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

Warpaint, Royal Festival Hall, London, 12 Jun – I was Warpaint-curious because they’ve done several tracks over the years that I really liked but I’ve never really got into them, but booooooooooy were the crowd at the South Bank into them, like being at someone else’s party, and the stewards pratically had to give up policing dancing in the aisles after a couple of songs. Glad I went and saw them, but I remain Warpaint-curious rather than a convert.

Warpaint at the Royal Festival Hall

Sister Lucy, Oslo, Hackney, 15 Jun – What a discovery she is after encountering her in this support slot – the recorded stuff has a band but live it was just Abi Sinclair doing her plaintive indie-country which I would file next to Katy J Pearson, Courtney Marie Andrews and Angel Olsen.

Sister Lucy at Oslo, Hackney

Midlake, Oslo, Hackney, 15 Jun – One of those bands I was mad into for one LP in the early 2010s and then lost track of, but they were playing this tiny gig a few stops down the Overground from me so I went, and I absolutely loved three-quarters of it – an incredible wash of their melancholy harmony-drenched Americana – but then the singer went into this long spoken word thing about how he’d watched Naked Attraction in his hotel room and how they don’t have shows like Naked Attraction in Texas and then explained at great length the premise of Naked Attraction to a British audience who all know what Naked Attraction is and honestly this review now reads like an SEO bid for the keywords “Naked Attraction” but that’s how interesting this interlude was and it completely killed the vibe and I ended up leaving early. *shrug_emoji*

Midlake at Oslo, Hackney

Depeche Mode, Twickenham, the middle of fucking nowhere, 17 Jun – I wrote previously about how the unexpected death of Fletch had reset my relationship with a band who had absolutely been my favourite for years and then I had got burnt out on, and this show felt like all of us – most especially Dave and Martin – had all rediscovered a new love for this thing. Great show helped by personally all the either/or choices in the setlist falling in my favour of what I would have preferred to hear (My Favourite Stranger/Question of Lust/Waiting For The Night To Fall rather than Speak To Me/Home/Condemnation). Easily the greatest and most emotional atmosphere at a Depeche Mode gig I’ve been to in the UK for years.

Martin Gore somewhere off in the distance

Beatles Complete, Cavern Club, Liverpool, 22 Jun – Faux recreated Beatles in the faux recreated Cavern Club? Churlish not to. Infectious atmosphere with a tourist audience out to enjoy a great time and word perfect on every song

Beatles Complete at the Cavern Club

Pet Shop Boys, M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, 23 Jun – It is the third time I’ve seen them do this greatest hits show live and I enjoy it more each time. Only money/ticket availability prevented me going to see them in Brighton on this leg of the tour too!

Pet Shop Boys at Liverpool Arena

Lesley Woods, Cambridge Junction, Cambridge, 29 Jun – The singer from the Au Pairs, who I don’t particularly know, but she did David Bowie’s Repetition so I had no complaints.

Lesley Woods at Cambridge Junction

The Chameleons, Cambridge Junction, Cambridge, 29 Jun – The second time I’ve seen them now, not particularly because I was ever into them, but I think I absorbed a lot of stuff through osmosis at gothy clubs and on the Annie Nightingale request show, and I’ll happily watch 90 minutes of them playing some stuff I vaguely recognise which sounds like the Chameleons.

The Chameleons at Cambridge Junction