Musical Highlights of 2016

Below is my annual recollection of some music highlights of the year, for the good guys and gals at [sic] Magazine who introduce me to so much of it.

Although the twelve months of 2016 are likely to be remembered as much for who left us, as for what was left for us, (not to mention leave-ing) there were as always some great records, including Savages, Kiran Leonard, Ed Harcourt and Radiohead. Bowie‘s Blackstar – with the mystique surrounding the timing of its release – was a great record to start a year, and set the tone for tragedy-turn-triumph; the late Viola Beach were immortalised at Glastonbury, and also by achieving a number one album of their own (crucially, not a cash-in job), and there were countless events such as the ‘Glabstonbury’ all-day event I attended, which saw a host of bands and musicians generously coming together for a worthy cause. Here follow my ten highlights of the year. Continue reading

OFF Festival 2016 – Katowice, PL – 5th-7th August 2016

5th visit to Katowice for the OFF Festival, which was thankfully as welcoming, familiar and musically inspiring as always. Click the gallery below for some photos from the 3 Ponds Valley:

Some additions this year were the long-overdue beer-that-is-not-Grolsch (Kozel, which sold out on day 1, and Lech), and a smartphone app with line-ups, links to music, and latest news from the organisers (although the souvenir book is, sadly, no more). Both of these came in handy for having a drink whilst trying to follow late changes to the line-up.

Neither the Friday night rain nor the unprecedented flurry of headline acts cancelling at short notice – GZA, The Kills, Anhoni and Wiley (GZA’s replacement) – could dampen the festival. In fact, it meant Jambinai, who I had pencilled in for a 3am finish, were promoted to Saturday main stage headliner, a slot they filled amply and were my highlight of the weekend.

Other highlights were the orchestral productions of Brodka, Goat’s unorthodox take on guitar/drums (with frantic sticksman), the sheer force of Lightning Bolt, and Kiasmos’ house with cutting light show to finish my weekend.

Below is a link to a Soundcloud playlist of the 2016 OFF Festival:

https://soundcloud.com/neilmeehan/sets/off-festival-katowice-2016

Roll on OFF ’17…