2016 will be remembered as the year many of our cultural icons died. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, George Michael, Mohammed Ali, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher and the list goes on and on. I won’t dwell too much on that, because many others have done that for me. Let’s just hope 2017 will be kinder on our heroes.
For me 2016 was quite a nice year, not least because we completed major building work. But musically, there was much to enjoy. I got the chance to see favourite bands like We Are Scientists and Ash live, but also saw some new bands like Hidden Charms and Yak. I got to say hi to WAS’ Keith Murray and also to the Ash guys, which was good fun. I have a faint memory of telling Tim Wheeler drunkenly that he was not as short as I remembered (met them before in 1996). Yeah, definitely a dubious highlight. Seriously though, the guy wrote so many of my favourite songs and I am glad I got a chance to tell him. Such a nice guy too. It’s wonderful when your heroes don’t disappoint you (and when they’re taller than you thought :p).
Some new bands that caught my attention in 2016 are pretty eclectic bunch. The pop punk of Asylums set against the laid back psychedelic sounds of The Vryll Society could not be more contrasting, but that does not mean I can’t love them both. Also worth a mention are Let’s Eat Grandma and Sundara Karma, who I have enjoyed listening to. When I saw Ash last month they were supported by Indian Queens, who I thought were pretty amazing as well and I am hoping to hear more from them.
As for my top 3 favourite 2016 albums, in no particular order:
- Helter Seltzer by We Are Scientists (because it makes me happy)
- Killer Brain Waves by Asylums (because I love playing it very loudly)
- I, Gemini by Let’s Eat Grandma (for all its wonderful weirdness)
There are plenty of other albums that I have listened to and even more that I should have listened to that I haven’t yet. You can only listen to so much right? But these were the three that most caught my attention. If there are any you feel I SHOULD listen to, please let me know!
Looking forward to 2017:
I have only a couple of gigs lined up. Jose Gonzales and the String Theory in January and Emmy The Great in March. Annoyingly the Jose Gonzalez gig later clashed with an Asylums gig that I really wanted to go to, but I already had those tickets and fingers crossed I will get to see Asylums later in the year (I better!!!!). Again, Jose Gonzalez and Asylums, day and night, right? 🙂
I am hoping 2017 will bring new albums by Ash and hopefully The Vryll Society and Alvvays may grace us with albums as well. Sundara Karma’s album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect is out later this week and I am looking forward to that one. Circa Waves has a new album out in the next few months as well, which I hope is good.
I hope I will be discovering more new music in 2017, but not too much as I still have way too much 2016 stuff to listen too!
Fingers crossed too that I will be able to breathe new life into this blog thingie.
Happy New Year!