Favourite gigs of 2013

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A slightly smaller tally of gigs attended this year, I think it ended up as something like 38 gigs and four three-day festivals, three of which were All Tomorrow's Parties. To be honest I saw so many good performances at the final three ATPs that I could have done a top 10 of those alone. Next year is bound to have a different dynamic of course. As usual I have tried to find some amateur footage of the gig in question, which isn't always possible.

1. My Bloody Valentine, Hammersmith Apollo, March

I have seen My Bloody Valentine many times over the years, so I was delighted to see that they were on top form both nights at Hammersmith. The first night shades it, I thought it was flawless,and underlined why they are one of my favourite bands of all time. I reviewed it here.

2. Deerhunter's ATP hat-trick, All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands, June

Deerhunter have always been an impressive live band, and their ambitious task of playing three albums on three consecutive nights at ATP was always going to be a challenge. It turned out to be a triumph, and it was actually too hard to single out which of the shows was my favourite. My report on the whole festival is here.

3. Colin Stetson, London Cafe Oto, October

It's always great to see a musician and marvel at how they are doing what they are doing. In Stetson's case, he manages to bring percussion, melody lines and fills out of his bass sax, all without the aid of electronic trickery. It was even better to see this at close range in such an intimate setting.

4. Kraftwerk 3D, Latitude Festival, July

After the frustration of missing out on tickets for their Tate Modern shows, i was pleased that this show was every bit as good as I had hoped. They played a "greatest hits" set, not hugely different from the last time I saw them nine years ago, but the 3D made it special. Festival report here

5. Television performing Marquee Moon, All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands, November

I'm sure people will be surprised at how high this is in my gigs of the year but, having been utterly disappointed by them in 2002, I thought I probably wouldn't even see Television again. This performance however, was stellar, and the guitar interplay was just beautiful.

6. White Fence, Tufnell Park Dome, May

White Fence were a revelation both times I saw them this year (the other was at the final ATP). I could take or leave their records up to this point, but they stole the show at this five band bill.

7. Parquet Courts, London Sebright Arms, March

Arriving on a wave of hype, Parquet Courts actually managed to live up it with this blistering show in the cosy basement of the Sebright Arms. It is unlikely that I'll see them anywhere as intimate again.

8. The Wave Pictures, London Lexington, December

This was billed as their Christmas party, but there were no cheesy seasonal tunes, just a career spanning set and some choice covers (Daniel Johnson, Lou Reed, the Modern Lovers). David Tattersall's guitar playing is worth seeing anyway, but I particularly loved the way the three of them fit together as a tight, minimal unit.

9. Factory Floor, London Corsica Studios, September

A wonderful, trance-like set just before the album came out, which seemed to hold the room in its spell. The best compliment that I can pay it is that, at the end, I couldn't tell whether they had played for ten minutes or two hours. They seemed so unstoppable it was a shame when they ended.

10. Tim Hecker, Pete Swanson, London St John's Church, September

This got into the top 10 by a nose, mainly because of the double bill of Swanson's brilliantly abrasive noise and Hecker's immersive ambient pieces, and also because the setting of this big old church fitted the music perfectly.

Honourable mentions for those great acts I saw that were just squeezed out of this top 10, take a bow, Shellac, Loop, Mogwai, John Grant, Swans, the Sea and Cake, Daughter, Dan Deacon, Yo La Tengo (twice!), Melody's Echo Chamber, Dinosaur Jr, Ex Models, the Breeders, Tortoise, Scout Niblett, Bored Spies, the Pastels.

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