Sunday, 27 December 2015

Top Ten Live Bands I Saw This Year

This year has probably been the best for me, in terms of seeing so many bands I love play live. I've been able to see (and meet) bands I've loved for years, and never thought I'd get the chance to see, as well as newer bands I've fallen in love with.

It was so hard to narrow this down to just a top ten; especially as I decided to list by bands rather than gigs, meaning I considered opening bands separetely (hence The Tuts being there at number 9!).

1. Jack Off Jill - Gorilla, Manchester - Reviewed here!
Jack Off Jill have been an important part of my life for over 13 years, so naturally I peed my pants a little when they announced a Manchester date as part of their final three shows. I got to meet the band before they played, which was a dream come true in itself, and they played a great set, squeezing in the majority of their discography.

2. Sleater-Kinney - Albert Hall, Manchester
Definitely one of the best reunions this year (a bold statement considering how many there have been!). It's hard to believe they even took a break as they play so seamlessly with each other, their new material slipping in comfortably with the rest of their material, which still possesses that tense urgency that makes it so captivating.

3. Babes in Toyland, Gorilla, Manchester
Another band I never thought I'd have the chance to see, this gig means even more now that bassist Maureen Herman isn't in the band anymore. I'm glad I got to see and meet the band while she was still in the line-up.

4. L7 - The Garage, Glasgow
Some of the best gigs are the ones where the band look like they're having just as much fun onstage as the people jumping up and down in the crowd do - this was definitely one of those gigs.

5. Garbage - Academy 3, Manchester - Reviewed here!
This date was part of the bands "20 Years Queer" tour, and was the perfect celebration of their self-titled debut. Even when bands do decide to play a whole album on tour, it's rare that they'll also throw in all the b-sides, but that's what Garbage did. Getting to hear "Subhuman" live was definitely my favourite moment!

6. The Selecter - Academy 2, Manchester - Reviewed here!
At times, this gig felt more like a party. The Selecter are one of the most energetic bands I've ever seen, and barely seemed to break a sweat onstage!

7. Ex Hex - Soup Kitchen, Manchester
I pretty much love anything Mary Timony is involved in - Autoclave, Helium, The Spells, Wild Flag, her solo stuff, and now, Ex Hex. She's been one of my favourite musicians for a while now, and this was my first time seeing her play, in the flesh. Ex Hex are a great band, and definitely worth going to see live, and getting to meet the band afterwards was obviously fun too!

8. Mudhoney - 02 Ritz, Manchester
Not only did Mudhoney put on an awesome show, but my boyfriend and I managed to get ourselves backstage afterwards - if you're interested, the band had a lovely cheese platter in their dressing room.

9. The Tuts (opening for The Selecter) - Academy 2, Manchester
The Tuts are one of my favourite bands to see live,  they never disappoint. I can't stress enough how empty your lives will remain until you let The Tuts into your life.

10. CHVRCHES - 02 Academy, Newcastle - Reviewed Here!
Since first seeing CHVRCHES play at Glastonbury, I was amazed at just how far they've come when I saw them again this year. They have so much more confidence on stage, and as soon as they left the stage, I immediately wanted to see them again.

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