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The Year In Review 2021

The Year In Review 2021

Full Pelt Music looks back on 2021 for our Year In Review

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2020 was a year that we all wish we could forget. Could 2021 be any better? Well, it started off just as the previous year ended; with the live music industry on its knees. Lockdown restrictions still ruled out any live in person shows, with even socially distanced shows initially outlawed.

Come late spring, things began to look up and a number of “test” events were planned. We were lucky enough to attend the Pilot Download Festival and the euphoria of being amongst fellow music fans in a field can’t truly be put into words. Things were looking up!

Live music would eventually make a full return but sadly as we write this The Year In Review 2021 feature, the sector is once again holding its breath waiting for the Government to take action. Alas, true normality may still be a long way off, but for a few months this year we got to feel alive again.

That alone elevates 2021 above 2020, but there is plenty more to unpack. We recently undertook our now annual countdown of our top albums of the year over on our social media. 2021 was a truly exceptional year in terms of album quality. Those musicians kept in lockdown last year certainly found their creativity and compiling a list of the top 50 albums of the year was highly competitive.

Read our Album of the Year 2021 feature

In our The Year In Review 2021 article, we will be revealing our end of year award winners. As with last year we will announce our Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Artist of the Year, Gig of the Year and Festival of the Year.

This year however we have an additional award to hand out. 2021 was a big year for Full Pelt Music, our first full year in existence. We’ve grown and we’ve enhanced our focus on new music. We launched initially our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify through which we highlight the best up and coming artists.

We also launched not one but two Podcasts this year, including the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast where we truly shine the spotlight on your new favourite acts. As such, this year we will also be awarding the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Before we get to those awards though, let’s run you through a few of our highlights this year. First of all, as mentioned we also launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast this year. Fittingly our inaugural guest was Frank Turner, the winner of both our Gig of the Year and Artist of the Year awards in our 2020 Year In Review.

Across the Podcasts this year we’ve had the pleasure to talk with Press To Meco, Beans On Toast, Miss Vincent, Planet Fatale, Mercutio, Light By The Sea, Freddie and the Fabs, The Damned Few, Project Renegade, Icarus and Smoke! Be sure to check out these conversations, and also to Subscribe on Youtube or wherever you listen to your Podcasts. After all, we will have plenty more for you to enjoy in 2022.

The Music Industry has seized on the opportunity to entertain this year both live and on record. We’ve reviewed 66 albums, 2 festivals and 27 gigs in 2021 as fans have been treated to incredible releases and some truly stunning live shows. Again, perhaps the enforced break has allowed creativity to breed innovation.

So with that in mind, let’s work through those award catagories!

Album of the Year

As we’ve already referenced, the pure quality of releases this year made compiling our Top 50 Album of the Year List very tricky. It was hard work but we did it, and you can read the full list here.

The quality is demonstrated best by last year’s winners IDLES only reaching a still respectable number 7. The winner however had to be ‘Blue Weekend’ from the incredible Wolf Alice who continue to go from strength to strength. After three stunning albums, there is no ceiling for this band and we can’t wait to catch songs from the album live in 2022.

Winner:

‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice

The Contenders:

‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES

Single of the Year

We move on now to our award for the Single or Song of the Year. This year has again seen us locked down for considerable amounts of time and many will have sought solace in Playlists such as our Spotify Hot List.

In selecting our track of the year we considered which songs we’ve come back to time and time again, which songs remain as fresh now as they did on first listen and what songs simply just resonate on a different level.

Our winner is an incredible track from the fantastic album ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO. ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ ticks all of the criteria and also sounds absolutely massive live.

Press To MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Winner:

‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO

The Contenders:

‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud

Artist of the Year

Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Last year we gave the award to Frank Turner for his incredible work for the #SaveOurVenues campaign through his Independent Venue Love series.

