Libertines/Sleaford Mods/The Enemy/Deadcuts

O2 Arena, London - 30 January 2016

"Top night out"

So, last night I'd been asked to go along to the O2 to film Deadcuts, first on supporting Libertines, Sleaford Mods and The Enemy. First time I've had a photopass for a gig in about 20 years :-). Never for even a mid size venue, never mind the O2. Got in just in the nick of time to get to the pit and start filming, after an infuriatingly slow queue at the guestlist booth. (Wanted photo-ID off everybody and no one appeared to have taken any...)

Anyway, it was a short set of 20 minutes, but I think they actually got about 15. Weird filming from the pit with such a high stage, mad but I think I get better footage from the barrier :-). Still, I think it's come out well. There were some huge old style lamps in wire mesh cages along the front of the stage, and the perspective of those being huge in the foreground with the band between and behind them is pretty damn cool. Especially in B&W which is always the preference of the band.

Three of the four tracks played were new. All sounding good and bodes well for the second album.
The lights got cut about half way through the last track, but I reckon they got the message across, job done.

Sleaford Mods pass   Deadcuts

Photos: photo pass + Deadcuts

I didn't stay in the pit for the other bands even though it appeared to be a Sleaford Mods pass I had. Didn't film any of the rest of the gig either, was second row and I'd have blocked views.

The Enemy were OK, not really my thing, but was nodding along.

Sleaford Mods I've seen a couple of times before, was curious how they'd come across in an enormodome, but the sound and attitude was more than enough to carry them. Working requests to up the monitors and taking the piss out of dissenters into the lyrics. :-)

First time seeing Libertines. I was at their Hyde Park show, also to film Deadcuts, but didn't stay after, as I had a prior date with Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic. (Hey, there are very few bands more 'my thing' than Sputnik. I'd maybe pass on them for Front Line Assembly or Cud, but not many others. :-) )

Well, I'm sitting listening to Libertines now, which should tell you something. It was a great set, full of energy, passion and love. I now actually understand the appeal. The audience was singing along to most tracks and it got more and more difficult to keep my spot.

There are many, many tales of late stage appearances, no shows and short sets, but they were on bang on queue at the O2 and it was a full 90 minute set, with very little pissing about between tracks. Really enjoyed it. Top night out. 7/10

Review+photos: Arron Leslie