The last concert of 2011, Bon Iver, has sparked some kind of itch in me to see more and more and more bands play live. This year already I’ve been inside Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo, Shepherds Bush Empire, The Africa Centre, KOKO, Ally Pally, The Lexington, Hootananny Brixton and to Brighton following an eclectic list of artists.
I view the following as a collection, as people might collect buttons, spoons, or Harrods bags; The Maccabees, Friends, Band Of Skulls & The Black Keys, Ghost Poet with Alt-J & Gang Colours, SBTRKT, Melodica, Melody & Me, Bombay Bicycle Club with Lianne La Havas & Lucy Rose, The Antlers & Arthur Beatrice, and last Friday I got the pleasure of a very excitable Mystery Jets.
My next task is to get tickets for Ben Howard. Not because Every Kingdom is full of upbeat, radio-friendly hooks but because I’ve put it off, and now, unavoidably, a good handful of his songs, including a recent cover of Call Me Maybe, have got so far under my skin he’s left me emotionally raw and wanting to dig out my 8 year old, dusty, unloved guitar.
I finished the journalism degree course than Howard started in Cornwall and discovered he was self-recorded through word of mouth in our first year. Despite recognising his obvious musical abilities from his myspace page & watching him play pubs & the uni bar I hadn’t followed his progress aside from videoing his set at the first Beach Break Live ‘07 and casually introducing him to my Mum at OceanFest ‘09. Then, graduated and working in London in the summer of ‘11, it took me almost until the song finished to recognise Old Pine playing on Radio 1, and he was suddenly everywhere.
His is next in Paris this weekend for two shows, which I regret not finding out weeks ago. He had to add an extra night to his two London shows at the O2 Brixton Academy due to demand. All three are now sold out. I may have to wait until the next tour. Hopefully he will maintain his predisposition for smaller venues, and it may give us time enough to get back in contact & arrange to join him for post-show catch up…
Kindness, led by front man Adam Bainbridge, have already made quite an impact in online buzz-town. I’ve gushed a little about them last month on Twitter but they’re still relatively under-played. So when a friend of mine slipped this disco edit on in-between George Benson and Chic at a house party it took me a couple of seconds to recognise, but recognise it I did, with glee, and proceded to do as instructed “Get up, get down, Gee up, get down”!
See them next @ Field Day festival in Victoria Park, East London on June 2nd.