Archive for the ‘Live Music’ Category

Sturgill Simpson – the Slaughtered Lamb, 20 January 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Sturgill Simpson at the Slaughtered Lamb (January 2014)

The Other Half got tickets to see Sturgill Simpson at the Slaughtered Lamb and High Top Mountain for Christmas (vested interest).

I love the Slaughtered Lamb. It’s such a cool, intimate, laid-back venue.

It’s funny how musical taste changes. We used to listen to ‘world music’, but now, it’s pretty much Country and Bluegrass.

Sturgill Simpson was awesome.

He played some of his stuff and some other people’s stuff. All of it was good. Excellent. AmericanaUK liked it too.

And here’s what it says on Sturgill’s website: ‘Sturgill Simpson’s authenticity stands out like an island of hope in a sea of tacky‘.

Country music at its very best.

The Be Good Tanyas – Union Chapel, 2 September 2013

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The Be Good Tanyas (September 2013)

Ah… The Be Good Tanyas

I was really looking forward to the gig. As you know, I’m a fan… and I really like the venue. I did feel under the weather unfortunately so I don’t think I made the most of it. The songs were awesome. Frazey Ford’s voice is stunning. Trish Klein is incredibly talented. And Caroline Ballhorn holds her own, deputising for Sam Parton who is still recovering from a car accident. I took it all in as best I could. I know there were some beautiful songs and some beautiful cover versions. I know that there was some odd banter going on… something about nudist beaches, a neighbourhood porch where you get great coffee, and some ramblings about Neil Young. I know also that it finished too early.

Again please.

And tomorrow… Caitlin Rose (Shepherd’s Bush Empire). I can’t wait. I’ve got a rotten cold but that won’t stop me. Her gigs are always such good fun. There are still a few tickets available it seems (hurry, hurry). A few days ago, I roped a friend into buying a ticket. She’ll love it. I know she will.

Oh and I could kick myself… I was meant to include a link to this article with my Sigur Rós post… “Taking in the illuminated biomes, the devastating soundtrack and those wondrous lasers, it almost became too much to bear. Stunning.” What a quote!

Sigur Rós – Eden Project, 30 June 2013

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Eden Session poster (Summer 2013)

Sigur Ros (Eden Project)

Light show (Eden Project)

Sigur Ros: light show at the Eden Project

Beams, Sigur Ros at the Eden Project

Sigur Rós live.

Totally awesome.

We had doubts about seeing the band live. Would it work? Would the music work in a live environment?

Ideally, you’d see them in the middle of nowhere… somewhere in Iceland, on a grey and misty day.

As it was, the Eden Project was the perfect venue. Outdoor. On a cold and slightly rainy evening. Not far off how I imagined it should be in my head.

It was… mesmerising, magical and sometimes harrowing. Always atmospheric.

Jónsi singing in both Icelandic and hopelandic. Such melody.

And a superb light show to go with it.

Extremely special… and without doubt, one of our best gigs ever.

Early afternoon, there were a few other bands playing in the Mediterranean Dome… and pre-Sigur Rós, on the main stage, we had Daughter (not bad)… and the discovery of the year… Willy Mason. So good. I’ve subsequently bought Carry On and spend most of my days humming to Pickup Truck and singing along to Talk me Down.

So good.

Willi Mason at the Eden Project (June 2013)

The Boss – Wembley Stadium, June 2013

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Bruce Springsteen (Wembley, June 2013)

Bruce Springsteen... a long way away

Bruce Springsteen ticket (June 2013)

I remember going to my friend’s house to pick her up for school. We would wait until her parents left for work, and we would play Born in the U.S.A. as loud as we could. Every morning. It was the fuel we needed to get us through the tedious day ahead.

I never imagined then that I’d be lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen live.

And yet, a few weeks ago, I saw The Boss for the third time (hilarious, just type ‘The Boss’ into Google. Yeah… Bruce Springsteen rules).

Mid-June, wellies and waterproofs on. Argh.

When we got inside Wembley Stadium, we made our way towards the stage. ‘Ah… this is close enough we thought. This is a good standing place’. Yeah, right. That stage is enormous and I had to stand on tip-toe and squeeze my eyes to actually see Bruce and the gang. Look carefully at that first photograph, you can see him for real (I don’t like looking at those big screens. If I wanted to see a band on a screen, I’d get a dvd out!).

Anyway, I digress.

A few songs into the gig, Bruce collected requests. I had forgotten all about that. And I wondered, does Bruce know what he wants to play and picks the requests accordingly and makes it look random? Does he get bored of always getting the same requests? Hmmm. So there I was pondering… when he announced that he could carry on with the requests… or he could play Darkness On The Edge Of Town from beginning to end.


That’s such a classic. And to hear it the way you’re supposed to hear it, in its entirety, well… there were a lot of excited people out there.

Even the weather wasn’t able to subdue my and Bruce’s infectious moods.

That was quite an evening…

The Stranglers – Roundhouse, 15 March 2013

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The Stranglers at the Roundhouse (15 March 2013)

What I learned this month: ‘don’t ever again attempt to go to gigs two nights running… you’re not as young as you used to be Dear’.

After what felt like very few hours sleep and a tedious day at work, we found ourselves in the Roundhouse… dancing to The Stranglers!

As we prepared to make our way to Camden, we both considered staying put. After all, we’d already seen an amazing gig that week (like… the night before even).

We did go. Of course we did.

And of course that was the right decision.

We had a great time. We sang, we danced, we pogoed.

