Tuesday, January 29, 2008

bits of the best of 2007

ha 2008 is for losers.







live music

1. MOTORHEAD
2. the fall @ islington academy
3. the fall @ islington academy
4. the fall @ islington academy
5. the wedding present @ ulu
6. forest giants @ cargo
7. the orchids @ kilburn the luminaire
8. the fall @ islington academy
9. manhattan love suicides @ kilburn the luminaire
10. milky wimpshake / horowitz @ brixton the windmill
11. jamc / pastels @ south bank
12. horowitz @ stockwell
13. deutsches symphonie-orchester @ philharmonie berlin
14. sarandon @ buffalo bars
15. the spiral scratch summer splash
16. the nutcracker at sadler's wells
17. pocketbooks / pete green @ buffalo bars
18. cornershop @ queen elizabeth hall
19. belmont ensemble @ purcell rooms
20. jamelia et al @ finsbury park

worst gig: the sex pistols' performance at the brixton academy, more unedifying (not in a good way) than inept, was even more depressing than bristol rovers' christmas-ruining display when being pegged back to a 1-1 home draw by bankrupt, bottom-of-the-league, *eight-man* luton town. which was most certainly inept. and yet, while we bristled at the time (both times), our ardour both for the pistols and the rovers remains undimmed. gah, love is blind.

best non-music live performance stuff: we enjoyed the most wembley (the best result), the millennium stadium (the best stadium) and a trip to scunthorpe united (the best atmosphere); theatre-wise moira buffini's "dying for it" (a take on erdman's "the suicide") at the almeida and "rafta rafta" at the national - a show stolen by harish patel; comedy-wise it was ed aczel at the hen and chickens.

artist compilations

1. beatnik filmstars "a box of light entertainment" (the international lo-fi underground)
2. eskiboy "best of tunnel vision" (baked goods)
3. heresy "20 reasons to end it all" (boss tuneage)
4. the wedding present "the complete john peel sessions" (sanctuary) (there was also their "yé yé: the best of the rca years" on sony bmg - much inferior to early twp but still no bad thing for mid-price fans, as the early-90s weddoes at least stand the test of time a little better than some of their godawful *britpop* contemporaries)
5. even as we speak "a three minute song is one minute too long - the singles 1986 to 1990" (egg records)
6. i ludicrous "20 years in show business" (sanctuary)
7. the lucksmiths "spring a leak" (matinee recordings)
8. lock-up "violent reprisal" (feto): essentially combines their two studio albums, but a wonderful cover of impaled nazarene's "we are satan's generation" is the critical bonus track
9. beatnik filmstars "left hooks (songs that got nowhere)" (the international lo-fi underground) (stop press: there's also a new cd on panda, "cat scan aces", which compiles highlights from their '07 releases)
10. nashgul "humanicidio" (crimes against humanity)

obviously the fall "box set 1976-2007" would on sheer musical merit alone be #1 - in any year - but thankfully the tunes within its 5 cds are already nestling elsewhere in the sizeable "fall" bit of our record collection (the shelves positively groan with the weight). nevertheless, it is a collection that should be statutorily forced upon anyone (if there are still any such people) who wilfully fail to own any fall records and hey, they might even surprises themsleves and enjoy it.

various artists compilations

"the matinee hit parade" (matinee recordings) mugged "honey, the dog's home" (the international lo-fi underground) at the last. some metal and grindcore compilations followed not too far behind, as did rinse fm's two v/a mixtapes (courtesty of geeneus and skream respectively).

live album: ripcord "live at parkhof alkmaar holland" (boss
tuneage)
. some credit also, not least for nostalgia's sake, to the wedding present's "live 1987" double on scopitones

remix album: bracken "remixes" (anticon)

classical album: well a typical ilwttisott soft spot emerged for
mahler's symphony number 5 as performed stirringly by the simon bolivar youth orchestra of venezuela. the adiagetto is almost entirely sublime (don't worry, as we're now from islington we're allowed to sound like luvvies).

classical comp: callas "opera highlights" (emi classics) - an 8cd box from emi's callas30 season. there was an absolutely massive new vivaldi box set too, but we're not ever going to get enough time off work to properly immeres ourselves in an undertaking of that order.

reissues

culture "two sevens clash" (shanachie) edges out a.c., discharge, mdc and even the pop group's excellent "y". anyone who didn't already own napalm death's "scum" or "utopia banished" lps should def have gone for the cd / dvd reissues of those, too: respectively boasting an excellent documentary and 50 or so vintage live tunes and promos.

single reissue of 2007 was the white label reappearance on 12" of four excellent "ice rink"s: a work of conservation, really, as it's vital that these superb recordings aren't lost to the mists of time. kano sounds fresh (that ain't happened for a while), tinchy stryder sounds unbelievably young and on the verge of a (non-commercial) greatness that is kind of arcing away: riko - who we've heard little from for a while - then manages to outdo both of them before breeze chips in the fourth. as for the fractured atari junglist alchemy in the grooves, that is of course down to mr. richard cowie. and as for where he be at now, we are afraid this won't be the last you've heard of him in our year-ends. btw demon boyz "vibes" / "northside" on suspect packages a reasonably close second!

lastly, 2007 was also the year that in love with these times, in spite of these times both acquired a goldfish (yep, a comet gain) and adopted a penguin, meaning that the team is at last now represented by mammal, bird and fish...