Gig: Elbow and John Grant

We got the train to Manchester in the morning. It rained the entire time we were there, soaking us to the bone as we explored the city centre. We ate in a chain restaurant, Italian I think, before heading to the gig. That was a few years ago and though it wasn’t the first time I’d seen Elbow live, it was the gig that sits large and raw in my memory. Bawling my eyes out as the lyrics to Scattered Black & Whites ripped my heart wide open, snapshots of childhood memories, my Grandparents, my baby sister, tears streaming down my face. Maybe it’s because he’s roughly my age with, it seems, a similar propensity for emotion and love and …

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Gig: Post Modern Jukebox

Everytime I listen to the current hits of the day I come away with a catchy tune in my head. Sure it’s auto-tuned, heavily produced, and reliant on a hook rather than things like a melody or a smart lyric but they are catchy nonetheless. And yes, I am big a huge snob about this and no I don’t care. For me the sign of a good song is one that can embrace change, that can be rendered new by a change in tone, or pace, or instrumentation. Some bands do it to themselves (think Creep by Radiohead, from thrashy distorted guitars to heartfelt acoustic ballad) and some artists grab a handful of such tunes and make a career from …

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Gig: The Lovely Eggs

I’d not long finished my dinner and was doing the dishes. Standing at the sink I pondered what to do next and tried to think of reasons not to do any more chores, after all hoovering can always wait until tomorrow, right? We will ignore the fact that my hoovering was probably about a week past needing done, because hoovering is ALWAYS a job for tomorrow; just as dusting is a job for whenever someone is coming to visit, a lesson well learned from my dearest Mumsy. So you can imagine my excitement when, moments after I’d set the last dish on the rack to dry, my watch vibrated on my wrist to notify me that a new message had …

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Gig: Honeyblood

Have yourself a Honeybloody Christmas! Featuring sets by Emme Woods, Man of Moon, and The Spook School (I only got there in time to catch the latter), there was a great atmosphere prior to Honeyblood coming on stage. Honeyblood 🤘 @yumhoneyblood A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Dec 24, 2017 at 5:24am PST Having seen them twice, once supporting Foo Fighters at Murrayfield, and once at the teeny tiny Hug & Pint, I had a sense of what to expect. Expectation be damned! Honeyblood have been touring for the past few months, and it shows. Up-tempo versions of some of their tracks ripped along, the tracks from the now one-year-old second album sounded vibrant, and before we knew …

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Gig: Gorillaz

Now and then I buy a ticket for a gig in the hope that it’s at least ok, and whilst I’ve been a fan of Gorillaz since their first album they are the type of band that blip on and off my musical radar, so my expectations weren’t too high as we waited for them to come on stage. Gorillaz A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Nov 29, 2017 at 3:06pm PST Now I should admit that part of my lowered expectation was down to me looking at a setlist and seeing a lot of newer tracks but very few older ones, not to mention some noticeable hits not even mentioned. Still, I know Damon Albarn has a …

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Gig: Royal Blood

Fuck me that was awesome #royalblood A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Nov 24, 2017 at 2:57pm PST On the strength of a somewhat epic fun gig a couple of years at The Barrowlands, and the fact that they fall straight slap bang in the middle of my rock music preferences (heavy but a hint of blues/pop sensibilities), it was a pretty easy decision to snap up a ticket when their current tour was announced. The big question was how would two guys, despite the racket I know they can generate, fare at filling the cavernous SSE Hydro, which isn’t renowned for having the best acoustics. But before I answer that, it’s worth touching on the support acts. …

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The weekend that was

Every now and then the stars align and, as you head to bed on Sunday night, you realise just how epic your weekend was (and how quickly it went). Sometimes it’s not really just what you did, but who you shared it with, and it’s telling that this weekend ticked all those boxes. Not only did I attend some great events, I also spent time with some of my favourite people. What’s not to like? Friday evening My weekend started with a couple of post-work drinks with a good friend who has been wonderfully supportive these past few months. She’s been as good at listening to me as she has at giving me a kick when I need to get …

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Slava’s Snowshow

…ONE DAY I realised that I wanted to create a show that would take us back to our childhood dreams; A show which would help spectators be released from the jail of adulthood and rediscover their forgotten childhood. Slava Polunin – creator of Slava’s Snow Show A few weeks back a friend popped up on Facebook and asked if anyone fancied going to see Slava’s Snow Show. I’d seen a few clips of it from last year and immediately said yes. Roll forward to yesterday evening and I realised, as we took our seats, I didn’t really know what the show was about. And I’m still not entirely sure today. Aside from the main character, an old droopy clown in …

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Weezer

As a packed out Academy sang along with the final refrain of the evening, myself included in my usual slightly off-key baritone, Weezer acknowledged the crowd with well deserved smiles I stood and let the memories of twenty plus years wash over me. From the minute they stepped on the stage, ripping their way through the first few tracks without pause, it was clear this band were exactly as you expected them, only louder. Sometimes this doesn’t work if the band can’t bring an extra dimension to their songs, but sometimes it does and a lot of that is down to the strength of the songs themselves. Weezer sit in my record library in the category best defined as ‘not …

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If in doubt DIY

How many gigs do you attend each year? Which band have you seen most often? Which venue is your most attended? What month is ‘gig month’ for you? With quite a few gigs lined up in the coming weeks I’ve been busy scouring setlist.fm to create some sample playlists in Spotify to give me a sense of what said gigs may contain. Not all bands stick to fixed setlists though – Pearl Jam change theirs dramatically for each gig – but it gives me a sense of what to expect and has highlighted a couple of tracks I tend to skip, so it’ll be interesting to hear those particular tracks played live. It’s always interesting seeing what a band considers …

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