Today’s posting is from Aldo.  I first met him about ten years ago via Jacques the Kipper – they were work colleagues. Aldo is in his early thirties and incredibly enthusiastic about music.  He moved through to Glasgow a while back since when we’ve spent a fair bit of time socialising, particularly going to gigs and the occasional indie-club night.  He was also part of the small team who came with me to Toronto last August as part of my 50th birthday celebrations and the photo above is one he took at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern.  The band on stage are The Zilis.  Here’s his take on live music in 2013:-


Those of you who used to read the old blog may recall the challenge set down by JC and myself in 2012 to attend one gig a week in that calendar year, rounding off when the tidy figure of 50 gigs was reached. I entered 2013 with no intention of attempting to repeat the feat and indeed indicated to pals that I’d probably cut back a bit on live music.

It didn’t quite work out like that….

The year had began fairly slowly with only one gig in January and a handful in February, sticking by my intention to stay in more often. However, a number of gigs in the spring/summer, allied with the fact there was a steady stream of enticing shows being announced into autumn/winter brought on the realisation that I could very likely make the magic 50 again.  I’m proud that I did and that the final show of the years turned out to be one of the main highlights.

Looking back over the list there were some incredible highlights, from big acts in tiny venues (Franz Ferdinand, Albert Hammond Jr), to awards ceremonies (SAY awards, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards), returning indie gods (Stone Roses, Suede, Pastels), motorcycle-helmet wearing bluesmen (Bob Log III) and even a concert with my mum (Eddi Reader).

‘So what were your favourites?’ I hear you cry, well here’s the top 5 standouts:

1. The Stone Roses at Glasgow Green

Having resisted any urge to go and see them at any of their 2012 comeback shows, there was no way I was missing them as soon as they announced a gig at Glasgow Green. Being well aware of their live shortcomings, I’d tempered my expectations for a band I’d idolised since my mid-teens, however, they were way better than I could have hoped. This despite the fact I could only enjoy the strains of Fools Gold from the first aid tent, as I’d been knocked over and suffered a cut to my hand in the melee a few numbers in!! A hugely memorable day.

mp3 : The Stone Roses  – Fool’s Gold

2. CHVRCHES at ABC, Glasgow

Sensational homecoming return from arguably Glasgow’s band of the year, another gig which exceeded my expectations and left me on a high for days after.

mp3 : CHVRCHES – Lies

3. Twilight Sad at King Tut’s, Glasgow

The 50th gig of the year and an early Christmas present for JC and I, our faves the Sad playing their debut album Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters in the close confines of King Tuts. Phenomenal. This edged out their show with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in the majestic surroundings of Paisley Abbey which also deserves an honourable mention.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad with the RSNO – The Room (live at Paisley Abbey)

4. Suede at Barrowland, Glasgow

An enthralling run through the back catalogue and a reminder why Brett was one of the greatest frontmen of the Britpop era. A beautiful nostalgia trip.

mp3 : Suede – Trash

5. Arcade Fire at Barrowland, Glasgow

A mariachi band as support, most of the audience in fancy dress, papier-mache heads, a storming run through the new album, and turning the Barras into the city’s coolest disco afterwards – outstanding.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Afterlife

The 50 in full (Glasgow venue unless otherwise indicated)

1. Radio 2 Folk Awards –  Royal Concert Hall
2. Trembling Bells – Glad Cafe
3. Ocean Colour Scene – ABC
4. Veronica Falls – Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
5. Kid Canaveral – Glad Cafe
6. Franz Ferdinand – Nice n’ Sleazy
7. Inspiral Carpets – King Tuts
8. Casual Sex/Amazing Snakeheads – Nice n’ Sleazy
9. Bob Log III – Mono
10. Father Sculptor – Stereo
11. Pere Ubu – Mono
12. Twilight Sad – PJ Molloys, Dunfermline
13. Pastels – CCA
14. Billy Bragg – Queens Hall, Edinburgh
15. Frankie & Heartstrings – King Tuts
16. Stone Roses – Glasgow Green
17. Bruce Springsteen – Hampden Park
18. SAY Awards – Barrowland
19. Twilight Sad, BMX Bandits, Meursault etc. – Oran Mor
20. Jazzateers + Vic Godard – Stereo
21. Ballboy – Glad Cafe
22. Indietracks Festival – Derbyshire
23. The Ballet – Glad Cafe
24. The Zilis – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
25. The Just Joans – Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh
26. Wire – King Tuts
27. Hooded Fang – Broadcast
28. Art Brut – Broadcast
29. Manic Street Preachers – Barrowland
30. Vaselines, Rick Redbeard, Adam Stafford, Ela Orleans – Platform
31. Paul Weller – Barrowland
33. MGMT – ABC
34. Admiral Fallow + Twilight Sad – Paisley Abbey
35. PiL – ABC
36. Big Country – Alhambra, Dunfermline
37. Veronica Falls – Broadcast
38. Suede – Barrowland
39. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Barrowland
40. Savages – Classic Grand
41. Deap Vally – Oran Mor
42. Arcade Fire – Barrowland
43. Julia Holter – CCA
44. Eddi Reader – Alhambra, Dunfermline
45. Withered Hand – Glad Cafe
46. Factory Floor – Stereo
47. Quasi + Hookworms – Broadcast
48. Albert Hammond Jr – Broadcast
49. Wonderstuff, Jesus Jones, PWEI – Picture House, Edinburgh
50. Twilight Sad – King Tuts

After all that I’m definitely cutting back in 2014……


JC adds….

I was with Aldo on 12 of the above occasions.  I probably got to about another 8 shows that he wasn’t at so I’m reasonably happy with 20 in a year.

It is likely, by the time this piece appears that we will have been to our first gig together in 2014 as we were scheduled to catch RH Hubbert /Aidan Moffat last night.  But while that while be my first live show of the year (one that promise to be quite busy for a whole range of reasons), Aldo is already ahead of me thanks to him going to see The Pop Group/The Sexual Objects last Saturday night.  I’ve a feeling he will end up at 50 again this year.