Friday, January 30, 2009



A belated review of 2008 then. A year of 468 pubs. My most frequented was the Royal Oak, pre and post Southampton games. Always fine though they recently there are a couple of males behind the bar. Good for sky though and a nice crowd. My favourite local this year would probably be the Little Windsor which has been good for the major sporting events such as 20-20 cricket final and the Ryder Cup. Pub of the year however, will go to the soho based Pillars of Hercules. Twice been here before gigs to see members of the band we’re seeing drinking. It is also a nice narrow bar with a bigger seating area at the back.
Talking of gigs, the best performance of the year was Beth Orton’s acoustic set at the Forever Heavenly festival on the southbank. Stunning. Other memorable gigs were Be Your Own Pets final show at Dingwalls, Gavin Rossdale in the small Underworld and obviously The Who, the best rock band in the world.
Not sure if you call them singles any more but my favourite track of the year was probably Noah & The Whale’s Five Years Time. Their album and performance at Clapham unfortunately doesn’t sustain this quality but the melody is quite charming. Paramore’s Decode from the movie Twilight is probably the best thing they have done and is worth a mention, as is Oasis’s comeback single The Shock Of Lightning. Finally we were all singing That’s Not My Name by the Ting Tings in the beginning of the year and I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry over the summer.
As for albums, classic rock seem to be back in quality, with fantastic albums from The Quire Boys (Homewreckers & Heartbreakers) and Thuder (Bang) having a longevitive life in my stereo. The Fratellis continued their high standard on their second album and the best debut probably goes to Glasvegas self titled CD.
2009 begins on a disappointing note with Thunder announcing their intentions to call it a day with a final tour in July. Annoyingly their final gig is scheduled for when I see Oasis at Wembley. However, I will manage to see them with a trip up to Cambridge on a Sunday a week beforehand. There are pluses as AC/DC are returning with a first tour for a few years, and Mott The Hoople reforming after 35 years absence in October. Also, I do have gigs scheduled for venues I’ve not been to before such as Bristol Anson Rooms and Cardiff’s Welsh Club so could be a good year on the music front.

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