Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Like I said, I’m getting a bit of a taste for this list-writing mullarkey. So this next one is concerned with what was a characteristic of the year for me – live music. Basically, it’s been a stonking year for live music in the West Country, the best I can remember for a good while.

Six Cracking Gigs of 2009

(in chronological order)

David Byrne, Colston Hall, March
A wonderful, winning return from a man who had passed from my consciousness many years ago. Memorable for the choreography as much as the music

Anthony & the Johnsons, Colston Hall, May
Reminded me why I was so impressed by their previous album and made me go and listen to the new album a bit more closely. A remarkable performance.

Bon Iver, Green Man, August
Not having really listened to the album properly, wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy his set. I needn’t have worried, an atmospheric and moving performance, all pulled off with genuine humility. With hindsight, my highlight of a great festival. I actually have a recording of the set, and I can’t understand why I never posted it. I’ll remedy this ASAP.

Frank Turner, the Anson Rooms, October
One of those events that grew and grew in my mind as the days followed on from the gig. From being a complete Turner novice at the start of the month, I felt like a veteran by the end of it. Probably the warmest gig I have ever been to but it didn’t stop Frank putting a helluva a session.

The Fall, Jesters, November
A belated rite of passage for me really, and by all accounts up there with some of their better performances. “A glorious racket”.

Lou Rhodes, Thekla, November
What started out as a bit of an away day in the big (well, medium) smoke, turned into a breath-taking gathering in the company of the ex Lamb singer. A very special feel to the evening altogether.

Primal Scream, The Guildhall, December
Overcoming the Guildhall’s dodgy electrics and any tendency towards a spreading waistline, as skinny and as white as ever, Bobby Gillespie remains textbook rock’n’roll. Another rattling evening.

And one other…

Roky Erickson, Green Man, August
Alright, he wasn’t very good - pretty turgid blues rock, if truth be told. But… there he was a mythological figure from another time (another planet really) on stage before us. And he did You’re Gonna Miss Me – if only I’d brought my electric jug with me...

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