Scruffy’s Top 5 Gigs of 2018

I had an amazing year of gigs in 2018, which is pretty impressive considering how many I missed due to ill health (never going to get over missing the Manics’ Resistance Is Futile tour, quite honestly). Here are my top 5 of the year. The top 2 sit comfortably amongst the best gigs I’ve ever been to in my life.

5. Kylie Minogue at the O2, 27th of September

An incredible show from a pop icon at the peak of her game, full of glitter, confetti, dancing and of course, some almightily brilliant pop songs.

4. Paul Draper at the Electric Brixton, 8th of March

I saw this show both in Manchester and in London, but it was the latter night that truly shone: an utterly electric atmosphere, a buoyant and cheerful Paul Draper, and the spellbinding thrill of hearing my favourite album of the 90s played in full.

3. Manic Street Preachers and the Anchoress at the Royal Festival Hall, 19th of June

This was a joyous night from start to finish – from the stunning set from the Anchoress, to the Manics’ rousing celebratory jaunt through their catalogue of classics, new and old. I just wish I’d been close enough to take a half decent picture.

2. Suede at the Hammersmith Apollo, 13th of October

Suede in 2018 were a monumental thing – so full of the same energy and passion and vigour that they possessed 20 years ago, that when seeing them live you had no choice but to leap and scream and sing as though you were still a pop-dazzled teenager, no matter how old you may be and how much your hips may complain the next day. An astonishing triumph.

1. Pet Shop Boys at the Royal Opera House, 28th of July

Another show I saw twice, and while both nights were incredible, it was on the Saturday night in the orchestra pit that truly felt like the best gig in the universe. Dancing in these incredible surroundings, close to the stage with an unhindered view, to some of the greatest pop songs ever released, the songs that made me a music fan, was a gig experience like none I’ve ever had before and I doubt I ever will again.

And there you have it. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see just about all of my absolute favourite artists last year, and so many unfathomably still at the top of their game after all these years. I’m expecting a quieter 2019 gigwise, as I take time out to look after my health (and, to be honest, my bank account – gigs are an expensive hobby!) But I’m still hoping for some amazing gigs in the year to come. Bring them on!

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