Top Ten Gigs of 2011

Ok, one last list, and then that’s it, I promise! Well, this blog did start life as a gig guide, so it would be poor form to ignore them! Did I go to every gig that was on this year? Yes, I did, even the ones that were on at the same time, in different parts of the country! Ok, I’m lying, but this is a list of gigs that rocked my boat throughout the year.

10. Fionn Regan – Peppercanister – 18-12 – A lot of singers are over awed by a venue like the Peppercanister but not young Fionn, who always seems to capture the imagination of all before him.

9. William E Whitmore – Sugar Club – 19-11 – The nicest man in rock or blues, or whatever it is he does. You can’t help but warm to the character, as between lovely songs, he spends his time thanking the audience for coming and shaking the hands of all those around. The Long Island Ice teas didn’t hurt this decision either, in the lovely Sugar Club. Ok, the sound isn’t great, but it’s still a lovely spot for a weekend gig.

8. Griderman – Vicar Street – 19-06 – I was actually a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, as I’m not a huge fan of the Grinderman albums, but they sounded great live, and any chance to see Nick is worth taking. They banged it out, and proved that the old guy can still rock with the best of ’em.

7. Mariachi El Bronx – Workmans Club – 18-11 – Most of the crowd there were fans of El Bronx’s other manifestation as a hard core band, which only added to how odd the night was! Mariachi music is great live, and they seemed to love doing it.

6. O Death – Workmans Club – 27-04 – The Workmans club does come up a good bit on this list, and it is a fine addition to the Dublin live scene. O Death are a tight band who play interesting music, with a variety of unusual instruments, and this was a fun night!

5. A hawk and a Hacksaw – Workmans Club – 15-04 – This is a similar vein to the one above actually, with a band playing some unusual instruments (accordion, violin and trumpet in this case) which really adds to the live experience for me.  I also saw them the next day as part of the tower records ‘record store day’ line up.

4. Scroobius Pip – Whelans – 16-11-11 – I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen Scoobius Pip, but he never disappoints. This was the first time without Dan, and the band that replaced him added new depth to the show, along with one of the best crowd surfing finales I’ve seen in recent times!

3. Sufjan Stevens – Olympia – 17-05-11 – This was the biggest show I’d seen from Sufjan, and he seems destined to play bigger and bigger venues. Will he be at the O2 next time? Hopefully not, but the visuals and the band all suit a big venue, so you never know. I went to hear the new album played as it could have been played on the CD, without the annoying synthetic sounds and with a variety of instruments and it sounded great!

2. Tune Yards – Whelans – 17-06-11 – She’s amazing to watch, and I could do it all day. How she creates her beats is endlessly fascinating, and I’ve no idea how she gets it right. First time I saw her with a full band, and it was dazzling. Looking forward to her return early in the new year.

1. Les Savy Fav – Button Factory – 1-1-11 – They started with the 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and from that point on, I knew there was little chance of any band being more entertaining than those led by Tim Harrington, as he pulled out all the stops. The perfect size venue to see the mad man in action.

Happy New Year to all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.