This year our winners are a band that also dabbled with livestreams during that first lockdown. This year however has been a hugely important year for Biffy Clyro. A new album, ‘A Myth of the Happily Ever After’ came hot on the heels of last year’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’. It’s another quality album from a band that continue to deliver consistently great music.

The band also had a huge impact on the live music scene this year. Firstly, the band rode to the rescue by stepping in as late replacements for Queens of the Stone Age to once again headline Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Secondly, the band played huge outdoor shows in Cardiff, Glasgow and Margate to help signal the return of live music after around 16 months of lockdown. Highlights of both their Reading and Glasgow performances aired on the BBC.

Lastly, the band played a completely sold out and very intimate ‘Fingers Crossed’ Tour across the UK. Their shows this year giving fans an opportunity to witness songs from not one but two albums live for the first time.

Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt / Unknown Male 01’
Winner:

Biffy Clyro

The Contenders:

Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner

Festival of the Year

Festivals made a belated return from lockdown restrictions in late summer, although the majority of the usual seasons events were still cancelled. For our Festival of the Year however we can’t look anywhere other than the special event that laid the groundwork for all events to return, the Download Pilot Festival!

Back in June the Government test event was the first opportunity for music fans to camp in a field and rock out for three days. The camaraderie and atmosphere this situation created, combined with the uniquely intimate Download layout and line-up made for a once in a lifetime experience.

British bands took centre stage and delivered an incredible weekend of music; with bands and fans both desperate to experience live music again. Thanks to all involved we can hopefully experience a full fat Download Festival again this summer.

Read our review of the Download Pilot Festival!

Winner:

Download Pilot Festival

The Contenders:

Reading Festival and Lost Evenings

Previous Winners:

2020 – Wild Fields Festival

Gig of the Year

Last year’s winner of Gig of the Year was a socially distancing outdoor affair, this year however true live music returned! Picking a winner this year is difficult because the pent up frustration of lockdown on both musicians and fans vented fully across some amazing gigs.

We reviewed 27 of those shows this year and there were some very special moments amongst them. The winner however must go to Bring Me The Horizon who stormed the O2 Arena with You Me At Six and Nova Twins in tow.

The night was a massive middle finger to any remaining doubters and the band solidified themselves not just as arena fillers but as festival headline ready. Fitting therefore that they have recently been revealed as headliners for Reading & Leeds Festivals next year.

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon live in London

Winner:

Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena

The Contenders:

Creeper @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Idlewild @ Electric Brixton, The Offspring @ Wembley Arena, Biffy Clyro @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Vukovi @ Norwich Waterfront Studio and Royal Blood @ Norwich UEA

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner @ Nottingham Arboretum

‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year

Our final award is a new award for this year where we shift focus on to the future. Having launched our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast this year we wanted to honour an act that we have featured and for whom the future is bright.

With their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ cracking our top 20 for the year, Miss Vincent take the inaugural ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Miss Vincent – ‘Rosaline’
Winner:

Miss Vincent

The Contenders:

Planet Fatale, Dead Nature and Thumper

So, it hasn’t been a usual year again, in fact at times it has been just as hard as 2020. 2021 has however reminded us of what we were missing. Stunning new music, incredible live shows and a return to some normality (nobody say ‘new’ normal!), make 2021 a year that will live long in the memory for many reasons.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2021 feature and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one!

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Categories
Live Reviews

Idlewild

Electric Brixton, London

Sunday 21st November 2021

Idlewild

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IDLEWILD – ELECTRIC BRIXTON – LIVE REVIEW

“..how does it feel to be three years late?..” – ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’, Idlewild

One knock on effect of the pandemic, albeit insignificant in the greater scheme of things yet incredibly grinding to music anoraks, is the issue of Anniversary Tours. With many such as tonight’s now out of sync. Idlewild may not be three years late, but their 25th Anniversary Tour is now in fact their not so poignant 26th Anniversary Tour!

That doesn’t temper the anticipation from the groups die-hard following with tonight sold out in advance and, even with no support act, Electric Brixton fills up early to await their heroes.

