What can I say about the 2010s? Stepping away from my own subjective view on myself, I think I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I would. I’ve played hundreds of gigs (including a solo show as far away as Vietnam and tours / festivals in Germany with Rob Lynch that will always stay etched in my memory), curated festival stages, been a guest on Radio One multiple times, released a stack of records with Speaking Tongues, pushed myself as a writer and a musician, and tried to be a positive part of the scene I grew up in and loved.
For the last couple years, I’ve been a lot less involved in music. Partly because I’m not sure where my place is among everything as a 30+ member of the scene, partly because I got to the point a couple years ago that I was so bitter that I wasn’t a particularly positive force for anyone to be around, and partly because I was burning out and not the person I wanted to be at all. I’m still not really quite beyond that yet, but I’m hoping next year is the year I can move on properly from a pretty tough time in my life.
This year my mum had a big birthday party, my little brother got married and I moved up to Bournemouth. I also adopted the enigma that is Milo (pictured). I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places this year, and have added some new amazing memories to a decade of seeing more of the world than I ever expected to.
I don’t even think I could bring myself to talk about the 2010s with “Best Of” lists yet – there’s so many brilliant records I’ve heard since 2010 that I just can’t even get my head around making a definitive list – some bands I love have released 3 albums in that time, some have formed and broken up, and others I’ve just plain forgotten for now.
Of the 2019 “crop”, (I think) my top 4 albums are Brutus, Michael Kiwanuka, The Dangerous Summer and Bring Me The Horizon, and my favourite EP was absolutely Dangers Of Love. There’s also a bunch of singles from bands like White Lies, Spielbergs, Bad Suns, Holding Abscence that I loved but didn’t get as far as the albums they were on.
My priorities for next year are getting my mental and physical health back to where I’d like it to be, and to bring a few things into the light that I’ve been holding back for a while. I have no idea what the next decade is going to look like, but I’m ready for it.
Happy New Year x