Apologies for the barrage of gig reviews recently, it’s just that October seems to be my designated gig month of 2011 and I haven’t really been doing much else.

Last Friday I went to see Death From above 1979 at Brixton Academy. Before my thoughts on the band, I have to ask does anyone know what the f*ck is going on with the stage? They’ve put in a platform in the front half that levels off the ground and brings it flush with the original stage, and then they have built a smaller stage on top of it with scaffolding. It looks rubbish and also means that you don’t have the view advantage that came with the sloped floor, so I really hope it’s not permanent.

Anyway; the bands. I got there too late for the first support act, Me, but I had the unfortunate luck to witness The Computers. The music was pretty good, the band had a thing going on with their matching white outfits, but the lead singer totally ruined it by screaming all the vocals and making seriously cheesy remarks in between songs. Usually I don’t mind a bit of screaming here and there, but the music really didn’t suit it so it just ended up sounding odd. Consider me not impressed.

Death From Above 1979 were great though, and they played through a swift set as their now-familiar reunion banner hung behind them. The crowd started off a bit apprehensive but soon warmed up, and everyone around me was happily dancing, moshing and flailing through their favourite tracks. The highlight for me was Romantic Rights where Sebastien took a little wander around the stage and down to the fans, before leaping back onto his drumkit for the manic ending to the song. I don’t think anyone could complain about the setlist, with the majority of ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’, ‘Heads Up’ and various b-sides getting an airing. The only issue I had was that the sound wasn’t amazing, but then none of the gigs I’ve seen DFA1979 do this year have had great sound so it may just be an issue with the way they play.

The setlist was:

Turn It Out
Dead Womb
Going Steady
Too Much Love
Cold War
Black History Month
Go Home, Get Down
Little Girl
Blood On Our Hands
You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
Pull Out
We Don’t Sleep At Night
Romantic Rights
Do It!
You’re Lovely (But You’ve Got Lots Of Problems)
Losing Friends

My latest gig was The Horrors at the Roundhouse last night. I was seriously excited for this as I have been playing their newest album ‘Skying’ non-stop since it came out, and I’ve been really impressed with all the performances I have seen this year. I took my mum along as well as she’s been loving their last two albums. The support act Toy were good enough to warm the crowd up, but not particularly memorable. We got some drinks and moved into the centre of the crowd to get the best view, with myself assuring my mum that The Horrors’ crowd weren’t a jumpy lot. How wrong I was!

It was just a fantastic, mesmerising gig. The setlist wasn’t particularly long, but we got an addition to the encore in the form of ‘Monica Gems’ and some of the more lengthy tracks helped to pad the set out to around 80 minutes. The band looked to be enjoying themselves as much as the bouncing audience, with hair flying as they whirled their guitars around in the strobing lights. Even Faris managed a few words in between songs and didn’t look quite as menacing as usual. As they ended the set with a hypnotic rendition of ‘Moving Further Away’, it was clear that they have moved very far away from their original kitschy goth personas of the first album, and instead focussed on creating lush, rolling soundscapes. Perfect gig, perfect album, I am happy.


Changing The Rain
Who Can Say
I Can See Through You
Scarlet Fields
Dive In
Three Decades
Endless Blue
You Said
Sea Within A Sea
Still Life
Mirror’s Image
Monica Gems
Moving Further Away

(This was literally the only semi-decent photo I got. Damn those atmospheric moody lights!)

In other news this week: I have hit my 52 book challenge for the year (I upped it from 40 when I completed that a couple of months ago) so my book plan now is to finish off my remaining unread books, and then re-read the Harry Potter series. I’m trying not to buy any more in the meantime, but I caved today at the Southbank book market with a cheap copy of Iain Banks’ The Crow Road, plus the new Discworld comes out today so that is an essential purchase. It’s much better than before though, when I had 25 books that I hadn’t yet read!

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Amy has

completed her goal of reading 52 books in 2011!


You know how I mentioned earlier that Metronomy keep getting better every time I see them? Well that’s still true. Seriously, I’ve seen them about 5 times this year and at the end of every gig I think, well that was amazing, it really can’t get better. And then it does! I’ve been a fan of them since I saw them supporting CSS in 2007, so it’s been nice to see them grow from a band that used poundland push lights on their chests into a band that now have a large fanbase and got nominated for a Mercury Music Prize. It was this nomination that meant they could play the vast Royal Albert Hall and comfortably sell it out.

It was a bit of an odd gig at first as everyone was sat down, and no-one wanted to be the first person to stand up and start dancing. Sadly they played ‘Love Underlines’ right at the beginning so I had to just chair bounce to that one instead of my usual mad dancing, but as soon as they reached ‘She Wants’ it was enough to get everyone on their feet. They had so many fantastic little moments, like Oscar Cash being pushed on in a synth on wheels, and a previous band member appearing on the stairs to perform a solo. Together with their flawless funky pop it was enough to put smiles on everyone’s faces and raise the roof with the audience’s applause. It’s one of those gigs that people will be talking about for a long time, and if you weren’t there you have missed out.

Unfortunately I cannot find the setlist anywhere for the life of me and I can only remember patches. If anyone finds it, please let me know!

There are lots more gigs coming up in October, including Death From Above 1979, The Horrors, IAMX, Bombay Bicycle Club and Miles Kane so it’s going to be a pretty busy one for me!