That is exactly how they are greeted when they arrive onstage and launch straight into ‘Dream Variations’, ‘Roseability’ and ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’. This sets the rest of the night up perfectly as the band celebrate every album throughout the next incredible two hours of music.

WATCH ‘DREAM VARIATIONS’ ON YOUTUBE
Idlewild – ‘Dream Variations’

Naturally for such a tour, nostalgia is prominent throughout the evening and it’s fantastic to see early mainstay bassist Bob Fairfoull joining the band on numerous older tracks throughout the evening. Whilst all the big hits as it were are in the mix, there are also some rarer tracks which help to make the evening feel special.

Idlewild have always been a stunning live band and tonight is truly a pinch yourself moment; how can this band remain this good after 26 years!  The fans certainly help, as they get more and more animated as the evening progresses.

Throughout the show you wait for the momentum to slow, for a track to fall flat, but the quality tonight is relentless. It’s therefore hard to pick highlights but ‘Little Discourage’, ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’, ‘Live In A Hiding Place’ and ‘El Capitan’ naturally elicit jubilation from the crowd.

The likes of ‘Collect Yourself’, ‘Everyone Says You’re So Fragile’, ‘A Ghost In The Arcade’ and ‘These Wooden Ideas’ however are equally cherished. By the time the main set concludes with ‘The Modern Way of Letting Go’ and ‘American English’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that the night has peaked.

CHECK OUT THE FULL PELT MUSIC PODCAST

What immediately follows however is a real treat for old school fans as the iconic four piece version of the line-up grace the stage for early track, ‘Self Healer’. They are gradually joined by the rest of the current band as they plough through fellow early numbers ‘4 People Do Good’ and ‘Captain’.

Once again, you’d be ecstatic to finish it there, however Idlewild treat fans to  ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction’ to deliver a truly epic finale. But much like the MCU now delivers two post-credits scenes, Idlewild still have one last parting shot for the packed crowd.

Whereas those scenes usually preview the future, Idlewild return for a final encore of old favourite ‘A Film For The Future’. After 26 years tonight feels like the epic final battle against Thanos. The hope though is that it simply means that we are entering the next phase for a treasured band.

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Read our review of ‘CRAWLER’ from IDLES

Categories
News Report

News Report

21st – 27th December 2020

Full Pelt Music – Weekly News Report

Merry Christmas from Full Pelt Music

Firstly this week, we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. The holidays may be different this year for most, but however you are celebrating we hope that you have a safe and happy festive season!

Idlewild announce retrospective book to celebrate 25 years of the band

Idlewild – ‘In the Beginning There Were Answers’

Scottish rockers Idlewild have unveiled their new book, scheduled for release on 8th February 2021. ‘In the Beginning There Were Answers’ will “chart the story of the band with text and photographs, from its formation in the autumn of 1995 in Edinburgh, through the early years of local gigs, onto recording and touring albums such as ‘100 Broken Windows’ and ‘The Remote Part’.”

The 225 page book is available to pre-order here. The book celebrates 25 years of the band and Idlewild will also be playing a special tour in November with remaining tickets available here.

Frank Turner Birthday livestream tomorrow

Frank Turner Livestream tomorrow!

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls will be streaming a very special performance tomorrow evening. In a show not to be missed, fans will be introduced to the bands new drummer as Turner and his band celebrate his birthday. You can still pick up tickets here.

Attitude Is Everything schedule January Webinars for venues

Attitude Is Everything 3 hour webinars

The brilliant Attitude Is Everything continue to work hard towards their goal that “Deaf and Disabled People can be audience members, employees or artists at any live music event of their choice: music without barriers.”. In order to provide quality training in improving accessibility and disability awareness, they have scheduled four unique 3-hour webinar sessions.

These sessions are aimed at any organisation or company working in creative industries. More information of what these sessions will include and how to book your space is available here.