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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

Lost Evenings

Roundhouse, Camden

Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th September 2021

Lost Evenings

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LOST EVENINGS – ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN – LIVE REVIEW

Few musicians command such a passionate and dedicated fanbase as Frank Turner does. Since 2017, he has held an annual pilgrimage known as Lost Evenings. 4 days of activities based on the man himself punctuated by 4 headline sets each offering something different.

Last years event in Berlin was cancelled for obvious reasons and with the world not out of the woods yet Turner has chosen to return to the spiritual home of the event, Camden.

Whilst the main event takes place at the legendary Roundhouse, the festival takes over most of Camden. There are multiple stages of music, pop up gigs, panels, tattoos and much more.

THURSDAY

So let’s start unpacking the events of Lost Evenings 4! The event commenced on Thursday for the solo show of the weekend. No Sleeping Souls (well, just one – Matt Nasir on mandolin), as Turner explores some of the hidden gems of his back catalogue.

There are two fantastic support slots on the main stage from Emily Barker and Grace Petrie. Two incredible musicians who both manage to grab the audience with both hands, each joining the other during their sets as they encapsulate the spirit of the event.

Throughout the weekend Beans on Toast acts as master of ceremonies introducing each act. Next he welcomes Turner for the first of four occasions!

Turner and Nasir proceed to serenade the partisan audience who relish the opportunity to hear a few lesser played numbers. Turner states that he will endeavour to repeat only a few songs over the weekend.

Thursday highlights include new single ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’, the emotional ‘A Wave Across A Bay’, rarer numbers ‘Losing Days’, ‘Substitute’, ‘Tattoos’, ‘Josephine’ and special sing-a-long cover ‘Somebody To Love’ with Turner joined by Petrie and Barker. All in all a great way to start the festival.

FRIDAY

Friday sees Turner joined by his band The Sleeping Souls for a set billed as “the first three albums plus new songs”.

As far as support goes we start with the new – PET NEEDS. The young band from Colchester showcase tracks from their brilliant debut album including ‘Toothpaste’, ‘Pavlovian’ and ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’, which receive big reactions from the crowd.

Read our review of ‘Fractured Party Music’ from PET NEEDS

Next up it’s something old with longtime Turner contemporary Jamie Lenman joining the party. Given the theme of the evening you’d assume those in attendance would be aware of Turners hardcore past, but there are more than a few deer in headlights reactions to Lenman’s hard and heavy outing. It is however an excellent performance that ensures any first night hangovers are blown away.

It’s then Turner time again and tonight we get a carefully curated set of early favourites. Fans again get some rarer tracks from the vault including ‘Live Fast Die Old’, ‘Once We Were Anarchists’, ‘Back In The Day’, ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the One of Me’, ‘To Take You Home’, ‘Nashville Tennessee’, ‘Imperfect Tense’ and ‘Sons of Liberty’.

There is also a special section where fans get to hear three new songs from upcoming album ‘FTHC’ in the shape of ‘Non Serviam’, ‘Punches’ and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ again.

Listen to ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The night is rounded off by ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, ‘Father’s Day’, ‘St. Christopher Is Coming Home’ and ‘Photosynthesis’ sending the crowd home happy.

SATURDAY

Saturday now and we first head to the Lock Tavern for an Xtra Mile Recordings takeover with special acoustic sets from PET NEEDS, BERRIES and Johnny Lloyd.

Both BERRIES and PET NEEDS play delightful sets to a packed room which go down very well. Sadly it is then announced that Johnny Lloyd is unable to make it. Thankfully master of ceremonies Beans On Toast is on hand to play an impromptu set.

As expected Beans On Toast has the audience in the palm of his hand as he regales them with tales and songs relating to Camden. A lovely afternoon that represents all that is great about Lost Evenings.

It’s very quickly time to head to the Roundhouse for round number three, which on Saturday sees Turner play his seminal album ‘England Keep My Bones’ in full.

Watch Frank Turner on Episode 1 of the Full Pelt Music Podcast!

Before we get there we have two more fantastic support acts. First up this evening is the highly entertaining The Lottery Winners. With their catchy songs and endearing onstage banter, the group are a delightful opening act.

Next the incredible Nova Twins take to the stage and initially elicit somewhat of the same response as Lenman the day before. However by the end of their set they have captured the imagination of the whole crowd. Nova Twins future is bright and on the evidence of tonight it shouldn’t be long before they are headlining venues this size.

The next may well be the most hotly anticipated performance of the entire weekend. The main man playing, in full, an album that catapulted his career and won a legion of fans. Those in attendance know that this will be special…

..And special it is! Not just said album in full but all accompanying b-sides and associated tracks. From the moment Turner takes to the stage and opens with ‘Sailors Boots’ the energy in the room of immense. This is only amplified when playing the likes of ‘I Am Disappeared’, ‘One Foot Before the Other’, ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’, ‘Redemption’ and ‘I Still Believe’.

