GIG REVIEW: The Blow Monkeys at 229

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Friday 9 October, touring until 27 August 2022

SETLIST: Celebrate (The Day After You); OK Have It Your Way; One More Time; Crying For The Moon; More Than A Miracle; It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way; Choice; It Pays To Belong; Out With Her; Dust At Her Feet; Said Too Much; Time Storm; Digging Your Scene; Wait; The Wild River; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Superfly; Man From Russia; You Don’t Own Me

‘It doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t make it sing,’ observed the dearly departed Curtis Mayfield on tonight’s opening song and, while we’re massively missing his input, as well as Sylvia Tella’s vocals on her hit duet with the band and some of the sharpest backing vocals of the 80s, this is still a joy of a gig to behold.

  • Read on for reasons including how we would have loved the band’s iconic saxophone to have been louder tonight
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GIG REVIEW: Scritti Politti at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHEN?: Saturday 2 October 2021

SETLIST: The Sweetest Girl; Day Late And A Dollar Short; The Boom Boom Bap; Oh Patti; Skank Bloc Bologna; Trentavious White; The Word Girl; Small Talk; Absolute; A Little Knowledge; Don’t Work That Hard; Perfect Way; Lover To Fall; Wood Beez; Hypnotize; At Last I Am Free

Good things come to those who wait and so it is with Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside who explains during this show that panic attacks meant he couldn’t take to a stage for 20 years.

  • Read on for reasons including how Hot Chip frontman and support act Alexis Taylor joins the band for a concluding Chic cover
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GIG REVIEW: Declan McKenna at 02 Brixton Academy

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Friday 17 September 2021

SETLIST: Beautiful Faces; Rapture; Sagitarrius A; Emily; Make Me Your Queen; The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home; Twice Your Size; The Key To Life On Earth; My House; Listen To Your Friends; Humongous; Isombard; You Better Believe; Be An Astronaut; Daniel, You’re Still A Child; Why Do You Feel So Down; Eventually, Darling; Brazil; British Bombs

It’s a Friday night and the excitement in the venue is palpable as 22-year-old McKenna steps out on stage in front of a screaming crowd of predominantly teenage boys and girls for what he describes as the biggest solo gig of his career so far.

  • Read on for reasons including how you can see McKenna on tour this year and next
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GIG REVIEW: Idles at Portsmouth Guildhall

WHEN?: 12 September 2021

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

Reminiscent of my ex-goth’s conundrum of what to wear to a Cult gig when you’re the wrong side of 40, Mr H was in a quandary as to whether to buy a merch t-shirt. Attired in the überfan Steve Lamacq’s Going Deaf for a Living shirt (Lammo famously championed Idles), Mr H decided to wear the new Idles t-shirt on top. Job done.

  • Read on for reasons including whether A Humdrum Mum rubbed shoulders with the band in their Exeter youth
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GIG REVIEW: Will Young at EartH, Hackney, east London

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHEN?: Monday 6 September 2021, tour runs until 8 July 2022

SETLIST: Crying On The Bathroom Floor; Light My Fire; Losing You; Changes; ‘Til There’s Nothing Left; Who Am I; Jealousy; Come On; You And I; Elizabeth Taylor; Daniel; Leave Right Now; Your Game

We’ve been to Q&As before but never 1 where an audience member has proposed to her boyfriend and the act has invited them onstage as Will Young did here.

  • Read on for reasons including whether Ade accepted Leanne’s marriage proposal
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GIG REVIEW: The Primitives at The Lexington

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 4 September, tour runs until 19 September 2021

SETLIST: I’ll Stick With You; Thru’ The Flowers; Spin-o-rama; Stop Killing Me; Sick Of It; Lose The Reason; Petals; Rattle My Cage; Run Baby Run; Where The Wind Blows; Buzz Buzz Buzz; Really Stupid; I’ll Trust The Wind; Empathise; You Are The Way; Nothing Left; Crash; Way Behind Me; Spacehead; Everything’s Shining Bright

We’re in a room above a north London pub not far from where we first saw The Primitives at the height of their commercial success in May 1988.

  • Read on for reasons including how this is our 5th time seeing the band in 33 years
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GIG REVIEW: International Teachers Of Pop at The Moth Club

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Thursday 2 September 2021, tour runs until 21 December 2021

SETLIST: Don’t Diss The Disco; Gaslight; The Red Dots; The Ballad Of Remedy Nilsson; Age Of The Train; Prince; The Tower; Another Brick In The The Wall; After Dark; Flood The Club; Plimsolls; Feminenergy

‘We took a taxi to Poundland in Dalston to buy these glow sticks,’ says singer Leonore Wheatley as she rifles through a shopping bag she has brought on stage.

  • Read on for reasons including what else came out of Wheatley’s shopping bag to delight the crowd
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GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common starring Nile Rodgers, Supergrass, Melanie C and Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs (day 3)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: Sunday 29 August 2021

I normally soak up the whole day of a festival, mull it over during the night and my review flows the next morning. But this is different. I’ve just come from seeing one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. (I do think I use that superlative too easily sometimes, but not now.)

  • Read on for reasons including why PigsX7’s sound is ‘dirtier than the dirtiest loaded fries you’ve ever bought’
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GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common starring The Streets, Stereo MCs, Blossoms and Bad Sounds (day 2)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

We started the day with possibly my best find of the weekend – Bad Sounds. A recommendation from my more indie-friendly friend, but they were anything but indie. My notes state poppy, geeky, funky. I was going to try to craft something cleverer, more succinct to describe them but actually, in the three-words style, they did sum them up perfectly.

  • Read on for reasons including The Streets, Manic Street Preachers, Rag’n’ Bone Man and more from day 2
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GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common, starring Madness, Terrorvision, Peter Hook and the Light (day 1)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: Friday 27 August 2021

It’s said you get all sorts at festivals. Whilst that is true, we found that you get all sorts en route to a festival here. Walking alongside an elderly man in a mobility scooter, who was blasting out Jim Reeves (or some other crooner) from a ghetto blaster in his basket, turned out to set the scene for our return to festival-land on the south coast.

  • Read on for reasons including reviews of Madness, Terrorvision, Feeder, Peter Hook and the Light
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