Archive for August, 2007

News: Fopp Manchester Re-opens

Fopp RecordsA couple of months after the chain went bust with the loss of hundreds of jobs, Fopp Manchester re-opened at the weekend and, despite the fact that the Manchester store and stores in Glasgow, Cambridge, Nottingham and Edinburgh, were bought up by corporate giants HMV, it was pretty much business as usual when we were in there yesterday. Stocks seemed a bit low with no vinyl yet and plenty of empty jewel cases padding out the racks, plus we were unable to find the new Richard Hawley and New Pornographers CDs, but I’m sure this is only a temporary thing. Also, I don’t remember there being quite so many new releases being offered for £13 rather than the usual tenner. There were, of course, plenty of bargains to be had in the £5 racks and I ended up walking out with 10,000 Maniacs’ The Wishing Chair, Warren Zevon’s live album Stand In The Fire and the recent Replacements compilation, Do You Know Who I Think I Was?. Fifteen Quid well spent. Welcome back, Fopp.

The Replacements – Here Comes A Regular

Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy

10,000 Maniacs – Scorpio Rising

Posted by The Ledge on 28th August 2007 at 6:09 pm | comments (3)
File under mp3,News.

Leeds Festival – Ain’t What It Used To Be!

The Leeds Festival CrowdI’ve been an avid festival-goer since about 1992 when the local college radio station, WRAS, held a one-day event at Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta. On the bill were The Soup Dragons, The Connells, +Live+, Material Issue and Arrested Development, among others. I was 18 years old and it was fantastic – a day of live music in the sun with loads of other teenagers and college students. The following summer, I attended my first Lollapalooza at an airfield in Rhode Island. We watched Rage Against the Machine, Fishbone, Alice in Chains and Primus. The Verve were also on the bill but we were queuing for the carpark at the time. It was 100,000 grunge kids getting off their faces, moshing and having fun.

Since I’ve been in the UK – 10 years next month – I’ve been to every major festival, excepting Download, and some of the smaller ones too, and I’ve enjoyed myself immensely. Each one has its own personality, its own quirks and its own unique vibe and fanbase. Glastonbury, my least favourite, truth be told, has the reputation of a hippie lovefest. In reality it’s loads of yuppies getting off their faces so badly they can’t tell how anti-social they are, but it’s unique and the music is amazing, even if most people aren’t really there for the bands. T in the Park is like the Scottish Glastonbury, it’s everything I expected from Glastonbury from the happy, outgoing, friendly crowds, to the range of bands across all the stages, to the laid-back attitude. V is like a festival-lite. It’s a festival for folk who don’t rough it, who listen to MOR stations like Virgin and it’s corporate and full of bands that 30-somethings play at dinner parties. Occasionally they outdo themselves, like when they booked the Pixies and NERD on the mainstage one year, but even though it’s incredibly corporate and the music is distinctly average, it’s also laid back and I have, usually, enjoyed it. Guilfest is the hippie family festival. The acts are folky, older and the crowd are middle-aged, but the year I went it was well organised and the bands were okay. Summer Sundae is more of a folky and world music place, with rock bands included. Sponsored by 6 Music, it has a wide range of acts, a family vibe and people are definitely there for the music. All Tomorrow’s Parties is indie heaven. By indie, of course, I mean old school indie where the bands are actually on indie labels, not merely guys with guitars who’ve been on the cover of the NME. It’s indie snobbery at it’s finest, where you talk to people about the obscure stuff on the bill that they love and you’ve never heard of, and you compare gig stories. Reading, and later Leeds, is, or used to be, somewhere in between ATP, Download and T. It was the rock, metal and indie festival for music lovers. Used to be.

In prior years when we went to Leeds Festival – and we’ve been all but about 2 years since it started – it was an ecclectic audience of young emo/skater kids in hoodies with chains attached to their baggy trousers, aging, grey-haired rockers and goths and old school indie types like The Ledge and myself. It was a proper rock festival and even if the three groups didn’t necessarily mix happily, we all had our stages and bands and could look on at the other lots, slightly bemused. Leeds was a festival that put acts like The Moldy Peaches, Whale, Pavement and Eels on the main stage. One year we watched Sparklehorse in a tent while the sounds of Ice T spilled over from next door. We’ve seen Guided By Voices, Stereolab, Richard Hawley, Arab Strap, The Shins, Adam Green, Clor, Evan Dando, Frank Black and the Catholics and others over the years. It was a festival where if it was metal day on the main stage, you could count on seeing unusual and ecclectic indie acts in the tents that you’d been meaning to check out for months, if not years. It was great. We would buy our tickets based on a couple of main stage acts and tent headliners and wait for the joys of the smaller stages to be announced. This year, in fact, we did the same, thrilled at the prospect of Interpol, The Arcade Fire, Smashing Pumpkins and The Shins. Apart from The Hold Steady being added a month later, as expected, that was as good as it got.

