I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so much at a music gig. Caitlin Rose self-deprecatingly protested that half her act was comedy and it was almost true. Almost except the most compelling voice in alt-country back on stage for the first time in seven years, to the delight of a sell-out crowd at Bristol’s The Fleece.
The Museum of Broadway made for educative departure-day lunch break after a busy week in New York. Charting the genesis of the world’s most famous theatre district, on what an opening frame recognises as Lenape land, the museum takes the visitor on a chronological entertainment journey filled with song, costume and, less expectedly, mirrors.
It is the season of lists and best-of-the-year’s, so here’s my annual contribution: the fifteen songs released in 2022 which have most inspired and uplifted me. In keeping with precedent, there are more than fifteen songs in the list and none of them are festive. I am indebted as always to the late, great John Peel and the inspiration of his Festive Fifty.
Nestled between the west bank of the river Usk and the eastern side of the Monmouth and Brecon canal, protected by the gently rolling hulk of the Black Mountains, and boasting the best selection of beers and ciders at any festival I’ve ever been too, Green Man is much more than a music event. Here follows markontour’s review of the bliss that was Green Man 2022.
What a perfect weekend. Despite the late nights, I always come away from Latitude feeling relaxed rather than tired. This was a largely hot one and so we managed to spend most of Sunday just lounging in the wooded shade of the Sunrise stage, watching great new band after great new band. Elsewhere, alongside all the music, there was Disco Yoga, Maseoke, street dance, performance poetry, decent vegan/veggie food, and swimming in the lake. Couldn’t ask for more.
Aah – what a feeling it was to be back. The first Glastonbury in three years and everyone was well up for it, including the weather gods, who were enjoying the spectacle so much they forgot to send rain. Unlike 2010, when consecutive sunny days seemed to dampen the hedonism a bit, Glastonbury 2022 was one of the liveliest, loudest and happiest I can remember in 30 years. Here follows the markontour review of the bands I saw at Glastonbury 2022.
I’ve read a lot of music biographies, but Broken Greek is in a league of its own. For a start the author, Pete Paphides, writes about music for a living rather than performing it. More importantly, while Broken Greek’s timeline begins, quite traditionally, in the author’s infancy, six hundred pages later it ends with Paphides still in his early teens – an age at which many people are only just discovering bands. It is a measure of the authors’ precocious music obsessiveness that despite mostly relying on Paphides’ pre-pubescent experience of rock n roll his autobiography nevertheless provides a wonderfully evocative revisiting of punk, pop and rock, alongside a tender, sometimes poignant, and consistently laugh out loud funny examination of what it was like to be a young immigrant in 1970s and 1980s Britain.
A few days ago I was feeling good with myself, having polished my annual markontour favourite songs of the year list down to the fifteen tracks that would befit its title, and then Rough Trade went and sold me The Felice Brothers’ new album. Ah well. Herewith the sixteen tracks of the Festive Fifteen 2021. The usual rules apply: all songs must have been released this calendar year, one song per band, no re-releases, plus an indeterminate number of bonus tracks, usually commemorating an artist who passed away during the year. The full playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.
Fontaines DC were the stand-out band at Green Man this year, with one of the most intense sets I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. But they could have run an open-mic session on the main stage and it would still have been a wonderful festival, such was the anticipation for Green Man 2021 in the markontour household. As it was, this was a bumper year, with many great performances from a mostly British and Irish line up, particularly from bands who have yet to get an album under their belts. Here follows markontour’s review of Green Man Festival 2021