Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Best (and Worst?) of 2016 (part 2)

I think the five records I listed on Monday were probably my top 5 of 2016, but a few others came close. Major credit must be given to the following records, all of which had more than their fair share of plays in these parts during the past 12 months:

SEPTEMBER GIRLS - 'Age Of Indignation'

Superb second album from Ireland's premier psych-femmes. Some great songs on this in addition to the psych vibe I've been wallowing in during 2016. One of my favourite in-car albums of the year.

JAMES - 'Girl At The End Of The World'
I feel I ought to mention our old mates James who put out their finest album in 20 years. It would have been number one too if it hadn't been for a certain "singer" who shall remain nameless. If you want some cheer in an otherwise repulsive year, you can't go far wrong with 'Girl At The End Of The World'.

YAK - 'Alas Salvation'
Yak were a band hotly-tipped at the start of the year. They definitely proved they have something and can knock you for six when you see them live. Some cracking tracks on their debut album.

THE WEDDING PRESENT - 'Going Going...'
David Gedge returned and went all post-rock on our asses. Without a doubt the most ambitious Weddoes album to date (as well as the series of live shows that accompanied it) but very probably one of their best.

I find it amazing how after thirty-odd years, a band like New Model Army are not only still going, but remain relevant and making bloody good records. 'Winter' is as good as anything they've done since the early 90s.

Lots of points for these as well: TELEMAN - 'Brilliant Sanity'; CATE LE BON - 'Crab Day'; WEEZER - 'Weezer (The White Album)'; EAGULLS - 'Ullages'; and, of course, LUSH's wonderful comeback - and sadly ultimate farewell - 'Blind Spot' EP.

Seeing as they've called it quits again so soon, I just want to put it out there that I'm more than happy to give Miki's gorgeous 12-string a good home in its retirement...

2016 was a busy year for gigs for us, even if it started off quite slowly. More than two-thirds of the 13 shows we attended in 2016 took place in the last four months. Strangely, there seemed to be more 'classic' acts than usual. I think, on reflection, my top 5 gigs of the year were:

1. Pixies
2. New Model Army (MrsRobster's #1 gig of the year...)
3. Le Butcherettes
4. Half Man Half Biscuit
5. Bob Mould

Worst gig of the year? Regrettably I have to say it was young Welsh newcomers Pretty Vicious who were the victims of appalling sound quality, one of the worst I've experienced in nearly 30 years of gig-going. I still think they're going to be massive, though.

As for 2017 - well, I don't want to think about it too much. Reckon I should just let it happen and see what comes of it. I'd like to think it can't be half as shitty as 2016 but I've never been much of an optimist. Blog-wise, I have ideas but little motivation to bring them to life, so don't expect too much.

On the upside, I do have a Grandaddy album and gig to look forward to in March, so that'll do nicely for starters. And believe it or not, it's THIRTY YEARS since the Wedding Present's debut album was released! I've heard Gedge is going to tour it one last time...

Enjoy the ride folks.

(The next post will be on Sunday - yes, that's right, SUNDAY - and it's the first of SEVEN DAILY POSTS. It's a very special week on Is This The Life? - Can you handle it?)


  1. My top 10
    1) Kikagaku Moyo - House in the Tall Grass
    2) Heaters - Baptistina
    3) The oscillation- Monographic
    4) The Myrrors - Entranced Earth
    5) Psychic ills - Inner Journey Out
    6) Ghost Box Orchestra - High Plaine
    7) White Hills - No Game to Play
    8) Kill West - Raw Desire
    9) King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity
    10) GOAT - Requiem

  2. Yak were everywhere at the start of the year - I'd quite forgotten about them. I MUST invest in that Wedding Present album.
    )Iano1 - thank you for bringing Kikagaku Moyo and The Myrrors into my life, via an earlier comment on these very pages.)

    1. Welcome. Myrrors have a new split LP out imminently