?

Log in

Saves The Day is another band I've been listening to for almost a decade now and has been the theme of every short-lived and failed relationship I've ever had.

This is as "emo" as things get but I don't really care about that silly term. I love these guys and their music for years and it was amazing to finally see them live.

During this week, I was actually on holiday down by Clacton-on-Sea but since this was a once in a very rare opportunity, I decided to take the train from the south back to London for the evening just to see the band. I did get to sleep on my own bed after which is miles better than the crappy caravan beds and left the next morning.

Anyway, the venue was back in Camden, a place I would be visiting a few days later for the Camden Crawl. Specifically, it was the Electric Ballroom. I won't get into the list of bands I've seen here now.

Support for the evening was Dinosaur Pile-Up who turned out to be a surprisingly amazing punk rock band. Their music was pretty tight and they sounded like a band who has been forever despite only having one record under their belt so far. An amazing three-piece band so much so that I saw them 5 days later during Camden Crawl. You should really check them out. Nothing completely unique and mind-blowing inventive about them but I haven't listened to a good punk rock band like them in ages.

While the support band was playing, the place was pretty empty so I managed to push myself as far forward as possible and was almost at the front barrier. Perfect spot. Or so I thought.

Then it was finally time for Saves The Day. Chris looked exactly the same as he did in the At Your Funeral video only chubbier. No Glassjaw members with the band this time as Manny Carrero and Durijah Lang are now back full-time with Glassjaw.



Firefly was a perfect way to open the evening. The starting riff just set the tempo for the evening and got the crowd jumping right from the get-go.

I would love to go through each song individually but it was a long night and was a few weeks ago, so as usual, I'd cheat and list down the setlist which is again grabbed from Setlist.fm. I took a picture of the setlist but it has disappeared from my iPhone.

  • Firefly

  • Shoulder To The Wheel

  • Anywhere With You

  • 1984

  • The End

  • Cars & Calories

  • Let It All Go

  • Third Engine

  • A Drag In D Flat

  • Can't Stay The Same

  • Eulogy

  • Freakish

  • Kaleidoscope

  • Z

  • Nightingale

  • What Went Wrong?

  • Dying Day

  • Deranged & Desperate

  • See You

  • Radio

  • Where Are You?

  • Head For The Hills

  • In Reverie

  • Jessie & My Whetstone

  • Sell My Old Clothes, I'm Off To Heaven

  • Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots

  • Driving In The Dark

  • Rocks Tonic Juice Magic

  • Three Miles Down (encore)

  • At Your Funeral (encore)


Prior to the gig, I was worried the band would mostly play songs from the newer records but thankfully, they didn't. Most of the songs I completely love from them are from Stay What You Are and Through Being Cool.



Freakish and Nightingale were surprises for me as they are both beautiful songs. Rocks Tonic Juice Magic was sung out loud with everyone in the Ballroom. I still think it has the most brilliant lines ever like:

"Let me take this awkward saw and run it against your thighs. Cut some flesh away, I'll carry this piece of you with me"

"My heart is on the floor, why don't you step on it?"

It's simply a thing of beauty, poetic really. You really need to read through the whole lyrics. Or listen to the song.

Closing out with At Your Funeral was perfection. Well, almost.

Despite the brilliant set which spanned the entirety of their records and b-sides, two of my favourite songs were missing namely You Vandal and My Sweet Fracture. Songs which best define my relationships of old.



It was shame not hearing some songs live but I didn't really care after the gig since at that point, I was completely blown away by their amazing performance and the fact that I've finally seen one of my favourite bands for the past decade.

If you go back to the setlist and count, they played 30 songs this evening, that is quite something.

A band who always made me feel better as I sang and screamed along to their songs with every failed attempt at a relationship.

Also, if you would want to hear my actual thoughts after the gig, you can follow this link to Winkball as I was interviewed by them outside Electric Ballroom. You will noticed that my voice is a bit off due to all the singing. It was that kind of evening.

----------------
Now playing: Saves the Day - Freakish
http://foxytunes.com/artist/saves+the+day/track/freakish

Thursday at KCLSU. April 19, 2011.

March 2007 was the date when Thursday payed their last headlining show in London. On April 2007, I moved to London coming from Manila. Missed by a month.

In May 2008, Thursday played two shows in the Philippines, one in Manila and the other in Camarines Sur. It was quite an ordeal listening to everyone's stories about it.

It wasn't until April of 2009 that I finally had the chance to see Thursday perform live. This was no headlining show though as they supported Taking Back Sunday for Give It A Name 2009.

Last year, they supported Rise Against at Brixton. Despite seeing them twice already, they don't count as proper Thursday shows as they were only support acts which means playing 6-7 songs.

In hindsight, I did get to hear Jet Black New Year live twice now.

This 2011, they finally announced a headlining show at KCLSU and I was quick to buy tickets even though Asobi Seksu was playing on the same day. There was no contest between the two as I've seen headline Asobi Seksu twice. It was a shame though as they also had a new album.

