Continuing my annual tradition of documenting all of the gigs I went to in the past year (a tradition that only started last year…), here are the things that impressed, shocked and hooked me at the gigs that I went to in 2015…
Jump To A Particular Gig…
Gig #1 – The Book of Mormon
Gig #2 – Moose Blood
Gig #3 – Neck Deep w/Knuckle Puck
Gig #4 – Interpol
Gig #5 – Death From Above 1979
Gig #6 – The River Versus
Gig #7 – Yellowcard / Less Than Jake
Gig #8 – The Hyena Kill
Gig #9 – Modern Baseball
Gig #10 – Pinky Swear Festival
Gig #11 – Slam Dunk Festival 2015
Gig #12 – Foo Fighters
Gig #13 – Brand New
Gig #14 – The Ghost Train
Gig #15 – Modest Mouse
Gig #16 – Landmarks (My first gig playing with the band!)
Gig #17 – Frank Turner
Gig #18 – Tigers Jaw
Gig #19 – Brand New
Gig #20 – No Such Thing As A Fish – Live
Gig #21 – Landmarks – Amplify’s 5th Birthday
Gig #22 – Landmarks – Supporting ‘Like Torches‘
Gig #23 – Landmarks – Oxjam Festival
Gig #24 – The Story So Far
Event: The Book Of Mormon
Location: Prince Of Wales Theatre, London
Went with: Went on my own!
That’s not a gig! Well, I know, but what constitutes a gig? There was live music played by actual musicians, featuring people singing on a stage… so is this not a gig? Who knows. One for the philosophers.
I was in London on a business trip (get me, fancy business man). I was down there for two weeks and the weekend in the middle of those two weeks was shaping up to be incredibly boring. My hotel was basically in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing much to do besides visit the local sites (which consisted of a small Co-Op and a half-decomposed tangerine skin on the curb outside my hotel window). I made plans to go into London, which was harder than I thought it would be. Walked for 45 minutes to the train station, then had to get two trains to get in to the city centre. Once I’d completed this pilgrimage to good old London town though, getting around was easy as I already had an Oyster Card. I tube’d it around the city, being a typical tourist for a few hours, before growing bored again. I was walking around Piccadilly Circus when I walked past The Prince Of Wales Theatre and saw that the book of Mormon was playing! I’d heard about this musical from my housemate who said ti was one of the funniest things he had ever watched. I decided to get a ticket. Went up to the Box Office and found that there was only a handful of tickets left. These were really good seats, but also really expensive, with the cheapest being £70. I thought about it and decided that I’m probably not going to get another chance to see this show, so forked over the money and got a beer before the show started.
I had an amazing view from my seat. Right in the middle, on the first tier, on the second row. The show was incredible. I’ve never laughed so much at a stage show before. The songs were fantastic too! I even bought the soundtrack afterwards. My favourite song was probably ‘Hasa Diga Eebowai’, and I won’t explain why because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen the show yet. All I will say is this: If you are in London at any point over the next year, go and see this show! It’s worth the expensive ticket price, I promise! I’ve been recommending it to everyone I’ve seen since. My parents eventually caved and agreed to go and see it themselves and had the same reaction as me – that it was one of the funniest things they had ever seen.
Go and see it!
Event: Moose Blood
Location: The Star & Garter, Manchester
Went with: Sarah, Katherine and Claire
We were running a bit late on the day of this gig and we unfortunately missed support acts, which is a shame because it would have been cool to check out Boston Manor. Apparently the sound quality was terrible for the support bands, though. The venue is on it’s last legs and closing down soon, so they probably aren’t interested in investing in new sound equipment. The band’s monitors kept cutting out on stage and one of the lights above the drummer kept flickering on and off whenever he hit the bass drum, which was actually a pretty cool effect really.
The crowd was a bit, well, …weird. There were a lot of younger people who seemed like they had never been to a gig before, all going a bit wild. Moose Blood aren’t really a band that you ‘pit’ to, but that wasn’t stopping these kids. Also there was a guy stroking and kissing his girlfriend’s hair in front of us at the start. So that was weird, too. The band were loving the energy though, even laughing when a rogue stage-diver knocked over the singers mic stand – which is a cardinal sin at most gigs!
