I've been to a few gigs lately and not mentioned them, so here's a roundup. They've vaguely linked anyhow.
Mark Kozelek is one of those people I'll just go and see any time he plays. I can't claim to be an old-school Red House Painters fan like Alan, El or Nathan (who all go to the gigs too) but the last few years I've retrospectively consumed his back catalogue and am now a bit obsessed. I seem to have dragged Paul (more about him in a second) into it too so we have a decent crew going along to each gig - Paul wrote up some of his throughts up here.
Union Chapel, in Islington, is a fantastic venue to see this sort of act. Churches are after all designed for performance of a sort, certainly they're based around communal experiences, so it makes sense that it's a space that works well for a few hundred people all paying attention to one man with a guitar. The lighting was fantastic and really added to the mood (see blurry photo above). We've already booked tickets to the next gig, in October!
I travelled up to Cambridge to see the aforementioned Paul Goodwin play one of his infrequent band gigs at the Portland Arms. It wasn't a particularly organised affair - Paul did the door himself for the two support acts (who were both very good) but at some point realised he'd not be able to do it while being on stage at the same time and just wandered off, leaving me and Niall to fill in.
The gig was good but Paul didn't seem to have that much fun, he'd spent the whole time going on about how the last gig had been amazing so maybe it just seemed less good in comparison. He said afterwards he wants to do it again, so that's something to look forward to.
Rosamond and I got tickets for Modest Mouse at the Albert Hall largely they're one of the handful of bands we both like, and neither of us had gone to the Albert Hall for a rock gig before. Mark Kozelek was actually the reason I got into Modest Mouse, because his Sun Kil Moon album 'Tiny Cities' was composed of reworkings of Modest Mouse songs.
Unfortunately I booked rather late, so we were perched up in the circle. I'd read that if you're in the circle you really need to be on the front row, so we ended up looking down on the stage from over the performers' left shoulders (see photo above).
It was a bit of a thrill seeing Johnny Marr play live, and as seems to happen a lot with bands I'm iffy about, I recognised a lot more of the songs than I expected I would. Alan was sitting in the stalls in front of the stage and reckoned the sound wasn't much cop but from where we were sat (behind the PA in fact!) it sounded ok to us.
So that's the recent gigging activity - I've got Bright Eyes booked in July and will be seeing a lot of stuff at Glastonbury too.