My Top 5 Gigs of 2009

Why Top 5? Why not a Top 10? As a lapsed Discordian I was going to knock out a rather elaborate, mind-bending explanation based on the ‘Law of Fives’ (which, according to Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! Trilogy, claims that everything in the universe can be connected to the number five if you try hard enough), but that looked too much like hard work.

Instead, I’ll just tell you the truth: I opted for a Top 5 because I didn’t go to very many gigs in 2008.

Five of ’em, though, were fucking awesome…

5. Bearsuit, Latitude Festival 2008 – Pete Ashton introduced them to me in 2007 when I saw them play at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge, and their Latitude set was great fun. They’re tremendously silly, ridiculously catchy and highly recommended. Jupiter Force, indeed.

4. Foo Fighters, Wembley Stadium, 7th June 2008 – I mentioned it in passing here, here and here but never got around to writing a proper review. Oh, well. I’ve never been what you might call a Foo Fighters fan; I have, however, always been an unrepentant Led Zeppelin fan. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones surprise guest appearance on stage – and their storming rendition with Grohl & Co of Zep classics Rock and Roll and Ramble On – made this a gig to remember.

The Foo Fighters were quite superb, too.

3. Buzzcocks, Latitude Festival 2008 Sweaty, sticky, stomping fun in a marquee at 2am isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. It’s my idea of a good time and I wrote about it here.

2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Birmingham Carling Academy, 5th May 2008;
Grinderman, Latitude Festival 2008 I’m cheating a bit, here – I suppose this should be two separate entries – but this is my list so my rules rule. I wrote about the former here and the latter there.

1. Tom Waits, Le Grand Rex Paris, 24th July 2008 – No shit, Sherlock. A bit of a foregone conclusion, this. A Tom Waits gig will always, by definition, be the the gig of the year. That’s just the way it is.

I attempted a reconstruction of the gig here.

Top 10 Films of 2008 to follow.