Not A Patch On 2009

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Sloblocks! As Sir Stephen Fry once put it. Time which should be spent on the 658 from sub-tropical Leigh to the match-fit environs of the DW stadium shall now be otherwise filled. An 8:30am inspection of an un-heated pitch in minus daft conditions revealed , wait for it, yep , frozen, bugger me , never have guessed.

So, from here in NAPO’s Leigh Outpost I decide to cast my beady subjective four-eyes over the last year of Rockin’s ‘n’ Rollin’s. Here goes. In a word SUUUUBBOOOOO. Yes, we have it ,the UK ‘s biggest seller of 2009 and fastest selling UK album EVER. And you know what, I’m not surprised cos I could only just squeeze into Granny Nora’s on Xmas Day for the bloody things. One copy will suffice surely , not one for each frickin’ room , I know you’re going deaf but come on.. FAMILIES talk to each other! I have Ash from the Boars Head heading over to Doncaster as we speak to wallpaper the whole of the house with SUBO CD artwork. Surely there’s been other stuff going on…. well a bit. Up here in the North West the Giganto-arena or MEN played host to comebacks , notably from Depeche Mode , Fleetwood Mac and Spa………….. sorry nearly lost it then. Spandau Ballet! Here’s £100 for 2 tickets to sit through 2 hours of dross before standing and singing like idiots to the last 3 songs , the ones I’ve heard before and used to like ,a very long time ago, when I didn’t know any better. Ermmm , No.

Not really a Big Venue man me , however , special mentions must go to Elbow as Guy Garvey attempted and succeeded in part to turn a massive arena into a front room and keep things as personable as possible with a 2 or 3ooo strong audience choir. Not the spinetingler that previous Apollo gigs had been though. The Prodigy defied all things age related and seem to have added todays kids to their already massive following, big , nasty , ‘orrible noises and more energy than Daley Thompson after his years supply of Lucazade Sport. Keith was absolutely all over the show, crowd surfing to the sound-desk and back. Bloody nuts , Bloody Brilliant. As were bits of the Vs Cancer gig , namely attention-grabbing hip-hop ska scented mancs Kid British and a wonderfully toned down and poignant set from James to headline.

Definitely up there on the gig front was watching , with Open Gob , John Lydon as Public Image Limited toured for a 30th anniversary. Listen here Mr Morrissey , when hit by piece of life threatening plastic beer glass , instead of marching off after 5 minutes and costing lots of fans loads of money. Do as JL , “Learn to be a man” he beratted , having been hit by a similar missile during the first song. “Buy your fuckin’ beer and fuckin’ drink it. I’ve got your £40 now fuck off” and preceeded to lead a packed Academy in chanting “arsehole” at the miscreant. Beautiful moment of Rock n Roll justice.

The Specials re-appeared on Jools Holland as well as seemingly every festival going and I was lucky enough to catch them at V-fest in Stafford and lucky enough to dodge the pints of piss a-plenty…nice. Blur joined forces again and played to 100’s of 1000’s of fans including 2 huge shows at London’s Hyde Park. What else, The Verve split again with the band accusing Ashcroft of re-uniting for his own personal gain.. erm Nay! Oh yeah , Michael Jackson died.

Plenty of new stuff found me last year and 3 of the gigs are reviewed here on The Pie at Night. Delphic for one will be big this year there’s no doubt , accessible electro-pop , live they were drop dead dance rock perfection. It will continue for them. Everything Everything , I probably prefer, just, as they’re a different kettle , so much going on, possibly too much for most listeners but i reckon there’ll be enough Falsetto Followers to allow the guys to upgrade their brand of coffee and live the life.

The Hot Rats essentially is Supergrass – 1 covering there favourite tunes to great effect and albums from all 3 of the above shall be tucked inside my coat on release date.

In the absence of a full blown Led Zep re-union Them Crooked Vultures filled the gap with JPJ , Dave Grohl etc thumping out Heavy Rock Jams with Heavy Ticket and Album Sales. Possibly more to come from them but although I liked I’ve probably heard enough now.

A lazy list of other new stuff to grab me has been , Camera Obscura , Dead Weather , The xx , Bon Iver, Animal Collective, St Vincent , Two Door Cinema Club. Next year I’ll be spending more time with Fever Ray , Marina and the Diamonds (one scary young greek/welsh lady) tours soon and not to be missed. Much talk of the band Hurts, with only one song to listen to available not sure how everyone in the supposed know is harping on about them already , but they are, so we’ll see. Sounds like something I used to tape off the charts in 1982.

Right , more soon from The Pie at Night. I’m off to win my first ever game of 5’s and 3’s. Feel free to let us know what you loved last year and will love this.

Happy Snowdays.


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