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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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News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

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:

Isle Of Wight reveals 2022 line-up

Isle of Wight News Report

Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report. We start this week with some festival news with events turning now to the 2022 festival season.

One of the biggest events in the UK, the iconic Isle Of Wight Festival has this week revealed the first acts set to grace the festival next year. Topping the bill will be Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie, Kasabian, Pete Tong and huge Sunday headliners Muse.

They’ll be joined by the likes of Blossoms, The Vaccines, Happy Mondays, Shaggy, The Proclaimers and The Coral.

Tickets and information can be found here.

Read our review of ‘Coral Island’ from The Coral

2022 2000trees Festival line-up takes shape!

2000trees News Report

This week also saw a stunning line-up announcement from 2000trees Festival as their 2022 edition takes shape. The event will be headlined by IDLES, Thrice and Jimmy Eat World!

They will be joined by The Amazons, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Young Guns, Royal Republic, Rolo Tomassi, Lonely The Brave, Crossfaith, Vukovi, Bob Vylan, Beans On Toast, Will Varley, Lauran Hibberd, Press To Meco, Haggard Cat and many more.

To join the fun, tickets can be found here

Read our review of ‘Transmute’ from Press To Meco

You Me At Six to celebrate ‘Sinners Never Sleep’

You Me At Six News Report

Last week Slam Dunk Festival announced the first acts that will play the event next summer. This week two huge shows were announced to take place on the same site in the days leading up to the festival.

Hitting Leeds and Hatfield in June will be You Me At Six as they celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’. There will also be a supporting bill that will include The Hunna.

Tickets can be found here.

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon & You Me At Six live at The O2

Liam Gallagher set for Knebworth return

Liam Gallagher News Report

Next June will see Liam Gallagher return to Knebworth Park. The ex-Oasis icon will headline a venue close to his heart coinciding with the release of his new album ‘C’mon You Know’ on May 27th.

A huge support bill has been revealed with Kasabian, Michael Kiwanuka, Fat White Family and Goat Girl all set to join Gallagher.

Tickets will be here.

Check out our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast on Youtube

Tool announce rare UK dates

We continue our News Report with some tour announcements. First is a run of three UK dates for Tool. The rarely seen band will be playing shows in Manchester, Birmingham and London in May 2022.

Tickets are here.

Listen to our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist on Spotify

Billy Idol set for UK Arena Tour

Also revealing a run of UK Arena dates for early summer next year is Billy Idol. Playing six dates in June he will be joined by The Go-Go’s for ‘The Roadside Tour’.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘No Gods No Masters’ from Garbage

Rolo Tomassi set for February tour

Our final tour announcement comes from Rolo Tomassi who will team up with Pupil Slicer for a February European Tour which will include four UK dates finishing up in London.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of IDLES live at PRYZM, Kingston

IDLES announce fourth album ‘Crawler’

IDLES – ‘The Beachland Ballroom’

This week saw IDLES announce the release of their fourth studio album, ‘Crawler’ which will arrive November 12th. The first single from the album, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, can be heard above!

You can pre-order the album here.

Listen to ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Ghost launch new era with ‘Hunter’s Moon’

Ghost – ‘Hunter’s Moon’

Ghost are the masters of the mysterious, the epic, the macabre… the enthralling. Now, they are gearing up for their next chapter with the unveiling of their brand new single, ‘Hunter’s Moon’.

You can order a 7″ or stream here.

Listen to ‘Hunter’s Moon’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Fatherson reveal ‘End Of The World’

Fatherson – ‘End Of The World’

We close out our News Report this week with the ‘End Of The World’! After all that is the title of the new single from Fatherson and they also enter the next phase of their career.

You can find more here.

Listen to ‘End Of The World’ on our Spotify Hot List!

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Read our review of ‘Marching In Time’ from Tremonti

Categories
Live Reviews

Bring Me The Horizon

O2 Arena, London

Sunday 26th September 2021

Bring Me The Horizon

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BRING ME THE HORIZON – O2 ARENA – LIVE REVIEW

There is a tangible sense of excitement in the air at the O2 Arena. It may be a Sunday night, we may still be living in a pandemic world, there may be a fuel crisis and summer may be in the rear view mirror but tonight nothing else matters.

Tonight is all about a moment, a spectacle, a band ascending to a higher level. It’s a tired debate now really; are Bring Me The Horizon ready? Are they ready to headline festivals, ready to carry the mantle for heavy music, ready to take over the world?

