I attempted to get tickets for Radiohead the weekend before last. Even though I was online as the tickets went on sale, at the ungodly hour of 9am on a Saturday morning, I was thwarted by my slow 56k connection at home.
I headed to the hammersmith apollo in London to see the mighty Sigur Ros, who created the best album of 2005 with the sublime Takk… Those of you lucky enough to live in the UK and own a TV will have heard the Sigur Ros song hoppípolla being used as the soundtrack to the BBC’s epic new nature series ‘planet earth’. I’m digressing, the gig was a fantastic awe inspiring experience. One of the greatest gigs I have ever been to. I could go on but I’ll spare you.
Photos from the gig, set list and review: Here
The day after the Sigur Ros gig I attempted to gain entry to the new Michelangelo exhibition at the British Museum, which reunites material not seen together since the dispersal of the artist’s studio more than 400 years ago. Unfortunately it was completely sold out for the day. So I went for a wander in and around Hyde Park. I took a few pics which you can see in the Photography section of Cool as… under England/London check them out.
I went to see Seth Lakeman at the Zodiac in Oxford at the behest of my friend, Katie, who’s a big fan. Although not so much of a fan that she would recognize Seth whilst buying his latest album from him at the T-Shirt stand. He played a very good set and his music is definitely worth checking out if you want some laid back folk.
Pete, Dave and I took in Secret Machines, who were playing upstairs at the Zodiac in Oxford. We missed the support group, as a consequence of spending a bit too long in the pub before the gig. Secret Machines themselves were very good and very loud. People were leaving with blood pouring from their ears as well as their eyes. Their lighting crew must have thought they were illuminating a Jean Michelle Jar concert at Wembley Stadium (stadium, what stadium?). We were subjected to bursts of blinding strobe lights as well as searing spotlights aimed at head height that continually swept the crowd. As a result the Secret Machines were in silhouette through the majority of the gig and by the end of the night my eyeballs were running down my cheeks like some kind of Dali-esque clock.
I shall be busy abusing my eardrums at a bunch of gigs around town this month, starting with The Crimea downstairs at the Zodiac in Oxford. It was a tiny gig but the band played as if their lives depended on it, putting their heart and soul into every song. A very good performance, their debut album ‘Tragedy Rocks’ is well worth checking out as is their single ‘Lottery Winners On Acid’.
On Wednesday I headed to deepest darkest Nam (Birming-Nam, that is) to see Jack Johnson at the NEC, quite a big venue for his more laidback sound. I was fortunate enough not to have anyone taller than myself standing in front of me so my view was great and I got close enough to the front for it to still seem slightly intimate. Although, of course, it would have been a lot better in a small venue, but Jack seems to be heading for the big time at the moment. He was on for over 2 hours and must have played just about every song he’s written, a good gig.
I saw the Futureheads play a special little gig in Oxford on Tuesday night, showcasing the majority of the tracks from their second album. Which sounded good live.
I also saw Aussie band: Wolfmother supported by The Presets at the Zodiac in Oxford on Saturday. Wolfmother had a very retro a rocking Zepplin/Sabbath sound. They are massive in Oz with a number one platinum selling album, but no one has heard of them over here, so I got to see them in a venue half the size of my village hall.
I have loads of other gigs coming up soon including: Sigur Ros, Mogwai, The Crimea, The Rakes, The Decemberists, The Secret Machines, Seth Lakeman, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and Motorhead.
I attempted to get weekend tickets for the V Festival today but after finding tickets and putting in my credit card details I was informed that there was a problem with the transaction, and told to start again. By which time it was sold out. A full 20 minutes after the tickets went on sale, must be verging on a record. All is not lost, I did manage to secure a ticket for the Sunday so I’ll be able to see Manchesters favourite miserabilist, Morrissey.