Everyone loves a list, better still we like looking back at old lists and shudder at our suggestions of “Next Big Thing” and Best Gig awards, nethertheless here’s my Top Tens of 2013...
MY TOP 10 ALBUMS…
10. TTNG – 188.8.131.52.0.0 (Sargent House)
I love This Town Needs Guns, they’ve done a few shows for me, and with each successive listen, their music gets better – Such was my anticipation, that perhaps I put them on too high a pedestal. This album is good, but I still ached for that Animals era sound, so it only gets number 10.
9. The Physics House Band – Horizon/Rapture (Blood & Biscuits)
Great name, great lead track, great band dynamic, great prog noise. This record had it all and was effortlessly cool too. Future looks good for these. I missed out on booking them too, perhaps next year instead.
8. That Fucking Tank – TFT (Obscene Baby Auction)
Ah Ha! A band I’ve wanted to give a show to for years. Finally got my chance just before 2000 Trees festival, with the band in the area, they swooped in and melted out faces. It was every shade of fucking cool. This album too, pretty much delivered what you want from a TFT album. Riffs aplenty and an explanation on how to write like them, neat.
7. Rival Schools – Found (United By Fate Records)
Demoed years ago, finally seeing an official release this year. The album between United By Fate and Pedals, this album was just great. Musically tight, vocals and melody brilliant through and through, and an excellent cover of The Who. Win.
6. Crazy Arm – The Southern Wild (Xtra Mile)
Bloody hell this was good! I was never really into their punk sound, but when they stripped it back to this banjo led direction I fell in love. Far from jumping on a bandwagon, this band have been round long enough to warrant the opportunity to do what they like. This album was testament to that, and it was fantastic! Their show at The Lamb was one of the best this year too!
5. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Xtra Mile)
Not album of the year? Not for any reason of than it was a break up record, and that’s sad. It’s also a blinding great album, which battled with The Buble for top spot in the charts. Frank lost the battle with the middle aged woman supremo, but he stayed by far the best act Great Britain has to offer!
4. Future Of The Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Self Release / crowd funded)
This record felt like a culmination of the previous efforts. So varied, tight, stop start, glitchy, ambitious and with Falco’s wit made it near perfect! And a band I managed to catch 3 times this year, which was 3 times more than ever before!
3. Thought-Forms – Ghost Mountain – (Invada)
The Wiltshire cum Bristol trio come of age, with a frankly magnificent second album. Part art rock, part post rock – Shoe gazing, drone brilliance. Should catapult them into the scenes majors players
2. Jetplane Landing – Don’t Try – (Small Town America)
I was about to say this is bias, but realised that would suggest it doesn’t deserve to be top spot. It does, but still manages to miss out on my favourite album of the year. “Hey! Maggots! Get off my turf! I wrote shit. like. this. fucking years ago!!” Thank you Andrew + band, for such an inspiring record!
1. ASIWYFA – All Hail Bright Futures – (Sargent House)
Two Sargent House releases bookending this list. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if ASIWYFA had ripped off Adebisi Shank, but then I realised that “All Hail…” was by a country mile the best record this year, in my opinion, so it didn’t matter. Absolutely blinding from start to finish, tune after tune after tune after tune. So. Much. Fun. Live. MAGNIFICENT band, getting better with each release – this could well be their OK Computer moment, and they could swallow the world next year, or perhaps it’s their Six moment, and they’ll go unappreciated and split. Who cares, this was a monster of an album and deserves top spot.
Special mentions go to Caves, The Computers, Chris T-T, Ice Sea Dead People, Jamie Lenman, Bite The Buffalo, Calories, Larry & His Flask and Gaz Brookfield and The Bronx for all making great records too! Last year I stuck Retrospective Soundtrack Players in this section, and it went on to be the most listened record on my iPod, just saying’.
THE INEVITABLE EP LIST
1. Oxygen Thief – Accidents Do Not Happen They Are Caused (Xtra Mile)
2. Gnarwolves – Funemployed (BSM) (another year, another EP, next year I predict their album to be #1)
3. Straight Lines – Escapology (Xtra Mile)
4. Sophomore – The Blue EP – (Self Release)
5. Rat Attack – Rat Attack – (Self Release) (Left their hardcore roots behind, and went all Kerrang! A massive guilty pleasure…)
6. The Computers – Elvis Vs. Elvis (One Little Indian)
7. Ben Marwood – Demons (Self release)
8. Calories – DMT (Self release)
9. Little Leagues – Clarity (Self release)
LOCAL BAND RELEASES
2. Dead Royalties – Dead Royalties – Another cracking band from Alex Share. This lad has a sound, and he rarely does anything other than complete excellence, this a 3 track EP for the new band was just that, excellent.
