Thank you - the dozen most read blogs in 2021
Thank you for all your support in 2021, it's been a great year to start a music blog - gigs are back and it's been a stunning year for new albums. This year I’ve produced 135 blogs (including the two coming tomorrow). Here are the twelve most read pieces this year - thanks again for taking the time to read them.
12. She Bangs The Drum
A little look at my ten favourite women drummers, including The Go-Between's Lindy Morrison, Moe Tucker, Karen Carpenter and more.
11. Simple Minds – Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call
In my opinion, Simple Minds' finest moment, their 1981 double album Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call. Futuristic, austere, brilliant.
10. Dave Gahan and Soulsavers, Coliseum, London, 5th December 2021
Nice that the most recent thing I wrote is in the top 10, a review of Dave Gahan's gig with Soulsavers, playing his latest album of covers, Imposter.
9. Suede and Nadine Shah, Alexandra Palace, 11th November 2021
Gig reviews were some of the most popular things I wrote about, and this was a stunning show. Nadine Shah is so much more than a support act and Suede were gracious enough to treat as such. A truly stunning gig, showcasing the whole of Suede's fabulous 1996 classic Coming Up.
8. Bass, how low can you go? Ten best bass players
I've gone back and rectified that I missed Del Forbes from Simple Minds from this list (God bless Spinal Tap for making lists of 11 cool!). A list of my favourite bass players.
7. The Boo Radleys, The Moth Club, London, 30th October 2021
A real surprise gig - I didn't hold much hope for their comeback without songwriter Martin Carr, but their new material is fabulous and this was a cracking gig - looking forward to the new album in 2022 and more shows!
6. New Order, O2 Arena, 6th November 2021
A postponed gig that finally took place a year after its original date. Though the setlist was a little tired, it was a fantastic light show and a great gig - real joy on display as people lost their shit and danced their asses off.
5. The Wedding Present, The Forum, Kentish Town, 27th November 2021
I annoyed their leader David Gedge with this review, but I stand by what I said. Gedge and his fans were a bit overly sensitive and it's undeniable that their albums are variations on each other. A few stroppy tweets from fans who can't read it would seem. Hey ho.
4. Second toughest in the infants – great second albums
I picked five great second albums, plus one terrible one (The Stone Roses' Second Coming). The latter got me into lots of trouble with stroppy Roses fans who clearly lack critical faculties. It's a shite album (except for Love Spreads which remains one of their finest moments). Part two will follow in 2022 and I will see who I annoy this time!
3. Martin Rossiter, The Forum, Kentish Town, 20th November 2021
Another gig, this one apparently the retirement gig by Gene's lead singer. It was a stunning show, reminding you that the Britpoppers were so much more than a second rate Smiths and that Martin really was a magnificent frontman. I do hope he changes his mind.
2. Rick Astley and Blossoms play The Smiths, The Forum, Kentish Town, 9th October 2021
I do not believe anyone could have predicted this unlikely partnership and certainly not imagined just how magnificent it was. The best gig of the year by a country mile. I have never seen so many happy Smiths fans (not the contradiction you might imagine). Astley is forever a hero to me hereon.
1. England's (Day)Dreaming - 16 of the best Britpop songs
Another article I have gone back and corrected, adding the fabulous Echobelly who I always thought were more indie, but I bow to others' opinion that they were firmly part of Britpop. One of my favourite musical periods, much derided these days, but Britpop was a fabulous time to be in your 20s and have cash on the hip. My favourite blog title as well (a nod to John Savage's punk opus).
See you in 2022! Stay safe, x