The room went mental for Bukowski, which was incredible!
Great band, weird crowd, lots of energy, “Start reading Hemingway / Start drinking cups of Earl Grey”.
Event: Neck Deep w/Knuckle Puck
Location: Academy 2
Went with: Gaz (and Sarah)
This gig continued the tradition of ‘me and Gary going to a gig while Sarah is busy working, only for Sarah to eventually give-in and come to the gig in the end too’. Knuckle Puck were great! The sound wasn’t great but they were the support band and i’ve never heard the support band get good sound quality in Academy 2. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the equipment, or the engineer, or the room itself? But it’s always markedly different the the sound quality of the headliners (who in this case aren’t that much bigger status-wise than the supports…)
Neither me or Gary were really looking forward to watching Neck Deep. Their speedy rise to international success had just left us a bit bewildered and wondering ‘why them? What’s so special about them?’
Their is one Neck Deep song in particular, Zoltar Speaks, which has one of the worst, most awkwardly forced key-changes shoved in to the middle of a song that I’ve ever heard. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to hear this played live and I was, to some extent, granted my wish. They played the song with the terrible key-change, but missed off the bit with the key change and just played it as a shorter song!
Neck deep weren’t too bad. I remember walking in to the room and immediately finding his voice grating, but it got more bearable as the set went on.
I remember thinking after their set “I’m going to go home and give their album another lesson, because that wasn’t bad at all.”
This gig was before three of the band members of Neck Deep were accused of being paedophiles. Three of them were accused but only one responded to the accusation made against him (by leaving the band). The others just kind of brushed it under the rug and everyone somehow forgot about it all. Strange.
Location: Albert Hall
Went with: Chris & Oli
I was feeling very hungover prior to this gig, but managed to drag myself down to the venue anyway. The gig was on a sunday night, so I wasn’t going to be drinking anyway. Had a really great view of the stage. The venue is pretty good for that, really.
I remember that, about half way through the set, two girls were having a little scrap in front of us, one got kicked out by the bouncer, both were in the wrong. Just drunken antics.
I only actually knew about two or three songs but I enjoyed the whole show. The singer and guitarist wore suits, which made the show feel like it was a special occasion for the band as well as for the fans (who were just happy to see Interpol touring again – it’d been a while since they had last played in Manchester, I think). They finished off the show by playing TWO encores.
Event: Death From Above 1979
Location: The Ritz
Went with: Jake and his mates Rob and Tim
This was another gig that I went to only knowing about 3 songs maximum beforehand.
The band were pretty great. The energy they created, despite only having two people and the singer/drummer having to be seated at the drums the entire gig, was amazing.
They didn’t play Black History Month (one of the three songs I knew!), unfortunately.
It was an unusual crowd. They were really varied in age and experience. maybe the young people there had heard of them from their album last year and the older ones remember them from when their first album was released? Everyone seemed to get along well, though.
All in all, it was really cool to see Death From Above, but don’t think i’d go again, unless i really got in to a future album of theirs (if they release any more!)
Event: The River Versus
Location: Stockport Live
Went with: Sarah, Katherine, Clare
The gig was at ‘Stockport Live’, which is a new venue that had been converted from what used to be a horrible chav club, apparently. It was a pretty cool, laid-back venue actually.
It was my second time seeing The River Versus (the first time was also in Stockport) and they were great this time too! I love the little trumpet bit they play at the beginning/end of the set.
Unfortunately the band had some trouble with some locals being aggressive after the show.
Oh, and Alec wore a ‘You Blew It!’ shirt.
Event: Yellowcard / Less Than Jake
Location: Academy 1
Went with: Gaz & Sarah
Despite the band trying to get everyone’s energy up, the crowd was pretty dead for most of Yellowcard. It started to pick up towards the end of their set, but was still nothing compared to the energy during LTJ’s set.
The Yellowcard violinist did his signature backflip, which brought back memories for me of seeing them play when I was about 18 in the old (pre-refurbishment) version of Academy 1!
LTJ were amazing, so much fun. They had a recorded announcement at the start of their set, telling people not to record the whole thing on their phones coz that’s really lame. I appreciated this.
