Mark Lanegan Band – London HMV Forum, 04/12/2012

To be honest, I wasn’t going to bother doing anything on this show as I’ve done enough of these already this year! The plan was to chill out, hang out with friends who I’d not seen for a while (one of whom was celebrating her birthday) and just soak in the show without having to worry about thinking about it. There’s also the thing about writing about multiple versions of a similar show that requires finding something unique to wrap the whole shebang around that gives each show its character. The fact that I’m sitting here on a train tapping this out on a phone is probably as good an indication of how unique of character last night’s show was.
And that’s without taking into account watching the many people trying to make their way down steps that weren’t there by trying to walk through a metal barrier that was.


Best of 2012, 20-11

Whoops!  A bit late with this one, but that’s what a combination of Food Poisoning and the Norovirus will do for you.  Technically, this means that I’ve had even more time than I would otherwise have done in order to get this out of the way, but oh you don’t want to know how that time was eventually spent.

Anyway, this is the last of the grouped ones, the final ten get pages of their own as and when I get around to doing them, starting later in the week after a bit of a proper break and hopefully finishing just in time for the Festive Period.  Hopefully by then, I’ll have worked out what order that top ten will be in, because at the moment it’s all a little bit sketchy and in the best possible way.


Mark Lanegan Band – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton 22/08/12


Weeks off work tend to be the busiest times, don’t they?  After an unexpectedly long walk home from being dumped in slightly the wrong county after Sunday’s Afghan Whigs show, I find myself off down the M6 to a city I’ve been through before but never actually to, in order to see Mark Lanegan and his band yet again, in the company of friends.  I should point out that I ran into a couple of these friends in London on Sunday, with only enough time for the briefest of pleasantries and a mutually unsurprised “see you on Wednesday” as if people from cities at either end of the country meeting somewhere in the middle on a weekday evening was completely normal behaviour.  I’m rather glad to say that, as far as myself and my friends are concerned, it kind of is.


Mark Lanegan Band – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 13/03/2012

This isn’t going to be an especially long or particularly serious review, as to be honest I’ve already done 3 of those this week, this show was spent mostly in the company of friends I don’t get to see anywhere near as much as I’d like to, I was feeling a bit ropey and I fancied a bit of a goof-off. The teenytiny photos that accompany this are more for comedy purposes than anything else, although I suspect that they are a marked improvement over the swirly efforts from earlier on.
So this one was spent at the back of the room, enjoying good company and generally being jostled by a local crowd who simply couldn’t keep from constantly strolling about.


Mark Lanegan Band – Birmingham HMV Institute 12/03/2012

Argh – I didn’t know that the M6 was going to be shut last night! After being given the grand tour of the entire West Midlands at night, I finally rolled in at 02:40 this morning after setting off on a 90-minute journey at 22:45. So I wasn’t really in the mood for typing anything when I got home.

Which is a bit of a shame, as last night’s show was, for reasons both musical and otherwise, my favourite one of the tour so far. The (smallish) venue itself was gorgeous, the sound was spot-on, managed to get a bit of celeb-spotting in (Rich Machin from Soulsavers was in attendance, and top photographer and occasional musician Steve Gullick was also on hand to take a few pics), and a good time was had by all. And yes, I’m typing this on a phone on a train.


Creature With The Atom Brain – The Birds Fly Low

This turned out to be a nice surprise last night – I was perusing the merchandise table at Mark Lanegan’s show in Leeds to try to remember which one of his multitude of live CDs I don’t have, and I noticed that the side table that house opening act Creature With The Atom Brain’s stuff had this extra item on it.  Not in shops until April, it’s really nice that the band can strike while the iron’s hot as it were and shift a few copies to people impressed by their current spate of shows.

Depending on how you look at it, this is either their third or fifth album (I could never work out if the Snake/Kill The Snake records were EPs or LPs), following on from 2009’s accomplished Transylvania.  Given the live runout for a few of the songs from this album, I had the idea that The Birds Fly Low would be similar to the last one, but off on a slightly spacier tangent.  Which is sort of the case, but doesn’t begin to describe it properly.


Mark Lanegan Band – Leeds Metropolitan University S.U.

I have spent all day checking my pocket. I have been doing this because all day it has had a ticket for tonight’s show in it and I have been paranoid all day about turning up at the door of the Student Union and producing either a ticket for a different city or – worse – that curious tribute to the surrealist Belgian artist René Magritte’s most famous work The Treachery of Images which is a favourite of all UK ticket vendors, the thing that looks exactly like the ticket I bought but with the words This Is Not A Ticket emblazoned upon its face. There is little hope for me in this regard.

Anyway, onto show number two. And after much messing about finding a car park that remained open after dusk near the venue followed by running into people in turn planned for, unexpected and hastily arranged (Jane, your ticket is here! Thanks to Denise, and sorry for saying to look for someone with longish hair and a dark coat milling about near the merch table as that didn’t really narrow it down at all…)


Mark Lanegan Band – Manchester Academy 2, 05/03/2012

How time flies when you’re having fun, eh? I’ve seen Mark Lanegan onstage in various guises in recent years whether it be with Soulsavers, Isobel Campbell, the Gutter Twins (as part of a band or just with partner-in-crime Greg Dulli) or just on his own with an acoustic guitar for company, in a host of buildings including a chapel, a cathedral and an Art-Deco seaside public artspace. Yet it’s been over seven years since he’s been through promoting his own new material under his own banner.

This is the first of four such new shows I’ll be taking in over the course of the next week or so, which seems like a bit of a muchness. And it probably is – the Thesaurus is certainly going to get something of a hammering/bashing/awful running gag treatment before next Tuesday’s behind me. Fact is, I’ll be pottering around the country meeting up with friends old and new who I met through a shared appreciation of Lanegan’s varied career, so as with previous multi-show visits, it’s an excuse to get out of the house and hang out with good friends, some of which I’ll be meeting for the first time in three dimensions. It’s rather strange that this first show I’m attending is in the same room as the last time he rolled into town with a full band under his own name back in 2004, perhaps it’s a fondness for the building (more than a couple of times in the intervening period, he’s been found in the cosier environs of the Academy 3 upstairs from here with other acts) as it can’t be due to a struggle to fill larger venues – Manchester has been very supportive of Lanegan’s varied works over the years, and his stock has certainly risen recently despite a mainstream press still unable to neatly place him.


Sunday Whatever

The spate of idea necromancy continues apace, although at least the last time I did one of these was only back in October/November, when I did a whole four in a row before forgetting to do any more.  May as well start to get in the habit again (and, as penance, expand the list from five to ten), as I’ve set myself quite the task for March….  I’ll be seeing the Mark Lanegan Band four times in four cities (two of those on consecutive nights) and plan to write up all four shows.  The main thing about doing this is not out of some weird, creepy following thing, but I’ll be meeting up with old friends from the old MLB Messageboard and days (as has been the case with previous tours, some of which are related in these very pages) and the whole shebang is going to be one of social butterflying more than anything stalky.  It’s going to be a sod to write up though, whichever way I decide to do it.

Also planning on adding an extra category, as “From the Past” and “From the Present” is all well and lovely, but what of old stuff that I’ve only just bought/dug?  So, at some point (ish), a “New To Me” thingy may well appear.