2017 has already seen some spectacular gigs from across the country. Here are just some of our writers’ favourite gig experiences from this year so far!
Jack Rocks 7 Showcase – Sebright Arms, London
The BIGGEST gig of the year so far, seven of the best upcoming bands from around the country. Opening with Bang Bang Romeo, the night got off to a magical start – from the outset it was clear that it would be memorable. The night came in support of the Jack Rocks 7 programme fronted by This Feeling and it certainly did not disappoint.
Broken Witt Rebels, The Wholls and White Room all offered their unique style of sound to the equation, in many ways it was a showcase of individuality. The Blinders arguably posed the most memorable set which was limited to just 20 minutes each. They have mastered their distorted, heavy sound and politically relevant lyricism and clearly have the ability to go far.
The Sundowners were mesmerising, their sound is at times heavenly and they have hit the form of their lives following the release of their second studio album ‘Cut The Master.’ Trampolene were left to close the night in memorable fashion, a mix of poetry and heavy guitar based sounds. Having existed for numerous years, already they have a strong, diverse back catalogue. Their live show only ever gets stronger which positions them well in preparation for the release of debut studio album ‘Swansea to Hornsey.’
Alexandra Savior – Oslo, London
Alexandra Savior has natural star quality, her return to London completely cemented her position as one of the most promising upcoming artists in the world right now. Arriving to the stage in support of debut album ‘Belladonna Of Sadness,” her setlist relied almost entirely on the new release much to the delight of the sell out crowd.
Hackney’s Oslo constantly provides a welcome venue to many upcoming artists though it has not seen something quite like Savior’s live show. It is raw and melodic and relies entirely upon her impressive, angelic voice. Songs such as “Bones,” “M.T.M.E.” and “Vanishing Point” were memorable however, it was “Mystery Girl” which gave the best insight into the American’s heavenly voice and lyrical ability.
Shimmer Band, Blinders, Sisteray – Camden Assembly
A line up which had everything, this gig will go down as one of Camden’s most famous Friday nights in a few years time (big statement eh). Three bands whom each have unique sounds and are all destined to greater things. Sisteray opened, their punk rock sound is now famous. Songs such as “Queen’s English” and “White Knuckle Joy Ride” are each impressive and raw. Their political relevance speaks for a generation and is entirely refreshing.
We have mentioned The Blinders already on this list before, clearly they are the pioneers of politically relevant underground music. Made up of university students the band look and sound the part. Songs such as “Swine” and “Brave New World” encapsulated the spirit of the chaotic London crowd. The Blinders are here to stay!
And then it was onto The Shimmer Band to close the night. In hindsight we can only wonder whether this would have been the last time to catch such a strong minded band in a venues so small. Think Kasabian but with more effects and a stronger ability to capture the imagination of the crowd. “Sunkick” and latest single “What Is Mine?” were powerful and echoed around the small Camden venue. Their sound is suited to huge stages and festivals alike, clearly their Camden Assembly venture will go down long in the memories of the fortunate crowd.
Crosa Rosa- Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham
Like many others on this list, Crosa Rosa’s return to Nottingham’s Chameleon Arts Cafe was a sweaty, spectacular affair. Touted as being the best unsigned band in the country they did not disappoint. Having played their largest gig to date at Rescue Rooms the previous year, the local band returned to the smaller realms of Nottingham’s famous music scene in support of ‘Independent Music Venue Week’ which supports the survival of local venues which may be endangered through the sly ploys of local councils and the terrifying concept of gentrification.
Crosa Rosa have rapidly been improving throughout their existence, year by year they seem to get bigger and bigger. Debut EP ‘Pantaphobia’ gave us memorable tracks such as “Little Leper” and “Butter Churn.” The EP brought the band into the minds of many and was well represented throughout the euphoric evening.
Their latest release ‘Candy Eyes EP’ takes their sound into a different dimension. “Like A Lady” is arguably their greatest release to date, it explores a more pop punk sound and is both catchy and danceable. It was the energy within the small venue which made the night all the more special, a true coming together of Nottingham’s great music representatives.
Carl Barat & The Jackals – Sebright Arms, London
The Jackals shouldn’t be seen as a Libertines side project. They in their own right have a strong, individual sound resulting from the diverse talents and musical taste of its members. Of all of this years gigs this one has to go down as the sweatiest, craziest, most fun night of them all. Taking to the small stage in the cellar of a ‘small London boozer,’ it was clear that The Jackals were hungry to return to the stage following over a year of breaks and studio recording.
They opened with classics such as “Victory Gin” and “Glory Days,” tunes which remain prominent throughout their ever growing fan base. Their debut album ‘Let It Reign’ was strongly accepted by both fans and industry and it is clear that their set still relied on it as they made their return to the London stage.
However, the night shall be remembered for the debuting of new tracks such as “Sister” and “Burning Cars”. They mixed well with older songs and only raised excitement for the then upcoming EP ‘Harder They Fall’. With the inclusion of Libertines anthems and the odd Dirty Pretty Things song the night will only go down as a true memory for the lucky fans who were in attendance.
Liam Gallagher – O2 Ritz, Manchester
The live return of Liam Gallagher was always going to be special but it was the added meaning of the night following the horrific events in Manchester the previous week which made it all the more poignant. With emotions running high, the Gallagher brother who once found fame in Oasis took to the stage to an almost religious response. Opening with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” the atmosphere was euphoric from the outset.
The set debuted numerous songs from upcoming debut solo album ‘As You Were’ and importantly proved that they comfortably mix with Oasis classics in the realm of the live setting. Closing with “Live Forever” it was clear that the night was special, a dedication to the saddening events of weeks gone by but also a sign that Liam Gallagher’s solo excursion will be something quite like no other.
The Courteeners – Old Trafford, Manchester
The biggest gig of the hometown bands career was never going to be a quiet occasion was it? The Courteeners have slowly grown into being a stadium filling band and have stolen the hearts of most of Manchester and beyond, their Old Trafford Cricket Ground outing was always going to be a special, emotional and celebratory moment.
There is no other set opener like “Are You In Love With A Notion?” which ravishes its way through the crowd like the most tormenting of ocean ways. Mixed with a flurry of flares to match, the atmosphere throughout the night was electric. New songs such as “Modern Love” and “The 17th” manage to make their way into a set list which mostly relied on early releases, though each manage to sound as poignant as the rest.
The night closed with a meteoric sense of controlled chaos through songs such as “Not Nineteen Forever” and “What Took You So Long?” Entirely not their fault, it has taken them a long while to get to this point though The Courteeners now have the ability to stay at the once dizzy heights of being a stadium sized band. Quite frankly, they are torch bearers and idols for a new, upcoming generation of Manchester formed bands.
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Image via Charlie Barnes of Eudaemonia
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