Sheer Music’s #AOTY List 2016

So a week or so ago our poster designer & SnapChat administrator Rob Escott prined all our #AOTY lists, and whilst it was fun to read them all, I do like to elaborate a little further as to why my list was as it was… So here goes…

2016 was a difficult year for me musically, since the change of job (ironically) into an admin role at distributor, Discovery Records, I have learnt an awful lot more about music, just not in my usual field of interest. I now have more than a passing appreciation of Jazz, Country and World music. The world music side of things has really opened my eyes. There’s some amazing music out there that I would never of given a chance / come across normally. The side affect of this is that I haven’t had much chance to listen to my regular interest of music. 

Thus, it was much more difficult to list the albums I loved / listened to. I actually had to look through other lists of records released this year to remind myself what I had been listening to…(!) So, here is my list and reasoning, for anyone interested…

download 10. Animal Collective – Painting With (Domino)

I got into Animal Collective on the Strawberry Jam album, loved Merriweather Post Pavillion, didn’t bother with Centipede Hz, so with bated breath I delved into Painting With. Opening track FloriDada got panned critically because it wasn’t particularly subtle. Or subtle at all. “OK we get it, you’re inspired by Dadaism” the press cried, all I cared about was, is it fun & catchy? It became a bonding song between my daughter & I. She played it more than me. I used to come home after work and she’d put it on, and we’d dance to it, which when you dance as crazy as my daughter did, 3 minutes is a loooong time. This record wasn’t nearly as good as the previous two I owned, but for that one song alone it makes the list. 

download-19. Beans On Toast – Spanner In The Works (Xtra Mile)

Another year and another album from Jay, released on his birthday. Once you’ve heard a Beans On Toast album, you’ve heard them all right? Well maybe but he has a clear idea of what he’s doing, and on SITW’s Jay raised his bar, he made everything more fun, more sweet, more twee. It’s Jay as we know and love him, but like MORE as we know and love him. He also played for us in May and August, so we were always going to be bias! 

download-1 8. Chris T-T – 9 Green Songs (Xtra Mile

Ahhh, Chris. Chris announced his new political direction with this record. Despite Corbyn, he moved even further left? Something like that. Anyway, the record came with belters such as Worst Government Ever and Love Me I’m a Liberal. Chris played a record 4 times for me in one calendar year, hitting Devizes twice, Bath and Frome for my first ever day festival. His set in Frome was one of the best I had seen him play. Controlled a crowd and gave us what we wanted, the hits. Ha. He turns 20-years-in-the-business next year, and will be doing more shows for us to celebrate. This one will be extra special, and I hope to see you all there! It’s in Trowbridge, on a grand piano. True story!

download-27. Yndi Halda – Under Summer (BSM)

Their first record, Enjoy.Eternal.Bliss was #PostRock heaven. A British band, doing the genre as good as anyone else. Eloquent, beautiful, subtle. This second record was a long time in the waiting, but when it arrived, it sank straight in, like an old friend. I once was obsessed with Post Rock. I believed it to be the natural conclusion of all music. Like classical music for a future generation, or something. Anyway, this was my post rock record of the year, well… until #4…


6. Ducking Punches – Fizzy Brain (Xtra Mile)

Dan Allan aka Ducking Punches played our Xmas show in 2015. Not long before the release of this beaut. Quite possibly the best acoustic style punk rock record released this year. They absolutely smashed it out of the park on this record, every song is a stand out. Belter after belter that you just want to shout at the top of your lungs. Dan often wears his heart on his sleeve a lot, so you know where you stand. He shares a lot and with this record he shared his heart. I fell in love at the first listen. 

download-45. Johnny Foreigner – Mono No Aware (Alcopop!)

