Category Archives: Gig/Concert [Live Music]

300. St. Vincent: O2 Academy, Leeds [28.8.18]

300a_St. Vincent [280818]Artist: St. Vincent

Support: Girl Gang Leeds [DJ Set]

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 28.8.18

Another landmark gig (no. 300) – and what a gig it was; instantly claiming a place in my all time top 10.

The entire audience seemed to be in love with the awesome power and presence of Annie Clark (AKA St. Vincent). The very definition of ‘Masseduction’.

300e_St. Vincent [280818]

300f_St. Vincent [280818]

297. New Purple Celebration: Leeds Town Hall [16.8.18]

297a_New Purple Celebration [160818]Artist: New Purple Celebration

Venue: Leeds Town Hall

Date: 16.8.18

I usually avoid tribute bands, in fear of them tainting legends or simply cashing-in on the effort of others.

However, having foolishly missed the opportunity to see the true ‘purple one’ before his premature departure, the chance to see Prince’s music performed live was hard to refuse (especially as the tickets were free).

Although they’ll never come close to the real thing, New Purple Celebration are an incredibly talented collective of musicians who clearly love the music of Prince in his many guises. This was a welcome chance to hear respectful recitals from his back catalogue.

Shame about the audience, who were generally a crowd of fidgety morons with minimum attention span (probably due to a high number of complimentary tickets being issued). I expect the fans were rather more engaged at real Prince gigs.

297b_New Purple Celebration [160818]

297d_New Purple Celebration [160818]

294. Gary Numan: The Picturedrome, Holmfirth [18.7.18]

294a_Gary Numan [180718]Artist: Gary Numan

Support: Nightmare Air

Venue: The Picturedrome, Holmfirth

Date: 18.7.18

294b_Gary Numan [180718]294c_Midnight Air [180718]

Having waited a gig-goer’s lifetime to see Gary Numan, I got to do so three times within 12 months – thanks to his ‘Savage’ resurgence. Always a spectacular set from the ever-evolving showman – but this intimate warm-up show for the forthcoming Bluedot Festival was by far the best.

294d_Gary Numan [180718]

Setlist: Pressure / Halo / The Fall / Metal / Ghost Nation / Bed of Thorns / Me! I Disconnect from You / Pray for the Pain You Serve / Here in the Black / My Name is Ruin / Down in the Park / Cars / Love Hurt Bleed / My Jesus / When the World Comes Apart // A Prayer for the Unborn / Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

291. Let’s Rock Leeds: Temple Newsam, Leeds [16.6.18]

291a_Let’s Rock Leeds [160618]Artists: Adam Ant / The Boomtown Rats / ABC / Marc Almond / Nik Kershaw / The Real Thing / Aswad / Black Lace / Kim Appleby / Heather Small / Hazel Dean / Peter Coyle (Lotus Eaters) / Anabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow) / Brother Beyond / Fuzzbox / Toyah / The Christians / Captain Sensible

Venue: Temple Newsam, Leeds

Date: 16.6.18

291b_Let’s Rock Leeds [160618]

I grew up in East Leeds during the 1970s and ’80s. It therefore seemed appropriate to return to Temple Newsam (a regular haunt during past school summer holidays) to see the musicians who influenced my music tastes.

Having previously seen Adam Ant perform Dirk Wears White Sox and Blueblack Hussar gigs, it was good to see him do a hits set in the headline slot.

Another highlight was seeing over-protective parents ushering their offspring from the event as The Boomtown Rats took to the stage with Bob Geldolf dropping a barrage of f-bombs. The social media backlash was laughable – what the f*ck did people honestly expect.

291c_Let’s Rock Leeds [160618]

291d_Let’s Rock Leeds [160618]

290. The Wedding Present: The Chapel, Leeds [9.6.18]

290a_The Wedding Present [090618]

Artist: The Wedding Present

Support: Napoleon IIIrd

Venue: The Chapel, Leeds

Date: 9.6.18

‘Tommy’ 30th Anniversary Tour: The line-up of The Wedding Present may have gone through many changes over the past three decades but their music has stood the test of time.

An intimate ‘home-town’ gig and set of Wedding Present favourites, interspersed with David Gedge’s familiar witty banter. Big sound, small venue, ringing ears!