No mind, we thought, Leeds is always an interesting festival with a crowd deeply into their music, we’ll go, we’ll watch a few bands, we’ll have fun. And then the rest of the lineup came out. Gone were the vast range of indie bands, replaced by NME favourites. It was as if the bookers could not be arsed, picked up an issue of the NME and booked everything mentioned. Tents and main stage were no different, all the bands were either second rate emo acts or sounded like poor imitations of the very poor Arctic Monkeys and Babyshambles. Oh and Razorshite. Who the fuck booked Razorshite as a headliner? Does anyone really even like them or do they just tolerate them?

Ok, so the bands were a bit shite, but maybe the crowds really are into these acts and we’ve just morphed into the world’s biggest indie snobs and we just don’t get it anymore? Except the Leeds crowd was not the same Leeds crowd. Gone the hairy rockers. Gone the goths. Gone the emo kids with their bad behavior and their love of screamo and metal. In fact, the whole crowd looked like they’d been vomited up by Topshop aged 18-22. And these kids were not at this festival cause of the bands. These kids were at this festival cause Kate Moss says it’s cool. How could we tell? There were far more girls wearing wellies ala Moss at Glastonbury (in subtropical conditions, no less) than there were people wearing band T-shirts. We experienced about 2 crowd singalongs – during The Hold Steady and, oddly, the 1990s. These kids weren’t even drinking! Nope, the campsite was can-free, sans puking kids, sans early morning drunkenness. It was sterile and full of people who simply wanted to be seen – often in matching, specially printed T-shirts announcing “Sal’s Girls at Leeds 2007” or “Lads out and about from Newcastle to Leeds 2007” complete with names on the back. These kids didn’t care if they were in the Carling Tent, the LockUp Stage or the Main Stage – it all sounded the same anyway – all they wanted to do was stand around, look cool and throw their £3.30 pints into the people trying to enjoy the music.

I have never – not even at V – had such a bland and sterile festival experience. There was no, bite, no kick and no sense of real rebellion. This was “indie” as defined by the NME, packaged up by Topshop and sold at £145 a ticket to kids who don’t understand that it’s not rebellion if 80,000 other people are doing it exactly the same way.

Sadly, this lack of atmosphere affected the music as well. Whereas 3 years ago I stood unable to see at the main stage screaming along with the whole crowd to The Hives and Franz Ferdinand, this year, packed in at nearly the same place, the crowd all but talked through The Arcade Fire and Interpol. There was a hint of attitude during the Hold Steady but possibly because the crowd contained the freaks and outcasts who had come for the music and again, the few remaining indie fans danced during Battles, but the tent was only half-full. While we saw a few acts we’d genuinely wanted to see – Devendra Banhart pulling a fan out of the crowd to play a song he’d written was charming; The Hold Steady were as amazing as ever and Tad Kubler’s guitar spin was a seriously great rock moment; Peter, Bjorn & John were brilliant and I need to buy their newest album now; Brakes were as cheery and enjoyable as ever and The Shins had me jumping and singing like a drunken fool – I fear that this will be the last time we attempt a whole weekend at Leeds. There’s too many great boutique festivals now that do have the atmosphere and do challenge festival-goers to broaden their musical horizons.

It is a sad day to see Reading/Leeds sell its soul for a few bucks. Leeds Festival R.I.P. You were a great festival once.

Pavement – We Dance

Guided By Voices – Hot Freaks

Whale – Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe

Posted by JustHipper on 27th August 2007 at 4:38 pm | comments (135)
File under Festival Reviews,Gig-goer of the Week,Rant.

Gig Review: The Hold Steady, Manchester Academy 2, 5th July 2007 / Liverpool Academy 2, 11th July 2007

The Hold Steady @ Liverpool Academy 2Though I knew that neither of these gigs could touch their performance at Sheffield Leadmill back in February, I was still expecting great things from The Hold Steady – they’re pretty much my favourite band of the current decade and, in these eyes, they can do little wrong – not even “Southtown Girls”.

