Pinch and a punch

And so it begins. It wasn’t far (6km), it wasn’t fast (5:23/km), but it was running and that’s what counts. The Frenchman will try and tell me otherwise, but he’s just increasing his risk of an early injury. Perhaps he’s never heard of the tortoise and the hare.

Enough of that though. Continuing on from yesterday’s list of albums that I listened to most last year, I thought it’d be interesting to try and get a list of the artists I saw live. This’ll be partly from memory and partly from Google Calendar entries. Numbers represent multiple gigs. And so…

  • Dave Hause (2)
  • Franz Nicolay (3)
  • The Streets
  • The Queers
  • Dee Cracks
  • Murderburgers (3?)
  • Gogol Bordello
  • Laura Cantrell
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Frank Turner (2)
  • Iron Chic
  • Low
  • Abigail Washburn
  • Andrew Jackson Jihad
  • Dananananaykroyd
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Bad Religion
  • Cheap Girls
  • Lemuria
  • Flogging Molly
  • Revival Tour (Dave Hause, Brian Fallon, Chuck Ragan & Dan Andriano)
  • The Cat Empire
  • Cake
  • Lau
  • Chris TT

I’m not going to rank them, but there are definitely some standouts. Anything that took place in the basement of The 13th Note in Glasgow is always fun because it’s so close and intimate. The only one I saw there that wasn’t so good was Iron Chic and that was only because I couldn’t see anything, rather than the band, who were amazing. The AJJ and Cheap Girls were both incredible.

Flogging Molly simply blew me away. Turns out they have one of the best live shows I’ve seen, if only because of the crowd. I have never heard singing quite so loud at a show. During one track, Drunken Lullabies I think, they drowned out the band. Part of me wanted to head downstairs and jump in the pit, but I’m happy keeping out of it these days.

The Cat Empire, Frank Turner, Drive-By Truckers and Lau all put on their reliably great shows. They’re all acts that I don’t think twice about before buying a ticket.

Seeing The Streets on their final tour was an eye-opener. For that one I was down in the pit because, to be honest, I hadn’t figured there would be one. However, Mike Skinner can really get the crowd going and we danced and danced for a couple of hours. Bruises and smiles.

The year was pretty muck book-ended by Franz Nicolay. In January I saw him play with Dave Hause and The Murderburgers at the City Cafe in Edinburgh. He then supported Frank Turner in May and played in Dunfermline again in November. The November gig was a bit strange as it was completely dead. I’m not sure if there were even half a dozen paying punters there. However, he and Chris TT are professionals and still put on a great show.

Low was great as it meant I got to bump into a friend before he left for Australia. Cake was great, apart from them rushing through The Big Single which ruined the encore. I really hope that Abigail Washburn and Kai come back again this year.

Ah, The Queers. I’ve been wanting to see them nearly a decade and finally, finally, I would. It was an all-day punkfest through in Glasgow with six or seven bands and The Queers on last. By the time Joe and co. took to the stage, a lot of the crowd were drunk and rowdy. The venue had a really low ceiling and people were bouncing off it and hanging onto fixtures. Then one of them held on a little too long and rigging started coming away. Naturally, the gig stopped as we held the offending bits of roof aloft until it could be fixed. The Queers came back on, we were warned that there would be no more crowd surfing tolerated, and five minutes later it was all over when someone went flying.

All in all, it seemed appropriate. I got to see them play a dozen songs or so, the other bands were good, and I left swiftly before the cops turned up.