Earlier on in the week I went to see Yuck at the Electric Ballroom. Their album has been one of my favourite things to listen to, so it was very nice to see them at their own headlining gig. It was a short but sweet set, and the songs resonated with something that doesn’t quite come across on record. Hopefully they will continue on to good things.

Last night was a bit of a different gig; Friendly Fires at Brixton Academy, the end of a triumphant four night run. It was a late night affair with the doors not opening until 9pm which gave us plenty of time to get ready and head to south London. Unfortunately my friend managed to trip up the stairs on the way in, so we missed all the support acts and DJs as we were in the medical room backstage! We got released just in time to run out and hear the first song, so thankfully nothing important was lost. Ed was on true hip-shaking form, and the whole of the venue bounced in time with him. It has already turned into a blur of singing and dancing in my head but the songs take it up to a whole new level live, pushing you higher and further. There were hula girls handing out garlands during Hawaiian Air at the end, and Kiss of Life seemed to stretch on forever in a maddening frenzy, but of course it must have ended at some point and we were left with ringing ears on the nightbus home.

The setlist for Friendly Fires was:

Jump In The Pool
Running Away
Blue Cassette
True Love
On Board
Skeleton Boy
Show Me Lights
In The Hospital
Live Those Days Tonight
Pull Me Back To Earth
Hawaiian Air
Kiss Of Life


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.


First matter of the day, as always, is gigs. I actually had a break from gigging last week when I went to see a musical instead! It was the national touring production of Spring Awakening at the Greenwich Theatre, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I missed out on the west end version a few years back as I had stupidly assumed it would be there for a while, so I’m glad I managed to catch this version. I took a friend who had never seen a musical before and it was pretty amusing to watch her reactions.

Even more must-see gig tickets have been released this week and last, and I’ve had to put a fair few on my to-buy list as I’m currently saving my spare change for Glastonbury. The list includes Amanda Palmer, Patrick Wolf, Yuck, Bombay Bicycle Club, Combichrist and possibly Arctic Monkeys at the O2 Arena.

Of course there was a gig last night as well; We Are Scientists at Koko. It was a sell-out show and by the time I arrived around 8pm, the floor was already packed with eager fans. I only caught the second support act, Tall Ships, but I was very impressed by them. They were a bit like Biffy Clyro crossed with Radiohead using loops to intricately layer their guitars, definitely one to watch in the future. We Are Scientists managed to pack a surprising number of hits into their hour and 15 min set, so much so that the teenagers around me barely stopping pogoing in excitement. It was a lovely mix of tracks, with each album getting a pretty equal representation. Their trademark stage banter added to the entertainment and I was particularly amused by their tales of how they claim to be a band from London now that drummer Andy Burrows has joined their ranks. I’m pretty sad that they aren’t at any of my festivals this year. I’ll be needing some form of Autumn gig to keep me going until the next album.

Nice Guys
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
I Don’t Bite
This Scene Is Dead
Rules Don’t Stop
Break It Up
Chick Lit
It’s A Hit
The Great Escape
Can’t Lose
Jack & Ginger
Foreign Kicks
After Hours

It’s all busy on the jewellery etc. front, as I have some exciting new ideas for designs and canvas bags. I may be selling at a Craft Market in Brick Lane in July too, so look out for more information on that.

Next week I will be MIA for a while as I’m off to Glastonbury Festival. I’m pretty excited as it’s my first time going, and not even the predictions of rain have put a dampener on my spirits. Although I’ve bought some new wellies as a precaution.. I’ve been working out my timetable of bands to see, although I’m still not sure how many of them I will get to. It’s easy at Reading as nothing is more than 5 minutes away, so you can watch half the set of one band and then sprint to another stage for half of another. At Glasto I’ve been told it can take up 30 mins between stages, and that’s in good weather! I think I’ll just have to take it easy and go with the flow, and as long as I see Queens of the Stone Age I don’t really care!