2017 is coming to an end and this year has been such a massive one for me musically. I have been to lots of gigs, discovered many new artists and built my collection of new records massively. In fact, I am surprise I have money left!
I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about ten artists who have made my year. There are a mix here. Some obvious ones and some surprises with a real mix of old and new artists. So let’s dive in.
10 – Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners
I am kicking off with one of the surprising entries in the list. The song This Girl has sort of been the soundtrack of my summer in a weird way. I am hugely into my cricket and I spent a lot of last summer at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham supporting my team in their three first class competitions. This Girl was played frequently during the Natwest T20 Blast mainly when the players of each side strode onto the field at the beginning of each innings. The song is a reminder of the great T20 campaign my team had (they finished 2nd overall) and therefore of a not too shabby summer.
9 – LIFE
This band known as Hull’s DIY band released their debut album Popular Music at the end of May and it is mega. Political. Real. Loud. A record that really got my head banging. It did arrive late however, only a day late but when you are waiting and anticipating a record so much it’s killer. When it did arrive the case was cracked (well done Amazon) but I didn’t even consider sending it back. I had it now. From the first track In Your Hands I knew that it would be an album that I would enjoy. I imagine they would be insane to see live and I aim to see them at some point next year.
8 – The Wholls
Bedford’s own rockers were unknown to me before I was stood at the barrier in Bedford Park. I was there to see the headline act and these guys were the second support so I was ready to be rocked. They. Were. Ace. Proper guitar music with a punch and the frontman was incredible. This is a band I need to see live again. I enjoyed the chemistry between the band members and the shock of the crowd when we realised that the drummer who came on wearing clothes suddenly seemed not to be wearing any. My favourites of theirs are X21 and The Only One. I would argue the second of the two is much better live than recorded but both are still on my playlist and have been since August.
7 – The Sherlocks
Another artist I discovered this year – and by now you should have realised that there have been a few – is The Sherlocks. The band made up of two sets of brothers released their debut album Live For The Moment this year and it peaked at 6th in the charts! Incredible achievement. They are another band which have been added to my “must see” list and I totally recommend them to anyone. I have seen their gig reviews. My favourite off the album happens to be the opening track, Will You Be There?. I love the variety of the guitar, the use of the ride cymbal on the drums and the singer has a great voice.
6 – Ariana Grande
Now I am not a fan of her music but I think the courage Ariana Grande has shown this year has been incredible. To organise such a massive fundraising gig after the horrific Manchester Terror Attack shows guts and she did it so well. The British Red Cross said that the One Love Manchester concert which was broadcasted worldwide made a massive ten million pounds. And it was one hell of a concert. So big up Ariana!
5 – Nick J.D. Hodgson
I have written two other blog posts about Nick Hodgson since the hype begun when he announced that he is making solo music back in March. The admiration I have for him is off the charts. His first single Suitable is beautiful with strong drums and brilliant tone. He broadcasted exclusively Tomorrow I Love You on Facebook live which is also stunning and I am interested to hear how it sounds recorded. RSVP is brilliant and really showcases his talent both as a song writer and a musician. Luckily I don’t have long to wait because Nick’s album Tell Your Friends is out the end of January and I am also off to see him live in Leeds then. I’m super excited.
4 – Rat Boy
I think this artist is one which has surprised myself. I can’t explain why. Maybe it is the image or mixture of genres but I have really fallen in love with Rat Boy’s talent and IDGAF attitude. His music is current, relevant with political undertones and has captured the hearts and souls of so many people this year. The range of styles on SCUM is insane from the Indie anthems like Knock Knock Knock to more the Hip Hop tracks like Revolution. I especially have a soft spot for two tracks in particular: Laidback and Ill Be Waiting.
3 – Spring King
This year I have seen this artist live three times. In Birmingham and Leeds supporting Kaiser Chiefs on their arena tour and in Birmingham at All Years Leaving. I just love everything they do. There isn’t a track off their album that I don’t like and the chemistry they have as a band is just brilliant. Drummer, singer and songwriter Tarek Musa really is a talented chap and such an amicable guy which I discovered when I was fortunate enough to meet him back in October. The vibes I felt at All Years Leaving are vibes which I have never felt at a gig before! Incredible. Just incredible.
2 – Liam Gallagher
From the moment he waltzed on stage at One Love Manchester to sing a new single and two hit Oasis tunes I got very excited. I think I shrieked if I remember rightly. As You Were is a work of art from start to finish with such a mix of sounds that flow nicely into one and other. As soon as I heard Wall of Glass I knew that this would be a proper record that doesn’t shy away from guitars or strong drums like a lot of artists seem to be doing as of late. My favourite track off the album has to be Greedy Soul because it gets me so pumped. I’m not sure whether I prefer the version on the album or the rockier version played on stage but both are works of art. If only it weren’t so bloody difficult to get tickets to see him live!
1 – Kaiser Chiefs
I think I’ve gushed about these guys enough during various blog posts this year. Four gigs and a handful of band member encounters don’t lie though. These lads are ace not just on stage but off stage as well. Looking forward to more good times next year.
My aim for 2018 is to go to at least one gig a month because that’s where I’m happiest. I’m happiest when the music is all around me at a venue. I have already got tickets to see Nick J.D. Hodgson in January and Fall Out Boy in March plus I may go to Live At Leeds in May so these plans are starting to happen.
Links to the artists’ social media and some songs mentioned in this post are linked below and please comment artists who have made your 2017!
Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl