Reading and Leeds may have come and gone, but there are still a whole host of great gigs coming up before the end of 2012. Exhilarating live music is always out there, so much so, that we initially drew up a shortlist of well over 20 tours and gigs.
From scruffy indie and hard hitting rock to the most opaque hipster fare, there’s something for everyone, but we had to whittle it down to the 10 gigs that will steal the headlines and capture the nation’s imagination in the run up to Christmas.
So lets not mess around – let’s get to the Top 10.
10. Pulled Apart By Horses + Pure Love + DZ Deathrays (November Tour)
Three Reading favourites have teamed up for a tour that should have rock fans salivating. Pulled Apart By Horses are renowned for their hard hitting and incredibly energetic live shows – they guarantee their audience a good time. This time their not alone, they’re bringing Frank Carter’s Pure Love and DZ Deathrays along for the ride. Pure Love are fascinating, they’re alienating and exciting fans in equal measure, as Frank’s post-Gallows career continues to unfold. DZ Deathrays, like PAPH, know how to have a good time. Their sets are wild, and the ragged duo made a major impact at Reading 2012. So if you want to see three Reading favourites for the price of one, grab yourself a ticket.
9. Bat For Lashes (October Tour)
Natasha Kahn’s career reached new heights in 2009 when Two Suns was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and “Daniel” took the music industries breath away, wowing Radio 1 listeners and Pitchfork readers alike. The Haunted Man will be released on October 12th and so far the signs are spellbinding. “Laura” was stripped down and corrosively beautiful, while “Marilyn” took on one of the most tired topics in pop culture (the Marilyn Monroe mythos) and turned it into niggling electronic epic. If she can maintain this standard The Haunted Man might just be the album of the year.
8. Alexisonfire – The Farewell at The Brixton Academy
Tickets for this December two night stint at the Brixton Academy have been sold out for ages, but if you were lucky enough to get tickets you are in for a treat. Farewell gigs are always emotional, I still remember fondly and vividly both LCD Soundsystem’s final gig in London and their official farewell at Madison Square Garden, they were incredible but heartbreaking. Alexisonfire, who are departing in a relative good and high minded fashion, are sure to put everything into their final performance, giving their fans one last chance to lose their shit to some of the most enjoyable post-hardcore tracks of the 21st Century.
Those lucky Parisians were treated to a sensational headline set at Pitchfork’s first European Festival, while over in the UK we could only look on in envy. No one expected Justin Vernon to get this big. The cathartic and insular songwriter wrote an album that sounded huge but kept the emotional intensity of For Emma, Ever Ago intact, leading to a series of sold out gigs across the world. Justin is back in the UK in 2012, and he’s firmly rooted in the arenas, so hopefully, we’ll all be able to get a chance to see his stunning live show. It’s not all plain sailing, Bon Iver is broaching new territory, this tour will decided whether an artist this intimate, can make it on the grandest stages.
6. Rancid (November/December Academy Tour)
When you’ve been involved with Reading as long as I have you’ll know that no headliner as been requested as often as Rancid. Sure the Foo Fighters have millions of fans and Green Day are eternally popular, but every year, without fail, people plead and cry to have Rancid headline the Lock Up stage. For various reasons the Ska-punk legends have been out of action and away from Reading, but one thing is clear: punk fans want to see Rancid. So now you have your chance, if you want to pogo the night away to “Time Bomb” now’s your chance, and you never know, they might even play the Lock Up.