Me and Matt have seen a lot of live bands this year, so I thought we should each choose our five favourite live acts and why we enjoyed those performances we saw so much. First up, it’s Matt’s five.


Girls @ Talking Heads, Southampton
Talking Heads is a fairly small venue so getting to the front was no problem whatsoever. Christopher Owens was on top form along with Julian Lynch who was filling in on guitar, now a member of Dominant Legs. There was also a great point during the gig when End of the World was morphed into Morning Light through the loudest noise I have ever heard, making my body tremble.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjObIB9gQZw]

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ O2 Academy, Oxford
I have been waiting for this Missouri band to come to the U.K. for years and years, and what luck it was to have them play 10 minutes from where I live. They were a headliner at the brilliant one-day OX4 festival with other acts such as Abe Vigoda, Chad Valley, and some great unknown local acts. They played a brilliant set which included many of my favourite songs such as I am Warm & Powerful, but the highlight had to be when they were 10 minutes from the end of the set, the lead singer switched with the bassist the bassist went and played drums, and the drummer became the lead singer. Brilliant.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boy_xCoxw_s&feature=fvst]

Mount Kimbie @ Field Day, Victoria Park, London
Mount Kimbie was the first gig of the day for my friends and I at Field Day, which was one of the hottest days of the year. The sunlight combined with their lovely ambience, break beats, and guitar playing to create a brilliant overall effect. Every time I’ve seen them this year they’ve produced a great set.
Foals – Spanish Sahara (Mount Kimbie Remix)

The Lewis Floyd Henry One Man Band @ Bestival, Isle of Wight
Bestival is my favourite festival of the year and in 2009 I came across a busker with a mini drum kit, amp and guitar playing along the walk to the arena. He brought loads of people towards him and this year was paid off with having several sets across the weekend. I saw him at the Sailor Jerry’s stage and he was still playing with the same equipment, doing rock covers of the Wu Tang Clan and playing the guitar with his teeth.

Fat Freddy’s Drop @ Bestival, Isle of Wight
Fat Freddy’s Drop are a band from New Zealand who play a combination of dub, reggae and soul. Their improvisation was evident and definitely showed off their skills as musicians. The highlight cam close to the end of the set when Dallas took a sample of each of the seven members playing and created an great tune with his synth.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70SWQCjDfxA&feature=fvst]


LCD Soundsystem @ 02 Academy, Brixton, London
Undoubtedly the most enjoyable gig I’ve ever been to, LCD Soundsystem made Brixton Academy come alive. Despite playing this gig about two or three weeks before the physical release of This Is Happening, their set was full of the best songs from that album, “Home” and “Drunk Girls” for example, as well as their classics like “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” and the eternally great “All My Friends”, the former of those sounded more funked out and exciting than anything else I’ve probably ever seen or heard performed live. The latter made me more emotional than any other song ever has, hearing it amongst a flurry of stage-lighting and the dancing of the crowd, I was mesmerized. James Murphy and co. should be outdid themselves and I’m pretty sure they do every night on tour.
Time to Get Away (Gucci Soundsystem Remix)

Echo & The Bunnymen @ Bestival, Isle of Wight
This year Echo & The Bunnymen toured 1984′s fantastic Ocean Rain, their fourth studio album that has classics like “The Killing Moon” and “Seven Seas”, so catching them at Bestival was a must. I’ll admit that I was then only familiar with a couple of songs, but I was incredibly hyped for the songs I knew, anyone who has seen the original cut of Donnie Darko will know how good “The Killing Moon” is. The performance was mainly full of Ocean Rain‘s heavy-hitters and it’s lead me to go gladly back to that album, which I had barely listened to, that is frankly brilliant. The band themselves appear to have come straight out of some kind of time-warp, effortlessly playing the hits and songs, like “The Cutter” especially, that sounded just as good as now aged recordings. Echo & The Bunnymen are ’80s stalwarts, a band I’m glad I caught live at Bestival, seeing as the chance might never come up again.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM6j14DDtGI]

Male Bonding @ Corn Exchange, Newbury/OFFSET Festival, Hainault Forest, London/KOKO, Camden, London
I’ve seen Male Bonding three times this year. Each time reaffirming why they are considered amongst my favourite bands. Each time displaying a raw energy that many other bands fail to match. I doubt I could ever tire of their set that picks out the more blisteringly fast tracks from their debut, Nothing Hurts, and as much as I love the album, the best way to appreciate them is live. I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to see them and playing in excess of a 120 shows basically everywhere this year, I’m sure their far-streching fan-base feels the same.
Before It’s Done

Dirty Projectors @ KOKO, Camden, London
Seeing Dirty Projectors live this year, after being in love with Bitte Orca for most of 2009, was a special occasion. If you’ve read my review you’ll know how happy I was, KOKO provided the perfect, chilled-out atmosphere that facilitated a variety of swaying or bobbing instead of your usual crazed gig-dancing/moshing. The band were impeccable and it’s hard to find fault in a group that perform with such a passion and obvious love of the live environment. It was a one-off London show that I feel lucky to have attended.
Temecula Sunrise (Live @ Other Music)

Neville Staple @ New Slang, Kingston
I have to put in this rather special (ahem) appearance, with backing band, from Neville Staple, of The Specials. I like Ska music, quite a bit, so I would of been a fool to miss this. I’m glad I didn’t. It’s probably the happiest gig I’ve ever been to. Performing The Specials’ songs like “A Message To You Rudy” and the brilliantly upbeat “Monkey Man” made Neville’s set fucking fantastic. Being amongst a younger crowd dancing side-by-side with the old-age Skinheads and Mods who’d obviously made their way out here specially was truly brilliant. Everyone was happy, everyone smiling. Even in the often-unnecessarily hectic mosh-pit people looked jubilant. Ending the set, before a short encore, with a vibrant version of “Ghost Town”, Neville Staple did the rest of The Specials proud. They’re embarking on a big tour next year, which I can safely assume will be even more enjoyable. The video below is a pretty accurate representation of the gig:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cMPH8BZauY]