Kicked into gear…

I seem to have lost a year somewhere… I distinctly remember the release of An Ordinary Man in  Nov 2008, and then everything seems to blur until the release of Fighting Man in 2009.

As a result I have missed out on much over the last 12 – 15 months despite having been to more live gigs in 2009 than I had been to in the previous few years put together. I didn’t realise quite how much I had missed until spending the last week or two catching up on friends synopses of the 2009 musical landscape in live and CD formats… And those blogs have now kicked me into gear and forced me to write my own retrospective.

Now, I’ve not been unaware of what’s been happening, I’ve just been unable to keep up with it all! I think that may now all be at an end with the addition of a little hand device to my life which means that I now have almost limitless music at my command, no matter when, where or how I choose to listen to it!

Perhaps my best (re)discovery of last year was the music of Anne-Marie Helder, but even that was a challenge to keep a handle on… (To be explained in the live/CD reviews to follow!).

There were new discoveries as well, with Frost* and Motherjane currently topping my playlists as new favourites. (The * is part of the name by the way, and not an identifier for a footnote!).

And the most recent addition to my ‘new acts to follow’ from last year is actually an old partner in crime of mine who has ‘moved on’ from the world of balls out rock to the more acerbic, grassroots world of alt.blues (I think that’s what it’s called?). Craig Hughes was the catalyst, and guitarist, in the first ‘real’ gigging band I was part of and now, over 20 years on, is an established solo artist in blues circles with a Best British Blues Album of 2009 to his credit!

I intend to write entries covering the CDs and shows I liked most, or perhaps even least, for whatever reason in the next couple of posts, but I won’t limit them to 2009. I think, to be fair, I’ll be starting from about Sept 2008 as that’s when I seem to have rediscovered live music and  the fact that I had lost touch with everything I like about music in the first place!

As far as the live performances are concerned you can look forward to everything from intimate acoustic shows to grand prog-metal performances interspersed with homegrown talent and little known gems… I think I may even manage a few surprises!

The purchases are slightly harder to corral with downloads from Amazon, iTunes, artists stores, CDs from Amazon, artists stores, high street shops and gifts to recall, but the ones I remember are obviously the ones worth a mention so we’ll start with them.

I will say this though:  The live performance I went to with the highest expectations last year was saved only by the extreme  talent of the support act. And the album I wanted to hear the most of 2009 has lain gathering dust since its first spin the day I got it (well, it may have managed additional attempts within those first few days, but not much more than that!).

I’ll try not to make you wait too long ;o)




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