Monday, December 18, 2006

The Daily Growl top 10 gigs of 2006

While I’m trying to work out what my top 20 songs of the year are (so many songs, so hard to choose!), I’ll press ahead with the next installment in my end of the year best of lists - my favourite gigs of the year. And because I’m not finding much time to post these days, I’ll save myself some writing time by quoting my own reviews of these gigs.

10. No-Neck Blues Band @ Barden’s Boudoir (13 Dec)


The self-quoting lark has got off to a bad start, since I haven’t actually reviewed this one yet, because it was just on Wednesday last week and I haven’t got round to it yet. I will eventually, but suffice for now to say that it was awesome. I didn’t know what to expect from this New York freestyling improv outfit, but when it all came together it was amazing. If the amazing bits had continued through the whole gig, it would have been the best of the year. Even so, it was quite an experience.

Download: No-Neck Blues Band - Live Your Myth in Grease

9. CSS / 1990s / Rogers Sisters @ The Scala (14 Nov)


"it was a great show. CSS are the best type of live band - out for a good time, to give their best, and most of all they have in Lovefoxx a real pop star in the making."

Read the full review
.

Download: CSS – Alala
Download: 1990s – You Made Me Like It
Download: Rogers Sisters – Why Don’t You?

8. Calexico @ The 100 Club (5 Apr)


"It’s a really special gig, and a great privilege to see Calexico in such a small venue – pretty rare in London. I’ve seen them a few times now, but never fully appreciated the brilliance of drums and percussion maestro John Convertino. Heck, they’re all amazing."

Read the full review.

Download: Calexico – Across the Wire

7. Richard Hawley / Micah P Hinson @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire (18 May)

"There’s so much to enjoy here. Lush ballads, late night pop, extended rock-outs (betraying his indie rock roots a little), rockabilly, an impromptu cover of Long Black Veil, and to end it all a brilliant knees-up rendition of It’s Alright Mama which gets the whole place on their feet ... He certainly rose to the big occasion. It’s probably the best I’ve seen him – a gig to put a tingle in the spine, and a swoon in the step."

Read the full reviews – Richard Hawley and Micah P Hinson.

Download: Richard Hawley – Baby You're My Light
Download: Micah P Hinson – She Don't Own Me


6. TV on the Radio / Celebration @ ULU (15 May)



"Live, they take it to another level. There’s more energy, even more urgency in their performance, which really rubs off on the crowd. But they’re intense without being po-faced ... They’re not too cool for school. They look like they really love what they’re doing."

Read the full reviews – TVOTR and Celebration.

Download: TV on the Radio – Ambulance
Download: Celebration – Diamonds

5. Danielson / Jeffrey Lewis @ The Luminaire (3 Dec)


"I don't remember a gig when I've worn a smile on my face all the way through like this one. Maybe I didn't, but it felt like it... it's not like Daniel and co are all happy bounciness or fake cheer. They just get on with playing the great songs, and let them do their own work, getting in under the skin, working their way inside and making smiles suddenly pop onto faces."

Read the full review.

Download: Danielson - Flesh Thang
Download: Jeffrey Lewis - Don't Let The Record Label Take You Out to Lunch

4. Low performing Things We Lost in the Fire @ Koko (26 July)


"Goosebump moments were a-plenty. The first major one was during the achingly gorgeous Laser Beam, but they continued throughout.. The harmonies were just perfect, and Mimi Parker's few lead vocal slots just leave the desire for her to sing more. And the album was over way too soon."

Read the full review.

Download: Low - July

3. Sufjan Stevens @ The Barbican (3 Nov)


"he gets a standing ovation, followed with a three-song encore, which I’m not sure was all totally planned. As he stands there playing guitar or banjo, rocking backwards and forwards, his wings flap gently, as if he’s warming up for flight. He may as well have. Tonight he really does soar. "

Read the full review.

Download: Sufjan Stevens – The Transfiguration

2. Tilly and the Wall / Emmy the Great @ The Buffalo Bar (19 Feb)


"I’d advise you to beg, borrow (and perish the thought) steal to get to one of their gigs. I can’t remember such an infectious, joyous atmosphere at a gig [for a long time]. The band were on fire, full of smiley manic energy, and "feeling the love" as they ripped through songs from Wild Like Children and a whole heap of other new ones"

Read the full reviews – T&TW and Emmy the Great.

Download: Tilly & the Wall - The Ice Storm, Big Gust and You
Download: Emmy the Great - The Woods

1. End of the Road Festival @ Larmer Tree Gardens (15-17 Sept)

Maybe it's a bit cheating to give it to a whole festival. I could have singled out a few individual performances, like Micah P Hinson, Kathryn Williams, Simple Kid, I'm From Barcelona and James Yorkston to name but a few, but the whole thing was just so special. For a heap of personal reasons, as well as a brilliant line-up, wonderful location, lovely people, good food and drink and fantastic atmosphere. Well worth their 'best new festival award' and a trip next year.

Read the full reviews: day 1, day 2 and day 3, and my 'other highlights'.


Download: Simple Kid - Lil' King Kong
Download: James Yorkston – The Year of the Leopard
Download: Kathryn Williams - We Dug a Hole

All the photos are mine. That explains why some of them are rubbish.

4 comments:

stewie said...

Good shout Tim, top time at Larmer tree.

Oh Simone said...

I was only at the one of those, but Low was my top pick of the year. It was so ace!

Sofia said...

THANK YOU sooooo much for making us number 1!!! We can't wait to make this year's festival just as special.

I also LOVED the Danielson & Jeffrey Lewis gig, and the Richard Hawley & Micah P Hinson gig - amazing! Yay! :)

Warm winter wishes,
Sofia
xx

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