Archive for January, 2012

Why: Because by now they’d properly broken in the UK, and the NME put them on for a second time.

I can’t begin to tell you how much this album meant to me, and still does.

I’m editing this post in 2017. I’m wearing the T-Shirt I bought in Brooklyn earlier this year when I went over to see the tenth anniversary shows for this record.

The album meant so much to me.

High: Stuck Between Stations. Stuck Between Stations. Stuck between Stations.

Drinking: Beer for the Steady. Always beer.

Thinking: Here’s a guy a couple years older than me who can sing about his drinking and somehow make it sound joyous and celebratory as well as heartbreakingly sad.

Gig on Songkick


Why: I loved this band when their first stuff came out. Really loved them. Tulips was my favourite, and I thought they were about the most exciting guitar band in London.

But that was 2004-2005, this was 2007. I’d liked the Weekend in the City album, but it was no Silent Alarm. Didn’t stop me going though, and the job I was working at the time was full of younger kids who liked trendy rock music. What wasn’t to like?

High: None, it seems. Just did a search on my Gmail to check my memory on who exactly I went with, and I turned up a one line GChat to a girl I’d met through friends years before who something might once have properly developed with. (It didn’t, but she’s still a friend).

“Just back from Bloc Party at Brixton,” it reads, “Strangely disappointing.”

Drinking: A Friday night, so all about the Brixton lager with the kids from work.

Thinking: What’s with the ‘more mature, less spiky’ sound guys? This isn’t going to end well.

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on Setlist.FM

Why: Quite a random one, an afternoon gig that involved a sly departure from work to start drinking in Camden early. Obviously, everyone had loved You’re Gorgeous a few years before, and I had a copy of the latest one at the time, Bugged, which I’d been given and liked. But I didn’t go for Baby Bird. I went for the friend who offered the ticket.

He and I had played guitars together in the mid-nineties but then had one of those things when I broke up with someone and he started dating her almost immediately. Obviously, I blamed her for this and not him, but our relationship was shot for about a year.

This wasn’t about looking like a bright hyper-relevant part of trendy young Camden on someone’s shiny TV cameras – this was part of our coming back together as friends.

High: I’ve toyed with re-watching videos of the show (it was filmed for a ‘Barfly Session’ and you’ll find chunks of it over YouTube), but instead I’ll stick with the memories I find – and they’re of a fantastic show, great performance, great songs and with an arm round a very good friend.

Drinking: From lunchtime.

Thinking: Sometimes, growing up is easy.

Why: I was never their biggest fan, but I had a great deal of respect for Spiritualized, even if they’d never improve on the show I saw them play the Astoria in 1998 with Suicide in support and on stage with them at the end for Rocket USA. So I got a ticket for this show, even though the venue wasn’t really ‘them’….

High: All a bit flat as it goes, very probably too stoned and all I can really remember is the lights.

Drinking: Maybe a single shandy and some weed beforehand – I’d knocked the heavy drinking on the head for a while back in April that year and wasn’t really myself again till 2005.

Thinking: I’m not sure I really want to be here.

Gig on Songkick 

Why: Deserter’s Songs had meant a lot to me and most of the guys I listened to music with, and I have amazing memories (and possibly a ticket somewhere) of being blown away by the band playing support to Bob Mould a couple of years earlier (I say “playing support”, “blowing off the stage” would be closer to the truth).

When this show was announced I decided to take one of those friends who’d shared my love of Deserter’s Songs. He and I had actually lived together through 1999-2000 and our relationship had taken a bit of a battering, despite going back more than a decade.

My drinking at the time hadn’t helped – particularly the time when I woke up on the sofa to find both it and myself on fire. He blamed me for nearly burning down the flat and killing us both; I blamed him for bringing back duty free Marlboro Lights – my normal roll ups would have burned out before igniting the cushions.

High: To my shame, my friend had owed me some money and paid me off for that and the ticket in particularly pure blow (back when you could get good gear in London… Ah, glory days…) so we stood at the bar in easy reach of the toilets and banged lines and yammered at each other throughout the show. I’m sure we left off briefly for Carwash Hair and Goddess on a Hi-Way, but not really a high point of my gig-going career…

Drinking: Curtailed by the need to constantly talk…

Thinking: I’m going to properly feel the loathe tomorrow…

Gig on Songkick 

Why: I’d seen them earlier in the year (ticket to be posted if I find it) and had kind of messed up that show by overdoing things. That said, the memory was of a fantastically cool stage presence and all those killer, moody first album tunes. Again, another band who somehow seemed to segue from the Strokes but with a completely different vibe. Still no idea what “The Subway is a Porno” means, but christ they were cool.

High: That would have been the porno subway…

Drinking: Not nearly as much as usual – no one wanted to go to the bar.

Thinking: Carlos, you’re either a total dick or one of the coolest guys on the planet right now.

Gig on Songkick 

Setlist on 

Why: When I was in my final year at junior school, Duran Duran were the band you had to know the specical dance moves for (‘the Reflex’) at the discos that started to replace classmates’ birthday parties. Not that I ever went, but that’s what I was told by Mark who thought he was cooler than us.

Within a year, at grammar school, ‘Durannie’ was an insult.

Fast forward all the way to the proper reunion tour (at a proper reunion shed of a venue) and Duran were cool again – or so I told everyone.

It was good to have something to celebrate, and I’m pleased I still remember this show so clearly.

High: Wild Boys! Wild Boys!

Drinking: Someone fetched a new pint everytime an unfamiliar intro marking a song from the new album started up…

There was some mild embarrassment. My younger sister turned out to be standing just in front of us and she may have seen me fall over once or twice.

Thinking: Please play the Chauffeur, Last Chance on the Stairway or New Religion. Oh, and you guys really aren’t in the best shape are you? (Simon excepted, obviously….)

Gig on Songkick