Speaking of new albums, Thursday released No Devolucion recently which has turned out to be quite a crazy good record despite being experimental and light years different than all the other records they've made. Thursday with synths? Unheard of.

The venue was KCLSU which is a pretty intimate venue with cheap (in London) beer.

First support was Attack! Vipers! which is another post-hardcore band. Yes, I am too old for this stuff.

Second support was a slightly familiar band, Circa Survive, and throughout their set I was thinking who they supported before as I was pretty sure I've seen them before. It was a choice between Funeral For A Friend and Taking Back Sunday. Further investigation when I got home proved it was Taking Back Sunday at the now demolished Astoria.

Their set was much fun and Anthony's unusual vocals and antics on stage are always fun to watch. I haven't listened to them in years and would have to find the time to do so at some point.

Like most bands with new albums, Thursday started the evening with a new song, Fast To The End, which is the first track of their new album. This was then followed by an assault of more new songs; Magnets Caught In A Metal Heart, No Answers and Past And Future Remains.

With the new songs introduced to the crowd, it was time for some old songs. As it's the 10 year anniversary of Full Collapse, Thursday's debut album, they've been doing Full Collapse tours in the US where the album is played in it's entirety in the correct order.

Despite the new flavour and brilliance of No Devolucion, Full Collapse is still Thursday's best album and the crowd (and I) were more than ready for it, singing (screaming) along to every song.

The whole album was one big highlight but if I have to be forced to specify songs it would be Paris In Flames and Wind-Up both of which I finally heard live.

For their encore, they played Turnpike Divides from their new album. Would have loved to hear Jet Black New Year again but this evening was absolutely fantastic as it was.

Finally seeing Thursday perform a headlining show was quite an experience especially with all the new songs and the whole Full Collapse album.

It needs to be mentioned that Geoff's epic mic flailing was drastically less this evening.

I would always be in line to watch Thursday live and do a proper headline show where they play random songs from all their albums.

Yes, I just made up an excuse to see Thursday again. Not that I really needed to anyway.
Winning tickets online through various websites is obviously all about luck. Enter an email address or retweet a message and you are in the draw for free tickets.

I rarely luck out when it comes to winning tickets online. The iTunes Festival has been a nightmare of frustration for the past two years. 62 dates spanning 2 months in total every July and I've never one tickets through them.

Of course, receiving free tickets for Foals and Two Door Cinema Club for the iTunes Festival last year does not count as I got it via Twitter directly from the band.

So when I heard about the Spotify Behind the Music event, I was not expecting winning tickets to the show but I signed up and hoped as one of my new band discoveries in the past month, The Naked and Famous was included in the line up.

Aside from The Naked and Famous, Delphic was headlining with Pony Pony Run Run supporting as well. A DJ set by La Roux was also mentioned.

The event was also in promotion of the new Nissan Juke which really looks like a joke.

Lo and behold, an email confirming winning 2 tickets for the event was waiting in my inbox a few days later.

I was beyond happy. The Naked and Famous only playing date in London for their tour is on May 20, which is the same date as an all-time favourite band's show in London. This band is Taking Back Sunday and with tickets booked for this, a return to the original line-up and a new album coming up, it's not one event I would want to miss either.

The closest gig The Naked and Famous is playing in aside from London is Oxford which is around 2 hours drive away. I was seriously considering purchasing tickets for this and driving up to Oxford to watch them.



Since the email included a plus one, I invited someone who arrived after the doors opened. At this point, the queue went all the way round the back of Koko, the longest I've seen at this venue, longer even than Jack's Mannequin.

The place was quite packed already, so we decided to stay on the upper levels and stood by the stairs which provided us with a fantastic view of the stage. This isn't normal for me at Koko, but it was more than welcome as the view was great.

If you are somewhat familiar with the bands on this bill, you'd notice a flavour with the music the bands play. All are bands which thrown in a bit of electro/synth but not in a overly excessive way.

The first support act was Pony Pony Run Run who according to their wikipedia entry are a French power pop band whose members are G, A, and T. Lovely. Indeed, they were pop-y but they put on a decent show. Adequate way to start the evening. Their live performance is way better than their actual recordings. They clearly put on a much better vibe and more energy on stage which is all good of course.



It's been a few weeks since the event but as I'm listening to their songs on Spotify, I'm pretty sure the synths were toned down at the gig which gave way to some pretty neat guitar work.

As the event was sponsored by Nissan Juke, a huge screen on the stage dropped down during breaks and played loops of videos of the car and some behind the scenes recording with La Roux. Seeing the video the first time was ok, but after the xxth time, it turned out to be real annoying. Thankfully, having someone to talked to helped a lot.

