Your favourite gigs of 2017


Hotelier at Leeds Wardrobe - January
Joyce Manor w/ Martha at the Brudenell - July
American Football w/ Owen at Manchester Albert Hall - September
Weezer w/ Ash at Wembley Arena - October (bit of a surprise this one)
Thundercat at Manchester Albert Hall - November

Got Cloud Nothings/Hotelier and Cribs coming up this month so there’s still time for this to change


Here’s my top 5:

  1. Aldous Harding upstairs in a pub as part of the Sea Change festival. Queued for over an hour to get in and missed the start so was feeling underwhelmed by the experience. But she was utterly captivating, and it was a privilege to see her in a tiny space. Saw her a week later at End of the Road and it was nowhere near as good with chatterers, noise bleed from the main stage and the much bigger environment.

  2. Richard Dawson at South Street Arts Centre in Reading. Seen him a few times before over the years and he’s always a great live experience, but this was the best time I’d seen him. New album is great too … in fact probably him and Aldous will take my 1-2 in the aoty poll too.

  3. Anna Meredith at the Are You Listening? festival in Reading. Was really disappointed when I’d seen her previously as I really like the album (she’d seemed a bit lost on stage and it was a very stilted performance). But this was a great FUN experience, and what I hoped she would be like live.

  4. King Salami and the Cumberland Three. At the Purple Turtle in Reading and at the Red Rooster festival. Again, lots of fun and far better than the name suggests.

  5. Bill Callahan at one of his residency shows in Hoxton. A reliably favourite performer in nice small space.

Honourable mentions to Future of the Left (particularly in Southampton but also at the Forum), Grouper at the Tin Tabernacle, and Ian WIlliam Craig at Hackney, Oslo.

Biggest disappointments were probably Ben Frost at the ICA and Kiasmos at the RFH.

Biggest regret was probably not finding space in my calendar to see Nick Cave.


Averaged a gig a week this year, pretty pleased with that.

Best ones -

USA Nails @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth - they played in the middle of the day at an otherwise quite dull Psych Fest in April and absolutely blew me away. Loud, cynical, abrasive punk rock.

Chain Of Flowers @ Joiners, Southampton - had never heard them before but they mixed the grinding post punk of bands like Killing Joke with the melodic sheen of the Cure and the melodrama of Future Islands. Played to ten people at midnight and sounded massive.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ BIC, Bournemouth - first time seeing them, was the day after finding out that the TV was pregnant. An emotional night.

Black Sabbath @ NEC, Birmingham - last ever Sabbath show. Huge sound, all the hits, even Ozzy’s voice was…OK.

Jesus And His Judgemental Father @ Suburbia, Southampton - one of those nights where you hear a band for the first time and immediately buy everything they’ve released. JAHJF describe themselves as “the 10 Ten Things I Hate About You soundtrack but more queer” which pretty much nails it. Throwaway, catchy pop punk songs with fuzzy Dinosaur Jr style guitars (which sadly don’t come through as much as on the record), super fun.

Rocket From The Crypt @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth - the greatest rock and roll band of all time.

Martha @ Joiners, Southampton - they’ve really grown as a live band over the last few years, a proper punk rock show.

Honourable mentions -

The Movielife @ Joiners, Southampton
Cloud Nothings @ Le Petit Bains, Paris
Nervus @ The Alex, Southampton
Lemuria @ Joiners, Southampton
Kiss @ O2, London
Weezer @ Wembley, London

Stinkers -

Deftones @ Ally Pally - awful sound, awful venue


Fucking hell ive only been to 7 gigs :disappointed_relieved:

Mitski was probably my gig of the year too though, one of the last shows at a small club that was just about to shut - very fitting send off. She was electric, all the songs had a lot more punch and anger to them.


1) Revolting Cocks @ Islington Academy
Been waiting about 25 years to see these guys and they did not disappoint. Ripped through all of Big Sexy Land and most of Beers, Steers & Queers. Luc Van Acker and Chris Connelly are both ace frontmen, but Paul Barker reamins the absolute epitome of industrial funk cool.

