Birmingham Promoters have asked me to pick the top 5 gigs we’ve ever done. Now, we all know picking favourites is wrong, but… I’m gonna do it anyway. Four years and a helluva lot of gigs later seems like an acceptable time as any to do a mini retrospective.

5. Knives + Kong + Corinthians + In Flight Program
@ The Magnet, Liverpool

This was our first ever gig, way back in April 2006. Looking back now I can hardly believe these bands were on the same line up. Four years on and Kong are the only band from the list that are still going. We’ve had them back since and they are now, quite frankly, brilliant. Currently being showered with a plethora of critical acclaim, their debut album ‘Snake Magnet’ is out on Brew Records.

Corinthians split in 2006, which is a shame as their ‘abrasive art pop’ was probably the best thing to ever come out of Wigan. Knives were one of my favourite Birmingham bands, and probably the reason I started doing gigs in the first place. Man, I miss that band.

With a rider that consisted solely of two litres of vodka and a crate of Red Bull, most of this evening is a blur, but I can say with 100% certainty that this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig.

4. Joan of Arc + Love of Everything + Planes Over People
@ The Garden (Rainbow Complex), Birmingham

This was definitely the most stressful gig we’ve ever done, but ultimately those kind of gigs are normally the most rewarding. The Garden was never really used for bands, so inevitably this show was a technical nightmare. I remember arriving and the PA or the mixing desk had just entirely stopped working. Luckily, the sound guy was also some kind of magician, and everything turned out alright in the end, despite the whole gig seeming like one calamity after another.

Joan of Arc were brilliant, and seeing how absolutely overwhelmed people were to be watching them made me realise this gig was definitely worth it, even if it did knock 5 years off my life through worry.

This gig also had a wicked poster designed by the wonderful Lewes Herriot, which I was most pleased about.

3. ZU + Beestung Lips + DAS BASTARD
@ The Rainbow, Birmingham

This gig was special for many reasons. It was DAS BASTARD‘s first gig. It was Beestung Lips‘ much-anticipated return from a break that seemed like it had lasted a lifetime. And Italian legends ZU were playing, who are awesome. The excitement was palpable, and all three bands delivered. I think this was also the first gig we did that sold out. Bonus.

2. Thee Oh Sees + Sex Beet + A Degree of Murder
@ The Basement, Birmingham

These last two gigs were at my favourite of all the venues we’ve used – The Basement. Sorely missed and disappointingly short-lived, this bar took up pretty much 90% of my life for the year it was open. Small, cool, grimy (you know, in a good way), rad jukebox – the atmosphere was great. I’m a big fan of Thee Oh Sees, so I suppose I was always going to love this gig, but they seemed particularly good on this occasion and I was made up with this show.

1. DAS BASTARD + Fuck Your Haircut
@ The Basement, Birmingham

This was the first gig we did at The Basement, and definitely my favourite one. Never before has my biggest stress of the evening been whether I was going to end up carting a band (and possibly some of the audience) to hospital due to self inflicted injuries. Did the singer really vomit on himself? Who knows. All I know is it was rammed and everyone was going mental. Wicked.

So there you have it. I hope that’s been self-indulgent enough for you. I would have liked to include the LITE, Part Chimp, and Barge Pole/Stinky Wizzleteat/Tad Allagash gigs, but I suppose eight gigs doesn’t really adhere to the rules of a top 5 favourite gigs list does it. Sorry to anyone I have missed out (but there had to be someone, right?), and as always big thanks to everyone that has played at, or attended, any of our gigs. It really is appreciated.

@ Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

@ Sound Bar, Birmingham