Countdown: 2016: Albums

Part three of the round-up of 2016 comes to you from the final week of our honeymoon (from the warm sunshine of the Dominican Republic). Sorry, not sorry. Read more “Countdown: 2016: Albums”

Tuesday Ten: 273: Tracks of the Month (October 1996)

Onto part nine of my 1996 roundup. As a reminder, I’m marking twenty years of writing about music (my writing long pre-dates this website going live) across this year with a monthly look at ten releases from 1996, where possible in chronological order. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 273: Tracks of the Month (October 1996)”

Tuesday Ten: 264: Tracks of the Month (June 2016)

These are turbulent times in the UK at least at the moment – with the prospect of choppy waters elsewhere too in 2016 – and it has rather been sapping my will to write, among other things.
Read more “Tuesday Ten: 264: Tracks of the Month (June 2016)”

Countdown: 2015: Gigs

2015 in gigs: 70 days, 165 live sets, 154 unique bands, forty venues, seven cities, four festivals (and each of those festivals in a different town/city), three countries, two continents. Read more “Countdown: 2015: Gigs”

Tuesday Ten: 244: Merchandise

There has been lots written in recent years about how band merchandise – particularly on-tour – is better for some bands that selling records. Not that it’s a new thing – it’s long been reckoned that Pop Will Eat Itself and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin in particular sold far more in T-shirts than they ever did with CDs (the Birmingham Music Archive reckons the Poppies had over 100 T-shirt designs, by the way). I’m sure the various band members and promoters that read this can offer their thoughts, too. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 244: Merchandise”

Tuesday Ten: 219: Outros

One of the interesting things about writing this series is that occasionally one post (and not necessarily at the time of writing it!) will inspire another, and then will have me wondering how I didn’t think of it before. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 219: Outros”

Countdown: 2014: Albums

Week three of the roundup of 2014, and this is, I guess, the big one. The albums of the year. Read more “Countdown: 2014: Albums”

Countdown: 2014: Tracks

Here we go, then, with the run-down of the best tracks of 2014 – according to me, anyway. 2014 has been an odd year, as friends will know – life has rather got in the way in a number of respects, which has cut down the amount of writing I’ve been able to do, but that hasn’t stopped me buying and enjoying music. Read more “Countdown: 2014: Tracks”

Countdown: 1980s: Tracks: 20-01

A couple of years ago, I posted the best of the 90s, and the best of the 00s, from my point of view. Read more “Countdown: 1980s: Tracks: 20-01”

Tuesday Ten: 200: Tracks of the Month (March 2014)

So, seven years – almost to the week – since I started this series, the Tuesday Ten hits #200. That’s 200 lengthy posts, and 2,000 artists, songs, albums, venues (hey, the subjects have got around a bit). New songs, old songs, favourites, ones I dislike, even recently music other people love. It was initially started to celebrate the new music I was hearing, so I guess it is appropriate that #200 keeps that tradition up. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 200: Tracks of the Month (March 2014)”

Tuesday Ten: 174: Live Albums

So…I’ve looked at the best gigs, live venues, and gigs at the London Astoria, bands at Infest, bands I’ve *not* seen live…but I’ve never had a look at live albums, somehow, as my girlfriend pointed out last week. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 174: Live Albums”

Countdown: 2012: Albums

As I noted last week, 2012 really was a good year for music, as far as I was concerned, including a number of new discoveries. Read more “Countdown: 2012: Albums”

Into the Pit: 153: Swans – Live at KOKO – 15-November 2012

It isn’t often that I’m left with a feeling of slight nervousness prior to a gig, but then, Swans aren’t really your average band. One of the most extreme “rock” bands to exist, perhaps – their extremity being being louder, more punishing mentally and physically than just about anyone else – were ended by Michael Gira in 1997/98, and laid dormant, apparently for ever, for twelve years before Gira announced, out of the blue, that they were to be re-constituted. Less of a reunion than a picking up where they left off, My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky was an extraordinary album (particularly for a first album in thirteen years), and the show that I witnessed that autumn following release was frankly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Read more “Into the Pit: 153: Swans – Live at KOKO – 15-November 2012”

Tuesday Ten: 144: Back For Good?

Two reunions of different kinds hit the news last week, although interestingly the return of Steps seemed to be rather overshadowed by The Stone Roses. The NME in particular are treating the latter like the, er, Resurrection, the most important music news, well, ever. Which in some respects kinda shows them for what they and most of the music industry are about nowadays – obsessed by nostalgia and perhaps no longer all that interested in new music – which, as the papers full title suggests, should really be their focus. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 144: Back For Good?”

Countdown: 2010: Gigs

The problem with my gig-going in 2010 wasn’t that I went to too few, or too many – although for various reasons I did miss a number of gigs I really wanted to see – but that trying to narrow the best of the year down to ten was probably as difficult as it has ever been. So a couple of gigs that I perhaps would otherwise have included didn’t make the cut. Read more “Countdown: 2010: Gigs”

Countdown: 2010: Albums

A good year for music, so here’s twenty albums I think were great this year. Read more “Countdown: 2010: Albums”

Into the Pit: 094: Swans – Live at KOKO – 28-October 2010

My first visit to Koko in about eleven years last night saw me head there for the return to London of Swans, of which more in a moment. But as always, I feel it’s notable to mention the organisation. Doors at 1900 – fine, and they opened on time, not to mention being friendly security who weren’t treating every punter as a criminal (a rare occurrance nowadays, sadly). What wasn’t quite so welcome was how late the gig itself was. Support James Blackshaw wasn’t onstage until 2100, and Swans until 2200 – meaning a pretty late finish for a midweek gig. Read more “Into the Pit: 094: Swans – Live at KOKO – 28-October 2010”