Your favourite gigs of 2017


This was so much fun.

Have had a really slow year for gigs due to a lot of work travel and shifting my whole life to a new city.

Tell ya what, Kate Tempest at Brixton Academy was utterly spellbinding and emotionally charged with her playing saaaath lahndan. That is probably the best thing I’ve seen this year.


My best experiences this year were:

Inhalants / Colin Stetson / The Necks / Stellar OM Source / Pat Weld / Bear Bones, Lay Low / XAM Duo / Hieroglyphic Being / France / Andrew Pekler

Also enjoyed:

Fred & Toody / Tolouse Low Trax / Wolf Eyes / Jonny Nash & Suzanne Kraft / Derya Yildirim & Grup Simsek / Baleine 3000 / Ignatz / Gaussian Curve / David Edren / Mary Ocher / Mathieu Serruys / Köhn / Opéra Mort / Essaie Pas / Mario Batkovic / Roy Montgomery & Jessica Moss / Ellen Arkbro / Sarah Davachi


Xiu Xiu
Thurston Moore Group
Arab Strap
Meridian Brothers
Isabel Huayanay

in various places, all great


Wanted to go to this but couldn’t make it. Have never been a superfan like yourself, but got a spare ticket to her Roundhouse show last December and went on spec having never heard the album and thought it was an amazing performance :+1:


I didn’t go to the Brixton gig either but went to her Rough Trade East gig and The Roundhouse last year. Brilliant performances.


Blacklisters and USA Nails in Camden
Idles at Rough Trade East
Swans at Roundhouse
Oh Sees at Nottingham Rock City
Underworld at Alexandra Palace


Swans at Roundhouse is the best gig I’ve been to I think. Loved the venue too, hadn’t been before


LCD Soundsystem
Arcade Fire
The Jimmy Cake + Patrick Kelleher
Damo Suzuki playing with Blue Whale
Holy Fuck
Angel Olsen + Tim Darcy
The Redneck Manifesto
Protomartyr + Oh Boland
Sea Pinks + Oh Boland

  1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - BIC
  2. Lift To Experience - Green Man Festival
  3. Blanck Mass - Brighton Haunt
  4. Idles - Simple Things Festival
  5. Gas - Barbican Centre
  6. Aldous Harding - Green Man Festival
  7. Merchandise - Hackney Oslo
  8. Nadine Shah - Simple Things Festival
  9. Torres - Brighton Haunt
  10. Mark Lanegan Band - Southampton Engine Rooms


Barely make it into double figures for gigs per year anymore due to exciting things like fixing leaking roofs etc but two of the gigs I did go to were easily two of the best I’ve ever been to.

Nick Cave at Nottingham Arena- just amazing. At the start I was a ‘greatest hits’ fan, now have all the albums.

Depeche Mode at London Stadium- finally got to see them after a long wait of about 25 years! (Liked them as a kid in the 80s but they always toured when I had no money).

Hate big gigs usually but they both slayed it in completely different ways.


Океан Елзьи at Hammersmith Apollo, 8th April - PA didn’t work for the first four songs, but an amazing experience for communal joy and showmanship. Short of the five encores I saw them do in Kyiv, but still an epic experience all the same. Vakarchuk should keep dodging the calls to run for president and keep putting on shows like this.

Swans at The Asylum, Birmingham, 24th May - supported by the ever-wonderful Little Annie, then the loudest set I’ve ever heard in my life. Mixture of heat and volume was overwhelming, which is a fitting way to experience Swans for the last time.

BE at Coventry Cathedral, 10th October - gorgeous music, beautiful visuals and 50,000 bees. Kind of cheating with this one because I was in the choir for it, but was utterly magical on both sides of the stage.


I was at this too. Was the TV’s first time seeing them and my first time since waaaay back in 1993 at Crystal Palace Stadium (supported by a daytime Sisters Of Mercy no less). Great fun - even the venue was ok I thought. Enjoyed it so much, went to see them again last month at the more ‘intimate’ O2 :sunglasses: :+1:

  1. Broken Social Scene, Albert Hall, Manchester

I was super excited for this because it was the first gig BSS had played over here in years, i’d not seen them since 2010, they’d just dropped the new single from their upcoming album and it was going to be the first opportunity anyone anywhere had had to listen to them playing some unreleased tracks. Anyway, just as I was going to bed the evening before, twitter started filling up with rumours of a stampede or something happening at Manchester Arena. I didn’t think too much of it and headed off to sleep. Woke up the next morning to the horrible news about the suicide bombing and it wasn’t until around lunch time that I remembered I was meant to be going to a gig just down the road later that day.