If their live performances in recent years, their chart successes or even their cultivation of a cult-like fanbase aren’t evidence enough that they are already that band then what is? How about a sold out arena tour? How about another number one record in the form of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’? Well, we are in London to find out.

Read our review of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’

Up first are one of the most exciting young rock bands around, Nova Twins. Delays in entering the venue leave their crowd a little sparse but the attention of those in the venue is fully trained on the fierce power emanating from the stage. It’s a mesmerising performance from a prospective generational band.

Next on the famous stage are a band who previously headlined the venue in 2015. Since then You Me At Six have dabbled with nostalgia and experimented with new directions. It’s that amalgamation of experiences that has born their latest album ‘SUCKAPUNCH’.

Read our review of ‘SUCKAPUNCH’

The majority of their set tonight comes from their own number one album and the likes of ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ and ‘Beautiful Way’ are greeted with audience response equal to favourites ‘Lived A Lie’ and ‘Underdog’.

The highlight however is a certain Oliver Sykes partaking in an epic run through of ‘Bite My Tongue’. Tonight’s atmosphere is special and You Me At Six make the most of it with a performance that could’ve headlined again.

Instead our headline act is Bring Me The Horizon. At times a marmite band, in that you either love them or you hate them. The hate that the band generate these days however seems to come more from jealousy. How dare a band evolve, how dare a fanbase grow, how dare an alternative band enjoy mainstream success!

‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ seems to have swayed a fair few old school fans back into the fold, but the growth of the band comes from more than that. There is a genuine crossover now between the popular crowd and those that like it heavy.

The Linkin Park-esque ‘Teardrops’ is perhaps therefore a fitting opening number. There is then very little ease in the relentless parade of hits. This is a band now that can’t fit all their popular tracks into a single set list.

So the band now has a top class set list. They also have a premium stage show that perfectly fits the narrative of the evening. They can also pull in guest appearances from Nova Twins on ‘1×1’ and YUNGBLUD on ‘Obey’.

By the time the band finish with ‘Throne’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ there isn’t an audience member in the sold out venue left in any doubt that this band has arrived. Bring Me The Horizon already are everything people argue they are or more to the matter are not! End the arguments now, embrace the future and just enjoy a heavy music success story.

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Check out Episode 7 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Miss Vincent

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News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music Weekly 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:

Isle of Wight Festival unveils new line-up for 2021

Isle of Wight Festival Poster Full Pelt Music News Report

Since the government roadmap to unlocking the UK was revealed, many festivals have announced their plans. Some cancelled, some rearranged, with plenty of line-up announcements and many selling out. This week our News Report is again absolutely packed with festival goodness!

We start with the rescheduled Isle of Wight Festival. The event recently revealed it would move from its traditional June timeslot to the weekend of 16-19 September. Now, the event has unveiled it’s new line-up with a few changes from previous attempts.

Gracing the island come September will be headline performances from Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol, David Guetta and Duran Duran! If that isn’t enough the main stage will also welcome James, You Me At Six, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., Supergrass and Seasick Steve amongst an eclectic bill.

There is also plenty on offer in the Big Top with headliners Scouting For Girls, Primal Scream, Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight joined by The Snuts, Maximo Park and many more.

You can grab your ticket here.

Read our review of ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ from You Me At Six

TRNSMT moves to September with huge line-up

TRNSMT Festival Poster Full Pelt Music News Report

At the other end of the UK, another festival is also making the move to September. Glasgow event TRNSMT will now take place on the weekend of 10-12 September at Glasgow Green.

Announcing the move, organisers have also confirmed the line-up which will feature headline acts Courteeners, Liam Gallagher and The Chemical Brothers. They are joined on another eclectic billing by a range of acts including some of our favourites such as Sports Team, The Ninth Wave, Another Sky and The Mysterines on Friday.

Primal Scream, Keane, Twin Atlantic, Vistas and The Murder Capital also play on Saturday. Finally Sunday will see the likes of Snow Patrol, Ash and Vukovi.

For tickets head on over here.

Kendal Calling sells out following line-up reveal

Kendal Calling Festival Poster Full Pelt Music News Report

This week saw Kendal Calling confirm that it will go ahead, announce its line-up and subsequently sell out! Topping the bill is the likes of Supergrass, Stereophonics, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal.

More Full Pelt favourites joining in are The Kooks, Frank Turner, Pale Waves, The Snuts, Lottery Winners and The Mysterines. With tickets now sold out, you will need to keep a check here for any further releases.

