OK, it’s Wednesday, but still…it’s time for the last of my TT’s on the round-up of 2007’s music. This week it is the best gigs of 2007, in my view. Feel free to disagree, offer opinions, alternatives, etc.
It’s been a wierd year for live music. There has been a lot of gigs – a live scene that has been buoyant than it has been in ages – but many of them were simply ok, rather than brilliant. There have been a number well worth mentioning, though, and here they are.
After their really quite poor show at Infest a good few years back, it was great to see a much developed and better show here. A band of immense emotional power finally delivered on all the studio promise.
Near the end of Infest 2007, this was 45 minutes of fantastic techno thrills. Nothing particularly ground-breaking about what Soman do – at the most basic level it is simply techno-infused EBM – but it is done with such style that it is impossible not to enjoy it and dance your socks off, which with this kind of music is surely the whole point.
Not quite as awesome a gig as last year’s Infest headlining slot (which is honestly one of the best gigs I have ever seen) – partly I suspect because of course I knew what to expect, but a rejigged setlist including yet more classics and even a long-forgotten B-side are among the reasons that it makes it here. Still the same amazing power live, still a band that after all this time still appear to be loving what they do.
Rock City, Nottingham
First time in five years that I had seen them live, after seeing them many times before that – and it was great to see that the fire is still there. Despite the band getting old, live at least they remain as essential as ever.
A act that was certainly a highly anticipated performer at Infest, and they didn’t disappoint. A riotous forty minutes or so of noisy fun, with crazy outfits, tunes and ideas (the genius idea of reading out scary-ex stories during The Reason I Broke Up With You…, Keef Baker’s pink dress and fez, the cover of Their Law…), and turning it all into one of the turning points of the weekend. Come back soon, guys!
Calling this band a doom band is a major disservice, as we found out at this gig. Nowadays more drone-doom-psychedelia, that was floor-shakingly loud and frankly spellbinding to watch.
In fact, the only band I saw this year that were louder than Boris were this lot, who put in a ragingly intense performance that had many in the venue running out of the door due to them being so bloody loud. Only a short set – any more than the thirty minutes or so that we got would have been too much to take – but what we got was awesome. Tool nearly took our heads off, while a savage cover of Kerosene was well worth sticking around for.
Only the support acts to Grendel at this gig, but both Modulate and The Judas Coven blew both Grendel and the other support (Uberbyte) off the stage. An electronic gig full of energy, tunes, and a true sense of phenomenon – Modulate is truly an act on the up, and I think we can expect yet more great things from them in 2008.
As for The Judas Coven, this sounded like no-one else at the time, and still doesn’t, now that recorded material is finally appearing. As I mentioned back then, this is suffocatingly dark electro, fighting back all kinds of demons as the vocals are delivered menacingly over the sparse backbeats. The set was fittingly performed almost entirely in darkness, and created an unexpected atmosphere unlike anything that was expected.
A band that throw just about everything into the mix – punk, folk, performance art, dub, poetry and a sly look at western life from the view of an immigrant, and somehow it doesn’t sound a mess. In fact, it appears to be on the verge of total and utter chaos, but the quality of the musicians and the sheer sense of fun make it brilliant entertainment.
Another band that I had waited years to see, and in the end it was worth it all and more. A long, long set dipping into almost all periods of their twenty year-plus career, not a single note out of place and it sounded fantastic. Just a shame they are playing such small venues now – they are still relevant, and need to be heard by more.