The Manchester gig was sold out and I arrived in the hall just as the band were coming on, having spent the previous hour or so in the bar discovering the consequences of the smoking ban for non-smokers like myself: people you’re having a pleasant coversation with tend to disappear rather suddenly and don’t come back for a good 20 minutes. I assumed they went for a ciggy but maybe they could smell my BO and decided they needed some fresh air. Anyway, I managed to squeeze my way through the throng to about halfway as The Hold Steady were ripping through a scorching “Stuck Between Stations”. Next was “The Swish” – the one song I was most desperate to hear on the night – with it’s swaggering decending guitar riff and thrilling chord changes punctuating the verses. It was monumental. They followed this with “Banging Camp” – another killer riff from Tad Kubler – to complete a quite brilliant opening salvo. From thereon in it was mostly Boys And Girls In America material and it was a fine gig with the band on excellent form and the crowd singing along to the singalong chrouses of “Massive Nights”, “You Can Make Him Like You” and “Southtown Girls” (but not so much to Craig Finn’s breakneck verses), egged on by the highly entertaining Franz Nikolay.

The Hold Steady @ Liverpool Academy 2The Liverpool gig a few days later wasn’t sold out, which was surprising as it was in the relatively small Academy 2, which is probably smaller than Manchester’s Academy 3. We like Liverpool’s Academy 2 a lot: it’s an intimate venue and in the past we’ve seen the likes of The Shins, Broken Social Scene and The Go-Betweens there – bands who, in other cities, would have been selling out much larger venues. Given this, it was inevitable that this was to be a better gig than Manchester. There was the same level of energy and enthusiasm from the band, and from the crowd, but the intimate nature of the gig and a setlist that included “Chicago Looked Tired Last Night”, “Arms And Hearts”, “Positive Jam” and “Knuckles” tipped the balance. “Southtown Girls” was a highlight; though derided by some, it’s a song that really works live, especially with Franz Nikolay’s great harmonica solo. The inclusion in the encore of “Positive Jam” and “Knuckles” from their Almost Killed Me debut was the icing on the cake and the exclusion of traditional closer “Killer Parties” – because they overran – mattered not a jot. Roll on Leeds Festival.

The Hold Steady – The Swish

The Hold Steady – You Can Make Him Like You

Posted by The Ledge on 20th August 2007 at 7:26 pm | comments (3)
File under Gig Reviews,mp3,Reviews.

Gig Reviews: Band Of Horses/Emily Haines/Of Montreal/Andrew Bird/Art Brut

Band Of Horses @ The Music Box, Manchester
We’ve got a bit more catching up to do…

We went to see Band Of Horses at the Music Box way back on 24th May and they were mighty fine. They may often get compared to Arcade Fire, The Shins and My Morning Jacket but live only the My Morning Jacket comparisons stick. They’re Southern boys, all check shirts, trucker caps, beards and tattoos, and they seriously rocked, spitting out furious versions of “The Funeral” and “Wicked Gil” but showing their subtler side with beautiful versions of “Our Swords” and “Part One”. The new stuff sounded pretty damn good as well, not least the song that ended halfway through after Ben Bridwell forgot the lyrics and got really mad with himself.

A week later and we were at the Club Academy to see Emily Haines And The Soft Skeleton play their quiet songs to a hushed, seated audience. Emily played piano throughout and it was all very nice and relaxing but I must admit to getting a little bored along the way and spent much of the gig wondering what exactly The Soft Skeleton was doing on his laptop in between occasionally triggering a new sound and fiddling briefly with his effects wheel. Catching up on Questionable Content? Paying his electricity bill? Who knows.

The next night we saw Of Montreal at The Roadhouse and very much enjoyed their psychedelic glam disco rock and pantomime costumes even though, as anyone who’s ever been to the Roadhouse will know, we couldn’t really see any of the action – there’s a decent view for about eight people in the Roadhouse. Not even those at the front could see the drummer, however, as he was positioned behind the white backdrop at the back of the stage, doing his thing in private as his band mates cavorted for the appreciative crowd, while occasionally live footage of his endeavours were projected onto said backdrop along with the usual psychedelic montages.

