Getintothis' best of the rest 2012 part three: best and worst albums, top tracks, venue, films, ups and downs...
Getintothis' Peter Guy delivers the final word on 2012 with his annual round up of Liverpool's best bits and the year's cultural highs and lows. Part three features the best and the worst of the year's albums, our favourite venue, top tracks, the year's top 10 films and all our ups and downs from Merseyside music.
Getintothis continues our reflection on 2012 and Liverpool's year in music with the records which have been on our jukebox throughout the last 12 months - and the ones that certainly haven't. Plus our top venues, top moments in cinema, our favourite tracks and all the highs and lows during a momentous 12 months in Merseyside music.
Albums of 2012:
1. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
2. Goat: World Music
3. Swans: The Seer
4. Kendrick Lemar: good kid, m.A.A.d city
5. AU: Both Lights
Worst Albums of 2012:
1. Muse: The 2nd Law
2. Madonna: MDNA
3. Mumford & Sons: Babel
4. The Ting Tings: Sounds From Nowheresville
5. The Vaccines: The Vaccines Come of Age
Venues of 2012:
Let's get one thing straight. There's simply no doubt which venue in Liverpool offers up the best gigging experience: The Kazimier. And if you're after a super-fantastic, unique one off party-of-a-lifetime, you can pretty much guarantee that the Kazimier is the only venue that can fulfil that criteria also.
However, in 2012, for the first time in it's four and half years of existence, the Kazimier felt ever so slightly staid. Perhaps with so much going on in the city, repeat weekly visits meant it fast became ubiquitous with the tour circuit and lost some of it's special, somewhat secret, ingredient which made it so refined in the first place.
Sure, most of the best gigs in the city were staged there, it was also the home to our event of the year and other ones like it - see the superfine Kazimier Krunk Olympics and midsummer Krunk Fiesta for starters. Yet, while we're far from complaining, it was easy to take for granted this intrinsic cog to Liverpool's music scene.
Everyone was complaining later in the year when out of the blue, Mello Mello issued a call to arms as it faced an uncertain future, and possible closure, when Liverpool City Council decided to remove the cafe's business rates relief.
It forced us to re-evaluate what we want from our venues - and Mello ticked almost ever box - a performance space and home to some of our favourite gigs (not to mention regular promotion showcases like Pete Bentham's Free Rock & Roll and Used Vinyl Club), an affordable eatery, a corking bar with rotating guest ales, a recording space, a dance hall and most of all a meet up point for much of the city's independent arts community.
When the thousands of signatures were totted up in favour of saving Mello Mello it struck a chord throughout Liverpool.
1. Mello Mello
2. The Kazimier
3. Leaf Tea Shop.
Special mentions to Wolstenholme Creative Space and Camp and Furnace (in particular for the Brazilica Fringe Festival).
Films of 2012:
They say the film industry is undergoing a huge resurgence, and while we're not quite sure we've seen enough to go along with such generalisations (surely, the boxset and quality TV is still leading the way?), there has been enough good stuff on the big screen to say the last 12 months have built on a solid year in the Senna/Drive success year of 2011.
Once again, there were ace docu-flicks, particularly from the music sphere (we've still to see Sugarman), but our particular favourite came from those reliably-warped film-makers of Scandinavia. This time it was the turn of Norway's Morten Tyldum to direct a dark comedic thriller the Coen Brothers would be proud of; Headhunters contained enough brutal one-liners to match a winningly brutal performance by Max Manus as the art thief who pinches a painting from the wrong guy leading to a cat and mouse game with devastating consequences. Grim, gloriously gory and great fun.
2. Wild Bill
3. The Imposter
4. Ill Manors
6. The Bourne Legacy
7. Shut Up And Play The Hits (Getintothis review)
8. Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap
10. The Dark Knight Rises
Tracks of 2012:
1. Japandroids: The House That Heaven Built
2. Angel Haze: New York
3. DIIV: How Long Have You Known?
4. Chairlift: I Belong In Your Arms
5. Nicki Minaj: Starships
The year ended with Bestival boss Rob da Bank announcing Nation will host a tribute gig next year in honour of all those affected while a song by one of those killed, Michael Molloy will be released as a single. Rest in peace Michael, Kerry and Colin.
2. November came and went. And with it was a Liverpool Music Week gaping hole. Getintothis has chatted to LMW boss Mike Deane and there's some big news planned for the festival's 10th year anniversary. Keep 'em peeled.
3. There's been much jibber jabber about the loss of music venues around these parts, however, few made a greater impact to the DIY landscape as Wolstenholme Creative Space - and when it was announced in December that the venue had been deemed 'unsafe' and was due to close arts and music fans let out a long, long sigh in disbelief. The reassuring news is that curators Priya and Caroline are set to turn their creative hands to something new next year. Getintothis reflects on Wolstenholme Creative Space's finest moments.
4. The ever-increasing demise of the music press. Getintothis' Paddy Hoey reflected on the death of Word Magazine as they ceased publication after nine years.
