Jonathan Geddes' top gigs of 2012

1: Muse, SECC, October 24

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Muse rocked the SECC
Muse rocked the SECC

There is an undeniable truth about Muse: they know exactly how to put on a show. Matt Bellamy and his merry men delivered a stage set that featured an inverted pyramid, a host of videos and buckets of charisma. There were predictably massive rock-outs on Time Is Running Out and Stockholm Syndrome but there was variety too, from the funk-tastic Panic Station to the sheer pop of Madness. Epic from start to finish.

2: The Maccabees, QMU, January 23

For years they have been trying to claw their way to the top table of indie rock. With the release of Given To The Wild in January, they finally confirmed that potential, and this appearance was a triumph. Orlando Weeks is one of indie's best vocalists and the wavy guitar work of Hugo White was superb, while the energy levels on oldies such as X-Ray were through the roof. Best of all was the magnificently brooding No Kind Words and set-closer Grew Up At Midnight.

3: Garbage, Barrowland, July 4

Shirley Manson was in chatterbox form throughout, apologising for swearing, flirting with a lucky lad in the front row and showing boundless energy. The band rattled through a career-spanning set, with the likes of Happy When It Rains, Stupid Girl and I Think I'm Paranoid as seductive and powerful as ever.

4: Alabama Shakes, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, May 9

Capacity was crammed when Alabama Shakes arrived onstage, already tipped as one of the hottest new bands around. While debut album Boys & Girls was a fine collection of songs, they were even better live, especially singer Brittany Howard. She commanded the stage with a voice part soul singer and part an enraged Janis Joplin.

5: Bloc Party, O2 Academy, October 14

Bloc Party make a huge racket live. This year's Four was their best album since Silent Alarm in 2005, and the grunge-styled We Are Not Good People and venomous Kettling no doubt ruined a few ears. There pop, too, and the catchy One More Chance and a version of Flux that briefly covered Rihanna were inspired touches.

6: Duane Eddy, Oran Mor, May 16

One of the most influential guitarists of all time, the Master of Twang delivered a belter of a performance. Aided by Richard Hawley's superb backing band, this gig featured some instrumental classics, with 72-year-old Eddy still looking cooler than a polar bear. Versions of Rebel Rouser and the Peter Gunn Theme were mighty indeed.

7: Hector Bizerk, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, July 13

The Summer Nights series of gigs at King Tut's always throws up some crackers of emerging Scottish talent, and this was the pick of the bunch. An evening devoted to more hip-hop-styled acts was capped off by Hector playing a triumphant and fiery set of aggressive yet tuneful tracks. A display that marked them as ones to watch.

8: The Walkmen, O2 ABC, October 28

Never the flashest of bands, the Walkmen took to the stage to play through a mix of old and new material. Yet the performance certainly held the attention, from Hamilton Leithauser's world-weary voice to a powerful, driving rhythm section. Newer songs were consistently excellent, but it was The Rat, one of the best songs of the past decade, that roared loudest.

9: The Futureheads, Oran Mor, April 9

Charm was in great supply at this set. The group cut out the frenzied shows of the past, and instead delivered an a cappella set, aided only by a few instruments. It showed off the foursome's way with banter and their ability to rearrange older songs, as well as brilliant covers of Kelis and Sparks.

10: Andrew WK, Garage, April 14

He may have been out the spotlight for some time, but this show, in which he raced through his entire debut album I Get Wet was an absolute riot. There was headbanging throughout, a guitar shaped like a pizza and the whole experience was sheer fun for a sweaty, breathless 90 minutes.

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