• Top 25 Albums of 2014

    1 Jan 2015, 22:37 by DJH30

    1) Owen Pallett In Conflict
    This is my favourite album of the year by a clear margin - love every single minute of it and it gets better with every listen. ‘The Riverbed’ is probably the most intense song of the year leaving you breathless by the end. ‘The Sky behind the Flag’ is a highlight - I love the way he sings ‘we need to lose control...’ in such a controlled way as the heart monitor-like bleeps grow. ‘Song for Five and Six’ is amazing whilst the elegiac ‘The Passions’ is beautiful. The two alternative piano versions on the Japanese version of the album are equally strong. ‘With Us Instead’ – Owen’s collaboration with Marram is superb as well.

    2)St Vincent St Vincent
    Probably the most immediate and catchy of her albums to date but still retaining the quirky edges, this well deserves the praise it’s received. Quirky indie pop in an Owen Pallet vein but with guitars taking the place of violins. ‘Prince Johnny’ is fantastic…
  • Top 20 Gigs 2012

    30 Dec 2012, 22:18 by DJH30

    Another year where I've attended fewer gigs than the previous twelve months. I think there were about four things I had tickets to but couldn't make it. However there were some really great gigs - below is the full list of the ones I attended with the rankings (1 to 20) in bold alongside them. As usual if I've seen an artist twice I've only ranked their best gig.

    21 Jan Butcher Boy/Darren Hayman Cecil Sharp House 9

    28 Jan Darren Hayman Light Vessel 21, Gillingham

    16 Feb Milky Wimpshake The Lexington

    17 Feb Cult With No Name Luna Lounge, Leytonstone 18

    27 Feb St Vincent Shepherds Bush Empire 15

    3 Mar My Life Story Shepherds Bush Empire 1

    16 Mar Nico Muhly/Owen Pallet The Barbican 12

    5 Apr Jonny Cola and the A grades/David Devant And His Spirit Wife The Lexington 14

    25 Apr The Magnetic Fields Royal Festival Hall 17

    30 Apr Rufus Wainwright Lyceum Theatre

  • Top 20 Gigs of 2011

    23 Dec 2011, 19:15 by DJH30

    Much shorter gig list this year than previous years and nothing to do with lack of gigs I’ve fancied going to – all to do with other commitments –mostly work. There are even 3 gig tickets on my fridge for things I’d bought tickets to but couldn’t make on the day. Amazed I’ve not seen Jonny Cola & The A-Grades this year. Here’s the list with the top 20 ranked in bold on the right and, as before, if I’ve seen an artist more than once I’ve only flagged up my favourite performance of the year.Also excluded festivals from the rankings although this year I only managed to get to Apple Cart which had a good little line up.

    19 Jan Luke Haines Hoxton Pony
    8 Feb David McAlmont Leicester Square Theatre 11
    10 Feb White Lies Shepherds Bush Empire 19
    15 Feb The Blow Monkeys 93 Feet East 9
    12 March Marc Almond Wiltons Music Hall 12
    29 March Patrick Wolf Koko
    19 April The Dears Borderline 10
    26 April Tindersticks QEH 20
  • Top 20 Gigs 2010

    23 Dec 2010, 17:34 by DJH30

    Another good year for gigs – about the same number of gigs this year as previous years but seem to have seen the same artists more often than I’ve done previously. Doing the rankings is always difficult and again I’ve only listed my favourite gig if I’ve seen a band more than once. Festivals are excluded as I’ve reviewed them elsewhere. Below are listed all the gigs I’ve been to this year with the rankings 1 to 20 on the right hand side in bold.

    16 JanJonny Cola & The A-GradesWilmington Arms
    25 JanOwen PallettUnion Chapel13
    2 FebDavid FordBoogaloo14
    4 FebhumousexualBrixton Windmill
    4 MarchWild BeastsKoko18
    20 MarchCudHootananny12
    22 MarchMagnetic FieldsBarbican
    24 MarchSuedeRoyal Albert Hall
    25 MarchEditorsBrixton Academy
    26 MarchOwen PalletKoko
    15 AprilLuke HainesGarage
    23 AprilLightning SeedsCadogan Hall
    28 AprilAlphabeatKoko
    6 MayThe NationalRoyal Albert Hall
  • Top 30 Albums of 2009

    17 Jan 2010, 22:50 by DJH30

    I seem to have bought more albums in 2009 than any other year and its really been difficult ranking these and should confess I could easily swap the ranking around quite considerably on any given day.

    1)Pet Shop Boys Yes
    Whilst I’ve always been a big Pet Shop Boys fan, I wasn’t overly enamoured of ‘Fundamental’ or ‘Release’ but ‘Yes’ is one of their best albums. ‘King of Rome’ and ‘The Way it used to be’ are beautiful – perfect PSB slowies and the type of songs I think they should do more of. Some lovely strings. Great album.

