Given that the chance of discovering old music is ever greater these days, the level of competition for new material is greatly increased. Add to that the fact that the scribbled list on my coffee table contained a mere four 2015 album releases and it’s clear I’ve not got a top ten this time around. Martin Courtney’s Many Moons has had multiple plays since coming out a couple of months ago though and I stand by the good, bad & indifferent reviews I’ve given over the past year. Individual songs seem to be making less impact on me year on year and titles are all but unknown due to the ease of just filling up a playlist and letting the PC or mp3 device take the strain. Personal 7” purchases have increased though whilst I’m also busy getting rid of the bulk of my CDs.
In the live sphere it’s been a very good year personally and for the site, however. New festivals (Franklin Fest, Rockaway Beach), first time attendance of established events (Incubate, Book Yer Ane Fest, Buckfest) and maintaining ties with others (Le Guess Who?, Y-Not). Consequently few individual gigs have been as memorable for me as performances at those events (or bear comparison to the entire event in a couple of cases) but Oh! Gunquit & The Black Needles deserve a mention as do Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells, Martha, Eagulls, The Charlatans and The War On Drugs. The Spook School’s album launch and their later show in Dundee at BYAF IX, coupled with the quality of Try To Be Hopeful, put them in the position of most enjoyable act of my year.
As per usual at this time of year, given the quiet release schedules and the fact most people have a lot of other stuff to do the site will be basically dormant for a couple of weeks. Songs that have been overlooked in the general crush throughout previous months could well though be getting tweeted so look out for those & have an enjoyable holiday period.