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Off The Ball music buffs select their best live gigs to watch online

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14:01 24 Apr 2020

Off The Ball's resident music buffs, Stephen Doyle and Richie McCormack, have compiled a list of some brilliant live gigs to keep you entertained.

There's only so much footage of 1970s FA Cup matches being played on virtual bombsites and GAA players strutting around in O'Neills hot pants that you can watch before needing a bit of a break from classic sport.

The lads have picked out an eclectic mix of some brilliant artists for you to watch on YouTube while staying at home, dreaming of being back in a hot and sweaty live venue.

Stephen's picks:

Aretha Franklin live at Filmore West 1971

The Queen of Soul is at her peak in this classic gig in San Francisco which was also released as a live album that spent five weeks at number one in the Billboard R&B charts later that year.

It was four years after her career-changing move to Atlantic Records following an unsuccessful spell with Columbia who tried to package Aretha as a crooning cabaret act.

Along with Atlantic co-owner and produer Jerry Wexler, Franklin turned her career around and by the time she played Filmore West she had recorded seven brilliant soul albums.

Backed up here by the likes of legendary guitarist Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott on bass and Beatles' pal Billy Preston, she cracks into her brilliant version of Otis Redding's Respect and from there you'll be hooked!

There's a couple of good covers to listen out for with Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and I'd argue a better Eleanor Rigby than Paul McCartney.

Aretha knocks out a few numbers at the Fender Rhodes as well including the gospel freak out at the end....she was bloody brilliant!

The Specials live at Carnival House 1980

Rude bwai! This was the first time that the ska revivalists toured Japan and boy did they leave an impression after this Tokyo tear-up.

The Specials had released their debut self-titled album, co-produced by Elvis Costello, a year previous and not long after this gig were about to unleash their second classic album, More Specials.

They play tunes from both here and the place gets torn apart....literally! Monkey Man and Enjoy Yourself, after the stage is reassembled, are a couple of standouts and it's also brilliant to see the great Jerry Dammers doing his thing on the keys.

The Limiñanas & Guests live at Le Trianon 2018

The coolest band you may never have heard of.

I saw these guys for the first time at the brilliant Fuzz Club festival in Eindhoven a couple of years ago and I felt like a bomb disposal expert who had mistakenly cut the blue wire.

Husband and wife duo Lionel (guitar) and Marie Limiñana (drums) from Perpignan started this garage-rock? cinematic-psych? group back in 2009.

They number about six or seven on stage in a live situation, they are cool as f**k and they are in phenomenal form in this gig in Paris.

Radiohead live at Punchestown Racecourse 2000

I was at this gig but it doesn't feel like 20 years ago! Just listen to that adoring Irish crowd sing.

Fair play to the Radiohead lads who have been releasing various live sets to encourage music fans to stay at home.

I recall Thom Yorke speaking around the time of the Kid A/Amnesiac recording sessions and about how he had become obsessed with the output of the Warp Records label; Plaid, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Squarepusher etc.

A couple of years after the genius album that is OK Computer, they really went down the path of abstract electronica and this gig is the band right in the middle of that change of direction and I would argue, at their peak.

It's intense. It's angry. It's euphoric. It's moving. It's beautiful. Enjoy.

Jurassic 5 live at Cabaret Vert 2015

If you were at Electric Picnic in 2015, you may have seen this same show. I think it was the Sunday afternoon and it was one of those perfect gigs for that time of the weekend as the sun came out.

They are simply one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time, in the same vein as Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul while they also have their own unique sound.

That is thanks mainly to the production genius of Cut Chemist and DJ Nu Mark who keep this amazing show ticking along superbly behind the four smoothest rappers we have ever seen. J5 at their best!

Courtney Marie Andrews live at Twenty Summers 2019

Something to soothe your soul.

Andrews' debut album Honest Life popped up in my Spotify suggestions out of the blue and it ended up being my favourite and most played album of 2016.