OK so their last album, You Can Do Better, was like my fav evvr! So much so I got a tattoo. Like my fav band evvr! OK, I have a lot of favourite bands ever, but I only have one tattoo. This album had bangers, but it took me a fair few listens to really get into it. I’m not sure why, production perhaps? I don’t know, all I know is our friends Songs Of Praise put them on in Swindon, we went, we sang, we danced, we were largely the only ones there and it was still the absolute best of times! 

download-5 4. Thought-Forms – Songs About Drowning (Invada)

I could write an essay about this. But I’ll summarise. This is TT’s 3rd proper full length, the follow up to the also excellent Ghost Mountain. It’s more post rock, but this time we see the band expand to include a bassist and crucially vocals. There’s a clear development in sound, in my ears a debt of Sonic Youth included this time round. And the best bit? They’re still so young. They’ve already toured the world with Portishead and 65daysofstatic, been included in film sound tracks and more besides. This is a band just discovering their stride, and if that doesn’t excite you, nothing about British roots music does. 

download-6 3. Beach Slang – Loud Brash Of Teenage Feelings


A great record, by a great band. It largely continued the theme and style of its predecessor, but when something is so perfect, why change a winning formula? Unbelievably I haven’t seen them live, but will be rectifying that in 2017, when they visit The Exchange in Bristol. I’ll see you down the front. 

alcopop2. Tellison – Live On A Boat On The Thames (Alcopop!)

OK, so not technically a formal release, with like, you know a CD and vinyl to show for it. In fact, I don’t even know if it even made the general public, but this live recording made by Gareth Nicholas basically encapsulated everything we’re about. At almost last minute we dragged a PA up to London in our cars, managed to organise a recording AND managed to wing it in style. The recording came out superb (all Gareth’s fault). It was all about live music, friends and experiences. We came out tighter, fitter and richer for the experience. Maybe one day you’ll hear it too. 

1. Chris Farren – Can’t Die (Side One Dummy)download-1

This record didn’t hang about. 29 minutes the 11 tracks come in at, less than 3 minutes each. And it’s glorious POP. It’s the sum of all Chris’s previous parts, distilled into what I think is his perfect vision. Uncomplicated, catchy, glorious pop. All the ingredients are there, Americanisms, his voice, twee synths, little “whoops” here and there and just HAPPYNESS with massive choruses!


So there you have it. Looking back at last years list I don’t think 2016 has been as strong for me personally, but 2017 already looks great, with the new JAPANDROIDS album on the way. Chris T-T‘s 20 year anniversary thing, the new Tall Ships and Gnarwolves too record and so much more than I’ve forgotten because my mind is mush and I’m horribly out of the loop. 

We also have some huge live bookings to announce (Cassette Boy – live VJ show!), Emily Barker, Gaz Brookfield, a festival or two, and that there guy from wayyy back when. 2016 sucked on many levels, let’s never go back. 

Honourable mentions to… Conrad Keeley (loads of tracks, not really a balanced album) Future Of The Left (hated it, such a disappointment) The Joy Formidable (“not as good as their last one”) Savages (I enjoyed it) Metronomy (Was missing a gaping Oscar Cash hole) Christian Fitness (we get the idea now…) Pixies (Surprisingly good) Mogwai (seems like they release an album a year…) White Lung (we new to me, it was all right) 

Sheer accidentally take over The Ocelot!

It was to my complete surprise and awe to find in this months OCELOT magazine, a wonderful feature on SHEER MUSIC

Gig Monkey aka Ed Dyer has taken the trouble to write a lengthy piece praising our hard work for the past decade, which can be found on page 52 of Novembers issue. I won’t ruin it for you, so go have a read! 

Earlier in the issue, on page 49, is an excellent live review of our Crazy Arm show at The Lamb in Devizes, back in September – written by recent Sheer recruit, Rob Escott. Rob now has his hand firmly in with the Ocelotters, so we’re going to see more of his work. We’re also going to hear more of Rob, as he trots out a weekly radio session, every Wednesday on Melksham Town Sound, between 8 and 9pm, playing his favourite punk rock. There will be a short segment each week dedicated to “Sheers Suggestion” where I pick something, typically from an up and coming local show to wrap your ears around. Cheers Ocelot, cheers Rob!

Even further back in the issue on page 42, there’s a preview of the GNARWOLVES show in December. Andy gives the band a brief introduction, which I admit looks good on paper (Punktastic’s ones to watch for 2012), as well as naming all the supports – That’s what I love about the Ocelot, they cover everyone, no one gets left behind!

