My review of the year has been submitted fashionably late. In other words, I am continuing with the cavalier attitude to deadlines that I wish to claim as endearing and lovable.
Best new album/EP:
Currently enjoying Motörhead’s Bad Magic (which I got earlier in the year but was forced to hand over to get it back as a Christmas present). It is good… but it’s not my favourite. Of the albums I reviewed, I think I enjoyed Jeff Healey – Heal My Soul the best, but honourable mentions go to Big Boy Bloater And The LiMiTs – Luxury Hobo and Van Halst – World Of Make Believe. I like them too… but the album I like best is one I did not review.
One I have come back to again and again: The Temperance Movement – White Bear. (I know what you’re thinking. It was released in 2015 but I got it for my birthday in January, so I’m counting it as 2016.) Some tracks on this album, for example “Three Bulleits”, grabbed me from first listen but others, like, “A Pleasant Peace I Feel”, have got better with every listen. An outstandingly good album.
Best new band I discovered:
Again, honourable mention has to go to Van (always the bridesmaid but never the bride) Halst. Loved their album and waiting with baited breath to see what they do next. But the band that slapped me about the ears until I paid attention was The Amorettes. Saw them live at the Bring Back Rock Radio Bash (more of which below) and was hugely impressed by their energy… and music.
Best live show:
Once again this year, not a lot to chose from. The Eric Bibb concert in May was good for reasons to be explained in the next section. I also hugely enjoyed the Bring Back Rock Radio Bash where I had my first (but hopefully not last) encounter with the Amorettes. But my favourite by some margin was The Temperance Movement. I said in my review:
“Given that it is only January, it may not be saying much to class this as my favourite gig of 2016… but it is going to take some effort to top it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was still up there come the end of year round up in December.”
And guess what… it is still my favourite. Best album and best live show. The Temperance Movement are clearly doing something right. Actually, they are clearly doing a bucket-load of things right!
Best thing that happened:
If it hadn’t have been for one thing, the news that Rock Radio Glasgow is returning would have been the best thing that happened but it has been beaten by an event at the Eric Bibb concert. I had taken my daughter to the gig as part of her birthday present. Eric, his daughter and their backing singers were selling CDs etc. after the gig. When I asked them to sign the CD for my daughter since it was her birthday, they burst into a rendition of happy birthday in four part harmony. As the credit card advert says, “Priceless!”.
Worst thing that happened:
The release of a documentary about Rush. Given my well-documented love of Rush, this may seem an odd choice for “worst thing” but the problem is, it’s a documentary about their R40 Tour. The tour that seems to be increasingly likely to be their last ever. Never again to see Rush live? This makes me sad.
Best picture I took:
I am very pleased with the pictures I took at the Bring Back Rock Radio Bash. I especially like this one of Dante giving it laldy!
Overall opinion of 2016 in terms of music:
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. What’s not to like?
What to expect, look forward to, keep an eye out on in 2017:
The return of Rock Radio Glasgow cannot come soon enough!
Everyone else seems to have finished their review of the year by thanking various people. And why should I be any different? No seriously, why? Feel free to submit a guess in a comment below.
Have a guid New Year and see you all in 2017!