Back at the Club Academy a few days later Andrew Bird wowed us all with his multi-instrumentalism, mixing up violin, guitar, keyboards, glockenspiel and some world class whistling with the aid of a looping pedal to create an impressive one man symphony. We’ve recently seen such looping techniques used with violins from the likes of Owen Pallett and the guy out of Nephew (both of whom were in the audience, with the exception of Pallett) but Andrew Bird took it all to a whole new level. The performance began to drag towards the end but I put this down to my unfamiliarity with his new material more than anything else.

Art Brut @ Manchester Academy 3Art Brut‘s gig at the Academy 3 on 15th June was the third time they’d played the same venue in the past 18 months which suggests that, while they seem to be making great strides in the US and Germany, they seem to be treading water over here. There was little to distinguish this gig from the previous two but for a bunch of tunes from the new “It’s A Bit Complicated” album. Eddie Argos was very funny as usual (and very drunk), the band played a blinder and there was a huge amount of crowd surfing going on. Another very enjoyable night, then, but it would be nice to see them making a bit more progress in their home country.

Andrew Bird – A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left

Emily Haines And The Soft Skeleton – The Maid Needs A Maid

Of Montreal – A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger

Art Brut – Pump Up the Volume

Band Of Horses – Part One

Posted by The Ledge on 19th August 2007 at 8:41 pm | comments (4)
File under Gig Reviews,mp3,Reviews.

Great Band, Shit Song #3: “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen

Born in the USA album coverReleased in 1984, Born in the USA was arguably the pinnacle of Bruce Springsteen’s commercial success. It was my introduction to his ouvre, as an 11-year-old budding music lover in the deep southern USA. We were sold that album on the basis that it was about us, about where we came from and we should be proud of our country, even with all its faults. Strangely, as 11-year-old girls we took to it, even though it is an unbelievably bleak record about lost dreams and failed lives. As an album it felt real, like it was about life rather than esoteric gobbledygook like most of the other records we were listening to at the time – Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, A-Ha, etc. Ronald Reagan and the Republican party liked it as well, choosing the title track as the theme for their 1984 presidental campaign. I’m not sure they actually understood it was about how America had failed her working class, all they could hear was the chorus.

This album, even though I did not particularly understand it at the time, really did capture the essence of what the American dream had become, even if it’s not about my life today, it certainly strikes a chord about my parents’ lives. Brought up to believe that in America everyone can be a millionaire, that anyone can be president and all your dreams will always come true, the reality, especially in the Reagan years, was far different. University education was expensive, but without one a good job was impossible. Inflation and rising taxes meant that money was always tight and my whole childhood was a time where both my parents did jobs they did not particularly like in order to provide me with those opportunities that they had been promised all their lives and which had never materialised. Springsteen talking about, on tracks like “Working on the Highway” or “Downbound Train,” failed relationships, the weight of poverty, the struggle to drag yourself into a monotonous job you hated or, on “Glory Days,” the crushing weight of feeling that your best days were behind you when you left high school and became an adult really encapsulates the experience of generations of people for whom the American dream is nothing more than a myth designed to get people to work longer hours and accept less holidays and not unionize. What makes it so much more powerful is that amidst all the bleakness, he ends the album with “My Hometown” which shows a real pride in people’s ability to find hope and to carry on and to teach their kids pride about where they come from and to try to give their kids a better chance than they had.

About halfway through this album, however, sandwiched between “Downbound Train,” pretty much one of the bleakest moments on the record, a song about a guy who’s lost his job, his wife, and who is struggling just to get through each day; and “No Surrender,” a track about following your dreams and not giving up even in the face of diabolical adversity, sits “I’m on Fire,” a vile song, so remarkably out of place that I’m surprised it was included on the record, much less released as a single. In it, Springsteen, a sweaty, deep-voiced thirty-something man, sings a love song to a “little girl” asking her “Is your daddy home?” so he can come over and violate her in all sorts of ways which were somewhat unimaginable to me at 11 or 12 years old. In fact, he goes so far as to ask her if her daddy can “do to you the things that I do?” As a child all I could imagine was Bruce Springsteen, a man far too old for me, singing that song to a sixteen year old girl. Now, I’m sure that’s not what the intention was, the phrase “little girl” was probably meant as a term of endearment and the narrator is probably meant to be a teenager, but that’s how it always came across to me in my head. He sounded sleazy and lusty trying to get some young girl out of her house away from protective parents and into his bed where he wanted to do things to her that her parents would not approve of. Even now that is exactly the picture that creeps into my head when I hear it and all I can think of is “Eew! Gross!”

