Patti Smith turned 74 on 30 December and celebrated this with livestream. Unlike many livestreams that come with a replay option, this one was live only. The show went out at 9 p.m. New York time, which was 2 a.m. GMT. I had set the alarm and can report it was well worth getting up out of bed for.
Lucinda Williams started her in-studio concert series with a fabulous show dedicated to the songs of Tom Petty. Uncut described it as “a consummate lesson in how one artist can not only influence another, but through their simple existence, their shared reference points, their musical force, provide a vital touchstone to those that follow”. How would she better that?
"We've actually wanted to do a cover series for a long time now, but never had the time with my touring schedule", Lucinda Williams told Rolling Stone recently. "I guess the silver lining in all of this has been to be able to really get inside the songs of some of my favourite artists - see what makes them tick".
There is a tremendous appetite for live music in Ireland as there is elsewhere I guess. Away from the glare of the capital, enterprising souls have been putting on small gigs, to great success. The Doolin Hotel in County Clare have their Spaced Out Sessions, which so far have featured Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Shannon and Scullion amongst others, and which are ongoing. They have had to add matinee shows to meet the demand for tickets.
I’ve seen IDLES live 9 times in the past 2 years – from sweaty sessions in seaside towns, through two sets in a day at Glastonbury and on to their triumphant show at Ally Pally. Each one has been a visceral and vital experience, from the pre and post show meets with AF Gangers to singing ‘Danny Nedelko’ with Bobo on the front barrier at the End of the Road festival.
“This may well be our only gig for the rest of the year”, Lankum stated when promoting their one off show at the Abbey Theatre. The Dublin band put on ‘A National Disgrace’, which was live streamed to a worldwide audience via the Dice platform on Saturday night, and available to watch for 24 hours afterwards - thankfully, as a show this special warrants repeat viewing.
The venue interior looks more elegant than usual. Perhaps that’s because Nick Cave is in it. Dressed in Gucci, by Alessandro Michele (there were credits at the end... of a gig). How much is it worth paying for a gig you can only watch on your tele, or a laptop, or a tablet? Each to their own devices, I suppose.
“We're the guinea pigs for a new format”, says Steve Wickham, best known as the long-time fiddle player of the Waterboys. No Crows is his other band, and on 11 July this band played a concert at Windmill Lane.
There’s been a lot of media chatter the last few days about the series of drive-in concerts being planned featuring the likes of Ash, Dizzee Rascal, Gary Numan, with attendant questions on how they would work, how safety would be ensured and how enjoyable the experience would be. Delighted to have had the opportunity today to experience a drive-in gig first hand, the first in the UK, I believe.
On the 10th of March I went to my last live-in-person-concert (in England). On the 11th I got back to Ireland and on the 12th the lockdown started here – partial initially, strict soon after. “You must miss concerts”, people say. I probably would eventually, but for now, I honestly don't. Due to a mild, manageable (confirmed) dose of the corona virus I have had more free time at home than I have had since secondary school, with lots of live music streaming into my living room. I get to pick and choose, donate if I find it is worth it, and nobody bothers me by talking through the music. It's ideal.
A lot has already been written about the changes concerning Sleater-Kinney post the launch of their most recent album 'The Center Won't Hold'. It's sufficient to say that the two founding members, principle songwriters and vocalists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein are still in the band, and that bands which are afraid to evolve and embrace change often stagnate and finish which is clearly something Sleater-Kinney were not prepared to do.
Compared with other parts of the country the wrath of Storm Ciara largely bypassed Coventry enabling the audience to get to tonight's venue without a storm-related incident, “Thanks for battling your way through the storm... I don't think its been so bad this way..we had a lovely trip down from Glasgow....though tomorrow morning we might find our van half way up a tree....” says Anna Meredith referring to the prevalent weather tonight.