The Year in Review: Best gigs of 2010
Friday 24 December 2010
GIGS By Andy Gill
Solomon Burke (above)Jazz Café, London
Just weeks before his death, Solomon Burke put on the show of the year, a masterclass in magnetic charisma, gestural nuance and vocal expression which proved that it isn't necessary to wrestle a song into submission to imbue it with soul.
Arcade Fire (left)Hackney Empire; O2 Arena, LondonAmongst other things, 2010 was the year in which Arcade Fire assumed their position at rock's top table. Their Hackney Empire show was a glorious affirmation which all but burst the room apart; their O2 show proved that even a 20,000-seat arena was barely big enough to house their expansive anthems.
Pere UbuThe Garage, London
Pere Ubu's delivery of their first and last albums back-to-back involved one of the year's most extraordinary performances from singer David Thomas, clearly taking his title role in Ubu Roi to enraged new extremes as he vented his drunken fury on all and sundry – to the audience's evident delight.
MidlakeWilton's Music Hall, London
There was an aptness about Midlake showcasing their new album, steeped in antiquity and folk roots, in Britain's oldest surviving music hall. It gave a suitably haunted ambience for songs of rustic yearning delivered in delicate guitar threnodies laced with duetting flutes.
The UnthanksUnion Chapel, London
Another perfect alliance of performance and location, Rachel and Becky Unthank's show at the Union Chapel comprised interpretations of the songs of Antony and the Johnsons and Robert Wyatt, both men's gentle defiance evoked by the Unthanks' airily piquant voices.
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
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Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
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Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
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The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
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