2014: A Year In Music

1. Linkin Park (Download Festival, Derbyshire, UK)

The first 45 minutes of the Linkin Park set at Download 2015 was superb. Hybrid Theory played in it’s entirety with such energy it was pretty much flawless. That added with the fact my boys were in absolute awe of what they were seeing put this at #1…

2. Lionel Richie (Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, US)

You’d never guess this Walkers Crisps advertiser has been a bus pass owner for over 5 years. So much energy on stage for someone getting on, but some of the banter had me and the wife in stitches. As this was a special occasion to mark our second wedding in Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay), this one came very close to top spot. Lionel, you are forgiven for those extra-crunchy adverts with Gary Lineker (the smarmy silver velvet owl)…

3. Lenny Kravitz (Wembley Arena, London, UK)

3. Lenny Kravitz

He may well have swapped his microphone recently for clapperboards (Hunger Games) and high spec CAD programs (interior design business), but once he is back on the stage, our Lenny sure does know how to rock. Banging out some of the old classics as well as fresher tunes from his new album, me and the significant other bopped the night away in that there London…

4. Gun N Roses (Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, US)

4. Guns N Roses

So I finally got to see GnR and where better than the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. All the songs I wanted them to knock out they did, and most surprisingly them came out on time! I guess the retainers in Las Vegas for residency artists make sure that happen. This also marked a special occasion, my boy’s first gig ever, kind of cool to say that your first gig was GnR in Las Vegas, mine was a sweaty Lisa Dominique in a sweatier Milo’s Bar in Liverpool…

5. Nick Harper (Leaf, Liverpool, UK)

5. Nick Harper

Like a good whiskey, every time I see Nick Harper he improves with age. Even though this time he was well under the weather, his Leaf gig in Liverpool once again did not disappoint. Becoming more and more familiar with his works makes each gig a little more personal, a little more pleasurable. I bought his cd which he dutifully signed at the end of the night – even though he did manage scrawl a reference to his bowels on the cover…

6. John Legend (Apollo Theatre, Manchester, UK)

"YouTube OnStage Live from the Kennedy Center" Concert Event Celebrating YouTube's 9th Birthday

An evening with John Legend. When the tickets for the Manchester gig came up we were in Las Vegas. We were in fact getting married (again) in Las Vegas to one of his songs (although it probably wasn’t the exact same time as the text message we received). Our friend duly bought the wife and I two tickets, and when the time came around the boy didn’t disappoint. Touching story telling mixed with beautiful piano playing, plus he had everyone up out of their seats at the end. The man, the Legend…

7. Ozric Tentacles (Live Rooms, Chester, UK)

7. Ozric Tentacles

I have always been an admirer of the Ozrics earlier albums and was quite shocked to find out recently that they had 24 albums out to date. How do you listen to all of them before a gig? Answer you don’t. The Live Rooms at Chester was very personal indeed, a tiny venue meant it was as close as you were gonna get to the Ozrics without getting your eyes wet. Cosmic soundscapes were blasted through various instruments, Erpland the best on the night (and probably the only one I recognised). Far out maaaaan…

8. Lawnmower Death (Download Festival, Derbyshire, UK)

8. Lawnmower Deth

What visit to the Download 2015 Pepsi Max Tent would be complete without a set from Nottingham’s finest Lawnmover Deth. Banging out classics like “Thermo Nuclear War is Good for Your Complexion”, “Watch Out Grandma Here Comes A Lawnmower” and the seminal classic “Cobwoman of Death Meets Mr Smelly Mop”, all to the back drop of a game human Pinball Fantasies, using massive gym balls. One word to describe it all – CARNAGE!

9. Anathema (Download Festival, Derbyshire, UK)

9. Anathema

My sons have long admired the outputs of Scouse progsters Anathema, so when I told them that the were playing an acoustic set at Download 2015 as a side order to the Linkin Park main course, they were overjoyed to say the least. Due to some technical issues, they only managed to knock out 4 songs, but all of that was enough to whet their appetites all the more for their upcoming performance at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool next year.

10. Richard Townend (Cafe de Bieb, Den Haag, Netherlands)


I’ve worked with Richard this year (we are both Business Analysts when dressed in our corporate cloaks), and it was only through chance that I came to understand that he was into music. Not only into music, but by jingo a very talented artist! I listened to some of his songs on Spotify and acquired a few CD’s of his which I liked too. A complete juxtaposition to the likes of Lawnmower Deth, the blues/jazz open mic night he played at the uber-cool Cafe de Bieb in Den Haag was top drawer. I wish him all the best for his new album and hope to see him live again in 2015.

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