Tuesday Ten: 178: The Bucket List

During my recent Depeche Mode live review, I noted that they were one of those bands that I’d been waiting a long, long time to see, and indeed, over the past few years, I’ve made considerable inroads into a long list of similar bands. Particular shows of note included Laibach at the Tate Modern last year, Kraftwerk in Düsseldorf in January, Faith No More at Hammersmith last July, Refused at the Forum last August, The Afghan Whigs at KOKO in August, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Forum in November. And that was only the best of them.

Playlists:
 Spotify
 YouTube

But it got me thinking about the now much-diminished list of bands left that I really, really want to see. Hence the “Bucket List” – a list of bands I really want to see live before I die (or in some cases, more likely before they die, seeing as the odd entry in the list is getting on now). This is by no means a full list – there are others I’m less bothered about seeing, but I wouldn’t mind someday. Those that are included are in no particular order, and the playlists reflect either my favourite songs by the bands, or great live performances recorded for posterity on the internet.

Some of these I really ought to ensure are on Songkick’s new side-project Detour, too.


There are a number of bands from the nineties that I saw either in their “heyday”, or on reunion tours since (the first of the latter being one of the most extraordinary gigs I’ve ever attended – Spiritualized doing all of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space). But one in particular I’ve never managed to see: Radiohead. Their habit of not touring a great deal nowadays, and then resulting in almighty scrums to obtain tickets that vanish in a flash, has meant that I’ve all but given up hope of seeing a band that are reputedly a fantastic live band, no matter what corners of their now-extensive back-catalogue they play. Saying that, somehow, I actually passed up a chance to see this band a long, long time ago – when they supported R.E.M., of all people, at the then-newly-opened McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield in the summer of 1995 (also on the bill on the other night was Belly, another band I’d have loved to have seen!)…


I’ve followed Cyanotic since they first came to wider attention in the industrial scene in 2005, when I first picked up their debut proper Transhuman – and have been wanting to see their industrial-metal hybrid live probably since then. They’ve not yet played outside of North America, and if Sean and the band don’t ever manage to play further afield, I’m unlikely to have a better chance of seeing them live than I did in Ottawa in 2011. Tim and I had gone across for Kinetik in Montreal, and tacked on a couple of days before to go to Ottawa, to see Cyanotic support Front Line Assembly at the awesomely-named venue Zaphod Beeblebrox (on the edge of the Byward Market district). Things didn’t quite work out as planned, as Cyanotic were delayed at the border, and didn’t end up playing. We did get to meet with Sean and the guys when they did arrive, though, and the hangover the next morning was testament to a great night. Next time, maybe…


Unlike just about every metalhead I know, over the many years I’ve listened to Slayer, I’ve never got ’round to seeing them live. It isn’t as if I haven’t had my chances – they have always toured the UK regularly, I’ve simply never been in the right place at the right time, and with the recent death of Jeff Hanneman, not to mention the departure of Dave Lombardo (again), I’m not sure I want to see this legendary band without their finest lineup complete…


Another band who have given me more than a few chances to see them, but sadly I’ve missed out every time, the latest being their enormously over-subscribed appearance at Rough Trade East tonight (staff at the store reported that this was the highest demand, and the fastest take-up, of an in-store live appearance that they have ever seen). I did try, at least, and I’ll be trying for their iTunes Festival appearance in September, too (we can’t make Download due to a close friend’s wedding commitment!), and otherwise, hoping for a tour at some point or another…


While I think that it is fair to say that my love of this band has waned somewhat since the nineties – their musical direction perhaps hasn’t moved in the same way as my tastes, but bands change, evolve and move on, that’s fine – but as I understand it they are still quite a force live, which makes the fact that I’ve never seen them live all the more puzzling. I think “back in the day” I couldn’t afford to get a ticket to see them when they did come ’round, and on the last few occasions, I either missed the tickets, or didn’t fancy seeing them with the volume turned down in Hyde Park. Maybe I’ll get another chance?


