December is my absolute favourite time of year mainly because I’m a Christmas fanatic, but I also love looking back at the year past. Reflecting on the amazing times, the lessons I’ve learnt from the challenging times and what I’ll take into the New Year.
A huge part of my year, as always, has been music. I thought I’d do a little round up of my favourite gigs of the year – because there’s been some corkers! Before I begin I will state I decided to omit Glastonbury from this list as it would have stolen the show and made for a weird fan girl post. So instead I’ll rave about these amazing shows instead….
Firstly, The Maccabees @ 02 Apollo – Jun 27th. This was never not going to make it to the list, one of my favourite live bands in one of my favourite venues. This show was the day after we came back from Glasto and we were absolutely drained which is what I’ll blame on me finding it so emotional – although I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I was so happy to get to see such a special band perform one last time, with a set list of dreams. Personal highlight: The crowd chanting Something like Happiness to bring the band back out for their encore.
Next up Frightened Rabbit @ The Church – Live at Leeds – April 29th now this is beyond predictable as Frabbits make it into every music post I ever put on this blog. But I can’t help it, they’re incredible. I’ve seen them in the past with a very emotional setlist and before that with them showcasing all their rousing anthems. This gig had the perfect mixture of both. It had me tunelessly shrieking along to one song and in tears at the next – a perfect representation of their genius. Personal highlight: Crying my eyes out to Keep Yourself Warm – I challenge you to listen to it and not do the same.
Los Campesinos! @ Club Academy – October 29th now this gig has been a long time coming. The entire time we’ve been together James has always wanted me to become as obsessed with LC! as he is and it didn’t happen for the longest time. I think the weight of expectation and James telling me which songs I should absolutely love killed it a bit! But with their newest album released this year (Sick Scenes) I tried one last time, and my lord I’m glad I did. They were absolutely incredible and one of the most infectious life bands I’ve ever seen and now, although it pains me that James was right, I’m all LC!4LYF. Personal highlight: Lead singer Gareth telling everyone to have loads of fun but make sure to not bump into anyone who doesn’t want to be bumped into, cause how bloody gorgeous is that.
Onto The National @ 02 Academy – September 22nd I have been obsessed with The National for years and never got the chance to see them, then this year I saw them twice within the space of two months! We first saw them at Glastonbury to a modest post Katy Perry pyramid stage – and while they were beautiful but it was nothing compared to this gig. I was incredibly ignorant of the loyal following this band have. We were quite far back in the crowd and still the atmosphere was electric with the audience taking the lead on vocals continuously throughout the show. It really was a breathtaking experience. Personal Highlight: Closing the show on Terrible Love – the audience absolutely took over with one burly man next to me bellowing through his tears, magical.
And lastly and probably (although I interchange between all five) my favourite show of the year Tall Ships @ Brudenell Social Club Leeds – December 15th sadly yet another farewell show, and this one really hurts. Tall Ships are an incredible band that have never received the recognition they rightfully deserve, but I really hope this show demonstrated to them how deeply they’re loved and how their music has touched those who heard it. I won’t talk about it too much as it won’t compare to this incredible review written my a very handsome man so go read that and hear about the most emotional show of the year. Personal Highlight: The incredible Ode to Ancestors that opened their encore. Seeing how much this meant to the band was incredible, it was the perfect demonstration of how impactful their lyrics are in beautiful and hard times.
Thanks for reading!