As we get to grips with 2012, we say goodbye to a year of superb live music in York. As ever 2011 has seen some amazing bands, both signed and unsigned strut their stuff on the stages of our beloved venues both new and old. The 30th December was no exception to that rule. Fibbers ended their first full year after their £250,000 refurbishment with a gig archetypal of what they do best; a fantastic touring headliner, supported by the finest of what York’s local scene has to offer.
The bill kicked off with Perk Culture and what transpired to be this young but promising bands live debut. An energetic and remarkably enjoyable twenty-five minutes of predominantly original material will have surely bagged these young chaps some exciting further live bookings in the coming year. Up next came Little Triggers with their clearly eclectic range of influences that can be heard oozing through the welcomingly familiar indie warmth that these four York lads have to offer. A bill featuring three support bands and a headliner can sometimes see an audience become fractious to say the least. Two bands down and two more to go can sometimes yield a thirsty yet difficult palette to quench but IO were the perfect band for the job. Captivating from the word go, flavorsome dance beats (reminiscent of dance music before owning a Mac made every man and his dog a music producer), served with haunting melody and underpinned by solid guitar work most certainly concluded a three part showcase of bands whom 2012 is theirs to do with what they will. A personal highlight from IO’s enchanting set and subsequently a track well worth checking out would be “No Life” as featured on the bands current EP.
Having had their appetite sufficiently whet by the evening’s support, the time came for the’s Scottish headliners to do their thing. After a two year live hiatus and nearing four years since their first studio album “Nothing Means Everything”, The Dykeenies are back on the road promoting their new record “Canyon of Echoes”. The band received an immediately warm reception as they took to the stage. Frontman, Brian Henderson commented on the length of time that had passed since the band had last rolled into York to play in front of a Fibbers crowd. The warmth of what turned into semi-conversational patter with the audience continued throughout the bands fifteen song set. Predominantly playing tracks from their current album, the set was carefully interspersed a healthy smattering of fan favorites such as “Stiches” and “Waiting for Go” creating some interesting juxtaposition between the poppy aspects of their first record and the slightly darker lyrical aspects of what their 2011 album has to offer. “Sounds of the City” and its potentially anthemic qualities drew the hour long set to a satisfying finale.
Having photographed over fifty bands throughout the year-up and down the country, here is my look back at some of my favorite shots of artists whom have touted their musical-wares in York this year…
Frankie and the Heartstrings, Fibbers, 18.02.11
Steve Craddock, Fibbers, 17.04.11
Grouplove, Fibbers, NME Radar Tour
Anna Calvi, Fibbers, NME Radar Tour
Miles Kane, The Duchess, 08.05.11
David Gray, The Barbican, 30.05.11
Lethal Bizzle, University of York, 30.06.11
Stza Crack, Stereo, 15.08.11
CSS, Fibbers, 22.08.11
Pete Doherty, The Barbican, 22.09.11
Ghostpoet, The Duchess, 12.10.11
Rizzle Kicks, University of York, 16.10.11
Pigeon Detectives, University of York, 16.10.11
Glasvegas, The Duchess, 30.10.11
KT Tunstall, Grand Opera House, 06.11.11
Shed Seven, The Barbican, 21.12.11
2011 has once again set the bar very high for the quality of live music we’ve enjoyed this year in York, but now it is time for 2012 to have to step up to the plate. Moral of story? Go and see big bands, go and see local bands, but whatever your preference, lets keep supporting the venues who bring a little bit of rock and roll to all of our lives.
All images copyright Ben Bentley