New Years Eve – a nostalgic time and perfect for reflecting on the past year’s events.
It’s been an eventful year for me. I moved house, city and job all in the same day; which was exciting and stressful but definitely the best decision I have made. So I now frequent the many live music venues of London instead of the ones in Leeds. I admit, I miss the Brudenell Social Club and still think it’s the best music venue in the country. I visit whenever I return to North Yorkshire to stay with friends and family. As for London, my favourite venues so far are, The Lexington in Islington and Boston Music Room near Tufnell Park.
With all the upheaval of moving, settling in to my flat and new job (oh, and not having any internet for 2 months) sadly, my music blogs have fallen by the wayside. Which in hindsight is such a shame because I have been to see some amazing bands this year (see my eclectic list below).
TOY x 5, Crows x 4, Dead Pretties x 4, Yala! Records Events x 4, Idles x 3, Cabbage x 2, Little Barrie x 2, The Maccabees x 2, The Proper Ornaments x 2, Abattoir Blues, Bad Omens, Blackwaters, The Blinders, Bo Ningen, Duke Garwood, Fizzy Blood, Girl Band, Josefin Ohrn & The Liberation, The Mystery Jets, Nadine Shah, October Drift, Rose Elinor Dougall, The Sherlocks, Spring King, Temples, Ten Tonnes, Toothless, Traams, The Wytches and Yak!
There have been many highlights this year, but I have decided to reduce the extensive list to my top three.
- The Maccabees – Farewell Shows at Alexandra Palace 30.06.2017 and 01.07.2017
After following The Maccabees for twelve years, I had very mixed emotions about seeing them on their last tour. I was overwhelmed with honour and pride to see them perform to a sold out audience at Ally Pally two nights running (actually 3 nights but I could only go to 2). Everyone in the room knew they were witnessing something very special that they would remember for a lifetime. I experienced every emotion, but mostly happiness and the atmosphere was electric with the audience chanting back the lyrics to every song word perfect. The full set lasted over 2 hours starting with Wall Of Arms and finishing with Pelican with all the hits and favourites in-between. Red, paper confetti showered the excited crowd during Something Like Happiness and again for the finale, Pelican. With guest appearances including Jamie T, The Mystery Jets, Mumford and Sons amongst many others; The Maccabees had the best send off they could ever have wished for. Truly magical!
2. Spring King – Fluffer Pit Party at Hackney Warehouse 15.09.2017
For those of you who don’t know about Fluffer Pit Parties, they are held by the cult underground record label, Fluffer Records. No stage, the bands set up in the middle of the floor (pit) and play. The pit venue is announced on the day with extremely limited tickets bought in advance. I had seen Spring King before when they played at Leeds Wardrobe last year. They are such a happy, bouncy, energetic 4 piece band. The atmosphere was brilliant, I literally didn’t want the gig to end. Spring King played for over an hour and finished with their hit, Rectifier. The crowd swarmed the band like ants in the pit and nearly smothered Tarek and his drum kit, but he managed to continue singing and drumming. A unique gig!
3. Little Barrie at Rough Trade Records East 22.07.2017
I managed to see Little Barrie twice this year. Firstly at Dreamland Festival in Margate in May and then at their album launch/signing at Rough Trade Records. The band performed in-store and played some tracks from their new album. After a 45 minute set there was an opportunity to meet the band and have your CD purchase signed. About six weeks after this event I was extremely shocked and devastated to hear about the sudden death of drummer, Virgil Howe on the 12th September. At the Yala! Records September event, Felix White asked for suggestions of albums released in 2017. He promised to play one album from 2017 in full at the beginning of his event, I suggested Little Barrie, Death Express. I was so pleased it was chosen and it was a fitting tribute to an amazing drummer, Virgil Howe. R.I.P.
As for my recommendations of bands to see in 2018, my top three are:
- Bad Omens
I saw Bad Omens for the first time in October this year at Boston Music Room, just on the strength of one song, The Worst In Me. Since seeing them perform live, I have played their debut self-titled album nearly everyday and I have everything crossed that I will see them on tour again next year. They have so much energy, charisma and potential. When I have researched the band, I have discovered that they are all extremely talented and creative including songwriting and producing and two band members are professional tattooers. I really find it hard to understand why Bad Omens are not more famous…yet! At the time of writing this blog, their single, The Worst In Me has just clocked up 3.5 million views on YouTube, which is well deserved and just proves they are growing in popularity. If you like your metalcore, you will love them. My favourite band right now by far. Mind and eardrums blown!
2. The Blinders
Doncaster band, The Blinders were supporting Cabbage earlier in the year and I managed to see them at Scala, London. It’s very rare when a band creates so much of a buzz that the crowd are asking each other “who are theses guys” “do you know where they’re from”. I knew immediately it was going to be a great set. The singer/guitarist had so much attitude, I was mesmerised by him. The band looked good and sounded great, I was totally blown away. Looking forward to seeing them in February this time headlining their own tour. Just brilliant!
3. Fizzy Blood
I saw Fizzy Blood in April as part of the 2Q Festival in Derby. It was the first time I’d ever seen or heard of the band to be honest, but I was hooked straight away. A 5-piece band from Leeds with lots of attitude. I have followed their steady progress since April and they have done a few festivals this year and supported While She Sleeps and Dinosaur Pile-up. Nice to see they are headlining their own tour early in the new year…looking forward to seeing them in Camden in February.
Happy New Year Everyone! xx
Until the next adventure…