Getintothis guestlist selections Part One: staff writers and photographers on 2018

0

End of Year Review

Taking a look and listening back at 2018’s best bits, Getintothis scribes and snappers offer their opinions on the last 12 months and who they hope to see shine in 2019.

As we look back on the year that 2018 has given us, we think of the visuals and the green lights we have seen. We declared The Fernweh to have been one of our gigs of the year and so it was. But so also was Kylie and Fever Ray. All totally amazing. So were Mogwai and Here Lies Man.

But there were smaller gigs that blew us away. The free mini fest in the summer in On Air was a masterpiece. So too was Vic Godard & Subway Sect at 81 Renshaw.

And there was The Manic Street Preachers. Simply outstanding – but that was always going to be the case no matter what.

But we’re conscious there’s a trend, when looking back over the year, to have a heavy bias towards what’s recent.

So we perused the archives back to the beginning of the year and we’re reminded we saw Vasily Petrenko in January back stage at the Phil, we interviewed Richard Jobson of The Skids and talked to Peter Ashworth at The Gallery in Stanhope Street at his brilliant exhibition, The Mavericks.

We caught Amanda Palmer at St George’s Hall and Therapy? produce a blinder in support of The Stranglers.

In short, it’s a been a cracker of a year for gigs. There is, as others have written and will write, been a shitstorm going on around us, but in music terms this year has been a bit of a gem.

The always superb Africa Oye and Rebellion in Blackpool are highlights and remind us we’re so lucky for what we’ve got. The former is free and reminds us we mused that sometimes getting a free gig isn’t a marker of quality. There’s decent stuff to be had that doesn’t break the bank. It’s out there to be found.

So we asked our band to choose their highlights and there are many differing views, but here they are. Do you agree? – Peter Goodbody, Getintothis live editor.

Stealing Sheep

Roy Bayfield

Top Album of 2018

Guerilla Toss Twisted Crystal

Top Gig

Stealing Sheep – Suffragette Tribute, Edge Hill University Arts Centre 20 September – an unforgettable, body-shaking sonic takeover processional piece.

Music Tip for 2019

On the basis that hard times make for good music, expect more left-field post-Brexit noise to emerge from the likes of Eyesore and the Jinx – as well as more position-taking by the big brands. – Roy Bayfield

Pale Waves

Amy Faith

Top Album of 2018

The 1975 A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Top Gig

28 Costumes, Heebie Jeebies

Music Tip for 2019

Pale Waves

Idles

Steven Doherty

Top Album of 2018

IDLES  Joy As An Act Of Resistance
I feel like I’ve spent the whole year going on about this album (even though it only came out in August)

Top Gig

Hate to sound like a broken record, but – IDLES at Manchester Ritz. I haven’t been so excited about a gig in years and it didn’t disappoint…

Music Tip for 2019

Dublin shouty-punks Fontaines DC, the next big crossover from the “indie” world…first spotted playing to 20 people at a disused market stall at Sound City…they played it like it was Wembley Arena…absolute wall of noise.

Paul McCartney

Will Neville

Top Album of 2018

The return of Ed Kuepper with The Church Of Simultaneous Existence by The Aints!, featuring songs originally written for Aussie punk pioneers The Saints back in the late 1970’s.

Top Gig

While (at the time of writing) this will almost certainly be Paul McCartney at the Echo Arena, so far it’s the glorious return of Half Man Half Biscuit to the Liverpool stage for the first time in more than a decade, as they plundered their catalogue all the way back to their 1985 debut album Back In The D.H.S.S. as well as providing witty asides about Crosby and the Giants.

Music tip for 2019

Psych shoegazers Dream Phases, from Los Angeles who put out their debut album Clear Skies earlier this year, and Portland, Oregon’s Lithics – already at album number two, with Mating Surfaces being this year’s finest work of angular, scratchy post-punk.

Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2018 – A Year in Review

Superorganism

Matthew Eland

Top Album of 2018

Anna von Hausswolff Dead Magic
It’s not often that you get exactly what you want. By the tail end of 2017 I found myself hoping for a more feminine version of Swans, one shorn of the bad-tempered machismo and the patience-testing jams, one with a little bit of soul to go with the colossal, building-levelling slabs of monolithic destruction. Dead Magic delivers all this and more. Part Earth, part Legend of Zelda, part Kate Bush; the variety and range of influences has been blended to concoct something truly singular. There’s even a whiff of Sunday School in there; von Hausswolff’s weapon of choice is the pipe organ, which gives more than a hint of the gothic. She’s moved on from the shorter tracks of previous albums, giving the songs space to stretch out. There are some gigantic middle-eights as well. Nothing else this year has come close.

