Getintothis’ 2017 Year in Review: featuring best gigs, event, albums, venues, festival, label, hero and more

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Getintothis editor Peter Guy offers his 2017 end of year reflection

Getintothis editor Peter Guy offers his 2017 end of year reflection

As an intriguing and sometimes tempestuous year draws to a close, Getintothis’ Peter Guy offers his annual reflection and ponders where do we go from here.

“They say that desperate times, call for desperate pleasures…”

Anyone here in search of an end of year pick-me-up should probably stop reading. For 2017, was unutterably grim. If 2016 was the year of the celebrity death toll, then these last 12 months felt like the year the zombie apocalypse. One that even George A Romero couldn’t withstand.

The dire global sociopolitical landscape was inescapable – and it was keenly felt on Merseyside arts and music. Venue closures continued and the threat of yet more are on the horizon; gig and festival attendances were down while several were cancelled or downsized; practice rooms for musicians were replaced by flats and yet more student accommodation while new rehearsal spaces were in dire supply; as we write, news of Grand Central and with it The Dome (last seen playing host to the likes of Warpaint and Richard Hawley) is to shut down while the abhorrent rise in knife crime and inner city violence has spread to The Invisible Wind Factory – a place synonymous with a friendly environment and safe space values. All the while the supposed ‘centre’ of Liverpool offered increasingly little for the more discerning music fan as the entire geography of our city changed very quickly. An enforced change, many would suggest.

Central to all this was budget cuts, lack of funding and the continuing debate surrounding a Liverpool music office – or lack thereof. It is now more than two years since myself and around 20 people from the music and arts sector were invited by Liverpool City Council to discuss how best to utilise the UNESCO City of Music honour – and we’re still waiting. In that meeting, several people raised concerns how Glasgow had similarly been attributed UNESCO status yet subsequently did very little with it. If change doesn’t come quickly, this baton looks seemingly set to be passed on.

Another similar trend is the distribution of wealth and funds. A recent Council led cultural report suggested there were a staggering 29,840 cultural events on Merseyside in the years 2015-16 which generated more than £27million attracting more than 4.6m attendees. Yet you speak to those on the ground and providing the day-to-day framework making Merseyside music tick and you find a very different narrative when it comes to receiving cash and having an infrastructure in building for the future. It isn’t just a struggle, it is mere survival.

A similar meeting to the UNESCO one, was held this Autumn in Metal near Edge Hill Station. There, I joined around 25 people, from all areas of Merseyside music to discuss 2018 plans. The discussion was thought-provoking yet much of it revolved around the hope of investment from Liverpool hosting the Commonwealth Games – and the potentiality of funds that would come with it. The Games have gone. What next? 

Ten years on from Liverpool Capital of Culture, 2018 has already been mapped out as one to look forward to. However, it’s impossible not to temper that excitement with reservation when looking at what’s been set up thus far – a programme which includes another Sgt Pepper heritage show alongside our already in place city staples of LIMF and Africa Oye.  Is this really the vision for future Liverpool?

Ten months on from Liverpool’s first Music Tourism Convention held in February 2017, city musician Natalie McCool‘s words still ring true: “What if I never did a gig because there were no venues to play in”. The defining points from Getintothis‘ Paul Higham‘s piece was thus:

The importance of collaboration seemed to be the big take-home and indeed the convention in bringing together representatives from music and tourism seemed to actively encourage this. The gathering was not without its conflicts. The most obvious being one of marketing strategy, namely to encourage tourism through heritage or through new music. To that dilemma there is no easy answer. It would be foolish to neglect one’s heritage – indeed it is said that The Beatles contribute £70m to the Merseyside economy – but equally this should not be at the expense of supporting new music and crucially the infrastructure that supports and helps it to thrive. The crux seems to be how new music is to be given the space in which to succeed without being stifled by an overbearing past. Heritage, by implication, has an expiry date; our memories fade, our fashions and tastes evolve. While the past is important, it is equally so that we don’t live our lives in a museum.”

Of course, while we pondered these bigger questions and attempted to escape the monumental shitstorm seeping through on social media, we did find beauty and solace in the music. And once more, it was invariably in the fringes, the leftfield, the outlanders, the newcomers, Sleaford Mods and the mavericks.