Everyone was dancing throughout the entire show. There was a massive circle pit, followed by female-only circle-pit (one guy made his way in there, despite it being female-only, only to get completely clotheslined by a beefy guy stood near us – pretty funny).
I joined in the pit for the last two songs.
“You can do it, you can do it Pac-Man!”
Event: The Hyena Kill
Location: Soup Kitchen
Went with: Jake (and others? Can’t remember!)
The first band were alright. Grunge-y rock. The second band were terrible. Really self-indulgent, overly-intricate riffs and odd time signatures. Really unpleasant to stand and listen to. Apparently the singer in that band was the guy from the band Halflings Leaf.
The Hyena Kill were pretty great. So loud! They make a lot of noise for a two-piece band. The guy can really scream and the girl is such a class drummer!
They had brought along a couple of home-made robot heads that they threw into the crowd for people to wear and dance with. It was a really cool night actually.
Event: Modern Baseball
Location: Sound Control
Went with: Sarah
Sound Control was packed, which usually means that the energy is going to be great, but everyone was stood still for the entire show, as if they were waiting for a specific band, a band that would never actually come… (They weren’t just waiting for the headliners, as they were exactly the same level of sedation during Into it Over it).
The room was oddly silent in between songs. It was quite awkward really, and I think the band noticed.
Me and Sarah got fed up of the lifelessness towards the end of the show and pushed our way in to the 12-person ‘pit’ in the front-centre of the stage, which was the only small pocket of energy in the entire room.
The bassist sang ‘When You Were Young’ by the Killers, and pulled it off pretty well!
They ended with ‘Your Graduation’, which was great, at least from where we were stood, in the tiny energy area of the room!
Event: Pinky Swear Festival
Location: Sound Control
Went with: Gaz, Sarah & Katherine
In order, saw: Smile And Burn (who were fantastic – both the singer and the guitarist jumped down into the crowd to get everyone going, but it was a 2pm gig so people maybe weren’t really into it just yet!), Landmarks (met them afterwards, joined the band not long after!), ROAM (crowd was so young and crazy, silly number of stage divers/crowd surfers!), Light You Up (lots of energy), Moose Blood (who were miserable. Just miserable the entire time. Don’t know if it was the end of their tour or something and they were knackered? Hardly even said two words to the crowd. Such a shame because they were so fun last time), Man Overboard (great end to a long day of gigs).
It was a very young crowd. Can’t help but feel that if it wasn’t for people my age and older going to punk gigs constantly for the past 10 years, punk bands (especially american ones) wouldn’t even bother coming over for tours, and bands like ROAM wouldn’t even exist. But maybe I shouldn’t be such a curmudgeon. Let them have their fun. Sooner or later it’ll be them in my position, looking at the younger ones in the crowd wondering when they got older!
We went to PBR at Joshua Brooks briefly afterwards – it was so sweaty and the queue for the bar was just awful. Also, they just played chart music and cheese the entire time we were there! So we left and went Satans and had a great night! Learned my lesson – Satans is always the better option.
Event: Slam Dunk Festival 2015
Location: Wolves Civic Hall
Went with: Gaz, Sarah, Katherine, Clare
We got the coach down at 9am. The coach driver was an arse. Assumed that we were being trouble causers because we were sat on the back seats. Treated us like we were kids. We put in a formal complaint about his attitude and the way he spoke to us. Really didn’t start the day off well!
We arrived and got a breakfast at a pub, which made us feel a bit better.
We queued for aaaages to get in! The queue system was ridiculous. Queues just seemed to start and end at random points.
We finally got in and watched Knuckle Puck, a little dejected by the whole coach and queuing fiascos.
We queued again to get our first pint. Got to literally the front of the queue and were told they had run out of beer. This was at about 2pm. The day was not going well so far. Luckily they managed to restock their supplies soon after this.
We then went and saw ROAM. I remember us saying that seeing these guys was the moment that really started the day for us. We had pints in our hands, the weather was nice and the band really got the energy going. It was top. They threw these inflatable lilos out into the crowd and told people to surf their way up to the stage, which was chaotic! Also, the singer did a standing backflip on stage, which was pretty cool.
