Rock fans know that festival season is upon us when we get to the late May Bank Holiday weekend and Slam Dunk Festival brings rock and punk fans to Hatfield and Leeds.
This year that journey takes a little longer for some due to traffic issues, probably borne out of the fact that both events are sold out. Leeds in particular feels like the Temple Newsam is bursting at the seams today.
Queues are unimaginably long for merch, toilets, food or anything else, but thankfully the music (and weather) is very much on point!
We start the day in the ‘Knotfest’ tent for rising metallers Heriot, who attract a decent sized early crowd. That crowd is treated to a blistering set of gloriously heavy goodness and a spirited performance from a band on the cusp of bigger things.
It’s then a short walk over to one of two outdoor main stages, the ‘Amazon Rock Scene’ stage, where we will spend most of our day today. Taking this stage next are VUKOVI who absolutely own the stage and showcase their superb new album, ‘NULA’. Singer Janine is able to hold the audience in the palm of her hand and orchestrate the first truly great set of the band.
Logistically the event may be remembered for the wrong reasons, but musically today is fantastic, with that set from VUKOVI one of many that will live long in the memory for all the right reasons.
Thinking, we’ll go for a quick wonder around, it’s clear that nothing will be quick today, but we do catch a glimpse of girlfriends who are very impressive for the time we can stay. Soon though we must head back down the hill to catch Trash Boat.
This is a band that has grown significantly in almost every sense of the word over the past few years. Their latest album, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’, was one of the most surprising of 2021 as the band took their sound to new heights. Today they use the stage to bring many of these tracks to life and the crowd are clearly appreciative of another excellent performance.
Trash Boat are followed on stage by Holding Absence who have just announced that their third album, ‘The Noble Art of Self Destruction’, will be out later this year. Their set today is a good mix of old and new including brand new single, ‘False Dawn’ and fan favourite ‘Afterlife’, which gets a monumental response from the passionate crowd.
Soon enough it’s over to Wargasm who are becoming one of those marmite bands where it’s almost cool to hate them. The energy and ferocity that they put into their show however can’t be denied and whilst the energy levels for some of the crowd starts to sap, the band push through with tracks such as ‘Backyard Bastards’ and ‘Spit.’ getting everyone back moving.
We then head over to the other end of the festival site (very slowly) to the ‘Kerrang’ stage where the tent is overspilling already ahead of Boston Manor. The band are on top form right now and have every person singing along to their gargantuan anthems. As they conclude their time on stage with ‘Halo’ you can’t help but think that Boston Manor deserve to be absolutely huge.
It’s a blast from the past next as Slam Dunk keep up their track record of reformations with Kids In Glass Houses. Playing their first shows in almost a decade the band focus their set on ‘Smart Casual’, which will be getting a re-release later this year. Songs like ‘Saturday’ and ‘Give Me What I Want’ still have it and so do the band who fly through the set like they’ve never been away.
Sticking to the same stage we are soon graced by PVRIS who deliver another really good performance which features a well structured setlist. Lynn Gunn leads the trio through a selection of their popular tracks with ‘You and I’ and ‘My House’ both getting big audience responses. The band will return with their fourth album in July, and new track ‘Goddess’ goes down very well today complete with guest spot from Charlotte Sands.
We are at the business end of the day now and up next on stage are Billy Talent who are able to deliver a pure masterclass in how to make the most of a shortened festival set. Banger, after banger, after banger as the band deliver suckerpunch after suckerpunch. The crowd reciprocate the bands energy and by the time the set finishes with ‘Red Flag’, the band have done enough to claim the band of the day moniker!
In the clash of the headliners, we opt to head to the ‘Dickies’ stage for punk icons The Offspring. The band have an endless stream of hit songs, and tonight the band focus more on their back catalogue then they did at Hatfield yesterday.
Their covers section in the middle feels a little too much considering their short time on stage but nobody can deny the final run of tracks which provides a great end to a packed day both musically and in terms of the volume of people on site!
Slam Dunk is a trusted brand these days and musically they’ve delivered once again, but there are undoubtedly some logistical issues that need to be fixed. Perhaps they’ve once again outgrown their homes and need to find bigger accommodation, one thing is for sure though and next May will again see a packed line-up heralding the dawning of a new festival season.
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week by running through the best festival announcements made over the past week and up first we have Kendal Calling.
