2016 is shaping up to be a serious years for gigs, after failing to cut back in the previous two I've let the shackles off a bit this year and I suspect I'll be well over my "no more than 2 gigs a month" limit. It's hard to cut back though when every gig I see is so good.
Laura J Martin at Servant Jazz Quarters on Wednesday 17th February 2016 - This was Laura's first headline gig for sometime though I have managed to catch her once already supporting Meilyr Jones. In her time away from the UK live scene she's been to Liverpool, Japan and most recently Nashville where she recorded her third album and first for new label Kartel. Matt Swanson and Tony Crow of Lambchop fame encouraged her to record out there with producer Mark Nevers who's worked with a host of bands but has a history with both Lambchop and Bonnie Prince Billy.
Ezra Furman at Brighton Concorde 2 on Thursday 18th February 2016 - Ezra and his band have been playing bigger venues than the C2 of late but by some cunning venue selection the C2 is the biggest venue I've seen them in so far. They look like a band that's thriving in the spotlight, growing more confident in their abilities and still having fun. It's a perfect mix and this might just be the best gig I've seen them do.
Savages at The Roundhouse on Thursday 17th March 2016 - Savages proved they are at the height of their powers right now. Tonight was just as good as that 100 Club show. I think I like the new album more than their debut, they've definitely added some really strong tunes to the set. The balcony sound was decent, and though I felt a little dislocated from gig, the view was pretty cool especially when Jehnny Beth went walkabout across the crowd.
Meilyr Jones at Rough Trade East on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 - My very first visit to Rough Trade East and I'm blown away by how big it is. Crikey, I could lose a week in here and quite possibly be bankrupt by the time I got out. This is my second Meilyr Jones gig of the year, it won't be the last, and is another "buy the album/get a free gig" deal which is a fabulous development in modern record purchase schemes.
Kiran Leonard at The Lexington on Monday 4th April 2016 - I saw Kiran a couple of years ago at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington. That was an enjoyable show but tonight Kiran and his band took things to a whole new level. Opening with the full seventeen minute version of Pink Fruit was a bold move and one that completely floored me.