Musical Hits And Misses of 2017

With 2018 barely a week old,   (Editor: over a  month old!) I thought I should do play catch-up and post my own version of the seemingly-obligatory review list for last year. So here are my musical hits and misses of 2017!

Steve’s Albums of the year

  • Swansea To Hornsea – Trampolene. Have been following these guys since their first single launch on my birthday in 2015. Lead singer Jack Jones also performs poetry as well as guitar duties for Pete Docherty.
  • RTJ 3 – Run The Jewels. OK, so it’s taken me 3 albums to get into RTJ, but the penny / dime has finally dropped. And while I tend to like my hip-hop old-skool and funky style, these guys very nearly blew my socks off!
  • Heed the Call! – Whakarongo, Nga Tamariki – Strictly speaking a compilation of home-grown NZ disco / funk / soul from 1973 to 1983, but was way too good to relegate to the the re-issue list below!
  • Utopia – Bjork. Back to her mad, bewildering best I think.
  • American Dreams – LCD Soundsystem. Another welcome return, this time by the New York Punk-Funk outfit lead by James Murphy.
  • How Did We Get So Dark? – Royal Blood. I love how these guys get such a huge sound from just Bass and Drums. (Ed: and a shit load of effects processing!)

Steve’s Records Of The Year

  • French Press – Rolling Coastal Blackout Fever (YouTube) . Brilliant indie from the Australian lineage of DMAs. Released on the famous SubPop label. 
  • One Rizla – Shame (YouTube).  Homegrown indie. Watch out for the album dropping late-January. Could be a big act in 2018.
  • Something To Remember Me By -The Horrors (YouTube). Big tune that is part Pet Shop Boys, part Human League, but with a fittingly-darker edge.

Rediscovered & RE-Released Music Of The Year

This a brief list of songs I’ve come across from previous years that I maybe missed the first time around, or have had a re-release in 2017.

  • Fela Kuti – No Agreement (Spotify). One of those moments when you turn the radio on, you hear a tune part-way through and stay to the end because it just hooks you in. All 15m 36s of glorious Afro-Beat madness. 
  • David Ackles – American Gothic. I heard of this through a Facebook group for Sound It Out Records (best FB group out there!). Subsequently found a vinyl copy in my favourite Egham charity shop, but it was scratched as hell, so decided to pass. But still on my Vinyl “wants” list.
  • Leftfield – Leftism 22. Reissued on the obligatory 180gm “Heavyweight Vinyl” remastered blah, blah, blah. Regardless, the album still kicks arse even after all this time.

Music Events Of The Year

2017 was a bit quiet for me in terms of gigs, festivals and so on. So this is quite a short list!

  • Trainspotting 2 – Film and OST – Not only a worthy sequel to the original film, but a glorious soundtrack to boot.
  • Leftfield: Leftism 22 – At Brixton Academy. The whole of the Leftism album in all it’s live glory. All it missed was an real appearance by John Lydon for Open Up – they had some massive projection of him instead!
  • Depeche Mode – Spirit tour at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, London. First time watching these guys and suitably impressed! Only downer was that it was the same night as the Borough Market terrorist attack.
  • Stone Roses – Wembley Stadium. If rumours are true, the summer of 2017 might have been the last time to see the Stone Roses live.
  • AIM Awards ceremony – London. Partly because I was paid to take photos, but also because I got hang out with the likes of Stormzy and Dillinger Escape Plan!
  • Peter Hook and the Light – Roundhouse December. Not quite the disappointment of the year, but Hooky looked very drunk and seemed to miss a number of cues. Thank goodness his backing band carried him over the line! 

So there you go. My short list of musical hits and misses of 2017. Hopefully, by the time I get to December, I’ll have been making better notes over the year and 2018’s review will be a bit more detailed and comprehensive. 

And if you’ve read this far, please feel free to drop your own tunes, highlights or low points of 2017 in the comments.  

Peace out

Steve