[sic] Magazine

Annual Round-Up pt. 1: My 2012 – Gigs of The Year

Ah, the abject stress of list season. Let’s make it less so here at [sic] by easing into things with a summary of this year’s gigs still resonating deep within. Watch this space for the next instalments of this series: tracks and albums.

In brief, 2012 was kind, affording me some tremendous overseas action, but not to be outdone, my home town of Manchester and its immediate neighbour Salford also did themselves more than proud in terms of sounds. So, without further ado, here are my 2012 gigs of the year.


1. Pins , Savages @ The Führer/Sways Bunker, Salford, 01/05

In a cracking – if provocatively named – new venue-cum-former-mechanics, all-girl Manchester hopefuls Pins beguiled behind moody mascara before the similarly lady-like Savages ramped up their hype with a suffocating blast of post-punk noise to comfortably romp home with my GOTY award.

2. Balam Acab @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, 11/10

Mesmeric, otherworldly, achingly beautiful (come get me Stool Pigeon), there really aren’t adjectives enough for the infinitesimal gorgeousness of a Balam Acab live show and tonight was no different.

3. Japandroids @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, 23/05

Two-man party Japandroids never disappoint, here helping cement The Soup Kitchen as my Manchester venue of the year, whilst adding to their own impeccable stage reputation in the process.

4. Fair Ohs , Fucked Up @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 14/10

Potty-mouthed outfit Fair Ohs weren’t all that, but Fucked Up – in particular ferocious frontman Pink Eyes – operate on a different level entirely, scaling the heights of hardcore as well as the scenery.

5. Vessel , LIE , The Haxan Cloak , Holy Other , Evian Christ @ Islington Mill, Salford, 17/05

This Tri Angle/Future Everything festival showcase brought together many of electronica’s most exciting knob-twiddlers and Holy Other led the pack, taking the opportunity to stun with every drop.

6. Dracula Lewis , The Soft Moon @ The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 26/11

Luis Vasquez’s bedroom synth had the potential to not work on stage, but his band’s live bass and drums were a triumph, allowing his waves of crushing dark-wave to totally engulf the small crowd.

7. Deap Vally @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, 08/09

To call this hotpanted-pair’s turn eye-catching does them a disservice, for their old-world blues-rock was more than ear-catching too and their show a full tactile assault of the most primitive order.

8. Prince Rama , Sun Araw @ The Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, Australia, 25/01

Yes, I went on holiday this year. Yet, I still found time to be spellbound by Prince Rama’s deep mystic psyche before Sun Araw then got all cosmic dub. Down under sure knows which way is up alright.

9. Moonface & Siinai @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, 28/05

An odd partnership of international proportions perhaps, but a winning one as Siinai brought their trademark post-rock bluster and Spencer Krug as Moonface his seasoned leftfield intelligentsia.

10. Liars @ Sound Control, Manchester, 21/10

True, if you spent the entire time watching the peculiar projections you might have left bemused, but Liars have quietly amassed an arsenal during their 10 years together and they know how to use it live.

Special mention: OFF Festival , Katowice, Poland, 03-05/08

Not bragging honest, but this weekend in the company of Kurt Vile , Chromatics , Mazzy Star , Shabazz Palaces , Pissed Jeans , The Antlers , Thurston Moore , Iggy & The Stooges , Spectrum , Ty Segall , The Twilight Sad , Battles , Swans and Henry Rollins amongst others couldn’t slide without another mention somewhere.

See you down the front next year fellow [sic]kos.