Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Mr. Drayton's Hit Parade 2013


Stuff that got in the charts and that.

5) Icona Pop - I Love It. 
If the Undertones were lasses with synths in 2013 they would’ve recorded this, albeit shorter and a faster.  A great big fuck you celebration pop song.

4) Young Galaxy - New Summer 
It was the video that hooked me in. I bought the album and played this song over and over again.

3) Black Skinhead - Kanye West 

It’s the sound of modern mad America, a glitter band/burrundi stomp. 
Kanye West is bonkers. Long may he bonk.

2) Dianne Young - Vampire Weekend
Divebombing guitars, mysterious lyric and the best breath-before-the-burst ever. 

Royals - Lorde
The sign of a great single is remembering where you heard it first -  in this case,
the radio on Tuesday bath night. Softly against the grain of hystrionic bootylicious blingtastic banging noisehounds. 
When the wamp-wamp-wamp comes in the melody gets bigger and better than anything else released this year.  
It's catchy, it's smart, it's beautiful.


5) Public Service Broadcasting - Inform, Educate, Entertain.
Young boffins bring the past to life using electronic trickery and the occasional banjo.
Most entertaining.

4)  Stara Rzeka - Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem 
I'm not being a ponce here with some obscure band thing, I heard this on line, downloaded and played it at volume in the car on the way to Peterlee to pick up our lass. It's quite amazing, should you have the time.

3) Matthew E White - Big Inner.
He is a Barracuda. A blast of groovy rockin' soul. Very organic.

2) James Blake - Overgrown
Slightly less weird than the first album, a lovely spacious listen with enough twists and turns and tunes to fill an ocean. Best heard on a modern hi-fi system.

1) Modern Vampires Of The City - Vampire Weekend.
I love this record. It's ace. It soundtracked my Tuesday night trips from Durham with Step landing as the sunset behind the angel of the north. An album that unfolds and reveals with every play. Sounded brilliant live. I just love it, that's all.


Live Shows

Not a classic year for live gigs, Matthew E White, much anticipated, a huge disappointment as he trampled over the fineries of the album. Disclosure, again, an exciting proposition, turned out to be some button pressing, with an awful audience. 

5) Captain Underpants, Live Theatre.
One man show about a deluded single father? Sounds grim. Was not. Superbo.

4) Tour De France, The Record Player @ The Cycle Hub
If I couldn't big myself up on my own blog it would be a poor show. The elements co-coincided to bring a perfect summer eve, the sun lazed across the sky, we drank beer and waved at boats as Kraftwerk rocked the Tyne.

3) Americana Festival Jumpin' Hot Club Outdoor Stage. July
Ok, so I have a vested interest, I MC'd this show. Two days of top notch free music, a lovely attentive kind audience and I got to sing with Brendan Croker. What's not to love?

2) Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra - Thrashed Organ, Live Theatre. Dec.
Playing all new material, showing utter class, sophistication and pefect playing. As my Dad said of them - 'they're very good with those stringed instruments'.

1) Gavin Webster, Tyne Theatre.
From the moment he stepped on stage, Gavin ruled. In a world of panel-show-back -slapping-it'slikethe1970sagain-comedy Gav showed how it can and should be done. 
I want to see this again as I missed so much because I was laughing so hard. 
Mark E Smith fronting the Ramones, who in this instance hail from Blaydon. Genius.


5) Springbreakers.
4) Ain't Them Bodies Saints.
3) Alpha Papa.
Lyn's eyebrow skin tag.

2) Gravity.
Get in to/Get out of the capsule. 

1) A Hijacking.
A Danish film about a Somali pirate raid on a ship, ostensibly a two room drama? A million miles better than Captain Phillips with the added bonus of not having Tom Hanks in it. 

 Everyday irritations from people who should know better.

5) Mylie Cyrus.
Yes, the purpose of young pop is to disenfranchise the squares, the oldsters. So, is sticking out your tongue whilst getting bummed off Robin Thicke all that you've got? Licking a sledgehammer in your vest the pinnacle of youth rebellion? Fuck off and lick your dad's mullet, that would be shocking. You twerper.

4) The Sun.
The epitome of everything that's wrong with British society. What about the Daily Mail though? It's got nothing on this dumb shit rag. The playground bully, treating women worse than the Taliban ever could. Vile, vile, vile.

3) Gary Barlow. 
I saw a clip of Gary Goes To War on ITV, where upon some deluded squaddie barked a song into Gary's Meerkat face and Gary said he could sing with him in a special concert there. Lucky boy. Who died and made Gary king of us? Beige Gary, UHT Gary, Robbie's Captain Gary. The very name Gary Barlow says it all. He should be fitting UPVC windows in Sale, Manchester.

2) David Mitchell .
If comedy was the new rock n roll, now it's in a prog phase. The British Comedy Awards were the equivalent of stadium rock. Apparently there are only five comedians, and Mitchell rules the pack, along with his sidekick who is happy to add his snidey tones to anything. Isn't he clever? Clever David. Clever sidekick. See also that scouse one with the teeth, that bald one with the stupid voice and anyone who has appeared on a C4 look back show saying funny things about something that happened yesterday. 
Cunts. The lot of them.

1) Weather forecasters.
Watch a weather report. It may well be the most gorgeous day outside, but the poor horse-folk of the apocalypse find fault. I blame rolling news. They've got to fill time, so every insert becomes a pessimistic nanny-state you-won't feel-the benefit state of the nation address. They love it, these third tier bit part players, pissing on our chips with their maybes and possibilities. Oh, it's going to be windy, it's going to rain. So what. Get a proper job you two bit naysayer, or at the very least find the positive in the world. 
Just as I do.


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