A one-line review of every gig I’ve been to in January 2024

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?

Elliott Smith: Live in 1999, Farr’s Dalstan, London, 11 Jan – I had a ticket to see this newly remastered live footage of someone I never actually managed to catch in concert, but then it clashed with …

Charley Stone, The Finsbury Pub, London, 11 Jan – … a Charley Stone who said they were rather Covid-fogged, but were lovely and fun as ever and there was a new song. I now think if you combine the Fallen Women, Desperate Journalist, Abba Stripes and solo/actual band shows, Charley Stone is the only person I’ve seen on stage more times than I’ve seen Gary Numan on stage.

Charley Stone at the Finsbury, London

Lemonade Sin, The Finsbury Pub, London, 11 Jan – Lovely gentle jangly indiepop from a band whose Peel session in 1987 I would definitely have taped onto a C90 and played loads.

Lemonade Sin at the Finsbury, London

Florrie Ransom, The Finsbury Pub, London, 11 Jan – I didn’t stay for all of this (see tired old man comments passim) but she had a really clear voice and I’m always taken aback with HOW BLUNTLY PERSONAL young people seem to write their songs these days. I was intrigued enough to find her tracks online and was most keen on For Everything which is kind of Daughter-ish.

Florrie Ransom at the Finsbury, London

punkdISCO, Dublin Castle, Camden, 12 Jan – GOD I LOVED THIS she was dressed as a videocassette and he was using one of those old-school DJ telephone handsets to do his vocals and it was minimalist electronic sleaze. Check out 29 DJs (in 7 Rooms). Room one? Shite. Room two? Shite. Room three? Shite. Room four? Shite etc etc you get the picture … will definitely find them again.

punkdISCO at the Dublin Castle, Camden

Leg Puppy, Dublin Castle, Camden, 12 Jan – I nipped to the bar after they had done their Blade Runner-themed intro and then got behind a tourist who was ordering APPROXIMATELY ONE BILLION PINTS OF GUINNESS while also shouting across the pub to his mate Claudio but DIRECTLY INTO MY FUCKING EAR. In short, I missed the band and nearly did a murder.

Leg Puppy at the Dublin Castle, Camden

Dicepeople, Dublin Castle, Camden, 12 Jan – I saw these at the Lexington last year and was intrigued – sort of dark electronic duo, with added laser claw.

Dicepeople at the Dublin Castle, Camden

Queen Rock Montreal 1981, BFI Imax, London, 21 Jan – Not flashily directed, but remastered 1981 concert footage from The Game tour, so a rockier Queen than the Hot Space/The Works 80s pop phase that was to follow. Some incredible period crowd shots where very occasionally you could spot a person who has been captured for posterity being bored by a Queen concert their partner has dragged them to.

Freddie Mercury in Queen Rocks Montreal

Nadine Shah, O2 Arena, London, 22 Jan – Doing an arena the size of the O2 when you aren’t perhaps a genre-match for the headliners must have been daunting but one of my favourite new artists of the last decade played a short but intense set, mostly from her forthcoming album. You should read this recent interview with her, which talks about Nadine’s substance abuse, very public suicide attempt, and the death of her mother.

Nadine Shah at the O2 Arena

Depeche Mode, O2 Arena, London, 22 Jan – My very favourite band of all time and I adored it – as with Twickenham last year, Martin and Dave seem to have rediscovered their enthusiasm for the live shows rather than going through the motions.

Depeche Mode at the O2 Arena

Adult Nephew, High Functioning and Handcuff, Exale Brewing & Taproom, Walthamstow, 25 Jan – I had a ticket to this but *whispers* went to bed at 7pm instead because (see tired old man comments passim).

Depeche Mode, O2 Arena, London, 27 Jan – I figured this might very well end up being Depeche Mode’s last ever London show so I went and did the whole thing again, and for my troubles got the live debut of Before We Drown, one of my favourite recent tracks of theirs, plus the first time Martin has done Somebody since 2018 and the first time they’d played Behind The Wheel since 2014. And I was right down near the front. To say I was chuffed would be an understatement.

Depeche Mode at the O2 Arena, again, but closer