3. The Observation Deck – Easily Exploitable – I promised to release this properly with a physical record, but never got the chance, time or money to do it, how ever it was a top record!
4. Tendril – Tendril Loving Tendril Care – 4 lads with a classic rock sound. No vocalist, yet it didn’t stop them really coming together wit a tight nit sound. Recently seen expanding into vocal-less noise territory and embracing it, rather than finding it an hindrance. 2014 will be their year, locally. Trust me.
5. Audrey Aroha – 9 Volt Leap Recordings – She’s been on the scene for a while, yet this year she managed to headline and pack out local venues, and finally release something! a 6 track EP thing, which pretty much covered the solo singer song writer slot in Wiltshire with aplomb!
RECORDS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2014
Mongol Horde will be releasing, I hope, their début. We have the new one from the Retrospective Soundtrack Players in Spring along with Decade‘s album out in January! Oxygen Thief has promised us new music, if I remember correctly – another solo ep and a band record… Adebisi Shank have their third record out on Sargent House (preview here) and I’m hoping for something new from Tangled Hair and perhaps even a proper Gnarwolves album??
FEEL FREE TO GET IN CONTACT AND TELL ME WHY I’M WRONG, WHO I MISSED OR BETTER STILL YOUR OWN LISTS.
TUNE IN SOON FOR A RUN DOWN OF MY FAVOURITE GIGS OF THE YEAR, NOT JUST AS A PROMOTER BUT ALSO AS A PUNTER!
AND REMEMBER TO COME TO THE Chris T-T show, this FRIDAY at The Lamb, in Devizes. 8pm. Free entry.
Who says there’s nothing to do in Devizes? Well perhaps there is nothing to do if you don’t like live music, but we really have it all in Devizes.
Last week’s Pat Travers blues show at Long Street Blues club went down a storm, but if blues isn’t your thing, then perhaps you should consider The Lamb this Friday night? Portsmouth based indie boys The Retrospective Soundtrack Players come to town, bringing their concept records based on classic films and books with them.
Their second album, Catcher In The Rye, based on JD Salinger’s book will be performed. Their previous record, based on the film Cool Hand Luke (with THAT scene, which spawned a million hip hop videos) may also get featured, and the rumours that their 3rd record based on Jurassic Park will either be confirmed or denied on the night.
If you want the official press release email, give me a shout, and I’ll happily forward it. Entry is free, at The Lamb in St Johns Street from 8.30pm. Check out the Facepage for more info.
How ever, if that’s all a little high brow or cultural for you, then you could do a lot worse than checking out Abe Juggins show at the Bell By The Green. He has Ivor Novello winning guitarist Marco Pirroni and his band, Headcount performing. Marco also happens to perform with Adam Ant, Sinead O’Connor and Wolfman. Headcount’s previous records include 2002’s KKKK rated “It’s a Buiness doing Pleasure with you” Future Of The Left would be proud of a title like that, I’m sure.
Here’s a finalised list of events at The Lamb, in Devizes for the rest of the Autumn, leading right up to Christmas. Do feel free to pop into the venue and listen to the Jukebox, as there’s some excellent new additions.
ALL EVENTS FREE ENTRY. We cannot stress enough how important it is, that we manage to offer this level of quality entertainment for free. So please, vote with you feet. Or just come in, even if it’s not gig night and check the vvvibe.
Friday 27th September, 9pm, front bar “DAVID MARX”
Friday 4th October, 7.30pm function room, “DAMP SESSIONS” Benji Clements and Aaron Heap present their moist, monthly shin-dig.
Friday 18th October, 9pm, front bar “BOB BOWLES” Wiltshire blues legend.
Friday 25th October, 8pm function room “THE RETROSPECTIVE SOUNDTRACK PLAYERS” Portsmouth based concept album specalists – performing JD Salingers book, The Catcher In The Rye. Class video >here.< Local support from Tamsin Whinton, Ieuan Williams and Lucii Brown.
