Well we are coming to the end of 2013 and as always I am feeling reflective. It was a year filled with highs and lows, but thankfully more highs (no drug reference intended).
The biggest thing that happened to I was a Teenage Shoegazer was the move to WordPress. In early August 2013, Blogger closed down the original site. Thankfully, five years of of work and 60,000 words of indie musings was backed up. So here I am, and it was nice to start over again. Reworking old posts and going back to the DIY beginnings. This reminded me of when I first started the blog in 2008.
On to the good stuff. In February in saw The Robin Gutherie Trio supported by Mark Gardener. Mark performed a variety of new songs and some old Ride songs. Here is In a Different Place recorded by myself at Exeter.
Nothing could prepare me for March; My Bloody Valentine, Hammersmith Apollo. Face melting, trouser flapping walls of feedback. It also showcased the work of Colm Ó Cíosóig, his drumming is the best I have ever seen. Colm holds the live show together.
Other highlights were The Wonder Stuff and The Orb. They both appeared live in Exeter, and to be honest I thought that they would not of been as good as they were. Both shows were fantastic. Below is a nice picture of myself with Miles Hunt.
At the end of September, I went off to see Grabbel & the Final Cut in Glasgow. This was the most Rock n’ Roll thing I had done in the last 15 years; 8 hours on the train to Glasgow, I had never met the band before, I had never been to Scotland before, was I mad? I really love their music and I was in contact with the band by email and they are really great guys. It was a great show and I would say that it was the highlight of the year. I had never been on a guest list before and they even asked me to go onstage and introduce them.
This is enough about my exploits of the year; what about the music? 2013 was a good year for music, but what I enjoyed was from bands that were established 20 years ago, or even with ‘new’ bands such as Black Hearted Brother they featured veteran musicians. Black Hearted Brother album Stars are our Home was one of the biggest surprises of the year. Fronted by former Slowdive founder Neil Halstead he returned to his dreampop Slowdive roots. He experiments again with reverb and ambient electro noise.
The years of waiting were over when mbv was released in January. Personally I think that it is a brilliant album and a worthy successor to Loveless. I think, that people thought, because it took 21 years to make it was going to be the greatest thing ever. It was going to be a great album, do the washing up and take the kids to school. It didn’t do this, but it developed the groundwork of Loveless, and showed that they are still pioneers in their field.
After 10 years without an album (at least it’s not 21 years like My Bloody Valentine) Los Angeles indie pop band Fonda release Sell Your Memories. The album is a nod to the 90’s, sugary vocals and poppy hooks. Fonda are a band that I had never really heard of before. I think I might of come across them by pure accident e.g, Spotify telling me because I listened to The Pastels I might like Fonda.
The House of Love – She Paints Words in Red, is the best House of Love album since Babe Rainbow. You can really hear the beautiful guitar of Terry Bickers. Other albums I enjoyed were mainly from bands I saw that year; The Orb – More Tales From The Orbservatory and Oh No…It’s The Wonderstuff.
Seeing Stars – Fonda
She Paints Words in Red – The House of Love
Oh No – The Wonderstuff
Fussball – The Orb (featuring Lee Scratch Perry)
Only Tomorrow – My Bloody Valentine
(I Don’t Mean To) Wonder – Black Hearted Brother