BBO’s top tips for 2009. Or Not.


I haven’t consulted my partner-in-music-crime about this but after our triumphant round-up of 2008 we should probably do one of those posts where we say that x will be big this year. The only problem is that I seem resistant to various buzzes. The White Lies, for example… Jude Rogers’ review in the Grauniad today has confirmed my reaction to single ‘To Lose My Life’ (we agree on the ‘Girls on Film’ thing, though where she hears Joy Division I hear Dead Or Alive; so gloomy it’s camp). Or Florence and the Machine, briefly reviewed in horrified tones here, or to remind you: “If you think Kate Nash is irritating, avoid Florence and the Machine like the plague. My teeth are still grinding. It was so awful that I was driven to heckle”. Again, the mighty Jude is entirely in agreement with me here, down to the Nash thing. Funny – I sometimes think I’m doomed to disagree with Jude Rogers’ pop column, though I’m a big fan of Smoke magazine, but here we seem to be in agreement.

Similarly the always-excellent Sweeping The Nation provides a critical take on the excitable ‘these guys are going to be massive!’ stories the press always run in January… which are ‘groupthink’ because they always pick the same bands, in an PR-friendly kind of way; compare with STN’s much more interesting choices or Simon’s weekly trawls of MySpace.

So I’m not going to try to plug a band you can read about in those magazines. I’m not much good at the really under-the-radar stuff either; my colleague is more likely to find that kind of thing. So all I can tell you is what I’m looking forward to this year.

1. The apparently-imminent first album from Fanfarlo, who – believe it or not – are set to support Snow Patrol in various enormodromes soon. Institute for the Musical Paranormal video for ‘Harold T. Wilkins’ below:

2. The second album by Sweet Billy Pilgrim, one of the most interesting and completely underrated bands around. I’ve been playing their first to death since it appeared in 2005 and have high hopes for the next one. This (very pretty) video gives you the first third of ‘Stars Spill Out Of Cups’ from We Just Did What Happened And No On Came as a taster.

3. The publication of Bob Mould’s latest, Life and Times, which will be out in April. Sounds like it will be one of the raw ones, which should be interesting. And if we’re really lucky the autobiography too, written with Michael Azzerad, author of one of the best books on music ever, Our Band Could Be Your Life. Husker Du, the solo stuff, Sugar, LoudBomb, sexuality, and pro wrestling – it’s going to be a page-turner. Husker Du’s ‘Could You Be The One?’ below



About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on January 17, 2009, in General Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. BBO don’t do predictions, but if they did….

    Wot no new Brakes album? That’s probably my most look forwarded to. Oh and the new Miles and Erica album, but that’s hardly under-the-radar.

    As for Funky Boots or whatever her name is…sub-Kylie at best.

    Avoid the hype: read BBO.

  2. Brakes, yes. Though I hope they won’t need as much plugging as the first two on my list. As for Bob, I think we beat the NME to this bit of news! Maybe they’re reading BBO…

  3. Re:Florence & The Machine: I guess you can’t please all the people all the time, but coming on stage wearing a dress covered in black feathers and starting with an unaccompanied cover of ‘Hold On’ by Spiritualised did it for me big style.

    Don’t agree with the Kate Nash comparison either, she’s much darker than that, with one song about cutting a girls eye out and another about ripping a birds head off etc.

    Agree about White Lies though, they’re shite!

  4. Well…. said girl had probably stolen Florence’s pony, or made it to the lacrosse team ahead of her. Or something. The Nash resemblance: a strong whiff of stage school. Or so I thought.

  5. She is horrifically and hideously posh. Enjoy her output whilst you can John T – when the revolution comes, etc.

  6. Aren’t we terrible?

  7. I’d probably put her in an ‘English eccentric’ bracket with Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, and as for being posh, even Joe Strummer went to boarding school….

    Oh and Bon, don’t get me started on Little Boots by the way. Me & Adam had the misfortune to see her at In The City last year, and we couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Barely adequate disco-pop that got tedious within half a song. Thankfully VV Brown was on afterwards, and she was a bit more entertaining.

  1. Pingback: jkneale’s Top Ten of 2009 « Both bars on

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