Fancied a bit of a pounding last night so attended the Nest Egg show at the Crofters Rights in Bristol. Kinda like a slightly less morose and more dynamic Spectres in places. The sort of band you’d see halfway up the bill at one of these Psych Fest things they have now. A bit of garage roughness and some downright heaviness with their kraut / freak out vibes. A nice variety of styles and some solid tunes. Very good. Predictably low attendance for this fairly obscure North Carolina crew hitting town on a December Monday night which was a shame. Went down well with all those who made it I think.
CZN, which is the Joao Pais Filipe and the amazing Valentina Magaletti (Tomaga, The Oscillation).
I nearly didn’t go because I’d only have about three and a half hours sleep but, boy, am I glad I did. Cracking stuff (if you like percussion).
Chic at the Motorpoint in Cardiff. Two hours of solid funk bangers. So so good. Really fun night out. Go see them if you get a chance.
Molar at Chunk. What a rock band. New EP is highly recommended.
Mercury Rev @ London Oslo. Might not have been the perfect venue for them, but what a spellbinding show to wrap up the year!
Wolf Alice @ Brixton Academy…
Last minute arrangement for me as a mate had a spare ticket. Never really got that involved with them previously, although this turned out to be the second time this year I saw them having caught about 30 minutes of their set at Latitude over the summer. They were pretty good last night tbf The heavier songs rocked and the poppier songs were lovely and breezy. They played pretty much the whole of the most recent album, which I was familiar with having listened to it a bunch of times in the preceding 24 hours, plus some stuff I knew from the first album and some stuff I wasn’t familiar with.
If there is one criticism I would have of them, it’s that they don’t really have an X factor. Ellie Roswell is obviously a focal point for the group, but the rest of the band could basically be an identikit set of indie lads from any landfill act. They need something to raise them above being just a good quality, professional modern rock band for my money.
Venue/crowd check: the place was absolutely packed, and people were up from it from the first minute. Obviously being close to Christmas helps, but most of the crowd seemed to know every word to every song. Loads of folk up on other people’s shoulders throughout, which I always enjoy (yes, I am tall - I know this is probably a ballache if it is fucking up your view). The last few gigs I’ve seen at The Academy have had terrible sound for the first song (Yuk Foo last night) and then sorted it for the rest of the set, which is a bit weird.
Big paper snow drop for the finale and then Merry Xmas Everbody over the PA for the outro, which was nice and festive. Decent gig to see 2018 out with
Black Midi at Bussey Building.
Favourite band of the year, delivered a strong 50 minute headline set which is incredible for a band barely a year old who have released just the one song. I’ve heard they’ve just finished recording their album last week with Dan Carey which is exciting, hopefully they get it out soon and not draw it out by releasing another 2 or 3 singles next year before putting out the album, think it’ll just frustrate the band more than anything as they seem quite prolific writers.
Not convinced by the sound in Bussey Building though, not sure if it’s one for “guitar” bands.
Did you catch Blanck Mass as well? Fancied ^this double header but was double booked with the above…
He pulled out after soundcheck - family bereavement
I was supposed to be going to that but I was really only going for Blanck Mass. I cancelled as I was too tired to go all the way to Peckham.
Baby Dee’s final ever European show with Mich Cota supporting. Massively emotional for me as I met Dee on the first day I began work for Tin Angel when I was 21 and have spent nearly all of my 20s with her songs. Pretty much everyone I’ve met through The Tin in the last nine years was there as well. Slightly tinged by being sick on the way home.
Final ever European date? What’s happening with Baby Dee?
Retirement. One last show in New York, then done.
Shit! I would have gone along to Café Oto had I have known.
Why she retiring?
Black Midi at the windmill. Think it was my 13th time this year, faaack.
Did a really fun folk improv set(?!) Used accordions, flutes and banjos, loved how it basically alienated about the half the room expecting gnarly math rock. Bunch of jokers, what a band.
Support were a new band called Famous. They were really great, reminded me of Funeral era Arcade Fire but through the lens of kids born in the late 90s somewhere in Croydon. Loads of energy, great songs with loads of idiocentricies and fantastic players. Will definetly make the effort to see them again.
That’s not exactly a setlist you can argue with.
Cate Le Bon performing solo at The Gate in Cardiff accompanied by Sweet Baboo on brass and woodwind. On piano Cate’s songs were much more delicate and fragile than the angular art rock versions on record which made them all the more haunting. The intimate setting was perfect and really made for some spine chilling moments. Cannot wait for when her fifth album drops, its gonna be special.
Argh, wish I had gone to see her in Glasgow. Did she play new music?
Looking forward to her new album. She talks quite a lot about it in this chat with Ariel Pink (in case you haven’t heard it yet) -
It was tricky to tell if new songs were aired as most of the tracks were reworked for a solo arrangements. Although saying this if Cate went minimal for the new record it would sound absolutely stunning if this was the case. It made her back catalogue sound even more haueand Nico-esque. Really enjoyed Sweet Baboo’s new project Group Listening too who supported!
Hadn’t spotted the podcast previously so will give that a listen - cheers!