I felt very uneasy about the idea of attending a gig a few hours after 22 people had been killed doing the same thing a ten minute walk away. If it had been pretty much any other band I think I would have just decided to sack it off and stay in Sheffield. A lot of people had asked the band on twitter if it was still going ahead, but they band said they didn’t know and were trying to find out more. Later in the afternoon the venue confirmed it was still on, so I jumped on a train and headed over the Peaks. The walk from the station to the Albert Hall was quite eerie - the city felt sombre and there was a flatness to the atmosphere. Just round the corner from the venue I was met with a sudden sea of sad looking people walking away from the memorial ceremony which again made me question whether going to a gig was something I could handle given what had happened. On arrival at the venue I was (for once) happy to see an enormous security presence, with everyone being patted down and bags thoroughly searched before they could go in. As I made my way into the main room it was pretty clear that a lot of people had chosen to stay at home (I hope! I’m sure Broken Social Scene aren’t that unpopular!) since the upstairs was closed off and the lower level was probably only 2/3rds full.

As the band came onto the stage Kevin Drew thanked everyone for coming out considering the circumstances, and explained that the band themselves weren’t even sure whether the show was going ahead, or if they could even bring themselves to play until a couple of hours earlier. They felt that the best course of action was to just carry on as normal, and that he’d spoken to a Manchester music legend earlier in the day who felt the same. He then carried on to say that legend is here, and out came Johnny Marr as they launched into Anthems For a Seventeen Year-Old Girl with Emily Haines on vocals (i mean ffs how does it get better than that?). For the encore they played Backyards - a track I absolutely adore and thought I had no chance ever hearing live. Kevin at one point got the whole audience just to scream as loud as they could to let everything out. Usually I’m too cynical to go along with things like that, but that night it just made complete sense and was unbelievably cathartic. I’m so glad I forced myself to go because it’s a gig I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It’s just really really sad about the tragic circumstances it happened in.

I’m not sure there’s any point listing any more given nothing came close to living up to that, but Arcade Fire in Scunthorpe and their secret set at Primavera (which I clocked was happening by spotting their instruments on the stage before anyone had noticed anything was happening and got a front row view for the whole thing) were both really really good.


idles at simple things?
intrigued that’s so high as thought the sound was terrible, completely distorted & overall very disappointing in what should have been a triumphant show

compare it to their fleece gig in march for example - worlds apart


1. Two nights of LCD Soundsystem @ The Barras
Untouchable live band, best venue in the world. Was a wee bit drunk the first night so a wee bit emotional. Just great. I’m so glad they’re back.
2. Tycho @ SWG3
Kind of a weird one this, had been in Japan the month before and had listened to Epoch as we were flying in over the mountains and into Tokyo so was cool thinking about that coupled with the live show. Also split with the TV the week before, this was the first time I stopped thinking about it and just enjoyed myself for an hr and a half.
3. Liars @ Broadcast
Just one of those gigs you aren’t expecting much from - venue had been downsized on the day, thought they’d play lots of new album stuff and then everything just fell into place. Great and varied setlist, band on form and enjoying every minute of the gig, total masters at what they do as well, I remember them setting off effects and panning delays on the fly to great effect. Sweaty, lots of bouncing around. So, so good.
4. Dinosaur Jr @ The Art School
Pretty fresh this one but another gig that delivered despite the fact I was hungover and really wanted to be in bed. Pretty much a greatest hits set in a venue that could have had them sound like mush. Saw them a few years back and didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as this.
5. Radiohead @ Glasgow Green
5th time seeing them. Always think I’m over it and then the hits keep coming and inevitably Fake Plastic Trees reduces me to a blubbering mess… no different this time.
6. Manchester Orchestra @ The Garage
Album of the year for me Clive. I never remember them being a bad live band but seemed to me like they’ve come on leaps and bounds for this tour. Plus they played I Can Feel A Hot One which I never thought I’d see live. Blubbed obviously.
7. The Hotelier @ Stereo
Kind of the same feeling as Manchester Orchestra - couple of my favourite albums of the past few years, knocked out all the hits (didn’t get Life in Drag tho :-1:) plenty of singalongs.
8. Slowdive @ The Art School
Waited a long time for this and to get to see them in such a small room was great (ABC show later in the year wasn’t anywhere near as good). Pre-new album so got some new material but mostly just the old bangers.
9. Julien Baker @ LP Records
I saw Julien Baker in a room with 30 people in it. Aye, having that. She’s incredible.
10. Dillinger Escape Plan @ QMU
So when this gig got announced there was a facebook event page for the gig, didn’t take long for someone, in typical Glasgwegian style, to write “Some cunt’s goin aff the baclony!” - took them 5 songs. Mental scenes.