Top Gig

Anna von Hausswolff, Primavera Sound
There have been some contenders. The sheer surprise of Superorganism at Sound City, post-last-bus-home and in a state of extreme refreshment; Half Man Half Biscuit’s triumphant return to Liverpool; and being sprayed with rider water by Pussy Riot. But again, Anna von Hausswolff has to take the honours. The Dead Magic songs sound even more immense live, her voice ringing out with even greater demonic intensity, oblivious to the cross-looking security man trying to coax her off stage as all ten minutes of Come Wander With Me take her over the allotted stage time. Liverpool promoters: bring her here in 2019.

Tip for 2019

I’m fully expecting Buke and Gase to take things to the next level this year. In the six years since the excellent General Dome, they’ve been omnivorising themselves through percussion projects with The National and drone voice choirs; hopefully they’ve brought all this together for another classic in Scholars, released early January.
Also, since a broken and disharmonious Mars Volta trudged offstage in London in 2012, there have been more twists in their already ridiculous biography; the death of founder member Ikey Owens while on tour with Jack White, a new At the Drive-In album, Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s family being stalked by Scientologists, and an old bandmate of theirs nearly wrestling the Texas senatorship off Ted Cruz. A reformation has been teased. Given their absurd trajectory, would you bet against them rediscovering their 2003–5 pomp?

Witch Fever (Photo: Peter Goodbody)

Peter Goodbody

Top Album of 2018

No matter how hard I try to go back and pick something released in the forgotten first part of the year, as is so often the way with these kinds of lists, I keep getting drawn back to the re-release by Primal Scream of Give Out But Don’t Give Up in the form of the recently discovered Memphis Recordings. It was a fine album when it was released, but there is a glorious richness to this forgotten version that surfaced only this year. In promoting its release Bobbie Gillespie did a round of radio interviews as well as an hour long TV documentary. It’s a fascinating story and a snapshot of what was going on back in the day.

Top Gig

There have been so many. Kylie, perhaps for her pure style and coming of age. Fever Ray, perhaps for her pure craziness. The whole of Rebellion for its impeccable quality control and superb organisation. But the one that sticks with me, and is probably a surprising choice, given my heavier leanings was Chelcee Grimes. I wasn’t expecting to go (it was a last minute call) and it’s not really my style. But there was something about that gig that oozed quality, class, and was an object lesson in how to do a gig. She’s a performer as well as being a professional footballer. And it kind of showed.

Tip for 2019

I’d like to see more of The Gentle Scars and Dead Naked Hippies. I suspect 2019 is the year Witch Fever will stamp their mark. And if Pigs x 7 don’t become huge, I’ll vote UKIP.

Here Lies Man

Simon Kirk

Top Album of 2018

Low: Double Negative

Top Gig

Here Lies Man: Shipping Forecast

Music Tip for 2019

The same as every year. Listen to as much new music as possible. Same goes for gigs. Get out of the house and get involved.

The Fernweh

Paul Fitzgerald

Top Album of 2018

Frankly, if you think any album released this year comes anywhere near being as good as The Fernweh, then you’re fucking mad. And wrong. In years to come, this record will be seen in the same warm glow as The Magical World of The Strands. Classic.

Top Gig of 2018

Tricky this one, but I’m going to say Nick Mulvey at Arts Club, but only for the fact that it made it all too painfully clear how dreadful the gig going experience can be in the modern world. Awful music, rude crowd, and the city’s worst venue. Held under this light, a covers duo doing Dr Hook songs in The Liffey on Renshaw Street to three pissed up arl fellas with more toes than teeth on a Tuesday afternoon would be preferable.

Music Tip for 2019

Kuyokuyo. A mysterious electronica act from Southport. Fractured and moody beats and digital landscapes of loveliness. Hoping for more of this.

Aidan Moffat

Banjo

Top album of 2018

EtherwoodIn Stillness
This will come as no surprise to those who know me even slightly, as I have banged on about this since it first came out. In Stillness is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Drum & bass can be a tricky thing to do subtly, perhaps lending itself better to bass growls and in your face beats, but Etherwood is a master of his craft.

Atmosphere is key here as haunting vocals and sparse guitar lines blend perfectly with skittering drum rhythms and sub sonic pulses. Etherwood is a song writer first and a producer second, and he appreciated the value of melody and hooks. It is this approach that puts him firmly at the top of his profession.

Each of his three albums so far have had their own personality and sound and I am sure we can firmly expect a further development when album No 4 arrives. This constant evolution and reinventing is the mark of a true artist. Etherwood is, to my mind, the greatest living recording artist in the world today.

Top Gig of 2018

Ponderosa Glee Boys – District, Liverpool
In these very pages, we described Ponderosa Glee Boys as being ‘Liverpool’s great lost band’, due to them carrying huge expectations on their young shoulders in the early 80s, and then splitting up before they could release so much as a single record.