Topping the bill this year will be Kasabian, Royal Blood, Blossoms and Nile Rodgers & Chic! They are joined by the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Frank Turner, Circa Waves, The Enemy, KT Tunstall and The Amazons.
Also across the weekend will be The Hunna, The Murder Capital, Vistas, We Are Scientists, Lottery Winners, Black Honey, Newton Faulkner, October Drift, Jack Valero and many more!
Glasgow’s TRNSMT has added some fifty new acts to the bill for this year’s festival. The events features headliners Pulp, Sam Fender, The 1975, George Ezra, Kasabian and Royal Blood.
They are joined by Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, The View, The Kooks, Pale Waves, Hot Milk, Hamish Hawk, The Wombats, Nothing But Thieves, The Enemy, The Amazons, Bob Vylan, Dream Wife, Lauran Hibberd and many more.
Wales is also able to attract rocks finest with Steelhouse Festival leading the way. This week the festival announced that Black Stone Cherry will be topping the bill alongside already announced Saturday headliners Airbourne.
They are joined over the weekend by the likes of The Answer, Blues Pills, Kris Barras Band, Florence Black, When Rivers Meet, The Cruel Knives and Dead Man’s Whiskey!
Another rock event getting bigger this week was Slam Dunk Festival who have added more bands to an already packed bill. Probably a good thing then that they’ve also broken down the stage splits.
Added to the event were PVRIS, Sueco, Millie Manders and many more. They join the likes of Enter Shikari, The Offspring, Billy Talent, Bowling For Soup, Yellowcard,Creeper and far too many others to mention!
Live At Leeds: In The Park has added The Hives, DMA’s, gengahr and more to an already packed line up headlined by Two Door Cinema Club.
They join amongst others, The Big Moon, Black Honey, The Beths, Skinny Living, Deadletter, Ellur, Low Hummer and Opus Kink.
Speaking about their appearance at Live At Leeds: In The Park 2023, The Hives’ frontman Pelle Almqvist said: “Some festival names just have a ring to them don’t they? Live At Leeds. It sounds like some upper echelon rock shit and if this year’s edition wasn’t before, now it is. The Hives are very proud and happy to join this upper echelon. They are coming for your money and dignity and in exchange they will deliver however long a show you will let them of life-affirming record-breaking rock ’ ‘ roll music. If you have never seen them before. imagine a rock show but to the 3rd power. Too much of everything. If you have seen them before, you know you will have to again.”
Skinny Living said: “Live At Leeds is one of our favourite festivals in the UK! The line up is always top class, so to be able to play the main stage as a local band this year is a proper moment for us and our people.”
Looking ahead, Festival Promoter Joe Hubbard said: “It may be chilly outside, but we’re already incredibly excited about returning to Temple Newsam for an unforgettable summer festival celebration – with even more favourites and new faces joining the party at Live At Leeds: In The Park this year.
DMA’s and The Hives may just be some of the best festival bands going right now, and having phenomena like Cavetown and Crawlers join the party is truly special. At Live At Leeds, we always look to bring unmissable live titans together with fans’ next favourite bands – and this year’s In The Park is the perfect example of that. All coming together on one day at Temple Newsam, there’s nothing quite like it – and we can’t wait to see everyone this May!”
Next in our News Report is the latest single from Willie J Healey featuring Jamie T. Listen to ‘Thank You’ above now.
The track comes from forthcoming album, ‘Bunny’, which is out August 25th.
Willie comments on the new single: “I was tired and flat and didn’t know what to make & then my friend Jamie said ay willie I’ve got this drum machine it might inspire you.. I picked it up and wrote ‘Thank You’ the next day, it was my way of thanking Jamie for being a good friend. I dedicate it to anyone trying to do their own thing.”
Mimi Barks concludes this portion of our News Report with the new video for her track, ‘SAW’, which you can watch above!
The track features on their recently released mixtape, ‘DEADGIRL’.
Barks had the following to say, “SAW, the third song on the DEADGIRL Mixtape, marks the resistance, rage, and anger I experienced while seeking my identity and self-worth on an emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental level.”
She continues to mention – “Working independently on set with a micro team—just me, and my videographer, and his camera—it takes me back to my roots. No crew, no lights, and no screenplay. It’s raw, industrial and dirty – with the walls of the derelict buildings captured in the music video reflecting the wrath and backlash of my internal war.”
