Wednesday 26 December 2012

C*s top of 2012

The other day, when doing another gig hopping night, a friend pointed out (insert sarcastic tone of voice here) "what a tough job you have got". What can I say? It's been another fantastic year on the Berlin live music circuit and I am a nerd and I never want to miss out.
My discovery of the year was definitely Dead Skeletons and king of show was Dirty Beaches, in my view. There was so much greatness playing in Berlin, I have not even attempted to whittle it down to a top 10 - I try every year and it's a pointless affair - but have settled for a top 20.  

This may also be a good point in time to hand out my prestigious Venue Of The Year Award 2012, which Festsaal Kreuzberg wins with no competition. Thank you for endless hours of great bands, great sound, great people, and altogether greatness.

1) Dead Skeletons at Kater Holzig (September)
2) Dirty Beaches at Kater Holzig (February) and at West Germany / The Maze (September)
3) Moon Duo at HAU1 (November)
4) U.S. Girls at Monarch (November)
5) Black Dice at Festsaal (September)
6) Austra at Volksbühne (January)
7) Liars at Roter Salon (June) and at Festsaal (October) 
8) Doomsday Student at bei Roy (October)
9) Refused at C-Halle (April)
10) Prinzhorn Dance School at Berghain Kantine (March) 
11) tUnE-yArDs at Festsaal (February)
12) The Spits + Hunx & his Punx at Festsaal (May)
13) Wooden Shjips at Festsaal (June)
14) DIIV at Monarch (August) 
15) Deep Time at Schokoladen (September)
16) Peaking Lights at Festsaal (June)
17) Villagers at Astra (October)
18) King Khan & BBQ Show at Festsaal (September)
19) Quintron & Miss Pussycat at Kater Holzig (October)
20) Dope Body at West Germany (October)

I was also a lucky girl and got to see some of my musical and style favourites of all time, which do not make it into my top list, purely because of the scale of those shows and the professionalism that goes into them, hence the lack of energy and personal inspiration. But I feel like giving them a shout out here anyway, because all of them delivered and got me emotional just seeing them on stage. I bow to you, Patti Smith. I bow to you, New Order. I bow to you, Jack White.

Finally, I travelled a little and my gig highlights here were:
Strange Boys and Reigning Sound in LA
The Kills in Lisboa
Moon Duo in Lisboa

Yes, I seek the thrill of live music, be it in Berlin or abroad, and I feel compelled to report to you every time, even when a night has gone wrong. Raise your glasses: here is a toast to talented musicians, dedicated booking agents, hard-working promoters, supportive labels, focussed managers, and clever press people. Because, like it or not, without the machinery behind it all, we would never get to see those fantastic gigs that we do. May 2013 be another year in which we suffer from chronic sleep deprivation but feel inspired for it!


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