Setlist: Corduroy / Two Bridges / Gazebo / Brassneck / Go Out and Get ‘em Boy / (The Moment Before) Everything’s Spoiled Again / Once More / Ringway to Seatac / At the Edge of the Sea / Boo Boo / The Queen of Outer Space / What Becomes of the Broken Hearted / Living and Learning / This Boy Can Wait / Felicity / You Should Always Keep in Touch with Your Friends / I’m Not Always So Stupid / Kennedy / Never Said / Every Mother’s Son / My Favourite Dress / Take Me!

290b_The Wedding Present [090618]

290. The Breeders, Leeds University, Stylus [29.5.18]

289a_The Breeders [290518]Artist: The Breeders

Support: Pip Blom

Venue: Leeds University, Stylus

Date: 29.5.18

I’d waited many years to see The Breeders play live, with chances to do so being few and far between. Sounding flawlessly and exuding cool, the atmosphere of this gig took me back to my student days and reminded why the band have been a firm favourite ever since.

289b_The Breeders [290518]

289c_The Breeders [290518]


289s_The Breeders [290518]

288. Rubble at Mill, Farsley, Leeds [27.5.18]

288a_rubble at mill [270518]Artist: Aziz Ibrahim & Dal Singh Rattan (Aziz & Dal)

Support: Bloxed Beats / Toria Garbutt, Louise Fazackerley & Kirsty Taylor (Nymphs & Thugs) / Testament

Venue: Trouble at Mill, Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley, Leeds

Date: 27.5.18

As always, an impressive array of talent formed the line-up for the last ever ‘Trouble at Mill’ before the venue was to be demolished – therefore ‘Rubble at Mill’ on this occasion.

Music, spoken word poetry and beatboxing, accompanied by fine food and drink. Such nights will be missed but the spirit lives on in a new home; The Constitutional, Farsley.

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288e_aziz & dal [270518]


285. Mexrrissey – La Reina is Dead: Church, Leeds [28.4.18]

285a_Mexrrissey [270418]Artist: Mexrrissey

Venue: Church, Leeds

Date: 28.4.18

The Queen is Dead and you have a Girlfriend in a Conga. All the more reason to celebrate as Mexrrissey exchanged misery for mariachi and brought their infectiously upbeat versions of The Smiths and Morrissey classics to Leeds International Festival.

285b_Mexrrissey [270418]

285d_Mexrrissey [270418]

285c_Mexrrissey [270418]

284: Twisted Wheel: Lending Room, Leeds [26.4.18]

Artist: Twisted Wheel

Support: The Darlies / The Strawberries

Venue: Lending Room, Leeds

Date: 26.4.18

Why reinvent the wheel? Why not!

Reformed and reborn with Jonny Brown fronting a new line-up; Twisted Wheel made a welcome return to the music scene with an intimate but raucous gig at Lending Room.

284a_Twisted Wheel [260417]

284b_Twisted Wheel [260417]


282. Roni Size: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds [24.2.18]

282a_Roni Size [250218]

Artist: Roni Size

Venue: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Date: 25.2.18

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282e_Roni Size [250218]

282f_Roni Size [250218]

The 20th Anniversary of Roni Size / Reprazent’s ‘New Forms’. A pioneering album that brought drum & bass to the mainstream. Performed live at this gig by a solo Roni Size, the timeless tracks sounded as fresh and edgy as ever. New Forms, old classics, timeless.

282g_Roni Size [250218]

Setlist: Morse Code / Railing / Brown Paper Bag / New Forms / Let’s Get It On / Trust Me / Electricks / Heroes / Down / Western / Watching Windows / Digital / Hold the Front Page / Hi-Potent / Share the Fall / Unknown (New) / Dirty Beats / Unfinished Sympathy // Unknown




275. The Pigeon Detectives: O2 Academy, Leeds [3.11.17]

275a_The Pigeon Detectives [031117]Artist: The Pigeon Detectives

Support: Little Comets / The Hangnails

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 3.11.17

Wait for Me – 10 Year Anniversary Tour. Where the f*ck did that decade go? I was one of the older members of the crowd at Leeds Town Hall when this album was released in 2007 – even more so on this anniversary gig.

275b_The Pigeon Detectives [031117]

275e_The Pigeon Detectives [031117]

275f_The Pigeon Detectives [031117]




274. GoGo Penguin: Howard Assembly Room, Leeds [28.10.17]

274a_GoGo PenguinArtist: GoGo Penguin

Venue: Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Date: 28.10.17

GoGo Penguin’s reinterpretation of the score to Godfrey Reggio’s powerful visual documentary Koyaanisqatsi. The perfect fusion of Blue Note jazz and ambient electronica. Played live to accompany the striking visuals of the film.

