Slightly later than usual, here’s my overview of the gigs I saw in 2014.
I saw 45 gigs in 2014. That’s 25% down on 2013’s 60 (which is my current record). Letting it drop below an average of one a week is disappointing. I’ll have to try harder this year.
I saw both Martin Carthy and Chvrches three times in 2014 and Annie Eve twice. Martin Carthy is definitely the artist I’ve seem most since I’ve been keeping track of such things. And it’s the first time for many years that I haven’t seen Amanda Palmer. But that’s only because she didn’t play London in 2014 (well, she played one small gig at the British Library, but I didn’t hear about it until it was far too late to get tickets).
What was less than impressive. Well, my review of Yes at the Albert Hall upset a couple of Yes fans. And Eddi Reader wasn’t as good as the previous time I saw her. But, in general, the quality of things I saw was pretty high. Perhaps I was being more picky and that’s why I saw fewer shows.
Anyway, here (in chronological order) are my ten favourite gigs of the year:
- Haim – Haimwere on my top ten list from 2013. I saw them again early in 2014 and they were just as good.
- Chvrches – I saw Churches three times. I’m going to choose the Somerset House show as my favourite. Because I was standing about five rows away from the stage.
- Annie Eve – I saw Annie Eve twice. I think the first show (at the Lexington) was just better, but only because the Lexington is a much better venue than the Borderline. I’d love to see her play somewhere like the Union Chapel.
- Rick Wakeman – Something a bit different here. Rick Wakeman playing all of Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Very cheesy. Very pompus. Very wonderful.
- Lorde – Lorde couldn’t be more different than Rick Wakeman! But this was probably my favourite gig of the year. I can see myself enjoying Lorde shows for many years to come. Coincidentally, Lorde was also the support at the next gig on the list.
- Arcade Fire – I had wanted to see Arcade Fire for a few years. This show was every bit as overblown and wonderful as I hoped it would be.
- Hazel O’Connor – Another complete contrast. 80s legend playing a low-key show in the pub at the end of my road. Wonderful stuff.
- Kate Bush – Probably on everyone’s list. For all the obvious reasons.
- Tunng – Always love seeing Tunng. And this career retrospective show was great.
- Peter Gabriel – And another stadium show to close with. I was astonished to find out that it was twenty years since I saw Peter Gabriel. It certainly won’t be another twenty until I see him again.
Right, so what’s happening this year?