COMING UP: Big Thief (and a little wedding)


I am a big fan of Big Thief. If you’ve listened to ‘Shark Smile’ or ‘Paul’ then you will get it. They are a great band. I could talk ad nauseum about how great they are (and have done on the podcast) and I’ve even been able to infect several other Picky Bastards with Big Thief fever.  

I must confess my sins though. I still haven’t seen them in person. One of my favourite bands, who have a huge reputation for being fantastic live.  Shameful. It’s been nearly 4 years since I became an instant fan after hearing ‘Masterpiece’ and they play NYC almost biannually (they are residents of Brooklyn). But I haven’t gone to one of their shows. Well, at least not yet. 

It’s been one of those things. Everytime I check dates, I learn they were playing last week! Or when I actually have my shit together, something comes up. Last year I had to make the choice not to see them based on my upcoming PhD thesis defence. Probably the smart thing to do. But I’m still thinking about it, still ruminating, still think that it may never happen for me. Maybe they’ve been avoiding me. Sneaking up on me or waiting for me to mark something indelibly on my calendar. 

Finally the stars have aligned though. Well, kind of. 

I’m seeing them tonight (well if you reading this the day it gets posted). Shit is crazy. It’s a few days after I get married, and my family are still in town. So it’s gonna be one big family outing! As long as I get to see them, I don’t care who’s there with me. 

I think it’s a universal feeling amongst gig goers and music fans. The excitement when you finally get to see your white whale. Like when I first saw Radiohead. Like a lot of people I’m a big fan, they rarely toured, and they never played near Brighton. Then if I somehow won the scramble to get tickets in London I would’ve blown a couple months worth of gig tix. Then they got announced for Reading. At the time I was a regular at the festival. And for 3 glorious hours I was filled in with what I had been missing out on. For certain bands that live experience just adds a whole new dimension to the music. I knew Radiohead were good, but seeing them go about their craft live. Something else. 

I know that Big Thief is going to be a special show. I am not concerned about over hyping them because I’m 100% sure it’ll deliver. Though I wasn’t blown away by their last album, it was still really good. That’s the problem with setting the bar so high with their first two albums. Then there is the fact they are back with even more music just a few months later. And it’s great. Maybe their best. And I realise I am devolving into rabid fanboying at this point so I’ll just leave it at this. I finally get to see one of my fave bands and I cannot wait. 


Words by Matt Paul

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