Up next was the band I was looking forward to the most, The Naked And Famous.Their set was pretty standard pulling songs from their album Passive Me, Aggressive You. They started with Punching In A Dream and closed their set with their current biggest hit, Young Blood. Other songs thrown were All Of This, No Way, Eyes and Girls Like You. No surprise b-sides which could have been brilliant as Bells is a pretty catchy tune.



They sound brilliant on record but this show left much to be desired. As soon as they started, I knew something was a bit off. The male lead vocals seemed to be quite low and this sort of dumbed down the experience. Sure, most of their songs are female vocal heavy but the male vocals balanced this out and provided an excellent blend. This was most evident during Girls Like You which happens to be my favourite song from their album.

In short, I was slightly disappointed by their set and performance but this won't stop me from seeing them again live if I have the chance. Maybe Oxford it is then.

Now it was time for a DJ set, a somewhat special one as it was La Roux who was spinning. Unfortunately, the next hour solidified my absolute disdain for DJ sets. I'm all for watching a band or someone perform on stage, but the wait for the next band was long and painful.

First of, we had the same video on repeat being shown on the huge white screen on the stage. La Roux was spinning on the DJ table which was on the side of the stage and not really visible to anyone. Had this table been placed in the middle of the stage or a video of her spinning tracks shown on the white screen instead, then things would have been mildly better.

Next, the music. I really don't get club and dance music. Thrown in a band on stage actually performing on stage and I'm all for it. Watching a DJ spin tracks doesn't do it for me. This night was worse due to the repeated blasts of video advertising of Spotify and the Nissan Juke.

I felt really sorry for my friend who was also not enjoying the experience. As the music was loud, this didn't provide the atmosphere for conversation which could have distracted us.

At 11 in the evening, La Roux was FINALLY done with her DJ set and Delphic came up stage. I've been listening to them for quite sometime and could never really get into them. Their set at Koko was more of the same, it was fun and amusing to watch but I have nothing special to say. It was good to finally see them though, they're still not a band I'd go out of my way just to see.



At least I get to tick them of my list of London-based bands that I should see since I live in London not that such a list even exists in the first place.

Their set included Halycon, Doubt, Clarion Call, Red Lights, and Counterpoint to mention a few which I can still remember.

The show finished closed to midnight which is unusual for gigs I go to especially since it was a Tuesday. Thankfully, I still made it to the last tube going north.

Overall, the evening was good enough for a free gig. With The Naked and Famous on the bill, I would have even paid for the show but I think I'd be quite disappointed if I had to shell out money for this one.

Apparently, this event was also Spotify's first live streaming show and it's always pretty cool to know you where part of something historic despite the hack Spotify announced a few days ago to Spotify users who have been around since they were invite only and in beta.

Since La Roux was part of the whole Behind The Hits campaign and was in the venue anyway, wouldn't it have been better to have her perform instead? This would be leagues better than a DJ set. If this isn't possible, then give us something better to watch/distract ourselves with as not everyone enjoys DJ sets.

Still, it was a good first live streaming event and I sure hope I'd be lucky enough to win tickets next time, provided that the lineup is equally as good without the DJ sets.

----------------
Now playing: Thursday - Magnets Caught In A Metal Heart
http://foxytunes.com/artist/thursday/track/magnets+caught+in+a+metal+heart

Glassjaw at The Forum. March 30, 2011.

Four years ago, I watched Glassjaw perform an iconic show at Brixton Academy on 7.7.7 (July 7, 2007). It was an amazing show.

On this gig four years ago, they mentioned work is being done on their already highly anticipated 3rd studio album. The last album, Worship And Tribute, was released almost a decade ago in 2002.

Four years later, there is still no news of it. Our Color Green EP was released earlier this year as a taste of songs they already had some of which where played back in 2007 at Brixton.

It is pretty much an understatement that fans are eagerly anticipating this album so when Glassjaw announced their show at The Forum, I immediately purchased tickets. It's Glassjaw and it was on my day off so buying a ticket was a no-brainer.

To add, Glassjaw also mentioned that this show would be the launch of another EP called Coloring Book which would be handed out to attendees after the show.

Not that I would even miss the show in the first place, but it would be another landmark Glassjaw show which I would be a part of like Brixton on 7.7.7.

A taste of a new track, Gold, was streaming from their site for a month. Listening to the track was a magical experience.

Support for the evening was a death metal band called Napalm Death who hail from Birmingham and have been around almost as long as I have walked the face of this planet we call earth.

Despite the fact that they've been around forever, I've never heard of them before and most of this can be blamed on their genre. I've never been a death metal fan and their set, although entertaining to watch, didn't really do anything for me. Decent, but not my cup of tea. Not by a mile.

The usual wait in between bands but Glassjaw came on stage soon enough.



This time there was no 4-5 minute intro with the lights dimmed and the band slowly building up the crowd.

Instead, they kicked off the evening right away with You Think You're (John Fucking Lennon). It started out with much intensity which stayed at this level although the night.