After this we made our way into the main stage for the first time and saw Neck Deep. People were going wild for them but, like usual, I just thought they were alright.
Zebrahead were our next band. We weren’t really planning on seeing these guys but I’m so glad we did. They were great fun! By the end of their set I think we agreed that we would see them when they came on tour around the UK again. I hope we do!
After this we made our way to the second outdoor stage to see Finch. I only really knew two Finch songs, so I was just waiting for those songs to be played really! They played Letters To You about 5 songs in and I loved it, and after that it started to rain a little bit, so we left before the end of their set and checked out the merch stands.
We then made our way into the main stage building again and passed a door to another stage where Godlfinger were playing. I only know two Goldfinger songs, and these two happened to be the two songs that we caught in the few minutes that we stood watching them! We saw ’99 Red Balloons’ and ‘Superman’ before making our way further into the building to check out Taking Back Sunday.
TBS were great, as usual. I was getting pretty drunk by this point so I don’t really remember much of it! I remember the signer doing his signature mic-twirls. I left before the last couple of songs because I wanted to make sure I got into the tiny back stage to see Moose Blood.
I don’t remember Moose Blood. I was very drunk. All i remember was how incredibly sweaty it was in there.
After this, me Sarah, Clare and Katherine made our way outside to get in a good spot to see the headliners, The Wonder Years, while Gaz decided to see YM@6 instead (with it being probably his last chance to see them, as they mainly play arenas nowadays!). We were pretty near the front, which was great! I’d heard that people who went to Slam Dunk Leeds the night before had real trouble getting in to see TWY, so Wolves was definitely the better option! The singer got really emotional at one point because that gig was the last gig they would be playing with Fireworks (who I think were splitting up?). It was a touching moment.
After this we had an hour to kill before the Afterparty, which started at midnight. We got a takeaway and started to realise just how tired we were. It wasn’t until we got to the Afterparty that we realised that we were not in a good way! We were all incredibly drunk and tired, having been drinking for so long that we were suffering from same-day hangovers. We soldiered on, though. Shuffling our feet and doing our best to get through the next few hours of what was probably the best playlist we could have asked for, had we been awake enough to enjoy it! Sarah even somehow managed to fall asleep on the floor next to one of the speakers.
Finally, we made out way to the coach stop. The coach arrived, we all fell asleep on the journey back.
Such an amazing day. Next time we’ll probably book a hotel rather than forcing ourselves through an afterparty while waiting for our coach back, though!
Event: Foo Fighters
Location: Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Went with: Gaz, Mike, Mike, Rhian, Keeley
Gaz and I only had one day to recover from Slam Dunk before going to Foos. Luckily I’d booked this entire week off work!
We got in to the arena, got a drink and they started playing immediately. Couldn’t have timed it better, really! We quickly made our way to a nice spot, in front of the left speaker.
The set was fantastic, and really long! Played aaaaall the hits.
Half way through the set, the entire band, including the drummer with his kit, came out onto a runway from the stage and played a few songs there, which was really cool.
I’m really glad I’ve seen them. They are one of the bands I wanted to see before I die (or they stopped touring!). They put on a really great show and I’d recommend anyone seeing them at least once in their life.
Getting out of the arena and getting home was a complete nightmare though!
Event: Brand New
Went with: Sarah, Katherine, Mike
This gig was originally supposed to be an acoustic set at RNCM but the tickets sold out in about 40 seconds. Sarah managed to get a ticket for her through a friend but I couldn’t get one. It was later announced that due to the tickets selling out so quickly, the venue was upgraded to Gorilla. I tried again to get a ticket and failed. Finally, a week before the gig, Sarah saw online that someone was advertising that they had 2 spare tickets for the gig, face vale. She contacted this person for me and the tickets arrived and I went to the gig! Took Mike.
The venue upgrade unfortunately meant that the gig was no longer an acoustic set, which was a bit of a shame. With them returning to Mcr in September, it would have been nice to see them play both an acoustic set and an electric set this year, rather than two electric sets. But I’m not complaining, getting to see Brand New in any capacity is always a treat!
Their set was amazing. The order of the first half of the setlist kind of went back in time, starting with the new song ‘Mene’ and ending at halfway through the setlist with songs from ‘Your Favourite Weapon’. After that they just played some of their other great songs.