Blondshell will release her self-titled debut album arrives April 7th and is preceded by new single, ‘Joiner’.
Describing the new single, Blondshell explains, “I was listening to a lot of Britpop when I wrote this song. A lot of those bands like The Verve, Pulp, Suede, and Blur channelled dark subject matter, drugs, and all this dirty stuff, but with a fun acoustic guitar under it. I was listening to The Replacements, too. That’s what this song was inspired by sonically. I wanted it to feel like you’re watching HBO, where even though it’s heavy, it’s still a good time.”
BLACKGOLD – ‘Boogeyman’
Masked Misfits BLACKGOLD are back at it again with new single ‘Boogeyman’!
The band comment, “‘Boogeyman’ is about that person that haunts your dreams. They have full control over you within your subconscious and it feels like you can’t escape.”
Riyah – ‘Perfect’
Riyah is ready to unleash her first single ‘Perfect’, showcasing what is to come from her hands and lungs.
She comments, “I’m excited to see this new chapter roll out with this new EP. I’ve spent almost two years figuring out which way to go, and these songs might feel like baby steps to some, but for me it’s gigantic leap into my passion”
Iron Maiden announce new Triple Vinyl to commemorate 40th Anniversary of ‘The Number of the Beast’
The legendary Iron Maiden have announced the release of a commemorative triple black vinyl album in honour of the 40th Anniversary of seminal third album, ‘The Number Of The Beast’, which was also the first to feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals and was to become the record which catapulted the band to international stardom.
Included in the new vinyl package is ‘Beast Over Hammersmith’ – available now officially for the very first time on vinyl – featuring the live concert from March 1982’s now legendary Hammersmith Odeon London show from the ‘Beast On The Road’ World Tour.
Recorded only days before the release of ‘The Number Of The Beast’ album, it’s remarkable to think these now classic songs at that time were still brand new, unfamiliar and being heard live by fans for the very first time. A real piece of history in the making.
Steve Harris comments, “On this vinyl release we get the chance to put ‘Total Eclipse’ in its rightful spot on the album for the first time. The reason it didn’t make it in the first place was that it was all a mad rush when we were finishing the record and we had to get the ‘Run To The Hills’ single out before the tour and we basically had to pick a B-side and it was between ‘Gangland’ and ‘Total Eclipse’ and we just picked the wrong one, really! I think ‘Total Eclipse’ is a stronger song and the album would have been stronger if it had been on there.”
With new album, ‘The Calton Songs’, out soon on October 14th, Gun have shared the new reinvigorated version of firm fan favourite ‘Inside Out’, which you can listen to above.
As Jools Gizzi says: “When the pandemic hit we realised that it was the perfect time to try and counteract the bleakness that was all around. It felt like we couldn’t write anything, or of course tour. Out of that darkness came a desire to completely rework these songs that we know the fans love, and bring a different, stripped down vibe”.
Dante Gizzi added: “It’s ironic that those feelings of negativity led to something so positive, a celebration of our career up to now”.
Willie J Healey has announced that his new album, ‘Bunny’, will be out March 24th. Healey, who support Florance + The Machine on tour this November, also debuted new track, ‘Dreams’ which you can listen to above.
Willie says, “‘Dreams’ is a song I wrote when thinking about the cost of an ambition. The idea behind the video is, what would life be like if you had to carry all of the money you made on your back, and that if you did have to carry it you probably wouldn’t want as much.’”
Asylums have this week debuted their new single, ‘Instant Coffee’, which you can check out above.
The track comes from upcoming album, ‘Signs of Life’, which is out on October 28th.
Producer Dave Eringa says of “Instant Coffee”:“It’s like all of Luke’s songwriting to date has been leading up to Instant Coffee, a beautifully melancholic perfect pop song with real depth! Late 90’s Albarn meets the great bits of American indie at a classical concert & they all get together for a party!”
Incredibly talented youngster Nandi Bushell took the next step in her musical evolution this week but debuted her first single, ‘The Shadows’, which you can listen to above.
“Early in 2022 my Dad fell into a depression as his autoimmune disease worsened. It was a difficult time for our family. I wanted to help cheer my Dad up by writing a song for him. He would describe his feelings to me and I would put them into lyrics letting him know, I would be there for him.
My Dad is now doing much better, he is on medication that is helping with his autoimmune disease and has recovered from his depression.
