2012 Part 1: January – June
Watching my favourite bands and discovering new ones is what I love best with sixty plus gigs this year I got to do just that here are some of my highlights.
January – Kasabian The O2 London 31/12/11 – 01/01/12
Kasabian at London’s O2on New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly the best way to end/start the year. Pre gig drinks with friends and some antics to sneak into the Sky bar backstage got the evening off to a pretty great start and then came Kasabian WOW!! I’d already done several dates on the VelocirapTour! so I knew what to expect or so I thought it turns out Kasabian on New Year’s Eve is everything you’d expect and more, a mistimed countdown to midnight, balloons and ticker tape when it actually turned twelve, an epic version of Fire and to top it all Stuntman back in the set made this a seriously Empire night. In the words of Serge Pizzorno “f*ck reality this is Hollywood” and for one night it truly was.
February – The Fallows Telford’s Warehouse 24/02/12
February is known for being the shortest month and unfortunately for me this year it was also short on gigs cue The Fallows to the rescue with a nicely timed gig at Chester’s Telford’s Warehouse. I love this venue and it was the perfect setting for the launch of new single Shoot Your Gun. A packed out crowd turned up to see the local lads do their thing, it had been two months since I’d last seen The Fallows and yet again they continued to impress delivering more new tunes each better than the last. 2012 was promising to be a good year for The Fallows and they showed everyone there exactly why.
March – Sound Of Guns 06/03/12 – 10/03/12
A thousand mile round road trip for the launch of Sound Of Guns second album Angels And Enemies was definitely March’s highlight. Kicking the tour off in Newcastle with support from local boys Symphonic Pictures was the perfect start. The combination of two of my favourite bands sharing a stage along with catching up with friends old and new ensued a more than memorable night followed. Whilst rolling in at six am may not have been the best idea when a trip to Glasgow was to follow hours later if you are going to go on tour for a week then you may as well do it in style!
Three dates in Scotland followed including my first trip to Glasgow’s King Tuts a night that was nearly memorable for all the wrong reasons discovering I’d brought with me the wrong tickets should have resulted in disaster, but the venue proved just how legendary they are and let us in anyways RESULT. A rowdy night at Aberdeen’s Tunnels was our next stop two days later and another epic performance from the SOG boys again warmed up brilliantly by Scotland’s own Carly Connor, check her out what a voice.
The final stop on this leg of the SOG tour was at Dundee’s The Doghouse another night down the front which can only be described as off the frickin scale!! Andy scaled the speakers, Coley went crowd surfing whilst still playing bass, Lee played with Carly Connor rocking out on his shoulders and Nathan took centre stage in true SOG style it was IMMENSE.
April – Sound Of Guns Liverpool Academy 21/04/12
The Fallows supporting Sound Of Guns in a hometown show on the last night of the UK tour without a doubt has to be this month’s highlight. For some time I’d hoped The Fallows would get this gig and seeing them on the big stage where they belong was every bit as amazing as I’d expected. The SOG boys were alright too, ha who am I kidding they ended the tour in style covering The Doors Break On Through and Andy being carried the whole length of the room by the crowd after jumping from the venue’s balcony were just two of the many many highlights this gig had to offer. A DJ set by the SOG boys at nearby venue The Shipping Forecast ensured the party continued into the early hours where lead guitarist Nathan proceeded to keep us all thoroughly entertained for the remainder of the night superstar DJ indeed!!
May – The Enemy Manchester Academy 23/05/12
The Enemy had promised two special hometown shows in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral for the launch of eagerly anticipated third album Streets In The Sky this however was not to be with the shows moved last minute to well known venue The Kasbah. For some this may have been a disappointment for me it was perfect The Enemy boys back where it all began. Whilst this isn’t my favourite gig of the month it can’t go unmentioned it was that good, an all Cov line up with support from The Kontours and The Antics proved to be a great night for any true music fan lucky enough to be there.
Now to the real highlight seeing one of your favourite bands on your birthday is as epic as it sounds especially when that band happens to be The Enemy. After seeing the lads at an album signing in town earlier in the day they’d promised to dedicate Happy Birthday Jane to me and true to their word they did Happy Birthday Fi indeed. The crowd in true Manchester style were amazing, The Enemy in true Enemy style made it a night to remember seeing The Antics support again and then chatting to the lads afterwards rounded the night off perfectly.
June – Chester Rocks 16/06/12
With an impressive line up of The Fallows, Sound Of Guns, The View, Cast and The Courteeners this was bound to be a memorable gig. Whilst several of my favourite bands were playing this mini festival my excitement was largely for local boys The Fallows this would be without a doubt their biggest gig to date, in just a year they had gone from playing the tiny unsigned stage to the huge main stage at the same event, still unsigned may I add! Watching them up there they really did seem every bit at home the big stage is definitely where they belong I couldn’t have been more proud they absolutely smashed it, they knew it and the crowd did too.
Up next came the mighty SOG who this year continued to blow me away with every single performance these boys are one of the best live bands out there just as front man Andy Metcalfe never fails to climb some part of the stage’s apparatus or the crowd itself these boys never fail to deliver. Tour buddies The View were the next highlight of the day for me surprisingly I was really excited to see them perform, I must admit tales of poor live performances had put me off in the past and I’d never really been a fan up until now that is. With SOG providing support to The View on tour I’d been given the chance to watch them live and by Chester Rocks my opinion of them was quickly changing a view cemented here by yet another great live performance.
Rock day at Chester Rocks did exactly that it was every bit as good as I’d anticipated great bands, great music, a really well organised event oh and not to forget a great after party all ensured it was definitely one of my favourite gigs of the year.