A one-line review of every gig I’ve been to in August 2023

This monthly series is probably more for my benefit than yours, but maybe your interest will be piqued by one of the reviews. Maybe you’ll scroll straight past. Maybe you’ll unsubscribe thinking what did I see in this blog in the first place? As an experiement I’ve opened the comments this month, as if this was a blog post in 2003 not 2023 …

Eville, Walthamstow Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 10 Aug – Rockier than my usual cup of tea, they describe themselves as “Brighton Brat Metal!” but I enjoyed this a lot.

Eville at Walthamstow Trades Hall

Gutlocker, Walthamstow Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 10 Aug – Very loud and angry thrashiness.

Gutlocker at Walthamstow Trades Hall

Heaven 17, Audley End House, the middle of nowhere, 11 Aug – Oh the levels of irony of being told we had to sit down on our plastic picnic seats in ordered rows and weren’t allowed to dance by jobsworth minimum wage stewards while the band were playing (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang.

Heaven 17 at Audley End House

OMD, Audley End House, the middle of nowhere, 11 Aug – A festival set from the boys so it was all 100% potted greatest hits, which is nice enough, but looking forward to seeing them tour again on their own next year with a new album and a more expansive selection of songs.

OMD at Audley End House

Soft Cell, Audley End House, the middle of nowhere, 11 Aug – Lost the crowd a bit by opening with Torch but then approximately 1,057 songs from their latest album (which I quite enjoyed but were causing ripples of discontent around me), but Marc Almond is still an incredible showman and the sleazier numbers from Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret always hit the button. I nearly bought a “Luring disco dollies to a life of vice” t-shirt, but you know I’d never do such a shockingly sexy and uncouth thing.

Soft Cell at Audley End House

Angel Olsen, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – I don’t really like country music but there’s a thin Venn diagram wedge between country music and heart-breaking miserable indie introspection and Angel Olsen hits that spot absolutely perfectly, especially with immense live versions of All Mirrors and Lark.

Angel Olsen at All Points East

Warmduscher, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – I only ever see this band at festivals and they are always consumate entertainment and make me forget that I was planning to wander off and catch something else on another stage. In this case it was Amyl and the Sniffers who I didn’t see, cos I was right down the front at Warmduscher and dad-dancing to my heart’s content and overcame my festival FOMO/spreadsheet tickbox urges to stay and enjoy it all.

Warmduscher at All Points East

Girl In Red, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – Didn’t know her at all and the miserable sung-songs were a revelation, though not so keen on the bits where it veered into more hip-hop territory, and she really rubbed me up the wrong way with her attitude in-between songs. We Fell In Love In October and I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend have been on constant rotation since though.

Girl In Red at All Points East

Black Midi, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – I remember, he says, claiming to have been there first, that I saw them at a small stage at Latitude aeons ago, and was frantically texting mates “Quick, come here, you’ve got to see this, I can’t describe it” and I still can’t describe it, though I’m less excited about it now we’ve all got older.

Black Midi at All Points East

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – Never seen them before, and sounded reassuringly like you would expect Yeah Yeah Yeahs to sound live, plus giant inflatable eyeballs.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at All Points East

The Strokes, All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 25 Aug – Never seen them before, and sounded reassuringly like you would expect The Strokes to sound like live, but they didn’t bring any giant inflatable eyeballs.

The Strokes at All Points East

I should add that it is just possible I’d drunk too much Red Stripe to review Yeah Yeah Yeahs or The Strokes effectively, which is one of the reasons it is great I do this monthly blog post for my own enjoyment, rather than as my job.

ALSO: This ITV News piece “Dozens of fans leave The Strokes gig early at All Points East after poor vocal quality” is one of the most weirdly written news stories I’ve ever encountered, including the epic lines “The band could be heard playing instruments” and “Some fans did enjoy Casablancas’s gravelly voice and were seen dancing, clapping and singing along to the band’s hits”. Truly an odd one.