If you are suffering from mental health issues, please reach out for help. If you know of any good charities, groups or organisation in your area please share them in the comments for others.
We bring our News Report towards a close now with the best tour announcements from the past week and start with Tom Grennan.
Grennan revealed an Arena Tour set for March next year which concludes at the O2 Arena in London.
The news follows new single, ‘All These Nights’ and comes ahead of new album ‘What Ifs and Maybes’.
Speaking about the new album, Tom said: “I’ve called my new album What Ifs & Maybes. It’s about going with your gut, not your head, because you never know what’s going to happen. I’m not afraid to jump into the unknown – because it’s exciting! It’s about rolling the dice and living your best life with nothing to lose. I’m in a new creative space, and I know I’m finally the artist I want to be. I’m so buzzing for these shows, my biggest gigs to date. I can’t wait to get out and play these new songs to everyone. Let’s go!”
TikTok star and queen of angsty pop/rock, Charlotte Sands, has released her hard-hitting, fan favourite single ‘Tantrum’.
On the track, she said, “‘Tantrum’ is so special to me because since the first time I played it live, people immediately latched onto it and have been fighting for its release ever since. This song not only represents experiences of anxiety, panic, and rebellion throughout my life and career but also the journey and relationship between me and the people who have made my career possible. I’ve been playing it live for over a year now and I’m thankful for the people who have pushed me out of my comfort zone to release a song that without them would still be sitting in a folder somewhere on my phone. I am overwhelmed with excitement for this song to finally be out in the world, it’s been a year in the making (almost to the exact day) and I can’t wait to finally be able to throw a tantrum together.”
As Sirens Fall – ‘heaven (spat us back out)’
As Sirens Fall share their new single, ‘heaven (spat us back out)’.
‘i started writing heaven (spat us back out) just as our last ep ‘l’appel du vide (part 1)’ was releasing. that ep was a project about grief, and ‘heaven’ very much comes from that same place. it’s about giving up on the hopeful delusions that often come packaged with grief. it’s about realising you’re coming of age in a dark world and choosing to face it all and grow up anyway – choosing to live.’ Mikey Lord, Vocals
Arliston – ‘Hold My Wine’
Arliston return with the stirring and spirited new single, ‘Hold My Wine’, taken from forthcoming EP ‘Even In The Shade’.
Vocalist Jack Ratcliffe says, “We’ve been wanting to make something a bit more playful for a while, so when we first hit on that chorus idea and made a silly middle-class pun on ‘hold my beer’, everything just fell into place around it. This one was a lot of fun to make.”
Jack adds,“The song is about that occasional moment of recognition when you look up from the narrow corridor of your own thoughts and are seized by the idea that everyone else has progressed and developed, while you are stuck in an unchanged rut. The protagonist attempts to do something about it in the chorus — but inevitably, he gets it wrong.”
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with festival announcements and we can’t begin anywhere else other than Slam Dunk Festival. The dual location event has revealed the first batch of bands set for Leeds and Hatfield next year and it’s a stunner!
On tap are The Offspring, Enter Shikari, Billy Talent, Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake, Creeper, Holding Absence, Trash Boat and Kids In Glass Houses amongst many more.
Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari comments:
“I’ve been intoxicated by the idea of headlining Slam Dunk again ever since our Take To The Skies celebration headline set back in 2017. It’s such a great festival, always nails its bills, and has the added bonus that us lads can actually cycle to the Southern date, being that Hatfield is a neighbouring town to us!
In fact, essentially, this will be our biggest “hometown” show ever, now that the festival has grown even more. I cannot wait. In fact, I will not wait. I demand we play this tomorrow!
I think playing outdoors is my favourite thing to do in life. Just being able to look up and see the sky, with the expanse of people underneath it, all sharing the same emotions and experience, it’s just such a raw, beautiful, and reifying thing.
Slam Dunk is a festival I try to attend every year regardless of whether we’re playing it. I love both the sites, and it’s always full of mates and has such a convivial vibe. (That’s my word of the week).
We’re already thinking about stage production ideas, we’re going to do everything we can to make this our biggest show yet.”
Staying in Leeds, and Live At Leeds: In The City grew by some 80+ acts this week.
Joining the already announced Pale Waves, Dinosaur Pile-Up and Baby Queen will be the likes of Sundara Karma, White Lies, Swim Deep, Lottery Winners, King No-One, The Pale White, The Hara and many more.
