Primal Scream at the Haunt - amazing to see them somewhere so small Stereolab at Concorde 2 - Not just because it was good to have them back, but because I saw so many friends at the gig Black Country New Road at the Hope & Ruin - I didn’t get them at all before the gig, but seeing them live it clicked. Looking forward to them releasing more music
Oh, and Bat for Lashes at St Barts too - that was really special
Oh yeah Stereolab were pretty good too, and And So I Watch You From Afar playing their debut in a small venue (which was recorded for the reissue as well), and Brigid Mae Power supporting Ye Vagabonds in a former church in north Belfast where I drank an awful lot of ftee wine
Pet Shop Boys at AsiaWorld Club, Hong Kong.
The Slow Readers Club at Fibbers, York.
The Twilight Sad at Gorilla in Manchester and the Brudenell, Leeds.
Suede at Leeds Academy.
Manic Street Preachers at Barbican, York.
After years and years living nowhere near anywhere where you could go to gigs this one was class.
Highlight was about ten rows back and center for Tool. I didn’t understand that live music could be so ambitious. Especially something so traditional as metal. Somehow still pushing a boundary, despite everything else about the event feeling like a corporate moneymaker. Also clear that in America metal, even expensive metal, is a working class music, which is different to England
Worst for the record were probably Bill Callahan (outright boring, propelled by past glories), Clutch (I was tired and the new album isn’t one of the best) and Kate Tempest (i don’t think many Americans can get something so contextual maybe). I love all of these artists but let’s face it gigs click about half the time
Been a decent, but not amazing year. The following all stick out though. Not gonna go into huge detail and am excluding festival sets for the most part. Going in chronological order of course:
Black Midi - Green Door Store
Low - Resident in store
Aldous Harding - Concorde 2
Jessica Pratt - Brighthelmc Centre
Vanishing Twin - The Prince Albert
Weyes Blood - The Haunt
Stereloab - Concorde 2
Neil Young and Bob Dylan - Hyde Park
Aphex Twin - Printworks
Black Country, New Road - The Hope and Ruin
Tim Hecker - Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts
Fat White Family - The Haunt
Yeah, BODEGA at the Portland Arms (Cambridge) was probably my gig of the year too. So much fun, brilliant tunes you can properly shout along with. Just a really great live band in a proper sweatbox of a room.
Supported by Dry Cleaning, too, who get their own headline show in Feb, which should be great.
Best overall- Twilight Sad at Usher Hall. Joyous and everything the band deserves. Will never forget James’ reaction to the crowd in Cold Days.
Best at getting me out of post gig blues after the gig of the year- Primal Scream at Rock City. Not too fussed with them either way but a fun sing along and a room full of happy people was just what I needed.