Also really enjoyed Grizzly Bear a couple of months ago but realise I really missed out by not seeing them touring Shields, that album is flawless. They didn’t play Half Gate.


Spoon - saw them 3 times this year. Spectacular every time, but best was the 100 club just cos it was such a small venue and I was in the front row

Julia Jacklin at the Green Door Store

Cat Power at the Concorde 2

Grandaddy a C2

Thee oh Sees in Bexhill

Kraftwek at the Brighton Centre

Nick Cave at the 02


Factory Floor @ the Science Museum - Performing their own hypnotic and soul chrushingly LOUD soundtrack to Metropolis. I really hope they release this!

Sacred Paws @ Summerhall - Hands down one of the joyously fun bands around (caught them twice this year - the other occasion being when they supported the electrifying Priests at Olso back in May)! Their set was before a screening of Stop Making Sense so it got myself, @Witches and her buddies suitably hyped for the rest of the evening ahead!

John Maus @ The Victoria - As intense as ever but now backed with a couple of support musicians to add some extra punch. Easily the sweatiest gig I attended this year!

Julian Baker @ Bush Hall - Totally captivating and it was great to be in a London crowd that were nearly so quiet that you could almost ‘hear a pin drop’.

Grouper @ The Tin Tabernacle (afternoon show) - Hauntingly beautiful in a wonderfully surreal location.


Not too many gigs for me this year…

My faves:

Everything Everything @ By The Sea, Margate - It’s been far too long since I left a gig with a hoarse voice, aching legs and sweaty clothes. EE were absolutely brilliant, the tracks from the new album were amazing and I’d been waiting to belt out songs from Get to Heaven for ages. I should say as well that Metronomy were pretty decent the following night as well.

Fleet Foxes @ Brixton Academy - Despite the crowd, the sound and video projector hitches, I’d been waiting to see the Foxes for ages and they delivered. Had a tear rolling down my face during Helplessness Blues.


Tall Ships @ The Haunt, Brighton - one of my favourite albums of the year so I made an impromptu trip down to Brighton to see them on one Saturday night in the summer. The new tracks delivered, I forgot how good the debut was and ‘Plate Techtonics’ is LOUD.

Michael Kiwanuka @ Brighton Dome - Loved the arrangement and the set as a whole and the crowd were pretty decent too. My only complaints were that the brass section was too quiet and a string section would have elevated the set to another level. The one-two of ‘Cold Little Heart’ and ‘Love and Hate’ for the encore was perfect.

Jamiroquai @ O2 Arena - Took my mum for her birthday init. He was really good though. All the songs on record sound TAME in comparison to how the band extended so many bangers and kept the crowd dancing.


Elbow @ Bedgebury Pinetum - My fifth time seeing them and the fatigue set in quite early on. Not every song needs crowd interaction or singalongs, Guy. The Kent one gig a year crowd didn’t help either.


I’ve got nothing to compare it to as this was my first time seeing them live and they were everything I thought they would be - chaotic, aggressive and loud.

I think I rate it quite high because of the experience rather than the actual sound quality but appreciate what you have said.


god I’d need to remind myself, ughh:

Thundercat @ Barrowlands - BBC6 Festival
Girl Ray & Gurr @ Broadcast - Stag & Dagger Festival
Priests @ Hafenklang, Hamburg
Low, Mono & Waxahatchee @ Central United Church, Calgary - Sled Island (not all one show)
Converge @ Legion, Calgary
Silver Apples, Wolves in the Throne Room, Daughters @ Dicken’s Pub, Calgary (not all one show)
Arcade Fire @ Wuhlheide, Berlin
City of Caterpillar @ Tiefgrund, Berlin
Rocket From the Crypt @ Festaal Kreuzberg, Berlin
Sheer Mag @ SO36, Berlin
Thee Oh Sees @ Urban Spree, Berlin
Iggy Pop @ HAVEN, Copenhagen
Lift to Experience @ Summerhall, Edinburgh
The XX @ SWG3, Glasgow
Grizzly Bear/St. Vincent @ Huxley’s Neue Welt, Berlin (not same show)
Nick Cave @ Max-Schmeling Halle, Berlin
Mogwai @ SchwuZ, Berlin
Timber Timbre/Julien Baker @ Heimathafen, Berlin (not same show)
Protomartyr/Wolf Parade @ Bi Nuu, Berlin (not same show)
Alex Cameron @ Lido, Berlin