So, the song itself just seems wrong on many levels but I also question what it’s doing on the album. Was it added there to provide some levity in the middle of all the bleakness, to give a change of pace? If so, there’s far better and lighter songs on the record in the part of “Dancing in the Dark” and “Darlington County” as well as the aforementioned “No Surrender.” There’s another love song which is far more romantic in the form of “Cover Me.” This song is just padding, and kind of yucky, vaguely lecherous padding at that. Maybe it’s a sign of a difference in the times and as a track it would never have been written in 2007, and maybe I have far too vivid an imagination, but even taking out the ick-factor of the lyrics, it’s just a plodding, unmysterious and overtly sexual love song reminiscent of a drunkard chatting women up at the bar at 2am when he’s desperate and too inebriated to be subtle. It takes the fizzle out of the record, mid-play, kills the flow and deserves consignment to the dustbin of crap songs.

Born in the USA is a classic album, despite what The Ledge hates in regards to its cheesy ’80’s production, but it captured the mood of a nation. Shame about the one misfire.

Bruce Springsteen – “I’m on Fire”

Bruce Springsteen – “My Hometown”

Posted by JustHipper on 12th August 2007 at 1:18 pm | comments (8)
File under Great Band,mp3,Shit Song.

News: Anthony Wilson, R.I.P.

It’s truly a sad day for culture and music in Manchester, and around the world. On Friday evening Anthony Wilson, a founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda, passed away in Christies Hospital in Manchester from a heart attack. He had been undergoing treatment for cancer.

Wilson was a true patron of music, encouraging young bands at a financial loss to himself. He is responsible for bringing us Joy Division, The Happy Mondays and New Order, amongst others. He was the founder of In the City, a festival of music devoted to giving rising talent the chance to perform in front of the country’s media and music industry. He helped make Manchester the cultural centre is is today and he will be sorely missed.

Manchester Confidential has a full obituary, complete with comments.

Posted by JustHipper on 12th August 2007 at 1:15 pm | comments (0)
File under News.

News: The 2007 Manchester Blog Awards

It’s not music specifically, it’s local bloggerati fun and games, but The Manchizzle is now taking nominations for the 2007 Manchester Blog awards, to be held at the same time The Decemberists are playing in Liverpool. Boo! Hiss!

Seriously though, it’s great to see local bloggers supporting each other and if you’re in the area and not otherwise engaged watching a really great band over in Liverpool, you should first nominate your favourite music blog and then make plans to attend the ceremony and watch and cheer as a more deserving blog wins the category.

Posted by JustHipper on 6th August 2007 at 8:50 pm | comments (3)
File under News,Random comment.

Gig Review: James at Birmingham Academy 24/04/07, Brixton Academy 26/06/07, Manchester HMV and Club Academy 30/04/07

Before I begin, apologies for the delay in this post. Sometimes we run out of blogging steam a bit. This has been a hard one because as a result of too many gigs in too many far-off places, too much time on trains and in cars and not enough sleep, I managed to acquire a vile cold followed by a rather unpleasant ear infection and a new job which requires about 3 hours travel time a day and I have barely had the energy to get out of bed in the morning, much less keep up with blogging, but come autumn things should improve and hopefully we’ll get back to more regular posting (or I will, The Ledge has no excuse, he just hasn’t been in the mood). As a result, I’m not sure I can capture the giddiness of these gigs, but I will try.

I began my silly week of gigging with a mid-afternoon train ride to Birmingham to see James play the Academy, a venue to which I’d never been, and a smaller venue than I expected James to play on any comeback tour. When we made our way inside, shortly before The Twang began their set, the place was already heaving and sweaty, a bad sign of things to come. The Twang, as opening bands go, were not the worst band I’d ever seen open for James. They certainly were, say, less suicide-inducing than The Stereophonics, but watching their 2 singers strutting around the stage trying to emulate Ian Brown while sounding like Flowered Up or The Farm, I couldn’t help wonder why a group of young Brummie lads wanted to play music that was so hopelessly entrenched in the past, and why this music was a pale imitation of the third tier bands of the early-nineties Manchester scene rather than at least being a pale imitation of the first tier bands. They finished soon enough though.