  1. A bunch of bands who are not Revolting Cocks…

Just kidding. Saw loads of good acts this year :+1:

2) Nick Cave @ The O2
Just an astonishingly powerful arena show. As the thread on the music board here documents, most folk were curious as to how his show, and such a personal album, were going to translate to a massive space and the answer was brilliantly.

3) Prophets Of Rage @ Brixton Academy
Felt like a bit of a guilty pleasure when I booked tickets for this, but any second thoughts disappeared the moment they launched into Prophets Of Rage. RATM fronted by Chuck D and B Real? Literally what is there not to like…

4) Skinny Girl Diet @ The Montague Arms
When one of your favourite bands plays your local pub on a Friday night, that is a pretty good omen. Super tight and super furious. One of their last shows as a three piece too.

5) Run The Jewels w/Danny Brown @ Brixton Academy
Would probably have made the list for Danny Brown’s support alone, but RTJ took things to another level. Stupidly good fun throughout.

6) Black Sabbath @ The O2
Could have been something of a heritage cash cow show, but was actually absolutely brilliant. Ozzy was in great voice and clearly loving it. Flawless setlist too…aside from Dirty Women from Technical Ecstasy. GIVE IT UP IOMMI!!! Oh, they have…

7) The Black Angels @ The Forum
Only went last minute to this as a spare ticket came up. Saw them waaaay back in about 2007 and hadn’t really thought about them since. Seems like they’ve got a lot better in the meantime :+1:

8) Ulrich Schnauss @ The Water Tower
Catching this in a disused water tower at the end of a residential street in Lewisham felt like something of an adventure. Plus gives me the opportunity to post this pic of the man himself with me stood in the background:


9) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Brixton Academy
Found their last album a bit plodding, plus they’ve been away for ages. They appear to have come back reinvigorated however and seemed to be having a great time live. New tracks sound great too.

10) Blanck Mass @ Rich Mix
One of my favourite albums of the year, and translated great to a live setting with added mountains of dry ice and some nice black metal vocals :metal:


Gospeed You! Black Emperor
Carla dal Forno
Part Chimp
Otoboke Beaver
Ryley Walker
Bilge Pump
Thee Oh Sees
Show Me the Body
Action Beat

were all pretty super.


Kiss at the big O2
Sleep & Pigs x 7 at Desertfest Camden
Creation Rebel at Jazz Cafe
Pigs x 7 & Lower Slaughter at Lexington
Rev Co at Islington O2


Arcade Fire at Baths Hall, Scunthorpe(!!)
In a tiny venue playing a career spanning set in the round before the new album came out. They had everyone dancing It was nicely followed by meeting Regine and Win on our honeymoon in Montreal a couple of months later and them being really sweet.

Pixies at BlueDot Festival and Arab Strap at Deer Shed Festival, were both also big live highlights this year. Two bands I’ve loved for a long time but never managed to catch live.


hardly been to anything this year, but i saw 65 (who are always fantastic) and serpentwithfeet, who was utterly spellbinding. so them.


You accidentally put RevCo at the bottom of your list there :scream:


I was at this too and totally agree that they were easily the pick of the fest; no other band even came close to matching their ferocious set!