The setlist had the right number of new versus old songs, and some old favourites such as Midnight Summer Dream.

But I’ll admit it… as soon as we left the venue, all I could think about was my bed. There’s only so much dancing this girl can do.

The Avett Brothers – Forum, 14 March 2013

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The Avett Brothers (promotional leaflet)

The Avett Brothers (Forum, March 2013)

The Avett Brothers (Forum, 14 March 2013)

The Avett Brothers (14 March 2013, Forum)

Have you guys heard of The Avett Brothers?

Here, it’s been a slow discovery.

When I saw that they were playing in London, I asked Father Christmas for tickets.

Partly because… a couple of years back, I was listening to and Great Lake Swimmers came on. I can’t for the life of me remember what radio I was listening to at the time, but I emailed the Other Half to say that I liked what I’d just heard. He replied:Avett Brothers email
I took it in. A seed was planted.

Then the guys at Posie Gets Cozy raved about the band last summer, having just seen them live. Something stirred. A memory was awakened.

Father Christmas was kind and I got tickets… and so with trepidation, we made our way to the Forum.

The Other Half, who also knew very little about the band, got swept away too.

The verdict was unanimous.


As we left the venue, we promised to check them out a bit more (the songs I knew really came alive during the gig) and to catch them again next time they’re in town.

Boys these guys are infectious. What boundless energy! Well, there was an acoustic set, roughly half way through the set, but I think that was more for our benefit than theirs.

They had us rocking. And dancing. And singing.


And it seems that they enjoyed the show too.

And why not? They nailed London.

Did I make this happen?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Caitlin Rose at Shepherd's Bush Empire, 12 September 2013

Eh… well look at that!

Caitlin Rose back in London.

She will plying her trade at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 12 September 2013.

Hee hee… because I live in a fantasy world, I’m gonna say I made this happen.

Go buy tickets now people. Go on… or you’ll regret it…

Caitlin Rose – Dingwalls, 27 February 2013

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Tickets to Caitlin Rose, Dingwalls (27 February 2013)

Witty, funny and friendly Caitlin…

And so good. So damn good.

She seemed a little different on stage, more confident may be?

There was a great mixture of new songs, old favourites and the best sing-along ever!

I didn’t particularly like the venue (too many people, not enough space and whatever space there was seemed to have a restricted view of the stage. And… I always seemed to be in the way, constantly asked to let people through so their could spill their pints on my converse it seems…) but it looked a tad bigger than any other venues where we’ve seen her perform before.

Which is great.

We want Caitlin to be popular and we want her to get the credit she deserves. She’s awesome.

So awesome in fact that the gig got a very good review in The Independent (you can tell they really like her, they had a stream to her new album, The Stand-In, on their site for a few days leading up to the gig).

Ah, yes… this reminds me. Can someone explain to me the logic of releasing your album just days before your gig? Your fans will be desperate to hear your news songs. People discovering you through album reviews won’t have a chance to get to your gig because tickets have sold out to those in the know.

Anyhow. Come back soon Caitlin (we couldn’t get tickets to the Windmill)!

The Be Good Tanyas – Barbican, 3 February 2013

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Waiting for The Be Good Tanyas (February 2013)

The Be Good Tanyas flyer (February 2013) 

The Be Good Tanyas playlist (February 2013)

Note to self: when The Be Good Tanyas are next in town, get tickets. When they’re playing in a town nearby, get tickets. When they’re playing in a town anywhere, get tickets.

It’s funny how things work out. A couple of months, before Christmas, my other half and I were talking about The Be Good Tanyas, both in agreement that when these good ladies decided to play in London, we’d have to go and see them really because they’re fab. 

Not long after that, they announced a UK tour and we got tickets.

The support act, Emily Portman, was very good. We don’t normally make it to support acts but I’m glad we did on Sunday. A good dose of myth and folk tales. Good fun and it was great to see Lucy Farrell again.

As for The Be Good Tanyas. Well, I was so excited that I believe I shed a little tear halfway through the third song. The vocals (Frazey Ford… oh my), the music, the lyrics. So unique. An excellent blend of folk, country and bluegrass, which is where my musical taste has been taking me for the last two years or so.

I stayed back at the end of the gig and my patience was rewarded. I got one of the playlists.

A wow of an evening.

Well… that was the first of our 2013 gigs… and boy… the rest of them have a lot to play up to.

Fanfarlo – Union Chapel, November 2012

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Fanfarlo (November 2012)

When I saw that Fanfarlo were playing at the Union Chapel, I made sure we got tickets.

I really like their music… and I’ve always wanted to see a gig at the Union Chapel.

Win win.

What a cool venue. Very good acoustic, as you can imagine.

After a shy start, Fanfarlo slowly got the gig under control.

One of Fanfarlo’s strengths is how their sound remains unique, partly due to the different sounds and texture they use (a combination of traditional rock instruments and trumpet and violin). The lyrics are strong and the melodies very catchy.

They played most of my favourite songs and they had a few treats for us too – songs from their next album, which they are recording at the moment.

And just because I think this is really funny… I’m going to take this gig and put it towards my Scandinavian life: “Fanfarlo are a London-based indie/alternative band formed in 2006 by Swedish musician Simon Balthazar, and Giles J Davis (who subsequently left before the release of the first single). They fuse elements of folk, indie rock and post-punk using eclectic instrumentation including trumpet, violin, mandolin, musical saw and clarinet.” (Source: Wikipedia)

I have selected some of my favourite songs for you below (sorry, I was unable to find a better version of Lenslife).