Last night's gig was


None of these were technically last night but went to a few over the last week so gonna do a quick round up

Slayer, Lamb of God, Anthrax & Obituary at Wembley:
Missed Obituary due being in the queue for over 90 mins to get to the seats :neutral_face:. Badly needed a piss as well. Quickly forgot inside as Anthrax and Lamb of God were both amazing. Slayer also killed it and had actual jets of flame shooting up behind them which made Wembley look like a cavern of hell i.e. freaking cool

Neko Case at the Barbican
Such a talent: phenomenal voice, great musician, absurdly good songwriter and bags of charisma. Was weird seeing a band at the Barbican as the crowd seemed overwhelmed by the grandness of the venue and were a bit restrained. Despite this the crazy good acoustics meant you could fully appreciate the songs, musicianship, performances, etc. Set was great and they smashed out a killer version of Man towards the end which was a definite highlight.

Therapy? at The Engine Rooms in Southampton
Really fun show and the band were clearly having a blast. Was Great to hear Stories, Here Comes the Misery and Lonely Crying Only as well as all the Troublegum classics. Ended weird when 2 knobheads kicked off at the bouncers. Ended up getting locked in the venue for about 20 mins while knobhead #1 was being restrained and knobhead #2 was literally headbutting the door to try and get back inside. Nice one.


Gruff Rhys at SWX in Bristol.

How was it? It was Gruff Rhys. I can’t trust anyone that doesn’t love him unconditionally.


Good looking, good hair, great guy, boring ploddy act?


Kurt Vile at The Crossing, Birmingham.

First time I’ve seen him for a few years. Love his albums, but I’ve never really been sold on him as a live performer before. His whole live vibe used to strike me as a bit ramshackle, which fits the whole slacker thing he has going on but it could get a bit frustrating at times. You could see the potential there but it always seemed a bit awkward-sloppy, not endearing-sloppy.

This gig however was great, the best he’s ever been by far. He rocks the awkward charisma thing now and his set sounded really polished, the Violators are absolutely killer. Liked the jammyness, it made the crescendo’s really roar.


Mattiel at The Garage. It was pretty good. Look like she’s some top quality session musicians as her backing band.


Kelly Lee Owens at Thekla

It was great/10


Yellow Eyes at The Black Heart.



Yer man David Byrne, I was 8 rows back reasonably central. When he did the “Watch Out!” bit at the start of ‘Burning Down the House’ he sorta spun round right in front of us. Was joyous and life-affirming just like everyone said (and finishing up by doing a Janelle Morae song about BLM was pretty awesome).

Minor spoiler from a drunk dad (literally; his son was with him) in front of us, who really objected to people getting up and dancing, to the point he was grabbing them and telling them to move back to their seats! Ended up spending most of the gig arguing, and his son left. I’m sorta empathetic because I tend to lose it when people are talking too much…but mate. It’s dance music - just get up and dance. (Or move to the empty seats I pointed out, that had a better freaking view with no-one dancing in front of them…).


Ezra Collective on the Thekla. Ace stuff, joyous, danceable, life affirming!


Had a similar thing when David Byrne played in the New Theatre in Oxford back in the summer. Guy in the row in front got on his feet from the start, and an older couple behind told him off and though he did sit back down he kinda took the piss and said the same - it’s a dance show, so why not dance?? By the end of the gig everyone was up on their feet and the couple and the guy were hugging and dancing with each other. Ha.


Chilly Gonzalez at Rough Trade East on Monday night.

I hadn’t paid much attention since going to his retirement gig in 2003 (which was brilliant) beyond a vague awareness he’d moved into classical music. He did a couple of his old rap numbers which made me happy. I enjoyed most of the new piano stuff - particularly when he was joined by a cello player and it went a bit more upbeat.

Anyone a fan of his recent work. Worth investigating?


Hinds in the Hop and Grape, Manchester, and they were excellent. Really love their energy and they’ve got a set of songs that work excellently live. Cracking version of Spanish Bombs too.

Support was from a band called Sports Team, who I think would be best summed up as barely worthy of being track 12 on disc 2 of Shine 5, with a lot of attempting to be arch. Dismal.