    2)Simon Bookish Everything/ Everything
    I think this actually came out at the end of 2008 but seemed to be ‘launched’ in 2009. I found the previous albums slight impenetrable however this one is a real step change – still quirky and idiosyncratic but this time dense electro bleeps replaced with strings, brass and jazzy piano. Fantastic lyrics and great vocals – real sense of drama. Highlights are Colophon, Portrait of the artist as a fountain, Carbon, and climate change friendly Dumb Terminal. …
  • Top 20 Gigs of 2009

    22 Dec 2009, 23:29 by DJH30

    Top 20 Gigs of 2009

    Another great year for gigs indeed I don’t think for any of the list below I’ve thought ‘wish I hadn’t gone’. It’s been really hard to decide the Top 20 let along the rankings. Some of those outside of Top 20 were still really great gigs. Like last year I’ve not included festivals in the rankings as it would be unfair to compare them plus I’ve rated individual performances in earlier posts. My gigs I’ve attended in 2009 listed below with the Top 20 ranked in bold.

    9 JanThe Ballet, Help Stamp Out Loneliness The Luminaire 14
    17 JanJonny Cola & The A-GradesThe Marlborough, Camberwell
    21 JanThe Melting Ice CapsLast Days of Decadence, Shoreditch
    27 JanLuke HainesRoundhouse Studio
    28 JanJonny Cola & The A-GradesGood Ship, Kilburn
    29 JanPerformanceFeet East, Brick Lane 13
    18 FebBlack Box RecorderThe Luminaire 15
    21 Febhumousexual, drunk granny, HusbandsRed Rose, Finsbury Park
  • Christmas & New Year 2009/2010.

    28 Oct 2009, 21:27 by vjsupersaint

    OK so first of all I'm just checking. To see if you're all alive & well out there.

    Are you knackered with just 10 days to go until Christmas?

    OK well those of you that have also joined us in Unsigned Christmas. Will know that we now have 17 very fine tracks there to listen to until January .

    But for those of us here in The UK. This is the one we want to chart. this coming Sunday. Here is my unilaterally copied message to everyone.

    OK well everyone seems to be backing something or someone. For a real XFactor alternative UK Christmas #1 this year. So here's my tip Please follow the link. And then click on the top line. That will take you through to ITunes where you can buy this. http://www.cliffmas.co.uk/ OK so it's a pop song. But at least it's real. By real people. Those being Detox Cute And The Beauty Junkies from Brighton. And it's an original composition by the pair of Popsters themselves. And not some rip-off song that has already been flogged to death. By the so-called popular radio stations. …
  • October Musicfest [Section 2] UK.

    2 Oct 2009, 06:57 by vjsupersaint

    Right well here's the UK section of great music that you may never even have heard of from group. 'Unsigned UK' But first of all I need to add an amendment to the Europe section.

    Sussilo Or DJ Sussilo as she now is. Has a show that is broadcast from warm web radio. And it is on from 2200-2300 on Fridays and 2100-2300 on Saturdays. These timings are of course CET. So British and Portuguese listeners will need to take it as an hour earlier. Worldwide listeners will have to check their clocks. I believe these are temporary timings until the station is up and running fully. So you'll need to check back regularly on that. And also we all know that Susanne is an avid supporter of unsigned artists. So once the station is fully underway. Let's plague her station manager. And tell them what she really loves to play on the radio. I can highly reccommend the show as it stands though for all listeners of pure rock and it is called Facelift.. …
  • Top 20 Albums 2008

    21 Dec 2008, 18:33 by DJH30

    Here we go - Top 20 of the year:

    1) LuxembourgLast Holiday Before Divorce
    My favourite album of the year and its free to everyone on Last FM! Unfortunately the downside is that the band have now split up and rather than a proper second album this is more a collection of demos prepared for it. Whilst the band members' new individual projects (The Soft Close Ups, The Melting Ice Caps and Jonny Cola & The A Grades) are looking very promising it’s a real shame not to see some of these songs performed live as I really thought Luxembourg were one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Whilst these songs are presented as demos ‘Radio’ and ‘London is blue’ are catchy, polished songs better than most things you’d hear on the radio. Love the first lines of ‘Radio’ - ‘Well I can’t talk about right now, but the past might be safer ground, lets say you pick the month and I the century but oh you’ll never know me…’ David Shah’s lyrics are as great as ever. …
  • Top 20 Gigs 2008

    21 Dec 2008, 12:44 by DJH30

    Good year for gigs – seen so many selecting the Top 20 is almost impossible. Anyway here is the whole list of things I’ve been to in 2008 with the Top 20 ranked (right hand side). I haven’t included Glastonbury or Latitude on the rankings as they aren’t really comparable to individual gigs and I've scored them on other journal entries anyway. If I’ve seen a band more than once in the year I’ve only ranked their best performance.

    22 JanuaryMorrisseyRoundhouse
    31 JanuaryBritish Sea Power Koko 7
    29 FebruaryFinal Fantasy Forum 10
    9 MarchStereophonics Roundhouse
    11 MarchThe Long Blondes Amersham Arms
    28 AprilMarc Almond Wiltons Music Hall 12
    29 April(We Are) Performance Hoxton Bar and Grill 9
    3 MayTindersticks RFH 18
    20 MayJens Lekman Scala 1
    24 MaySwimmer One Feeling Gloomy
    5 JuneHBIRD Mr Solo Tommy Flynns
    6 JuneSparks Carling Academy
    7 June Sparks Carling Academy 5
    9 Junehumousexual Betsey Trotwood
    11 JuneSparks Carling Academy
    13 JuneSparks Shepherds Bush