Joined at times by string and horn sections the finale sees everything come together with ‘Eulogy’, ‘If Ever I Stray’ and ‘Glory Hallelujah’ delivering a memorable and worthy finale to the evening.

SUNDAY

The final day of the festival is billed as the greatest hits day. Turner who has kept to his promise to limit repeats, has held back some of his most loved songs. But first, Guise! Fronted by Jess Guise, the band do a great job warming up the crowd. They may be on home turf with Guise married to Turner, but it’s their music that earns the fans adoration come the end of their set.

Our last support act of the weekend is another band Turner fans are familiar with. Skinny Lister are possibly the perfect band to raise any tired spirits after a busy weekend. They bring the party, get the crowd moving and ensure the stage is set for Turner to close out the event in style

Read our review of Frank Turner live at Coda, Colchester

Tonight’s mission statement is clear from Turner – send the fans home happy. ‘Get Better’, ‘1933’ and ‘Little Changes’ kick off a set full of fan favourites.

In a well structured set list Turner includes some lesser played favourites such as ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ and ‘Glorious You’. From start to finish he has the audience in the palm of his hand.

The encore of ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’, ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘Four Simple Words’ provides just the ending required to what has been another incredible weekend.

As we said at the start, not many artists could create and sell out a weekend like Lost Evenings, but Turner has built something very special and Lost Evenings 5 is surely in the pipeline already!

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Read our feature on the ‘Independent Venue Love’ series from Frank Turner

Categories
News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

Lost Evenings to return to Camden Roundhouse

Lost Evenings News Report

We start our News Report this week with our sole Festival entry. Frank Turner has announced that his festival, Lost Evenings, will return home to the Roundhouse in Camden.

Featuring multiple stages and various other activities the four day event will feature four unique sets from the man himself. Joining Turner on the main stage will be Grace Petrie, Emily Barker, Jamie Lenman, Pet Needs, Nova Twins, Lottery Winners, Skinny Lister and Guise!

For more information, head over here.

We recently launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast, and our first guest was Frank Turner! Watch and Listen here.

Read our review of ‘Fractured Party Music’ from Pet Needs

The Darkness return with new album and tour

The Darkness News Report

We have a few tours to tell you about in this weeks News Report including this huge one from The Darkness. The band have unveiled a massive run of dates for later this year. Support for the tour comes from Iron Maiden leader Steve Harris and his band British Lion.

Tickets will be available here.

That’s not the only news from Lowestoft’s finest however, as the band also announced a brand new album will arrive on October 15th. You can pre-order ‘Motorheart’ here.

Read our review of ‘Blue Weekend’ from Wolf Alice

Biffy Clyro announce huge Cardiff show

Biffy Clyro News Report

Biffy Clyro have announced that they will be heading to Cardiff Bay on September 16th. They will be joined by very special guests Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes at what promises to be a huge show.

Tickets will be available from here.

Listen to ‘My Town’ from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on our Spotify Hot List!

Blackberry Smoke to return to Europe in 2022

Blackberry Smoke News Report

Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke will be returning to Europe in early 2022. The run of dates will conclude in the UK with shows in Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester and finally London.

Tickets are available here.

Read our review of ‘The Ides of March’ from Myles Kennedy

Vukovi set for UK Tour

Vukovi have announced a massive tour around the UK set for this October. The tour is set to be a highlight of the touring season as the band will be joined by both Press To MECO and Delaire The Liar!

You can grab tickets here.

Listen to ‘Another Day’ from Press To MECO on our Spotify Hot List!

Black Spiders reveal short run of dates

The reformed Black Spiders have announced a handful of dates around their appearance at Steelhouse Festival. The band will grace stages in Chester, Leeds, Southampton and Milton Keynes.

Tickets are available here.

Volbeat return with two new songs

Volbeat – ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’

Volbeat kick off our new music section of our News Report. The band have released not one but two new songs this week. ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’ and ‘Dagen Før’ arrive ahead of the bands latest album.

Your listening options are here.

Read our review of ‘Nowhere Generation’ from Rise Against

Creeper announce new EP and single ‘Midnight’

Creeper – ‘Midnight’

Creeper conclude our News Report this week. The band returned to their old ways with a number of cryptic posts before announcing their latest EP, ‘American Noir’.

The EP will arrive on July 30th and you can listen to the single, ‘Midnight’ on our Spotify Hot List. Pre-orders are available now from here.

Read our review of ‘Salem II’ from Salem

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