2022 Year In Review: Mosh

Given I run this thing I suppose I should rattle off some words as the clock ticks down (up?) to midnight and for some reason we decide that a fresh sheet of life-paper is plopped in front of us as January 1st suddenly appears.

(c) Sean Larkin

2022 has been a roller coaster for me. For personal reasons I started the year in a very bad place. I’m glad to say that, overall, things have improved as the year progressed and to a large extent I have this site, and the crew who help with it, for that. A huge release of pressure was finally getting back to Bloodstock in August. This is the biggest social event I attend each year, and with the way things have been over the last couple of years it was even more of a boon. The live scene has gone into overdrive since around October, but a couple of months earlier we were still seeing empty venues and tours cancelling.

Despite the ridiculously hot weather Bloodstock, and all the hard work that goes along with it, lifted me up. Seeing so many of my otherwise online-only friends in one place again is as therapeutic as it gets. Old Rios mates from Bradford, PRs we deal with, other website staff and, of course, the Moshville Times bunch. Oh, and absolutely losing my shit to Machine Head. It may have pretty much broken me physically (I need to learn to hydrate), but emotionally it was exactly what I needed. Then there was The Kunts headlining the Jager stage. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

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I’m not going to go through every gig I attended and album I reviewed. There’s too much and the reviews are on the site. However, I have to highlight a couple. Bryan Adams, who I finally saw for the first time, was absolutely brilliant. Again, exactly the right feelgood gig at exactly the right time. Alice Cooper played the best show I’ve ever seen from him as well.

Machine Head (c) Katie Frost

Machine Head, of course, ruled The Garage when they kicked off their mini-tour of Scotland prior to the arena dates down south. To see them followed up by GWAR at the same venue really reinforced that live music was back… hopefully to stay.

Of course 2022 was the debut of the Moshville Winterfest at Ivory Blacks, an event I had very little to do with. Handled kind-of-ably (!) by Ricky, Shells and Ross the feedback from bands and fans has been overwhelmingly positive. I couldn’t believe how smoothly everything went, despite two bands having to drop out fairly close to the date. The fact that both bands had members take the time to travel to the venue and pay entry to watch the show speaks volumes about our scene.

One of the biggest gigs for me was actually one I missed. I’d heard amazing things about Shinedown‘s current tour, but on the night I couldn’t make it. Instead I passed my tickets over to my daughter and her boyfriend who’d been trying to get in, but were being offered the usual licensed touting prices by TicketBastard (£300+). This was their first gig together and his first actual rock gig after the Lamb of God tour (for which they’d had tickets since 2019) rolled over, and over, and over and was then cancelled in Glasgow. The look on their faces when they realised they were going gave me more enjoyment that I would have got from attending myself, no matter how good the show was. And it was, apparently. They co-wrote the review.

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Amongst all that I had Ward XVI, Death Ingloria and Footprints in the Custard staying over at the house on various night. I’m still finding odd smells and hair everywhere from Footprints, but I guess they can stay again seeing as they have those photos.

I’ve listened to very little new music this year and, on complete honesty, struggled to keep the site going at times. It’s a lot of work. It’s the scene around the music that’s made it all worthwhile, though. Being helped, helping others, not feeling like a tit while crying my eyes out in a big tent in a field in Derbyshire… Just the whole buzz. So, oddly, this year for me hasn’t so much been about the music.

It’s been about the people.

Thank you. All of you.

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