Simply the best gigs I’ve ever been privileged to attend


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My pal Pete, and I, were discussing our all time favourite gigs after we gushed about Anohni on Wednesday night at the Edinburgh Festival.

He’s a massive James and Rolling Stones fan and said it even beat James.  I was more cautious.  Whilst I gave it a full five star rating and said it was in my all time top ten it’s had me thinking all week.

So with much consideration here are my all time top 20 favourite gigs.  Each in different ways was a five star performance.

In no particular order, because that’s too hard.

The Clash.  Edinburgh Playhouse. (Combat Rock tour)

Sufjan Stevens. Edinburgh Playhouse. (Carrie and Low tour Edinburgh International Festival – simply the best sound I have ever heard)

Anonhi. Edinburgh Playhouse. (Edinburgh Festival, this week)

Siouxsie and The Banshees. Edinburgh Playhouse. (around the time of Israel)

Kraftwerk. Edinburgh PLayhouse (front Row.  Computer Love Tour)

Kraftwerk.  King Tuts Stage (T in the Park – 3D tour)

Bill Nelson. The Nite Club (Upstairs from Edinburgh Playhouse)

Faust.  The Citrus Club (original one in Edinburgh Grassmarket (set fire to the stage with Petrol)

Simple Minds (supported by Positive Noise).  Tiffany’s, Glasgow.

Simple Minds.  Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow.( 5 x 4 Tour)

Chic. West Holts Dance Stage (Glastonbury)

Massive Attack. The Other Stage (Glastonbury)

Nic Cave and the Bad Seeds. The Pyramid Stage (Glastonbury)

John Grant. The Park Stage (Glastonbury)

Savages.  Williams Green Stage (Glastonbury)

Melody Gardot.  Voodoo Rooms

Emma Pollock. Voodoo Rooms

Laurie Anderson.  Queens Hall (possibly the O Superman tour, certainly around that time)

King Creosote performing From Scotland with Love at  The Hub Edinburgh (Edinburgh Festival)

Frank Sinatra.  Ibrox Park (Glasgow 1999 headline spot).  I’ll never forget him say that “I never thought I’d hear every single member of an Ibrox crowd cheer a Catholic”

One major point to note.  Only one single stadium gig.  The last one.

Some of the greatest were in the smallest venues; Pollock, Gardot, Bill Nelson, Faust.

Who did I never see that I wished I had?  Magazine, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Steely Dan, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Belle and Sebastian, Cocteau Twins, Can, Velvet Underground.

 

Joe Strummer. The future is unwritten.


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So, I’m the last Clash fan in the world to watch this film.  It doesn’t stop me considering it a very wonderful and intimate portrait of who, it transpires, was quite a fmessed upgenius.

OK, we always knew he was a public schoolboy doing all that gobbing stuff as a punk.

Was he a true communist?

I doubt it, but his views were passionately held and he walked the walk for as long as it really mattered.

I loved, adored, the Clash, not especially from a political ideology but because their mid-career music (especially London Calling) was the best of its generation at an age where music most consumed me.

Julian Temple’s movie demands respect because he didn’t take the fanclub approach.  He brilliantly paints this troubled man’s life story in  a way I was not expecting.

Respect.

And, I think I have to leave you with this…

]

The Nightfly – Stop Press


Loud and live

Loud and live

They’re doing a Johnnie Walker on me and moving my slot about a bit, but I can confirm I will be on Jubilee FM, online, from 7 till 9 tomorrow, Thursday, night. Because I’m on a lot earlier than my usual Round Midnight slot I may crank the volume up a bit…

I’ve got a cracking playlist that includes; The Imagined Village, Sigur Ros, The Hold Steady, Portishead, Stephanie Dosen, Katrine Polwart, Paul Weller, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Nck Cave and the Bad Seeds, Calexico, Danny and the Champions of the World, Chemical Brothers,Led Zep, Aimee Mann, The Clash, Belle and Sebastian, Martha Wainwright, The Fleet Foxes and more.

Oh so many more