Archive for the 'the b-52’s' Category

The Ledge’s top 10 gigs of 2008

  1. Leonard Cohen @ Opera House, Manchester, 18th June
  2. Bon Iver @ Manchester Academy 2, 15th September
  3. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds @ Manchester Apollo, 24th November
  4. R.E.M. @ T In The Park / Lancashire County Cricket Ground, 13th July / 24th August
  5. The National @ ATP, Minehead, 17th May
  6. Stereolab @ Club Academy, Manchester, 17th December
  7. Eels @ Bridgewater Hall, 27th February
  8. The B-52s @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July
  9. Silver Jews @ Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester, 27th May
  10. My Morning Jacket @ Manchester Academy 2, 27th June
Posted by The Ledge on 23rd December 2008 at 5:49 pm | comments (3)
File under atp,bon iver,eels,Leonard Cohen,Lists,manchester gigs,my morning jacket,R.E.M.,stereolab,the b-52's,the national.

Gig Review: The B-52’s @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July 2008

There are not too many bands that I’ve seen and The Ledge hasn’t, but the B-52’s are one of those (or they were). It would have been impossible for me to avoid them, growing up just south of Athens, GA, in Atlanta where as teenagers we mostly claimed those Athens bands for our own. I was looking forward to this gig for very different reasons from The Ledge, I suspect.

The B-52's @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July 2008We got down to the venue ridiculously early – The Ledge thought doors were at 7pm, turns out they were at 7:30pm, but it meant we had a prime spot at the front in between where Keith Strickland and Cindy Wilson would later stand. It also meant we had 90 minute wait for music as the “opening band” was a DJ playing records we could have listened to at home were we so inclined. It gave us a chance to chat to the crowd around us, and it was a friendly bunch, some had driven up from Reading for the gig and were very excited.

When the band came on, however, opening with “Pump” from their new album, Funplex, perhaps the aging crowd couldn’t really dance so much anymore, but it wasn’t quite the mayhem I expected. Perhaps they were too busy being shocked at how damned good Kate Pierson looks for a woman who recently turned 60 – if I look that good at 40 I’ll be thrilled.

The B-52's @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July 2008Personally, I spent a large part of the gig feeling incredibly homesick. I don’t miss Georgia, or the States in general, all that often, not after nearly 11 years in the UK, but every so often I have a moment. I had one watching REM at T in the Park the other week, and I had one tonight. It’s partly the southern accents which are home – I hear them and they sound so familiar I forget where I am for a moment, and it’s partly the incredibly strong associations I have between the band and my teenage years. The moment they start singing I’m in 10th grade algebra where Casey McKittrick is telling us all that if you play Cosmic Thing backwards you get weird messages about drugs and sex. Some of the boys in the class ask him how he managed to play it backwards and he can’t really answer, but everyone’s still wondering if it’s true. Or I’m in the car driving up to Rock Eagle for a school trip with my best friend and the driver is also one of the chaperones for the weekend who happens to be my brother’s best friend who’s now a student at the University of Georgia in Athens and he’s treating us to all the stuff he’s hearing at college – The B-52’s, Lifes Rich Pageant, They Might Be Giants and the Violent Femmes. Needless to say, I was in a weird place for most of the gig.

The B-52's @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July 2008You certainly couldn’t fault the band for one second as their enthusiasm never waned through a set which mixed up tracks from the new album (which, admittedly, I’ve only heard once and then I dozed through much of it on a long car journey) and classics. “Mesopotamia” came second and they even brought out a couple of tracks that I hadn’t heard in so long I’d forgotten they existed in the form of “Strobe Light” and “Party Gone Out of Bounds.” It was just before the latter, during a particularly brilliant rendition of “Private Idaho” that some guy tried to squeeze in between me and the guy next to me because he thought Cindy Wilson might want to shag him. He was about 22. She’s old enough to be his gran. He got angry when I wouldn’t move for him, but I’m not letting a guy a head and a half taller than me get between me and my view – especially when he was all arms and elbows. He spent the next 30 minutes banging into me and humping¬† my leg in a crowd where nobody was pushing against anyone because the venue was only half full.

Between the idiot behind me and a couple of newer tracks I didn’t recognize, my enthusiasm waned a bit when Fred Schneider wandered off stage and the two women did a new track and “Roam” back to back, the latter wasn’t great. But when Fred re-emerged so did the tunes and we got a riproaring finish, right down to the crowd singalong for the requisite “Love Shack.”

The B-52's @ Manchester Academy, 22nd July 2008In the interval my “friend” tried to push in again and when I told him to piss off I got an ear-bashing because he was a Bigger Fan because he’d flown to Paris to see them and I wasn’t singing – apparently if you’re going to stand at the front you have to sing along, silly me for not knowing. I tried to explain that his experience and mine were different. I was actually trying to explain I was from Georgia and they were making me homesick¬† but all I got in response was “I’m from Dublin and that doesn’t mean I know Bono!” Whatever, dude.

Luckily the band re-emerged with a couple of songs, rounding off the night absolutely perfectly with the party classic that is “Rock Lobster” and the excellent “Planet Claire.”

While I can’t say there were not a few they missed out I’d have rather heard instead of newer tracks, the gig was everything I expected and more than I’d hoped for. After going on 30 years the songs don’t sound remotely dated and the band seem as vibrant and enthusiastic as ever. If they can keep this up for the next 30 years I’ll be a happy girl.

The B-52’s – Planet Claire

The B-52’s – Hot Corner

Posted by JustHipper on 23rd July 2008 at 12:18 am | comments (7)
File under Gig Reviews,manchester academy 1,manchester gigs,mp3,the b-52's.

The Indie Cred Manchester Gig Guide: 21st – 27th July 2008

The B-52'sJust a couple of particularly noteworthy gigs this week, both of which we shall be attending and reporting on in due course. First up is The B-52’s who play the Academy on Tuesday. In the admittedly small list of bands I haven’t seen live but really want to, The B-52’s are riding high near the top so I’m very excited about this. Their classic eponymous debut was one of the first albums my brother and I ever bought way back in 1979 and it still sounds as good today as it did back then. Their latest, Funplex, didn’t really grab me on my one and only listen but I’m sure they’ll bring out “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Claire” and hopefully find some room for “Quiche Lorraine” and “Wig”. There are still tickets available, although ¬£30 is probably a bit steep for the casual observer.

On Thursday Daniel Johnston and Friends play New Century Hall. Now, we’ve never really got all the fuss about Daniel Johnston but that’s maybe because we’ve never really gone out of our way to listen to him. What really attracted us to this gig the list of “friends” that are accompanying, and also supporting, him for the evening, which includes Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Scout Niblett, James McNew of Yo La Tengo and Jad Fair. That we’ll be able to see all of these hopefully play some of their own stuff, as well as getting a chance to give Daniel Johnston a proper listen, should make this an interesting, and highly rewarding, evening.

On Friday Peterloo Massacre play Centro in the Northern Quarter. On a recent visit to Piccadilly Records I was accosted by a member of Peterloo Massacre who had set up a CD player with headphones at the front of the shop and was inviting unsuspecting punters to give the band’s new EP a couple of minutes of their time. It sounded pretty good, if I recall, “a bit like Portishead,” I informed him. “We get a lot of that,” he replied. I forgot about the whole encounter until now but I remember telling him that I’ll check them out should they play any local gigs in the future. I’m not sure if I’ll keep my word, but I’ll see how I feel on the night.

Posted by The Ledge on 21st July 2008 at 12:20 am | comments (7)
File under daniel johnston,gig guide,manchester gigs,the b-52's.