We have a date 21st June for normality we hope and the end of socially distancing at a gig. I have my first gig pencilled in for 7th June a seated affair at the Jazz Café to hopefully set up the rest of the year. I have still have about half a dozen gigs that will either be cancelled or postponed some for the third time. So cautious optimism is the watch word here. Given that the summer months are usually a little quieter the autumn could be crazy for gigs if things get back to normal. So with everything crossed let’s hope there is real light at the end of this horribly long tunnel.
When I first started this little exercise we were a month into lockdown on the 24th April. Like most of you I expected this to last a month or two. The reality now is clear and sadly it will be a full twelve months and probably a lot more between my last gig and the next one. We go again and hopefully this brings back memories for my gig going chums who have joined me on this great musical journey down the years.
A busy one and a bit of a mixed bag today for my look back down memory lane.
2018, Blitzen Trapper, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London
Love these guys and always a must see live. After a keyboard malfunction that was swiftly ditched, the show had a heavier feel than usual which only highlighted their versatility. It was all reviewed here at the time.
2012, Chuck Prophet, Dingwalls, London
This doesn’t go down as one of Chuck’s finer nights. I have seen him live more than any other artist I think but it was all off for me. I wasn’t feeling all that well but its Chuck so you gotta go. It would have been the ‘Temple Beautiful’ tour not an album that lives long in the mind for me and I guess that doesn’t help.
Dingwalls was packed and we weren’t that close to the stage and there seemed to be a strange atmosphere I can’t put my finger on. The band seems heavier than normal which I normally wouldn’t mind but I just wasn’t feeling it and left early something that I very rarely do. The only saving grace was that this was probably the last time we saw him play anything from his career masterpiece 'Balinese Dancer'.
Luckily, next time we saw him a couple of years later down in Brighton he was back to top form.
2010, Band of Horses, Koko London
Just look at that set list, every one a winner. I think this was the first time I had seen this band in a proper venue after their memorable Lollapalooza show a couple of years before and they quite literally blew me away. This was arguably the classic line-up too. I have seen them a few times since this day and they have a canon of around a dozen stone cold killer tracks to build a set around to be interspersed with new stuff.
I do think however they have lost their way a little recently and the departure of Tyler Ramsey is particularly impactful. We saw them a couple of years ago and while still very good they miss his presence musically and harmonically.
That’s it for today so don’t forget, support your small local venues and smaller artists in these difficult times, stay safe and keep on rockin y’all.