2015: A LIST ODYSSEY – EPs/LIVE
Continuing the lists, because we can’t get enough of them, here’s a mishmash of my favourite EPs of the year and my favourite live shows for #content reasons…
BEST EPs OF THE YEAR !
#1. ROYGBIV – Flyying Colours
Australia’s finest ‘gazers providing a second EP without a dud second, let alone track, and instantly absorbing.
#2. Product – SOPHIE
A newer branch into PC Music realms for tastes and fuelled by ingenius Aphex-esque engrossing tweaks of sound and sickly innocent K Pop vocals, a match made in filth heaven.
#3. Communions – Communions
Relentlessly smooth grooves, shimmering wah-ed guitars and piercing vocals making for a slice of modern day Danish punk 80s enchantment.
#4. I Knew I Was A Rat – LIFE
Proving Hull worth its City Of Culture status on their output alone, LIFE couple the freneticism of flying screams of guitar and Mez Green’s darting lyrics to provide effortlessly ace sounds of sheer punk attitude.
#5. A Scene In Between – Hot Vestry
Ungenreable listening, and so much better for it. Ward’s distinct vocals lead uncontrollable drums and stark synths in an electronic musical eeriness unmatched by just about anything.
#6. Auster – Wozniak
Providing the biggest sounds coming out of Scotland since, well, The Proclaimers maybe, Wozniak strike back with towering riffs, layers of distortion and lush vocals lost in the haze of a noisy dream.
#7. Reclaim Your Life – Skinny Girl Diet
With brash punk tunes and a carefree assault on guitars, the trio hit their peak so far with this EP, and take a brazen step into the distorted angst riddled heights.
#8. Aquarelle – Vinyl Staircase
Taking a kaleidoscopic turn, the local quartet mix dreamy bursts of guitar with permeating grooves and starry-eyed lyrics to make for an infectious shot of psychedelia
#9. Tidings – A’lune
Drawn purely from lo fi sounds and smothering ambience, the EP is a smooth dose of minimalist guitars and floating synth beauty.
#10. Urban Glow – TRASH
Taking Chesterfield into the shimmering indie charts, TRASH bring polished offerings of poppy guitars and catchy melodies making for simple unadultered musical delight.
BEST SHOWS OF THE YEAR !
Firstly, we’ve reached a point in my life where Suede need their own section, because for the third year running I want them to be number one on my gig list, and quite frankly, it’s just not very good content. So I’m getting this bit out the way first, I only saw them 5 times this year which is naturally a bit low by my standards, but they did a brief godly stint at the NME Awards in Feb, an absolutely insane Glasto warm up at the Bexhill De La Warr Pavillion (Review here) in June, 2 mind blowing premieres of their new album at The Roundhouse in November (Review here) and a subdued beautiful acoustic set at The House of St. Barnabas a couple of weeks ago – oh and I also flew to Paris for a day to see their film again, but that’s besides the point – and all were worthy of crowning gig glory, so roll on next year where I currently am seeing them 7 times so far if all goes to plan. In other honourable mentions, I went to see a Moog Orchestra at The Barbican in summer, and it was beautifully insane. Anyway, on to the list….
#1. Field Day – Ride/Viet Cong/Patti Smith/Eagulls/Mac DeMarco/Ducktails/Yak – 6th June – Victoria Park
This could only realistically top my list by Band:Time ratio, in one day I saw 7+ of bands I’d been meaning to or just loved and that is an incredible feat. Equally they were all largely spellbinding, I discovered Yak and fell in love, stood next to Roger from The Cure watching Patti Smith play Horses in full, drank lots of cider in a crowd full of balding heads to see the ultimates Ride play and got so sunburnt I stood in my kitchen smothering myself in ice til 4am the next morning. Golden.
#2. Pinkshinyultrablast/Flyying Colours/Fever Dream – 11th May – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Having turned 19 this very day and being ultimately obsessed with Flyying Colours, I was dying for this show for some time, it was largely a dream come true. However no one else I knew got tickets and the prospect of spending a rather underwhelming birthday in a basement watching bands that albeit I loved on my own seemed a bit shameful, luckily the second the stage lit up, my concerns were killed in a triple hit of gazey delight, and I’m sure I had an out of body experience or two during the headliners’ sonic assault, so it ended up alright really.
#3. Brandon Flowers/Joywave – 21st/22nd May – Brixton o2 Academy
Alongside my closest grasp at fame by featuring in the video from the show meandering about, and aside from the shows both acts put on to the point I immediately grabbed a ticket for the next night after the first, this also happened to be the 2 days i met my childhood hero twice in 24 hours and that is something quite unavoidable. Also Chrissie Hynde made an appearance both nights and he played the Mr Brightside remix, so all in all, ace.
#4. Menswe@r – 11th October – The Garage
I have a bit of a shameful weakness in Menswe@r, somewhere mildly bordering the line of bands you probably shouldn’t enjoy as a 19 year old in 2015, but I do, and when I had to leave 3 songs in to their show last summer I was a bit sad, so when they played Nuisance in full at The Garage prior to my new fave club night in the entire world, it was a stroke of genius, and utterly brilliant indeed.
#5. Gary Numan/I Speak Machine – Replicas – 23rd October – Kentish Town Forum
Replicas is arguably one of my favourite records of all time, and notably the entire of The Forum that night agreed because live it took you to another world entirely, and when lined up with the classics and a handful of new beautiful industrial noise, it was a winner.
#6. McAlmont & Butler/The Magic Numbers – 7th November – The Roundhouse
The crown of the most optimistic gig wins here, Yes live might be in the top 5 best live experiences ever.
#7. PINS/The Black Tambourines – 18th February – Sebright Arms
My love for PINS is somewhat high, and ending up onstage with them covered in glitter and confetti was a sheer highlight, but hearing the new album in full before its release was an even better one, and The Black Tambourines brought some fine surf rock to a dingy basement.
#8. Blur/The Horrors/Metronomy/Teleman – 21st June – BST Hyde Park
I’d waited to see Blur a very long time, and despite a largely questionable new album, backed by the genius of The Horrors, Teleman and Metronomy providing a soundtrack to a cider fuelled rainy afternoon, it turned out impressively.
#9. Tramlines – Fat White Family/Hooton Tennis Club/Best Friends/Tuff Love/TRASH/Hot Vestry/Slow Club/Alcest – 23rd July
Fat White Family stole the show, backed by some very good support.
#10. The Fall – 24th April – Brixton Electric
Its been 40 years and The Fall are still mind blowing, a 45 year old bald man tried to teach me’ how to mosh properly’, as all gigs should be.
#11. Kylie/Chic/Mika – 22nd June – BST Hyde Park
Chic are one of the best bands in the entire world and the only worthy of making me dance in public, Kylie has too many bangers to even recall, and even Mika was good, match made in heaven.
#12. Placebo – 24th March – Hammersmith Apollo
Every angsty teenager needs a let up somewhere.