It seemed somewhat timely that in a year were very little made sense that the ultimate maverick and Liverpool’s man of mystery, Howard Storey turned 50 almost exactly halfway through 2017 and threw a big party to celebrate. There was a lovely moment earlier this month when city studio producer Joe Wills called upon the community to support Bold Street busker Mehmet – more than £1000 has already been raised.

But more often than not our moments of 2017 came on the stage. Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia once again served up a treat and on the Friday, perhaps the greatest offering yet as District played host to the most phenomenal cataclysmic noise we’ve witnessed in many a year – a run from LA Witch including OMNIGnod, Julie’s Haircut and through to Acid Arab resulted in sonics which near blinded let alone deafened; Besnard Lakes‘ triumphant Magnet tour de force would have been the year’s best solo gig had thre not been so many choice offerings; Alex Cameron‘s lizard man antics in the Shipping Forecast reminded us just how golden pop music can be if delivered with a touch of class and sometimes with a hard bit of sax; Tinariwen‘s outpouring of grooves laced with a political message was perhaps the gig of the early part of the year as the Invisible Wind Factory danced as one; while my initial scepticism of LCD Soundsystem‘s return was blown to bits when they threw the ultimate party in Manchester in September.

And we’ve also been blessed with a whole raft of Deep Cuts highlights since we kicked them off back in February at Buyers ClubLittle Triggers vomiting between songs yet continuing on manfully and karate-kicking their way through Hendrix-driven guitar solos; Ali Horn and Pixey providing more buzz than a bee sanctuary with their debut live offerings; I See Rivers‘ taking to the centre of the room for a pin-drop a cappella track which left everyone breathless; the room exploding to the news of Jeremy Corbyn‘s exit polls just as Marvin Powell took to the stage; Nu Tribe‘s sprung-loaded high jinx hip hop which was both empowering and hilarious in equal measure; the entirety of Dig Vinyl‘s Elliot Hutchinson‘s DJ set; and quite stunning powerhouse displays from newcomers GazelleWide Eyed Boy, Mary Miller and Samurai Kip through to more established VEYURival Bones and TV ME.

Or there was that moment Ste Cole from perennial wizards a.P.A.t.T looked across stage to see the legendary Gary Lucas shredding his guitar so brilliantly to the likes of Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley – you could feel his pride swelling and you felt it with him – for him

What’s next who can possibly say, however, we would recommend keeping an eye and ear out for those at the borders and fringes of Liverpool – or whatever city you’re living in. In our experience that’s usually where it’s really happening.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson at the Liverpool Exhibtion Centre

Best 17 Gigs of 2017

Sometime last year I made a promise to be a little more selective over which live outings to attend as burn out was within touching distance. Well, that promise gotten broken pretty quickly.

The key problem was 2017 was nigh on unstoppable on the live front with ‘one-offs‘ quite literally every month. Or if you follow the jazz circuit – every week.

From Kraftwerk‘s monumental and historic return to the city with their spectacular 3D show through to CHIC‘s first visit to Liverpool in decades. Not to mention the rise of many more new artists who were far too tempting to see. What’s the alternative anyway, stay in and watch TV? Nah, not for me.

However, hands down show of the year for this writer occurred during a trip-of-a-lifetime visit to New York when we managed to take in King Gizzard at Webster Hall (the balcony felt like it was going to break such was the ferocity of the crowd and band’s connection!), SOHN and William Doyle (formerly East India Youth) at an old Polish community centre named Warsaw and Six Organs of Admittance in Brooklyn’s Union Pool.

Each of the three gigs were so very special for a multitude of reasons – but seeing one of our all-time favourite bands, doing one of our favourite records in recent years, in the beautiful setting of Bowery Ballroom – and concluding with a PRINCE cover, well it was almost too much.

Lambchop and Kurt Wagner are a special kind of artistry, and FLOTUS is a career high, right up there with Nixon, and hearing him and his band play it almost in its entirety with a sprinkling of other worldies thrown in for good measure in front of a crowd which barely spoke for 90 minutes was genuinely one of the most moving, emotional and memorable live performances we’ve ever witnessed.

Straight into my all-time top 10. Wonderful. Listen to the full set here.

Kraftwerk at Liverpool Philharmonic

Kraftwerk at Liverpool Philharmonic

1. Lambchop: Bowery Ballroom, New York

2. Kraftwerk 3-D: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool – review and photo gallery (review) – even Jurgen Klopp turned up (maybe?).

3. CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers: Echo Arena, Liverpool (review)

4. The Besnard Lakes: The Magnet, Liverpool (review)

5. LCD Soundsystem, Joe Goddard: Warehouse Project, Manchester (review)

6. Robert Plant, Seth Lakeman: The Olympia, Liverpool (review)

The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes at Magnet

7. Alex Cameron, Jack Ladder: Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (review)

8. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Webster Hall, New York (review from Manchester’s Albert Hall)

9. The Gories, Ohmns, Mincemeat: The Magnet, Liverpool (review)

10. Brian Wilson: Exhibition Centre, Liverpool (review)

11. Captain BeefheartFast N’ Bulbous featuring a.P.A.t.T, Gary Lucas, Strange Collective, Pale Rider, Psycho Comedy, Dave McCabe, Edgar Jones: District, Liverpool (review)

12. Kamasi Washington: Arts Club, Liverpool (review)

Tinariwen

Tinariwen

13. Tinariwen: Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool (review)

14. Bob Dylan: Echo Arena, Liverpool (review)

15. Blanck Mass, Bonnacons of Doom, Dialect: 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool (review)

16. Thundercat: Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool (review)

17. Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, Cherrystones: Central Library, Liverpool (review)

Hope and Glory queues

Hope and Glory queues

Best Event of 2017

As ever, we were spoilt rotten with cultural events galore on Merseyside – highlights stretch back to January including The Cavern at 60 (including The Quarrymen and Louis Berry), the stunning and remarkably insightful Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at the V&A (Gary Aster reviewed it, and also reflected upon Animals at 40), Alan Moore brought the cosmic and super weird to the ever blossoming Florrie venue in Toxteth.

Meanwhile, Skeleton Coast built upon a fine first outing by upping the ante another notch on a beautiful day in Hoylake. Hats off to all concerned (review and gallery) and November’s You’ll Never Walk Alone documentary twinned with Passing Tides – both hosted at The British Music Experience was as thoughtful as it was beautiful evening of then and now.

Elsewhere, there was stability and quiet assurance as the Bluecoat celebrated their remarkable milestone reaching their 300th birthday and demonstrated just why it’s a cornerstone of Liverpool’s arts and music community throughout the year with a vibrant range of exhibitions and events. Rick Leach spoke to Artistic Director, Bryan Biggs in our comprehensive reflection (a must read) back in March.

One event dominated a balmy weekend in late August – and quite what it all meant is still very much up for debate. When Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond announced their return to Liverpool it’s fair to say a small yet select circle of music fans went into a very palpable frenzy. While KLF fans went into meltdown, others were left intrigued, some pondered why Liverpool while the majority shrugged in indifference.

Yet, once again, the master manipulators had already suckered in enough people to snap up their £100 golden tickets – and their ‘number’ was all accounted for by the time a new book and the hype reached fever-pitch in late summer as a new Dark Age descended.

When Cauty, Drummond and a pink ice-cream van parked up on Bold Street at bookshop News From Nowhere, what unravelled for the best part of a week replicated the initial interest – but with magnified intensity as fans transformed into rabid cult-like followers, the intrigued were drawn further into the web and the indifferent could barely ignore what was unfolding.

Getintothis‘ JAMMs acolyte Gary Aster and myself joined the congregation for a lecture and trial on the burning of a million pounds, a variety of DIY rituals and ceremonies and the concluding funeral complete with pyre, Jarvis Cocker and an all-night rave. So, what did it all mean? We reflected in depth. I’m still not sure, what I am sure of – is Cauty and Drummond’s power to quite literally control and immerse people into some kind of ritual which became compulsive to the point of obsession. It really was quite something to behold. It still is.

Nevertheless. Three words near defined Liverpool’s cultural calendar and were synonymous with the undoubted event of the year: ‘no festival today‘.

Nothing in recent memory can come close to the aborted controversy that was Hope and Glory Festival.

It was the event of the year for being the non-event of the year.

From the moment it was announced, with it’s nationalistic branding and hopelessly limp line up, the signs weren’t good, however, few could have predicted what followed.

Farce turned to tragedy before rage and bewilderment and finally complete amazement that an out-of-town promoter with a chequered history of event management had been allowed to stage a mid-sized festival in an area fit for a garden party – and having mastered the art of car-crash festival management was subsequently ‘allowed’ to axe both the festival and any subsequent ticket-holder’s cash.

