Regular readers will know that I have two blogs. As adversity always brings out the best in people, on morethanmyblogsworth, during the first two lockdowns I shared some of my friends’ humour to brighten the long days in isolation. We had all hoped that there would be no need for another but, like all trilogy franchises, although the first one was quite successful, the follow-up was hopeless; meaning the third has come-along quite quickly. So welcome to Lockdown 3 – Attack of the Variants!
This time I have decided to try something different to lift spirits through what could be a long winter. So, taking the cue from my favourite DJs Radcliffe & Maconie, I started a Lockdown Chain on my Facebook page – every day a live video of a track with a tenuous link to the previous day until we are finally free again to go to real live gigs. Below are the daily choices if you want a catch-up:
2020 was probably the strangest year of our lives for a lot of us, especially those like myself, of more-advanced years, who have been semi-isolating for most of it. Even when we were able to escape, the closure of non-essential retail for months on end curtailed the ability to browse record store racks to find candidates for my Album of the Year 2020.
Not only that, but the complete shut-down of live music venues since February has meant, for the first time since I was a teenager in the early-sixties, that this has been a year with no live gigs whatsoever. We did have tickets to see last year’s AoTY winner, Sam Fender, in January (postponed from December) but that gig was also postponed twice further, eventually falling-foul of the lockdown along with another pre-booked gig by Tash Sultana later in the year.
Recently during Lockdown, there have been lots of ‘challenges’ on social media that you had to be nominated for by someone who had already done them. Name ten albums that mean something to you, one a day for ten days was probably the most popular – I did it twice, although I modified the ‘rules’ to suit, as is my wont. Then there were books, films, TV comedies, and so on. The last one, just before it all began to peter-out, was your six most memorable gigs of all time.
A friend was nominated and I was hoping he would pass on a nomination to me, but it never came. I was discussing this omission with another friend – actually I was having a bit of a whinge about it – to which he simply said: well, write a blog then! Obvious really – duh! Continue Reading
My selection for Album of the Year 2018 was not, perhaps, chosen from the greatest year for new music in recent times. In fact I seemed to spend the first half of the year catching-up on some 2017 albums that, somehow, passed me by. Maybe this was due to our trip to the other side of the world to see our Grandkids in Australia, and their Mum & Dad of course, which spanned November last year into February this year, meaning that I missed my usual year-end trawl of the CD racks here.
Never mind, I thought, I’ll be in Australia’s largest City, so I can do it there – somehow forgetting previous experiences. Sydney is an anachronism. It is really modern and vibrant on the surface, and very easy to get around either by Ferry or Bus. The bus drivers often have their own beatbox playing as they travel along, the only problem being their selections seem to be totally stuck in the ‘seventies and ‘eighties. The record shops are similar – rack after rack stuffed with multiple copies of classic albums, but far less that’s current. Not that it’s a bad era to hear, you just yearn for an up to date surprise from time to time. Continue Reading