Damian picks his top twenty gigs. He’s probably the most eclectic amongst us too.
Having seen just under sixty gigs this year it was interesting to reflect back but difficult to name my top twenty. But here goes
Sparks – Barbican Hall, London – The album Kimono my House played in full forty years on plus other selected songs – all with the help of a 38 piece orchestra. Show of the year for me.
Vashti Bunyan – The MAC, Birmingham – wonderful folky singer songwriter playing a rare show You could hear a pin drop during the songs.
Riverside – Robin 2, Bilston – Excellent Prog rock from top Polish band
Courtney love – O2 Academy 2. Birmingham – car crash waiting to happen but got through it without incident
Patrick Duff – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham – beautiful personal songs from a great artist.
Pity that there were so few there. Patrick seems in a much better place these days.
Ryan McGarvey – Roadhouse, Birmingham – superb Blues from an outstanding guitarist.
Should be selling out the NEC.
Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham – interesting psychedelic show from John & Yoko`s son. Happy to sign autographs and take selfies with fans afterwards. Seemed a reasonably grounded individual.
Urban Voodoo Machine – O2 Academy 2. Birmingham – crazy Gypsy Blues Bop and Soul
A theatre show as much as a gig
Chuck Prophet – Oobleck, Birmingham – electric show as usual from this undervalued artist
Electric Mary – Robin 2, Bilston – superb show from this hard rocking Australian band
Blackberry Smoke – Institute, Birmingham – intense show from this Atlanta, Georgia Southern / Country Rock band
Nick Harper – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham – great show from this under appreciated English singer / songwriter
Bombay Bicycle Club – Civic Hall, Birmingham – super show from this indie band with the wonderful quivery vocals of Jack Steadman
John Grant – Town Hall, Birmingham – compelling show with great backing from the Northern Sinfonia. A Charming, Charismatic and humorous host delivering sometimes brutal songs about prior addictions to drugs and alcohol and about his sexuality.
Michael Schenker – Robin 2, Bilston – good old straight up hard rock from the German guitar master. Seems happy with life and this shows in his playing
Lewis Floyd Henry – Markets, Birmingham – Brilliant guitarist. A street busker. who plays the Blues with a battery-operated amplifier and diddy custom-made drumkit
Bernie Torme – Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Spa – Amazing Irish rock guitarist – one time sideman of Ian Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne
Broken Chords – Robin 2, Bilston – Young up and coming Home Counties Hard rock / blues band. Certainly tear the place up in a live situation
Magic Band – Lunar Festival, Tamworth in Arden – Captain Beefheart`s wildly influential and seminal band. Eclectic off the wall jazz rock.
Tir Na Nog – Lunar Festival, Tamworth in Arden – wonderful Irish folk band still going strong after forty years
A great year of music – here`s to another in 2015.