2012: A Year of Concerts (Part Two)

2012 Part 2: July – December

Watching my favourite bands and discovering new ones is what I Iove best with sixty plus gigs this year I got to do just that here are some of my highlights.

[For 2012: A Year of Concerts Part One, click here.]

July – The Stone Roses Heaton Park 01/07/12

1Chimes sing Sunday morn. Today’s the day “  75,000 people including myself made the journey to Manchester’s Heaton Park to witness the third and final part of this the second coming yes The Stone Roses were reunited and the homecoming was on, excited would be an understatement.

Since miraculously managing to get tickets back in October 2011 I’d been counting down the days until I would finally get to hear my childhood heroes live. Asthe gig grew closer so did the speculation as to how good these shows would actually be. Whilst you’d expect Squire to deliver and we all know what a legend Mani is Ian Brown  however has never been known for being great live and to be honest collectively neither have The Stone Roses despite this I was expecting something magical to happen this weekend and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Not only did all three shows offer The Stone Roses, but in addition each had a star studded line up that today included the legendary Wailers, fittingly for myself the Justice Tonight band and one of my favourite artists Plan B, but let’s face it we’d have all stood in a field for five hours watching absolutely nothing if it meant we got to see The Stone Roses afterwards!

So after arriving early enough to ensure our places in the pit and enjoying the supporting artists that moment I’d waited a lifetime for finally arrived The Stone Roses took to the stage and began playing live right before my eyes and what a sight it was. I don’t know who designed the stage or the light show, but it was spectacular and worked perfectly. From the off the crowd sung back every song word for word what a homecoming this was the boys were in fine form  and it was perfectly clear just how much work they’d put into these shows I seriously doubt anyone was questioning the price of the tickets after that performance. Personally   I don’t think you could have asked for a better show hearing songs like Waterfall, I Wanna Be Adored, Elizabeth My Dear and Bye Bye Badman live quite simply sent shivers down my spine as does just thinking about it now. The best part of all we’ll be driving south next year to do it all again when The Stone Roses play London’s Finsbury Park could it be as good second time around? I’ll let you know!

August – Y Not Festival 04/08/12

Y NotAugust was particularly kind this year maybe not in quantity, but definitely in quality with Y Not Festival at the beginning of the month and Kasabian at Brixton Academy towards the end.

Armed with our artist wrist bands, if you don’t ask you don’t get, we quickly got the lay of the land as we arrived at Derby’s Y Not Festival from the off it was clear to see just why it would later be named the UK’S Best Small Festival. Despite the bad weather there was a great atmosphere building with lots of people already in fancy dress some in no dress at all yes stood in the freezing cold rain was some guy in nothing, but the smallest pair of swimming trunks you can imagine, there’s always one!  We were certainly off to an entertaining start as we ventured around the site, which by the way is definitely more fun when you have AAA access! Shortly after arriving we met The Fallows and proceeded to take shelter in their camp before they were due to play The Allotment stage. After a few more adventures we helped The Fallows get ready for their set and by help I clearly mean drink beer back stage!

After watching The Fallows absolutely smash a stage aptly sponsored by their good friend Jack it was off to find the General Fiasco boys for a catch up before their set at The Quarry. It didn’t take us too long to gate crash their dressing room and subsequently their rider. As we chatted to the boys  we not only discovered Enda had arrived all the way from Belfast without so much as a pair of shoes never mind a coat, but Owen appeared to be getting much grief for resembling Pinocchio with his up turned jeans and knee length yellow socks. Never the less they took to the stage shortly afterwards giving a packed out tent a more than memorable set wellies included.

We finished the day watching The Wombats headline and in the deep and darkest Derbyshire countryside the light show that accompanies their set looked even more impressive than usual the party in a forest was definitely under way. After much dancing to Lets Dance To Joy Division and some all round silliness we finished the night back in The Fallows camp looking back at what a great day it had been all round. It really was a great day not only did I get to go to a gig I really didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to make, but we spent the day in the company of two of our favourite bands the only thing that could have made it better would have been to spend the entire weekend at this brilliant little festival.

September – The Fallows Capenhurst 28/09/12

The FallowsSeptember just like February was distinctively lacking in the gig department thankfully The Fallows once again came to the rescue after what felt like an eternity of a gig drought. With a homecoming show to celebrate the success the boys had so far enjoyed this year tickets for this one were certainly in demand word was quickly spreading about this band and rightly so.

Kicking off their sold out show with still relatively new song Shoot Your Gun The Fallows sounded electric they always sound good, but instinctively something felt different they sounded bolder and beefier than usual right there I knew this gig would stick in my mind what I didn’t realise at the time  was the real reason  why. That reason was quite simply a song called Fireworks, a song that will undoubtedly set The Fallows alight. I’m lucky enough, or devious enough depending on how you look at it, to have a recording of this gig so I’m likely to have heard this song more than most. For me it’s one of those songs that instantly strikes a chord, words can’t truly explain what this song already means to me and for it to come from a band whose music I have come to love so much makes it even more significant. I often wonder if bands actually realise the effect their music has on those who listen to it,  whilst I’m pretty sure The Fallows know how much I love them,  I’m not sure they appreciate yet just how important their music actually is . What I am certain of is that they and everyone else will soon come to see what I’m talking about roll on 2013 it’s going to be a big one expect major sparks from The Fallows.