The fall out rumbles on. However, we hope lessons have been learnt and it was the words of Reverend and the MakersJon McClure which resonated most when he blasted the UK music industry in this post Hope and Glory chaos statement.

She Drew The Gun post their reaction on Instagram

She Drew The Gun post their reaction The GIT Award 2017 win on Instagram

Ten years of Getintothis and The GIT Award 2017 

A spectacular 12-hour marathon event at Constellations saw The Skeleton Key signed She Drew The Gun  take home the sixth The GIT Award prize together with the £1000 and Parr Street Studios recording time.

Taking to the stage at around 1am, Louisa Roach, spoke on behalf of the band saying: “This is amazing, I don’t know quite what to say, we’re all delighted and surprised – thanks so much to Getintothis and all the judging panel – it means so much!

Louisa, who started writing songs in her bedroom in 2013, has seen a rapid rise in the last 18 months with her fully formed band winning Glastonbury‘s emerging talent contest to earn a place on the bill, touring the globe – including a trip to Texas’ SXSW – and release the critically acclaimed debut album Memories of Another Future.

The band capped a remarkable year by playing Paris, various other parts of Europe as part of their relentless touring and recorded a tremendous cover version of The Beloved‘s Sweet Harmony which they debuted at The GIT Award evening. Take a listen here – it’s magik.

Ohmns rocking the joint during a riotous GIT Award 2017

Ohmns rocking the joint during a riotous GIT Award 2017

The other honours saw Jon Davies of Deep Hedonia give a rousingly passionate introduction to this year’s Inspiration Award winners 24 Kitchen Street while youngster Zuzu picked up this year’s One To Watch Award.

The GIT Award 2017 shortlist this year included AystarBaltic FleetLouis BerryThe CoralGod ColonyImmix EnsembleOhmnsOr:laShe Drew The GunSuedebrownXamVolo and The Vryll Society.

Earlier in the day the Constellations garden hosted our official 10th birthday party, 10 Bands for 10 Years of Getintothis with a line up including our favourite new artists including  FussRongoRongoThe L100The Fernweh, I See RiversPixeySpiltAGP, The Floormen and Jo Mary. It was long, exhausting, but bloody worth it.

Mellowtone's Dave McTague

Mellowtone’s Dave McTague

Hero of 2017

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s a contrary thing this music business. Politics, opinion and ambition can often get in the way of what really matters – the music. Because as our friends at Harvest Sun say: ‘there is only music.

Well, in a year when Merseyside music has seen many a change, and the landscape become a little more unsettled, it needs solid, committed, reliable, inventive and most of all genuinely good heads to bring people together. This year’s recipient of our local hero award has been doing this for longer (12 years or thereabouts) than we can remember.

He’s an ever present, and in an industry which is now very much divided from the entertainment industry (commerce) and the music industry (few have a pot to piss in), he’s admirably stayed true to his roots. These are often the kinds of music which are sniffed at, and at the complete opposite end of the perceived notions of hip or cool. Yet, he and his long-standing promotions agency Mellowtone are more than committed to champion artists and bands entrenched in folk, roots, singer-songwriters and more left-of-field affairs.

However, where Mellowtone began as a somewhat more gentle conventional affair, over the last 18 months (perhaps longer) has blossomed into an expansive all encompassing passion project which takes in arts exhibitions, artist management, festival stages, DJing, press and promotions, events hosting and production – and best of all a record label, in Mellowtone Records releasing the likes of Nick Ellis, Edgar Jones and the collaborative release of Anwar Ali and Dave Owen.

In a time when instability and uncertainty appears to be the order of the day, it’s so satisfying to see one of the (not good) but great guys ploughing on and producing some real magik – and that’s why our Getintothis Hero of 2017, is David McTague.

2016 – Bernie Connor

2015 – Robert Lewis

2014 – Christopher Tyler

2013 – Sam Wiehl

2012 – Tom Lynch

2011 – Joe Wills

2010 – Gary ‘Horse’ McGarvey

2009 – Mark McNulty

2008 – Andrew Ellis

Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia at Liverpool Music Week 2017

Festivals of 2017

A strange year for our festivals on Merseyside. Cuts, a strangehold on budgets and saturation has undoubtedly had a big impact – and there was a genuine feeling that even the most determined and tireless music lovers out there simply ran out of steam (or time) to take them all in. This was reflected in not just lukewarm to weak reviews of some of Liverpool’s flagship festivals – but also with attendances dramatically reduced.

