Monday, 28 February 2011

Week 8: A good week for gigs - Glasser, NME Awards & British Sea Power

Week 8 was a busy week on the gig front and none of them disappointed.

First up:
Tuesday 22 February - Glasser, XOYO, Shoreditch
I received Glasser's album 'The Ring' through the Rough Trade Album Club late last year and hadn't really given it much attention until I saw she was playing at XOYO in February.  After a few listens, I'd really got into it and was looking forward to seeing her live.  The music can be compared to Bjork, it's experimental electronic sounds in which Cameron Mesirow's voice is used as an additional instrument, and wow, what a great voice!  They played through the whole album so it was only about an hour long set, but Glasser came on at the end to sing an acappella folk song to appease the crowd who were keen for more.  

This was also my first trip to XOYO which is a good little venue.  Sight-lines aren't great in various spots of the venue which isn't helped by the stage being quite so low, but the sound system is great so it'd be a good place to see showcase style gigs and club nights.  Overall an enjoyable evening.  I'd be keen to see Glasser again when she's got some more material.
Listen: Glasser Myspace

Next up:
Wednesday 23 February - NME Awards 2011, Brixton Academy
I had the great opportunity to work on the NME Awards 2011 as a talent liaison, mainly looking after My Chemical Romance.  It was a great but quite surreal day; walking around backstage I bumped into Dave Grohl, PJ Harvey and Kate Moss amongst other celebrities.  I was able to knock off at 10pm which meant I was free to watch the Foo Fighter's extended set with a beer in hand.  

Dave Grohl received the Godlike Genius Award and said they'd had to option to play 5 songs after accepting the award, but instead, they decided to play a whole gig - a whole 90 minute gig I might add.  They started off by playing their new album "Wasting Light" in its entirety before unleashing a greatest hits set and the venue went wild!  Apparently there was lots of broken furniture after their set, which isn't surprising seeing the amount of booze the awards guests had put away before dancing on tables and chairs.  My fears that I wouldn't see a band who could rival the Manics' 10/10 set were put to rest by the Foo Fighters who played hit after hit, including one of my all-time favourites 'Stacked Actors'.  

Here's what they played after finishing "Wasting Light":

All My Life
Times Like These
My Hero
Stacked Actors
The Pretender
Learn To Fly
I'll Stick Around

Monkey Wrench
This Is A Call

It was a brilliant end to an awesome event - the Foo Fighters know how to put on a great show.

Lastly in week 8....
Sunday 27 February, British Sea Power at The Forum, Kentish Town
We arrived just in time to catch the last few songs by Team Me - a young band from Norway who sound similar to Freelance Whales.  They won us over within a couple of songs with their energy, enthusiasm and catchy songs.  It was so good to see a band really enjoying their performance and trying to engage the crowd rather than standing still, bashing out mediocre tunes (Chapel Club....).  Anyway, we enjoyed them so much we bought their EP.

After Team Me finished, the crew went about setting the stage for British Sea Power which included a lot of foliage and a giant projector screen.  

This is a band who really pay attention to presentation, which even extended to their merchandise stand - if there was an award for the best merch stand at a gig these guys would win with goodies including a specially brewed British Sea Power beer, fudge, mugs, t-shirts, pin badges, LPs and CDs - all presented in a quintessentially British way.  I went home with a British Tea Power mug which will sit nicely on my desk at work.

Anyway, back to the gig...  British Sea Power are a band with a core following of old and young fans alike, and The Forum was crammed full of them last night.  They delivered a great show which was nearly 2 hours long - not bad for a Sunday night.  They played a mix of songs spanning all their albums, including songs from the 'Man of Aran' soundtrack which were accompanied by footage from the film on the giant screen.  Highlights included Waving Flags & No Lucifer - it's safe to say 'Do You Like Rock Music' is my favourite of their albums.  I find they're a band who I really enjoy about 2/3 of the songs by but the others I tend to zone out in and this happened a little during the gig.  On the whole though, a brilliant and energetic performance which really livened up an otherwise slow Sunday.

Listen: British Sea Power

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