This Week’s New Releases: Paolo Nutini, Imagine Dragons and Gwenno

There are a few highly anticipated new records out today. Paolo Nutini has put out his first new studio album in eight years, Imagine Dragons have shared their double LP, and Gwenno has released her first new full-length in four years. Head below for more.

Adwaith – ‘Bato Mato’ (Libertino Records)

Blood Command – ‘Praise Armageddonism’ (Hassle)

CMPND – ‘Long Live The Court’ (High Focus)

Conjurer – ‘Páthos’ (Nuclear Blast)

D Double E – ‘Bluku Bluku EP2’ (Bluku Music)

Fresh – ‘Raise Hell’ (Get Better Records)

Gwenno – ‘Tresor’ (Heavenly)

Imagine Dragons – ‘Mercury: Acts 1 & 2’ (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope)

Momma – ‘Household Name’ (Polyvinyl)

Moor Mother – ‘Jazz Codes’ (ANTI-)

Neighbor Lady – ‘For The Birds’ (Park The Van)

Nick Cave – ‘Seven Psalms’ (Cave Things/AWAL Recordings)

Nick Zinner – ’41 Strings’ (Chaikin Records)

Paolo Nutini – ‘Last Night In The Bittersweet’ (Atlantic)

Power Pose – ‘I’m Looking’ (Wine n Orange Records)

Serpico – ‘The Chosen Four’ (Rockshots Records)

Shinedown – ‘Planet Zero’ (Atlantic)

Tedeschi Trucks Band – ‘I Am The Moon: II. Ascension’ (Fantasy / Concord)

UB40 featuring Ali Campbell & Astro – ‘Unprecedented’ (UMC)


Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Nick Cave And Warren Ellis, Julien Baker and Alice Cooper

What a week! We were surprised with a collaborative album from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Julien Baker has followed up 2017’s ’Turn Out The Lights’, and legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper has released his album that was inspired by the early ’70’s rock scene in Detroit.

Fancy something else? There’s plenty more to tickle your fancy below.

Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’ (earMUSIC)

Anneke Van Giersbergen – ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ (InsideOut)

Architects – ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ (Epitaph)

The Black Crowes – ‘Shake Your Money Maker (30 Anniversary Deluxe)’ (Universal)

Bonnie Tyler – ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ (earMUSIC)

Cloud Nothings – ‘The Shadow I Remember’ (Carpark Records)

Craig Finn – ‘All These Perfect Crosses’ (Partisan)

Epica – ‘Omega’ (Nuclear Blast)

Evergrey – ‘Escape Of The Phoenix’ (AFM Records)

François & the Atlas Mountains – ‘Banane Bleue’ (Domino)

Joanna Connor – ‘4801 South Indiana Avenue’ (Keeping The Blues Alive Records)

Joseph Williams – ‘Denizen Tenant’ (Mascot/The Players Club)

Julien Baker – ‘Little Oblivions’ (Matador)

Karima Walker – ‘Waking the Dreaming Body’ (Keeled Scales)

Lost Horizons – ‘In Quiet Moments’ (Bella Union)

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Choices’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Maxïmo Park – ‘Nature Always Wins’ (Prolifica/[PIAS])

Melvins – ‘Working With God’ (Ipecac)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – ‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket (Live)’ (Reprise)

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – ‘Carnage’ (Goliath Ent/AWAL)

Payroll Giovanni and Cardo – ‘Another Day Another Dollar’ (BYLUG Ent)

Willie Nelson – ‘That’s Life’ (Legacy/Sony Music)

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Megan Thee Stallion, The Cribs And Tim Minchin

This week is busy! Megan Thee Stallion has dropped her highly anticipated debut album, as has Australian comedian and composer Tim Minchin, while the Cribs have returned with ‘Midnight Network’ that was recorded at Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 in Los Angeles.

Fancy a bit more? There’s a huge list below, including new records from Butch Vig’s 5 Billion In Diamonds, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Phoebe Bridgers, Refused and Shaggy — what a dinner party that would make!?

