2016 Review

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The goal for this year was to attend at least one gig a week, review it, then create a blog post.

Where I could I wanted at least one review printed in a publication each month.

I’ve completed both tasks this year and am happy with the results; my reviews have been getting stronger as the year has ended and with sharper focus I believe they will get even better.

Along the way, without asking for it, I’ve also got a little publicity– which is always nice.

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Next years goals have still to be finalised but I know they’ll involve more live shows (especially in Newcastle), more reviews and getting more work publicised.  It will also involve starting a DJ show.

It’s exciting though in light of some news I saw yesterday I’m reluctant to make it anything other than what it should be- fun.

In total I saw 85 gigs (including days at a festival) this year; 7 with Lloyd, 24 with Adrian, 8 with Mick, 15 with Col, 2 with my dad, and 1 each with Dave, Mahon, Bryan and Christie.

Here’s my highlights from this year

Loudest gig: Sonic Jesus – so loud I thought I was going to pass out.  Blanck Mass wasn’t far behind either.  Luckily the two gigs weren’t straight after each other…

Favourite guitarist: I loved the energy of Alex Kane and the expertise of Pete Holmstrom, but overall- for playing, technical skills and entertainment- it can only be Angus.

Frontman of the year:  Axl and Malin both put in decent bids for ownership, but Warwick takes it due to his relentless energy, intensity and work ethic.

Biggest disappointment:  Both the Buzzcocks and Brian Wilson were very good; but they weren’t as great as I’d seen them previously.

Drummer of the year: ‘Drummer girl’ from Parastatic– rhythmic, poised and bang on the beat.

Bassist:  Either Horace Panter for the upbeat ska of the Specials, or Matt O’Brien for the rhythmic post-punk sounds of Massa Confussa.

Biggest surprise:  Macklemore turned out to be a very deep lyricist with interesting ideas, but the Skints won it by playing the type of music, and sentiment, we need more than ever.

Funniest part of a gig: Ginger Wildheart stopping a song to check what the security was doing- then kicking it back in with the line ‘fuck him’ once he realised they were stopping a fight.

Song of the year: The Pixies ‘Here comes your man’; a track played so well you were sure it was being mimed.

Cover artist  of the year: Cash came close, as did the Polis– but Elvana stole it with a unique take on Nirvana; making them both relevant and fun.

Busiest gig: The Pixies

Gig of the year:  Ricky Warwick, Public Image Limited and KRS1 pushed hard, but the Pixies took it.

Event of the year: Massive Attack took the award for the best event, beating out both Download and Ac/Dc with a brilliant homecoming line up that included Primal Scream and Skepta

Venue of the year: Think tank- the best small, intimate, venue in Newcastle.

 

 

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