274b_GoGo Penguin

274c_GoGo Penguin

274e_GoGo Penguin [281017]

266. CUD: The Leeds Show, Temple Newsam [29.7.17]

266a_The Leeds Show [290717]

Artist: CUD

Support: Glass Mountain

Venue: The Leeds Show, Temple Newsam

Date: 29.7.17

Last time I paid £3 to see CUD was during the late 80s at a packed-out ‘Duchess’ gig in Leeds. Nearly 3 decades later I’m one of merely 30 people in a field at Temple Newsam Estate. Ever the indie-rock stars, the band played on regardless and on fine form.

266b_The Leeds Show [290717]

265. Gary Numan: Liverpool Exhibition Centre [27.7.17]

265a_Gary Numan [270717]Artist: Gary Numan

Support: Gang of Four

Venue: Liverpool Exhibition Centre

Date: 27.7.17

265c_Gary Newman [270717]

Originally billed with double headline acts of Gary Numan and John Foxx & The Maths performing as Pioneers of British Electronic Music. Unfortunately John Foxx had to cancel his appearance resulting in Gang of Four guesting as the support band.

265d_Gary Newman [270717]265b_Gary Numan [270717]

A bizarre venue layout; all on one level with the standing fans situated behind the seated audience. However, Gary Numan (and band) filled the arena with a blend of electronic classics and new material from his forthcoming ‘Savage’ album, some of which was performed live for the first time at this gig. A preview of heavier post-apocalyptic things to come . . .

Setlist: Everything Comes Down to This / Films / Bed of Thorns / Metal / Pressure / Ghost Nation / Jagged / M.E. / We’re the Unforgiven / Mercy / A Prayer for the Unborn / Here in the Black / My Name is Ruin (with Persia) / Cars / When the World Comes Apart / Love Hurt Bleed // Down in the Park / Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

265e_Gary Newman [270717]

263. The Stone Roses: First Direct Arena, Leeds [20.6.17]

263a_The Stone Roses [200617]Artist: The Stone Roses

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 20.6.17

Let’s gloss over the extortionate ticket prices which didn’t appear to fund an illusive third album, or the abundance of middle-aged men in bucket hats (it never was a good look).

Having compromised on cheap seats in ‘the gods’ (where angels play), we soaked up the incredible atmosphere as The Stone Roses played the best of both their albums to an ever loving and loyal crowd.

Adored indeed.

263b_The Stone Roses [200617]

263c_The Stone Roses [200617]

Setlist: I Wanna Be Adored / Elephant Stone / Sally Cinnamon / Mersey Paradise / (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister / Where Angels Play / Shoot You Down / Waterfall / Don’t Stop / Begging You / Elizabeth My Dear / Fools Gold / All for One / Love Spreads / Made of Stone / She Bangs the Drums / Breaking into Heaven / This Is the One / I Am the Resurrection.

A few days later the band announced that they would no longer play live: “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened.” Ian Brown

263d_The Stone Roses [200617]

263e_The Stone Roses [200617] 2


262. Let’s Rock Leeds: Temple Newsam, Leeds [17.6.17]

262a_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

Artists: The Human League / Tony Hadley / Howard Jones / Kid Creole & The Coconuts / Imagination / Roland Gift / From The Jam / Hue & Cry / Nick Heyward / Hazel O’Connor

Venue: Temple Newsam, Leeds

Date: 17.6.17

A hot summer’s day of 80s nostalgia and merriment as numerous pop legends from my youth performed their greatest hits.

262d_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

262c_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

257. Saint Etienne: The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge [26.5.17]

257a_Saint Etienne [260517]

Artist: Saint Etienne

Support: Dean McPhee

Venue: The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge

Date: 26.5.17

Prior to this gig, the only other time I had seen Saint Etienne live was 27 years earlier at The Duchess, Leeds. An even more intimate show at The Trades Club showed how timelessly classy their output has been over the years, as they performed a perfect blend of new material and indie-club classics.

257b_Saint Etienne [260517]

Setlist: Nothing Can Stop Us / Magpie Eyes / You’re in a Bad Way / Whyteleafe / When I Was Seventeen / Take It All In / Who Do You Think You Are / Dive / Like a Motorway / Split Screen / Heather / Only Love Can Break Your Heart / Tonight / Kiss and Make Up / Sylvie // Train Drivers in Eyeliner / I’ve Got Your Music / He’s on the Phone.

