The bar at Rock City, Nottingham

A one-line review of every gig I’ve been to in July 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?

Wet Leg, Finsbury Park, London, 1 Jul – I saw them disparagingly described as “posh birds doing double entendres over recycled 90s indie riffs” which both kind of nails it and explains why I enjoy it. They are obviously having so much fun as a band and that first album had a lot more to it than just the singles, and I’ve ended up listening to it a lot now.

Wet Leg at Finsbury Park

Pulp, Finsbury Park, London, 1 Jul – F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.N.O.S.T.A.L.G.I.A: they didn’t just rock up and play the hits, they put on a proper show, and I had forgotten how good a frontman Jarvis is, and had an absolutely lovely day with old friends.

Pulp at Finsbury Park

Absolute chaos at the bar and exiting the park though.

The author, some of his chins, Ron, and Jarvis at Finsbury Park

The Selecter, Wembley Stadium, London, 9 Jul – I’ve never seen one of those Two-Tone/ska-pop late-70s-early-80s era bands that weren’t an absolute joy and this was no different – Wembley Stadium bopping along to On My Radio.

Paul Weller, Wembley Stadium, London, 9 Jul – He has gone onto my list of musical villains for turning up to Wembley Stadium with a set mostly full of things nobody recognised or cared about. Mate, support slot at Wembley Stadium, don’t give us “this is an unreleased track off my next album”, play the hits that got you the booking, you’ve literally got a stadium in front of you waiting to sing them.

Blur, Wembley Stadium, London, 9 Jul – Imagine telling Blur after they appeared to be the critics’ weak link in that 1992 Rollercoaster tour featuring them, Dinosaur Jr, JAMC and MBV that they would be headlining Wembley Stadium more than thirty years later, and still playing Oily Water. What a blast. Always my favourite band Britpop band of the Britpop years.

Blur at Wembley Stadium

Superlove, Rock City, Nottingham, 14 Jul – I was in Nottingham so just decided to go to whatever was on at this legendary venue. This lot describe themselves as a noise-pop trio from Bristol, and it wasn’t really my kind of noise or pop, but seemed to go down well with the crowd. A crowd whose average age I think I tripled when I walked in.

Superlove at Rock City, Nottingham

Dream State, Rock City, Nottingham, 14 Jul – A reconfigured line-up of a band who were big on the scene a few years ago (it says on Wikipedia) this type of music all sounds like Linkin Park to me, except with a woman doing most of the vocals in this instance. Fun enough, although I spent half the night with the fear that the very enthusiastic mosh pit was taking over the entire venue. Me? In a mosh pit? With my delicate old man ankles?

Dream State at Rock City, Nottingham

SLUTPUNK!, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – Frenetic distorted beats while you could hear an alien craft land next door, that occasionally broke out into 8-bit fairground music. Asked to describe their music in three words they said “help me”.

SLUTPUNK! at Nottingham EMOM

NOW/HERE, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – Enjoyably distorted noisy acid techno that was total improv over a beats loop.

NOW/HERE at Nottingham EMOM

Trice, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – This was more melodic, not always straight four to the floor, with a bit of drum’n’breaks to it.

Trice at Nottingham EMOM

Fifty Foot Woman, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – Ear-bending beats that reminded me of the hardest 90s Warp stuff which I now realise is getting on to be 30 years ago. Blimey. The pace did not let relent this EMOM night.

Shelter Calm, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – Really great Pandemic-themed and retro-video-game-themed with some satisfying chunky 80s bass sounds and ethereal pads.

Hexial, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – One of the organisers of the night, and I was impressed with how they had got the message “please buy my music thnx m8s” integrated into their video accompaniament.

Rezzonator, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – I could see why he was called the Rezzonator cos he REZZED everything and properly kicked off with 303 sounds. Also included a remix/cover of New Order’s Blue Monday that leaned heavily into the Hardfloor Mix they put out in the 90s which is *shock horror sacrilege* the best mix IMHO.

Bodydicers x Komboloi Star, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – I don’t real know what sub-genre this was but a guy was rapping over what I would call drum’n’bass and it got the whole room going.

Bodydicers x Komboloi Star at Nottingham EMOM

Motions in Stereo, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – My notes say “I’m now too drunk and tired to review things but this was lovely mid-tempo and tuneful with bleeps and pads.”

No Masters, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – My notes say “properly broke my ears with slow distorted” but that is all I wrote. Slow distorted what? We shall never ever know.

Brawn, Nottingham EMOM, The Chameleon, Nottingham, 15 Jul – “A chilled final act” I wrote at the time, if that’s any help. I also clearly stopped taking pictures. The lesson here appears to be if you want me to review you at an EMOM I’m visiting, be on early. Also this was a great night, and a great venue.

Keith TOTP, The Night Owl, Finsbury Park, 28 Jul – Far too many people on the stage for health and safety, I’m sure of it, playing all your joyous favourites like I Hate Your Band and Two Of The Beatles Are Dead.

Keith TOTP at the Night Owl, Finsbury Park

Pulp, Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, 29 Jul – I know, I already saw them at Finsbury Park. But this could turn out to have been their last ever London show, so it was churlish not to go again. Really what a triumphant return, such well-crafted lyrics and tunes.

Pulp at Hammersmith Eventim Apollo