ALSO in the magazine, column space is given to kind of Devizes / Avebury / Swindon / Bristol / Anywhere based singer song writer TAMSIN WHINTON. We like Tamsin in Devizes. We had the privilege of providing her with her first show, offering her some great slots and I even recorded her first demo. It’s great to see that the rest of Wiltshire agrees! Catch her live, she’s always about, and making it further and further away all the time. (my personal preferred measure of success – How far can you get away from your home town!) 

So, much love and respect to The Ocelot, our only dedicated music fanzine. They are wonderfully supportive of the whole of Wiltshire’s music scene, and as proved by my Beans On Toast show, they make a massive difference! 



Parody / comedy “Chav-Hop”rapper, CHIP DADDY has announced that his first UK tour, will be support to 00’s and original Chav-Hop legends GOLDIE LOOKIN’ CHAIN this Autumn. 

They head out on their 10th anniversary tour kicking off at Bournemouth’s Old Fire Station on 2nd October. I’m guessing, judging by their age, and highly plausible “lifestyle” has taken it’s toll over the years, as the date’s don’t run consecutively. Thus they’ll be ending the tour in November on home turf at Frome’s Cheese & Grain. 

I predict Chip to go away a boy, and come back a man – and a heroes welcome in Frome. Anything less would be rude, and he’d probably write a song about it. 

Wednesday 2nd October, Bournemouth Old Fire Station
Thursday 3rd October, Bristol thekla
Saturday 5th October, Swansea garage
Thursday 10th October, Birmingham O2 Academy
Friday 11th October, Leeds University Union
Saturday 12th October, Gloucester Guildhall
Friday 25th October, Cardiff Globe
Friday 1st November, Swindon Victoria (w/ Beans On Toast) >tickets
Thursday 7th November, Sheffield Corporation
Friday 8th November, Glasgow Audio
Saturday 9th November, Frome Cheese & Grain

Single BOY RACER is available from iTunes now, check the video out below.

FREE Beans On Toast album…

Your friend and mine, our hero of the national circuit, the singer song writer who is the only person to really own the title “troubadour” JAY McALLISTER aka BEANS ON TOAST is on a MAMMOTH UK tour for the next two months.


Excitingly enough, this jaunt swings through Wiltshire on Friday November 1st, when Jay hits Swindon’s Victoria with the full force of his acoustic reggae.

If you’ve bought an advance ticket, either direct from the venue OR from ><  you get a FREE live album, which Jay recorded at The Scala in London, September last year. It’s the live riot you would expect from the average Beans On Toast show. Here’s the official line…

Beans on Toast ‘Live at The Scala’ album is released on Monday 16th September. Everyone who purchases an advance ticket to any of his tour dates this Autumn can download the album for FREE. All you need to do is visit and enter your details and you will receive a unique code for you to download the album from

What you waiting for? What See you all on the 1st November then. Don’t be late, or you’ll miss the equally as fun CHIP DADDY.

9pm – Midnight.
£6 adv. £8 otd. 
Strictly 18+

Beans On Toast returns to Swindon!

After having such a rad time earlier in May, Jay aka BEANS ON TOAST was very keen to make a return trip to Swindon on his next mammoth head line UK  tour in November.

Jay will be returning to crop circle country on Friday 1st Nov, supported by the excellent tongue-in-cheek chav-hop rapper CHIP DADDY. Further local support tbc.

This tour’s tickets are priced at £6 with an £8 door price, and go on sale this Friday, so pick up in advance from >WeGotTickets HERE<

Doors 8.30
9 – 9.30 – tbc
9.45 – 10.15 – Chip Daddy
10.30 – 11.15 – BEANS ON TOAST

Here’s a reminder of why Jay is so good… Live @ The Vic, Swindon.

Beans On Tour

Beans On Toast tour, video and Swindon date!

JAY Macallister, aka BEANS ON TOAST  has just released a brand new video for Beer & a Burger, the 2nd or 3rd track to be lifted from his new album, Fishing for a Thank You. 

Jay will be touring the UK throughout April and May, including two stops in the Southwest for us at Sheer. One at Bath Moles Club on Thursday 16th May and the other, Friday 17th @ The Victoria in Swindon. 

