The third group of shows I've been to
Well, I also saw them live five times in 2016. Yup.
The first time was in September. They were playing two intimate shows in London in really small venues on the 7th and 8th. I wanted to get tickets for both but I could only get time off work for the 7th, and my friend, who I hadn't spoken to for a while, was also trying to get tickets, but she could only get some for the 8th.
This show was a few weeks before their most recent album, Integrity Blues, was due to be released. They'd released two singles, Get Right and Sure and Certain. Those, as well as another unreleased song from the album, You Are Free, were all played live for the first time ever at this show. You can see a full setlist here.
This is how close to the stage I was.
I had people behind me trying to push me out the way the entire time and I tried to crouch down as much as I could, but I got there early to be at the front so it was tough shit :)
I was about as close to my heroes as I'll probably ever be.
It was a super awesome show.
Later in the year, I went to 4 more shows.
Troxy, London - 5th November
Weirdly setlist.fm doesn't have a set for the Troxy show, but it was the same set as at Manchester Academy (and the last two shows were the same set too).
I went to the show first show with the same friend I went to a show in 2013 with, and I went to the one in Manchester with a friend who lives there.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking - two shows in two days on the 20th and 21st! Yes. Well, originally the second London date wasn't released, so I booked the first London one as it's nearest, the Manchester one because my friend lived there, and the Birmingham one because, well, it wasn't too far and why not. When they announced the second London date the day after the Birmingham one, I thought hmm, do I go to both? And I very quickly decided yes. If they had announced all the dates at once, I might not have bothered with the Birmingham one, but in reality, I probably still would have. For all I know it could be the last time I see them live.
The first two shows were mainly all songs I'd seen before, but they played Pass The Baby from Integrity Blues, one of my favourite songs off the album, and also For Me This Is Heaven from Clarity, which was a really nice surprise as I'd never seen that live before and it's one of my favourite songs.
For the next two shows, I planned to stay overnight in Birmingham and drive down to London the next day, then go home after the show.
These two shows were even better. As well as the two songs above, they also played Just Tonight..., which I'd seen live at the shows in America, but I never expected to see it played live again, and they also played Kill, my absolute favourite song ever. As well as that, they also played No Sensitivity from the deluxe version of Bleed American, which was another song I'd never seen live before.
These sets had a run of 6 songs I consider to be among the best songs they have, or the ones I like seeing live the most; Pass The Baby, Just Tonight..., Kill, For Me This Is Heaven, No Sensitivity, Lucky Denver Mint. A lot of other songs are more meh, or more commonly played, but this was the longest run of songs at any show I've been to where I went "oh my god they're playing this" before each one. This was the best overall set I've ever seen them play, so I was super glad I ended up doing the Birmingham and London shows back to back so I could see it twice.
I recorded a video of Pass The Baby, For Me This Is Heaven, and No Sensitivity... for some reason the lighting went a bit funny, I'm not sure why, but I hope you enjoy all the same.
If this does turn out to be the last time I see them live, at least it ended with the best set I'd seen.