Gigs Of The Year – 2018 – My Top 3

I have never seen so much live music in a single year. In fact, I saw more live music in 2018 than I have seen previously in all my adult life.

The year started with a album launch “all ages” show by Franz Ferdinand in Kingston-upon-Thames in early February, and was quickly followed by FOUR Simple Minds Walk Between Worlds showcase gigs, and continued on through the year, traversing the length and breadth of the UK and hopping across the English Channel into mainland europe and ending in Northampton seeing Blancmange. From Glasgow and Newcastle, to Leeds, Manchester and westwards to the Brecon Beacons, back over to Bristol, and many trips to London. A trip to Paris and the French Alps via Switzerland. I even managed a local gig! Luton isn’t usually known for its amazing live music scene, it has to be said.

I have no idea how many miles I’ve covered in all this crisscrossing of countries and continents. Thousands, I’m sure! And…I don’t want to think about what it did to the purse strings…but budgeting and shoestring travel makes it doable – trust me! You don’t have to be lavish to do this. Winning free weekend tickets for a festival also helps! 😁

And all absolutely worth it for some of the best live music the UK and the world has to offer.

Now, before I award my Top 3 gigs of 2018, let me recap (and try to remember!) just who and what I saw this year.

February: Franz Ferdinand and Simple Minds x4
March: Art Of Noise and Ruts DC
May: Warm Digits and Vessels, Simple Minds
June: Warm Digits x2, Manic Street Preachers and The Anchoress at Meldown Festival
July: Muilac Festival, Aix-Les-Bains. Caezar x2
August: Thumpasaurus, Green Man Festival, Simple Minds x3
September: Franz Fedinand
October: John Grant
November: Blancmange

All the acts I saw were fabulous…part of the reason I wanted to see them all. There were also a few standout support acts too.

Some worthy contenders for gig of the year, then? Manic Street Preachers…that was a real “love for the fans” gig. The guys were great and the crowd loved them. Franz Ferdinand – at both shows – just great. Make it look so effortless and Alex Kapranos is one of my favourite frontmen, currently. Ruts DC – don’t underestimate the power of ska/punk to be making an impact some 40 years down the road. These guys are great live. The Lemon Twigs – my live music find of 2018 – all thanks to winning a free weekend camping pass to the Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Another act very worthy of note – Caezar. Joe Donnelly and JJ Gilmour have released one of the standouts of 2018, for me. And JJ is a phenomenal singer. An amazing voice. I hope to catch them again this coming February at Oran Mor in Glasgow.

At three: Art Of Noise – British Library – March 9th
An unusual setting for a gig – inside the library entrance, on the mezzanine. It made for a great atmosphere. I’m not an uber fan of theirs, but I just really enjoyed the atmosphere of the gig – there was a great rapport between the group and the fans. The acoutics were great and, yeah…can’t really pinpoint it…I just really enjoyed it a lot.

At two: John Grant – Green Man Festival – August 18th
John was the headline act on day three (Saturday) of the festival and he was just fabulous, and brought me to tears. It was a beautiful night and a wonderful setting.

At one: (who else but!) Simple Minds – Manchester Albert Hall – February 14th
For some it’ll be other shows. It SHOULD be Barrowland Ballroom – and it would be, if my choice was based beyond sheer performance. But I have seen SM nine times this year…and I could choose others. The Leeds grandslam gig was amazing. All three of the grandslam gigs were. But for majesty and sheer performance and for the concept of it, it goes to their Manchester WbW showcase gig. Whereas I thought palpable nerves at Barrowland led to some performance…inconsistancies. The next night at Manchester, they truly had it licked and were PHENOMINAL! They were just FLAWLESS by comparison to the night before. Amazing. absolutely amazing gig. Of the February WbW gigs, it was by far my favourite. It also wins out amongst the rest of the SM gigs I saw this year, purely for that full set of the complete Walk Between Worlds album performed live. Any band wanting to do that – to showcase a complete new package like that has the absolute courage of their convictions.

Congrats to Jim, Charlie, Gordy, Ged, Sarah and Cherisse (and to Catherine AD) for executing a truly amazing showcase of new matieral and killer setlist of hits. You guys f***ing rock the world…my world…the whole world! Thank you!

Simple Minds – Newcastle Oz – Photoset

A great set of fan photos here shared by kind permission from Gillian Spencer. Thank you!

To view full size images, click on the post from the home page, once at the post, click on the individual images for size viewing options on the lower right of the screen.

Toronto Photoset By Angel Marchini

I was hoping to highlight a different photo in the set – a beautiful one of Jim – and had contacted Angel for permission to use the photo to link to the set. He had granted permission for use but wanted to watermark the image in question first and asked me to send on a link to which photo I wanted to highlight.

From there I had no response. I’ve waited a few days, and was reluctant to badger the man, so will highlight his wonderful images via this route instead. And you’ll see the pic of Jim I was hoping to highlight in amongst the set anyway. You can view the full set by CLICKING HERE

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Jim Kerr & Charlie Burchill of Simpleminds performing at the Sony Center. ===================================== Photograph Information: ▪️Camera: @nikoncanada D750 ▪️Lens: NIKKOR 200-500mm ▪️Focal Lengh: 360mm ▪️Aperture: f5.6 ▪️Shutter Speed: 1/640 ▪️ISO: 6400 ▪️Memory: @lexarmemory Professional 2000x 64GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 ▪️Edit: @adobe Lightroom ===================================== Check out more photos or buy prints at www.back2basicsphotography.com DM or email me for business enquiries or questions about my work. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission. Please tag all reshares with @angel.marchini ===================================== . . . . . #concertphotography #musicphotographer #nikon #bestmusicshots #concertphotographer #shotaward #thecreatorclass #justgoshoot #toronto #audioloveofficial #htbarp #igw_rock #uncalculated #pocket_family_member #ig_masterpiece #angelmarchini #nikon_canada #artofvisuals #visualambassadors #ig_captures #ig_portrait #visualauthority #mastersofvisuals #simpleminds

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A Long Wait For A Silent Kiss

Still on the tidying up process of my Flickr account (I underestimated the number of images I have in my account. 20k was not quite right…the figure is nearer 34k! That’s A LOT of images to be sifting through and sorting out!)

The image below was posted by Jim on January 3rd, 2016. Underneath it was my comment to the news about it.

Just on 25 months later, I got my first listen of it…and by heck was it worth the wait! What an incredible song! No wonder Jim was already excited by it! Romantic alright! It’s frigging BEAUTIFUL!

The only gripe I ever had was that…much like Liaison and Bittersweet, it ended up a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Walk Between Worlds. Jim gave an explanation as to why a few days after the album’s release.

But, unlike the aforementioned tracks on the deluxe Big Music album, Silent Kiss was destined (so far, at least – due to the nature in which WBW was to be showcased) never to get a live airing.

Will it ever? Highly doubt it. Will I love it any less because of that fact? NO WAY! It was absolute love upon first listen.

The Mysterious Pic

A couple of weeks back, I was asked whether I’d like to work on a photo of Jim taken at one of the US shows by a lady that attended. She had seen some of my work on Instagram and really liked what she saw and asked if I’d like to try something with one of her photos. I had full creative control on what to do with it.

Tonight I went to work and something pretty fab unfolded, so here is the result.

Thanks to Vidhya @mysteriousdays2 on Instagram for giving me the chance to play around with such a fab photo. I’m so happy you’re happy with the result.

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