Here are my best gigs now. Again, it can be hard to choose, but these are the ones that had that spine-tingling brilliance and were such a joy to be at. Notice the correlation between these and the album. No coincidence then, and plenty indication of the music I was loving in 2005.
1. Arcade Fire @ ULU, 17 March
I reviewed this gig on Collective.
2. Sufjan Stevens @ King’s College, 31 October
I missed the earlier cheerleader-tastic gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, but this lower-key affair more than made up for it. Sufjan had re-arranged a load of his songs (mostly from Seven Swans and Michigan) for a string quartet, as well as his regular band. Just beautiful.
3. Antony and the Johnsons @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 6 December
I reviewed this one on Collective.
4. King Creosote and the Earlies @ Summer Sundae, 14 August
I knew next to nothing about KC before this. I knew The Earlies, and their backing to his beautiful songs just blew me away. A true revelation.
5. Patti Smith @ Summer Sundae, 14 August
A few hours later, on the main Summer Sundae stage, this rock veteran showed the kids how it was done!
6. Willy Mason/ The Magic Numbers/ Great Days of Sail @ The Barfly, 24 February Magic Numbers pictured. I reviewed this one on Collective
7. Low @ The Royal Festival Hall, 18 February
Another of my Collective reviews here.
8. Gruff Rhys @ The Barbican, 17 July
A few days after Super Furry Animals’ high-tech Somerset House gig, their lead singer impressed much more with this lo-fi (free!) classic of a gig in the Barbican foyer. He played mainly from his solo Welsh language album.
9. Saint Etienne / Annie @ Koko, 16 June
Great double bill of shimmery disco-indie-pop, with my old favourites Saint Etienne playing from ‘Tales From Turnpike House’ their latest and best album for ages. They’ve still got it!
10. Teenage Fanclub @ The Scala, 29 March
More long-time favourites returning. Another Collective review.
PS. I need to give credit to everyone who I've nicked these gig photos from. I didn't take any of these myself, but all are from the gigs mentioned above, apart from Low, Teenage Fanclub and the Magic Numbers (these are just live shots from elsewhere - ironically the Magic Numbers one comes from one of my gigs of last year!). Thanks!