Back in May when I wrote the first part to this I wouldn’t have believed that I would be writing a second part several months later. Time is a weird thing, and amiss of any live music, festivals and any significant trips away, apart from visiting the Motherland for a few weeks, the months have rolled into one and gone by in a blur. I’ve learnt to accept the situation and know that I cannot control what will happen, counting my blessings each day that the people close to me are safe, and that I’ve not lost anyone during this time. Having worked in music and live events since University, their absence has been hard to come to terms with, and with the Goverment response to this, asking people like myself to retrain, has been somewhat anger-inducing, to say the least. Finally we are now seeing some socially distanced shows happening, and being able to mark them into the diary. It’s great to see a venue that I’ve worked at for the past few years, The O2 Arena, having their first show back on the 5th of December.
In the absence of shows and tours, musicians have had to continue to be creative in putting out new releases and staying connected with fans. Over the past few months I’ve enjoyed livestreams from Biffy Clyro and LIFE, to name a couple, and consumed many old and new documentaries. The list below contains the ones that are available to watch now – a mix of things that I’ve watched since my first post back in May. Hope you enjoy, and that these videos can provide some light relief during these times.
Alicia Keys: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
I’ve been a huge fan of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert for a number of years now, and despite the pandemic they’ve continued to keep on putting new ones out. Some are previously filmed, like this one, and others are home concerts filmed in other locations with the same format – see Jhene Aiko, Flatbush Zombies, and Lenny Kravitz for some of my favourites of those. As mentioned, this was filmed just before the pandemic hit, so it had the pleasure of being in the NPR office, and with an audience. It’s one of my favourite Tiny Desks, Alicia comes across so well, and her flawless vocals and purely good natured attitude throughout, bring some much needed postive vibes to a pandemic hit world.
Meeting of a Thousand Suns (A Thousand Suns DVD) – Linkin Park
Linkin Park have recently been celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’, which was released on October 24th 2000. Amidst all of that, another one of their albums, ‘A Thousand Suns’, also celebrated its 10th anniversary on September 10th. This half-hour film, now available to watch in full on YouTube, documents how the band created the album. It’s fascinating to see the dynamic of the band, the different conversations in the studio, and hearing early demos of tracks. The concept album was a drastic departure from their previous work, as the band looked to evolve and experiement with different sounds and ideas.
BEHEMOTH – Live At Maida Vale 2018
Behemoth have kept busy during this lockdown period, re-issuing their debut EP ‘And The Forests Dream Eternally’, performing a livestream event entitled ‘In Absentia Dei’, alongside releasing a bunch of new merch and their full Maida Vale set, which was performed back in 2018. Known for their theatrical performances and macabre visuals, ‘Live from Maida Vale’ is a succinct reminder that Behemoth—Vocalist/Guitarist Adam “Nergal” Darski, Bassist/Backing Vocalist Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski, and Drummer Zbigniew “Inferno” Promiński—are exceptional masters of their black craft. Recorded at the famed radio station in London during the ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ release, the band perform four songs from the now much-acclaimed album.
FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES Live In The K! Pit
Like NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, Live In The K! Pit has been another live music series that I’ve really enjoyed watching since its conception. With the absence of gigs, I’ve been attempting to fill the void with these shows in particular. Filmed at small venues, they are short and action-packed and feature a lot of my favourite bands. There’s too many to mention, so just check out the Kerrang! YouTube channel for all of them, and save them to watch later. Here’s one of the best I’ve watched, a band that I absolutely love, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes live at Blondies in London.
200bpm Dutch Hardcore vs Evangelical Christians | Big Night Out
If you’re after something a bit weird, then this small documentary by Noisey may be the perfect little escape for you. As you might have been able to tell, I have a fairly ecelectic music taste, but this is one genre of music I struggle to get my head around. You probably have to be there to appreciate it, and on some substances I’d imagine, as the 200bpm noise comes throttling into every fibre of your bone. The Evangelical Christian twist gives it an interesting plot, with the Dutch Hardcore scene being pushed out of the cities, into small idelic Christian towns.
Hamilton | Disney+
I’ve had countless friends recommend Hamilton to me, some have even been to watch it numerous times, but I never actually had the pleasure of going to see it. So I was absolutely delighted when it became available to watch on Disney+, and albeit watching from my living room, I thought it was one of the best musicals that I’ve ever seen. Truly unique, and captivating from start to finish. I’m sure it’s even better live!
GRM Daily – Together We Rise (Documentary)
During my teens, grime and hip-hop were the two genres that I was predominanly listening to. Channel U, Risky Roadz, SBTV, Link Up TV, and of course, Grime Daily (now GRM Daily, as explained why in this documentary), were the platforms that I would regularly check out for new music, freestyles and music videos. This documentary details GRM Daily’s conception, to being one of the most influential platforms in UK music.
Oasis – ‘Return To Rockfield’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? 25th Anniversary
Noel Gallagher takes a trip down memory lane as he revisits the legendary Rockfield studio, where Oasis recorded ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’. Now 25 years old, the album is entrenched in rock history encapsulating a 90’s Britpop scene and everything great about British music at the time. Noel tells tales of the recording process for the album, and even gives his brother Liam a compliment, probably the closest thing to an Oasis reunion we’ve come to for a long time.
Noisey Presents: Los Cogelones
I’ve always been interested in different music scenes across the world, the combination of music, culture, and language fascinate me. Noisey, in particular, have been great at shining a light on these scenes, and in this three-part series they focus on the Mexican band Los Cogelones. The experimemtal rock band perform songs from the roof of their house in Ciudad Neza, and speak about their heriatge, ideas and what the band represents to them, and the community.
IDLES performance and interview (Live on KEXP at Home)
Having recently released their third album ‘Ultra Mono’, Idles have been doing a bunch of promotional material around it. This has included doing a series of livestreams from Abbey Road Studios, and straight after that they performed three tracks from the new album for this ‘Live At Home’ series by Seattle radio station KEXP. Interwined with an interview about the new album with guitarist Mark Bowen, the band perform ‘ Model Village’, ‘Mr. Motivator’, ‘War’ and ‘Grounds’. One of my favourite bands, and another great album, which I can’t wait to hear live when we are allowed to.
Thank you for reading. Check out part one here.
Let me know what you’ve been watching in the comments.