It was the smaller, more targeted festivals who seemingly understood their audience and honed the experiences for the festival goer which translated into coherent line ups and more rounded results.

That said, there was no question which festival provided the most drama, superlative music, stand out superstar names aligned with hype stars and emerging new music while enriching its billing with the very best Merseyside music has to offer: Liverpool Music Week. The 15th year will be remembered for many things: that opening party with CHIC and Nile Rodgers, iconic record label anniversary gigs, that closing party when 30 or more of Liverpool’s new artists and bands stole the show, the controversy of the Princess Nokia show, the fusion of reggae legends with the brightest of grime, noise and hip hop artists the world has to offer, or simply utilising the entire cross-spread of Liverpool spaces ensuring Liverpool Music Week had an all-inclusive feel.

But for us, Liverpool Music Week‘s greatest triumph in 2017 was simply that it happened. With barely any budget, little input from outside resources and put together by the smallest team imaginable the collective went on to win the UK Festival Award for best line up of the year – by any festival. That says it all.

1. Liverpool Music Week (all LMW 2017 shows reviewed and pictures)

2. Africa Oye (review and reflection)

3. Wrong Festival (review) tied with Positive Vibration: Festival of Reggae (review) and Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia (review)

Fans watch the Champions League final in the food court

Fans watch the Champions League final in the food court

UK and Overseas Festival 2016

We covered more than 20 international festivals once again this year and the quality was again right up there. It’s remarkable how European festival organisation is expertly put together, often putting to shame some of the more established ones in the UK – and also makes you realise what medieval conditions British people are content with paying for.

Away from the quite tired looking regular mainstream festivals we found much to marvel at the likes of Wrexham’s Focus Wales, Northern Ireland’s Atlantic SessionsThe Good Life Experience in Flintshire, the kids-friendly Deer Shed in Yorkshire, the Peak District’s AND Festival, the Lake District’s Woodland Gathering, Scotland’s Best of the West, Sheffield’s Tramlines and of course, No 6 in Portmeirion, Wales.

There were so many new festivals we experienced, but quite simply our return to Primavera was unparalleled. If there’s an international event better than this, please let us know, as we’re yet to find one. Read our comprehensive review and check out photography from Barcelona – plus the top 17 anthems from the festival.

Micheal Head

Micheal Head at the Invisible Wind Factory

Top 10 Getintothis‘ Posts & Moments of 2017

1. The triumphant return of Michael Head was completed in 2017 – and it was really quite something to behold.

Having documented almost every string change of his semi acoustic since, Mick returned to the fore almost three years ago, all roads led to the release of his latest album Adiós Señor Pussycat

In between there was a heroic #OurNHS fundraiser at the O2 Academy with sterling support, a date at The Florrie, all manner of live dates across the country before a climatic homecoming at The Invisible Wind Factory – while Liam Gallagher‘s blockbusting return to the big league may have grabbed the headlines, following the good ship Michael Head and his Red Elastic Band‘s journey was all the more life-affirming.

Corbyn Bloody Corbyn

Corbyn Bloody Corbyn!

2. Corbyn. Whatever your political leanings there was no mistaking Jeremy Corbyn‘s impact on Merseyside music this year.

From impromptu raves in 24 Kitchen Street, to an appearance at Wirral Live alongside The Coral and The Libertines – to most importantly – his impact at the Election and restoring some semblance of hope in today’s horrific political climate, Corbyn played a significant part.

There was even a page entirely devoted to Metal memes of Corbyn – something we wholeheartedly approve of.

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell

3. Those we lost in 2017. The world of music is poorer without the rich talents of all these musicians listed. Click on their names to read personal reflections from Getintothis contributors.

Chris Cornell Jaki Liebezeit Tom Petty ~ Chuck Berry ~ Chester Bennington ~ Prodigy of Mobb Deep ~ Malcolm Young ~ Glen Campbell Holger Czukay Pierre Henry David Axelrod

In the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, Cath Bore wrote this reflection on the preciousness of teen idols, first gigs and the importance of standing together.