5 Billion In Diamonds – ‘Divine Accidents’ (Make)

Annie Lennox – ‘A Christmas Cornucopia (10th Anniversary)’ (La Lennoxa/Island)

AWOLNATION – ‘Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders Live From 2020’ (Better Noise)

BTS – ‘BE’ (BigHit Entertainment)

Cabaret Voltaire – ‘Shadow Of Fear’ (Inton/Mute)

The Cribs – ‘Night Network’ (Sonic Blew)

Dirty Projectors – ‘5EPs’ (Domino)

Dream Wife – ‘IRL (Live In London 2020)’ (Lucky Number)

Ellie Goulding – ‘Songbook for Christmas’ EP (Polydor)

Frost* – ‘Experiments In Mass Appeal (Remixed and Remastered)’ and ‘Falling Satellites (Remastered)’ (InsideOut)

Frosty – ‘Under Surveillance’ (Relentless)

Grandaddy – ‘The Sophtware Slump ….. on a wooden piano’ (Dangerbird)

Jamie Cullum – ‘The Pianoman at Christmas’ (Island)

Jewel – ‘Pieces Of You (25th Anniversary)’ (Craft)

John Fogerty – ‘Fogerty’s Factory (Expanded)’ (BMG)

Josh Groban – ‘Harmony’ (Reprise)

Kacey Johansing – ‘No Better Time’ (Night Bloom Records)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – ‘K.G.’ and ‘Live in San Francisco ’16’ (ATO)

Kodaline – ‘One Day At A Time – Deluxe’ (B-Unique/AWAL)

Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas – ‘III’ (Smalltown)

Liturgy – ‘Origin Of The Alimonies’ (YLYLCYN)

Loski – ‘Music, Trial & Trauma: A Drill Story’ (Since ’93)

Meek Mill – ‘Quarantine Pack’ (Maybach/Atlantic)

Megan Thee Stallion – ‘Good News’ (1501 Certified Ent/300 Ent)

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe – ‘Together At Christmas’ (Decca)

Neil Diamond – ‘Classic Diamonds With The London Symphony Orchestra’ (UMG)

Nick Cave – ‘Idiot Prayer (Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace)’ (Bad Seed Ltd/AWAL)

Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Copycat Killer’ EP (Dead Oceans)

The Piano Guys – ’10’ (Sony)

Refused – ‘The Malignant Fire’ EP (Spinefarm/Search and Destroy/Universal)

Routine – ‘And Other Things’ EP (Dead Oceans)

Shaggy – ‘Christmas In The Islands’ (Island)

Silverstein – ‘Redux II’ (NSEW)

Tayla Parx – ‘Coping Mechanisms’ (Tayla Made/Atlantic)

Tim Minchin – ‘Apart Together’ (BMG)

Tourists – ‘Another State’ (Modern Sky UK)

The War On Drugs – ‘Live Drugs’ (Super High Quality Records)

When Rivers Meet – ‘We Fly Free’ (One Road)

Read More

Things We Love This Week: Damon Albarn, Dry Cleaning, Nick Cave

This week I found out that Adele is supposedly dating Skepta. Not that we advocate idle gossip, but how cute would that Tottenham power couple be? Their kids will be so talented.

Nick Cave

Nick Cave announced a new album just last week. Today, it has arrived. Double LP ‘Ghosteen’ is comprised of two halves, one signifying children, the other their parents. Some listeners have dubbed this record some of the most beautiful songs Cave has ever recorded.

A weightless collection of piano-led landscapes, equally heartbreaking and unnerving, ‘Ghosteen’ is best served on days like today: grey clouds, endless rain, curled up under a blanket with a cup of tea and ready for a good ol’ cry. Enjoy.

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn is a productive man. Not content with his success in Blur, Gorillaz or the Good, the Bad and the Queen, his latest work is a collection of experimental solo pieces inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, which, if you’ve ever been or seen pictures, you’ll know is a beautiful part of the world.

There ain’t nothing to listen to yet, but you can see him perform it live with an ensemble across Europe, as well as London and Dublin in May and June 2020. Tickets are on sale now. For the time being, here’s a clip of his the Good, the Bad and the Queen performing live in Paris.

Dry Cleaning

It’s time to get your dancing shoes on for line dancing class, kids! Well, not kids, more middle aged adults. In the latest video from Dry Cleaning, Viking Hair, the post-punk band have placed a camera at their local LGBT line dancing class, based in Clapham. Everyone looks like they are having so much fun.

