So. Came back from two weeks in Malaysia.
You’ll notice I don’t really talk about going away before I go away. That’s so no one comes round to burgle our house. Not that I’m paranoid.
Malaysia was great though. Got to see most of the family, ate out lots, watched my mum buy many many pairs of shoes, ate some more, carried a lot of shopping and generally had good times all round. I still don’t understand how anyone can just buy 8 pairs of shoes over the course of 10 days. The idea just boggles me.
I’m not much of a shoe buying person. I buy shoes when I need them, not just because they’re on sale and because of the exchange rate/cost of living…they also are really really cheap. I don’t get it.
One thing that’s annoying about Malaysia is the difficulty I have buying clothes there. I do understand that one though. It’s because I’m twice the size of most of my female relatives and they’re pretty much the average size of ladies in Malaysia. Meh.
I…went to a whole load of gigs and never really got round to blogging about them so here goes:
1. Frank Turner @ Brixton Academy 12/12/10
Frank Turner was ACCCCES. I’d never seen him before, had an unlistened to album and it turned out that I’d only actually listened to one song. He was rocking. The old songs were ace. The new songs were ace. The cover song was ace. Everything was ace. Support were Dive Dive and Ed Harcourt. I love Ed Harcourt. He started the evening with a full beard and then he came on later to perform with Frank…and surprised us all (even Frank) by just having the moustache.
2. XFM Winter Wonderland @ Brixton Academy 15/12/10
This was also ACES. Manics were ace. Suede were ace. White Lies, Two Door Cinema Club, Mona and The Drums were all ok.
3. The Twang @ The Relentless Garage 22/12/10
The support were Tantrums who I really liked. Had to leave before The Twang did their encore because of the snow, Christmas and trains and that but they were fun and played all the songs I actually knew 😀
Of course, I would remember more if I’d blogged all this 4 months ago!!!
Last month I totally slacked on commenting on all the gigs I went to. Which was a shame because now I’m trying to remember them all and I’m not good at remembering what I wanted to say over 4 weeks ago.
Anyway. Interpol at Brixton.
I got tickets for this and Frank Turner the weekend after AAAAGES before the gigs, so it was a nice surprise when I realised “oh hey, I’m going to a gig this weekend”.
Anna Calvi was great. I would love to see her in a smaller venue to really get a good feel for her music, but since I was riiiight at the front it was quite ok. I’m definitely going to check out her album when I remember.
Surfer Blood were ok. Can’t really remember what I thought of their music specifically…but just have a general sense of knowing that they weren’t bad. Did spot the singer just loitering outside after the gig for some reason.
Interpol were ACE. I only really know their first album and their latest. The first album became my “listen to this to drown post-gig tinnitus” album while I was at university and I love it. The new album I really like, but I think I need to listen to it more. Everything else in-between is a BIG VOID to me.
It was still great though. Never seen them with Carlos, so I can’t really comment on his absence. They played all the songs I love from the new album and a nice selection of older stuff. Love ’em.
Last month it was two years since my Dad passed away. It’s hard to imagine that so much time has passed, when at the same time it feels like so little. Sometimes it still feels like he could be sitting downstairs listening to his music with headphones on and it feels a little weird when I do go downstairs for whatever reason to find that it’s dark and he’s not there. Plus, of course, if he was listening to music on his headphones? I would have been able to hear it upstairs.
I don’t think it really gets any easier, but you just get used to it more.
There are so many things that have happened in the last two years that make me think of my dad – like going on holiday with mum and thinking that he would have liked to see those places. Or going to see bands! I really got into The Gaslight Anthem a few months after he passed away and whenever I listen to their music, I am struck every time by the thought that he would really have liked it. He would have enjoyed going to see them live with me (rather than gone to a gig and thought they were merely “OK” like with AFI). I’ve considered getting a tattoo for the last like… ten years (it’s the kind of permanent decision I won’t rush into) and my dad always said to me “When you go and get one, let me know and I’ll come get one too.” This won’t even happen now but I’ve thought about it a lot recently since I’ve mostly likely settled on what I’d like etch indelibly on my person now.
I’m getting used to it yeah, and it feels more real, but it’s never going to be easy.
Admittedly, I just went to hear The Vaccines, but I feel I should at least mention the other two bands. Various Cruelties were first on and I know I quite liked them, though I can’t remember any of their songs now or what they sounded like. They were okay and maybe if I hear more of their music in the future, I’ll remember them better.
On the other hand, I do remember Colours and not in a good way. :/ The music was ok, but the vocals had an echo-effect slapped on them which kind of ruined it all for me. Not my taste and I only remember them because I really didn’t get into it. 🙁
So. The Vaccines. The most hyped band I’ve heard of all year. I like them. They come across as kind of old-fashioned (not retro, just old-fashioned…there’s some subtle difference I can’t quite explain) and they sound a bit like The Ramones crossed with…other bands I like but can’t name. The songs are uncomplicated and rockin’ and I’m definitely going to buy their album when it comes out. …
Should have really written about this ages ago when the gig was still fresh in my memory, but hey-ho. Just didn’t feel like it for ages and now the sands of time have trickled most of what I might have said out of my head.
