Sometimes its better to let the artificial commotion surrounding new releases settle down before deciding to listen to, read, or watch something. I've just started to read Dickens for the first time ever, and by today's standards, I'm already 170 years late on doing that.
Richard's Review of 2005
A few days ago, I was given (by a succession of people obviously hell-bent on ensuring that I had something to read this Christmas) a selection of glossy music magazines. You know what I mean here, magazines who peddle the same kind of stuff as dear old Incendiary. Being a collection of the December issues, there was, in each magazine a set of Reviews of the Year – replete with a set of proclamations over who was the Best/Worst artist/CD/DVD/books/film etc etc etc of 2005. I read them, an action it seems, that has dampened any enthusiasm I might have possessed for writing this piece. I simply can't be arsed to tell you my thoughts on 2005 any more. It's not as if nothing of any merit has been released, far from it. Rather I think you are all old enough to work out what you like for yourselves. I will proffer only one piece of advice if I may. Don't feel obliged to suck the creative juices that 2005 had to offer dry before starting on 2006's crop. Sometimes its better to let the artificial commotion surrounding new releases settle down before deciding to listen to, read, or watch something. I've just started to read Dickens for the first time ever, and by today's standards, I'm already 170 years late on doing that. I'm also late with Elvis Costello and George Formby...
But still. If I were to give an idea of how I have enjoyed myself, "letter to granny" style this year, it would be something like this.
Best moment involving live music
Witnessing and (and shamefully inaugurating) a tulip-bulb fight between British Sea Power and the audience at the Haldern Pop Festival. Lending Sea Power's singer Yan a plush, life-size toy horses head to play with, (which, I am pleased to say, he did).
Best album heard this year
The Nuggets box set. Marvelous. Yes, I know it wasn't released this year (maybe about 6 years ago in its present deluxe CD box set format) but I've played it to death. You can't beat it. For a new, 2005 release, I'd say I suppose a close second in my affections would be The Fall - Peel Sessions 1978 - 2004. At least it's not done by a bunch of sallow youths.
Best New Band
Brakes, for a whole host of reasons I'm not telling you about.
Echo & the Bunnymen, for a sparkling return to form with Siberia.
Best "Pop" moment
Yan's horse impressions came close, but it has to be calling Mark E Smith a fucker to his face in Rotterdam, and then (metaphorically) shitting myself. The great man laughed.
(As if proof were needed of Incendiary's genius, then I think swearing at MES when the rest of the music biz cognoscenti were lauding him must surely rank highly).
Worst "Pop" moment
Seeing all those fringed "indie" kids wearing the same clothes as me. It really is galling, I've been caught out.
Worst LP of the Year
Some fucking nonsense that had a typewriter noise on it. I reviewed it. Why?
James Blunt. Get thee to hell, ice-cold sperm of the Goat God!
Madonna. When is she going to leave us all alone?
Babyshambles – Down in (West Bromwich) Albion. The act of buying that album parts people with their hard-earned money. An act that, in itself - when all is considered - is a criminal act of fraud and should be treated as such by a court of law.
Worst moment involving live music
There are too many. To e fair though, nothing beats the emotional and moral damage inflicted on the audience by the guy singing Move Closer in the Crown, Accrington, Lancs the other week. Beat Millionaire in Rotterdam by a whisker.
Right, that's enough. May I wish you a very happy new year.
Words: Richard Foster.