Learn the routine below to be in with the chance of having as much fun as those line dancing guys and gals. Dry Cleaning tour the UK in early 2020. Get tickets now.

Happy weekend kids! Go party hard.


Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Angel Olsen, City And Colour

There are some lovely records arriving this week. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have put out the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Skeleton Tree’, having only announced it last week, Angel Olsen has offered up LP #4, and Dallas Green has treated us to his sixth City and Colour album.

Head below to check out the rest of this week’s new releases.

Angel Olsen – ‘All Mirrors’ (Jagjaguwar)

Bedouin Soundclash – ‘MASS’ (Mr Bongo/Easy Star/Sony Canada)

City and Colour – ‘A Pill For Loneliness’ (Still)

Danny Brown – ‘uknowhatimsayin¿’ (Warp Records)

The Darkness – ‘Easter Is Cancelled’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Dermot Kennedy – ‘Without Fear’ (Riggins Recording Limited)

DIIV – ‘Deceiver’ (Captured Tracks)

FEET – ‘What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham’ (Clapped Records)

Finneas – ‘Blood Harmony’ EP (OYOY)

Gesaffelstein – ‘NOVO SONIC SYSTEM’ EP (Columbia)

Halfnoise – ‘Natural Disguise’ (Lab Records)

Jvck James – ‘Detour’ EP (Vibe Out Records)

King Nun – ‘Mass’ (Dirty Hit)

Maisie Peters – ‘It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral’ (Atlantic)

The Menzingers – ‘Hello Exile’ (Epitaph)

Micah Erenberg – ‘Love Is Gonna Find You’ (Sleepless)

Mika – ‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’ (Republic)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – ‘Ghosteen’ (Ghosteen Ltd)

Nine Below Zero – ‘Avalanche’ (Zed via Absolute)

OMD – ‘Souvenir’ (Virgin EMI)

Oscar Jerome – ‘Live In Amsterdam’ (Caroline International)

Sabrina Claudio – ‘Truth Is’ (SC Entertainment)

Simple Minds – ‘Live In The City Of Angels’ (BMG)

Summer Walker – ‘Over It’ (Love Renaissance (LVRN)/Interscope Records/Polydor)

Swim Deep – ‘Emerald Classics’ (Pop Committee/Cooking Vinyl)

Toxic Holocaust – ‘Primal Future: 2019’ (Entertainment One)

Wilco – ‘Ode To Joy’ (dBpm)

Wildwood Kin – ‘Wildwood Kin’ (Sony)

William DuVall – ‘One Alone’ (DVL Recordings)

Read More

This Week’s Top Tickets: Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Nick Cave, Lewis Capaldi, Marina, TRNSMT Feat. Stormzy, Catfish and The Bottlemen and George Ezra, One OK Rock, Hozier, Jack Whitehall and more

The legendary Rod Stewart has added arena shows in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham to his autumn tour plans, while original shock-rocker Alice Cooper will take over arenas in October for his The Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back Tour. There’s also shows announced by Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, who puts out his long-awaited second album in March, as well as Scottish musician Lewis Capaldi, who’ll embark on his biggest headline tour to date following the release of his debut album ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ this spring.

Marina, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds, will support her new record with a spring UK tour, while the prodigious musical genius Nick Cave will bring an evening of talk and music to intimate venues in June. Alexisonfire are back with a new track, Familiar Drugs, plus a headline show at London’s Alexandra Palace. Japan’s One OK Rock, meanwhile, will bring their Eye Of The Storm Tour to Manchester and London this spring as part of a wider European trek in support of the recently released album of the same name. Lastly, fresh from hosting this week’s Brit Awards, comedian Jack Whitehall has announced his Stood Up UK and Ireland tour for November and December.

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart has added new shows at Manchester Arena on November 23, the First Direct Arena in Leeds on December 11 and Arena Birmingham on December 13 to his autumn UK tour plans. The legendary vocalist, who released ‘Blood Red Roses’ last year, also has open air concerts lined up throughout summer. Tickets for the three new dates go on general sale at 9am on February 22, priced from £55.00 plus booking fees. Head here for pre-sale tickets.

