not another end of year list…

Sorry not sorry, I love a list, so I’m joining in.

I’m going to do a “favourite releases of the year” too – but this one’s a bit different. It’ll also explain to all my poor facebook friends why I’ve been constantly uploading gig pictures and videos to the same album all year (actually, that’s just because I’m a bit of a technophobe and don’t want to lose them forever if I manage to kill my phone, but moving on…).

I’ve been really lucky with the amount of gigs I’ve gotten to go along to this year so I’m about to try and give you my “Top 10 Gigs of 2018.” I’m very aware that there’s a high chance the list will be longer than ten, and I’ll more than likely delete it and re-write it fourteen hundred times, but here goes!

My way of keeping track of this has purely been adding photos of each gig to an album on facebook, and it’s meant I’ve had a really enjoyable wee research session scrolling back through them all – reliving my favourite songs from video clips, and moments like sitting in PQ reception watching Snow Patrol play one of my favourite songs, ever, acoustically or Alana Haim grabbing my hand, and having yet another meltdown over Alex Gaskarth wearing a Taylor Swift top… or just Taylor Swift’s whole reputation tour in general actually. So many moments that I could comment on from live music this year, but I’ll not keep you all week. I’ll attempt to keep this short and sweet, and to an actual top ten…

10} Circa Waves @ Bakers Kilmarnock – November 16th.

A wee last minute decision turned out to be the best one in a while. You can’t really miss a band like Circa Waves playing ten minutes from your front door can you? The place was packed, and everyone in the building bounced from start to finish!

9} LCD Soundsystem (& Young Fathers) @ SWG3 Galvanisers – May 27th

After missing out on a trip to the Barrowlands at the end of 2017, I was SO excited to get another chance to see LCD, and they did not disappoint; with a disco ball bigger than the one that once hung in the ABC to accompany them too. Young Fathers opening the gig made it all even better.

8} Jessie Ware @ the Old Fruitmarket – March 20th

I’d just recently become obsessed with her Glasshouse album, so was in my absolute dreamy element getting to watch Jessie perform in such a gorgeous venue. She did the show in three acts, and it was possibly one of the most calming and uplifting, yet emotional gigs I’ve ever been to.

7} Catfish and the Bottlemen & Twin Atlantic @ Summer Sessions – August 25th

I’m still not sure if I’m cheating by counting Summer Sessions as a gig and not a festival, but I’m going with it… two of my very favourite bands, in one place, within a couple of hours of each other, in the sun, with a cider in each hand and surrounded by pals. And Sam McTrusty gets extra points for the suit too.

6} Eliza & the Bear @ O2 ABC – March 31st

Honestly, every time I see this band, they get better and better. It’s literally impossible not to have a smile on your face the entire time they’re on stage too. They laced their set with covers – from AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” to Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” – which went down just as well when it came on later that night in the club we ended up in. Memorable, is the point I’m making here. Keep an eye out for this lot in 2019.

5} You Me At Six (Take Off Your Colours Anniversary show) @ Barrowlands – November 28th

This will come to the surprise of absolutely no-one because I’ve mentioned it to anyone that’ll listen. The most nostalgic night full of songs we’ve loved, and grown up with for ten years. The lyrics may have changed their meanings from when 14 year old emo Jen first got her paws on Take of Your Colours, but they still pack a punch today. And having gotten to interview the band and see their current set the night before too made it even more special.

4} Taylor Swift @ Etihad Stadium – June 8th

‘Reputation’ came at the exact right time for me, and the tour was equally as incredible. I’m not big on massive stadium shows, but when your favourite is Taylor Swift you have to just suck it up. Every single tiny detail had been thought through – from the glow bands everyone was given as they entered the arena, to the tiny newspaper pages that made up the confetti at the end. There were tears of joy, tears of excitement, tears because she gave the most moving speech about being in Manchester, and tears because at one point, Lucinda and I got so excited we bashed heads and nearly knocked each other out. The gal can do absolutely no wrong. Taylor that is, still convinced the lump on my head is solely Lucinda’s fault.

3} Paramore @ the Hydro – January 20th

I went (to be honest, still am going) through a huge obsessive phase with Paramore’s latest album, After Laughter, when it was released last year, and after seeing them play in the Usher Hall last summer, the Hydro show was a no brainer – even though it’s one of my least favourite gig venues. Sometime’s when you’re in there it all feels a bit disconnected but definitely not with this gig. I just remember feeling so in the moment and never wanted it to end. They merged Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” with “Rose Coloured Boy” and it was everything.

2} Coasts @ Saint Lukes – October 21st

This one was really bittersweet. We’d already seen Coasts in SWG3 earlier in the year, but this was a shock, farewell tour, that no-one could have predicted. Such a talented, genuine band and I really do hope that it all works out in the end so we get to hear more from them in the near future. Their gigs always leave a warm fuzzy feeling in your chest, and Chris Caines has penned some of my favourite lyrics ever written. I’m really glad I got to see them play under the fairylights of Saint Lukes.

1} HAIM @ O2 Academy – June 10th

Not only did Haim pull us out of the “we saw Taylor Swift two days ago and now its over and we’re sad” depression, they pulled us out of any sort of unhappiness or outside-world-goings-on for the whole two hours they were on stage, and I’ll never ever not want to be the fourth Haim sister. I’m still unsure how we ended up so close to the front, but we did, and Alana (@babyhaim) grabbed my hand and I had a ‘pure’ fangirl. Another one we just did not want to end. I honestly would have been happy to bop around the sweaty O2 Academy until 6am if they’d kept playing. Drum solos, dance break downs, sister arguments on stage, the whole lot. And I caught Este’s guitar pick, so that automatically makes me as cool as her, right? (Wrong, I know, but a gal can dream.)

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