Well, they are lost no more. Having some unfinished business, the Glee Boys reformed in 2017 for a series of gigs intended to end things properly and but the band to bed. However, the new set they came up with and the reaction it got when played live, were just too good to ignore. So the saga continues and the band came together again this year, albeit with a different line up, to play another gig and to record their debut album.

Regular gig goers will know that, with the very best gigs, the rush of the music and the spectacle of seeing a band at the top of their game can give you a feeling like no other. A pressure builds up in your chest, a smile spreads over your face and you become aware that you are experiencing a moment, something special that you will never see again.  That’s is what happened watching the Glee Boys at District. In a year of incredible gigs, (Loma, Mogwai, Aidan Moffat), the Ponderosa Glee Boys stand alone, untouched at the pinnacle,

Tip for 2019

An easy one this. Occasionally, it becomes blindingly apparent that a band are presently stood on the edge of becoming stars. Things seem just right – they make great records, play incredible live shows and, essentially, they have bucketloads of charisma, star quality, that something extra that other bands seem to lack in comparison.

Queen Zee are such a band.

This was apparent at LIMF this year when, after an afternoon watching some impressive local acts, Queen Zee took to the stage and immediately, the intensity just rocketed up a few levels. The other acts I saw were all impressively good, but Queen Zee are just on another level.

With their focus on LGBT issues and gender fluidity, Queen Zee are a very now sort of band. Now is their time and you can rest assured that Queen Zee are going to take their fate and run with it. Their mere existence will make 2019 a better place.

Boy Azooga (photo credit: Warren Millar)

Cath Holland

Top Album of 2018

I’m choosing three: AdwaithMelyn, Kiran LeonardWestern Culture, Alex DingleyBeat The Babble

Top Gig of 2018

I didn’t manage to get to anywhere near the amount of shows I usually do this year. Meilyr Jones quietly sharing new songs in Manchester was unexpected, but wonderful. Mart Avi’s set at Sound City spanked everything else that weekend and Go-Kart Mozart, Charles Howl, Boy Azooga in towns and cities around the UK in 2018 also made me very happy.

Music Tip for 2019

Adwaith, POZI

Tom Grennan

Amos Wynn

Top Album of 2018

As debut albums go, Tom Grennan’s is really impressive. His superb sounding vocals match the excellently written tracks. Each song offers something different, with emotion in each one. Of course tracks Found What I’ve Been Looking For and Sober have the ability to lift the roof off a venue but tracks like Abroad and Little By Little Love are truly wonderful as well.

Top Gig of 2018

Liam Gallagher – Old Trafford

Following his first solo album in 2017, Gallagher put on an impressive display at his homecoming Old Trafford gig. His vocals may not be what they were in the 90s but none the less the younger Gallagher is still able to put on a show and generate an atmosphere. His new songs were excellent, but of course the Oasis classics stole the show. Tracks like Rock N Roll Star and Live Forever will always get a crowd up. A special rendition of Champagne Supernova chucked into the mix made it one of the gigs of the year, as stated by Gallagher himself as well, surprisingly.

Music Tip for 2019

Sheafs

After seeing this Sheffield five-piece twice this year I’m excited for what they can produce. With three excellent singles already out, their live set promises there is plenty more to come. They have managed to find a distinct sound with a snarling indie feel to their stuff, they are also able to produce a superb live atmosphere as proven by their EBGB’S set in Liverpool.

Gregory Isakov (credit – artist website)

Abby Meysenburg

Top Album of 2018

Lucy DacusHistorian

Top Gig of 2018

Gregory Alan Isakov at Manchester Academy 3

Music Tip for 2019

Pay attention to the music people recommend to you! I’ve tried to listen to every song shared with me this year and I’ve found several new favourite artists.

The Blinders

Kevin Barrett

Top Album of 2018

BC CamplightDeportation Blues 

Written on a personal reflection of BC Camplights own torment of being deported from his adopted home in Manchester back to the US. The songwriting is full of heartbreak and turmoil, and engulfed with depressive states of personal uncertainty, this notion is too characterised sonically, with the musicality at times uneasy and unorthodox to listen, yet deeply enticing and inquisitively captivating throughout the record.

Top Gig of 2018

The rise of The Blinders this year has been incredible to witness. Their set at Sound City completely blew me away. Their energy provided on stage made it a joy to be squeezed into District on the Saturday afternoon, and definitely one most memorable performances witnessed in many years.

