Making Notes in 2009
By One Giant Leap
Wednesday 30 Dec 2009 18:08:00
Browse all Music articles

I always find it hard looking back and reflecting on the highlights of a particular year so reviewing a decade is darned near impossible. For that reason I am kopping out and throwing it open to everyone or anyone to tell us all what were your best bands, best albums and most importantly finest gigs of the noughties?


A couple of venues stand out for me over the past 12 months. The best place to go for live music on a weekend in Middlesbrough is usually Uncle Alberts. Free in helps for a start but then the selection of bands also makes all the difference as well. Most of the best local bands like Idiot Savant, Pellethead, 3 Foot Ninja, Russell and the Wolves have played there but there have been some phenomenal touring shows as well, maybe the incredible one man blues garageband Bob Log III was the best of all of these.


We’ve also got to take our hats off to the work of the Kids Are Solid Gold for the amazing success of gigs at Westgarth Social Club and also branding out at Mohans and across the Tees and Tyne as well. How seriously good were Fanfarlo? Or what about the wonderfully talented Alessi’s Ark upstairs at Mohans? And as for Drever, McCusker and Woomble well spellbinding is the only word. Or should that be words?


Yes but I have to also mention in dispatches the continued excellence of the great little shows at The Waiting Room restaurant Eaglescliffe. No finer place for a Sunday school show with eccentric New York inventor/singer Thomas Truax or all the way from Australia, Emily Barker.


The most amazing story of the year was unearthed by BBC Tees Bob Fischer, a fella called Charlie wrote in claiming to have rediscovered some long lost master tapes he had recorded in Abbey Road studios in 1973. He had mislaid them for over 30 years until finally finding them in a big trunk in the attic, it seemed too strange to be true but the resulting music by the Zubes was absolutely astonishing. Charming, quirky, very English and as 21st century as it was 1970s the Zubes could become massive second time around their gig, only their second ever, at Waiting Room was a highlight of 2009 if ever there was one.


We haven’t even mentioned festivals yet and there were plenty of them. Hartlepool’s warm up to the Tall Ships was a storming success apart from the appalling PA. Lightning Seeds making their first splash of the century. Pig Pen got better weather than usual but the best bits were largely under canvas with a superb acoustic stage. We are in a golden period for the singer-songwriter it seems.


Middlesbrough Music Live was a big success again, The Future of the Left took some beating again. But local lads Chapman Family were like a typhoon in the Town Hall. Over at Stockton Riverside the Charlatans set the standard but the Proclaimers raised the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at a gig in the area and delivered the goods.


I’m going to stop for the moment here. But maybe you’d like to deliver your own verdicts on the best of 2009 and indeed the best of the decade. Please post below or on fmttmboro message board.





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