5. What should have been a glorious celebration of Liverpool's diverse music scene was ruined by the bloody weather as Africa Oye's 20th Anniversary celebrations were axed as the great British summer had a complete mare. Still organiser Paul Duhaney did manage to take time out and give Getintothis his all-time top 10 performances from twenty years of Africa Oye.
6. When The Mercury Prize 2012 nominations were announced we shrugged. When the winners were announced we shrugged some more. What in shitting hell are the Mercury judges doing? Ruining the UK's best music prize, that's what. Here's our reflection on Alt J winning the Mercury Prize 2012).
7. Earlier in the year, Liverpool City Council slapped a 'no live music' sticker right across Static Gallery. No one was impressed. Except a councillor with an axe to grind. Still, Static are made of stern stuff and craftily executed a Clinic orchestrated production line. Everyone was made up.
8. V Festival has long been a joke in the summer festivities. A music festival for those people that don't really like music, or festivals, but feel they should get involved because music festivals are the done thing. So when a man was caught on camera sliding through a mud path into a woman having a piss it all seemed rather apt. Oh, and it happened during James Morrison's set. How marvellous.
9. We love Ariel Pink at Getintothis HQ. We love his sexual deviant lyrical imagery. We love his goofy guerilla gigs which end up with him getting into trouble with security. We love his erratic music. We even love his collaboration with The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne - and no one seemed to like that. But when he showed up in Liverpool and let his daft ex-girlfriend play a daft support slot before playing his own set hiding behind a big daft screen we didn't really love that. We'll let him off, though. (Getintothis reviews Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti at the Kazimier)
10. Yeasayer: what happened to you guys? One of Getintothis' favourite bands released perhaps the most disappointing records in living memory. After the superlative All Hour Cymbals and Odd Blood, we were holding out for the killer third record to complete a trilogy to match Massive Attack or Nick Drake. Instead, they delivered Fragrant World, which smelt kinda off. Still, we're defo hanging in there and eagerly awaiting Yeasayer IV. Oh, and they still give excellent copy, as Getintothis' Sean Bradbury found out earlier this year.
Ups of 2012:
1. The Hillsborough Justice Collective. Read full Getintothis coverage here.
2. There were numerous PR fails performed by LCC, but their plans to invoke an 'X Factor style' clampdown on Liverpool's buskers and street performers was the most cack-handed. The daft proposal barely had time to utter the words 'You made it your own,' before it was consigned to the rejects pile.
Read Getintothis' coverage here.
Getintothis takes to the streets to street performers in action and ask shoppers and shop keepers what they think of Liverpool's buskers.
3. Perhaps the finest happening at the Mathew Street festival ever was when Sepultra's legendary guitarist Andreas Kisser induced mania inside Bem Brasil performing the White Album to a delirious set of Brazilians. You really had to be there.
4. Cream celebrated 20 years of dancing all over the world while in May it was announced Live Nation Entertainment was buying Cream Holdings Limited for £13m - big news, and big money.
5. The MOBOs was fun and games minus the Hilton bust-ups. Another winner for the city and a jolly good laugh on the evening too. (Here's what Getintothis learnt about the 2012 MOBO Awards in Liverpool)
7. ...While even further out of the city, not since Morrissey got a shoe in the face had Edge Hill University in Ormskirk staged such great bands.
8. There was big community news when the scheme which launched Esco Williams, Positive Impact celebrated their 10th anniversary at the newly-opened Epstein Theatre.
9. The Royal Court's makeover was completed - hurrah! Let's hope gigs make a comeback too.
10. Too many great new bands for 2013: Acrobat, Two Sunsets, iP, Sankofa, Ali Ingle, Afternaut, Red Sails, Bird, Ratty Little Fingers, Oxygen Thieves, Nadine Carina, Mother Earth, The Sundowners, Early Music and many, many more.
Finally special thanks to all those that have continued to support and contribute to Getintothis throughout the last 12 months: promoters Revo, Darren, Ellis, Tom, Tyler, Doug and Kris at FFF, Deep Hedonia, Sam, Jason and all the BtWoS crew, Frank at the Lomax, Tony and Colin at the Zanzi; the PRs & label heads so helpful with requests; Natalie, Becky, Ella, Jon and all at Leaf who were invaluable to making The GIT Award so very special, Mike and all at Milk, Sam Venables, snappers Matt, Marie, Sakura, Mina, Conor, Michelle, Mark, Tom, Darren, John, Keith, Richard B, Matthew, and a whole host of others; bar/venue managers Paula, Paul, Venya, Sam and all the folk at The Kazimier; Rob, Adam and Laura and all at Mello, Gill at Cream; Dave, Rebekah, Becky, JP and all at Sound City; big thanks to Music Week's Mike Deane, Kevin at Liverpool Vision, Damo Jones, Gary McGarvey, Dave, Rich and all at Another Media, all the dedicated contributors and anyone else that made 2012 such a belter of a year in Liverpool music.
Thanks for reading.
And Happy New Year.