Tag Archives: Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem – HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Now this was one gig that I had been looking forward to for absolutely ages. The Gaslight Anthem – one of the most exciting bands of recent times – were playing at the infamous Hammersmith Apollo; an opportunity I simply couldn’t turn down.

We arrived as the doors opened, and to my amazement, managed to get right to the barrier, only metres away from my favourite band! This was the closest I had ever been to any band on stage, never mind The Gaslight Anthem!!

The night began with Sharks, a punk band from Leamington Spa, near Birmingham, who delivered an energetic set tinged with rock n roll, with enough power behind them to warm up even the quietest among us! The band, who were highly recommended by Kerrang! a while ago, have racked up an impressive record in terms of who they have supported. Past headline acts include Gallows, The King Blues and Lostprophets.

The next act was Chuck Ragan, one of my new favourite singer/songwriters. The ex-member of Hot Water Music was accompanied by Jon Gaunt on the fiddle, and the duo gave for a simple, yet powerful delivery. Chuck, although relatively new to me, was clearly well known to a large part of the audience, and songs such  as ‘Do You Pray’ and ‘For Broken Ears’ were performed with true emotion, and it was clear that Chuck and Jon put everything into their performance.

Chuck left us all in good spirits for the band everyone had been waiting for. The crowd went wild as The Gaslight Anthem took to the stage. Surprisingly, the first song that the band erupted into was High Lonesome, from the ’59 Sound, not that I had any complaints. It was to be the start of a very good night!

Following this came a few songs from the new album, American Slang, including The Diamond Church Street Choir, one of my favourites! Other highlights for me included Great Expectations, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Casanova, Baby! and I Coul’da Been A Contender. The band ripped through these tracks, with barely a pause.

However, there was one point during the evening, when Brian stopped us all for a few minutes, to let us know just how much the show actually meant to them. He told us that a few years ago, they had been travelling through the streets of London, late at night, after headlining at a much smaller club (I can’t remember the name) and Brian was woken up by his bandmates who pointed out the Apollo, which their hero, Bruce Springsteen had famously played in 1975. Brian told us that he had made a promise to the rest of the band that ‘they would play there one day,’ expecting to be back in maybe a decade. Yet only two or three years later, there they were, headlining at The Apollo. So the night was a big moment, not just for me and the rest of the crowd, but for everybody in the band!

Throughout the night, there was not a single bad song. In my opinion, every song was performed to perfection. Brian alternated between guitar and just vocals, which apparently was also another first for the band, allowing him to pay much more attention to us in the crowd!

The slow songs were also played at exactly the right moments. Rather than killing the momentum, the catchy, singalong choruses of songs such as ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid’ were a perfect finisher to an amazing night!

Below, you can find the entire setlist. The pictures throughout are from gigwise.com.

The Gaslight Anthem Setlist HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London, England 2010, American Slang Tour

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Radio 1 Punk Show – Mike Davies

Those of you rock and punk fans familiar with British radio stations will know that there isn’t often a lot on offer for us, especially when it comes to Radio 1. However, for any of you who don’t already listen to it, Radio 1 have their own show dedicated to Punk, Ska and Hardcore, presented from Los Angeles by Mike Davies.

The show features loads of great music and interviews, from Rise Against, Frank Turner and The Gaslight Anthem, to Trash Talk, Hot Water Music and The Skints.

The show also features in depth interview’s all different manner of bands, providing an interesting insight into the lives of some of your favourite musicians.

Since Mike has been surrounded by LA’s punk rock scene since he was a child, he also has extensive knowledge of many of the bands played on the show – it adds a very interesting dynamic to the show.

With the time difference of over 5 hours between the UK and US, if you are a Brit, and you want to listen to the show live, you will have to tune in at around 2:00 in the morning! However, if you have a decent internet connection that won’t drive you crazy, you can listen to it on BBC iPlayer, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wq52

P.S:  Check out Mike’s interview of Tom Gabel, from Against Me! – I’m sure you’ll find it very interesting!

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The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang Review

Well, The Gaslight Anthem are back! And after the long awaited release of American Slang, I must say, I’m very impressed! It’s taken me a while to really get into this album, as I was almost expecting something similar to The ’59 Sound, however, after coming to terms with the concept that Brian Fallon no longer wanted to follow the same song structure that was the basis for the majority of the songs on the previous album, I have realised that this is yet another great album from the New Jersey punk rock band.

One review states (of Brian Fallon) that ‘He emerges from American Slang as a man who couldn’t assemble an Ikea bookcase without getting the instructions tattooed on his heart while rememberin’ the good times, before flat-pack furniture took the fire of his youth, when the diamond romeos in the alleyways sang sha-la-la to the uptown queens.’

I believe that this statement is partly true, as Fallon has the ability to make every event into a collage of metaphors and hidden meanings, but I don’t believe it is a bad thing. He has a very thoughtful and complex songwriting technique, but it is refreshing to see something diferent from the straightforward, stereotypical lyrics that dominate today’s Top 100.

Fallon has compared the band’s progression to that of the Clash. The first album, Sink or Swim was a straightforward punk record, the second, The ’59 Sound was much more thoughtful, yet still had the punk rock edge, which set them slightly apart from the obvious Springsteen references. On the other hand, American Slang is much more of a rock record, full of slower songs, and is made up of numerous picked guitar riffs, which connect together to make up the songs, rather than just the chords with occasional melodies over the top that made up the previous two albums. Personally, I think this showcases the band’s talent ,much more clearly, as it proves that they have enough creativity to put forward riff after riff. It also makes the album much more personal to the band. Aswell as choosing to use a songwriting style that Fallon wanted to be ‘much more personal, featuring his own experiences,’ the use of their own riffs really helps to convey the ideas and emotions that inspired this album in the first place.

In my personal opinion, American Slang is a great album, but one which does not strike the listener as being so as quickly as the previous album did. Highlights of the album for are: The Queen Of Lower Chelsea, American Slang, The Diamond Church Street Choir and Boxer.

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