David Lynch’s top five seminal moments of screen

Kyle MacLachlan in a still from Twin Peaks

Kyle MacLachlan in a still from Twin Peaks

4. Television’s happening of 2017 was undoubtedly the return of Agent Dale Cooper and Twin Peaks. Few programmes have caused such a reaction and divided opinion as David Lynch‘s creation 26 years on.

While Stranger Things 2 was met with muted shrugs, hysteria of all kinds dominated the cult of Laura Palmer and the myths and secrets of Lynch‘s TV phenomenon. Whatever your opinion, there’s surely never been anything quite as mind-bending – or ambitious as episode 8 in the history of the small screen – here’s Del Pike‘s final verdict.

Sonic Yootha

Sonic Yootha

5. Sonic Yootha. Yep, 2017 was the year Yootha went overground and brought the finest in LGBTQ pop culture to the masses. The monthly happening in 24 Kitchen Street traded under the tagline ‘for homos, herteros, drag shows and don’t knows‘ which for the hard of hearing genuinely translated as a tremendous night for just about anyone. Janaya Pickett caught up with the organisers back in June – here’s what went down. 

Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies

Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies

6. This year we were lucky to chat to hundreds of our favourite musicians. Here’s a list of some of my selections which if you click you can read:

All We Are, Circa Waves,Peter Hook, Ulrika Spacek, False AdvertisingBritish Sea PowerMetronomyForest SwordsSimon Raymonde of Bella UnionMagnetic FieldsMogwaiThe Skids, Spinning Coin, The Black AngelsSiobhan WilsonRobert Forster of The Go-Betweens, Hannah Peel, Deaf SchoolThe Blinders, SpoonThe Sex Pistols‘ Paul Cook and The Big Moon.

But perhaps my pick of all the people we spoke to in 2017 was Pete Bentham – he of Liverpool underground band night Free Rock N Roll. In his chat with Rick Leach  he spoke about the spirit of punk, new music, new Liverpool and the importance more than ever of DIY – it’s a fabulous read from a man always at the heart of Liverpool new music.

The Bandwagon classics

The Bandwagon classics

7. Our Lost Liverpool series continues to prove popular by delving into the cracks and mysteries of Merseyside culture. Andy Holland explored The Beatles‘ legacy and why they could only have ever formed in LiverpoolJamie Bowman reflected upon Captain Beefheart, his visionary work and links with Liverpool ahead of a weekend of new events on Merseyside and Bernie Connor gave a first-hand perspective into the rise and fall (and sometimes hilariously disastrous) Crash FM.

Away from Liverpool, Chris Flack took a passionate look at Ulster’s Godfather of Punk, brandy buff and Belfast’s worst businessman, Terri Hooley. As Hull celebrated their City of Culture victory, Del Pike took a timely look at Hull’s The Housemartin’s debut album at 30 while I reflected upon ten years since Prince played for our money the greatest shows ever during his 21 night residency in London.

Banjo‘s incredible insight into Club Zoo and the mania of Julian Cope proved a real treat but perhaps my favourite of all, and certainly most timely, was Jamie Bowman‘s 10 years on from The Bandwagon nights at The Zanzibar – a celebration of Liverpool’s incredible rock and roll happenings – read the full hit here.

Africa Oye

Africa Oye

8. Pictures. The last 12 months allowed the Getintothis team to throw up some belters. And halfway through the year the team shared this lot before seeing out the year with their definitive pictorial statements on 2017. What was even more fascinating was the developments of editorial and use of pictures. We saw an increasing trend this year of pits with iPhones and technology which the more traditional photographer was less keen on. One of our contributors Hazel Jane  talked about her experiences in the pit with just a Polaroid camera.

9. How ticketing – or more to the point touting and secondary ticketing operates is a near daily cause for discussion and tighter legislation is obviously necessary for the good of musicians and music fans. We conducted a thorough report and spoke to those in the know. The debate and issue will continue to rage.

Musicians Against Homelessness

Musicians Against Homelessness

10. Merseyside music continued to make a very public stand with two political footballs: mental health and homelessness. Once again festivals were organised in Liverpool with musicians and music fans lending their support.

Cast‘s John Power lent his support to the ongoing Musicians Against Homelessness gigs on Merseyside with this year’s event taking place at new Baltic Triangle space Hangar 34 alongside the likes of XamVolo, Space‘s Tommy Scott and The Sundowners. Cath Boremeanwhile, detailed this year’s Liverpool Mental Health Festival, which took place across various parts of the city.

