First Gig of the Year for us was Gentlemens Dub Club, one of the bands we have been waiting to see since before ‘the world stopped’ in 2020.  We were finally able to make the short trip to the Marble Factory in Bristol to catch them.

The gig was part of a double-header tour with The Skints, in which they took it in turns to headline.  On the night they had support from Cardiff singer Aleighcia Scott, who also shares an evening slot on BBC Radio Wales with DJ Huw Stevens.  Her set was very tight, and I look forward to hearing her debut album due out later this year..
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I was fourteen when I first wrote those words

We all have albums in our collection that are ages-old, but we still play regularly.  Sometimes we may wonder whatever happened to that artist from all those years back; we may even regret never getting to see them live when they were ‘in their pomp’.  One such artist, for me, was Toyah.

She appeared towards the end of the short 1970s punk revolution when, ironically, it was her live album Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! that forced its way onto my record deck during 1980.  Regular readers will know that I specifically exclude live albums from my annual selection process, so it never featured in my roundup.  But when she released her next studio album, Anthem, six months later it was an instant purchase.  It made my top three in 1981, and has been a regular play over the intervening forty years.  But I never got to a gig – until this weekend.
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After more than two and a half years, we finally got to a live gig again to see When Rivers Meet at Bath Komedia.  Turned out it was also their first gig since the lockdowns.

This is the first time we had taken-in a gig at this local venue, but by no means the first time we had been in the building.  It used to be the Beau Nash Cinema way back in the day, and I well remember the Saturday morning matinees back in the fifties when we paid sixpence to see a Western in which the wagons were circled to fight off those pesky injuns, or the White Hats defeated the Black Hats in a shoot-out in the local corral.
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Recently during Lockdown, there have been lots of ‘challenges’ on social media that you had to be nominated for by someone who had already done them.  Name ten albums that mean something to you, one a day for ten days was probably the most popular – I did it twice, although I modified the ‘rules’ to suit, as is my wont.  Then there were books, films, TV comedies, and so on. The last one, just before it all began to peter-out, was your six most memorable gigs of all time.

A friend was nominated and I was hoping he would pass on a nomination to me, but it never came.  I was discussing this omission with another friend – actually I was having a bit of a whinge about it – to which he simply said: well, write a blog then!  Obvious really – duh! Continue Reading

Curtis Eller's American Circus

I love small venues, and one of my favourites locally is the Old Theatre Royal in Bath – very atmospheric with wonderful acoustics.  I always try to get along to a couple of gigs during their annual fringe@theOTR fortnight during the City’s Fringe Festival, because they often unearth bands you don’t normally see.  This year they managed to get Curtis Eller’s American Circus all the way from North Carolina as part of their European Tour promoting the new album A Poison Melody

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