I made an effort to go to as many live shows as I could last year. It’s something that I’ve missed over the last few years. Here’s a short list of my favourite gigs of 2013.
Van Der Graaf Generator, Glasgow ABC
I’d never seen VDGG live before. They were magnificent. Powerful. Thrilling. There’s no hint of nostalgia in their performance. Peter Hammill is still an enthralling frontman. Highlight was an amazing version of A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers. I hope they come back very soon.
The Enid, Glasgow ABC
The last time I saw The Enid it was five minutes along the road but many years ago. This version of the band is great. “New” singer Joe Paine is wonderful singer and brings a certain camp theatricality that seems to suit the music very well. Robert John Godfrey was in funny and naughty form despite having to make a sad announcement about his health. Overall it was a joyous show. Highlights: One And The Many and a rousing version of Summer.
Zappa Plays Zappa, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
This show was badly publicised and the attendance reflected this. It should have been busier. Despite that I loved this show. Dweezil Zappa and band were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Roxy And Elsewhere album and played all of it in the first half of the show. It was great fun. The Bebop Tango section was hilarious and there was a lot of fooling around. The second half consisted of various Zappa classics from the late seventies. The band was fantastic especially Scheila Gonzales. It’s nice to see people leaving a show with big grins. Highlights: Watermelon In Easter Hay and a spontaneous version of Highway To Hell.
Special mention should also go to great shows by Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, and Rush. I’m hoping to go to to even more gigs this year. I’ve missed live music a lot.