Jono Podmore finally took a look at the wider picture in our year end message.

Getintothis' Top 100 Albums of 2017

Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2017

Albums of 2017

1. Sacred PawsStrike A Match

2. Julie’s HaircutInvocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin

3. Alex CameronForced Witness

4. CircleTerminal

5. All Them WitchesSleeping Through The War

6. War On DrugsA Deeper Understanding

7. VuelvetelocaSenora

8. Watter: History of the Future

9. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 3

10. LCD Soundsystem: American Dream

For Getintothis‘ Top 100 Albums of 2017 and the year’s new music in review check out the full list here.

Morrissey

Morrissey

Worst Albums of 2017

1. MorrisseyLow In High School

2. Rag ‘N’ Bone ManHuman

3. Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud

4. Arcade Fire: Everything Now

5. Weezer: Pacific Daydream

Manchester By The Sea

Manchester By The Sea

Films of 2017

Though very different, Manchester By The Sea, felt like this year’s I, Daniel Blake. A film which managed to provoke laughter through darkness and yet left us sad and soul searching upon its conclusion.

A rare film which warrants repeat viewings in a year in which we’ve struggled to connect with a great deal on the big screen. Wind River, being the only other obvious selection, which is truly masterful – the third in a row (Sicario, and Hell or High Water) from director and former Sons of Anarchy star Taylor Sheridan.

Overall, for us, a rather underwhelming year for cinema as we wrestled with much greater viewing on TV; not least on the BBC as Nathan Pang discussed in his love letter concerning Three Girls and Broken and Luke Chandley went all-fanboy on the continuing brilliance of Louis Theroux.

1. Manchester By The Sea

2. Wind River

3. Oxide Ghosts – the making of Brass Eye (review

4. Raw

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

6. Blade Runner 2049 (review)

7. The Death of Stalin

8. Get Out

9. Mother!

10. Alien Covenant (a reflection on the franchise)

Drop The Dumbulls Gallery

Drop The Dumbulls Gallery

Venues of 2017

Survival was very much the key in 2017 for venue bosses. Those in the Baltic Triangle were fearing for their future – and 24 Kitchen Street and Constellations were two businesses vocal about the future of Liverpool development. With gentrification sweeping the city, those in the north docklands were also keen to express their worries, with the news of Liverpool City Council‘s Ten Streets programme met with positivity and cynicism in equal measure.

Certainly Drop The Dumbulls and other independent operations appearing not to be part of the original plan, despite what was said in retrospect. The Council have, however, recently approved the allocation of funds from the Regional Growth Fund to invest in the Kazimier’s Invisible Wind Factory.

In light of the loss of The KazimierWolstenholme Creative SpaceStatic GalleryMelloMelloThe Fall Out FactoryLomaxThe View Two Gallery and a multitude of practice rooms and rehearsal spaces across the city, it has once again led to discontent among Liverpool and Merseyside’s music community as more arts space is left seemingly under threat. Peel Holdings, meanwhile, have suggested they’d be keen to integrate an arts and music hub into the Everton FC stadium development. Whether this is mere rhetoric remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, over the other side of Liverpool’s city centre in the commercial district two new potential event spaces – HUS and One Fine Day opened, both look and feel like great new additions. And on the waterfront, The Cunard Building became the new home for the British Music Experience.

1. Drop The Dumbulls Gallery

2. Invisible Wind Factory

3. The Olympia tied with Buyers Club and North Shore Troubadour

Getintothis - celebrating ten years of championing the best new music

Getintothis – celebrating ten years of championing the best new music

Final thoughts

There’s little left to say, but thank you.

Once again big thanks to the small team who put these pages together every day of the year – without them, it simply wouldn’t happen. Extra special thanks goes to the 2017 editing team of Cath BoreJessica BordenPaul ‘Banjo’ Evangelista, Peter GoodbodyPaul HighamRick Leach, Lucy McLachlan, Adam LowersonCraig Macdonald  and Matthew Wood.

However, special thanks as always goes to all the musicians, who without them, Getintothis wouldn’t happen. If you missed it, we put together this colossal piece of work charting the 101 bands and artists that have defined these pages during 2007-2017. Read it in full here.

In the meantime, happy new year.

PGx

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