Best gigs of 2010

2010 has been an incredible year for gigs. I have seen so many amazing bands in so many amazing places and organising them into any sort of ranking would just be impossible. Below is a list of the ten gigs that sticks out in my head for one reason or another. Photos by me, unless ptherwise specified.

Japanther and Ninjasonik @ Hoodstock, NYC, USA – 22nd May 2010
This was an insane night. Incredible bands, playing in amazing space.


(photo by Rebecca Smeyne, Village Voice)

Loads of photos from the night can be found here.
Village Voice slide show from the night, with more photos

Nana Grizol – The Silent Barn, NYC, USA – 4th June 2010
It’s hard to go wrong with such an amazing band, playing in such a small quirky “venue”.

Andrew Jackson Jihad – The Gaff, London – 8th October 2010
They’ve been around for ages, but I only really discovered AJJ this year. If two people using only a double bass and an acoustic guitar can get a massive moshpit started in North London, they are definitely doing something right. Great show.

Jad Fair – The Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Austin, USA – 14th March 2010
I stumbled upon this show by accident. I’m a huge Half Japanese fan, so seeing Jad play was a very special treat indeed.

Withered Hand – The Wilmington Arms, London – 22nd January 2010
The first show I put on this year and a roaring success, despite equipment issues and the venue being too small for the demand. An incredible show.

Times New Viking, Pavement ATP, 14th May 2010
ATP was all about Pavement, but in levels of fun Times New Viking was hard to beat. From the first distorted note to the very last, the whole venue was just one giant moshpit of smiley happy people.

Trouble Books – The Betsey Trotwood, 14th September 2010
I have nothing to compare it to, so I don’t know if this was particularly great Trouble Books show. One thing is certain, though – I absolutely adore this band and seeing them in the tiny Betsey Trotwood basement was always going to be special. It was the first time I’d seen them and I doubt they’ll be back any time soon.

Best Fwends – Houston, USA – 13th March 2010
I was jet-lagged, drunk and lost in the weird and not especially wonderful world that is Houston, Texas. Best Fwends were running around like crazy, screaming along to a backing track of bleepy electro-punk and wrestling giant inflatable gargoyles. Obviously this was absolutely amazing.

Allo Darlin’ – British Music Embassy, Austin, USA – 20th March 2010
I’ve seen Allo Darlin’ over 30 times this year, but the one that sticks out in my memory is this early day-time show in Austin. It was great atmosphere, with free food and a free bar and the band just played a perfect set.

Les Savy Fav, Electric Ballrom, London – 22nd November 2010
What can I say? You had to be there. Absolutely insane.


Photo by Tim Boddy. More here.

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