257c_Saint Etienne [260517]

256. The Cribs: First Direct Arena, Leeds [20.5.17]

256a_The Cribs [200517]Artist: The Cribs

Support: Slaves / Pulled Apart by Horses

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 20.5.17

Appropriately raucous support slots from Pulled Apart by Horses and Slaves.

Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Forever – 10 Year Anniversary Tour: Awful sound for the first half of The Cribs’ set, which is a rare occurrence at Leeds Arena. Less is more in the case of volume vs clarity. However, they seemed to sort it out and make amends for the latter part of the show.

256d_The Cribs [200517]256e_The Cribs [200517]256f_The Cribs [200517]256g_The Cribs [200517]

Big is not always best – as The Cribs would prove by returning to their roots for their next Leeds shows . . .

253. Richard Ashcroft: First Direct Arena, Leeds [22.4.17]

253a_Richard Ashcroft [220417]Artist: Richard Ashcroft

Support: Black Grape

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 22.4.17

A reminder of how Richard Ashcroft and (The) Verve transcended their ‘90s Britpop peers – with a setlist ranging from ‘Urban Hymns’ to his latest album. Whilst Blur and Oasis bickered, and the Gallaghers’ sibling rivalry tore them apart, Ashcroft has always let his songs do the talking.

Setlist: Out of My Body / Sonnet / This is How it Feels / Space and Time / A Song for the Lovers / They Don’t Own Me / Ain’t the Future So Bright / Music is Power / Velvet Morning / Break the Night with Colour / Lucky Man // C’mon People (We’re Making it Now) / History / The Drugs Don’t Work / Hold On / Bitter Sweet Symphony

253b_Richard Ashcroft [220417]

253c_Richard Ashcroft [220417]

252. Haçienda Classical: First Direct Arena, Leeds [14.4.17]

252a_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]Artists: Graeme Park / Mike Pickering / Peter Hook / Rowetta / Manchester Camerata Orchestra / Bez / MC Tunes

Support: Peter Hook [DJ Set]

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 14.4.17

Manchester’s legendary Haçienda crossed the Pennines for an evening of old school club classics in classical style. Timeless tunes from a misspent youth, adapted for an adult audience. ‘Strings of life’ indeed.

252b_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]252c_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]

252d_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]

250. Echo 42 Big Band: Jazz in the Spa, Boston Spa Village Hall [1.4.17]

Artist: Echo 42 Big Band

Venue: Jazz in the Spa, Boston Spa Village Hall

Date: 1.4.17

Something a little different for my 250th gig; stylish retro swing.

I’ve designed the monthly ‘Jazz in the Spa’ listings poster for over 23 years, so it’s always good to call in and see one of the bands in action.

250_Echo 42 Big Band [010417]

249. Peter Hook & The Light: O2 Academy, Leeds [18.3.17]

249a_Peter Hook [180317]Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 18.3.17

Substance [Live]: Continuing his quest to eventually play every Joy Division and New Order song live, ‘Hooky’ (& co.) played an epic gig featuring the ‘Substance’ (best of) albums of his former bands.

The fact that the band played the Joy Division set after the New Order tracks implies that Hook’s true loyalty lies with his earlier work – but what a choice to have. A substantial back catalogue indeed.

249b_Peter Hook [180317]249c_Peter Hook [180317]

Joy Division_New Order [Substance]

249d_Peter Hook [180317]

248. Pet Shop Boys: First Direct Arena, Leeds [18.2.17]

248a_Pet Shop Boys [180217]Artist: Pet Shop Boys

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 18.2.17

Incredibly, during a career spanning 31 years of pop perfection, Pet Shop Boys had never played live in Leeds – until now.

It was worth the wait, to see and hear decades of electronic anthems performed in spectacular style. Remixed and revamped for the modern day, with sensational lights and lasers.

Setlist: Inner Sanctum / Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) / The Pop Kids / In the Night / Burn / Love is a Bourgeois Construct / New York City Boy / Se A Vida É (That’s the Way Life is) / Love Comes Quickly / Love etc. / The Dictator Decides / Inside a Dream / West End Girls / Winner / Home and Dry / The Enigma / Vocal / The Sodom and Gomorrah Show / It’s a Sin / Left to My Own Devices / Go West // Domino Dancing / Always On My Mind / The Pop Kids (Reprise).