Now, Birmingham is pretty much a muddle. I spent much of the gig being very hot and uncomfortable, being shoved around and feeling massively unsafe. At one point a drunken lout nearly pushed me down, pushed the lady in front of me over and received a kick in the nuts from me as a means of self-defense – he didn’t even notice. When I managed to stumble out of the crowd to a place where I could see nothing but speaker stack, I did notice that James sounded great. They had indeed continued the trend they began at Hoxton of mixing the set up and adding some old lost classics back in, including “Hymn From a Village” and “Honest Joe.” They have also gone back to the original version of “Come Home” with the long, aggressive trumpet-like intro, rather than the techno one. I can’t remember which mix is called what.

Birmingham, however, was not a patch on Brixton, which began with me finding myself down the front amidst loads of familiar faces and ended with us meeting a bunch of foreigners who’d travelled to London for the gigs who wanted to buy fanzines. The set was utterly ecstatic, I spent much of it with goosebumps and a stupid grin on my face and I wasn’t the only one. Neither Tim nor Larry could contain themselves either. “Waltzing Along,” my least favourite track on Whiplash, was spectacular and celebratory, “Out To Get You” provided a touching audience singalong, “Sit Down” brought back memories of why it was such a massive hit and “Gold Mother was just a cacophany of brilliance, with Tim inviting some rather bendy women on stage to dance. Brixton also had the unique experience of the crowd applauding security for pulling a drunken creep out of the crowd as he tried to flee, after he’d been reprimanded both by women stood near to him and by security twice for accosting and licking the neck of a young woman in front of him. There’s always one though, eh?

My James reverie was interrupted briefly for a remarkable weekend of Warren Ellis, Nick Cave and loads of Aussie goodness at Butlins, marred ever so slightly by a heinous cold acquired presumably from far too many late nights sleeping on camp beds and floors over the previous week.

Utterly exhausted, we returned to Manchester and a house guest, one Californian who’d spent the weekend getting over jet lag in our house after watching James at the MEN Arena who had also managed to get her and I wristbands for James’ in-store performance at HMV that evening. I had enough time for a shower and a rummage through the kitchen before we rushed back into town. It was to be two performances. The first at the in-store and the second a secret gig for Amazon and XFM competition winners only, to take place at the sight where Jim Glennie first met Tim Booth – in the basement of the Manchester University Student Union, currently called Club Academy.

The HMV instore was deep in the basement where they have a stage. I’d never been to one of these and didn’t know about this secret room. James had decked the stage out in tea lights and came on for a full-on performance including “Out to Get You,” “Sit Down,” and “Chain Mail” and it was amazing, if brief. The place was so crowded and sweaty and cramped that Tim insisted that the people at the front let a couple of young children through so they could see. When we realised what the wait would be like for the signing, we opted instead to make our way down to the Uni and get some food before the second set of the day.

After a ridiculous wait for a rather unorganised show – we queued first with the crowds for two other gigs, received wristbands and got sent to the bar to wait for another hour or so before being “summoned” downstairs. Why we didn’t just get told to queue by the door into Club Academy at the back of the building is beyond me…we then waited another 45 minutes or so for the band who emerged all smiles to point out that this was the scene of their formation – where Tim met Jim over 25 years ago. They wanted to deliver a special gig and they did not disappoint. In fact the set focussed on early James material with “If Things Were Perfect,” “Really Hard” and “Medieval” making appearances alongside such gems as “Seven” and “Heavens.” In fact, Seven was the only single they played until the very end when they did “Getting Away With It” and “Laid” in the encore. It was a magical gig, one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where if I could have written the setlist myself it probably would have looked much like what the band delivered. The crowd was all smiles and cheers and it was a friendly crush of dancing and celebration – what I expected from Hoxton a month prior.

If I could have orchestrated the James comeback myself, written the setlist and demanded something specific from the shows I couldn’t have done a better job. Even if it is only the nostalgia keeping us going back for more, this is how reunion tours should be – full of pride at a back catalogue which is richer than most people realise, and playful – delighting the old fans and challenging any newer ones. If it ends with James doing a once-a-year arena tour playing songs from their heyday; if they play like this, I’ll happily keep going back.

Posted by JustHipper on 6th August 2007 at 8:36 pm | comments (0)
File under Gig Reviews,Reviews.