As has become traditional round these parts, it’s time for my annual review of the gigs I saw last year.
I saw 48 gigs in 2015. That’s up on 2014’s 45, but still short of my all time high of 60 in 2013. I saw Chvrches, Stealing Sheep and Paper Aeroplanes twice. I was supposed to see a couple of other artists twice, but Natalie Prass cancelled the second show and I couldn’t get to the second Soak show as I was ill.
As always, there were some disappointments. Renaissance really weren’t very good (I waited to hear “Northern Lights” and then buggered off) and Elbow weren’t as good as I’d seen them before. But the biggest disappointment this year has to be Bob Dylan. He was terrible. I left at the interval.
About half-way through the year, I stopped writing reviews on my gig site. I’ve put up posts with just the data about the shows and I hope to back-fill some of the reviews at some point, but I can’t see it happening soon. Hopefully I’ll keep the site more up to date this year.
So here (in chronological order) are my favourite gigs of the year:
- Stealing Sheep – It’s been far too long since I saw Stealing Sheep, but the release of a new album brought them to London a couple of times. I’m going to do with the Chat’s Palace show as my favourite as I like smaller venues.
- Laura Marling – This was simply astonishing in every way. I was completely spellbound thoughout this show. Almost certainly gig of the year.
- Soak – If there’s any justice in the world, Soak is going to be huge. See her in intimate venues while you can.
- Amanda Palmer – There always has to be an Amanda Palmer gig on the list. It’s the law.
- Chvrches – Another act I saw twice. The small album launch show at the Tufnell Park Dome just pipped the huge extravaganza at Alexandra Palace.
- Heaven 17 – Another band I’ve started seeing whenever I can.
- Garbage – Sometimes, seeing bands decades after their peak can be a little disappointing. That certainly wasn’t the case for Garbage.
- John Grant – First time I’d seen John Grant. I hope it won’t be the last.
- Fuzzbox – Another act from my youth who made an impressive return.
- The Unthanks – I’ve been meaning to get round to see the Unthanks for years. I’m glad I did. I’ll be seeing them again as soon as possible.
I already have tickets for a dozen shows in 2016. I’m particularly looking forward to ELO in April and seeing the Cure for the first time for far too many years in December.