E is for...

E is for… Elbow (Image by Evita wiki via Wikimedia) OK so first let's get this out of the way, I fucking hate that Manchester scene shit from the 90s. The Madchester (spit) fucking tosh from such luminary bellends as Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, James, The Charlatans, The Stone fucking Roses and that swaggering Gallagher prick can all fucking do one, alright? (And no this isn't the embittered tirade of an erstwhile Blur fan… the winner of the Blur vs Oasis "war" of the mid 90s was clearly the far superior Pulp.) Right. But one very successful band from '90s…

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Spontaneous fictions, x in an occasional series...

A: I mean gestures for fuck’s sake B: …but more specifically A: generally, though B: overall, you mean? A: specifically overall, yes B: so we can drill down to ‘overall’. it helps to pinpoint these things. A: in general B: So in summary, for fuck’s sake in general A: you got it. B: OK. Let’s run with that. A: all of that B: Tell the boys in the print room to get on it A: Oh those guys. Don’t get me started. For fuck’s sake B: Don’t start on them. You know they’ve…

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D is for...

D is for… The Dead Daisies (Image sourced from Wikipedia) Meh, rock supergroups. Amirite? Aside from Flying Colors and Velvet Revolver, what have supergroups ever given us? Oh, and Sons of Apollo, obviously. They're amazing. Well, OK, The Damned Things were pretty awesome but seems like it was just a one-shot project. Oh I suppose Them Crooked Vultures count too. And Chickenfoot. Oh, and KXM are great. No, you can't have Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Or Gorillaz, for fuck's sake. Where do you think you are? So anyway, supergroups. Bad call, all the egos mash together, and you end…

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C is for...

C is for… Cloudkicker (Image on loan from Cloudkicker's Bandcamp) In around 2011 I discovered a number of heavy instrumental acts who rocked my bell, among them Scale the Summit, Chimp Spanner, Sithu Aye, the mighty Plini and Cloudkicker. This last is in fact a one-man act, and that man is Ben Sharp. Like a few of the others I discovered around this time, Ben writes, produces, programs and plays everything you hear, and releases his music on the splendid Bandcamp platform, rendering him truly a one-man-band. Cloudkicker's music is very hard to categorise, though I wouldn't be a proper…

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Dad

Hark you, and listen. In 1926 in the city of Liverpool there was born a boy, and today would have been his 92nd birthday had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma not taken him six years ago. This man was Thomas Shildhauer, son of Godfrey Ernest and (forgive me, I think she was perhaps Elizabeth?) and brother to Ernie (RIP) and Ronnie (still going strong), grandson of Gottlieb of Dessau, Germany. A very VERY large part of who and what I am is Tom. Anyone who knew Tom, knew Tom. He and my mother were, as I understand it, forces of nature in…

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The Gin Diesel

Many years ago, I came up with an excellent name for a cocktail – the "Gin Diesel". However it was at least a full year before I could properly nail down the recipe. It must contain gin, natch, but also something dark and strong to represent the diesel element, while still remaining drinkable. The end result is very drinkable, and is the official cocktail of Indigo Down. It's a cracking Summer drink, somewhere between a Moscow Mule and a Dark & Stormy. Want to try one? OK, here you go: 2 measures (50ml) gin (nothing too floral, Tanqueray is perfect) 1…

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B is for...

B is for… Sebastian Bach (By Jamie - Flickr: Sebastian Bach & Rachel Bolan, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14408377) Hah! Didn't see that coming now, did you? OK, so I'm aware that a number of my listeners will be fully aware of Señor Bach from his time as lead shoutmarshall for that fine old American band, Skid Row, who released two absolutely barnstorming albums (and one mediocre one) right before the coming of The Dark Times. None of that is in question, and is a matter of immutable record. But what you…

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A is for...

A is for… Amorphis (Image by Cecil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3668860) The year was 2009, I was still working in advertising, and I was in need of new music. I mentioned this to a colleague and he surprised the waste solids out of me with the news that he was quite deeply into something called "Battle Metal". "What the Jeff on earth is that?", quoth I, or similar. It transpired to be a subset of the genre I would then plunge myself into for the following year to…

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What now?

So yeah, observant listeners may have realised that I have now completed my task of picking an Album of the Year (plus runners-up where applicable) for every year from 2017 right back to the year of my birth, 1974. Since some people might be interested to see it, I have compiled a master list of the runners and riders, the wailers and the failures, the winners and the sinners and the chicken dinners, and made a permanent page for it. I shall of course add to it once a year from now onwards. But what now I hear you cry?…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 2017

OK, so I think I've sat with the albums of 2017 for long enough now to make the necessary judgement calls. 2017 was the year that came after the one before, and if anyone tries to tell you different, MURDER THEM. People have been banging on about how shit 2017 was… and they're not wrong… but hey, did everyone forget about 2016? This was just more of the same but at least we had some idea of what to expect. Oh, and Prince and Bowie didn't die in 2017, so on that basis alone it must be better than 2016.…

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