October – General Fiasco, The Enemy, Little Comets 25/10/12

The Enemy Setlist Tickets and SticksOctourber, Roctober call it what you like, but for some reason October is always a great month for gig goers, with live dates from Twisted Wheel, The Enemy and General Fiasco joining Little Comets on tour this always looked like it was going to be a month to remember, but it was one night in October that stood out above the rest.

With The Enemy, General Fiasco and Little Comets all in town on the same night a road trip to Sheffield was nigh on impossible to resist and with a bit of planning I figured we’d be able to see all three bands.  Luckily for me both gigs were in the same building The Enemy playing Sheffield Academy 1 and General Fiasco/Little Comets next door in Academy 2 the only downside to this plan would be missing The Antics support The Enemy; however I figured they’d forgive me for one minor indiscretion having already watched them do just that five times previously this year.

First stop Academy 2 to watch General Fiasco open for Little Comets, we quickly noticed  as we arrived how a door linked the two rooms of Sheffield Academy and as they opened it to let band and crew members in and out we were teased with the sound of The Antics playing next door. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long for General Fiasco to put us out of our misery whilst the set may have been shorter than we were used to it most definitely packed a punch, filled largely with tunes from new album Unfaithfully Yours they showed us when it comes to playing live they certainly don’t have any bad habits.

A quick exit and a mad dash next door just in time to watch The Enemy take the stage followed, whilst the set remained the same for each date on this tour the crowd differed significantly each night, that’s just one of the many great things about going to various dates on the same tour. Tonight it was Sheffield’s turn and it was their rendition of This Song, The Enemy left the stage and they carried on, The Enemy returned and they carried on, Tom Clarke tried to sing We’ll Live And Die In These Towns, and they carried on. With The Enemy departing for the night and the choruses of “now this song is about you” still echoing around the room there was time for just one more thing ….. a return to Academy 2 to watch the remainder of Little Comets’ set.

As we darted between the two venues once again, much to the bemusement of the security staff, we could hear the intro to Dancing Song bellowing out, the only way we could have timed this better would have been to catch all three sets in full, however I’m not that greedy so on this occasion I was more than happy to catch just a handful of songs from the Little Comets. The only thing left to do now was party the rest of the night away, but as they say what goes on tour stays on tour so when it comes to what happened next well that’s for me to know and you well to not find out!!

November – Sound Of Guns The Ruby Lounge 29/11/12

Sound of GunsDespite impressive shows from Twisted Wheel in Manchester and The Vaccines in Liverpool this month’s highlight comes once again from the mighty SOG. After nearly four months since last seeing these boys, the promise of new songs and the upcoming Liverpool shows it’s fair to say we were all pretty excited for this one. The Ruby Lounge is one of my favourite venues it’s nice and intimate, but at the same time the sound is massive I’ve seen some great bands here Klaxons and Pegasus Bridge to name a couple so it was about time Sound Of Guns graced this stage once again.

It’s easy to pick out highlights from this gig there are so many to choose from or does that actually make it more difficult to narrow them down? Either way this is one of my favourite gigs this year for a full review of this and the dates that followed in December check out my full  SOG mini tour review.

December – Kid British Sound Control 14/12/12

Kid BritishManchester’s Sound Control was the setting for the second of December’s highlights the final Kid British show, the first of course being the remainder of the SOG mini tour. Another of my favourite venues they got this one spot on when they converted it from a music store a few years back. It is particularly fitting that Kid British chose to stage their last ever show here  as they were the venue’s first headline act performing on it’s opening night back in 2010. Whilst no one was keen for this day to come every dedicated Kid British fan had long since booked their place on the party train for one last ride.

I first discovered Kid British supporting The Enemy a few years back and had been watching them closely  ever since, I never imagined they’d call it a day even when certain members departed. With new songs and a headline tour they seemed stronger than ever, but with various solo projects on the horizon I guess it was time to move on.

The show itself was a lengthy one they played as much as they could possibly fit into the set a bit of everything from their impressive back catalogue, the crowd were amazing throughout, a mosh pit emerged early on it wasn’t’ the usual pushing and shoving though it was friendly banter singing and dancing which eventually spilled over on to the stage where the majority of the crowd joined the band for one last rendition of Let’s Have A Party. It was great to see all members of this band reunited on stage for one last time in particular the return of James Mayer. Tonight it was more a case of he rather than She Will Leave as the Kid British boys called it a day after five strong years. Keep an eye out for each of these boys they’re all massively talented and don’t completely rule out a Kid British reunion one day.

***

INTERVIEWS:

The Fallows
General Fiasco
Twisted Wheel
The Enemy
Sound of Guns
The Antics

REVIEWS:
The Enemy’s Gimme the Sign
The Vaccines’ Come of Age
The Antics’ Five Favourite Fab Gigs
The Antics: Concert Review & Photos
Sound of Guns: Concert Review & Photos

Fi Carroll aka @Dirtyroknroller

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