December 29, 2016 2 Comments
Another year, another bunch of music gigs. The previous two roundups averaged 20 gigs a year, but I came up a little short this year at 17 (that I could account for). My idea going into January was to enact more quality control into my events by weeding out some of the old timers who just go through the motions in favor of younger, more vibrant acts. Not sure I succeeded (ahem, Stevie Wonder, RHCP), but I did see at least one pretty awesome younger act in The Wild Feathers.
So without further ado, from Las Vegas to London, here they are in chronological order:
Jason Isbell – Kentish Town Forum, Jan 22 (paid face value: £22.20)
This was the third year running that I caught a Jason Isbell show, and the fifth gig overall in those three years. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jason is one of the best live acts performing today, and one of the most talented songwriters in the world. And for just 22 pounds? Fuggedaboutit. The only small downside — albeit one that did not impact me — was that the venue was moved from the larger Shepherd’s Bush Empire to the Kentish Town Forum, so people were scrambling to find a place just to stand with a view.
Lindi Ortega – Islington Assembly Hall, Feb 4 (cannot remember cost, but it was about £14)
My second time seeing this Canadian-Latina Nashville transplant with a monster voice perform in London. She was just as awesome as she was two years before that (or was it three?). She can absolutely hold her own as a songwriter too — which is what saddened me somewhat when I saw her Instagram post discussing her struggle to fix a broken vintage Gibson acoustic guitar because she couldn’t really afford to.
Dave Stewart – book reading and gig at Hospital Club, March 7 (Cost: about £20 with a free copy of Dave’s autobiography thrown in. I was kindly invited to this event by a friend who is a member of the club)
Wonderful 2-3 hours of the ex-Eurythmics icon reading chapters of his book interspersed with moments of him playing guitar, telling stories, and sharing demo tracks — including an isolated version of Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo on “There Must Be An Angel (playing with my heart).” According to Dave, Wonder kept them waiting for hours in a Santa Monica recording studio, until they had finally had enough and went back to their West Hollywood hotel at 2am — only to get a call saying Stevie was ready and waiting for them back in SM. Back in the car then….