It could probably be said that I’m something of a Collide fanboy. Since I was introduced to them sometime around 2002/03 – ish – I’ve obtained pretty much everything they have done on CD, have one or two unusual versions of tracks direct from the band, have played certain tracks of theirs to death, but I’ve never seen them live. This has more to do with the fact that the band have rarely played live, and indeed even less so away from the West Coast of the USA. I would love to see them live one day, and that is either going to have to be an expensive trip to said West Coast when they next play, or I’ll just have to be content with my Like The Hunted DVD


I’m in something of a similar position with kidneythieves. Another band who, judging on how many I know in the UK who love the band, could easily sell out a reasonable-sized venue in London at least, they’ve never played (to my knowledge) beyond the confines of the US, and with Free Dominguez doing solo work at the moment, after a period of intense activity with the band after they reformed, I guess my hope for shows over here will continue to be unfulfilled.


In amongst all the hype and fuss of the new album, the big disappointment for me was the lack of a tour to accompany it. While Daft Punk are hardly strangers to touring, they haven’t played live for some time now, and by all accounts the 2006/07 live tour really was something else, which has made me kick myself more ever since that I didn’t see them on said tour. I think it questionable now that they will tour again, and even if they did, I suspect it will never quite match what came before it.


Of this whole list, though, this one is probably the most unlikely of all. His recent album and the extraordinary David Bowie Is exhibition (which we visited on Saturday, and is well worth the effort to see before it closes in August, although all advance tickets are now sold out, meaning you’d have to try on the day) have rekindled interest his work like we haven’t seen in some time, and despite the clamour for live shows, I suspect we won’t see any. Which would be a shame, as his body of work would no doubt make for a pretty amazing live show, and indeed over the years – and the various stylistic shifts he made – I’ve no doubt that his gigs most were amazing (although I’d not have been too bothered about seeing the drum’n’bass-orientated Earthling tour). I even managed to miss a (by all accounts) brilliant tribute to Bowie at Nuis@nce on Friday…


Finally, one of those artists whom I’ve admired for years, and indeed I’ve seen Daniel Myer perform live in other projects (Architect, Destroid, even in Covenant when he was part of that band) over the years, however I’ve never seen his main band live. I guess this isn’t especially surprising – until recently, they have been inactive for some years, and they haven’t played the UK a great deal over the years. And, I have to say, I’m not exactly sure how well their intricate, thoughtful take on industrial will come across live – although unlike many of their peers, I suspect it will be as live as is possible – but I’m looking forward to finally seeing them live supporting Front Line Assembly in August (the only band in this list that I currently have a ticket to see!).

As a postscript, those that I never managed (and never will), in short form:


As noted above, I had my chance, and missed out – and then never really had the opportunity again, as their output frankly diminished somewhat, which was a shame…


Another where I had my chance – indeed had a ticket for Manchester GMex show on the fateful last tour that never happened (due to Kurt Cobain’s death, of course).


OK, so maybe not the hair-metal years, but seeing them in the early nineties at their peak must have really been quite something. The death of Dimebag Darrell put paid to any chance of Pantera reforming, and thus put paid to my chances of ever seeing them live, too…


I was a (very) late convert to Babyland, and I think it is fair to say that I would have been unlikely to have seen them live anyway. I did see the debut live performance of Dan Gatto’s subsequent project Continues (Kinetik), which I guess was good enough…


I pretty much had one chance to see Frank Tovey’s pioneering industrial project, when he returned for that short time in 2001 before his death the following year. Needless to say, I didn’t go…


One of the more divisive bands of their time – their electro-industrial took in significant dub and house influences (industrial looking further afield did not start with dubstep and hard dance, folks), amongst other things – this intriguing band rarely made it out of the US to tour, and when they did…I missed it. My best chance was their Infest appearance, however my first Infest was the year after (2000)….


As I recall, I never even came close to having a chance to see this band live. Which is a damned shame.


Despite Jared Louche living in the UK, as I recall, for some time, I’m not aware that he ever played a show in the UK, at least not in even vaguely recent times. If I’d gone to Kinetik one year earlier…

Leave a Reply