The encore was just Jesse by himself on stage. He played ‘Moshi Moshi’ in the encore, which was the first time I’ve ever heard it played live!
We stopped in to Thirst Scholar after the gig to catch The River Versus again! So it was a full night of live music!
Event: The Ghost Train
Location: Royal Exchange Theatre
Went with: Sarah
Again, not exactly a gig, but…
I’d won free tickets from homes4U (although I suspect that it was rigged for me to win, as I’ve had a few problems with Homes4U over the past few years!). It was to celebrate Homes4U’s 25th Anniversary as a company. The other invitees were homes4U staff and landlords.
It was a bit of a weird occasion, as they were all celebrating, but there was free booze, so I didn’t mind! And Free ice cream in the interval!
The show was great. Really funny thriller about a group of people stranded in a creepy train station in the middle of nowhere. Written years ago, by a guy who was in ‘Dad’s Army’.
Event: Modest Mouse
Location: The Ritz
Went with: Jack, Chris and Oli
They were one of the bands that I hoped I would get to see this year, as documented in my ‘Gigs of 2014’ post (https://nicfoley.wordpress.com/gigs-of-2014/). My wish came true!
It was an incredibly hot and sweaty room! Stood on the balcony and the sweat was dripping off us! Pretty unpleasant.
The support act were OK. Thought they sounded exactly like Little comets/Vampire Weekend/Tokyo Police Club… Nothing new, really.
Modest Mouse were good. Huge number of instruments on stage, including 2 drum kits (which I doubt was actually necessary). All band members were multi-instrumentalists, which was pretty impressive.
They played a few songs I know, including, most notably, my favourite song, Ocean Breathes Salty. They didn’t play ‘Parting of the Sensory’, though. Which is a shame, would have been a great set-closer!
As we were in Manchester, it would have been cool if Johnny Marr joined them on stage for a song or two. Unfortunately this didn’t happen.
Overall, wasn’t as amazing an experience as I thought it would be. It was still good, but I probably wouldn’t see them again unless they released another album as good as ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’
Event: Landmarks (My first gig playing with the band!)
Location: Sound Control & UK Tour
Went with: Landmarks, Sarah, Mum, Gaz, Mike
I’ll document the whole process of joining Landmarks in a separate post at a later date, I think.
Event: Frank Turner
Location: Night & Day Cafe
Went with: Sarah, Katherine, Katherine’s friend Michael
Frank Turner had played a short acoustic gig earlier in the day at HMV in the Arndale, which Sarah and Katherine went to. They learned at this gig that he was playing a ‘secret’ gig later on that day, at Night And Day Cafe.
I wasn’t even planning on going, I was just sat in my flat wondering what to do with my evening when I decided that seeing some live music never hurt anyone and it’s far better than sitting inside doing nothing!
I went down and met them outside, expecting to have to queue up to get in. Unfortunately, the gig had completely sold out. Turns out the gig wasn’t as secret as we were lead to believe. We tried bargaining with the guy on the dour, but he was having none of it.
We had no choice but to stand outside the front window of the bar and strain our ears to try and hear what song he was playing. It was less than ideal.
After about two thirds of the gig went by with us stood outside drinking cans of strongbow on the street, Katherine and Michael decided to give one last go at getting in. They chatted to the guy on the door, who was really friendly, but still had no luck getting in.
Sarah decided that she was going to give it one last go, but she had a different tactic. She waited until people came out for a smoke, then followed them back in. I was perfectly willing to let her try this and continue standing outside, but as she was going through the door, Michael says to me “You can’t let her try getting in on her own! Go with her!” and pushes me into the doorway. I followed Sarah through. As we walked past the guy on the door, Sarah wasn’t even given a second glance. Following a couple of steps behind, I looked suspiciously detached from the group of smokers we were supposedly following in. The doorman reached out to stop be but I pretended I hadn’t seen him. He asked to see my hand stamp, so I showed him my hand, which displayed a conspicuous lack of hand stamp, and then turned around and walked quickly into the crowd of people in the gig.
