Tuesday 4 January 2011

MUSIC 2010

Music 2010 has taken some exciting new turns - subtle electronic to retro yet contemporary folk. The genres are blurring more and more and I see this as a positive.

The biggest band of 2010 was Arcade Fire who earned their place at the top end of stadium rock, and their sound reminds me of 70s rock tunes. Their gig Glasgow Barrowlands was one of the top live gigs of all time. 2010 was a year of many great gigs and albums - both large and small scale. Here are some of my thoughts on my own personal views on the biggest sounds of 2010. It is all hard to define now with the complexity of the media - is it about the ticket sales, the album sales, the downloads or the youtube hits...

My favourite new albums anyway, which I hope also represents a slice of the variety of sounds out there. *The biggest Albums - 'Suburbia' by Arcade Fire (indie rock); 'High Violet' The National (indie rock); 'Total Life Forever' the Foals ; ' The XX' won the Mercury with their album 'Crystallized' (Romy has an unforgettable vocal and look - new wave rock); 'I Speak Because I Can' Laura Marling (folk alternative); 'Hill of Thieves' Cara Dillon (folk, released 2009).

*The biggest new artists were eclectic. Mumford sold out gig tickets, Laura Marling was heaped with praise, retro with something new was the big thing. I even passed Marling in a cafe Merchant City Glasgow before her Fruitmarket gig here.
Also some music I don't get one bit - Gorillaz (predictable), The Coral (bland), Rufus Wainwright (boring gig).

*Exciting new artists I saw live King Tuts - 'Everything Everything (rock), Hurts (melodramatic song), Clare McGuire, Emeli Sande (soul rock), Broken Records (indie rock), Pearl, Admiral Fallow, Rachel Sermanni. Broken Records released their second album in 2010 'Let Me Come home' - which is a big step forward as their sound has come together. 'It's an elegant and quite frankly, beautiful record' NME. In 2009 I heard this Edinburgh band at several venues. The best was in the reverential setting of the Queens Hall Edinburgh - where they blasted through a set of strong songs in the packed converted church that left me exhilarated.

*Older artists making new splashes Oran Mor Glasgow - Edwyn Collins, Tim Robbins, Rab Noakes, Jim Byrne. There are also many big time old-timers still out there touring - and I saw a big one this year....

I've been to some of the best gigs of my life in 2010 - taken photos at Snowpatrol Bellahouston, the sheer expectant joy of seeing my 'all time ' music hero Paul McCartney at Hampden in June. Also well-respected actor Tim Robbins at the intimate Oran Mor. Not sure how I top that in 2011. One prospect to look forward to is the talented young artists I follow here putting out there debut albums in 2011. There is some talk of Dylan appearing at Celtic 2011(?!), not holding my breath but he IS my all time hero!

I'm fortunate - Glasgow is truly a great great place for live music.
With many young artists taking the old and making it all sound something new - with genres such as New Wave, Post punk or whatever label we like to stick on it. The accessibility of music has made it more popular than ever. It has become impossible to predict where trends are going - but one thing is for sure, we live in interesting music times!