2018’s Return Of The Guitar Jedi

This unreal year started with that utter bollocks, “guitars are dead”, from sofa-critics, while independent venues battle the destroyers (“developers”) “exterminate exterminate” mentality. It’s almost impossible to be a band without riches, music education is being culled, high street music retail is plummeting and B*!xit threatens music tourism… yet this is a classic era.

A drum roll please, for up and coming talent that could make any impression, outside of (or even within) the mainstream during a year with credible, timeless alternative album releases that included Idles, Big  Joanie, Manic Street Preachers, Shame, Goat Girl, 485C, Boy Azooga, The Blinders, Arctic Monkeys, The Velvet Hands, Asylums, LIINES, Young Fathers, Slaves, The Slow Readers Club, The Lovely Eggs, CABBAGE, Tom Grennan, Dream Wife, Suede,  Black Honey, Miles Kane, She Drew The Gun, Florence & The Machine, The Orielles, Johnny Marr, Blossoms, Estrons, Let’s Eat Grandma, MGMT, Muse and The 1975.

That doesn’t even include the gob-smacking live performances we witnessed close up in small venues. Hail the newer wave of media and industrious passion from independent media, promoters. labels, management etc raising the profile of fresh thrills.

Importantly, thank you to the recordings/tickets/merchandise buying, word spreading fans. They are the future’s true investors. More should be made of that involvement, especially as there is not much money circulating at the grass roots level for a globally acclaimed entertainment industry which has such a huge economic boost at the top.

Bands – after all that creating, rehearsing, performing – are often on low/no fees as there is a shortage of finance to stage them. Writers/photographers spending on gigs, fares, memory cards and so much of everybody’s time. In theory, guitar bands should be over but they are a necessary treasure.

Why can’t we stop? Because it’s a compulsion.

We’re blessed by being in the midst of a genuine movement with a fabulous genre clash of soundtracks for our rock n roll lifestyles. Stuff the cliques, you can’t beat all generations and backgrounds united by enjoying this youth powered and experience supported explosion.

The foundations have been laid for another year not to forget, as we forge a 2020 vision in 2019. 

There is already enough division in the world, so I can only hope that we go forward in our perfectly imperfect ways, independent but as together as possible. Especially when this DIY blueprint for civilisation is all we can sometimes afford.

Peace/Respect. ​Caffy (Events Dept)

Erin Grace of  rising punks, The Cosmics, The Music People Party, December 2018, by Lisa Perry Photography

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