Unfortunately, I was nursing a sprained wrist (which I still am 3 weeks after) so didn't participate much with the crowd moshing, pushing and shoving. I tried to stand back and simply enjoy the brilliance which is Glassjaw.



Here's the full setlist as once again, I've left this write-up in the cold for far too long. Again, it's from Setlist.fm.

  • You Think You're (John Fucking Lennon)

  • Tip Your Bartender

  • Mu Empire

  • Stars

  • Ape Dos Mil

  • The Gillette Calvalcade of Sports

  • Pink Roses

  • Jesus Glue

  • Natural Born Farmer

  • All Good Junkies Go To Heaven

  • El Mark

  • Convectuoso

  • Two Tabs of Mescaline

  • Siberian Kiss

  • Black Nurse (2nd set)

  • Gold (2nd set)

  • Vanilla Poltergeist Snake (2nd set)

  • Miracle In Inches (2nd set)

  • Stations Of The New Cross (2nd set)

  • Daytona White (2nd set)


As you notice, there was no Cosmopolitan Bloodloss which was quite a bummer. The first set was the creme of the crop when it comes to Glassjaw songs with songs from Our Color Green thrown in for good measure.



If I had to pick two other songs from the set as highlights, I'd go for Ape Dos Mil and All Good Junkies Go To Heaven.

Glassjaw left the stage after Siberian Kiss and of course, everyone chanted for an encore.

What we got was so much more than just an encore. Glassjaw came back on stage and played all 6 of their new songs from The Coloring Book EP in succession as listed on the EP.



Gold was pure brilliance and was magical to hear live. They ended the evening with Daytona White which is a great but somewhat slow song.

As it was new, nobody really new the song and there wasn't much intensity to it. It's not the kind of song you'd close an evening with.

The evening was great and Glassjaw was on top form. The new songs were absolutely perfect but they could have closed with a song which should have brought us to such a height and then just dropped. Cosmopolitan Bloodloss would have done this.



With the show over, I bought a shirt as my old 7.7.7. shirt was handed over to a friend in Manila. Trying to restrain myself from buying gig shirts as I already have a ton and they are quite expensive compared to Threadless shirts but this was a special night and it is Glassjaw.

As I walked out the door, a copy of The Coloring Book was handed over to me, a reminder of another historic night with Glassjaw, a band I've seen as many times as I've been back in London (FOUR).



Note: A quick search online (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and Glassjaw.com) seems to show that The Coloring Book EP is not available online. Ace!

----------------
Now playing: Glassjaw - Mu Empire
http://foxytunes.com/artist/glassjaw/track/mu+empire
There are bands whom I will never outgrow despite my gradual shift from post-hardcore to indie rock. If I were to listen to a new post-hardcore band, there's a 90% chance I would not listen to them again.

Among them are Funeral For A Friend, Glassjaw, Saves The Day, Taking Back Sunday, and Thursday, all of which I'll be seeing again this year which is one of the hundred reasons which make 2011 such an incredible year.

On the 25th of March it was time for Funeral For A Friend whom I've seen three times already, the best of which was their farewell show to Darren last year at Shepherd's Bush Empire where they played Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation in it's entirety. This was such an amazing show but regrettably, I had seats so didn't enjoy the mayhem.

The venue this time was Relentless Garage in Highbury and Islington, a venue I have not been to since the Witchita 10 year anniversary show with Los Campesinos!

First support was a band called Tiger Please whom I never heard off before but turned out to be pretty fun to watch. Neat tunes and good singing. The only thing which really bothered me was the vocalists ridiculously stupid hair which he had to part every few seconds from his face. It was distracting to say the least. Check the video for their song, Autumn Came The Fall to see what I mean.



Sadly, now that I'm listening to them again on Myspace, they remind me of Kings of Leon which is not a good thing. With that said, I'll try to remember their name and listen to them more at some point.

Second support was a metalcore band (as per wikipedia entry) called Rise To Remain. To make things simple, I'm just going to say that I did not like them at all. I guess I'm too all for this kind of music. I'd continue to listen to screaming bands I've known since I was younger but I don't think I can ever appreciate a new one at this point.

With a new record out in the last few weeks called Welcome Home Armageddon, one would expect Funeral For A Friend to open with a new song but they started the evening with Roses For The Dead. Again. I am pretty sure that in the 4 times I've seen them, they have started every show with Roses For The Dead. It's not a bad song at all, as it's really, really good but come one, a little variety would be lovely. Surprise us.



They followed this with another favourite, Rookie Of The Year before finally settling into a new song entitled Sixteen.

Here's the setlist courtesy of Setlist.fm to make things easier for everyone as I really can't write properly and it has already been an eternity since this gig.

