Although it’s been a very slow year for me personally on the the review side of things, I’ve already submitted a couple of Top 10’s for 2018. My state of mind as it has been I tend to have some different albums in different Top 10’s, just depends on perhaps there is something that slipped my mind between one and another, and depending on the Outlet too some might be all AOR, all Metal or a mix.
It wasn’t until I started looking again that there was an obvious omission from my Favoutites, the excellent Audrey Horne – Blackout and then this morning another popped into my head, it’s honestly not as easy as you think putting together these end of year lists when you listen to so many albums during a year and there are so many quality ones out there, to be 100% honest I already have 2 for next years list from reviews I’m writing now and I just know these will be 2 of my favs next for 2019. With a lot of bands moving back towards releasing albums on a more frequent basis we see quite a few releasing one a year, of course they aren’t always going to make the best of lists but that doesn’t mean they aren’t all releasing quality albums.
Right I had to do a lot of reworking of the Website over the last couple of weeks, so if you see any odd menus or anything missing that was there a few weeks ago hopefully I’ll have everything back in it’s place . It wasn’t until I tried to make sure the site was up to date with TLS 1.2 that I ran into some issues, couldn’t install plugins, couldn’t do a number of things, so the site had to be moved, the providers moved the content (well most of it) and then I noticed stuff missing, and had to start exporting/importing stuff, and then the menus get messed up again….so a little frustrating, but it took my mind off some other thanks going on in life that have made the last few months a disaster.
Here’s to a happier, healthier, easier and more productive 2019.
The bizarre weather continues on a Friday evening in Dublin having been a tropical 14ºC the previous day we were not down 6ºC with strong winds on the way and a definite chill in the air. But that’s pretty irrelevant as to what’s going to happen inside the venue tonight, we are here to catch a band that I’ve been a big fan of for more than 30 years, bloody hell that sounds crazy, but at the same time brings that warm glow of anticipation as you wait to hopefully hear some of your favourite songs during the set.
The show is opened by a 3 piece punk/rock band from Dublin, and they put in a really enjoyable set, with two lead vocalists it certainly lended a different vibe to the sound, and as it worked really well it also seemed to go down well with the assembled crowd, although at this stage the crowd wasn’t large. These guys just powered through their set, hardly any talking, and it meant I didn’t even catch their names, but they wanted to get through their songs, and that was a nice work ethic, hopefully will catch them again soon and put the name thing to writes, good start to the night.
After a fairly quick stage setup change it is time for the main act of the evening, having not played Dublin for 5 years it’s great to see the guys back, and it’s no surprise to hear so many difference accents in the crowd. The couple on one side were over from Sweden for the weekend, on the other German fans and a fair smattering of accents from across England as you would expect, one thing is for sure NMA fans remain as fervently passionate about the band and the music today as they have always been.
“The Family” is still strong, as you look back from the stage there are still fans standing high in the air on top of each others shoulders, the moshpit is still active, perhaps not as much so as 20 years ago, but still plenty of movement, and it’s really the singing that hits you mostly, some of the songs tonight are, as ever, being absolutely belted out, word for word, great timing and as a band you must love hearing this. Thankfully the venue has filled up quite rapidly as the time approached for NMA to hit the stage and the venue looks almost full as I take a glance around the room. The set tonight is really well balanced, not just covering the bands career but also blending really well together one song rolling into the next, and the tracks from 2016’s Winter album fit beautifully in the list, especially the wonderful title track. A smashing version of “White Coats” running headlong into the brilliance of “Better Than Them” would have been just about enough for me this evening to make it a night to remember, but add in a full on brilliant version of “Green And Gray” which as Justin mentions is very poignant at the moment capped it all off, just before running into a cracking encore including one of my personal favourites “Stupid Questions”. The band would need to be playing 4hr sets in order to satisfy everyone’s favourite songs in a set these days, and sure I’d have loved to hear “Poison Street” or “Smalltown England” but maybe next time, the guys do vary their sets more than enough.