Music Tip for 2019

I’m been completely torn on choosing this, there’s three acts that have stood out for me this year who could all have amazing futures. Zuzu, Beija Flo & The Mysterines are all examples of the highest quality of music hailing out of Liverpool at the minute. But if I had to choose one it’ll be The Mysterines. The ferocity they display in their performance made everyone stand up and realise that these are a proper rock band who could go a very very long way.

Cream Classical

Paul Wills

Top Album of 2018

Dark Matter Dreams by Field Division

Lovely people, great music. I haven’t got the flowery descriptive language or ability to reel off musical references to tell you what it’s like – just give it a chance and listen and make your own mind up. I love it.

Top Gig of 2018

Cream Classical

I don’t like dance music, I was just there to photograph the spectacle – but the whole thing was great. The music was excellent thanks to the influence of the orchestra, I guess they diluted it somewhat and made it old-git friendly! The live singing was superb, The light show was amazing.

Music Tip for 2019:

Red Rum Club

Polished musicianship, charismatic front man, energy and some terrific songs. (Plus I know the drummer!). Ones to watch.

Hannah and the Wick Effect at The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

Lewis Ridley

Top Album of 2018

The Blinders’ debut Columbia is the pick of an impressive year of album releases. It’s disruptive, inciting, and blows away a live crowd. They launched it at Phase One back in September and played like they were playing at the Echo Arena, incredibly energy given to tracks that are put together with a superb wit. IDLES deserve a mention too, and also the return of Half Man Half Biscuit.

Top Gig of 2018

Such a tough one, but I think Tea Street Band just nick it with their Friday night gig at District, it was one of two nights as part of their UK tour celebrating their new album, Frequency. The whole night felt like a real Liverpool moment, and they sounded tremendous. There were some incredible sets at Sound City, too, which was a highlight of the year.

Music Tip for 2019

Hannah and The Wick Effect are set for big things, Hannah Brown fronts a band whose live performances make time stand still. She and her band played a flurry of gigs at the end of the summer, which had people talking, she can encapsulate a room with ease and will do so many times next year. Zuzu has skyrocketed in the past few months, it’ll be more of a case of keeping up with her in 2019, while the transformation of The Bohos is something to get excited about.

Brix and the Extricated

Chris Flack

Top Album of 2018

Best album for me has to be Let Your Weirdness Carry you Home by Northern Irish band Malojian. Stephen Scullion has released his fourth long player this year and what a record it is. His third album was recorded with Steve Albini, this one includes performances by Teenage Fanclub’s Gerry Love and Joey Waronker, of Beck, REM and Brandon Flower fame, some pedigree that. Scullion’s previous work has been gentle, reflective, on Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home he turns everything up, even the static. It lies somewhere between Credence and The Beach Boys, it’s beautiful, contemplative, grungy and recorded in a lighthouse. Some New Bones is just stunning.

Top Gig of 2018

2018 has seen hundreds of shows, a few festivals and a few shifts on duty at gigs and gatherings across the UK and Ireland. It’s nigh on impossible to pick one, but this list makes little sense if I can’t narrow it down. As award ceremonies go there has to be a shortlist of sorts, this is mine. I saw King Kong Company slay the Salty Dog stage from backstage at three in the morning while waiting for ground transport that was hideously late. We were tired, grumpy and had been on the go for the better part of 22 hours. But my God, they almost destroyed the forest at Stradbally, it was all fuzzy pop, chanting, lasers, gas blasters, TV’s on peoples heads and general madness. Amazing.

I worked a festival in Belfast early in the year and was blown away by the eight or so minutes I saw of Ben Folds, it was a packed house and the setting was sublime, I only wish I’d had more time to soak it all in, the soundcheck didn’t really give me enough, I had to abandon a show I was managing to catch him, well worth it. Malcolm Middleton came close to the top spot with his clever lyrics and dry humour on Friday but the winner has to be Brix and the Extricated at the Arts Club. That was a proper show and tell of true rock and roll energy, legacy, and sheer electricity. A beautiful thing to behold and one that was completely unexpected. A bonus.

Music Tip for 2019

Another Northern Irish one but well worth seeking out, ROE hails from Derry City and in just over a year has managed to wow audiences at M for Montreal, The Great Escape and Other Voices. She recently won the Contender Award at the Northern Irish Music Awards and it is a gong she more than deserves. I was blown away the first time I saw her perform at Atlantic Sessions in 2017 and every time since. She is a sharp lyricist, has a great voice and manages to make enough noise for at least four of her. She calls it grumpy electro-pop, I call it sweetness, joy and a hint of sarcasm. Support slots with Snow Patrol across the UK in January should go some way to helping her set her stall out to a bigger audience. Have a look for Hey Thomas for a hint of what she can do.

(Visited 398 times, 1 visits today)

Comments

comments

Share.

Leave a Reply