  • Roses For The Dead

  • Rookie Of The Year

  • Sixteen

  • Juneau

  • Aftertaste

  • The End Of Nothing

  • Serpents In Solitude

  • Red Is The New Black

  • Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don't

  • Monsters

  • History

  • Spinning Over The Island

  • Into Oblivion (Reunion) (encore)

  • Front Row Seats To The End Of The World (encore)

  • Escape Artists Never Die (encore)


As you may notice, only 5 songs come from the new record and the rest are crowd favourites spanning songs from their career. To note, there are no songs from Memory And Humanity which is probably their weakest album but hearing either Kicking and Screaming or Maybe I Am? would have been a treat.

The Garage is usually a sauna during gigs but this time, the venue was quite cool. I did avoid the moshpit which got a bit crazy.



Funeral For A Friend will always be a band I enjoy to see love, singing along to favourites such as Monsters, History, Juneau, etc. Gigs and bands like this get my heart racing and make me feel alive, and this evening, Funeral For a Friend didn't disappoint.

With the last record, they sound as good as they did years ago despite changes in their lineup. It's nice to see a band like them still go on and create music.

----------------
Now playing: Funeral For A Friend - Man Alive
http://foxytunes.com/artist/funeral+for+a+friend/track/man+alive
Andy Burrows is the former drummer of Razorlight who left the band to start his own solo act which was initially called I Am Arrows.

Had the fantastic opportunity to see him live back when he supported Muse at Wembley Stadium last year and despite the size of the venue, they were able to fill up the venue quite well.

When I noticed the Indie meetup group announcing his show at Old Queen's Head, I decided it would be nice to see the band again especially in a venue 1000 times smaller than Wembley Stadium. I enjoyed the company of the Indie meetup group, so decided to tag along with them yet again.

Oddly enough, I was unable to find the gig listing on Last.fm as I Am Arrows but it as it was listed as Andy Burrows. Apparently, at some point, he decided to call the band under his name again despite retaining the same members.

Met up with the group at the downstairs bar of Old Queen's Head and once we were a sizable group of around 5-6 people, we moved upstairs and were lucky enough to get seats.

Interesting conversations with lovely people, a couple of which kept on raving about how amazing Funeral Party was when they played in Camden a few days before. Got my tickets to see them in May but have at this point, haven't really listened to them properly. At the time of this writing, they are one of my favourite bands along with The Naked And Famous.

Support for the evening was Seye who was surprisingly amazing. His voice was quite elegant, the acoustic guitar playing was fitting to his voice. Played a few songs only but was quite fantastic. He was helped out by his friend Marcel for additional guitars and vocals.

It really good fun watching a gig in a group as it burns the time in between acts. More discussions about festivals and bands over pints of beer.

Andy Burrows walked on stage and started covering some songs which he said was his way of easing into things. Before he started though, he was looking for a guitar capo. After about 15 seconds, he noticed it was clipped to the head of the guitar. It was amusing.

The rest of his band came up on stage after a couple of cover songs.



The band played songs from their album Sun Comes Up Again including Nun, Green Grass, Another Picture of You, Hurricane, and Nice Try as well as a few new songs.

In all seriousness, their set was quite a mess. Andy seemed to be on something that night or may have had a few drinks to many and too early. There was the capo story, then playing the guitar intro for a song but not knowing the lyrics to the song, being unable to tune the guitar, etc.

It did turn out to be very hilarious as everyone was just laughing it up. Andy provided some comic relief while things were going awry in the background. It was a small venue at a gig and nobody was there to see a serious set from a band but rather have a fun evening.

When they eventually got their act together and started playing, everything got serious and their music filled the room with some people singing along.

It was a completely different experience compared to the last time I saw them. At Wembley Stadium, they were supporting one of the biggest bands in the world at the moment and most fans hardly knew them. They needed to play a set which was well rehearsed and professional which they were more than able to pull off.



At Old Queen's Head, they had the chance to simply be themselves and play their songs to people who simply enjoy an evening of good music. I do think Andy may have gone a bit too far with it though. Still, incredibly fun.

In comparison, Seye played a more professional and well-rehearsed set.

Unlike all the other 90+ gigs I've been to, I stayed with a few people from the meetup group for a drink after the gig finished. Lovely conversations and plans to go to Camden Crawl and Stag & Dagger Festival. Been longing to go for years now and have finally found people to go with. As such, tickets have now been booked.
The Decemberists recently came out with a new album entitled The King Is Dead which is quite brilliant, catchy and very similar to their old material which is very good.

I had the chance of seeing The Decemberists at HMV Forum a few years ago right after the release of The Hazards of Love. This was back in November 18, 2009 which was during the Internet blackout at our new place and gigs piled up one after the other such as Deftones, Mew, Muse, etc.

For that show, they played two sets, the first of which was The Hazards of Love in it's entirety and this was quite a memorable experience. The second set was composed of a mix from all their other albums at the time but sadly, no The Mariner's Revenge Song. As mentioned by someone in the crowd while I was leaving, you haven't really experienced The Decemberists until you've seen them perform The Mariner's Revenge Song.