248b_Pet Shop Boys [180217]248c_Pet Shop Boys [180217]

248d_Pet Shop Boys [180217]

243. The Ordinary Boys: Lending Room, Leeds [25.9.16]

243a_The Ordinary Boys [250916]Artist: The Ordinary Boys

Support: Benson

Venue: Lending Room (The Library), Leeds

Date: 25.9.16

It would be fair to say that lead singer (Preston) well and truly had his 15 minutes of fame during his Britpop and Big Brother days.

Recently reunited, The Ordinary Boys took to the stage at the Lending Room, before a crowd of merely 100 people, many of who were there for local support band Benson. However, the intimate venue and no frills performance took ‘the boys’ back to basics, with the focus on live music, rather than the trappings of fame and fortune.

Less is more. Ordinary is fine.

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243d_The Ordinary Boys [250916]


243e_The Ordinary Boys [250916]

242. OnRoundhay: Roundhay Park, Leeds [17.9.16]

242a_OnRoundhay [170916]Artists: James / Primal Scream / Wolf Alice

Venue: Roundhay Park, Leeds

Date: 17.9.16

With sponsorship from John Lewis and Puffin Books, and an emphasis on being family friendly, the inaugural OnRounday event had a somewhat middle-class feel, but proved to be a rather pleasant one-day festival.

It was nice to see so many kids enjoying their first experience of live music, from an excellent selection of bands. The family-friendly vibe (or possibly the expensive drinks) seemed to ensure that the event was devoid of the usual herds of drunken knobheads – always a plus-point!

OnRoundhay would be a welcome annual event, so long as they can match the high standards of its first year.

242b_OnRoundhay [170916]242c_OnRoundhay [170916]

238. Centre Stage 2016 – The Final: O2 Academy, Leeds [27.7.16]

238a_Centre Stage [270716]Artists: The Mallrats / Tree / The Elephant Trees / Faux Pas / Lewis Crossley / The Indigo Project / Big Bad Rabbit / Shaarks / Liberate / Territory / Blyss

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 27.7.16

Centre Stage is an annual ‘battle of the bands’, curated by Martin House Children’s Hospice. The competition showcases fresh young talent, many of whom go on to greater success in the music industry. The winning band receive the prestigious prize of playing live at that year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.

The 2016 final kicked-off with a set by the previous year’s winners; The Mallrats.

The winning band of Centre Stage 2016 was Faux Pas.

238b_Centre Stage [270716]

238c_Centre Stage [270716]

236. Ocean Colour Scene: Millennium Square, Leeds [24.7.16]

235a_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]Artist: Ocean Colour Scene

Support: Shed Seven / The Bluetones / Reverend and The Makers

Venue: Millennium Square, Leeds

Date: 24.7.16

“When you find that things are getting wild, don’t you want days like these?”

Back to Millennium Square, for the second big gig of the weekend, as Ocean Colour Scene celebrated the 20th anniversary of their ‘Moseley Shoals’ album.

235b_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]235d_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]


235e_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]

OCS [Moseley Shoals]

235f_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]

235. The Cribs: Millennium Square, Leeds [22.7.16]

234a_The Cribs [220716]Artist: The Cribs

Support: The Thurston Moore Group

Venue: Millennium Square, Leeds

Date: 22.7.16

Not quite their home town of Wakefield, but The Cribs played their biggest headline gig to date at Millennium Square, Leeds.

Local boys done good!

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This gig was later released on DVD as part of the limited edition CD version of the ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ album.

The Cribs [24-7 Rock Star Shit]

233. An Evening with Marc Almond. Accompanied by Leeds College of Music Contemporary Orchestra and Pop Choir: Leeds Town Hall [8.7.16]

232a_marc-almond-080716Artists: An Evening with Marc Almond. Accompanied by Leeds College of Music Contemporary Orchestra and Pop Choir

Venue: Leeds Town Hall

Date: 8.7.16

Generations of home-grown talent took to the stage of Leeds Town Hall – as local legend, Marc Almond performed a stunning set of re-arranged classics, accompanied by some of the city’s finest musicians.


227. New Order: The Warehouse Project, Manchester [5.12.15]

226a_new-order-051215Artist: New Order

Support: Erol Alkan [DJ Set] / Factory Floor

Venue: The Warehouse Project, Manchester

Date: 5.12 15

So much anticipation . . . followed by so much disappointment.

