Coming soon to this very website, podcast number 85 featuring lots of my favourite songs released in 2018. In the meantime have some of this!
Favourite Albums of the Year – The Top 10
- No Dogs Allowed by Sidney Gish [available as “name your price” download]
- >>> by Beak>
- Sincerely S.Love x by Simon Love
- Split LP by Chupa Cabra / No Friendz
- Quit the Curse by Anna Burch
- Jazzbelle 1984 1988 by Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobics VHS?
- Desire Paths by The Wind Up Birds
- – .... . -.-. --- .-.. -.. ... .--. . .-.. .-.. ... by The Cold Spells
- Freedom’s Goblin by Ty Segall
- Wide Awake! by Parquet Courts
Another 20 favourite albums (in no particular order)
Arrhythmia by Stuart A. Staples
Megadoze by R. Seiliog
The Deconstruction by Eels
Look Now by Elvis Costello
A Compulsion for Propulsion by Three Dimensional Tanx
It’s Hard To Be Happy When You’re Head Is Full of Sin by Equinox
Endless Scroll by Bodega
This is Eggland by The Lovely Eggs
Stop Start by Liines
Transangelic Exodus by Ezra Furman
A Long Engagement by Nickodemus
The Official Body by Shopping
No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your F**king Hedge Cut by Half Man Half Biscuit
Adverts by Peter Harris
Roadrunners by Eureka California
Sounds by Spare Snare
Silver Dollar Moment by The Orielles
Look Inside Your Heart by The Wave Pictures
Winter Nets EP by Sports Team
EP C by Gabe Knox
Take Me All Over The World by The Yearning
Stick in a Five and Go by Sleaford Mods
Squirrel Away the Summer by Charmpit
Huw Stephens Session by The Wedding Present
Collapse EP by Aphex Twin
I went to 2 festivals this year and both were brilliant.
In May, I went to the Manchester leg of the Dot 2 Dot festival. 1 day, 150 bands, 20 venues across the city. I think I saw about 10 bands.
Highlights were Kyle Craft, Sports Team and Dude York.
Then in July I went to Indietracks in Ripley, Derbyshire.
Highlights: Melenas, Sacred Paws, The Lovely Eggs, Anna Burch, French Boutik, Wolf Girl.
Favourite gigs of the year
Instead of trying choose favourites and put them in some kind of arbitrary order, here’s a chronological list of all the gigs I went to in 2018. I loved every one of them!
The Wedding Present @ The Leadmill, Sheffield (3rd February)
The Wind Up Birds @ The Old Town House, Warrington (9th February)
The Wave Pictures @ Telford’s Warehouse, Chester (8th March)
Jeffrey Lewis @ Leaf, Liverpool (4th April)
Manic Street Preachers @ Venue Cymru Llandudno (1st May)
The 99 Degree, Circus Wolves, Paper Buoys @ The Gladstone Club, Northwich (18th May) [review here]
Billordo @ Cherry Dance, Brescia, Italy (30th May)
Ty Segall Band @ Gorilla, Manchester (5th June)
The Wave Pictures @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester (17th June)
Bodega @ Birkenhead Library (8th July)
Lost Horizons @ Old Granada Studios, Manchester (21st July) [watch gig here]
The Wedding Present @ The Live Rooms, Chester (23rd July)
The Burning Hell @ Soup Kitchen, Manchester (2nd August)
Grotbags + Crumbs + Cowtown @ Soup Kitchen, Manchester (5th August)
Electric Six @ The Live Rooms, Chester (6th September)
Peach Fuzz + The Vryll Society @ Soup Kitchen (16th October)
Ash + Death By Unga Bunga @ O2 Ritz, Manchester (23rd October)
Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip @ Pyramid Centre, Warrington (2nd November)
Jah 9 @ Band on the Wall, Manchester (20th November)
Of Arrowe Hill @ Dublin Castle, Camden, London (24th November)
Mandy (bizarre trippy horror film with Nicolas Cage and an amazing soundtrack, definitely not a date movie!)
Ghost Stories (brilliantly written and performed and as it says on the poster the best British horror for years.)
Didn’t come out this year but I also really liked Burn Burn Burn (2015).
Favourite films with Chorizo Jnr
Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet
new version of The Grinch
Favourite TV series
Also enjoyed American Vandal series 2 and documentaries Wiener, Tower and Atari Game Over (all Netflix)
Serial (series 3, the best series yet)
Favourite music book
Cured by Lol Tolhurst
I read a lot of musician biographies but this one really stood out. The book is especially good at portraying the friendship between Lol and Robert Smith which starts on the first day of school. Unlike many biographies, there is a lot of interesting detail about the making of the records and the thinking behind various changes in sound that the band went through. Lol comes across as a thoroughly likeable bloke and after he leaves the band and falls out with Smith you find yourself desperately rooting for a happy ending.
Favourite non-music book
Classic Scrapes by James Acaster
Also really enjoyed his trilogy of stand-up shows Repertoire