With this in mind as well as a new album and the fact that the gig was again on my day off, I didn't think twice about purchasing tickets as soon as the gig was announced.



The venue for this evening is a popular London music venue which surprisingly, I've never been too. It's the Apollo Hammersmith, also known by it's sponsors name, HMV Apollo.

Size-wise, Apollo Hammersmith is around the same size as of Brixton Academy. One can actually make a direct comparison between the two since they have almost the same layout including a slight gradient on the floor which made viewing the stage so much easier. Compared to Brixton though, it just seemed and felt a little bit dirtier. Weird. When it comes to acoustics though, I have to say it blows Brixton Academy out of the water.



Support for the evening was Blind Pilot who are also an indie folk band from Portland, Oregon similar to The Decemberists. Their sound was quite different though since they used less instruments but they pulled of an imaginative set. They put on a very enjoyable set and were perfect in setting up the atmosphere for the headlining band. If you have to listen to just one song from them, try 3 Rounds And A Sound.

Having a support band this time was a welcome option as there was none at The Forum as The Decemberists played two sets anyway.



Bands with a new record released normally start the show with a a new song from the new record. For The Decemberists first song, they dug real deep and played Shiny which is from the very early 5 Songs EP.

A nice change to hook in longtime fans first as I've sometimes found new songs as opening numbers as a bit alienating at times. After the first song, they moved on to a trifecta of The King Is Dead tunes with Down By The Water, Calamity Song and Rise To Me.



Here's the full setlist from the evening to simplify things. Again, from Setlist.fm.

  • Shiny

  • Down By The Water

  • Calamity Song

  • Rise to Me

  • We Both Go Down Together

  • The Bagman's Gambit

  • Won't Want for Love

  • An Interlude

  • The Crane Wife 1 and 2

  • The Crane Wife 3

  • The Rake's Song

  • Don't Carry it All

  • Rox in the Box

  • This is Why We Fight

  • Sixteen Military Wives

  • The Hazards of Love 4 (encore 1)

  • The Mariner's Revenge Song (encore 1)

  • June Hymn (encore 2)


The band had Sara Watkins on tour with them providing violin and vocals as Becky (Hazards of Love) was no longer around. Her singing voice was first put to the test on Won't Want For Love and I have to say, she did a pretty good job.

Playing The Crane Wife 1 and 2 followed by The Crane Wife 3 was a simply lovely. As the title suggests, the two songs go hand in hand and deserve to be played in succession.



The energy in the crowd spiked during songs such as We Both Go Down Together, The Rake's Song, and Rox in the Box.

Prior to starting this evening, I had my mind set that I'd be happy if they played This Is Why We Fight and/or The Mariner's Revenge Song. This Is Why We Fight is such a lovely song and it easily became my favourite song from The King Is Dead. So when they started playing the song, I almost couldn't contain my excitement. If I get my act together, this would be one of the first songs I'd learn playing on a guitar.

The last time I saw them, I remember the interactivity between the band (mostly Colin) and the crowd. At The Forum, he asked everyone to go quiet, sit down and slowly stand up at his command. It was a wonderful experience.



It was during the song Sixteen Military Wives and a similar thing happened here at the Apollo. We did the "la-di-dah" part over and over again. Colin had everyone gradually soften the singing close to making it a whisper and then slowly making it louder. Even though the song dragged on for quite sometime, it was ridiculously good fun.

The Decemberists left the stage but of course came back for an encore which started of with The Hazards of Love 4, a nice and slow song. Before proceeding with the next song, further instructions to the crowd where given with the help of Chris Funk as audience participation was needed for the next song. This involved screaming like being eaten by a whale. Of course, everyone knew that the next song would be The Mariner's Revenge Song much to my delight yet again. I'm plenty sure I wasn't the only one who felt the excitement and joy at this moment.

When the whale part eventually came, everyone really did scream. It was way fun watching members of the band acting out the song on stage. The Mariner's Revenge Songs is simply one of those epic songs with a lovely story as well.



At this point, I was more than just satisfied with the incredible set The Decemberists put on but the band came back on stage for another song, June Hymn which is also from The King Is Dead.

This evening, like the other Decemberist show, was another memorable experience. It is truly amazing seeing such a talented band onstage and completely enjoying themselves and drawing the crowd into the performance.
6.

That's the number of times I've seen Two Door Cinema Club perform live which is the most for any band since I moved back to London.

Thrice as support for Foals (2x) and Phoenix. Thrice headlining their own show starting at a small venue, Hoxton Square Bar, then moving up to Shepherd's Bush Empire.

On March 12, I saw them at Roundhouse for their biggest headlining show to date. It's amazing how far they've reached in just a year.

For support bands this evening, they choose bands whom they quite admired and this was quite a marvelous surprise. It's been quite sometime since I've totally marveled at support bands whom I've never heard before and this night introduced me to two fantastic ones.



