Gigs obviously stopped around mid-March.
Which ones did you see? Your favourites? Which were you most disappointed in not going ahead?
I saw over 30 bands until lockdown. Some great bands. Here’s my top picks:
1. BBC 6 Music Festival - The Roundhouse With Kate Tempest, Kim Gordon, Anna Meredith, Jehnny Beth, Nadine Shah.
Just a brilliant line up. My last big proper gig before lockdown. The whole show lasted about six or seven hours. I’ve seen Kate Tempest a few times and was sceptical about how she’d be live after her sparse sounding new album but she was terrifically engaging and the whole line up clicked perfectly.
2. Jehnny Beth - Peckham Audio
Her album was average but she remains one hell of a live act. A brilliant gig which was one day before her BBC6 music festival show.
3. Sleater Kinney - Brixton Academy
First band that I’ve seen live in the 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s. The new album was excellent and a departure from their later albums (which I’ve not really enjoyed) but they remain a great band live.
4. Nadine Shah - The Moth Club
Just failed to make my top five albums of the year. Great gig.
5. Alice Boman - Union Chapel
Bought tickets for this after Lana Del Rey cancelled her O2 show. A sublime gig and it worked perfectly at the venue. A hugely underrated album too.
6. Ladytron - Heaven
Seen them many times and that show was one of the best. Reconnected with their latest album too which I’d originally had down as average. Turned out to be a great album; much like the gig.
7. Fightmilk - Paper Dress Vintage
Always great fun live and bring a smile to a cynical grumpy old bloke like me.
8. Big Joanie and Breakup Haircut - The Moth Club
A great double bill. I finally got to see Big Joanie. Between a song they eloquently doubters in the industry why they would make it. They did make it purely because they rock both live and on record. Never heard of Breakup Haircut before and loved them live and their EP.
9. Ash - Rough Trade East
They’re more of a singles band for me than an albums band. I’ve kind of grown up with their music without being a huge fan. I remember seeing them first on Naked City, long forgotten music show with Caitlin Moran and Johnny Vaughan in around 93 or 94. Great songs and a nice bunch of people at the album signing afterwards.
10. Porridge Radio - The Lexington
The album is great but isn’t as angry or as gritty as the band are live. I’ve seen them a few times and they’ve got better each time I’ve seen them.
Ten memorable mentions in no order:
Keeley Forsyth - Pin Ups
Kingmaker (sort of) - The Lexington
The Big Moon - Rough Trade East
Colossal Squid - The Lexington
Shovel & Rope - The Electric Ballroom
Georgia - Rough Trade East
Peggy Sue - Rough Trade East
Poliça - Rough Trade East
Frances Quinlan - The Lexington
Fenne Lily - The Lexington
Taylor Swift at Hyde Park was the one that I was most disappointed in being cancelled. It was obvious in March that it had zero chance of going ahead.
It would likely have been my live act of the year. I loved her album Lover and her concerts at Hyde Park in 2015 and also both her Wembley Stadium shows in 2018.