Tip For The Top: Shred Kelly

  Jazz On A Summer’s Day 1958

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Let The People Decide

  The Secrets of Piano Solo-III

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  Madeleine Peyroux Tour & New LP

  John Lennon Interview

  The Edwin Hawkins Singers

  Thelonious Monk Tapes Emerge

  Anna Burch Live

  My 100 Favourite Albums

  Road To Nowhere - Brexit

  Tom Baxter’s 2018 LP and Tour

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Frank Turner LP, Tour & Single

  Josh Rouse New LP & UK Tour

  Two New Must-Have Albums

  Stick In The Wheel Live

  Halo Maud, Baxter Dury Live

  Matthew Logan Vasquez Live

  The Barr Brothers Live

  Best New Album Reviews

  Glen Hansard Album Review

  My Best Albums of 2017

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Katey Brooks New Single/Album

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Album Of The Year?

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Nitin Sawhney New Live LP

  Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live CD/DVD

  Grandaddy Live

  George Vjestica’s Bandante

  Laura Marling Live

  Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

  Martha Wainwright Live

  A Thousand Horses Live

  Rachael Yamagata Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Swans Live in Manchester

  Nick Cave With Feeling

  Ben Folds & yMusic Live

  Dan Patlansky Live Blues

  Beverley Knight Live

  Wolfmother Live

  Ludovico Einaudi Live

  Barry Adamson Live Manchester

  Jess Glynne Live

  The Temperance Movement Live

  Courtney Barnett Live

  Mercury Rev Live


My Best Albums of 2017

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I cannot remember a worse year. The BBC continues to increase its dominance and influence in UK’s music industry and on public tastes. This (wholly publicly funded) corporation now even has its own annual music awards featuring, of course, the music its committees choose to playlist on their mainstream stations, to the exclusion of most ¬†of the very best music from home and abroad. I doubt the vast majority of my favourite albums of 2017 ever made to the BBC’s mainstream channels. For both established and new artists this represents a major challenge, and threatens the existence of great and new music.

It’s also been a year of political lunacy in which May, Trump, Putin and Brexit loom very large. And I blame voters who chose with little understanding of the dire consequences of their actions. It’s also been another year when man’s inhumanity to man (woman and child) has never been worse, since the Holocaust. Russia, Burma and Syria are just three examples of how the world’s peacemakers and protectors - the UN - seem to be powerless or unwilling to act.

It’s also been a catastrophic year for terrorist activity in the UK and elsewhere while North Korea continues to test and threat.

To add insult to injury those with most got more while those with the least got even less, with bankers, lawyers and tax advisors having a field day. Great music has the power to accessibly inform, move, connect and entertain. It’s for these reasons why the following albums were my favourites of 2017, with the proviso that I couldn’t hear absolutely¬†everything released. You may not have heard of some of them which should be of no great surprise, but I do strongly recommend all of them to you. I just hope things get better in 2018 although I’m not banking on it…

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Father John Misty PURE COMEDY. Bella Union (folk/rock/singer songwriter)

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Chastity Brown SILHOUETTE OF SIRENS. Red House Records (folk/blues singer songwriter)

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Grandaddy LAST PLACE. Sony Music (Alternative Rock)

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Luke Sital-Singh TIME IS A RIDDLE. Raygun (Folk/Pop/Indie singer songwriter)

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Joseph Parsons THE FIELD THE FOREST. Meer/Blue Rose Music (Alt Country/Rock singer songwriter)

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Jarrod Dickenson READY THE HORSE. Decca (Country singer songwriter)

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The Barr Brothers QUEENS OF THE BREAKERS. Secret City Records (Americana/Lo-Fi)

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Ani DiFranco BINARY. Righteous Babe (folk/Rock singer songwriter)

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