The first support band was called Dry the River and they sounded heavenly. Their music is described as indie, gospel, and folk. I quite enjoyed their music, the guitars, violin and the singing all blended pretty well. It was a very interesting set from this new band.

For the second support band, close to 20 people came up on stage. 2-0. That's a lot of people on a stage for a band but the stage in Roundhouse was just about to handle them all. Around 10 were back up singers which is a bit unnecessary in my opinion. It's somewhat like having every friend you have in the band just for kicks.

With that said, these guys put on an incredible show worthy of a headlining act. The band is called I'm From Barcelona (Fawlty Towers reference) whose members are actually from Sweden. According to their online biography, 29 people collectively worked on their records. 2-9. Insanity. The actual number of people on tour depends on who is available.



Despite the sheer number of members in the band, I'm From Barcelona put on an incredibly enjoyable set. Their music is a bit catchy and pop worthy which added to the fun. The choreographed moves while they sang Treehouse was more than amusing.

The experience of seeing them live is comparable to the first time I saw Broken Social Scene live. BSS has considerably less members than I'm From Barcelona. I highly recommend visiting their Myspace page and listening to their music. Youtube provides a lovely perspective of how insane they can get on stage yet produce quality music.

That was quite a write-up for a support band who has been around longer than the headliner. No wonder TDCC admired them.



On to the headliners then. After seeing them 5 times already with no new albums yet, I knew more or less what to expect. This didn't water down the experience though.

What ruined the evening for me was the crowd. For some reason, the popularity of TDCC has continued to attract a significantly bad crowd. During their show at Shepherd's Bush, a lot where young kids who thankfully behaved themselves a little. This evening, there were those who I'd call asbos, so rowdy and picking fights. It was horrible and I tried hard to stay out of their stupid circle pits of death.



There is no setlist on Setlist.fm for the Roundhouse show but it is comparable to this one from Barrowlands, Scotland.

With one album released so far, Tourist History, most of the songs from this album were performed with a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

For probably the 5 time, they started their show with Cigarettes in the Theatre and closed with I Can Talk which is not bad, just predictable. The rest is just a blur now.

This show was simply the best show they've put on which marks how far they've gone. When I saw them at Hoxton, the drummer was just included in the live line-up and things turned a bit awkward. Now, you can clearly hear and feel that they are one band. You can hardly hear the beat machine anymore, that is if one is still used.



Save for the ridiculously rowdy crowd, I enjoyed this show as much as all the other times I've seen them.

Unfortunately, this maybe the last time I see them especially if they play at a larger venue like Brixton. Of course, this would change if they release a new album and do a tour for that. Or play at a smaller, more intimate venue.

Cut Copy at HMV Forum. March 6, 2011.

Not entirely sure how Cut Copy found itself in my music reason but there it was with a few plays alongside.

When I noticed the show at The Forum being for sale, I checked my calendar, noticed it was a day off from work, and immediately purchased a ticket. This immediate purchase of tickets for almost any band I've remotely heard about which falls on my day off is starting to be a disturbing trend.

A few weeks before the show I was starting to wonder why I had tickets to their show. A few listens to their new album, Zonoscope, convinced me that this would be quite an interesting and fun show especially with my recent liking of electronic music.

HMV Forum is more than just a familiar venue now. Prior to gig starting, I recalled my previous experiences at the venue which included shows by Bloc Party, Deftones, Coheed and Cambria, Broken Social Scene, Wolf ParadeFriendly Fires, and of course the NYE party with Foals. Saying it's a memorable venue is quite an understatement now.



Support for the evening was Holy Ghost!, another electronic band much in the same veins as of Cut Copy. This was one of the few occasions wherein the support act was in the same genre as the headliner. Their set was pretty impressive and provided just the right reinforcement and buildup to the main act.

In recent gigs, I've noticed an influx of synth-based/electro music and simply categorise them as good and bad. Holy Ghost! falls in the good side of things.

During the break, one would clearly notice a huge white door in the middle of the stage. Now that I think about it, it sort of reminds me of the doors which pop up in random places in the BBC show Being Human. It was just there, smack in the middle, which led to questions as to what the hell it was for.

The lights then dimmed to indicate the few seconds before the band members walk on stage. Frontman Dan Whitford walked through the door which proved it was a functional door with hinges. During the set, the door's white surface was used as a screen for some vivid images.



Here's the full setlist again from Setlist.fm.

  • Nobody Lost, Nobody Found

  • Where I'm Going

  • So Haunted

  • Corner of the Sky

  • Lights & Music

  • Take Me Over

  • Pharaohs & Pyramids

  • Saturdays

  • Hearts on Fire

  • Sun God

  • Need You Now

  • Out There on the Ice


Opening the evening with an older song, Nobody Lost, Nobody Found, was pretty adequate and sufficiently set up the evening.

