The Facts and Figures
31 gigs attended plus 2 mini festivals
16 different venues (all but one was in the North East)
Strangest Venue – Modern Towers a turret in the City Walls of Newcastle
Total cost (minus booking fees) £374
Average cost of going to a gig - £13
Most expensive ticket £53 (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
Cheapest Ticket £5 (Fieldhead, Eliza & the Bear, Hannah Williams)
Glen Hansard The Lost Brothers
Eliza & the Bear #1
The Travelling Band Ellen and the Escapades
The Temperance Movement #1
Ajimal #1 Trev Gibbs #1
The Heavy The Silent Comedy
David Ford #2 Jarrod Dickinson
The Lake Poets #1 Ajimal #2
Fieldhead A-Sun Amissa/Wreath
Tom McRae Swanns
The Temperance Movement #2
Lord Huron Nataly Dawn/Skylark Song
Eliza & the Bear #2 Blank Maps /Mickey Moran Parker (at Evo Emerging)
The Lake Poets #2 (Evolution Festival)
Tomahawks For Targets North Atlantic Oscillation
Ed Harcourt Catherine AD
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Los Lobos
Lanterns On The Lake Ajimal #3
Matthew E. White
Conquering Animal Sound Death Row Radio/Shield Patterns
The Temperance Movement #3 The Graveltones
Ethan Jones Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou
Damien Demsey Sam Fender #2
KT Tunstall Billy Locket
Danny & The Champions of the World
The Lake Poets #3 Ajimal #4 Trev Gibbs #2
In no particular order;
My first gig of the year was Glen Hansard and for a number of reasons I think this was my gig of the year. I have followed Glen’s career from the very beginning but never got a chance to see him live and this gig was ‘epic’ in all proportions, 2hours and 20 minutes long meant the staff at The Sage nearly went into meltdown as the gig swung pass the 11 o’clock curfew. Covers of Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye Can Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen were woven into a set list that gave me everything I could have wanted (except Falling Slowly that was on the set list but not played). 2 of his songs The Gift and Song of Good Hope would see me through the rest of the year (but that’s a story for another blog) and his album Rhythm and Repose has soothed my troubled mind on a number of occasions when darkness descended around me.
Neil Young not giving a flying fuck about what most of the audience wanted (a greatest hits package) and playing an absolutely mind blowing 2 ¼ hours of pure rock music, he is as relevant now as he was 40 years ago.
The emergence of The Temperance Movement. I saw these guys 3 times last year and seeing them develop as a live band was a joy to watch. They play rock and roll music and they play it well. Watch out for them in 2014 I think it just might be their year.
Hearing Sam Fender’s voice for the first time was a revelation. He supported Eliza and The Bear and wandered on looking like any other 19 year old, skinny jeans, Shoreditch quiff, deck shoes and a look of apathy that nearly made me head to the bar. Then he started singing and I was transfixed, he has a voice which belies his age and the tunes to back it up.
The emergence of the North East music scene has been another highlight for me but before mentioning some of the bands it’s worth tipping a hat to Generator who support the music industry in the North East and beyond. Without them I suspect some of the artists in the North East would still be strumming their guitar in their bedrooms. Generator (in my opinion) has given the music industry in the North East a platform and a belief that artists can take their music to the next level and success in an industry littered with ‘if only’ and ‘maybe’s’.
So the bands, I have already mentioned Sam Fender and those that know me will know of my love of The Lake Poets & Ajimal both never disappointed when I say them live last year and I would hope to see albums from both these artists in 2014 to build on the critical acclaim they have both received in the last couple of years. Evo Emerging a free evening of music spread over 8 venues in Newcastle showcasing the best of the North Easts music scene gets more and more popular each year and brought to my attention Mickey Moran Parker and allowed me to see Nadine Shah for the first time.
Although not my last gig of the year seeing Danny and The Champions of The World in late November ended my year as Glen Hansard had started it. I have seen Danny play live on numerous occasions over the last 15 years and I have never been disappointed. This gig on the back of the Stay True album (one of albums of 2013) was brilliant The Champs were tighter than ever it was one of those gigs you don’t want to end. I can’t recommend this band highly enough so if you see that they are playing near you go see them, it will only cost you the price of a couple of pints (London prices were used for this calculation) and I guarantee that you will enjoy it.
I have posted some videos of the bands I have seen on my Pinterest page so if you haven’t heard of the bands go take listen and if you like them look them up, buy their music and get along to one of their gigs. As you can see live music (on the whole) isn’t that expensive and it beats sitting in watching The Voice or The X Factor on Saturday nights!