Welcome to the Ticketmaster UK Blog – Part 2

Hi! Welcome to the Ticketmaster UK Blog. I’ve been appointed Editor and should probably tell you a little about myself. I grew up in the suburbs of South London, and since my teenage years I’ve been enjoying everything the capital has to offer – especially the gigs.

I first began writing about music and live entertainment for various magazines, while studying English Lit at university. Through my work, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favourite artists, go to hundreds of gigs and spend weekends away at some of Europe’s best festivals.

So, where did it all begin? My first gig – like many of my friends – was Oasis at Wembley Stadium in 2000. It’s fair to say I got the ‘bug’ that night, and have been to hundreds of shows since. My first task as editor of the blog is to pick my ten favourite gigs, here goes…

The Strokes (Venison) @ Dingwalls, Camden 2010
When the Strokes played the relatively tiny Dingwalls, under the name Venison, the anticipation was intense – people were queuing around the corner and offering up to £1,500 for a pair of tickets!

As expected, the venue was packed and people were clambering to the front of the stage to get a glimpse of the band. When the Strokes finally arrived they didn’t disappoint. Taking to the stage at 9:30, they started with début album favourite ‘New York City Cops’ and continued to play an 18 track greatest hits set, omitting all new material.

Jamie xx @ The Big Chill, 2011
My first and only visit to The Big Chill Festival was capped off by Jamie xx playing in the early hours of Sunday morning. Despite our exhaustion, we managed to dance through to the end of his two-hour set, which included his haunting rework of Gil Scott Heron’s ‘I’ll Take Care of You’.

Spiritualized @ Reykjavik, Iceland 2010
Despite the 48-hours of sleep deprivation and a nearby erupting volcano, watching Jason Pierce play in such stunning surroundings, backed by an Icelandic choir and full string section, is something I’ll never forget.

The Libertines @ Kentish Town Forum, London 2004
Quite possibly the most riotous gig I’ve ever been to. Pete and Carl were in their prime and managed sell out three nights at the Forum. I was down the front for the second night – I’m pretty sure I lost a shoe at one point – and by the end of the show most of the crowd were on the stage with the band.

Neil Young @ Glastonbury 2009
The highlight of my second trip to Glastonbury was easily Neil Young’s performance on the Pyramid stage. Despite his age, Young had lost none of the passion that made him such a force in the ’60s and ’70s.

New Order @ Bestival 2012
I’ve been a New Order fan since I was young and was excited to discover I’d be seeing them twice over the summer. Unfortunately, the first time I saw them in Spain the set just didn’t work – the vocals were barely audible and most of the crowd just didn’t seem to get it.

However, by the time September rolled around the band were back on form, bringing most of the crowd together when they ended the night with Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

Japandroids @ TGE, Brighton 2010
The Vancouver duo played like they were in front of 50,000 fans, when in reality there were probably only about fifty – but that’s why it was so great.

At that stage, their visceral post-punk was reassuringly jagged, lacking the Springsteen leaning anthems of their more recent records, and was propelled solely by the duo’s unrelenting energy.

David Bowie @ Isle of Wight Festival, 2004
My first ever festival and Bowie’s last ever show to date. There’s not much that really needs to be said; as expected Bowie was incredible and the rest of the weekend is a bit of a blur.

Stay+ and Purity Ring @ Point Ephemere, Paris 2011
I’d just spent two days at a festival in Paris and decided to have one last night out before heading back to London, so went down to Point Ephemere.

The dark electronic sounds of both acts filled the cramped backroom of the canal-side club, and Stay+’s visuals were so entrancing that by the end of their set most of the crowd were up on the stage dancing.

Stevie Wonder @ Glastonbury, 2010
From the opening keytar solo to the closing duet with Michael Eavis, Stevie Wonder’s showmanship and voice didn’t falter once.

The set included most of his hits, and even the saccharine songs of the ‘80s couldn’t detract from the performance – it’s easily one of the finest shows I’ve ever seen.