2014 was a vintage year for music, local and for me getting out of Wiltshire a little! So here’s my favourite shows that I put on and why…
5. White Knuckle Bride, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Saturday 30th March – White Knuckle Bride were performing their last show, little did we know. Prior to the event, the whole scene came together to put on a great gig. Main room, effectively sold out show and frankly an excellent head line slot!
4. New Model Army, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Friday 21st June – Incredible PA, ridiculous volume, amazing band, packed audience. This show was everything Devizes and the Corn Exchange CAN be. An atmosphere second to none, receptive audience and a belter of a gig!
3. That Fucking Tank, Bell By The Green, Devizes. Friday 12th July – I had wanted this band for yeeeeeeears, they finally came as a warm up to 2000 Trees Festival, and I managed to for fill a dream! A rare show that I had to charge at, was still well attended. The band performed without any PA and just rocked it. Simple as.
2. CHRIS T-T, The Lamb, Devizes. Friday 20th December – Such a great end to the year, the ever lovely Chris came and played a faultless set, to a busy, expectant crowd. There was jokes, there was an open log fire, there was friends a plenty, great support acts and I’ve never felt so good at one of my gigs, this was it!
1. GNARWOLVES, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Monday 9th December – OK so I lost £200, but what a way to lose £200. I could of actually spent the money on hitting the road, staying in a hotel and getting pissed up else where, without having any of the worry of actually organising a gig myself, but where would have been the fun in that?
Gnarwolves SMASHED it, Devizes was for the briefest of moments, the coolest place in Wiltshire, and we all had a good sing-a-long! My own stand out gig of the year!
So, without even considering it, my top 5 shows, featured 3 from the Corn Exchange, I really didn’t expect that! The Bell managed to creep in, but we still know that the home of good local music, national touring acts and atmosphere is….. The Lamb, right? Right. Right!
The best shows I went to were mainly festivals, but here goes…
5. Frank Turner, Academy, Bristol – Back in March, or April old Mr Turner toured, and I managed to get myself invited to hook up with his FOH engineer, Graham. A guy I had met in passing but never really got chatting to. I was there to talk gear, I ended up watching a soundcheck and learning a great deal, from a great man! The show, well it was everything you’ve come to expect from a Turner show, sing-a-longs, punch drunk, punk rock, dancing, energy the works. And lots and lots of friends and family!
4. Future Of The Left, Bournemouth – The day after the band had played Heaven to 900 people, they came to 60 Million Postcards and played to 80 – 100. Little did that stop them making a glorious noise! The ever so important atmosphere was there, that Falco requires to really let loose, and that he did. No real stage or audience definition meant half the band played in half the audience at anyone given time, always a good sign of a great show.
3. 2000 Trees Festival, Gloucester. – I only went for the Thursday night, pre festival set of gigs, since I had TFT in Devizes on the Friday night, but even that was enough to secure a place in my top 5! What a festival, an amazing bunch of organisers AND it won a much deserved award this year! Frank’s solo Love Ire & Song set was magic, FOTL were a messy cacophony of noise, The Xcerts were alt pop brilliance, the hot chili food flowed, as did the beer, oh and my kids enjoyed their first festival too! They got to see Frank in his proper electric set too! Mint!
2. JETPLANE LANDING, LEXINGTON, LONDON – For what ever reason, I managed to miss tickets for their tour, but just about managed to work my way onto a guest list. A glory was their return to the live circuit! Old songs, new songs, sing-a-longs, Cahir in his right place, I hadn’t seen Jamie since their penultimate show before the hiatus, and Andrew. Wonderful, inspiring Andrew. The band filmed the show, and made a video for the stand out track from their album, you can see that here.
1. CUT THE TRANSMISSION, DERRY, IRELAND. – Home of my favourite label, and bunch of musical friends, Small Town America. Last ever Fighting With Wire show. My first La Faro experience. First time visiting Ireland. City Of Culture. Guinness. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls. Basically no other gig came close, and 2000 Trees won an award!!
Here’s to 2014, and whatever it has in store for us!