GJB selects his music and photo highlights of 2018
This year has been incredibly difficult to make my choices, despite my huge decrease in shows I’ve attended. Poor health has restricted me, that said it has also made me appreciate the gigs I can get to all the more.
I’ve had my incredible team to support and encourage me. They’ve churned out some simply stunning photos this year and we’re aiming to do more of the same in 2019. They’ve kept me busy and made me very proud.
We’ve also lost so many amazing people this year. It’s not been an easy one. My first gig of 2019 will be the tribute to my pal Aran at the Cluny on 12th January in support of a great cause www.ifucareshare.co.uk.
A musical hero and a lovely bloke. Miss you matey.
Top 10 photos
Top 10 gigs
I’ve been open about my mental health battle this year and came close to losing that fight, music has truly saved me and looking back there are some really special shows that I’ll cherish for the rest of my days.
- The Twilight Sad – June 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club. Emotionally supercharged one-off UK summer show in a great venue. This one made me cry. Beautiful and cathartic. They are thee best live band in Britain, untouchable. There’s no love too small <3
- Mastersystem – April 2018 – The Cluny. This one was a welcome surprise, both the album and the UK tour. I was really struggling with my mental health at this point and nearly didn’t go due to a panic attack. Speaking to Scott before the gig he made me laugh with his great sense of humour, he filled me with enthusiasm which gave me confidence that to go to the show and have a great time. I did just that and it was amazing. They played the whole album track by track, the band were visibly having a great time playing these songs. I’m eternally grateful I got to see these live.
- Mogwai – Feb 2018 – Northumbria Uni. My heroes in my hometown. I’ve seen them a few times this year but that was truly special. Great setlist and stunning sounds and lights. Just perfect.
- British Sea Power – Feb 2018 – Glasgow Garage. This gig gave me hope in a very dark period of my life. I smiled I danced and I discovered that I can be happy again. Music is amazing! BSP should be available on the NHS. Just lovely!
- Superchunk – May 2018 – Glasgow Stereo. A bucketlist band for many years but I’ve never had the chance to see them. They came back in 2018 with a great new album. I took a trip to Glasgow to catch them in a lovely little venue. So much energy on that stage and a lot of love in the crowd with the audience singing along word for word. I REALLY loved this gig!
- Mono – Oct 2018 – The Cluny. The Loudest show of the year without a doubt, also a remarkable gig and yet another band I didn’t think would play little Newcastle.
- Melvins – 26th Oct 2018 – Leeds Stylus. Another incredibly loud bucketlist band. Riff fucking city! Dual basses and one of the greatest frontmen on the planet.
- Chelsea Wolfe – July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3. On tour with Ministry (who were also great) the sheer power of the songs performed live left a lasting impression.
- Russian Circles – May 2018 – Leeds Stylus. The masters. Nothing more I can add. Just brilliant!
- Code Orange/Employed to Serve – April 2018 – The Cluny. ETS are easily the best thing to happen to British Metal in recent years, that coupled with the riot that is Code Orange made for a scary and awesome night.
Top 10 albums
I must admit I haven’t really listened to much new music this year, just old ones. Perhaps that’ll be my new year resolution for 2019. So this list isn’t very researched, more a list of albums I’ve bought this year!
- Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
- Mastersystem – Dance Music
- Will Haven – Muerte
- Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
- Jeff Tweedy – Warm
- Mogwai – Kin
- Jon Spencer – Spencer Sings The Hits
- Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive
- Rat the Magnificent – The Body As Pleasure
- Soulfly – Rituals
Most seen band
Mogwai of course
Best new northeast band
Ten Eighty Trees. Mark my words! This lot are mint! Go see them and find out why.
Band to watch out for
Loathe. Devastatingly brilliant live, make sure you catch them in smaller venues while you can!