Courtney Barnett @ Brixton Academy…

Third time I’ve seen her this year after All Points East and The Roundhouse and I think she’s got better each time. She’s not a naturally chatty front person, but her brief interactions with the crowd inbetween songs are charming nonetheless. What she lacks in chat however, she more than makes up for in the rocking out stakes - both her and her band hit every song hard and fast. Veers on just the right side of loose/sloppy playing too - reminds me of some of the classic early grunge acts like Dinosaur Jnr or Mudhoney. They played a good selection from both albums plus a nicely placed cover of The Go Betweens’ Street Of Your Town. First encore track she came back on solo for a captivating performance of a Gillian Welch song which I wasn’t familiar with but was absolutely lovely.

Venue/crowd check: I know that a bunch of people are down on Brixton Academy, but I still love going to gigs there - nice size, good sightlines, nice building. That said, the sometimes muddy Academy sound was in full effect on the first track - the bass was so high in the mix it was like being punched in the chest. Sorted it after that though and everything sounded fine. Midweek London crowd were up for it from the start which was nice. Didn’t look like a sell out, so decent amount of room to dance. Good gig :+1:


On Tuesday I caught And So I Watch You From Afar @ Clwb Ifor Bach whom I’ve listened to in the past but have never really delved into their catalogue much so when a friend offered me a ticket, I leapt on the chance to get into them a bit more. Anyway, found them to be tremendously fun - the band gave so much passion and energy. Only wished that I’d brought along my earplugs though!


Interpol at Royal Albert Hall. Had and still have huge misgivings about ever going there for gigs (in my experience only NIN have ever managed to bring any atmosphere to that cavernous space) but a mate really wanted to go and they were good fun and tight as ever. Deeply upset that they played Not Even Jail on Wednesday but not last night, though.


Last two nights have been Vera Sola. Wednesday at The Shacklewell Arms and last night at Rough Trade East. Her live performance is slightly jazzy compared to the album which is sombre and moody. Nonetheless great live and the album is terrific.


Courtney Barnett @ Oxford Academy (ex-Zodiac). Out of the three times I’ve seen her, the worst venue but perhaps the best performance. A nice peppering of older songs amongst the new album material. My favourite of the oldies, Anonymous Club, was even more spacey and lovely than last time. Both covers were excellent - Everything Is Free (Gillian Welch) particularly spellbinding, as already noted by @Petagno in his Brixton report.

I enjoyed her trick of balancing the guitar flat on her head as she hit the last chord of a song, she did that a couple of times. My guitar hero!

I bought one of these posters before the gig, which added a layer of anxiety every time someone shoved past me spilling lager:

It seems to have survived - looking forward to getting it framed!


i was at the screening of the new documentary about him after that in-store - he turned up after the film for a chat (and jarvis cocker happened to be there too which was interesting).

i only like his post-rap stuff, but his classical stuff is some of my favourite albums of all time - i’ve seen him a few times over the years and generally hate when he dips back into rap. Knight Moves is fine obviously. Solo Piano 1, 2, and 3 are incredible though, as is Chambers - apart from he ruins that one with a stupid song full of puns at the end. wish the whole album was instrumental.

i would suggest checking out the documentary if you can find it. really good overview of his career and his shift into more classical stuff. never knew he hung out with peaches and feist all the time back in the day!


!!! @ London Bush Hall. Was a bit worried what the atmosphere would be like - promotional collaborations with hipster beer companies don’t guarantee a decent audience - but it proved to be the most fun show I’ve been to this year. Nic Offer spent half the set in the middle of the crowd, the band constantly achieved Chic-levels of funkiness, and there was a big fuck-off stage invasion near the end. Brilliant.


Three nights of Teenage Fanclub at the Electric Ballroom (25 songs a night,
no duplicates as far as I can see). It was never less than beautiful and the final one-two of Broken (which the audience sang the refrain to, without many knowing the song beforehand and without backing, for ages) and Everything Flows were utter brilliance. Those times when your goosebumps have goosebumps? This was one of them. Gig of the year by an enormous margin. If that really is Gerry’s swan song, it was a wonderful send off.