Sunday, 1 January 2012

20 Things That Were Great in 2011

Because everybody loves a list.

(I'm one of the many colourful blurs. It was shot in the O2 Academy Islington. It was rad. I got a setlist.)

(almost) 1. Live At Jodrell Bank

The Flaming Lips, British Sea Power and OK Go playing in front of the Lovell Telescope. Chants of “Science! Science!” Damian Kulash still the most perfect man in the world.

2. ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at Glasgow Garage

Made Rival Schools look average. Paralysingly awesome.

3. Barcelona

Went there on holiday. Saw The Wombats in front of the most fun crowd ever, went to my first F1 race, had incredible weather, and got around a good bunch of the sights.

4. Panic At The Disco – Vices And Virtues

Thought I knew this was going to be a disappointing album. Compelling, though, and grows with every listen. Addictive and brilliant pop.

5. Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo

I now live in the same country as pandas. Win.

6. The Week Of Twin

That week in December when Twin Atlantic were on the cover of Kerrang, made the Radio 1 A-list, and played to a sold out O2 Academy Glasgow. Rad.

7. Rams' Pocket Radio

New favourite band. New favourite people. Smart and special.

8. 50/50 and The Help

Went to the cinema more than usual. Most of it was rubbish. Two films stood out. This is them. The Help made me cry a lot. Racism makes me really, really, really sad.

9. Belsonic Festival

Went to Belfast to see 30 Seconds To Mars and Rams' Pocket Radio. Had a great time.

10. Bright Eyes at Oran Mor

Never got the fuss until I saw him live. Love the new album stuff. Also, Oran Mor upstairs is beautiful.

11. David Ford's book and accompanying tour

Got to see Dav Ford from Easyworld play some of my favourite Easyworld songs live on his weird wee book gig music tour thing. Book is a great read. Please borrow it from me if you have any delusions about becoming a rock star.

12. LightGuides Christmas Party

They played lots of songs, had Part Wind Part Wolf supporting in amazing outfits, and I got a photo of Martin mid-air. Bonus.

13. The Great Escape, Brighton

Saw Rams' Pocket Radio, You Animals, The Xcerts, My First Tooth, LightGuides, The Guillemots in a vintage clothes shop, and BEN HALES FROM RUTH PLAYING WITH FOREIGN SLIPPERS (guitarist of my favourite band from my teenage years, excellent writer and lovely man).

14. Radisson Burgers

Introduced to the burgers in the Collage Corner Bar at the Radisson by my lovely friend who works there. Tastiest meal in town.

[Unbelievably, despite my love of taking pictures of food I like, I've not taken any pictures of the Radisson's delicious burgers...]

15. What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction

Great pop song. Don't bother trying to disagree.

16. Part Wind Part Wolf

Probably my favourite new Glasgow band of the year. Well-crafted grunge-pop. Friends In America probably a close second, although wish they'd focus more on the moody narrative bits as it suits them better than the calypso-y hooks.

17. There Will Be Fireworks in onesies

Need I elaborate? It helped that they also performed excellently and are still miles better than pretty much every other band ever.

18. Jedward at Glasgow Green

Didn't even know this was happening til the day. Got some rad pictures and got to see first hand the mania that makes Jedward so fascinating/pleasing to me.

19. Rock Ness

The Wombats, We Are Scientists, The Boxer Rebellion and The Twilight Sad were totally awesome. Got a photo with Keith and Chris so I can forever pretend that I also was once the drummer of We Are Scientists...

20. Climbing Ben Vorlich

Not my usual cup of tea, but I climbed a munro in the name of charity and it felt good. Despite the snow blizzard.

Honorable mentions: Harry George Johns at Bloc, Jurassic Parrrrr crazy golf, the big wheel on George Square, World War Z/Brad Pitt filming on my doorstep, albums by Manchester Orchestra, The Wombats, Song Of Return and Little Comets, LightGuides' Samba Samba Samba, particularly awesome gigs from Walter Schreifels, Scott Frabbit, The Xcerts, Twin Atlantic, Katy Perry, Panic At The Disco, Endor, Manchester Orchestra, Bruno Mars, Arctic Monkeys and Smashing Pumpkins, getting an iPhone and thus Instagram, and another awesome T in the Park.