Reinvigorated by the release of their critically acclaimed album, Music Complete; New Order tried to recreate their Haçienda heyday, at The Warehouse Project in their home town of Manchester.

When the gig was announced, many fans were bemused by the relatively small venue, and late stage time. Had the band considered their long-term fans and target audience, in an attempt to be cutting edge and hip?

The evening started off well, with Factory Floor playing a blinding set in the fairly spacious venue, consisting of three disused arches below Manchester Piccadilly Station. However, as Erol Alkan’s DJ set progressed, and anticipation built for the main act, most of the crowd converged in the venue’s central arch.

By the time New Order took to the stage, there were simply too many people in the available space. Many of the audience could not see or hear the band properly, and some left the gig early, in disappointment.

The band played a great set, with latest songs featuring Elly Jackson (of La Roux) being particularly good. However, the overall atmosphere was marred by being crammed in, with difficulty to see and no space whatsoever to move. At times the situation felt dangerous, and I left with a sense of ‘regret’.


226. Simple Minds / The Stranglers: First Direct Arena, Leeds [27.11.15]

225a_simple-minds-271115Artist: Simple Minds

Support: The Stranglers

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 27.11.15

Starting the evening on a high note, The Stranglers performed a support set of classic, timeless tunes, still sounding edgy but brilliant.

Simple Minds upped the ante and delivered a full on stage show, flaunting an outstanding discography spanning decades. A spectacular showcase, bordering on glitzy but with a sense of celebratory style.


225. CUD: The Wardrobe, Leeds [26.9.15]

224a_cud-260915Artist: CUD

Support: John Parkes

Venue: The Wardrobe, Leeds

Date: 26.9.15

Asquarius [Live]: To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its release, CUD performed their third album in full, followed by a selection of other favourites.

The Wardrobe’s sound system struggled to cope with the mighty CUD during this intimate, but somewhat distorted gig. Hence my film footage ended up as a silent movie.


223. Madness: Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds [18.9.15]

222a_madness-180915Artist: Madness

Venue: Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds

Date: 18.9.15

Unbelievably, this was the first ever live concert to be held at Headingley Cricket Ground.

Always the showmen, Madness never fail to deliver a nutty selection of their classic tracks. Although, in my opinion, the absence of Chas Smash from the lineup left them ‘one step behind’ their former glory.

We opted for premium tickets, including tour merchandise and exclusive access to the Gladness Beer Garden, which served the band’s own brand of craft lager.




220. Embrace: Unity Works, Wakefield [28.5.15]


Artist: Embrace

Support: Sons of Great Men

Venue: Unity Works, Wakefield

Date: 28.5.15

Wakefield’s intimate and stylish Unity Works hosted this warm-up gig for Embrace’s forthcoming American tour.

A set of singalong anthems from one of the UK’s most consistently brilliant (and underrated) bands.

Setlist: Protection / In the End / Someday / All You Good Good People / Follow You Home / Come Back to What You Know / Save Me / Yeah You / One Big Family / Quarters / Gravity / Total Eclipse of the Heart / Refugees / Ashes // DNA / The Good Will Out.


219. Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular: First Direct Arena, Leeds [27.5.15]

218a_dw-symphonic-spectacular-270515Event: Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Artist: BBC National Orchestra

Compere: Peter Davidson

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 27.5.15

An excellent orchestral performance of classical scores and melodies from the Doctor Who timeline, with an emphasis on the music of Murray Gold.

The show was hosted by the 5th Doctor (Peter Davidson), and invaded by an array of aliens from different dimensions of time and space.


215. Elbow: Manchester Apollo [7.2.15]

214a_elbow-070215Artist: Elbow

Support: Black Rivers

Venue: Manchester Apollo

Date: 7.2.15

Justifying their reputation as ‘the nicest band in the world’, Elbow chose to host a four-night residency of smaller hometown gigs at Manchester Apollo, rather than play a stadium or arena.

A perfect performance by the band, accompanied by the usual sing-along from the crowd.


212. Jake Bugg: First Direct Arena, Leeds [19.10.14]

211a_jake-bugg-191014Artist: Jake Bugg

Support: Hudson Taylor / Skinny Living

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 19.10.14

Brilliant to see that a stripped down performance by a true musician, such as Jake Bugg, can fill an arena and captivate a sizable audience.