Ha. Was a great show and I loved the way they used both singers. Been a fan since my teens and love all the Paul Barker projects.


father john misty at end of the road and queens of the stone age at manchester arena


Oh wait! Need to add Big Thief supporting Conor Oberst at ABC Glasgow. I went along as I got a free ticket and thought Oberst would tick a nostalgia box (he did) but ended up absolutely reeling at how good Big Thief were.


i’ll have done just under 80 by the look of it
two obvious highlights

new order at Manchester international festival on the anniversary of ian curtis’ birthday
amazing set of deep cuts
kraftwerk at Bristol colston hall
seen them before, but never without having to travel

other notable shows in chronological order
girl band at the arnolfini & then at Birmingham hare & hounds the next day
slowdive at the fleece - never saw them back in the day. did not disappoint
desperate journalist at birmingham sunflower lounge
scarlet rascal at the Louis - a shame the line up has changed now, but they went out on a high
jack ladder upstairs at the thekla as part of dot to dot - didn’t think I’d get to see him
half man half biscuit - bath komedia - as a trio so lots of the old ones
jen cloher - clwb ifor bach - bought everything she was selling
leftfield performing leftism at simple things
Thurston moore - Louisiana - solo with a 12 string acoustic with a couple of strings missing, got some amazing sounds out of it & great to see in such a small venue


The Necks @ The Jazz Cafe were incredible - one of the few times I’ve been completely transported out of the room during a gig - absolutely mesmerising and all improvised as well.

Colin Stetson @ The Jazz Cafe - from a purely technical point of view…what he can achieve with a saxophone is astonishing - genuinely couldn’t believe there weren’t overdubs/backing tracks at some point

LCD Soundsystem @ Alexandra Palace - hate the venue and sceptical about the reunion but they were absolutely incredible. First time I’ve heard the sound good there, video screens and visuals were exceptional and timed to the music, and the band were tight and into it. Helped by the fact that it’s one of the best London crowds I’ve experienced - everyone absolutely buzzing and singing along to Lionel Richie on the way out.

Echo everything about Nick Cave - I imagine that’s what’s it like having a religious experience at an evangelical church. Took my fiancée who was blown away having never heard him and now we have him as our first dance!


Only two gigs stand out. Swans at the Roundhouse and Nick Cave at Nottingham Arena. Third time seeing Swans they just get better, first time seeing Cave and all i can say is wow!!!


This for Deftones. Been to Ally Pally once before and it was fine for Alice in Chains. But the sound for Deftones was absolutely horrific, just about the worst I’ve heard at any gig. The guitar was inaudible and the sound was basically a muddy distant rumble of bass and drums. Hideous.

  1. Julie Byrne - Hoxton Hall
    Probably the most intimate gig I’ve been to. It’s a tiny venue and was maybe only half full - I helped her light some candles before it started and she requested the lighting to get progressively lower throughout till the last 4 songs were in pitch darkness with just the candles providing the illumination. And then there’s the fact her performance was incredible and voice is totally otherworldly. One of those gigs that stay with you for ages.

  2. Perfume Genius - Roundhouse
    I’ve seen him a couple of times before, but it’s like he’s reached a whole new level as a performer. The sound was spectacular throughout (including a string quartet), and he absolutely owned the stage - you couldn’t take your eyes off him.

  3. Pup - Old Blue Last
    This was a free gig to celebrate Canada day - had to queue for ages to get in, but it was worth it. Very sweaty and one of the best bands to shout along with.

  4. Pinegrove - St John Hackney (Mirrors)
    This was before the allegations/statement so I had no qualms and was fullly in love with Pinegrove - now I’m not so sure. Still they were brilliant, such a warm performance and the entire crowd was absolutely lapping it up.

  5. Nick Cave - O2
    As others have said, how he effortlessly scaled his performance up to enormo-dome size was perfect. First time seeing him - it was everything I hoped it would be.

Other notables included: Japanadroids - Shep Bush, Grouper - Tin Tabernacle, Part Chimp - 100 Club, American Football - shep bush, Rural Alberta Advantage - Lexington & Big Thief - Islington Assembly.

Still got Cloud nothings/hotelier to come.

  1. Bill Callahan @ Hoxton Hall.
  2. Half Man Half Biscuit @ Oxford Academy
  3. Zu/Jessica Moss/Dead Neanderthals @ Bristol Exchange
  4. Nordic Giants @ Bristol Fleece
  5. The Mountain Goats @ Brudenell Social Club