As their new album Zonoscope was released only a few weeks before this gig, half of the songs from their set where from this album. Older songs from their two previous albums, In Ghost Colours and Bright Like Neon Love, were thrown in the mix to create a nice amalgam which almost had a continuous beat, flow and tempo.



Highlights of the evening were Lights & Music, Hearts On Fire, and their encore which consisted of Need You Now and Out There On The Ice.

Every song in their set fit perfectly and the end result was one incredible evening. One song just flowed flawlessly to the next.

The crowd was fairly decent as well. Only some light dancing and no mindless moshing from kids. Bands like this draw crowds who knows and appreciates their music well.



Despite having doubts as to why I initially purchased tickets for the show, I had such a great evening watching these guys perform. Their music was put together so well and they simply sounded so great live.

It's nice to have a band like them around which for older people, bring back memories of New Order and the 1980s. I was too young back then, so this gives me a chance to travel to time and sort of experience things back then.

I doubt I'll go out of my way to see them again live but if they do play a show in London again which falls on my day off, I might just see them again.
The title of this blog post is a bit misleading as The Hundred In The Hands were not headlining the show at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Unfortunately, they were simply supporting a bunch of DJ acts which was quite a disappointment for me.

Thing is, this was their only London show during their European tour so I simply had to go as I managed to miss them support !!! (chk chk chk) when they played in London last year as I was on holiday in Tenerife.

I've been dying to see this duo live and in their natural setup ever since I chanced upon them at a bandstand busk last year. As it was a bandstand busk, it was a completely striped down version but was absolutely beautiful. Fell in love with them (and Eleanore) right then and there.

 

There was a moment of skepticism about purchasing tickets as they where only support acts for a DJ show which isn't my thing at all. Considering the day was on my day off, I decided to go for it.

The venue was at the Front Room of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. Nothing so special about the venue but it was fairly adequate as a music venue for urk, club nights. As it was a DJ and club event, it was a very late show.

At close to 9 in the evening, doors were still not open. The front room overlooked the Thames and had a huge window and you could easily see inside. When I arrived in the area, The Hundred In The Hands was still doing their soundchecks.

Doors eventually opened but there was hardly anyone at the venue yet. This was good as I was able to stand and stay right in the front of the stage.

While waiting for The Hundred In The Hands to start, another DJ was playing who I believe goes by the monicker Stopmakingme. In fairness, his mix of tunes was quite enjoyable and so much better than the random bits of music other music venues play whilst in between acts.

At some point, the duo came up on stage but continued to tinker with their instruments. It was not until almost 10 in the evening when they started to play.



And in the blink of an eye, their set was over.

As a support act, they only had 30 minutes on stage and this equated to around 5-6 songs. They didn't play Last City which is my current favourite from their self-titled debut album. Heck, they didn't even play Pigeons which was one of their released songs.

Still, the 30 minutes they had on stage was pure joy for me. I really enjoyed watching the band perform songs for their self-titled album and older EPs.



From what I remember, they played Young Aren't Young, Lovesick (Once Again), Dressed In Dresden, Ghosts, Tom Tom, and Commotion. Not a hundred percent sure, but I'd go with this.

A ridiculously short set, but it was simply brilliant.

Eleanore's singing is somewhat hypnotic which is mixed in with her lovely dancing while Jason provided some simple yet effective riffs on his guitar and synth samples.



Short but sweet and I would pay to see these guys again. I would be great if they'd headline their own show even at a small London venue but a supporting act would be more than welcome as long as it's for a band.

Of course, the evening did not end with The Hundred In The Hands.

An act consisting of two DJs followed after. The ticket says they are Matias Aguayo and Daniel Maloso collaborating for an act which they call Cómeme. To be fair, these guys weren't bad at all and were fairly decent.



I tried to stay close to the stage with a pint of beer whilst dancing a bit but after the pint was finished, I left as dancing alone to a bunch of DJs was a bit off putting.

A third pint of lager would have been nice but I was 10p short of change and didn't want to break any bills. Took this as a sign to leave. I really couldn't get into the music at this point, it clearly wasn't my scene anymore. It was past 11 in the evening and they still weren't done.

It's clear that rockers go home earlier than clubbers in London.

The ticket says Juan MacLean was on the bill but obviously, I was no longer around for this. I did enjoy the lovely walk along the Thames from Southbank Centre to Westminster. London sure is pretty at night.

For some, this maybe seen as a waste of money as I really just saw one band perform for more or less 30 minutes. I would say no.

The Hundred In The Hands is a great band whom I enjoy tremendously. The 30 minutes, though certainly lacking, was enough to satiate my appetite for the band.

Funny thing is, when I was in the tube, there was an article on the newspaper about the event like it was such a big deal. I guess I just didn't know and care about the DJs for the evening and was really interested in the small band from New York who supported them in what was shamefully their only London show.

----------------
Now playing: The Hundred In The Hands - In To It
http://foxytunes.com/artist/the+hundred+in+the+hands/track/in+to+it