Felt pretty bad for sneaking in, for some reason, so we bought a few expensive drinks at the bar, so that the venue was at least getting some money for letting us in (even if they didn’t have much say on the matter).
Having experienced both, I can definitively say that it is much better to witness live music when you are actually inside the venue, rather than being stood outside.
He played some amazing songs. I didn’t know quite a few of the ones I heard, as I’m a relatively new fan, having only been introduced to his music by Sarah last year. Which is another reason I felt bad for getting in to the gig – Katherine, who is a die-hard fan, was still stood outside in the street, unable to get in. Oops.
If nothing else, this gig confirmed for me that I have to see this guy play live music again soon. Hopefully I’ll actually buy a ticket for the next gig.
Event: Tigers Jaw
Location: Sound Control
Went with: Sarah & Katherine
This was an amazing gig. They played all the songs we wanted to hear. Ended on ‘I Saw Water’ and it was fantastic! Crowd went wild.
It was the bassist’s 100th gig with the band, and the support band all came on to the stage with balloons and streamers during one of the last songs of the set. One of them was dressed in a Kermit onesie.
Really great performance from a really great band.
Event: Brand New
Location: Albert Hall
Went with: Gaz, Mike, Rob, Tim, Josh, Ben, Danny, Jake, Jemima, Sarah, Katherine, Millie
Brand New seems to be the one band that brings everyone together. The one band which everyone agrees are an incredible band, despite their own personal music preference.
I was fortunate enough to say that this would be my second time seeing them this year!
They kicked off the set with ‘SoCo Amaretto Lime’, which is the song that they ended with at the gig earlier in the year. Mike made a good point about this: It was a nice way to start the gig because, for those of us who managed to get tickets for the June gig, it was like a continuation of that last show. A ‘part 2’, that followed on nicely from the first gig.
They didn’t play ‘mene’ this time but did play the other new one ‘Sealed to Me’, which sounds great. Sounds like it’s going to be amazing when its recorded, too.
They had a light set up behind the drummer, which made his shadow appear massive on the ceiling of the venue, which was really cool, especially as the Albert Hall is an old building with an ornate ceiling. Juxtaposing that with the image of a guy beating the hell out of some drums was a pretty great sight! Dunno if it was intentional, but it looked great.
Event: No Such Thing As A Fish – Live
Location: The Lowry Theatre
Went with: Jack
Despite us both feeling pretty ill on the day, we both really enjoyed it.
First half of the show was stand-up and little funny bits, which was pretty cool. Second half was the podcast, which was really interesting and funny!
Jack dared me to make a dolphin noise during the opening applause so that we could hear ourselves on the podcast recording and, like a dick, I did it. Fortunately (unfortunately), this cannot be heard on the actual recording.
Event: Landmarks – Amplify’s 5th Birthday
Location: A Youth Club near Warrington
Went with: Landmarks
This gig was in aid of Amplify’s 5th birthday, which is a Youth Music Project held at a Youth Club for 14-19 year olds (no alcohol).
It was really good fun and we played a great set. This was the first time we played ‘With Clarity’ and, during the song, the lights went out in the whole venue and we had to carry on playing in pitch black (only for about 20 seconds, although it felt like much longer!)
All the organisers were really friendly, awesome people
Event: Landmarks – Supporting Like Torches
Location: Sound Control
Went with: Landmarks, Mum & Dad, Sarah, Mike, Mike, Jake, Jemima, Chris Hough
Loads of my friends came to watch us play this gig, and my parents, which was really great! I reall appreciated everyone coming down!
I really enjoyed playing this gig, despite having basically no stage room and the sound guy being a bit of a turd (he started bragging about the drugs he did on his recent holiday, as if we cared).
The headliners didn’t bother to watch us play, so i didn’t feel obliged to watch them. Band courtesy, and all that.
Grumble Bee played after us though and they were pretty great. He kept getting shocked from his Mic though, so Sarah handed him her scarf to wrap around the microphone. He gave her a free T-shirt to say thanks. Seemed like really nice guy.
