The year the music died?

Image credit: christhebarker

2016 will probably go down as one of those years where sad news overshadowed the good – certainly that was true for me both in personal terms, which I won’t cover here, but also the seemingly relentless march of famous icons being taken by the grim reaper.  Just as we were coming to terms with Lemmy passing away at the end of 2015, in 2016 we’d be constantly reminded by social media of a glittering parade of cultural icons shuffling from this mortal coil.

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Bain, Terry Wogan, Harper Lee, Frank Kelly, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Frank Sinatra Jr, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett, David Gest, Victoria Wood, Lonnie Mack, Prince, John Berry, Nick Menza, Muhammad Ali, Henry McCullough, Anton Yelchin, Caroline Aherne, Kenny Baker, Dalian Atkinson, Gene Wilder, Pete Burns, Leonard Cohen, Andrew Sachs, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Liz Smith, Richard Adams, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

That’s not an exhaustive list, I’m sure, but that’s not really what I wanted this blog post to be about – but you can’t really do a review of the year without mentioning the elephant in the room.  As with seemingly most things these days it caused ruckuses on Facebook with folk taking to social media to express their sadness whilst others get irked at seeming over-emotionalness.  Certainly there’s a lot in that list who whilst I’ve never met have had huge influences over my life, and I felt genuine sadness at them moving on – some seemingly far too early, others having reached a ripe of age.

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Feather and Flame..

featherandflame_thumbI was really remiss in picking up a copy of Feather and Flame – released back in Spring this year, Headsticks‘ second album.  It was at Deerstock I finally got my mits on it, when Andrew handed it to me – then of course there’s been quite a bit of festivalling so whilst I’ve been listening to it and loving it, it’s taken me a bit of time to get around to getting all the event-based blog posts done (and of course make sure I’ve really got to know the recording well too!).

Headsticks are making real waves certainly in my musical circles – hard-hitting folk-roots with a healthy slug of  punk chucked into the mix.  As I’ve been listening to it Andrew’s vocals are the distinctive driving force, a real transformation from his quietly-spoken off-stage manner.  At times there’s Johnny Rottenesque elements, other times he reminds me of Justin Sullivan – that’s not to say he’s by any stretch a soundalike for either, sometimes chanting, sometimes singing – unashamedly in his own accent, he sounds like – well, he sounds like Andrew from Headsticks!

The subject matter is universally fairly bleak – the album is evocative of a dystopian and disfunctional society, it rails against this, protest music – but delivered with chugging guitars, leaden bass and insistent drums with the occasional sting of harmonica.  Topics might be bleak – but the music is irresistably danceable and the insistant and passionate vocals (you don’t quite get the effect of Andrew eye-balling you like at a live performance – but you can pretty easily bring it to mind with the album on!).

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Freeborn Al / 21st August 2016 / Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments