Friday, 15 February 2013

Top 5 Gigs of 2012

I'd intended to cut back a little on gigs last year but somehow that ended up with me going to more than I'd managed for a good ten years. I also started a new blog under a similar false impression that doing so would help me spend less time blogging. To be fair to myself, it was only supposed to be a way to capture set lists but typically spiraled into something more extensive. My number one was never in doubt but picking the other four was hard as I had at least seven good contenders for the remaining places.

1. Japandroids at Upstairs at the Garage (29th May) - It seems it doesn't matter that I'm now in my mid-forties, I still enjoy a gig that involves leaping around like an idiot in the middle of a bunch of sweaty strangers. Japandroids are a great live band and this was the second of three times I saw them in 2012. It was also my first visit to the Upstairs venue at The Garage. I was really impressed. The sound was really good and the band were on top form.
Chopper's Gigs: Japandroids Upstairs at the Garage

Photo courtesy my crappy HTC camera phone - it's of a bloke from the crowd singing Darkness on the Edge of Gastown

2. The Jim Jones Revue at The Concorde 2, Brighton (24th October) - The Jim Jones Revue proved they'd lost known of their rock'n'roll swagger despite broadening their horizons on the latest album. I went down with a car load of pals to this one and had a fantastic night.
Chopper's Gigs: The Jim Jones Revue at The Concorde 2

Photo courtesy @TrevorMakey

3. Laura J Martin at The Little Chapel behind The Galley Cafe (9th May) - I'm pretty sure anyone who's read this blog will be familiar with my ongoing obsession with Laura. I saw her three times last year too but this show, in the tiniest and most intimate of venues, was my favourite.
Chopper's Gigs: Laura J Martin at The Little Chapel, Gallery Cafe

Photo courtesy Annie Hall

4. The Low Anthem at Bush Hall (29th August) - A gig of two halves would you believe? The first part saw the band crank out some of their rockier numbers alongside a couple of Tom Waits covers. The second saw them turn on the "Moth Machine" and everything taking a turn for the psychedelic. To be honest the strobes gave me a bit of a headache after a while but I was no less captivated. There was even time for a comedy interlude sung by drummer Jeff Prystowsky, including a brilliant tune in praise of Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.
Chopper's Gigs: The Low Anthem at Bush Hall

Photo courtesy @Boring_Craig

5. Trembling Bells with Bonnie Prince Billy at The Union Chapel (6th May) - Another special show. I'd not seen Bonnie Prince Billy before so that was a bonus but I was really here because I was desperate to catch Trembling Bells live. Their joint set spanned the best of their collaborative LP as well as a fine selection of tunes from Will's back catalogue and a couple of cracking covers. For those that got there early, there was the added treat of seeing Alex & Lavinia (of Trembling Bells) perform an a capella set with Harry & Katy of Muldoon's Picnic.
Chopper's Gigs: Trembling Bells at The Union Chapel

Photo courtesy of vicaviber on Twitter


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