She has played a couple of packed out nights in Whelans over the last few years and you can always tell how brilliant this purveyor of quality Americana is by the awestruck reaction of the audience.

Her voice is one of the sweetest things you will ever hear and she has an incredible talent for writing catchy melodies and great lyrics.

Put the feet up, relax and let her take you away...

Richie's picks:

The Frames live at Witnness 2001

It's all-too rare that cameras capture a band experiencing their moment, but this set from the second Witnness festival is just that.

After a couple of false starts and several broken promises with ZTT, The Frames self-recorded their third album For The Birds and self-released it in April of '01.

It was by far their biggest hit to date.

Fizzing with that breakthrough coming on their own terms, Glen Hansard and co set about celebrating all that had brought them to this point under canvas in Fairyhouse.

Influences (Mike Scott and Steve Wickham) and contemporaries (Paddy Casey and Mundy) joined them on stage at various points for what was pure celebration.

Pavement live at Roskilde 2010 

I've never smiled as much at a gig as I did when Pavement played the long-lost Tripod in 2010.

I was finally seeing a band long-since broken up and of whom I'd only become a fan around the release of their final album Terror Twilight.

The reasons for their reunion were allegedly pretty cynical (one member likes to bet a little too much), but the thrill of seeing them play tracks from their span as group was very real.

Bits and pieces of that Tripod gig are available on Youtube in not great quality, but for the full experience we'll head to Roskilde in Denmark.

The Stax/Volt Revue live in Norway, 1967

Yes, Stevo did stipulate that we were hoovering stuff up from Youtube, but (whisper it quietly) Dailymotion have us sorted here.

The Stax/Volt Revue rolled shipped up in Oslo on April 7 1967 with Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, Booker T & The MGs and The Mar Keys in tow.

Recorded just eight months before the untimely passing of Otis Redding, it's a chance to see the big man in full flow.

Try A Little Tenderness, Satisfaction and Shake are just some of the Otis classics on offer, but my stars of the show are Booker T & The MGs.

Seeing them live allows you to see just how pivotal Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson Jr. were to that label and soul music as a whole. Visceral stuff.

Broken Social Scene live at Terminal 5

For a brief moment in the mid 00's, it seemed as if Canada had staged its own velvet revolution.

Bands like Arcade Fire, Stars, Black Mountain and more were producing great albums and often even greater gigs.

Broken Social Scene were regular visitors to these shores, on various occasions coming close to levelling the Temple Bar Music Centre (ask yer Da), Vicar Street and Tripod.

At times, it appeared - and definitely sounded - like there were roughly 45 people on stage.

They could alternate perfectly between post-rock loud, and tender quiet, and this 2012 set captures that perfectly.

St. Vincent & David Byrne - La Musicale

If you saw them perform together at Electric Picnic, you know already, but if you've never seen this unique concoction of artists then you're missing out.

Annie Clark and the Talking Heads frontman came together for a decent album called Love This Giant in 2012, but it was their respective catalogues that ended up being elevated by the union.

Heads classics like "Wild Wild Life" and "Burning Down The House" were complimented perfectly by the stabbing brass of "Marrow". This pair were equals and they both knew it.

Their interplay with their mobile brass band was superb, and the denouement of "Road To Nowhere" had the tent in Stradbally bouncing. Pure joy.

Part of it is bottled here:

Beastie Boys live in Glasgow 1999

We were lucky to have the Beastie Boys, we really were.

I've never been in a venue as packed as the tent for their Electric Picnic performance in 2007, and I just recall the place bouncing the whole time. It was immense.

Sadly with the passing of Adam Yauch we'll never get to experience anything like that again.

The year after the release of Hello Nasty, MTV's cameras were on hand to capture them performing in the round in Glasgow. Enjoy

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Read more about

Aretha Franklin Beastie Boys Broken Social Scene Courtney Marie Andrews David Byrne Electric Picnic Jurassic 5 Radiohead St Vincent Stax The Frames The Liminanas The Specials Witnness

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