As 2011 draws to a close, we eagerly await the New Year, we are waiting for a fresh start, a clean slate, something new, different. 2011 has been a great year for music and I can only hope that 2012 follows suit.
2011 is the year that marked the beginning of the blog, so quite fitting that when I think back to the best of 2011 my favourite listening has been from the unsigned bands or smaller acts. Obviously there have been brilliant ‘huge’ gigs and great albums by bigger bands, but since they have been recognised in nearly every magazine known to man, I am focusing on the bands that make this blog what it is, and the reason why music is so exciting. I hope you enjoy the moments that have stood out to me this year.
Best unsigned band 2011: Dead City Ruins – Melbourne Australia.
Ever since I set eyes and ears on this band they captivated me and really caught my attention. They are everything that I look for in a band - high energy rock and roll, just the way I like it. On a whim I went to see them in Camden and did an off the cuff interview, purely on the basis that they were from Aus. They are such a find and I feel really lucky to know them and to have seen them live. These guys have so much energy and work harder then you would imagine, all for the love! If you want to check them out then fear not as they will be back in March 2012 and worth a watch. These boys work hard, but they play even harder.
Best gig of 2011: Saint Jude – The Scala December 19th 2011
A whole year of gigs and the best comes to me in the last month. This tickles me for some reason but I’m not surprised given that this is Saint Jude we are talking about. Lynne and the boys yet again never cease to mesmerise me and this gig was exceptional and absolutely electric. The music was of such a standard that I can honestly say it was faultless. But as far as gigs go, everything aligned and yes Saint Jude were yet again mind blowing but it was the sum of all these parts that made this one hell of a gig. From the lighting to the venue, crowd and of course, the band, it was an entire room feeding off nothing but positive energy and as a result it is my best gig of 2011.
Best album 2011: Rival Sons ‘Pressure and Time’
What an album!! This choice doesn’t come lightly as there are obviously so many to choose from, but for me this is it! It's the album that I can’t put down if I try. Tracks such as ‘Soul’ and ‘Face of Light’ are easy to lose yourself in. Although every single track is a diamond in the rough. Very much a modern day Jim Morrison, lead singer Jay Buchanan has a voice that is smooth as silk with velvet tones. Rival Sons are a collaboration of outstanding musicians and the workmanship shows. If you haven’t heard this album yet, then I suggest you do. Sensational!
Favourite Festival 2011: High Voltage – Victoria Park
Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Slash, Saint Jude, Rival Sons and many more. High Voltage this year was a great weekend filled with the usual birthday fun and frolics, however more importantly filled with so many friends and yes, bands!!. It was a bit of a special one too as our friend Richie Faulkner was in town with the mighty Judas Priest and it was a joy to finally see him play with them for one hell of a rock and roll show. I thought I might not make it, given the magnitude of the Priest tour this year but it was nice for the Camden crew to unite and watch Priest burn a hole through London in a blazing shot of light that was brief, if only for a night but full of memories. High Voltage all in all is my favourite festival and if they can find a home next year, a festival that I plan on attending again.
Best Rock and Roll Moment 2011: Buckcherry
Yes, it’s no surprise that the highlight of this year comes down to these boys from the US of A. When it comes to high profile bands you never know what people will be like. However, when I got to meet Josh, Jimmy, Keith, Stevie and Xavier again earlier this year, I was reminded of just how great and down to earth they are. My favourite memory is hanging out with Xavier Muriel, not just because he is one of my favourite drummers but because when it comes to things like family and friends, he is such a heartfelt and inspirational person and a pleasure to share time with. It was a real privilege.
I have met and heard so many great bands this year it is impossible to mention them all but I would like to thank StoneWire, Rogue Male, Voodoo Six, Wasted Sinners, Iron Claw, The Mercy House, Stereo Juggernaut, Voodoo Hussy, S-a-N PR and of course you guys for all the support this year.
2012 promises to be a great year. I hope that it brings you all happiness and health, and let’s not forget about the Rock and Roll my friends!
Xxx Chelle xxX