Tuesday 29th October @ 9pm, FREE ENTRY, function room. “MOONRAKERS COMEDY CLUB” Line up TBC, but it’s free entry and curated by Jack Brown.
Friday 1st November, 9pm, front bar “Northern Soul DJ” Local DJ Mr Williams, will be spinning original 7″, Wigan Casino, vinyl records. What’s not to like?
Friday 8th November, 9pm, front bar “THE TEDDY WHITE BAND” Teddy is a proper dapper legend. His band are also huge – This is always the best squeeze in town.
Friday 8th November, 8pm, function room, “ANDY OLIVERI + HENRY GREEN w/ Blank Francis and Jack Moore” Between Andy + Henry, we have 2 acts that played every festival going this summer. Catch this double header and see the next generation NOW.
Friday 15th November, 8pm, function room. “GAZ BROOKFIELD, JOE McCORRISTON, RHYS COLEMAN + ELLEN COX” Gaz is on a UK tour with Joe and makes his long awaited return to Devizes after impressing back in June, supporting New Model Army. Expect a full house. Hero.
Friday 22nd November, 8pm, function room. “DAVE HUGHES & THE RENEGADE FOLK PUNK BAND w/ Luke De-Sciscio + Band Of The Underhand.” One of Scotland’s finest exports, mixed with the UK’s finest Jeff Buckley inspired act, and some Squeeze roadies.
Friday 29th November, 9pm, front bar. “BITTER AND TWISTED” Great local covers duo!
Friday 6th December, 9pm, front bar. “NO FIXED ABODE” Proper Irish inspired folk covers and originals duo.
Friday 20th December, 8pm, function room. “SHEER MUSIC’s Xmas Party – CHRIS T-T” The wonderful political folkist, who impressed earlier in the year in Hillworth park, returns with his “adult set”. You have been warned.
FINALLY Tuesday 24th December, 9pm, function room. Kiss FM DJ’s, and Devizes lads, Tim Smith and Luke Sutton make their yearly pilgrimage back to Devizes to host their Xmas Eve “Pardon My French” Party! Easily the best way to end the year.
Many things can make you feel 16 again. Kissing girls, chatting to girls on the phone, and for me recently, looking at girls in magazines… I of course refer to Decade’s feature in, FRONT.
It has literally been soo long since I bought a lads mag in Ducks, that I actually had to ask the Saturday girls where they were kept. Funny thing being under previous owner, Mr Duck. I distinctly remember him refusing to sell me the FHM with Louise Rednapp (then Nurding) on the front cover, as it’s content was deemed “unsuitable for a chap your age.” I strangely had more respect for him for that, and promptly nipped off to WH Smiths to get my fix.
So why did I break my decade long break between lad mag purchases? Simply because non-other than our home grown heroes DECADE gracing it’s inner pages. The brief interview with front man Alex Sears gave me a chuckle and showed us a nice preview of their next video. Well worth £3.99 or what ever I paid, especially since there was an 8-page feature on the coolest UK underground punk band, GNARWOLVES.
We’ll call that a double win for Devizes.
From our touring acts, to touring acts coming through town, we have Xtra Mile’s CRAZY ARM in Devizes TONIGHT. The band are on their 5th date of this “Southern Wild” tour (poster should be to your right, if you’re reading the website, and your screen resolution is the same as mine…) and they should have the physical pre-release copies of the album if you fancy it. They’re playing the record through, having been promised some a cappella, Banjo’s and 4 part harmonies?!
If you got the press release mail out, you may already be familiar with the song, Remembrance. Which is probably one of the best arranged folk songs I’ve heard. Lush vocals, effective simple musicianship and a whole lot of feel.
So hopefully I’ll see you all tonight – doors at 7, show starts at 8 (like every good punk show). Support from Calne’s Mick O’Toole and Wroughton’s Jimmy Moore.
Entry is free, so won’t cost you a dime, and you know what? You’ll leave richer for the experience. Promise.
For the benefit of my friends in Swindon, and anyone planning on attending the Devizes Street Festival, here is Sunday’s time table… Mondays to follow. I’ll be on the Green area 1, I believe with some PA…
SUNDAY 25th AUGUST – DAY 1
THE GREEN area 1
THE GREEN area 3
MONDAY 26th AUGUST – DAY 2
CORN EXCHANGE MUSIC STAGE