Monday 26 December 2022

My year in music - 2022

 Given the losses we've had this year, Terry Hall, Wilko Johnson and Keith Levine are three that particularly affected me, but I really want to concentrate on the high points in what has been a great year for me from a musical perspective. 


Not normally a great month for live music, many were still nervous as the country emerged from the Omicron lockdown. But there was a good start to the year at the Black Horse in Barnet with one of my favourite local bands, The Silencerz. They always put on a good show and feature Lee Thompson of Madness.


In February, it was off to the Roundhouse to see one of my favourite post punk bands, Echo and The Bunnymen. Always a good show, a band who have a stack of classics such as The Killing Moon and The Cutter. 


In March, there was a spiffing gig at The Barbican, a show of celebrating the music of London. It was curated by Chris Difford of Squeeze and featured a selection of great artists, old and new, including Brett Anderson of Squeeze. Here is one of the highlights


A real treat. In the 1980's we used to follow a reggae band from Bristol called Talisman. As often happens, they disappeared into the ether. To my delight, they had reformed and were playing at the Undercover festival in Guildford. Even better a brilliant new band, who I met through the studio called Voodoo Radio were playing. It was a bit of a schlep on the train but well worth it.


May saw a wonderful night at Dorchester Abbey with my wife's band, The BBC Elstree Concert band. Clare has played with them for over 30 years. They are an excellent band and play in some wonderful locations, this was one of the nicer ones.


June saw the return of the Mill Hill Music Festival, which was a brilliant week of diverse music in Mill Hill, for me the highlight was the party night, with the amazing Brit Funk Association, which got the whole place rocking.


We went to the Rochester Castle festival to see The Specials, The Beat, Holly Cook and The Stone Foundation. It was a brilliant day. I never imagined it would be the last time I saw Terry Hall playing. The great news is that I will always remember him in his pomp at this brilliant day shared with some of my best friends.


In August, it was my big birthday. I hit 60. I celebrated with an amazing party at The Bohemia in Finchley. We got our friends The Silencerz down and my band The False Dots debuted with our new line up and new set. It was a real blast.


In September, my band did our first gig in Camden Town for 12 years, at the Dublin Castle. It was a blast. What I particularly enjoyed was the set by The Shoals, who supported us, a new Ska band based in Barnet. It is always great to see new bands coming through. They've been rehearsing at the studio for a while and headed off on a national tour shortly after.


October saw us at The Water Rats on the Clerkenwell Road for The 40th anniversary gig to celebrate the first gig by The Pogues at the Rats. As the band are no longer playing (and they'd sell out the O2), the venue put on my mates The Pogue Traders, the officially recognised top Pogues celebration band. It was a wonderful night


We went to Koko in November for The Stone Foundation and Graham Parker. The venue was nearly destroyed by fire a couple of years ago. I've loved the venue since it was The Music Machine and it has really been refurbished beautifully. Having a beer on the balcony again was perhaps one of my happiest moments of the year. With so many venues closing, it really was joyous.

December. We were at 229 in Great Portland St for the Queens of Lovers Rock, Carrol Thompson and Janet Kay. Two absolute legends and some of the best music of my youth

And finally, we finish with what was my fave new song by our band in 2022. I am so pleased with this number and this video. We wrote this song after our gig in September. I shot some videos of the pub, and I wanted a vehicle to share them with. The band wrote the song and my co conspiritor Fil Ross did an amazing job co-producing, adding whistling and banjo! I think we capture the vibe of the Dublin Castle rather well.


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