Here are the current offerings for your aural sampling. Please feel free to email me with any comments! Haha, but you don't know my email address!
- Here are NP's top 10:
included support bands where that added to the night...
Din Jr, Brixton Academy, '93. Watching you run into the crowd and disappear for the entire gig after about twenty seconds is an image I won't forget. That's not nearly enough though. Nothing will do. You just had to be there, which, luckily, you were.
Maximo Park, The Paradise, Boston, 2009 (supported by Titus Andronicus). I had never heard of Titus before that night. They were just furious. I also expected Maximo to be clever and witty, but not nearly so emotionally charged as they turned out. They were really behind the songs, and they pulled us in too. One of the best lyricists I've heard in the last few years.
J Mascis and the Fog, Middle East Downstairs, Boston 2005. I really didn't think I would be able to find a louder gig that the aforementioned Din. Jr, '93. It's a small venue, and J could only fit six of his cabs on stage (unlike the 20ish he had in Brixton). It's a basement though, with a steel ceiling... enough said.
Quasi, Reading, 1998. Sam Coomes' keyboard broke after the first song of their 30minute set in the middle of the afternoon, and he was visibly distraught. The crowd didn't really know the band, but as the drummer, Janet Weiss, tried to lift his spirits, they really got everyone to support their attempt to soldier on (on a second keyboard) - watching the atmosphere change was fantastic.
Sebadoh, London Astoria, 1999 (supported by Quasi). We walked in to hear the best unknown support band I've ever come across. Then Lou opened with Soul and Fire.
The Living Brain, Some pub in Liverpool, 1996. We had played support to this band a few weeks before, and vaguely knew the singer, who always had this crazed expression. He proved it's worth that night: The mic was shorting out and giving him small electric shocks every time he touched it, and after about a minute of trying to avoid contact, he started getting into it, and licking the mic between lines. The whole gig became a great mixture of pain and fun for him, and the rest of us.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, free concert in Boston Government Center, 2004 (supported by TV on the Radio). We sat on the steps of the town hall, and watched TV on the Radio play a set supposedly sponsored by the US Army, but the singer kept changing lyrics to anti-war stuff as he went, pissing lots of the audience off in a highly amusing way.. Then YYYs played as though the whole group of thousands of passers-by were major fans. What a drummer.
Heartless Bastards, Great Scott's Boston, 2008 (supported by Tom Thumb). Tom Thumb is this acoustic musician, Andy Arch, from Boston that does pretty much exactly what I try to do, only it's better in every single fucking department. I hate recognizing that about as much as I love to watch him play. Heartless Bastards were decent, but the atmosphere in the place was wicked - the buzz of a CD release party for a band that are enjoying their very last night of obscurity before they get reviewed in Rolling Stone, and you never see them the same way again.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Avalon, Boston, 2006. The meanest sound I have heard coming from a bass guitar was during this gig. I have spent some years since trying to reproduce it, to no avail.
Buzzcocks, Axis, Boston, 2007. I said the Nirmal as we stood waiting for them to come out, "I'm sure they will be pretty old and knackered out after 30yrs doing this. They played the opening six songs without a break. Fucking mental.
Must also include: SFA, Roxy, Boston, 2003. I have rarely been that tired after a show. I just pogo-ed from when they began with "The man don't give a fuck" to the end of the set a hour and a half later. I was angry and yet also laughing uncontrollably for most of that time.
- Tony of perley Tim's came up with the idea of listing our favourite 10 gigs EVER and giving a description of why yaddy bla...here they are (in chronological order):
1. Six by Seven. The first gig I ever saw. I used to claim that this was the loudest gig I ever saw right up until I saw My Bloody Valentine. Unless I go to see a gig of rockets taking off, I don't think that will change. Normally, I don't like the open knobbishness of saying 'Oooooh, the loudest', but The Things We Make is a perfect album - save one thing: it's not loud enough at home.
