Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Top-10 gigs of 2011

Here goes...the ten best/most memorable gigs I've been to this year.

10. Let's Wrestle (26th February 2011, The Victory)
This one was a hard one to decide on. I've been to so many great shows this year...but there can only be ten in a top-10. Maybe it's unfair to pick a gig that I can't really remember much of...all I know is that I had a lot of fun. It was dirty, smelly and hideously cramped but I was too drunk to care. I'm pretty sure it was awesome!

9. The Death Set (13th April 2011, Old Blue Last)
The show that almost didn't happen. The Death Set were meant to play the night before, but had to cancel because of some transport issues. I can't remember happened exactly, but they didn't get to the venue in time for curfew anyway. Luckily, the venue managed to find a slot for them the following night. It was my first time seeing them live and it was just as great as I'd imagined.

8. Withered Hand, Standard Fare and Tigercats (9th February 2011, Catch)
The only show I promoted this year, but it sure was a good one. It didn't matter that it was unbelievably packed, uncomfortable and almost impossible to see anything. All three bands were incredible that night.

7. Allo Darlin' (Greg's garden)
I've seen Allo Darlin' play all sorts of venues this year, but this was probably the one I enjoyed the most. Playing in the garden at a friend's birthday party, the band came alive in a different way than normal. I love how these kind of small shows makes bands relax and just have fun.

6. Half Japanese (31st May 2011, The Scala)
I had seen Half Japanese play an amazing show in Barcelona just a couple of days earlier, but this was even better. Everything was spot on. They played all the the songs I wanted to hear and Jad made full use of his amazing bendy guitar.

And with support from Let's Wrestle and The Lovely Eggs of course this was an awesome evening!

5. Times New Viking, Veronica Falls (3rd May 2011, XOYO)
This was a great night. I hadn't seen Veronica Falls for a long time and was really excited about hearing some new stuff. They certainly didn't disappoint and I rememeber being blown away by how great they were live. Times New Viking are always awesome and this show was no different. To finish off a great set they tried to play Fuck Her Tears (one of my favorite tracks on the new record) twice, before giving up. The guitar strings just couldn't handle it and snapped during the intro both times. Great end to an awesome show.

4. Humousexual (25th February 2011, Andrew's living room in Notting Hill)
Now this is what I'm talking about! It doesn't get much better than a proper bedroom show. Humousexual in a small bedroom, playing to just a handful of people. This was very special indeed.

3. Japanther (14th February 2011, Tufnell Park Dome)

I've seen Japanther five or six times and it's never been less than amazing. This show in North London was one of the best. The atmosphere was just unbelievable. Not many bands can get a London crowd going like these guys can.

2. Math The Band x 3 (Guildford/Harlow/Tunbridge Wells, October 2011)

I'd been wanting to see Math The Band for a looooong time and I never expected to have to thank Wheatus for finally making it happen. Kevin and Justine were invited to join the more-than-just-a-little-older-than-teenage dirtbags on an insane UK tour that lasted something ridiculous like five weeks.

I skipped the London show and instead decided to visit some nearby towns and venues I'd never been to. It was weird and great on so many different levels. Great to see one of my favorite bands play to a packed venue...weird that it was happening in Harlow, Guildford and Tunbridge Wells....and even weirder that they were supporting Wheatus, a band that played my University graduation ball ten years ago!

Anyway, every single show was great and the only thing I regret now is not going to more of them.


1. Weezer (6th July 2011, Brixton Academy)
I know Weezer doesn't really need the publicity and in general I tend to prefer smaller gigs, so this might come as a surprise. But, the thing is...Weezer at Brixton Academy was just unbelievably AMAZING!

Just look at the setlist! (from

Reading that makes me want to go to that show again and again and again and get the point. And Male Bonding were supporting! Best gig of 2011. FACT!

That's it. My ten gigs of 2011. Many awesome shows have been left out. Other incredible gigs that spring to mind are Proper Ornaments at Power Lunches, Pulp in Hyde Park, Enfant Bastard in Edinburgh, Cloud Nothings at CAMP Basement, Omi Palone at Duke Of Uke, Best Friends Forever and The Middle Ones at the Old Blue Last, Anguish Sandwich at Indietracks, Spaghetti Tree weekend in Peckham (with Japanther, Please, John Maus etc) and the awesomeness that was Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

Bring on 2012! I noticed on Songkick that my teenage heroes Guttermouth are playing in London in March. I might have to go, just for old times' sake. One of the first big concerts I ever went to was to see them support The Offspring in Gothenburg in 1994. Shit, I feel old.

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