A few weeks ago I bought tickets to the third-and-final Prince concert, held last night at Sydney Olympic Park. After missing out on the cheapest ($100) tickets for the original run of two concerts, I found out about this quite by chance. From the humble cubicle in my shared office, the Kyle & Jackie-O Show is an everyday listening party courtesy of my lovely colleagues. About fifteen minutes before 9am there was an announcement that a new Prince show was about to go on sale due to popular demand. Thanking the stars, I sneaked my way onto Ticketek.com.au and successfully remembered my login details enough to purchase two tickets.
So there I was doing my daily skim through Facebook to see if anyone has posted anything interesting, when a dear old friend who I haven't see for more than 10 years offers me a spot on the guest list to see The Damned! being a diehard fan of The Damned since I was still in High School how could I possibly refuse such an offer. The show was on a Saturday night, I am a socially retarded individual so to prepare for the show I drank 3 1/4 of a bottle of Mishka before I even left the house.
There were plenty of other great gigs throughout the year, I missed a lot of them as I spent a good chunk of 2011 travelling. This is just a list of the ones I particularly enjoyed.
Japanther @ The Dome, Tufnell Park, 11/2/11
To be honest I don´t really remember too much about this show, but I remember I had a really good night. The gig was in a building that looked like an old school hall and Japanther´s set ended with everyone storming the stage and dancing to Beach Boys' songs. It felt like a surreal school disco. It was a Friday night and just wound up turning into a massive bender.
Monotonix @ Cargo Bar, Shoreditch 6/3/11
This was the last ever Monotonix show. They weren´t as good as the first time I saw them, but they were still better than most bands.
There’s definitely a weird vibe to Sydney on a Sunday night but I can’t quite put my finger on it. The streets are eerily silent and there is a distinct lack of activity and hubbub that the city usually provides. I know for sure that most people are either still recovering from the night before or getting ready for work or a bludge the next day. Anyway after a long bus trip and a trek up and around Broadway amongst the junkies, the strung out and a few aimlessly wandering tourists, my companion and I finally made it to Hermanns Bar, deep in the murky surroundings of Sydney University.
For those of you who don't know, The Whitehouse Hotel in Petersham hosts a comedy night every Thursday called Speakeasy. I myself have done a bit of stand up comedy, at least a dozen 5 min spots at open mic nights etc. I am by no means an expert on stand up comedy, but one thing I will say is the Speakeasy comedy night is quite possibly the most poorly organized comedy venue in the entire country.
When I overheard a girl explaining to her friend a few months ago that Splendour in the Grass was “like a music festival”, I should’ve known the dream was over. For the two years prior to this one Splendour has been the highlight of my year in music and to some extent life. It was that fucking awesome.
2011’s Splendour in the Grass was remarkably underwhelming. The event was characterised by overspending on big name pop acts Kanye West and Coldplay. Now don’t get me wrong, they were both in the top acts of the festival, but their inclusion on the same bill in the poverty stricken Australian music festival market was to the detriment of the festival.
The Bronx @ The Peel, Kingston, 08/08/11
The Bronx are one of my favourite bands. I've seen them a stack of times in Australia. I've seen Mariachi El Bronx a couple of times in London, but The Bronx never seem to play over here.
For this show they played a really small venue in Kingston, a suburb just south of London. Last time I saw them play a show this small was at the Green Room in Canberra, which was incredible.
We rocked up early and noticed a few riot police vans speeding past. I guess the riots were starting to break out in Croydon.
The first band up was The Computers. The Computers are a punk band from Exeter and seem to be getting quite big.
I spent the last few days in the Czech Republic and attended this festival. Fluff Fest is a 3 day hardcore festival in the small town of Rokycany. I hadn't heard of a lot of the bands on the line up and disliked quite a few that I did know. I basically just attended as it would be my last chance to hang out with some my friends for the next couple of years. The fact that it was damn cheap (AU$40 for a 3 day ticket & camping) also made it a bit more appealing.
A few of us arrived in Prague on the morning of the 21st, we spent the day wandering around and doing general tourist stuff. I was in Prague a couple of years ago and had a great time, it was good to be there again. The next day we met up with another friend who had just come in from Romania.
Alexandra palace is a massive venue up in North London. Pink Floyd & Hendrix played here in the 60s. I had never been up here before and was surprised by the view. The venue is on the top of a massive hill that overlooks all of London. Its a pretty cool spot.
I've seen a few bands play albums in their entirety, Sonic Youth, Isis and a couple of others. I always enjoy seeing a band play like this. All Tomorrow's Parties always put on quality gigs and tonight was no different. A few years ago Flaming Lips were one of my favourite bands and I constantly listened to Soft Bulletin. And Dinosaur Jr are one of my favourite bands, so I was super excited to hear them play 'Bug'.
For a lot of people The Aggrolites are one of those bands that they really want to tick off their "I've finally seen them live" list. So as you can imagine that there was a lot of excitement and fan fare when their Australian tour and appearance at Blues Fest was announced a few months back. As shows up and down the east coast were being knocked over, reports were coming through that their concerts had been top notch.