Free tickets for first direct customers, to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the new Leeds Arena.


205: Peter Hook & The Light: The Cockpit, Leeds [25.10.13]

204_Peter Hook [251013]Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: The Cockpit, Leeds

Date: 25.10.13

Movement / Power Corruption & Lies [Live]: Another chance to see the first two New Order albums performed live in their entirety. Followed by an encore of Joy Division favourites. I will never tire of hearing such tracks played live.

201. The Scandal: First Direct Arena, Leeds [22.6.13]

200a_The Scandal [220613]Artist: The Scandal

Support: The Puppeteers

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 22.6.13

A public open day, to test the facilities at the brand new Leeds Arena; a long overdue addition to the city’s music venues.

Upcoming bands; The Puppeteers and The Scandal had the privilege of being the first ever acts to play live at the prestigious new venue.

As the audience, it was our job to test the venue’s acoustics, toilets and fire exits.

Although I prefer smaller intimate venues for gigs, I would visit First Direct Arena more frequently, were prices for tickets, refreshments and merchandise no so ludicrously expensive! However, on the plus side, the venue does attract larger bands, who would otherwise not play the city.

200b_The Scandal [220613]

199. Peter Hook & The Light: Manchester Cathedral [18.1.13]

198a_Peter Hook [180113]Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Support: Modern Blonde

Venue: Manchester Cathedral

Date: 18.1.13

Movement / Power Corruption & Lies [Live]: A marvellous and moving live performance of the first two New Order albums, in a historic and prodigious Manchester venue.

Setlist: In a Lonely Place / Ceremony / Procession / Dreams Never End / Truth / Senses / Chosen Time / ICB / The Him / Doubts Even Here / Denial / Mesh / Cries & Whispers / Everything’s Gone Green / Age of Consent / We All Stand / 5-8-6 / Your Silent Face / Ultraviolence / Ecstasy / Leave Me Alone // The Beach (Interlude) // Hurt / Temptation / Blue Monday.

198b_Peter Hook [180113]

The gig was released as a digital download by Play Concert.

198c_Peter Hook [180113]


Paul Weller: Jodrell Bank [24.6.12] – Cancelled

X03a_Paul Weller [240612]Artist: Paul Weller

Support: Graham Coxon / Gomez / Craig Charles [DJ Set] / Baxter Dury / Little Barrie / Jake Evans

Venue: Jodrell Bank

Date: 24.6.12

Quasar vs quagmire as the ever unpredictable British summertime weather turned Jodrell Bank into a mud bank – resulting in the cancellation of what promised to be an incredible combination of musicians and venue.

X03b_Paul Weller [240612]X03c_Paul Weller [240612]X03d_Paul Weller [240612]

193. Peter Hook & The Light: FAC251 The Factory, Manchester [18.5.12]

192_Peter Hook [180512]

Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: FAC251: The Factory, Manchester

Date: 18.5.12

Still [Live]: The third of a triptych of annual gigs to commemorate the death of Joy Division’s lead singer; Ian Curtis.

As always, a fitting tribute from Curtis’s former bandmate, as ‘Hooky & Co.’ performed ‘Still’ live in its entirety for the first ever time.

192. The Cribs: Theatre Royal, Wakefield [16.5.12]

191a_The Cribs [160512]

Artist: The Cribs

Support: Retarded Fish / The Black Belles

Venue: Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Date: 16.5.12

Jack Daniel’s ‘J.D. Roots’ was a series of gigs where bands played intimate venues in their home town. Free tickets, free t-shirt, free Jack Daniel’s; not to mention The Cribs, on top form! What’s not to like?

191b_The Cribs [160512]


191. New Order: Manchester Apollo [26.4.12]

190a_New Order [260412]Artist: New Order

Support: DJ Tintin [DJ Set] / Jake Evans

Venue: Manchester Apollo

Date: 26.4.12

A typically rainy day in Manchester set the scene for New Order’s return to their home town. The absence of Peter Hook from the band’s line-up was compensated for by the welcome return of Gillian Gilbert on keyboards.

The set list included a range of career spanning classics, many of which were given a subtle contemporary twist to bring them up-to-date and keep them sounding fresh.

Setlist: Elegia / Crystal / Regret / Ceremony / Age of Consent / Love Vigilantes / Here to Stay / Waiting for the Siren’s Call / Bizarre Love Triangle / True Faith / 5-8-6 / The Perfect Kiss / Blue Monday / Temptation // Transmission / Love Will Tear Us Apart.

