As is customary at this time of year, we like to put together a “year in review” from the perspective of each team member, or at least as many of the crew as we can.
This time around it’s the year from the point of view of our Managing Editor/Photographer/Oddball – Will Tudor…
For those that don’t know me, I’m Will and I’m a bit of an idiot. You can generally find me in the photopits of gigs and festivals around the UK. 2016 for me has been a year marked with triumph and tragedy. We’ve lost a load of massive influences in the music and entertainment industry, but we’ve seen the rise of some phenomenal talent. When the boss rolled out this list, I was quite happy to share some of my thoughts on stuff that I’ve been fortunate enough to see and hear in this last trip around the Sun. So, without further ado, here we go:
Best new album/EP: Boy, talk about starting off with one of the toughest categories there is. If I’m honest, I need to do a “Top 5” as I can’t quite pinpoint one single standout, so in no particular order, my best of 2016 is:
- Anthrax – For All Kings Without a doubt, a fabulous return to form from the NYC Madmen.
- Gojira – Magma If I’m honest, I never really “got” Gojira until this album came out. Now, they’re one of my personal favourites. Quality from start to finish. An absolute blinder
- Megadeth – Dystopia In my youth I was a massive Megadeth fan, then they kinda went off the boil for about 20 years or so (for me anyway) and then they released Dystopia, which makes me wonder what the hell they’ve been doing all this time.
- Beholder – Reflections From start to finish, an utter stormer of an album from a quality British band.
- Fury – Lost in Space Why this band isn’t bigger than they are, is an absolute mystery to me. When you’ve got bands like Iron Maiden who have had massive careers, Fury aren’t a carbon copy, they’re just Fury. Lost in Space is a triumph.
Best new band I discovered: I could say Gojira, but I had heard of them, just didn’t get it. This one’s a bit easier, but there’s not just one band. I’d have to go with a top 5 again (sorry for the cop-outs)
- Footprints in the Custard
- Ten Ton Slug
- Outright Resistance
Best live show: OK, this one comes down to two:
- Lawnmower Deth + Kim Wilde, Download Festival
- Twisted Sister, Bloodstock Festival
Best thing that happened: Kim Wilde playing “Egg Sandwich” with Lawnmower Deth at Download Festival. After years and years of trying to get her to Donington Park it actually happened, and not only did she do “Kids in America” but also the legendary (albeit exceptionally short) “Egg Sandwich”. Probably the funniest and greatest thing ever.
Worst thing that happened: Now, as we all know, 2016 has been a bitch of a year in which we’ve lost many influences, artists, icons and entertainers. I don’t really want to dwell on it, because it’s kinda depressing. So, I’m gonna opt for something a bit personal and go with the ‘discomfort’ of having my knee replaced in March. It was a tad sore, but I’m better for it now, so it’s all good.
Best picture I took:
Overall opinion of 2016 in terms of music:
It’s just my opinion, but if I’m perfectly honest there’s good and bad all over the place. The so-called “underground” is thriving. There’s some phenomenal bands out there that sometimes just don’t get the coverage they deserve. There’s also some bands out there that get more coverage than is probably necessary. That’s partly a press responsibility to be a little more fair and balanced.
This year in general has been fantastic. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some small and large festivals and gigs across the UK, and the one constant is the fans and the effort the bands put in. Regardless of the pouring rain at Download or the blazing heat at Bloodstock, the UK rock and metal fans have been sensational, as have all of the bands I’ve been lucky enough to see.
There’s a few people I’d like to take a second to give “honourable mentions” to for their hard work behind the scenes to keep bringing the best to the people (including myself) that absolutely love music and pour their heart and souls into what they do.
So, here’s my thank you list for 2016:
- Andy Copping
- Vicky Hungerford, Adam Gregory & Simon Hall
- Jim Beerman
- Andy Pilkington
- Mark Lloyd, Steve Dempsey, Sean Larkin and the entire Moshville Times Photo crew.
- Kirsten Sprinks & Michelle Kerr
- Nina Potthoff
- Pete Lee, Steve Nesfield, Paddy O’Malley, Chris Parkes, Chris Flint, Lisa Flint, Emma Bardill & Alan Pirie
- Iain Purdie & James Costin
- Sylvia & Adam Lancaster
- Carmen & all the staff at RACPA
- Simon Yarwood & Angel Merry
- Rob & Skinner
- Sam, Stacey, Loz & Jenni
- Cookie & Miles
- Bloodstock TV
- Andrew Robinson, Lee Brewin and all the staff at ShowSec.
- Leanne & Paul
- Dr. Balint and all the staff at BMI Droitwich
- Laura, for putting up with me
…and last but no means least, YOU, the fans. Without you, everything we in the press and musicians do is utterly pointless.
See you in 2017 \m/