Ten Favourite Musical Moments in 2010 - (Numbers 5-1)

Ten Favourite Musical Moments in 2010 - Part Two (Numbers 5-1)

Here's the top five musical highlights of 2010 for me a variety of reasons. I've rambled on below...

5. Soap&Skin – Live at Union Chapel

I’m still a little confused by this show. It was so intense, so spectacular but also completely nuts / on-edge that I can’t get my head around it. I thought Anja was on the brink of a breakdown at the time, I still do but I have been told it was all “part of the show” but I have not seen someone tackle/ appear to tackle so many stage demons as Soap&Skin that night.

Yet for someone who had to fight back the tears a few times and had to stop to gain composure on a couple of occasions the show was phenomenal, really it was just absolutely amazing.  From the majestic beauty of “Cynthia” and “Mr Gaunt Pt. 1000” to the incredibly amazing heathen like possessed chants of “Marche Funebre”. That particular song is the best finale I’ve seen all year and second only to “There is no Light” for show stopping. Here it is from another show:

It defied any logic I could come up with that someone who was struggling to compose themselves just minutes before could come up to the front of the stage of Union Chapel and literally belt out a demonic and utterly mesmerizing performance like Anja did during “Marche Funebre”.

One thing I do know is that when Soap&Skin return I’ll be in attendance.

Read my show review at the time here.

4. Holly Miranda – August – I’d Rather Go Blind / NYC Taper / Fiume Nights Session…

One of my biggest regrets of the year (in a musical sense) is July 26th. Holly Miranda was playing the Borderline, I had a ticket but the mixture of being at a Christening up north the day before and a general lethargic attitude meant I didn’t go.

How silly I was because just a few weeks later I completely fell for Holly’s music mainly thanks to this clip of her covering Etta James...

Holly Miranda "I'd Rather be Blind" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.
That was soon followed by this amazing session with Marques Toliver…

Fiume Night 10 _ Holly Miranda _ williamsburgh, april 2009 from Vincent Moon / petites planetes on Vimeo.

Soon after NYC Taper put a few recordings online. (Download them here and here). By this point I was completely smitten and in denial that just a few weeks earlier I’d missed a chance to see her live myself, especially as Holly hasn’t returned to the UK since.

Least these sessions and recordings have given me a taste of what her live show would have been like and boy does it sound good. There hasn’t been any news since the summer, hopefully we’ll see a return soon in early 2011 (fingers crossed).

Holly’s album ‘The Magician’s Private Library’ came out in February and has been criminally overlooked on the whole, make sure you give it a listen because it’s one of the years best without doubt.

Download some of the above sessions here.

3. Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Live at the Lexington and the jaw-dropping brilliance of “There is No Light”…

Probably my favourite gig of the year was Wildbirds & Peacedrums live at the Lexington, I’m not very good at decided something for certain like that but without doubt the biggest “Oh My Fucking God This Is AMAZING” moment was during “There is No Light”. It was epic, the drumming of Andreas Werliin was incredibly intense and the vocals of Mariam’s are above extraordinary. The strength and range of her voice is simply amazing. It was what they call a “Goosebumps” moment.

This isn’t the same show, but it gives you an idea:

It was not a one song show, “My Heart” is equally amazing, the encore saw a beautiful cover of “Wild is the Wind”. Another older song “Today/Tomorrow” again is the perfect song with yet another epic drum peak.

Their amazing performance reduced The Lexington to silence (seems a lot of my favourite gigs this year have been there!) and definitely one of the highlights of my musical year.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Wild is the Wind (Live at The Lexington) by morrisday

Read my initial thoughts here and more of W&P’s here.

2. Caitlin Rose – August / September shows

The late summer of 2010 was all about Caitlin Rose, from August 19th to October 4th I saw her seven times, then once again in November. I saw her solo, with half a band, a full band and in a variety of locations, none of them disappointed, all of them left me feeling that Caitlin is something special.

From playing to 600 or so people at XOYO with the full band and performing almost a ‘rock & roll’ show to the 150 people squeezed into Brixton Windmill for an intimate show just as Radio Two started to champion her Caitlin has triumphed and succeeded to win over the hearts of so many people.
Her beautiful voice, endearing personality and above all wonderful lyrics and songs have been the sound track to so many of my days this year that I owe an awful lot to the Nashville singer.

‘Own Side Now’ is finally due for a US release in March 2011, I do hope it doesn’t mean Caitlin will forget us over here, I doubt it, it does seem that she’s at home in London – I hope so – you’re welcome here whenever Caitlin. Sometime soon please!

Read my original live review of Caitlin here and here, an interview here and the full archive for some live material, album review and general Caitlin love-in.

1. The Joy Formidable – The NME Tour and March Tour.

These were simply a brilliant few weeks, if you’ve read this rambling shambles of a blog for any length of time you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with The Joy Formidable, it was good to see them on some of the biggest stages they’ve ever headlined, even if the later tour was an NME sponsored event and had one of the worst supports I’ve ever heard (Flats) and also one of the most boring bands ever (Chapel Club).

The Joy Formidable are one of the most energetic and engaging bands I’ve ever come across. Every single show is an experience full of relentless energy. I’ve seen them about 20 times (so far) and I’ve never walked away one bit disappointed apart from that the show was over. The NME tour stepped it up a notch more from the March tour, the sound is expanding, their performances are show stopping and with songs like Spectrum / Whirring / The Greatest Light etc the material is suited to the live arena. Never do the guys disappoint, they give everything they have 100% of the time and then a little bit more too. Something a bit like this (hope there is a full recording of this – upcoming DVD maybe?!):

Hear a few recordings from the tour in the TJF archive here.
Plenty more to come in 2011, including ‘The Big Roar’….