One more look back at 2011 before we really leave it all behind us. Linda was so kind to put together a list of her five top live performances of 2011, and luckily for everyone she has added the worst YouTube videos that were made during those gigs, you know, to really give you the feeling how those performances were. Don’t forget that both Tune-Yards and 65DaysofStatic have live shows scheduled in The Netherlands at the time I’m writing this.
Pulp (primavera) - A completely unsatisfying video of snippets of perhaps the best gig I’ve ever been too. It’s Pulp, it’s in Spain and they didn’t come on until 2am, what more could one ask for? For the duration of the night there were random outbreaks of Pulp sing-a-longs throughout Barcelona. This might have caused the backpackers in our hostel to come out of Barcelona with some not-so-nice flashbacks as we probably scared them a bit with a spontaneous outbreak of ‘Common People’ coupled with a small mash pit on R’n’B night.
Tune-yards (Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen) – This was recorded the day after she opened for Beirut at Brixton Academy, a giant venue compared to the tiny pub-backroom this is. Highlight of the evening was the revelation that the giant pink suitcase with flower pattern trying to stay out of sight at the back of the podium belonged to the bassist. I’m still amazed at the way she manages to build up the beat to the second track around 4:45.
Sufjan Stevens (Royal Festival Hall) – Proving that all you need to get into the Royal Festival Hall is a monkey hat and lots of giant balloons (and perhaps having the single best album of the noughties under your belt – that’s Illinois in case you’re wondering). Vesuvius was also stunning.
No Age (The Bear - ICA) – LOUD MUSIC and Bambi. That’s basically it.
65daysofstatic (Hammersmith Apollo) – “The best band to come out of Sheffield after Pulp.” That’s all Adam Rutherford, the genius behind this video, had to say to get me on board. Oh, and there were also some pretty amazing bits about this space plane called a “space shuttle” (and just in case you’re wondering why the imagery is a bit shit: NASA – the world’s most famous science organisation – decided it was best to do all its recording on VHS).