I have a bit of catching up to do, so thought I’d wrap up a bunch of gigs from this year so far.
Fyfe Dangerfield – Downstairs At The King’s Head (15th January)
I was unable to make Fyfe’s Scala gig due to work commitments, so was pleased to discover this low-key warm up gig. The Guillemots frontman was performing tracks from his new solo album ‘Fly Yellow Moon’, and the entire gig was a very stripped down affair, with a lot being played on acoustic guitar or piano only, although he occasionally ventured into loop pedal teritory, but only to provide a basic background beat.
The set included many songs from the album, including single ‘She Needs Me’, and stripped down tracks ‘Livewire’ and ‘Don’t Be Shy’. He also played a few from the special edition album’s bonus CD, including the beautiful piano ballad ‘Awake, Asleep’. Opting to avoid playing any Guillemots, the set was boosted by a few covers – a haunting version of The Beatles’ ‘Fool On The Hill’, and Girls Aloud’s ‘Call The Shots’, which was performed in a very minimalist style remaniscent of The XX.
It was a great chance to see Fyfe in an intimate setting, however I’m sure if he plays more solo gigs hopefully he will start to bring in some more of his wonderful energy displayed in Guillemots gigs!
Hot Chip – Rough Trade East (2nd February)
To launch their new album ‘One Life Stand’, the fantastic Hot Chip played a set at Rough Trade East. Having been there the previous day to see Midlake play, I was able to pick up a copy of the album along with a ticket to the gig. The large and excited crowd squeezed into the store, and shortly after the band took to the stage to play a set largely comprised of the new album.
Album and set opener ‘Thieves In The Night’ set the mood, and with tracks such as ‘I Feel Better’ and the single ‘One Life Stand’ there’s no shortage of catchy tunes on the new long player. Several of the tracks featured Al Doyle playing steel drums, a new addition to the Hot Chip sound. Previous albums got a slight look-in, with previous single ‘Ready For The Floor’, and what seemed like an unplanned encore (although surely they don’t play many gigs without it!?) of ‘Over And Over’ keeping the crowd happy.
Sadly I missed their Brixton Academy gigs this weekend but hopefully I’ll get the chance to see another full set soon, as the new material mixed up with more old favourites will surely be a winning combination.
David Ford – Boogaloo (2nd February)
After the Hot Chip show I dashed over to the Boogaloo in Highgate just in time for David Ford’s headline slot. The packed out intimate gig was due to coincide with the launch of his (self-released) new album ‘Let The Hard Times Roll’, however due to manufacturing delays the album wasn’t ready in time. He made up for it by playing the album in full, complete with the stories behind most of the songs, and helped out by Hannah Peel on piano and trombone for several tracks.
Much of the album was familiar to me from previous gigs, and a few had been previously released on a series of EPs – tracks such as ‘Hurricane’, ‘Panic’ and ‘Stephen’ are now classic Ford tracks. Of the newer tracks, ‘She’s Not The One’ is at the ‘radio-friendly’ end of David’s spectrum, and was written about Margaret Thatcher, and ‘Meet Me In The Middle’ a more sombre affair, dealing with a period of depression in his life. The stories and songs made for a very insightful gig, and it was clear to see how much passion had gone into the making of the album.
The gig was rounded off with a short encore of requests and covers, including a fun medley featuring ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and ‘Higher And Higher’ amongst others. The night ended with the still beautiful, no matter how many times I hear it, ‘Song For The Road’. Following a series of small shows David will play his biggest show yet at Koko in April. Based on every gig I’ve seen him play surely we won’t be lucky enough to catch him in venues as intimate as the Boogaloo for much longer.