Annual Round-Up pt. 1: My 2011 – Gigs of The Year
Part one of three of my annual round-up – gigs. Watch this space for the next installment.
Yup, it swings around once again – time to summarise the year without sounding too preachy. Here goes …
Finding limited opportunities to travel this year, my home town of Manchester had to come up with the goods, and, boy, did it do just that.
1. Björk – Campfield Market Hall, Manchester International Festival, 13/07
Touring Biophilia was never going to be dull. She brought her musical Tesla coils. She brought a choir-ful of Icelandic jailbait. She brought a ridiculous wig. Oh, and the tunes were pretty good too – the spectacle even more so.
2. tUnE-yArDs – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 13/06
The true Lady gaga. Merill Garbus ‘s nu-rave face-paint amused; her skilful vocal loops amazed.
3. The Decemberists – Academy 1, Manchester, 28/03
Even Manchester’s worst venue couldn’t dampen surprising showman’s Colin Meloy ‘s spirits, and memories were made when he delved deep into The Crane Wife .
4. Thee Oh Sees – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 13/05
Somewhat buoyed by MUFC’s spanking by Barcelona, settling in for the finest contemporary psyche-garage around was a real treat.
5. Echo Lake , 2:54 – The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 13/04
Manchester’s smallest venue regularly serves up a good show, none more so than the stylish posturing of this double-header.
6. Grimes , How To Dress Well – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 09/08
As the town centre was robbed blind during the riots, beautiful sanity was offered by the adorable Clare Boucher and the fragile Tom Krell .
7. Peacesigns , Bass Drum Of Death – The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 07/11
Never was there a more energetic drummer than he from BDoD. Easily the most rockingest show of the year, and Peacesigns are getting better too.
8. Esben & The Witch – St Philips, Salford, 07/04
A bit of a mystery on record – a revelation live. The church’s acoustics were great, and these dark beasts took advantage of them in full.
9. Sleepover , Pure X – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 05/11
Sleepover’s quasi-mysticism was ultimately blown out the water by Pure X, purveyors of the slowest form of furious rage around.
10. WU LYF – The Tunnel, Manchester International Festival, 16/07
When it all came to a head for these local lads. The sound wasn’t great, but the location was. A fantastic sense of occasion.
Here’s to much more of the same next year.