Compare and Buy Tickets

Alice Cooper

Iconic shock-rocker will bring his Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back Tour to arenas in Manchester, Leeds, Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Aberdeen for the first time ever, and London, where he’ll take over the O2 Arena on October 10. Support on all dates will come from the Stranglers and the MC50, original frontman Wayne Kramer’s celebration of 50 years of the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’ album. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 22, priced from £40.00 plus fees. Head here for pre-sale tickets.

Compare and Buy Tickets

Nick Cave

The Godfather of Goth has announced that he will bring his Conversations With Nick Cave Tour to the UK in June with stops lined up in Cardiff, Birmingham, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Nottingham, Liverpool and Brighton. Tickets are on sale now, priced £30.00/£75.00 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets

Lewis Capaldi

The Scottish singer-songwriter will embark on his biggest headline tour to date in November, following the spring release of his debut album, ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’. Stops include a huge show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton and two homecoming dates at the O2 Academy Glasgow. He also calls in Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Norwich, and Edinburgh. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 22, priced £19.50/£22.50 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


Marina, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds, will accompany the release of her fourth album ‘LOVE + FEAR’ with a spring UK tour. Her plans also include North American dates in the autumn. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 22, priced £25.00/£30.00 plus booking fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets

TRNSMT Festival with Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and George Ezra

Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and George Ezra lead the first annoucement for this year’s TRNSMT, with Gerry Cinnamon, Years and Years, Example, Mabel, Bastille, Richard Ashcroft, DMA’s, Sigrid, Sundara Karma, Sam Fender, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne, the Kooks, and more set to perform at Glasgow Green between July 12 and July 14. Tickets go on general sale at 9am on February 22, priced from £59.50 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets

One OK Rock

The Japanese rock band will bring their Eye Of The Storm Tour to Manchester’s O2 Ritz and London’s Roundhouse in May. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 22, priced from £29.50 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


The Irish singer-songwriter will tour the UK this autumn in support of his long-awaited second album, ‘Wasteland, Baby!’, which is set to arrive on March 1. Hozier also performs at Cork’s Irish Independent Park and Belfast’s Ormeau Park as part of the Belsonic series in June. Tickets for the tour, meanwhile, go on general sale at 9am on February 22, priced £29.50 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets

Jack Whitehall

Comedian Jack Whitehall has announced over 25 arena shows for the initial leg of his Stood Up Tour, with stops planned in Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Nottingham, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester and London, where he’ll play three nights at the O2 Arena. The tour currently runs between November 16 and December 22. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 22, priced from £20.00 plus fees. Head here for pre-sale tickets.

Compare and Buy Tickets

Also announced this week:

Foals, Tom Chaplin, Happy Mondays, Methyl Ethel, Bullet For My Valentine, Bring Me The Horizon, Jeremy Loops, Roachford, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Amanda Palmer, Bikini Kill, BTS, Empire of the Sun, Pierce Brothers, Ludovico Einaudi, Ricky Gervais, Alex Lahey, Stereolab, Jack Savoretti, Bros, Bry and more. Head here for a full list and to find your tickets.

Read More

Festival Preview: What To Expect From All Points East

The festival market is HUGE. There are hundreds to choose from in the UK alone. So, taking a huge leap and starting a brand new one in the current landscape is a risky decision. How do you stand out?

Well, it helps to be backed by the organisers of Coachella, and to slot in at a venue that’s been part of the scene for a while. All Points East will take place in London’s Victoria Park this weekend, and it’s being pitched as a fest for discerning music fans.

It arrives complete with claims of the best sound the park has ever heard, along with the obligatory fairground rides and hipster street food vans. But the real answer to standing out? Same as it ever was. Get the right line up.

On paper, the All Points East bill is forward-thinking, eclectic, and most of all cool. Just like you, right? First up, comeback kings LCD Soundsystem take over the East Stage on Friday night. Last September saw the release of their critically acclaimed comeback ‘American Dream’, the first new material from the Brooklyn dance-punks since their 2011 Madison Square Garden sign off.