As I mentioned previously, I went to see Arcade Fire last week. Unfortunately it got off to a bad start when despite having an early access pass, I was let in slightly after the general admission crowd. I had paid a rather large amount for this pass and to say I was annoyed would be an understatement. Luckily when I finally got in, I cornered the organiser and he took my details and promised to take action on it. I made my way to the stage and managed to get myself a place on the barrier, albeit off to the left by the screens. The first three support acts were all entertaining enough to make the time pass, and I even got interviewed for a documentary about the gig (and my photo taken a few times as I was reading a book inbetween acts. Apparently this is not a normal sight!). Then came Mumford & Sons and oh my god, did they ever drag on. I have never much liked them as their music has too much banjo for me, but it seems that live they are even worse. Every song sounds exactly the same and I can tell you that an hour and 10 minutes of them is absolute torture! To make it even worse, it seemed that everyone around me was mostly there with the sole intent of seeing them, so I looked very out of place just standing still on the barrier while all around me the crowd went crazy for yet another banjo solo.

Finally Mumford & Sons were over, people around me actually left and I could unplug my ears. Now it was time for Arcade Fire, and the stage was decked out with bunting and a cinema-style marquee. They arrived onstage promptly and without fuss and immediately launched into the single ‘Ready To Start’, a song that I assumed everyone would know and love. Unfortunately for me, the crowd around me had minimal movement and the girls directly next to me on the barrier looked bored throughout the whole thing. I tried not to let it deter me, but it’s hard to feel like you can let go and enjoy yourself when no-one around you is moving. Luckily the band was on top form and the setlist was great. We even got the first live rendition of ‘Speaking In Tongues’ which was a nice bonus. I came away with the buzz of an amazing show, despite the boring crowd and access issues, and it’s had the problem of making me want more Arcade Fire gigs now. I may have to look into Edinburgh in September.

The setlist was:

Ready To Start
Wake Up
No Cars Go
Speaking In Tongues
Crown Of Love
The Suburbs
The Suburbs (Continued)
Month Of May
Rebellion (Lies)
Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)
We Used To Wait
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Keep The Car Running
Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

Here is a slightly rubbish photo from my temporary small camera.

The next day I received an email from the organiser of the early access passes offering his apologies for the confusion, and asking if I would like a VIP pass for the Wireless Festival Sunday date. Pulp, The Hives and free booze? I typed yes so quickly I almost broke my fingers.

I have to say, having VIP access to a festival has given me the taste for it now! It was lovely to have a free bar and nice toilets to retreat to. I also managed to get in a few choice bands, including Yuck, Metronomy, The Horrors, The Hives and Foals. Pulp were the headliners and they were really quite incredible. Jarvis still leaps around the stage like a man twenty years his junior, climbing the speakers and tossing out casual quips to the crowd. The setlist was near perfect as well, with a great mix of hits and rarities to keep the more die-hard fans satisfied. The only thing that would have made it better was seeing it with my friends, and luckily I will when they headline Reading in August.

The setlist:

Do You Remember The First Time?
Pink Glove
Mile End
Something Changed
Disco 2000
Sorted for E’s and Wizz
I Spy
This Is Hardcore
Bar Italia
Common People


I’m back from Glasto, and just about recovered enough to write down a few coherent thoughts and reviews.

Firstly though, before I forget, I want to just jot down a few words on the Patrick Wolf gig I attended last Monday at the Garage. It was a private gig to celebrate his newest release, Lupercalia, and the tickets were given away to fans who had preordered the album. It was quite an unusual gig with no support act and a start time of 8pm (which of course turned into 8:30pm as Patrick was late) and the fans felt a bit more subdued than his normal crowd. Perhaps it was a case of people winning the tickets who wouldn’t normally have paid to go and see him. Nevertheless I enjoyed myself and we got a few treats in the form of the rarely played ‘Teignmouth’ and ‘Wolf Song’, plus hearing some of the new songs live has made me like them more. ‘Together’ is now ensconced as one of my favourite tracks from the new album. Patrick himself veered between emotional and ecstatic, and spent most of the encore in with the crowd, singing and dancing with his fans. Overall it was not the best gig I’ve seen him do (possibly owing to the fact I’m not a fan of Lupercalia in general) but it was still a pleasant evening. Plus there was the bonus of getting home before 11 for a change!

See below for the setlist:

Time Of My Life
Wolf Song
The Libertine
Slow Motions
The Falcons
Bermondsey Street
The Days
The Bachelor
This City
The Future
Tristan Remix

Glastonbury, oh Glastonbury. It’s barely been a day, and I’ve already mostly forgotten the horrible slog from the carpark to the campsite, the sea of mud and the Friday full of pissing rain. All that I remember now are the sunny days, the strong cider and the glorious bands. It really was an experience, although I am secretly glad that there isn’t another one until 2013. I don’t think I’ve walked so much over a single weekend in my life! Band highlights include The Vaccines really living up to their hype, Biffy Clyro rocking out despite the rain, Yuck being sublime, The Horrors blowing me away with a surprisingly fantastic performance, The Chemical Brothers and their massive field of ravers, and of course Queens of the Stone Age, for closing Glastonbury with the best set I have seen in a long time. We also did the Arcadia and Shangri-La experience on Saturday night after The Chems, and that was like a whole festival of its own. We saw Orbital on the revolving DJ booth in the Spider in Arcadia, spent a good few hours in the block 9 gay club NYC Downlow, before getting lost in the backstreet slums of the contaminated Shangri-La. We trekked back to our camp as the sun rose and it seemed like a perfect festival moment. I also managed to get up to the Park to see one of the weekends special guests, Radiohead, although as I couldn’t see or hear much it wasn’t all too spectacular.

I’ll do another roundup of Glasto bits when I get my photos back from the developers sometime next week.

This week is the Arcade Fire gig at Hyde Park, and I’m planning to be down the front and going insane for the whole thing. With support from Owen Pallett, The Vaccines, Beirut and Mumford & Sons, it looks set to be an awesome day.