Event: Landmarks – Oxjam Festival
Location: The Eagle Inn, Salford
Went with: Landmarks
The bands we played with were: Tirade (pretty good, very technical rock. Not my kinda thing, although Adam loved them.) Not Today (relatively young band, the guitarist was smashed and ruined it a bit. Really friendly guys though), To Kill A Clown, which featured a singer who I recognised from another band in 2010 called Singing At Manuel, when I worked as a barman and we had a few bands in. And On The Open Road – Jack Dutton’s band, who were pretty cool guys, keeping their set together despite numerous things going wrong (guitar strap snapping, for one!)
Our set was pretty good, probably the best one i’ve played in a while.
Event: The Story So Far
Location: Academy 2
Went with: Sarah
I had bought two tickets for this gig for Sarah for her birthday. She kindly decided to take me with the second ticket!
Before the gig, I had said to Sarah “I’m glad none of my ex-girlfriends were particularly cool, because it means that I’ll never have to awkwardly see them at a gig!” She said “Yeah, there’s only really one of mine that I might bump in to at a gig at some point, but that’s unlikely”. Not even five minutes after saying ths, we bumped in to the person Sarah was talking about!
The gig was great, Parker Cannon really makes that band. Without him they probably wouldn’t be anywhere. The rest of the band just kind of stand around, don’t even seem that into it. Parker is full of energy (even at this point in the tour) and his voice is spot-on. It must be hard to pull-off that kind of scream-signing for a full hour.
When they played Quicksand, the room went wild.
I know I’m old now because I held my girlfriend’s coat and bag at the side of the room as she went in to the pit during the last three songs!
2015 In Summary…
Favourite Gig Attended:
- Tigers Jaw – Flawless performance from a truly remarkable band.
Favourite Gig Played (New Category!):
- Birmingham – Good turnout, played with some great bands, the venue wasn’t bad and our set was pretty tight. Overall, a success.
Favourite Gig Moment:
- I’d love to say playing my first gig with Landmarks was my favourite gig moment, but I was far too terrified in that moment!
- Instead, I think either Less Than Jake repeatedly playing their 20-second ‘cereal advert jingle’ entitled ‘You Can Do It, Pac-Man!’, OR Brand New. Not a particular moment from the Brand New gigs.. just the entire experience, really.
A look back at what I was looking forward to about this year…
- Modest Mouse – These were one of the bands that, in 2014, I hoped would announce a 2015 tour. They did announce a 2015 tour, which I was ecstatic about, but the gig I went to was a bit of a let down.
- Knuckle Puck – They played a pretty great set! I can’t wait to see this band again!
- Interpol – Glad I went to this, but it wasn’t a gig that’s going to go down in history as one of the greats.
- Foo Fighters – This was a fantastic gig. So happy that I’ve now seen the Foos (and they lived up to my high expectations in 2014!)
- Less Than Jake (and Yellowcard) – LTJ were so much fun, as expected. Yellowcard were alright, too.
- Man Overboard – It was a long wait to go to this gig, but it was worth it. Also, this was the first gig that I saw Landmarks at, and the first time I met them before I joined the band!
- Moose Blood – Ended up seeing these guys three times this year! The first time I saw them, in Star & Garter, was my favourite. Their set at Slam Dunk was pretty good, too (although I was far too drunk to remember it well…). In complete contrast, their set at Pinky Swear festival was dreary, dull and disappointing.
Gigs In 2016…
Gigs looking forward to next year:
- Funeral For A Friend (Twice!) – Wow. Can’t express how much I’m looking forward to seeing these two ‘fairwell’ gigs! They’re playing ‘Hours’ on the first night and ‘Casually Dressed’ on the second night, both in their entirety. Mind-blowing.
- The Wonder Years/Enter Shikari – What a strange mix of bands… Should be a cool experience though!
- The Front Bottoms – I’ve listened to their album ‘Talon of the Hawk’ to death. Can’t wait to hear those songs live!
Tours I hope Will Be Announced Next Year:
- The Academy Is… – With them, at least temporarily, reforming to play some 10-Year Anniversary shows for their album ‘Almost Here’, there’s a good chance they may decide to do some shows over on this side of the Atlantic. If they do, I’ll be sure the get a ticket!
- Say Anything – Still holding out hope. One of these days!
- Blink 182 – With their recent lineup change, and work being done on a new album, I hope that they will announce some shows in 2017!