You can pick up tickets for the Swindon show >>here<< and it includes fantastic supports from Jimmy Moore, Oxygen Thief and Ellen Cox – MENTAL! >Facepage<

But if you’re a poor, broke student, perhaps a trip to a free entry Moles Club and their Stereo Types night would be in order instead? That show comes with support from Oxygen Thief. >Facepage<

HOW EVER, it’s not all good news… Jay has had to pull out of the Devizes showcase gig. 2nd year running I’ve lost my head liner and For The Same Reason. Last year Thought Forms went and toured the US with the UK’s pioneers of trip hop, Portishead, and this year Jay is opening up for none other than Sheer Favourite FRANK TURNER.

We wish him all the best, and will find some one just as rad to fill his boots!

Full Dates…

20th April – MARGATE – The Bracket

30th April – CAMBRIDGE – Portland Arms

16th May – BATH – Moles w/ Oxyegn Thief

17th May – SWINDON – Victoria w/ Oxygen Thief + Ellen Cox + Jimmy Moore

21st May – HULL – The Fruit

22nd May – SOUTHAMPTON – Joiners

23rd May – YORK – Fibbers

24th May – MANCHESTER – Dot to Dot

25th May – BRISTOL – Dot to Dot

26th May – NOTTINGHAM – Dot to Dot

Tour of USA: w/ Frank Turner

1st June – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

4th June – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls

6th June – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live

7th June – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts

8th June – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony

9th June  – Columbus, OH – The Basement

10th June – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom

14th June – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe


Glastonbury / Blissfields / Beatherder

2000 Trees / Lounge on the Farm / Secret Garden Party

Frolic Festival / Boomtown Fair

On Dear Ears join the Devizes Showcase.

Devizes finest country-folk-punk band, ON DEAF EARS have joined the bill of the Devizes Festival SHOWCASE event on Friday June 14th.

The former Fantasy Radio sessionests, song below, will be the main billed support to Beans On Toast on The Corn Exchange’s main hall. 

We have the pleasure to announce that Fantasy Radio will be recording this show, and a number of others through out the Festival period – so stay tuned to 97fm locally, for some crazy announcements in due course! 

First supports added to Devizes showcase…

BOOM and there goes the dynamite.

Abe Juggins has announce the first two local acts opening up at the DEVIZES SHOWCASE, and they will be, still-so-new-they-only-just-released-their-first-demo metal band ORCRYST (see below for said demo…) and a band who’ve been around for a while, but gone through so many ups and downs and changes, they’re practically a new band… ROADS TO NOWHERE. Knowing that’s how that stage is shaping up, is pretty sick. It’s going to be heavy!

With me in the main hall, I have announced Trowbridges finest, NATHAN DETROIT – who have had one of the best 12 months of any band, given their recent supports of Rat Attack, Gnarwolves and As We Sink! and delivering their first proper self titled EP. I also have the pleasure to confirm, after their incendiary performance at The Lamb last Friday, THE CITY LIGHTS will be all over this. It would be silly to miss out a band with such talent and performance ability. Already a hit on Fantasy radio, and following in the footsteps of Jon Amor and Bite The Buffalo, I’m tipping them for a fantastic next 12 months.

Tickets are £6 available from Devizes books from May the 1st, you can catch most of these bands in and around Devizes, so check them all out.

BEANS ON TOAST head lines Corn Exchange

I am super-duper happy to tell you that, after his gut busting performance at The Lamb back in December, BEANS ON TOAST will be returning to Devizes to head line the – all age event – the Devizes Festival Showcase gig on June 14th.

Beans On Toast aka Jay McAllister who is now a popular staple, at pretty much every UK festival – will be performing in Devizes again, this time in the towns largest and cleanest venue, the Corn Exchange, Ceres Hall – main stage, supported by a cluster of local talent.

Jay spent the latter part of 2012, touring the UK before embarking out into Europe at the start of 2013. He released his 4th album, Fishing For A Thank You, via Xtra Mile (home of Frank Turner, Reuben, Chris TT etc) and is set to once again cement his place in the hearts and consciousness of the UK music scene.

With a June that also includes a New Model Army show, we’re looking like serious contenders for a bit of national recognition!

Beans will pull on his own, even without the local showcase, so I expect this gig to be busy – Tickets are priced at £7 – available from the 1st May via WeGotTickets (with booking fee) or the downloadable booking form (without fee) or in person at Devizes Books.