Telling us that they will be back in another 5 years raised a few chuckles and plenty of “you’ll be back quicker than that” responses from the crows the band close the show with a pumping powerful rendition of “Get Me Out”. With the bands 40th Anniversary rapidly approaching lets hope that the guys manage to include an Irish date or two in the coming Tours, a full house, an enthusiastic crowd and a band still on the top of their game is always something to look forward seeing again and Dublin definitely has a love for NMA, long may it continue.
Have thrown in a couple of low quality phone pics and wished I’d brought along a decent camera on the night, all words by me, Stephen Brophy.
Well we all have so many devices these days, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Phone, TV, so when (or if) we look at a Gallery of Photographs, whatever they happen to be of – how do you prefer to look at them. Up until now I generally display my Galleries on a single page, and if you click on a photo on that page then you get to see a larger version of that image and it opens a Slideshow. It gives a little bit of variety and a couple of different options, but over the last year I’ve noticed that more and more people just check on the page view and don’t click through the Slideshow, and that’s fine, whatever way suits you as an individual, but it makes me wonder what way people check things like this out.
So perhaps as we move more and more towards immediacy in the entertainment or arts, that we view and along with it an interesting change to listening to a song from an album rather than the whole thing, or as mentioned viewing a full page of photos, but never looking at a larger version to see the detail in an individual photograph, drawing or painting. At some point I’ll put my ramblings together into more structure and perhaps put a small Survey or Poll together to better gauge public opinion.
It’s hard to believe that this is the most amount of words I’ve been able to put together in almost a month, but one thing is for sure that the everyday stresses of live are a major influence in causing Writers Block. For us at the moment as generally have been for a little over 12 months, Family and Work are the major stress points, with so many things to think about, appointments, phone calls, check ins and ups, bloody forms and more forms, time does disappear so quickly, the madness of bureaucracy and how quickly it can add to already frustrating positions and of course when you stop looking after yourself because you are doing your best to look after everyone else, but the thinner you spread yourself the easier it becomes to lose track of what you need to do, so it’s essential to try and keep yourself in decent shape, not for you but for everyone else, so just doing a little reset on the head every now and then will definitely help your mental state, but it’s a temporary measure. For me it gets thrust upon me when I notice I’m getting overtired, a trigger for my Epilepsy, and in the case of just being overrun with stuff in the last month, forgetting to take my tablets or just remembering, but altering the times drastically (not a good idea with slow release medicine). There’s been some pretty dumb stuff where being very tired I even took a second tablet a couple of hours after the first because I’d convinced myself that I had not taken one at all, that could have triggered an Episode straight away, but luckily it didn’t and I got back on track. So for the next couple of days, I’m going to try not to worry about everyone but me, wish me luck.
With regards the Photography, well I still have Rockingham Festival Galleries to post, although they are long since finished the Reviews haven’t been 100% completed and submitted, which puts more stress on and that’s how you create a vicious circle. So I’m going to power forward with the Gallery posting and hopefully get everything tidied up and submitted. Thankfully Christmas presents are pretty much sorted out, the little guy has far too much and some new stuff uncle and auntie in New Zealand has now been added to the large pile, and he already has enough toys, but the smile on his face will release so much of the pressure it will be worth it.
And as the temperatures outside still haven’t dropped to normal temps I might get out to the Garden a bit more in the coming weeks, the birds are certainly getting stuck into the nuts and fat balls in the feeders, and I haven’t really had a chance to see how the new(ish) camera delivers the hovering/fighting Starlings, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Thrush’s that I’ve already seen around and about. At the start of the year I spent a little more time trying to get shots of our visitors, so hoping to increase the clarity this time around and perhaps get some more interesting stuff of them entering and exiting the feeders/gardens. We shall see.
Currently planning on Gigs and Trips for next year and damn are they coming in thick and fast, which is both great and worrying at the same time, no way I’ll have the time to get to everything, but we will try, more gigs this year than the last two and if we cand fit in a couple extra next year then all the better. It’s also the time of year I will get asked by many to put together my Top 5/10 lists for various categories in music, believe it or not that takes a lot of time and can be a bit of a worry, but will get there, tonnes of really good releases and shows this year and there will be even more next year.