Top 5 Gigs of 2015 – Dan Aitch

2015 was a great year for live music, and before I get into my top 5 gigs, I have to give a couple of ‘honourable mention’ shouts to…

Big Deal at The Lexington – my first time seeing this band but it won’t be my last. A great night out made all the better for the wonderfully symbiotic relationship between vocalists Alice Costelloe and Casey Underwood.

Ash at The Barfly – Great to see such a huge band in such a tiny venue. A sweaty and raucous evening celebrated ‘Ash Wednesday’ with new album ‘Kablammo!’ providing many of the highlights, not least of which was the almost lazy manner in which Tim Wheeler made his guitar sing.

At number 5…


The Lemonheads @ the o2 – it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this band and this was an opportunity too good to be missed. A live set with an astonishingly wonderful acoustic set in the middle that will live long in my memory.

Number 4…


Asylums @ The Lexington – This gig came with perfect timing as my Spotify playlist of this rowdy bunch of herberts from Southend simply wasn’t going to be switched off. Just finishing a tour with Ash, I’m confident 2016 holds great things for them.

Number 3…


Billy Lunn @ Nambucca – An overpowering memory of friendship, fun, sing-alongs and endless laughter. A truly mesmerising night out and as a standalone event with one man and his guitar, this simply can’t be beaten.

Number 2…


The Virginmarys @ The Lexington – Great to have this band back and from the sound of them, they haven’t suffered from ‘second album syndrome’. I can’t wait for the new album and with this level of power and assault in a live set, it’s hard to see how world-domination won’t find them soon.

Number 1…

One that I’m afraid didn’t get reviewed in 45 due to the distance between me and my laptop while I was on holiday but there will never be a year that features me seeing this band where they won’t wangle their way into my ‘Top 5’ gig-list.


The Damned @ Anaheim House of Blues – The combination of being on holiday, seeing a band I love on the fringes of Disneyland, meeting old friends from 20 years ago, and seeing this band whose first single was released nearly 40 years ago made for a powerful combination of aligned factors to lift me up and away beyond any troubles the world might have to offer.

Being allowed to shoot the whole gig from the photopit gave me the chance to be up close and personal with one of my all-time heroes (bar his footballing allegiances); the very good and noble Captain Sensible. Their Christmas Tour is almost upon us and if you can, find a way to beg, borrow or steal a ticket to catch a band who are still, somehow and mystifyingly, at their absolute peak. Who doesn’t want to say that they’ve seen THE original punk band, still strutting their stuff and baring their arses in public. There Ain’t No Sanity Claus, there’s just The Damned, and we remain grateful for that.

Here’s to 2016.