First up, the support band that I remember that Grant did not remember the name of to say thank you too (oops). Morning Parade. They were cool. Liked them. Will totally investigate any singles/albums that I can nab.
Feeder? Feeder were ace. Still freaked out a bit about Karl Brazil looking so much like my late dad. It’s weird, really weird, but didn’t detract from the ACENESS of Feeder.
Incidentally, the last time I saw Feeder live before I saw them at the beginning of the year? Was when Jon was still alive, at Reading Festival and with my dad. Who was obviously still alive then.
Anyway, they played one of my all time favourite Feeder songs “My Perfect Day” and, as I expected, a great deal of new songs – mostly Renegades stuff, with a bit of the more recent albums thrown in. I’m liking the return to a slightly heavier sound a lot.
Still love Grant and Taka. They’re the best. Will probably like Karl better when he stops freaking me out with his face. Not his fault though.
Continue reading “Feeder @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire 28/10/10”
First off, gotta say that THE KILL VAN KULLS were really ace. Loved them.
Wasn’t sure about The Naked and Famous when I first heard them on the radio, but they’re fab live and I’m really getting their music now. Kudos to them for battling exploding planes and laryngitis to get on stage too.
I love The Gaslight Anthem. Love love love them. I saw them in June at Brixton and they were incredible then. This time round, they upped the ante and were somehow even more amazing.
Starting at the beginning, Sharks, the first support band, were ok. Nothing too memorable though and I think I would have enjoyed them more in a smaller venue with more people there to actually see *them*.
Chuck Ragan, the second support, was epic. Had no idea he was in Hot Water Music until I got home and googled him (I only know Hot Water Music from a split they did with Alkaline Trio, but what I’ve heard I do like). Great songs, especially whatever the new one was that he dedicated to his wife, and he has great stage presence – it was just him and the guy with the violin (John Gaunt?) and that stage was filled. No need for drummer or bassist or anything, which really contrasted with Sharks I guess, thinking about it now.
The main event, obvs, was The Gaslight Anthem. 🙂 Their set was epic. I mean it. It was WAY WAY WAY long, but it didn’t feel like it was long. Every single song was great and it was amazing to hear She Loves You live. There were songs from all three albums and they all fit well together. I don’t think I can really express how much of a lovely person Brian Fallon seems to be on stage – the whole band really give the performance their all and his rambling little stories really add to the whole experience. They didn’t do any full covers, but at one point I was singing along and realised they were playing the beginning (at least) of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me! Bit random that.
I really think that I’m gonna have to try and see Gaslight every time they come to London. They are THAT good.
And just found the setlist on setlist.fm and Jesus, 27 songs? Wow.
Continue reading “The Gaslight Anthem @ Hammersmith Apollo 21/10/10”
Chazzstock was kind of an album launch/wake/party kind of affair. You may or may not be aware of the band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, whose singer Charlie sadly killed himself back in August. The rest of the band decided to press on with releasing their debut album and then came up with Chazzstock to raise money for the mental health charity MIND, to celebrate the life of Charles Haddon and to celebrate the release of their album.
Anyway, I was already sold on the idea of going when I heard that Tony Hadley (yes, from Spandau Ballet) would be performing. So I got my ticket and went and omg, it was awesome. Loads of bands and artists I wasn’t aware of, a couple I was and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s album covered by every performer there. Well. Apart from Mr Hadley.
Stand-out performers of the night for me were MPHO, The Vaccines (and that guy from The Horrors), Mr Hudson, Tony Hadley and Ollie Wride. None of whom I had heard of, apart from obvs that guy from Spandau Ballet. MPHO did a cracking cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (although I’m only really familiar with the Placebo cover version). Ollie Wride was an incredible presence on stage – with the potential to have Pele Almqvist of The Hives’ level of stage presence.
The whole shebang was compered by Eddy Temple-Morris who made an impassioned speech on the importance of TALKING (especially for you boys out there) about stuff that’s bothering you. He blogged most of what he said on his Eddy Says blog and I recommend you check it out and then email the link to everyone you know. It really is important to talk about even the little niggles as for some, it’s a matter of life and death.
Just a mini-gig for various competitions winners for the album launch so started pretty early and finished pretty early but the songs were rockin’ and definitely convinced me to get the album.
Fenech-Soler do remind me a bit of Head Automatica – not just for the vocals but sort of generally too. Not in a bad way though as I love Head Automatica.
While I was listening, thanks to having listened to a radio program about the whole fade-out thing on Classic FM last week, I noticed that all of their songs fade out. None of them just end. Which (and I noticed this there also) can make it difficult to tell when a song is over. Gaslight Anthem do the other trick of a fake almost ending before the actual ending.
I am such a nerd.