Frontman James Murphy will be hitting the decks throughout the weekend too, with his side project Despacio – a collaboration with David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax and 2manydjs.

The Saturday night headliners showcase smooth laid back beats, distinctive vocals, flawless productions skills and even a Mercury Prize – it could only be the XX. The idea will very much be to lose yourself in a concoction of Jamie XX, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s vocal plaits, delicate reverb and ambient backgrounds.

Sunday’s headliner might be one of the most eclectic singers of a generation, and one of the few genuine legends we have left. Björk will draw a line under things with colourful art-pop and avant-garde everything. There’s a decent gender balance on the bill – no, it ain’t a 50/50 split, we’re a long way off that yet – but it is far more diverse than some.

Across the weekend, expect to see performances from genre-spanning giants like Sampha, the international-pop-band-of-the-moment Superorganism, the returning shimmering indie band Friendly Fires, as well as the hugely popular Lorde, Father John Misty, Glass Animals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stefflon Don, Soulwax… you get the picture.

Thankfully, there isn’t too much overlap in terms of stage clashes – a sticking point often met with disappointment from die-hard festival-goers. On this bill, the most difficult decision you’ll make will be between Flying Lotus 3D and Father John, or Rex Orange County and Laura Misch.  

Possibly one of the most interesting parts of All Points East is the accompanying side shows. They make the festival feel like more of a sprawl, with an eclectic list of big names set to step in. On June 1, indie types Catfish and the Bottlemen like will be joined by fellow indie types Blossoms and the Hunna, while the National take over on Saturday June 2 with their biggest headline show to date.

Support there comes from from the War On Drugs, Public Service Broadcasting, This Is The Kit and loads more, while Nick Cave and some particular Bad Seeds close the entire event – after sets from none other than Patti Smith, St. Vincent and Courtney Barnett – on June 3.

All Points East is an interesting proposition. It could be big, judging from the organisers and stellar line up. By the time Björk is done with us, it might be one of those events that elicits a response of jealousy and awe from your mates.

But it if it sounds like an overload of great bands all in one go, you’re also possibly on the money. Like most festivals it’ll likely be chaotic, expensive, and difficult to see past the tall guy in front of you while Matt Berninger does his thing or the many colours of Beck pass you by.

These are the risks, but early suggestions are that All Points East will hand you some of the best around on a historical-park-shaped platter.


When? May 25 – June 3

Where? Victoria Park, London

How much? £39.95 – £169.95

Read More

On This Day In Music: Joan Jett And Nick Cave Were Born

On September 22, 1957 the legendary Australian singer-songwriter and author Nick Cave was born. On the same day a year later rock’n’roll icon Joan Jett came into the world. Happy birthday both!

Read More

Top Tours This Week!!

Lady Gaga

Fresh from headlining the half time show at last weekend’s Super Bowl, Lady Gaga has announced details of her Joanne world tour, with stops planned at London’s O2 Arena, Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena and Manchester Arena in October.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10, priced from £40.00 plus fees.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have announced UK arena shows as part of a European tour, including stops in Bournemouth, Manchester, Glasgow, Nottingham and London during September.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 17.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has added a trio of April shows at the London Palladium to his spring tour plans.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 10am on February 10.

Natalie Imbruglia

Natalie Imbruglia has announced unplugged shows in London, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham during May.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10, prices start at £24.50/£32.50 plus fees.

The Cranberries

The Cranberries will be accompanied by a string quartet for shows in Dublin, Belfast, London, Bristol, Gateshead, Glasgow, York and Manchester during May.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10, prices start at £40.00 plus fees.


Stormzy has announced UK and Ireland dates for his Gang Signs & Prayer tour, which shares its name with the grime artist’s upcoming new record. Stops include Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Leicester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Bournemouth, Bristol, Nottingham, Sheffield and London between March 29 and May 3.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 9, prices start at £20.00/£24.75 plus fees.

The Cribs

The Cribs will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their third album, ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’, with a spring UK tour.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets go on general sale at 10am on February 10, priced £20.00/£23.50 plus fees.

Little Big Town

Little Big Town, who will release ‘The Breaker’ on February 24, will call in Manchester, Birmingham, Gateshead, Glasgow and Bristol prior to a London date at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Albert Sessions series in the autumn. Seth Ennis will open.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10, priced £27.50/£28.50 plus fees.

Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw has announced a handful of acoustic performances for May, including stops in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast and London during May.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10, priced £23.00 plus fees.

Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan has lined up dates for the UK leg of his Gargoyle tour. The tour shares its name with the former Screaming Trees vocalist’s upcoming LP and hits Birmingham’s O2 Institute, Glasgow’s Garage, Manchester’s O2 Ritz and London’s KOKO between June 19 and 22.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on February 10,  priced £20.00/£20.50/£22.00 plus fees.

Also announced this week, so far

Kings Of Leon, The Wombats, John Mayer, Melanie C, Madness, House Of Common, Olly Murs, Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit, Charlie Worsham, Blood Youth, Simple Plan, The One Hundred, Bush, Cabbage, Natives, Dan Patlansky, Amber Arcades, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Diana Krall, Brent Cobb, Big Country, King No-One, Sublime With Rome, Hannah Trigwell, Gladys Knight, En Vogue, Cat Power, The Magpie Salute, To Kill A King and more!


For more information and to find your tickets visit:

Read More

Staff Picks: Graeme Marsh

It’s been a funny old year. One memorable for the wrong reasons in many households, what with Brexit and Trump dominating the news at every turn. And then there are the deaths, of course. David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and Pete Burns were just four of many music icons to pass away but there were endless other greats wherever you looked. Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood, Muhammed Ali, Caroline Aherne, Gene Wilder and Andrew Sachs were all great losses in their fields. It seemed at one point that you couldn’t turn on the TV or radio without hearing about the latest celebrity death.

As always, though, music proved to be a safe haven where you could escape the madness of the world and retreat into a secluded place. Having spent 2015 being whisked back to Planet Vinyl, an extended hospital stay and subsequent recuperation period in 2016 reaffirmed the necessity and value of MP3s and CDs (let’s ignore the dreaded streams, shall we?). All formats enjoyed a considerable share of the overall playing time. Indeed, a pie chart would probably have portrayed an even spread between the three for the first time ever from a personal perspective.

So here we go, once again into the fray of lists – and who can resist a good, or even bad, list, eh?

Albums of 2016:

  • Suede – Night Thoughts
  • White Lies – Friends
  • Black Mountain – IV
  • The Veils – Total Depravity
  • Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Third World Pyramid
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love And Hate
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • FEWS – Means
  • Garbage – Strange Little Birds

Songs of 2016:

  • Suede – I Don’t Know How To Reach You
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost
  • White Lies – Hold Back Your Love
  • TOY – Clear Shot

Most Awesome Of Awesome Gigs:

  • Ride – Brighton Concorde 2: Simply amazing. First of a two night stint. Unfortunately lack of babysitters prevented attendance at the second show. Ecstatic and gutted all at the same time.
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Brighton Concorde 2: Almost as amazing as Ride. First of a two night stint once again, and yes, no babysitter for the second night. Gah!
  • The Cult – Brixton Academy: At last, a chance to see the incredible Rain and She Sells Sanctuary, two of the greatest songs in history. I can play ‘em on the electric too (but admittedly, they sound like shit).
  • Black Mountain – Brighton Concorde 2: Brilliant, first class performance and Amber’s vocals were tremendous.
  • The Cure – SSE Arena Wembley: Simply incredible, another band from my youth that I had for whatever reason never been able to see previously. And fellow Crawley-ite Robert Smith proved that his voice has not aged one iota. Superb.


  • AC/DC’s Brian Johnson losing his voice and being replaced by Axl Rose. Ahem, Wembley tickets sold in a flash, thanks all the same.
  • Most annoying song was easily Mr Birdsong by Arbor Labor Union. Check out the vocal performance, possibly the most irritating like, ever.
  • Biggest let down – the Dandy Warhols’ Distortland being way short of what they’re capable of yet people were still swooning over it. Not me.
  • On the plus side, rediscovered Brighton’s Resident Records, a treasure trove of vinyl. Get your ass to Brighton, you won’t be disappointed. If new records aren’t your thing, cross the street and go into the wonderful Snoopers Paradise instead. Sublime.

Read More