomp and also maybe military marching band-esque. The songs from that album performed live came over far far better than on record. With absolutely no musical talent/ability I think it was a badly produced album compared to what I think it could have sounded like.

I’m not a huge fan of her latest album but it has improved after repeated listens in preparation for tonight’s show. I looked up the recent setlists and knew what to expect tonight…the first part was the new album and a strong and a fun second part of the set with tracks from her earlier albums but omissions from Stories… and Hope Six.

I also divided the concert into two also; went up for the first part and then hung back for the second part with a pint and with some slight obnoxious and rubbish people at the back but no hassle. Some were just wasted despite it being early.

The new album live tonight was performed slightly fuller and grander than on album. Some simple and effective lighting and a nice backdrop added well to the atmosphere. The band were as expected impressive as ever. Like with Hope Six, I found it better live than on record.

The second half which was a slight walk through her back catalogue was the expected fun. It wasn’t necessarily a Best Of but I wasn’t expecting that (even before knowing the setlist). She’s big enough to choose what she want to play.

Although I’m a big fan I wouldn’t say she’s one of my favourite artists. There’s a few albums of her’s that I’ve rarely revisited since buying as they’ve unfortunately just never clicked with me included the latest but that’s my own problem (which I’ll take to the United Nations).

She’s nonetheless a phenomenal artist. There’s not many like her. Although Is This Desire? is my favourite Let England Shake is simply a stunning album and would be on many people’s top 10 albums since the turn of the century, mine included.

First saw her on a cold night in December 1998 and have sort of grown up with her dipping in and out of her albums for the last 25 years and always try to see her when she’s touring.

It was a near two hour set and it was a lot of fun. Probably not the best PJ Harvey concert I’ve been to but after about seven years since I last saw her I’m definitely not complaining after tonight’s one.

She’s now an artist I’ve seen in the 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s. Just hoping she carrys on making music that I love and also music that sometimes frustrates and challenges me.

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PJ Harvey @ The Roundhouse for me also…

Polly Jean is probably my longest serving music obsession - I was sold the moment I heard Sheela-Na-Gig 30 years ago and have been on the trolley ever since. Last night was my thirteenth time seeing her I think, and she has never let me down live. Album in full/interval/bangers set is my absolute favourite format of gig so I was well pleased with last night:

Obviously there’s about 20 other songs I wish she had played, but even with two hours to play with she’s not The Cure/Springsteen. The new album sounded a bit more muscular live, and it’s nice to see long term collaborators James Johnston (who I’ve also seen play as part of Gallon Drunk and The Bad Seeds) and John Parish back in the live band. Good selection from across her career - my two favourite albums of hers are To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire?, so was pleasing to see them both represented. Never understood why Angelene was dropped from her set for so long as it’s one of her absolute best for my money. White Chalk as the closer had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. Where’s that thread where MNP nominated Ghost Town for the alternative national anthem? White Chalk gets my nod.

Seems incredible that she’s been away so long this time, but then she always does something different with each album these days. Fortunately she’s an artist that I trust completely, so look forward to whatever she does next. And I might even get around to reading my copy of that West Country patois poetry book she wrote…

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LYR at Where Else? in Margate

Slightly uncanny seeing the poet laureate Simon Armitage fronting a kosmiche style band on a Friday night by the seaside to about 40 people. Really entertaining and the heavier edge of the live sound compared to records really added something. Shame there wasn’t more people there but I guess the fact that Kristin Hersh was playing 15 minutes away in Ramsgate probably contributed.

Support came from Elanor Moss. Minimalist folk with some breathy sax accompaniment. New to me but a pleasant surprise, really enjoyed her short set.

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Islet, at Rough Trade Bristol

New album release day yesterday so was nice to mark the occasion. Fantastic as ever, though don’t think I’ve seen them since a gig at the Brudenell way back in 2011/12? Or something like that, christ. Anyway, they started the set by running through the crowd with vibra slaps and creating much nicer harmonies than that makes it sound. Played a load of the new album, unsurprisingly, which sounded great, I’d only had the chance to sample them very briefly - some nice St Dymphna-era Gang Gang Dance synths going on - mixed up with some older tracks which I’m much more familiar with. Plenty of forays in and out of the crowd.

Anyone catching them in Cardiff tonight and London in the week is in for a treat! Go and see 'em.

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Goldie Lookin Chain @ New Cross Inn…

Not seen these lads in this venue since…October last year. They obviously enjoyed that as much as I did as here they are back already. Crowd were ridiculously up for it from the first second, which is a powerful brew when they open with Your Missus Is A Nutter. Got a few tracks from this year’s Mike Balls Boutique, some of the classics and then Your Mother’s Got A Penis to end. Just a brilliant Welsh hip hop romp all night - still one of my favourite bands to see live. You knows it :fist:

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They’re always fun, and cleverer than they get credit for. Amusingly, my partner works with the man formerly known as The Maggot, the only core member ever to leave the band…

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A financial advisor now I believe?

Yeah i think Rhys is a very good musician and they are still very funny i think. Havent seen them live for a long time but guaranteed fun when they play. One of the newer members, Grayham, was my brother in law’s best man. In fact most of them were at his wedding. All good lads

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Not anymore. I think he’s pretty private though so probably best I leave it at that. (A fairly standard job I should add, he hasn’t become a spy or anything)

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