2. Some people really like the Super Furry Animals. I do too. Mostly because I missed the boat and also mostly because I like to think I'm a bit Scottish I really like the Beta Band. How can you not like a band that play in the Ritz, wearing cosmic space suits made out of old go kart racing overalls sprayed silver (with helmets)? When a ticket says plus friends they really just rbought along their friends. They were exciting, the first band I saw to swap instruments mid set.
Their songs are also just bloody marvelous.
3. A bit of a change - In 1999, The Smashing Pumpkins were meant to play the Manchester Apollo, but Billy Corgan's voice was suffering the huge gravitational pull from his inflated head. They returned a year later almost back to the original line up (only D'arcy replaced by Melissa auf der Mauer from Hole). I grant you, by this point, the SPs were a generous 4 years past their best, perhaps more. But they could still play and it was a good show. All kids who are into music idolise some bands, they were mine. Jimmy Chamberlin is still easily in the top five best rock drummers of all time.
4. Not that I would know it then, but it would be nearly four years before another band would come up to make it onto this list. The Secret Machines weren't actually new at this point, but they were still fairly small in the UK. They released Here is Nowhere, their second substantial release which sounds massive and is almost too easy to deconstruct and play with live. Playing at the Night and Day sometime in late summer 2004, I stood stage left with an amazing view: two brothers perfectly in sync with the beast Josh Garza. Nice guys too - they found it amusing later when Lyons was explaining that he had just taken 2 E's, as had Scott, for a bet. Not me, you understand!
5. Back into my third year of University and a band my brother Alex had introduced me to 6 years previously were touring.
Sheffield leadmill is a good venue, but it was a bitter, icy winter night and they wouldn't let us early freaks in for a beer! Waiting outside I bumped into a mild mannered chap from South Dakota named Darren Jackson. Turns out his EP So Pretty released as Kid Dakota had caught the ear of Alan Sparhawk, who had in turn agreed to release it on the proviso that he expanded it into an LP. All good news.
I got a bargain here because I have never been that blown away by a performance before the main act came on, ever, and the main act was Low! After the crowd listened intently to Low perform Lazer Beam, one gent in the crowd cried, quite genuinely, "I fucking love you!" to Mimi. A feeling shared but not uttered.
No response from the band save a knowing look in his direction from Alan.
6. Just a short time later, The Secret Machines would turn up again supporting another favourite: Interpol. Touring with Antics, this was certainly their heyday in my opinion. All the right feelings, the power - a storming gig to see with my brother Cal.
7. Another sneaky two-for-one: Dirty Three headlining with the surprise bonus of Josh T Pearson. He would be a fun drinking buddy, but I think we'd have to work in shifts. Bought the Texas/Jerusalem Crossroads on the back of this gig and was not disappointed...
Warren Ellis becomes a frightening, spitting, deranged, bearded hunchback on stage. I'm sure his whole violin must be vibrating out of his left hand when he kicks in the feedback.
8. Raveonettes. Ra still teases me about when I came home from this gig and asked
"Have you ever thought of dyeing your hair blonde?" SLAP. Nevermind.
Chain Gang of Love and Lust Lust Lust are both great surfy, noisy, rat infested pop-tastic greats with me, and this was just the perfect time.
9. Sebadoh - original line up. Only time I've ever seen them. I was a pretty stooopid kid at school and missed earlier opportunities. Glad I did not miss this one. Some absolute classic material.
10. Pavement - as above. Never seen Pavement before due to grave idiocy earlier in life, but made up for it. This night was also special because Chris and I had a right old ding dong trying to get home again. Flip! Flippin bus drivers!
- 30/11/09 - Such a long time with no sacrifice! Well here you go, non-existant internet reader folks. I have written my own song, you may enjoy it at your leisure. Just Don't ask where I got it.. (click and save as)
- 03/04/2009 - How sad, as you can see below the great Fabchannel is no more. A website which played full concerts for free and was willing to pay record labels royalties to keep on going still couldn't manage to keep going. Boohoo! They had some great shows up, but now may never be seen again!