By Kieran Webber
It’s that time of the year again where every blog, magazine and publication of any kind starts releasing their yearly sum ups. Naturally, we felt it was our turn to start chipping in with what we thought were our best albums, singles and performances.
This year has been an absolute whirlwind of live music, we have had the pleasure of covering festivals and gigs up and down the country, each show leaving a special place in our hearts. However, there are always stand outs and this year is no exception.
IDLES – Leopallooza Festival, Cornwall
IDLES have been on my radar since the release of ‘Brutalism’ and I had the opportunity to shoot them twice throughout the year, but it was at Leopallooza that the band left me gobsmacked. On the second stage IDLES laid waste to an eager and unaware audience. From the opening strikes of ‘Heel/Heal’ a ferocious energy was felt, they came to leave an impression and they certianly did.
Joe, Bobo and Lee threw themselves around the stage like wild beasts, bursting with passion. At one point Bobo grabbed the symbol from the drum kit and ran around stage smashing it, Joe invited audience members on to join them and security didn’t know what to do, it was pure chaos but it was beautiful. In that moment the audience was unified under a love and compassion for a band with a beautiful and positive message of unity.
It really was proof of IDLES being the most important live band to have existed in the last 10 years. I felt privileged to have been part of this show and it will remain with me until the day I die.
Ty Segall & The Freedom Band – o2 Forum Kentish Town, London
It has been a long time since I wanted to cover the enigmatic workhorse that is Ty Segall and this year I finally got to witness him live. Their set at the 02 Forum, Kentish Town was a energetic, riff infused concoction that damn near blew the walls down. Although a fairly large venue it still had the charm and intensity of a small venue. People were throwing their love towards Ty with every strike of his guitar, each solo that ripped through the tangents it really was something to behold. With such a huge back catalogue it’s no surprise he is able to play a wide variety of new and old but it was during his cover of Hot Chocolates – ‘Every #1’s A Winner’ that the crowd exploded chanting the song’s chorus back towards Ty and the Freedom Band.
It became completely clear that Ty Segall is a rock God worthy of his predecessors like Led zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Neil Young.
Pins – Leopallooza Festival, Cornwall
Closing off my Friday night at Leopallooza was the much talked about all female rock band PINS. We had a rough idea what to expect but their performance at the MONO stage was a sultry, hip swinging rock ‘n’ roll experience. The use of the duel drummers created a large and overwhelming soundscape, backed by the enticing vocals from Faith Vern. They were a wall of sound that was bursting with attitude and for their whole set they had the MONO tent captivated. If you get a chance to see these ladies in action then we cannot recommend them enough.
Slaves – o2 Academy Bristol
Having caught Slaves at Boardmasters two years ago (and being absolutely mind blown by their performance) I was excited to see them again in a tighter, more intimate venue. As expected they bought their traditional high octane energy to Bristol, even though they’d been on the road for months at this point. It was a bombastic rager that was relentless from beginning to end. Throughout their set they played classic tracks such as ‘Beauty Quest’, ‘Cheer Up London’ and ‘Sockets’ as well as songs from the new album ‘Acts Of Fear And Love’ such as ‘Cut & Run’ and ‘Magnolia’.
As always their live performance was exhilarating and exciting and the band continue to be one of best live acts around.
Wolf Note – The Great Estate Festival, Cornwall
The Great Estate is always a mixed bag when it comes to music but now and then an absolute gem will come bursting through. This year that gem was Wolf Note. Their fiery and contagious sound is like pulling the pin of a grenade, stuffing it down your pants and running towards a firework factory. The large, hook heavy riffs backed by the hard hitting percussion is nothing short of mesmerising. Although a quick set, it was one that left a mark on not just myself but on the unsuspected audience at the quaint festival.
I also want to highlight the great performances Kikagaku Moyo, The Magic Numbers, Earth Tongue, The interceptors, Milo Gore, Baggs, Queens Of The Stone Age, Melt Dunes, Isaac Gracie, Luke Moss, Hops, Glass Gaves, Feeder, Saint Agnes, Gengahr, FEET, Bad Nerves, Moriarty, Demob Happy, Kaboli, Raikes, The Rezner, The Velvet Hands, Hypophora & Penya.
Thanks for such a great year of live music we cannot wait for 2019!