I kind of figured I’d gone to more live shows this year than last but am surprised to find that I’ve been to 41 (yes, FORTY ONE) gigs in 2011. In the course of that I’ve seen 105 performances to some extent and that doesn’t include the 9 acts I saw perform at Dylan Uncovered.

For all that I saw dozens of great performances, one stands out in particular – Live Band of the Year has to be Throwing Muses at the Oran Mor in November.

The best show is harder to pick but I’m going to stick my neck on the line by saying it was our own show at Dexter’s in September, featuring FOUND, Man Without Machines, Martin John Henry and Strangers Almanac.

As for the rest here’s a list of 12 based on the shows as a whole rather than individual performances (in reverse date order):

Grant Hart / Unknown – Mono, Glasgow – 30th November (review)

Wire / Talk Normal – Liquid Room, Edinburgh – 17th November (review)

Throwing Muses / Teitur – Oran Mor, Glasgow – 7th November (review)

Zoey van Goey / Kid Canaveral – Stereo, Glasgow – 1st October (review)

FOUND / Man Without Machines / Martin John Henry / The Strangers Almanac – Dexter’s, Dundee – 22nd September (review)

Cancel The Astronauts / My Tiny Robots / The Bad Books – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Sunday 11th September (review)

Kid Canaveral – Avalanche Records, Edinburgh – 23rd July (review)

Meursault / Inspector Tapehead / Beerjacket – The Caves, Edinburgh and Edinburgh School for the Deaf / Young Spooks – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – Friday 17th June (actually this was 2 different shows but on the same night!) (review)

TV21 / Second Hand Marching Band / Edinburgh School for the Deaf – Grassmarket Festival, Edinburgh – Sunday 1st May (review)

Vic Godard and Subway Sect / Spectorbullets / Edinburgh School for the Deaf – Dexter’s, Dundee – 13th March (review)

Let’s Get Lyrical – A Lyrical Deathmatch – Cargo vs Chemikal Underground with Emma Pollock, Alan Bissett, Lord Cutglass, Doug Johnstone, Ryan van Winkle, Rodge Glass, Kirsten Innes and A.L. Kennedy – The Caves, Edinburgh – 27th February  (review)

Come On Gang! / Over The Wall / Cancel The Astronauts / Kid Canaveral / Hailey Beavis – Pilmuir St John’s Church, Leith – 12th February (review)

Concetrating on shows rather than performances  means that some bands who were brilliant are omitted from the list. Step forward – Vladimir, Birdhead, The Wedding Present, Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote, Ash, WWPJ and The Burns Unit.

Gig trivia

In 2011 I saw 13 acts perform more than once – in 2010 that number was 9.

The 13 acts were Kid Canaveral (6), Cancel The Astronauts (5), Edinburgh School for the Deaf (5), Martin John Henry (3), Zoey van Goey (3), Kristin Hersh (2 + Throwing Muses show), The Burns Unit (2), FOUND (2), Man Without Machines (2), We Were Promised Jetpacks / 7 Blind Wolves (2), Hookers for Jesus (2), King Creosote (2).

Most attended venue was Dexter’s in Dundee on 5 occasions whilst I went to 14 venues for the first time in 2011.

Geographically I went to shows in Edinburgh (18), Dundee (9), Glasgow (8), Glenrothes (2), Kirriemuir (1), Cupar (1), St Andrews (1), Leslie (1).

The biggest gap between shows was 24 days, ironically between gigs 1 (The Burns Unit at the Old Fruitmarket) and 2 (Dylan Uncovered at the Voodoo Rooms). But I went to shows on consecutive nights no fewer than 3 times.

For the first time I went to 2 different shows on the same night (at the same time!). I also saw gigs in an art gallery, a bakery, a record shop and a castle.