Every day at DICE we're bringing you tickets to the best gigs, clubs and festivals. But when the clock strikes 6, we don't hurry home for Hollyoaks. Instead we're out there in the field, taking tubes across town, dining on half price Itsu, and drinking too many beers. And it's all to make sure we're always at the top of our game, ready to recommend you incredible artists, bands and DJs at every opportunity.
It's been a huge year here at DICE, and these are our Music Team's picks of 2015...
DICE Gigs Of The Year
(in no particular order).
Phil Hutcheon, CEO
Reading Festival, Sunday night. Rain pelting. Jamie XX is so good in the tent but we had to make a call. Stay, or leave early to get front of stage for Kendrick Lamar. We ran for the stage.
With a full live band Kendrick is an artist at the top of his game. Every note is perfect. The band is insanely tight. They're enjoying every moment and at King Kunta everyone fucking goes for it. Kendrick is on another level right now, and you can tell he really pushes himself and his band. A true artist, people will be talking about this show for years.
T Chances, London
Russ Tannen, Head Of Music
Unrelenting, unbelievable energy from my favourite hardcore band in years. One of those incredible shows where you're watching the crowd more than the band, it could have been 04. Check it out.
The Ritz, Manchester
Andrew Foggin, UK Music Manager
It was a Tropical takeover of The Ritz in Manchester. Skepta, JME, Preditah, Plastician.. the full crew were involved. I'd watched Skepta do a talk earlier in the day as part of the Red Bull Music Academy and he came across great. I actually tried to use words like 'greasin' in my day to day spiel in the weeks following, but that didn't last long...
There was so much hype around him at the time, Shutdown had dropped a couple of months prior and it was the first time I'd seen him perform. Needless to say the venue was rammed and the crowd just went for it from the off - singing every word to every track, huge circle pits. The energy crew (as he likes to call them) had turned up big time. I was gassed up, screaming BBK BBK...
Molly King, Music Team
Along with being my Glastonbury highlight, watching Jamie xx at the Park Stage was undoubtedly my gig of the year. It epitomised that Summer for me perfectly, and lit up the entire crowd. As the music built, the sun set behind the Park Stage, and as the sky grew darker, the music grew brighter. It was totally euphoric. Jamie xx's ability to take listeners on a journey is second to none, and as an audience member you knew you were witnessing something special.
Calum McKinney, Allocations Team
It was the Friday night of Gottwood, an incredible electronic festival centred around a beautiful lake in North Wales, and Hunee was playing his set in a giant woodland treehouse.
Delving into a catalogue of fresh 70's inspired beats and dance floor bangers he produced a set almost as magical as his surroundings. People danced on hay bales, he passed around a bottle of bourbon to the dedicated few at the front, and closed on the ever emotional It's Alright (I Feel It). Incredible scenes.
Jen Long, Music Editor
I'm a Los Campesinos! fan for life, but this show was something else thanks to a fervent and fanatic crowd. Playing a show for Wichita's 15th birthday at a sold out Scala and with no album to promote, LC! played a mixed set of old and new. But no matter what record they sung from, the crowd yelled along at twice the volume to every line.
Returning for an encore, LC! opened with 'hit' You! Me! Dancing! and every body on the floor of Scala crouched down without direction, jumping up into a mess of sweat and smiles as the band kicked in.
Ending with And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison... instead of usual closer Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks, they left the stage to an unrelenting crowd who stood firm for five minutes chanting what they'd expected to be the final refrain, "One blink for yes, two blinks for no, sweet dreams sweet cheeks, we leave alone."
LC! finally relented and came out for a second (post-curfew) encore, fulfilling the crowd's request. It was electric.
Lewis Wilde, Account Manager
It was the last night at Sonar and Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin and Kevin Saunderson went back to back all night long at Bloc. Three absolute legends. I'd never seen any of them play live before and it was insane. Perfect end to a perfect week.
Islington Assembly Hall, London
Michael Baskerville, Account Manager
Alabama Shakes don’t tour all that much. Their incredible debut was followed this year with grammy-nominated number 1 album, Sound & Colour. At this intimate show at the Islington Assembly Hall - their first in 2 years in the UK - they performed new material for the first time. If you experience Brittany Howard’s vocal performance and aren’t immediately hooked on this band, get in the sea.
Lost Village Festival
Pat Mills, Music Team
It was the Sunday night at my favourite festival of the summer. Nestled away in a forest, DJ Koze rounded off a sublime evening of dance music with a set full of eclectic cuts that most people had never even heard of. The lights, ice cannons, and setting just made it completely perfect. 2 hours of bliss.
Years & Years
Brixton Academy, London
Josie Robs, Studio Manager & Twitter Celeb
After first seeing them play to a crowd of 20 people at Dot 2 Dot Festival 2014, it was amazing to catch Years & Years at Brixton Academy this October. With opening sets from BØRNS and Shamir, plus a killer light show, it was definitely my gig of the year and one I will not forget.