[sic] Magazine

Sub-Editor 2013 Round-Up pt. 1: Gigs Of The Year

Surely not? It’s here again?! Didn’t I just get done with last year’s list season? Afraid not, for, yes, it’s that time of the year again, so let’s ease into things here at [sic] with a summary of the best gigs this fanboy managed to make it to this year.

Watch this space for the next inevitable installments of the series: tracks and albums.
1. The International Festival Of Psychedelia @ The Camp & Furnace/The Blade Factory, Liverpool, 27-28/09

Is a festival a gig? When does one stop and the other begin? I’ve been stumped by this question before and I won’t be solving it now, but either way it doesn’t matter because this year I’m including festivals in my list simply because it’s my list and I’m like that.

Anyway … back on track, what a two days it was in Liverpool in the company of Carlton Melton , Lorelle Meets The Obsolete , Dead Meadow , Psychic Ills , Moon Duo , Hookworms , White Manna and Fuzz . It really was Christmas come early and dressed in kaleidoscopic shades of locked-groove excess.

2. Leonard Cohen @ The P4U Arena, Manchester, 31/08

It takes something special to bother with a trip to an arena venue, but Leonard Cohen is more than special and over almost three hours he proved it time and again with an energetic set containing some of the greatest hits ever written sung by one of music’s greatest voices – the sort of show very fond memories are made of.

3. OFF Festival @ Katowice, Poland, 02-04/08

The second of two tremendous festivals in this top three, it was my second year to the sunny OFF Festival and it surely won’t be last. Though, with a killer line-up including Dope Body , Cloud Nothings , The Smashing Pumpkins , Merchandise , The Walkmen , Godspeed You! Black Emperor , Japandroids , Thee Oh Sees , Deerhunter , Goat and My Bloody Valentine , success was never really in doubt, was it?

4. How To Dress Well @ The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 15/05

Touring 2012’s rather brilliant Total Loss LP, this was an extraordinary performance from Tom Krell in, let’s face it, and unusual but utterly perfect venue, his tailor-made visuals and tender vocal powerful in the extreme.

5. Torres @ The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 17/07

An unknown on entry, a revelation on exit – I love it when this happens – Mackenzie Scott captivating the barely-there crowd with her devastating poetry and stripped-back playing. A performance to treasure and keep to one’s self lest sharing it tarnishes it in any way.

6. Strand Of Oaks @ The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 04/09

Very similar in a way to the Torres show, every-day dude and all-round likeable egg Timothy Showalter took to the stage in front of only a handful of locals and converted each and every one of them to staunch believers, his isolated Americana and heartland rock absolutely jaw-dropping.

7. Metz , Titus Andronicus , Fucked Up @ Sound Control, Manchester, 29/05

The best hardcore live-show in the world keep their place on this list for the second year in a row, and joining the imperious Fucked Up whirlwind on this occasion were two awesome bands in their own right. This was a night of camaraderie and good vibes as much as it was about cutting loose and getting nasty.

8. Dirty Beaches @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, 11/05

Globe-drifting soul Alex Zhang Hungtai is just looking for a place to lay down some roots, his music becoming increasingly dangerous and dark all the while he doesn’t. He dutifully flits in and out of Manchester tonight, but the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake is enormous.

9. The National @ The Apollo, Manchester, 12/10

Ah, The National. As comfortable as a Man City home win, as essential as drinking in the sunshine. This wasn’t a vintage National show from my point of view up in the Gods, but even a pretty good performance from these boys (men) is still well worth the admittance.

10. Swearin’ , Waxahatchee @ Le Point Ephémère, Paris 17/10

What a belting little venue on the banks of the St-Martin canal, as well as an ideal way to start a few days holiday on the continent. Swearin’ brought back plaid-bound memories of college rock, Katie Crutchfield of Waxatchee all the rose-tinted moments you spent with your first real girlfriend.

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