I’ve been waiting for weeks for the Somerset House summer series of gigs to be announced, hoping to plan my trip to England around attending one of them. Watching Orbital, Yo La Tengo and Calexico in that beautiful courtyard made for some of the most memorable gigs of my time in London, and that’s saying a lot.

So they’ve finally been announced, and here they are:

  • 5 July: Beth Orton
  • 6 July: Doves
  • 7 July: Queens Of The Stone Age
  • 8 July: Super Furry Animals
  • 9 July: The Mars Volta
  • 10 July: Sigur Ros
  • 11 July: Bright Eyes
  • 12 July: Bloc Party + The Kills + The Cribs
  • 13 July: Los Lobos & Orishas

Problem 1: The last time most of these acts interested me was when I still read the NME, and I gave that bad habit up long ago after realizing that more cutting-edge commentary could be found in The Sun. Bloc Party aren’t bad but they don’t blow me away either. The Mars Volta, if Deloused In The Crematorium is anything to go by, would be fun for half an hour, then repetitive and tedious. I can tolerate what I used to hear of the Super Furries, but don’t know how good their recent work is. The one act there I do really like is Sigur Ros, but I’ve seen them already and would rather see a band I haven’t seen yet. But all is moot – seeing any of the bands I’ve just mentioned isn’t even an option, because of Problem 2.

Problem 2: I’m spending 8-10 July boogie-ing in the rainforests of Borneo, and I get called to the Bar on 13 July, which basically means that my only realistic option, considering travel times etc., is Beth Orton, who is deathly boring.

Hence: ARSE!!!


  1. As it turns out, Yo La Tengo is playing on the same night as Doves in NYC…and I’m watching Doves. How uncool is that? ;)

  2. That’s not uncool, that’s simply a tragedy! I’d personally say screw the Doves, try and sell the tickets off, and go for Yo La Tengo instead – they’ve been responsible for some of the most transcendental gig moments of my life. But I realize that’s just me.

  3. There’s this psychedelic-themed Simpsons episode I recall really liking. I remember flipping out when the credits came on, because there was this trippy track that started JUST like “Tomorrow Never Knows”, sitars and massive drums and all (may even have been sampled), but then morphed into a wobbly, trippy Simpsons theme. As I melted into a puddle of amazement in front of my TV set, I caught the credit for this alternate theme right at the end: “Yo La Tengo”.

    Since then, I’ve not given a rat’s ass about checking them out. Maybe I should…damn all these late gig announcements. Remember the list I asked you to check out? I think it had like 300 events at the time…now it has over 1,000. Lots of them are duds–like resident bar /pub acts–but you get the idea.

  4. yo la tengo are playing at koko sometime in august. i’ve purchased tics for it already. well, if you happen to be in london then and you do not mind catching them again for the 64th time …

  5. this is depressing me, i won’t be around for any of these. i never knew what frustration truly was until now.

  6. I saw sigur ros once – for 30 seconds. For me, that 30s was in the top 5 sets of Glastonbury 03. So I’m going to see them properly in July. Shame you’re not coming, Michelle – but let’s be fair, the Borneo thing looks pretty darn good too!

  7. On the plus side, none of those (in my opinion) are good enough to cry over missing them because of being in Borneo – and chances are, there’s bound to be some great shows on while you’re over – there’s bound to be loads of festival warm-ups. Somerset House is lovely, though.

    On the minus side, you’re missing two fantastic club nights tonight (The Beat Hotel/Mobile Safari) and tomorrow (ESG live at Eat Your Own Ears, with Annie and lots of others DJing)…

  8. yea, the Rainforest Music Festival is amazing! (and they serve pretty good food too. Ramlyyyyy…..)

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