2017 followed closely in the footsteps of 2016, i.e. just as much of a dodgy year in many world wide respects, but again, not in gigs for me … yet another good one!
Best Gigs –
My Gig of the Year award goes to … Radiohead at Glasgow Green. Simply the best band in the world, stunning. My only 10/11 rating of 2017.
I had four 9/11s, which were great , but get the ‘close but no cigar’ award … and in chronological order –
8.5/11s included finally getting to see Mugison , and great shows from Kagoule, Sam Coomes and July Talk .
Best Albums –
Not too many albums really struck me this year but the clear stand out was Music For People In Trouble by Susanne Sundfør. What a tremendous collection of simple but powerful songs. Very meaningful and important to me in 2017.
Honourable album mentions to –
Best New Discovered Artists –
I’d heard about Susanne Sundfør but not paid much attention until John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux festival in Hull during April. What a revelation, and she became by far my most listened to artist of 2017. How could I have missed her ’til now? What a find! See Susanne Sundfør – CCA, Glasgow – 3 Oct 2017
Honourable new discovery mentions to –
Posted in Gig Reviews
With all of us being huge Smiths fans, it would have been rude not to check out Frankly The Smiths from Glasgow, the newest Smiths tribute band on the block. We had seen them play a few acoustic songs before and they showed promise. In a packed venue, with the full band and a really extensive set, they showed just how good they are. Very!
8/11 – Attended by George, Karen & Jan
Zal is a boyhood hero of mine since 1974 from his fantastic time in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. We are all a bit older (maybe wiser) now, in fact Zal is an amazingly sprightly 68. He gave up playing live about 10 years ago and I never thought I’d see him play, so it was a delight to see his new band hit the road. And heavily touring an entirely new set seems to be his new strategy and the amount of work and craft put into so many new songs is impressive.
I’m not such a fan of his more modern style of heavy rock, but there’s no denying the quality of the playing and how tight they are together. Zal is more of a growler than a singer nowadays, but that’s ok in context and his melodic and tasteful soloing is still instantly recognisable. If I have half his energy and a tenth of his artistry when I’m 68 I’ll be well chuffed!
7/11 – Attended by George & Karen
Alladin Sane by David Bowie is Jan’s all time favourite album, so it was with great excitement that we came to see the original Piano player, Mike Garson, reprive that album and other classics. Karen is also a massive Bowie fan leaving me as the mere driver, but interested. The fact that we left long before the end tells you how disappointed we were. So many issues with this show even with presumably great musicians … inappropriate style of vocals, disjointed sounding band, OTT piano, strange treatments of some parts, mistakes … potentially worthy, but ultimately annoying. Home by 11, so, not the whole night wasted!
4/11 – Attended by George, Karen & Jan
I’ve loved Kagoule since I first saw them at Sneaky Pete’s nearly 2 years ago. That was an outstanding gig of 2015 and tonight they were just as good, with a whole bunch of new songs that hopefully will be soon on their 2nd album.
Pity Sneaky Pete’s wasn’t that busy, maybe to do with Monday night, but the band roared through a great set with so many of my favourites from Urth as well as the new songs. Magic. Can’t wait for more from them!
8.5/11 Attended by George
I missed the Downtown Boys in Edinburgh recently so was lucky enough to catch them supporting Priests in Manchester while travelling through. Downtown Boys play an enthusiastic modern punk noise, combining the sound and spirit of X-Ray Spex with political lyrics delivered with genuine passion and ferocity. Headliners Priests, while having more diverse punk roots are less convincing to my mind, but still good to watch and singer Katie sounds so like Kathleen Hanna in Bikini Kill days, all good for me!
7/11 – Attended by George
I’m enjoying seeing more prominent unashamed political opinions up front from many more music artists at the moment and Shame are a young band pulling no punches. ‘If you’re not angry you’re not paying attention’. Their post punk style suits and front man Charlie spits out the lyrics with conviction, intelligence and humour. Band really tight too reminiscent all round of Idles at the same venue recently. Lots of room for development but great to see. A band to watch out for.
7/11 – Attended by George