Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The best lives of our year. Top 2013 gigs

The shows that shaped 2013.

Like sitting down with the box of mixed goodies (and shite) that you collect over Chrimbo, 
it's time to review all the contents. From tit mugs toGentleman's Relish and dodgy shirts.  So, here's a mercifully brief (and truth be told, mildly gin-soaked) rootle through some of the live highlights of what's been a bloody great year for live shows. 

10. Enter Shikari The Hatfield Forum 26th April 2013

A brilliant night for a brilliant cause (Action Aids's laudable Bollocks To Poverty). A jam packed, writhing hall in virtually a hometown show was treated to an orgy of throbbing, wobbing glory. 
Review here> 

9. Delta Sleep Catch Bar, Shoreditch, 23rd October 2013

A joyous evening of math mayhem and mastery. Four of the UK's best experimental and outré bands beguiled a sweating and exuberant trendy Shoreditch hipster attic full of beards and flat caps. Review here>

8. Deaf Havana Roundhouse, 26th October 2013

A truly moving and emotional culmination of years of bogs and dungeons. The erstwhile flatlanders blew the bloody impressive roof off an adoring locomotive shed in Chalk Farm. Special night. Special band. Extra special songwriting.  Review here>

7. Deftones Brixton Academy, 20th February

The coolest band on the planet sizzled on a freezing February night. World class show. And Chino talked. A lot. You 'eard. Review here>

6. Don Broco Roundhouse, 7th December
The loveable likely ladcore scallies savagely tore Chalk Farm a new gaping sphincter on their biggest, sweatiest, sexiest party night yet.  Expect even bigger things from these Bedfordshire bad(ish)asses. Review here>

5. The Dillinger Escape Plan KOKO, 8th November 2013

An astonishing and mesmerising beating up at the hands of the arch math murderers ably abetted by the magnificent Maybeshewill and the always-stunning Three Trapped Tigers.  Review here>

4. Liam Frost Old St Pancras Church, 2nd October 2013

Together with John Smith at The Union Chapel (mercifully attended, but sadly not reviewed), these had to be two of the most moving and extraordinary shows of the year. In a real church, the plaintive and heart-melting Mr Frost delivered beauty, pathos, emotion, warm smiles and genuine tears.  Review here>

3. Deaf Havana Unplugged Union Chapel, 15th April 2013

An incredible, life-affirming soire√© in the company of the largely unplugged but bang on form East Anglian miscreants. A seminal and important evening in not only their development,  but the future of British rock music.  Review here>

2. Arcane Roots XOYO, 26th November 2013

A searing and jaw-dropping tour de force from one of the UK's very best bands. A sold out XOYO is the merest taster of the inevitable stadium future of this scintillating, challenging and magnificent trio.  Review here>

1. Jamie Lenman The Garage, 10th December 2013

Seldom lost for words, this amazing evening all but rendered me pretty much dumstruck. A totally spellbinding, challenging, fierce, comforting, hair-erecting celebration of originality, wit, emotion and charm . (Dodgy rhyming) Review here>

And that's it for 2013. So many amazing shows. So many brilliant bands. So much Jaeger, cider, Sailor Jerry's and Nando's extra hot chicken. So many hangovers. Further confirmation (if needed) that live music is in the rudest of health on our sceptred Isle. 

The top 10 are just that. There were so many other fantastic, moving, spine-tingling and arse-ripping moments, performances and evenings. It would be an absolute cad who wouldn't mention the ever-fabulous Max Raptor, the always superb LTA, Ozzy proggers Karnivool, FFAF, Hold Your Horse Is, the irrepressible and 'orrible Hacktivist tand those dicks The Hell to name but a few.

Before I head off into 2014 with the hope it will be even better, it would be further remiss not to mention two or three festivals that took place this year.

My top three: 

3. The Ashes of Burnout - a last minute scramble to get together an intimate, but ultimately stunning two evenings in Bournemouth in lieu of the tragically cancelled original event and brainchild of the stout magician Mr Dom Patience. Review here>

2. Takedown - probably the lesser known of the alt rock pop up festival season, Nestled in the bossom of Southampton University, this one day magical ride was a masterclass of diverse curation, slick organisation and contagious smiles. Review here>

1. ArcTanGent - the new fest on the block. But what a revelation. Not just the festival of the year, but possibly one of the very best festivals of all time. An astonishing and challenging line up of the cream of the more underground and experimental bands from post rock to math rock and every genre in between. The only commonality os that they were all so, so special. Rollo n next year. Review here>

And that really is it for 2013. Thanks for reading all my word farts and dribbles. More next year. 

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