Read our review of ‘Who Am I?’ from Pale Waves

Victorious Festival delivers massive line-up

Victorious Festival Poster Full Pelt Music News Report

There is just so much festival goodness to report this week and another event delivering a stellar line-up is Portsmouth event Victorious Festival.

Heading to the coast are headline acts Madness, The Streets and Royal Blood. There is a lot more to unpack then just the headliners and attendees will be treated to a smorgasbord of talent.

We can pick out The Kooks, Feeder, Richard Ashcroft, Rag’N’Bone Man, The Fratellis, Reef, Supergrass, Fontaines D.C., Miles Kane, The Snuts, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and Beans On Toast as must see acts.

So what are you waiting for, tickets are here.

Bloodstock make further line-up additions

Bloodstock Festival Poster Full Pelt Music News Report

Further acts have been added to an already excellent looking Bloodstock Festival. Previously announced headliners Devin Townsend, Kreator and Judas Priest are now joined by The Wildhearts, Raging Speedhorn, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons and Hacktivist amongst others.

Pick up your tickets here.

Read our review of ‘We’re The Bastards’ from Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons

Beans On Toast livestream

We move on now from festival news to some livestream announcements to keep us entertained before we can gather in our masses!

Tonight (Sunday 28th March) fans will be treated to another evening in the company of the fantastic Beans On Toast. Join in the fun at 8pm on Facebook here.

Read our Beans On Toast Livestream live review

Introducing Barker-Turner Overdrive!

A very special livestream has been announced that will see Frank Turner and Emily Barker combine as Barker-Turner Overdrive for an evening of duets. The event will take place from the the awesome Tunbridge Wells Forum on Thursday 8th April.

To join in grab your ticket here.

Read our feature on Frank Turner’s Independent Venue Love series

Weezer prepare special livestream event

Weezer will be teaming up with the LA Philharmonic and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles to perform ‘OK Human’ for the first time. Tickets, merch and VIP options are all available here.

Read our review of ‘OK Human’ from Weezer

Sean McGowan announces only full band live show of 2021

Sean McGowan has announced that his only full band headline show of 2021 will take place December 18th from The 1865 in Southampton. You can pick up your tickets now here.

Royal Blood debut ‘Limbo’

Royal Blood – ‘Limbo’

We couldn’t leave you without a little new music in our News Report and this week that comes from Royal Blood. As the duo continue to ready the release of ‘Typhoons’ on April 30th, they have released a third single in the shape of ‘Limbo’.

Pre-order your copy of the album here.

Listen to ‘Limbo’ on our Spotify Hot List!

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Read our review of ‘Smith/Kotzen’ from Smith/Kotzen

Read our review of ‘The Bitter Truth’ from Evanescence

Categories
Album Reviews

You Me At Six

SUCKAPUNCH

You Me At Six SUCKAPUNCH
You Me At Six – ‘SUCKAPUNCH’

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You Me At Six – ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ – Album Review

You Me At Six are a band that are keen to show evolution on each album. This is often met with demands for the return of their early sound by certain portions of their fanbase. With ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ the band promise to continue their evolution whilst teasing heavier elements.

Those heavier undertones are apparent from the get go as ‘Nice To Me’ and ‘MAKEMEFEELALIVE’ kickstart the album with a blast of angst ridden rock. This abruptly drops into ‘Beautiful Way’ which as a song probably gives the best overall impression of the album.

You Me At Six – ‘Beautiful Way’

From here on in the experimental side of the band really comes to the fore. The title track ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ in particular wouldn’t feel out of place in a nightclub full of Instragram influencers. Well, at least what I picture that to look like!

Thematically this is a darker, harsher album from the band but it retains enough of the pop hooks that have always been present in the bands work. Whilst there is certainly that darker edge on this album it still manages to sound hugely anthemic throughout. Songs such as ‘Glasgow’ and ‘Adrenaline’ will be massive live, whenever that can happen.

Listen to ‘Adrenaline’ on our Spotify Hot List!

You Me At Six right now are a band firmly located between a rock and a hard place. They will either be criticised for changing their sound or lambasted for relying on what made them popular. Thankfully You Me At Six are a band with a thick skin and an appetite to create the music that they want to make.

With ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ they have done just that. It will alienate some old school fans, but it will also earn them many more.

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Read our latest blog – ‘Why We Need To Fix Our #BrokenRecord Industry