Songs of 2011
If Ever I Stray- Frank Turner-Finally Frank found his voice and his own tempo, no longer recycling cynical angst, his beautiful love and passion explode from this folk-rock gem
Let ‘em Come- Scroobius Pip- A forthright punk-gilded rap outburst, less of the story-poetry of earlier work, more a two-fingers assault
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised- Grace Petrie- A perfect political protest tune raging against the media and press, as uplifting as it is sweet-sounding
For The Kids of the Multiculture- Sonic Boom Six- Finally, a whole generation introduced to chavcore and SB6 perfectly reflecting 2011’s Britain, predicting the backlash from Racist Tram Lady
Bones- Random Hand- Another anthem for the ska-punk scene
Albums of the Year 2011
Richie Blitz- Protest Songs & Sing-a-longs
Grace Petrie- Mark My Words
Dropkick Murphys- Going Out In Style
Chris T-T- Disobedience
Claypigeon- Time Won’t Cease
Frank Turner- England Keep My Bones
Scroobius Pip- Distraction Pieces
Random Hand- Seething Is Believing
Stand Out Riot- Carnival Militia
Lowkey- Soundtrack to the Struggle
Best film of the year
Attack The Block
My highlights of 2011
I was grateful for Shattered Glass Media for a gig with Don’t Let Paris Fool You (R.I.P.) to start the year off. I performed my stuff to various punks and punk fans at Strummercamp 2011, meeting acts like Louise Distras, Billy Liar and lending a hand with Bootscraper’s Tim & Joel. I performed in London & Manchester for the first time.
At the Edinburgh Fringe I saw too many shows to mention, but shout-out to Matt Rudge, Tim Clare, Luke Wright, Tim key & Richard Marsh whose shows were lovely combinations of stand-up, comedy, theatre & spoken word. I also came 2nd overall in the Hammer & Tongue slam. Ace. Next year. Take a show. Fingers crossed.
Come September I performed in 40 Years On, a great bunch of lads and a fun performance to be a part of and cement myself within the Theatre Royal.
I supported John Cooper Clarke, compered the acoustic stage at Pie Race 3 with Jake & The Jellyfish, Joe Tilston and once again Billy Liar and Louise Distras. I compared a night at Stereo with Helen Chambers, Jonny Gill and Nathan Luke. I also put on my own gig at The Basement with Chris T-T and Franz Nicolay.
Me and my girlfriend Lizzie launched Snapping Turtle Press, a ‘zine pure DIY, home-made style to get my work out there but other poets and illustrators. Also so I could sell some stuff at gigs to put a bit towards trainfare. Drop me an e-mail if you want one, a mere 50p + P&P.
But it’s not all about me. Because that would be a boring year. I marched on the 26th March with hundreds & thousands of other angry protestors. At the Tory party conference aftermath I did Protest Hugs at Occupy Manchester. I marched again with the students in London in December. But I was also invited to read poems at the rallies to support strikes on the 30th Nov and the 30th June. I feel like I’ve been a part of a beautiful movement this year, with many heads and many arms. The Hardest Hit, the Trade Unionists, The (A)narchists, The Occupy Movement, the Militant Students, we’ve all played our part.
Snapping Turtle Press #2 launch night, with some of my closest friends both performing and in the audience. Comedians, musicians, poets, story-tellers and randomers. I loved you all, and it was a great night. More to come in 2012.
So thanks to everyone for checking me out at a gig, speaking to me, giving me feedback, protesting with me, protesting at me, giving me a gig and buying the ‘zine. Oh, and thanks for reading this blog.
Next year’s resolution: The perform more and more gigs (naturally), to branch out to new cities, to take a show to Edinburgh Fringe (fingers crossed) and to work with more young people in an educational format, including workshops and devising.
So thanks again everyone, hope 2011 was good, hope 2012 is even good-ier.