Category: 2013

2013, a year in gigs, and beyond…

2013 was my biggest gig year yet – 52 in total. Now that implies that I went to a gig a week, when in reality, I went to none, or relatively few, some months, and probably overloaded on gigs in other months. Some I went to on a whim, some I went to as they were old favourites, and some I went to because I had seen the act once or twice and thought they were worth seeing again. From the sublime (Le Galaxie and the Riptide Movement in the Olympia to Bruce in Nowlan Park) to the ridiculous (The Band Perry probably fall into this category for me!), 2013 brought more variety to my gig going. Compared to other years where I saw the same acts again and again, there were only a few acts that I saw more than a couple of times this year – Le Galaxie, Bell X1, Heathers, and the Riptide Movement were the exceptions. I also didn’t go to any festivals this year (excluding Dublin based festivals), and I have to admit, I really missed that aspect of the music scene.

I don’t really have a target for 2014 – I’d like to aim for a gig a week but I don’t know if I’ll achieve that. I’d like to hope that I’ll be more timely with my posting, but seeing as I am only getting up to date with December 2013’s gigs in March 2014, I think we may as well rule that one out right now. My gig-going is now just part of my life, and I’ve noticed that I get kind of twitchy when I don’t have gigs to go to relatively regularly. Looks like when I named this blog, I was more accurate than I ever thought I would be!

Bell X1

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Bell X1 were a nice way to finish my year of gigs, particularly as we got up close and personal at the barrier (and even make appearances in some of the videos shot that night by the great Musicians with Cameras). This was my third time seeing Bell X1 this year after their album launch and the Marquee gig, so I was expecting something similar. But this gig probably had more of a mix of their old and new, and with a proposal during one song, and crowd shots during The End is Nigh, there was something really personal about this show.

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Kila

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The Kila gig in Whelans was my 8th of 9 gigs in December and it was the one that I admitted defeat at – they were great, but the place was roasting and rammed full and I just couldn’t do it. I lasted half an hour and headed home. From the party that had started when I was leaving, I can only imagine how much fun the rest of the gig was.

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Le Galaxie

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Young Wonder

The midnight Nialler 9 gig in The Olympia with Young Wonder and the headliners Le Galaxie was pretty much my idea of gig-heaven. Having already been at Haim that evening, I was raring to go – the weirdness of going into the Olympia at the time I’d normally be leaving it gave the whole thing a slightly forbidden feeling. This gig was just brilliant – and as someone who feels that Le Galaxie are on the cusp of something huge, I really appreciate every time I get to see them. The laser show, the dancing girls…just such a fantastic gig. I can’t quite believe that I got as many photos as I did, because as far as I remember, I danced pretty much from the moment the bands hit the stage. I’ll let the photos do the talking for me – if you were there, then you know how special this gig was.

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Haim

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Haim’s gig in the Academy was one of the most hyped gigs I’ve ever been to – I honestly think I could have sold my tickets to any one of my friends and named my price. They were really good, but, for me, they didn’t quite live up to all the hype. Their singles are brilliant, and they are a slick act live, but next time, I think I’ll leave the tickets to someone who might appreciate them more.

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Emily Wells

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Emily Wells upstairs in Whelans was another one of my whim gigs as I was determined to hit my 52 gig target. I am so so glad I took a chance on this gig, particularly as I don’t go to see many female artists (not a fan of the screechy “I’ll show my vocal range” approach to music). I didn’t know any of her music, but her support act, Liza Flume, was a massive draw – Liza is fantastic and another opportunity to see her so soon after her Workman’s Club gig cemented her place in my list of ones to watch at the moment.

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Emily herself is a one-woman band, reminscent of Kate Bush or Tori Amos, and yet completely unique – she’s quite hard to describe. Keeping her chat to a limit until towards the end of the gig, she seemed to really enjoy herself, and the crowd, most of whom were plonked on the floor of the venue upstairs in Whelans, certainly seemed to be enjoying the show as much as I was. Brilliant, brilliant gig – check out her music if you want to hear something a bit different from the usual fodder.

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The Coronas

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The Coronas in the Olympia Theatre in December is fast becoming a Christmas tradition. Our seats this year were slightly less favourable for the taking of photos (right at the back of the Circle!) but that didn’t take away from just how talented these guys are. They hammered through their hits to give them time to play quite a few of their new songs. An amazing light show, a crowd that were more than happy to join in with EVERY song, a band that were bouncing about the stage and support from the rather brilliant Gavin James – all in all, a pretty awesome night.

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The Band Perry

Yup – you read that right. I went to the Band Perry. I would always have felt that I quite like (some) country music and when a friend offered me a ticket to keep her company, I was glad to go (thanks again for the ticket, Rachel!).

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To be honest, I kind of don’t know what to write about the night – from the crowd I could see that most people there were enjoying the night far more than me. So I’ll just write my observations – I don’t go to gigs that are choreographed and this was very, very choreographed; for a band of siblings, some of the moves were downright weird; and there’s only so much “god-fearing, mama-lovin’, deep-south” banter I can stomach.

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I have to admit I was glad when my friend suggested we leave in time to get an earlier bus than originally planned. This one was not for me.

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Christof

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The Christof gig upstairs in Whelans was a gig I went to on a whim after listening to a couple of his songs – and it was the sort of gig that I love. Quality song writing, a beautiful voice, and a brief cameo from Cry Monster Cry with their amazing harmonies.

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As usual, upstairs in Whelans proved to be one of the last remaining spots where music lovers come to gather – people actually kept quiet during the songs, but there was some healthy banter in between. A great gig all around.

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Heathers

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Before I start talking about Heathers, I really need to mention one of their support acts – Tvvins. This was my second time seeing them within a couple of weeks (mentioned here as being among my ones to watch in 2014 https://gigaholic.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/editors/) and I find them a really exciting live act. I’m disappointed that their upcoming gig (upstairs in Whelans, 27th February 2014) clashes with the Choice Music Prize in Vicar St, so I’m hoping they announce another gig soon so that I can see them play a longer set. If any of you are at a loose end that night, you should definitely head along.

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But I suppose it’s a little weird to post about a band, and then talk more about the support act than the headliners. Heathers show was really good – and in case you haven’t noticed, female acts are pretty under-represented in my gig-going habits generally – and as an act, they are consistent. But, with no new material released since the last time I’d seen them, I have to admit, it felt a little stale to me. While I still really like their music, I think I might need to give their live shows a break until there’s some new songs to hear. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the gig, and the vast majority of the crowd seemed to love it, but for me personally, it just didn’t grab me in the way some of their previous shows have.

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On a complete side note – I discovered that I can get very distracted in the presence of a barefoot drummer. Who knew?!