As 2016 draws to a close, we catch up with concert promoters and live music industry bods to share with us their gig highlights of the year.
Steve at EVOL: Peaches at Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool
The anticipation for the show was unlike anything I've felt for a while in Liverpool. Peaches, finally after 13 years of trying, playing a brand new bespoke warehouse space developed by the Kazimier crew following the bulldozing of their former much loved home.
It was an incredible performance, pretty much 80% of the audience turned up in costume and it was Peaches 50th birthday and friends and family had travelled from all over the world, the atmosphere was unbelievable, the room full of love. Such a groundbreaking spectacle, everything worked, and to top it off we managed to sneak one of the greatest birthday cakes on stage which the dancers presented at the end of the show and Peaches was overwhelmed. It was a special show and was everything and more I hoped it would be.
Jamie at DHP: NOS Alive Portugal
The best festival line-up I’ve seen in years (Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Chemical Brothers, Tame Impala, M83, Foals, John Grant and a ton more) combined with the beautiful city of Lisbon. Days filled with hammocks and sangria sippin’, nights filled with incredible live bands.
Mike at Bird On The Wire: Angel Olsen at KOKO, London
It was Angel Olsen’s biggest London headline show to date and she had a brilliant new album arriving at the same time. The tracks from ‘My Woman’ sounded just as powerful live as they do on record. Angel and her band really had the whole building in awe.
Kelly at DHP: Explosions In The Sky – Manchester Albert Hall
Manchester Albert Hall is a stunning venue and perfect for a band like Explosions In The Sky. They played a really good mix of old favourites and stuff from ‘Disintegration Anxiety’ and the sound was great. The light show complemented their atmospheric music perfectly and they ended the set with a blackout as the last note was played.
Steve at SSD Concerts: Catfish and The Bottlemen Live from Times Square, Newcastle
We are close with the band and have worked with them previously, but to see them play a gig in our hometown to 5000 fans was mega. The show sold out in a day which considering they are in their infancy as a band was incredible. The atmosphere was buzzing around the whole city with all the bars full all day pre-gig and the band didn't disappoint!
Ash at The MJR Group: Plini, Intervals & Animals as Leaders at The Globe, Cardiff
It was a sold out show full of creativity as virtuoso guitarists nailed their sets, drummers didn't miss a beat and there wasn't one vocalist, yet the musicians engaged the crowd with their instrumental prog rock/metal.
Maz at Communion: Bushstock Festival, multiple venues, Shepherds Bush, London
- Bushstock is all about the genuine discovery of new music. Over 30 bands and artists performing in West London, and back to the roots of Communion which started as a Notting Hill club night.
2016’s festival brought together everyone from lesser known artists who have a great future ahead of them like – Matt Maltese, Joseph J. Jones and Marthagunn to the more established – Shura, Bear’s Den, Palace and Vant – just SO many amazing artists in one day!
Favourite on the day? Would have to be Dan Croll at Bush Hall.
For me, the best thing about that day is watching the real stars of the next year or so emerge and own the stages. In the past we’ve hosted performances from George Ezra, Hozier, Michael Kiwanuka and Daughter at the very beginning of their careers, before they really broke in the UK. Plus we always line up a load of special guests and surprises to keep us all on our toes!
Elliot at Rockfeedback: Bruce Springsteen at Manchester Etihad Stadium
As much as I love going to gigs in tiny little intimate venues, it’s hard to beat seeing one of the greatest musicians/singers/songwriters of all time surrounded by 55,000 people all having an absolutely wonderful time. I can’t overstate how much fun this show was. Everything about seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live is just the best. Whatever kind of music you like, go and see Bruce Springsteen play. It is honestly the best money you will ever spend.
Jim at Village Underground: Death Grips, Village Underground, London
Punishingly loud and abrasive, incredible sound quality and atmosphere - everything you could want from a live show.
Josh at One Inch Badge: Crows at The Black Dove, Brighton
This show had incredible energy and I’m glad I didn’t miss the chance to see such an amazingly enchanting band in such a tiny venue (there must have been about 70 people crammed into a room that could really only fit 40).