It’s , and time for the greatest advent calendar in the world (as produced by the wonderful Heather)
Heather and I took a little trip off into London, to see an old friend returning after touring the country, as Dippy returned to the Natural History Museum.
It’s not often one goes to see a professional crossword setter give a talk, but Heather and I couldn’t resist seeing Bluth at the Hackney Empire.
A couple more gigs taken in with Heather, coincidently both at the Kentish Town Forum.
First up were Ash, playing the whole of Free All Angels. That meant that, after a bonus appearance last time, we got Charlotte Hatherley again.
First there was a support act though, The Gulps bringing a brand of punkish rock with a lead singer with all of the attitude, if only some of the talent, to lead a band of that genre. They weren’t awful, they weren’t brilliant. They certainly weren’t Ash.
What Ash were, was as roaring as always. They tore through the classic album in a riot of sing-a-long glory as the crowd dance and cheered. And reaching the end they barely paused for breath before launching into a medley of other hits. The encore came with a hugely loud Girl From Mars and sending us home Burn Baby Burn for the second time, because their sound engineer thought it would be a good idea.
A couple of weeks later there was a return to the Forum, this time for a band we hadn’t seen before, The Enemy.
Arriving quite early we were once again in time for the support, not one but two bands entertaining us. First up to the still sparse audience were Wide Eyed Boy. They were good enough, and a nice little bonus for getting in early.
Next were Little Man Tate, who were apparently around in the naughties but had managed to pass us by. That’s a bit of a surprise, because they fit right into the sort of thing we like. Apparently they’ve just returned after a hiatus and impressive they were too.
Also returning were the headline act. The Enemy took us through a back catalogue of their hits in an load and entertaining set. They know how to pen a sing-a-long lyric or too and the crowd enthusiastically joined in. Much like Ash they finished the night with a reprise of an earlier song, sending us off into the night with chants of “This Song” which continued well along the tube journey home.
I considered putting this in the Bits and Pieces post, but really it deserves its own, so here we are. Earlier this year we tragically lost the drummer of the Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins. To celebrate his life a huge concert was organised at Wembley (with a second in LA), with a line-up that had to be seen to be believed. Luckily, Heather and I got hold of the hottest ticket in town to see it.