Apologies if this has been done already and I’ve missed it, but I thought I’d post my gigs of the year and invite others to do the same.
I’ve been to more live shows in 2016 than I have in some time – 40-plus – though a quick run through of my diary reveals my old fart tendencies.
1 – Edwyn Collins, The Roundhouse, January 29. Front row seats for my of my favourite artists, and we spent a couple of hours after the show with him and got Paul Cook’s setlist signed by everyone on stage. One of the highlights of my musical life.
2 – Lloyd Cole and the Leopards, Brooklyn Bowl, August 19. London’s worst venue, but a rare chance to see Lloyd do some old and I loved every minute. I bought a CD of the show and was delighted that my calculated shot at getting on the recording had worked. It’s the CD I’ve played the most this year, the man deserves more recognition. The Union Chapel acoustic show was just as good.
3 – Billy Childish and the CTMF, The Lexington, May 21. I’ve seen Billy do his R ‘n’ B thing dozens of times over the decades and it never gets old for me. He’s in love with basic garage rock and so do I. This was his first London show for eight years and the grin sat on my face for days afterwards, despite a refreshed Mark Riley getting the arse when I told him I’d seen him in The Fall and that I liked his work with The Creepers.
4 – Wilko Johnson, The Forum, April 23. I’m a Southend boy and I think Wilko was the first fella I ever paid money to see play the guitar. I’ve seen him pretty much every year for the last 35 and he’s always wonderful. This gig wasn’t any different from any of the others – he’s an old school pro and I just know I’m going to have a great night.
5 – Billy Bragg, The Lexington, December 7. One of a series of low-key gigs to celebrate Cooking Vinyl’s 30th birthday. I’ve loved Billy since Spy Vs Spy came out wen I was a sixth former, though the last few LPs have left me fairly unmoved. This was the setlist I would have chosen – mostly his hugely underrated early love songs, and loads from the usually ignored Brewing including From a Vauxhall Velux. Which I love.