A series of limited edition screen printed posters were produced to commemorate the tour.

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187. Peter Hook & The Light: FAC251 The Factory, Manchester [18.5.11]

186a_Peter Hook [180511]

Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: FAC251: The Factory, Manchester

Date: 18.5.11

Closer [Live]: Finely crafted recreations of classic tracks, as Peter Hook & The Light (featuring Rowetta) played a live set of Joy Division’s ‘Closer’ album in its entirety.

For a second consecutive year, this special night at The Factory commemorated the anniversary of Ian Curtis’s death.

186b_Peter Hook [180511]

185. From The Jam: Black Flag Venue, Wakefield [1.4.11]

184_From The Jam [010411]Artist: From The Jam

Venue: Black Flag Venue, Wakefield

Date: 1.4.11 [Rescheduled from original date on ticket]

Being a massive fan of The Jam, since the 80s mod revival, I had reservations about seeing ‘Foxton & Co.’ performing such sacred songs live. Such fears were instantly alleviated, as From The Jam proved themselves to be so much more than a tribute band.

Bruce Foxton looked as sharp as ever, living up to his legendary mod status just as much as Paul Weller does. Russell Hastings pays respect to The Jam’s repertoire, performing well known and much loved songs with his own vocal style – never attempting to impersonate Weller.

Face facts; it’s unlikely there’ll ever be a reunion of The Jam. If you want to see their songs performed live with power and passion, From the Jam are one of the best options.

178. Peter Hook & The Light: FAC251 The Factory, Manchester [18.5.10]

177_Peter Hook [180510]

Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: FAC251: The Factory, Manchester

Date: 18.5.10

Unknown Pleasures [Live]: A poignant performance of Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album, in its entirety – to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Ian Curtis. Rowetta performed vocals on several songs, adding a stunning contemporary edge to timeless tracks.

The occasion was complemented by an exhibition of Joy Division memorabilia, displayed in the legendary Factory boardroom.

177. Peter Hook – An Evening of Unknown Pleasures: Theatre Royal, Wakefield [27.4.10]

176a_Peter Hook [270410]Artist: Peter Hook

Compere: Howard Marks

Venue: Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Date: 27.4.10

An Evening of Unknown Pleasures: Factory fables and Mancunian myths, straight from the horses mouth. Legendary dope fiend Howard Marks compared an evening of ‘Hooky’ recalling his musical memoirs and hedonistic Haçienda days.

176c_Peter Hook [270410]



176. Peter Hook & The Light: FAC251 The Factory, Manchester [5.2.10]

175_Peter Hook [050210]

Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Support: Freebass

Venue: FAC251: The Factory, Manchester [Opening Night]

Date: 5.2.10

Twenty years since the birth of ‘Madchester’, the evening saw the revamp and relaunch of the building that conceived the scene, and facilitated its demise.

FAC251 was the legendary head office of Factory Communications. Created by Tony Wilson, designed by Ben Kelly, endlessly funded by New Order (along with The Haçienda), and finally bankrupted by artistic ideology (expedited by Happy Mondays).

Nearly two decades later, the iconic building was rescued and resurrected by Peter Hook, Ben Kelly and Function One – and reborn as FAC251: The Factory.

In true Factory style, the building was barely completed on launch night. The freshly plastered walls were still damp and certain fittings and fixtures required finishing – but there was special sense of occasion, as those in the know mingled with Mancunian legends and celebrities.

Support act Freebass was a bass player ‘super group’ including Peter Hook (New Order), Mani (The Stone Roses) and Andy Rourke (The Smiths), with Gary Briggs on vocals.

Peter Hook & The Light performed a poignant set of Joy Division songs, with Rowetta (Happy Mondays) adding a beautiful and emotional twist to some of Ian Curtis’s haunting lyrics.

175b_Peter Hook [050210]

175b_Peter Hook [050210]


168. Nine Inch Nails / Jane’s Addiction: Manchester Arena [14.7.09]

167_NIN_Jane’s Addiction [140709]Artist: Nine Inch Nails

Support: Jane’s Addiction

Venue: Manchester Arena

Date: 14.7.09

So much more than a support band; Jane’s Addiction, featuring their original line-up, set the bar high. However, Nine Inch Nails delivered a truly stunning set, flaunting the genius of Trent Reznor & Co. Their musical mastery was proved with a simple one song encore of ‘Hurt’.