Speaking about the new additions to Live At Leeds: In The City, Festival Promoter Joe Hubbard said: “After the incredible reaction to our first wave of names, we’re delighted to announce over 80 new artists joining us across Leeds City Centre this October. There’s something incredible about bringing together some of the most exciting names in new music that us in the Live At Leeds office have been playing constantly or lucky enough to see this year – and Live At Leeds: In The City 2022 feels like the perfect combination of artists we know are set for massive things in the year ahead.
I can’t wait to dive around the city catching set after set of must-see moments, and we’re sure that everyone will come away from the festival with countless new favourite artists”
Our News Report moves on to the biggest tour announcements from the past week, but we start off with another huge summer show set for 2023.
Courteeners will be returning to Heaton Park to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of their debut album, ‘St.Jude’.
Speaking about the special ‘St Jude’ Heaton Park show, Liam Fray says: “They grow up so fast. Can’t believe our darling St. Jude is 15 next year. Think it’s time for a celebration and we all know that great things come in threes….The Star Wars Trilogy, Sooty, Sweep & Soo and now, here we are, with the third instalment of ‘Courteeners at Heaton Park’.
June 2015. June 2019 and now June 2023 …
This time, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its release we’ll be playing ST. JUDE (in full) PLUS (of course) THE HITS. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than to make the pilgrimage to Heaton Park with like-minded souls and lose ourselves like it’s 2008. And, because we’re good like that, we’ve remastered the original album … GOD BLESS THE BAND. GOD BLESS THE FANS. OMNE TRIUM PERFECTUM.’
Watch Daytime TV on our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast
Arctic Monkeys debut new single ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’
Our News Report turns now to the best new music releases from the past week and we start with the iconic Arctic Monkeys.
Last week the band revealed that new album, ‘The Car’, will be released on October 21st. This week the band debuted the first single from the album, ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’, which you can check out above.
The Wonder Years share ‘Old Friends Like Lost Teeth’
As we continue our News Report we look now at The Wonder Years who this week shared new track, ‘Old Friends Like Lost Teeth’, which you can check out above.
The track will feature on upcoming album, ‘The Hum Goes On Forever’, which is out September 23rd.
“As much as I try not to dwell on loss, I can’t help myself from thinking about it, writing about it, singing about it,” Vocalist Dan Campbell explains. “This is a song for another friend who passed too soon and about how I wish I could stop myself from opening the sutures, about how I know it’ll be painful to play live, and how powerless I am to do anything else.”
Pulled Apart By Horses share ‘Sleep In Your Grave’
Pulled Apart By Horses this week shared new track, ‘Sleep In Your Grave’, which you can check out above. The track comes ahead of fifth album ‘Reality Cheques’, out September 30th.
Commenting on the band’s sonic evolution for the new record, vocalist Tom Hudson says: “One major thing we all chatted about was the ‘less is more’ approach, so we made a collective decision for me to ditch my guitar. It was a logical and simple way of trimming the fat, it gave us a more direct ‘to the point’ urgency. Instead of the racket of multiple duelling guitars and a cacophony of noise, everything had a pocket to sit in. A sonic corner. PABH 2.0.”
“Whilst we were working through writing and jamming, we also experimented with load of different recording techniques, an array of vintage microphones that we’d accumulated, trashed 70’s WEM guitar combo amps, routing vocals through old fender spring reverb heads, manipulating sounds with Space Echo tape effects and a load of other things for us to play around with.”
October Drift released new single, ‘Waltzer’, this week, which you can check out above. The tracks will feature on upcoming album, ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’, which is out October 14th.
Regarding the single frontman Kiran Roy says, “‘Waltzer’ always makes me think of Robert Eggars film The Lighthouse. The isolation and spiralling madness of the film really echoes with this song. I guess it’s mainly about the fog of depression. It’s a kind of focus lens on my lowest and darkest thoughts, as well as a reflection of people I love and care about who have themselves battled with these kinds of things.”
Check out Episode 10 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests October Drift
Charlotte Wessels shares latest single ‘Toxic’
Charlotte Wessels debuted her latest single, ‘Toxic’, this week which you can listen to above. The track will feature on new album, ‘Tales From Six Feet Under Vol II’, which is out October 7th.
On ‘Toxic’, Charlotte says: “‘Toxic’ is a direct response to the populism, greed, misogyny and victim blaming that come screaming from our screens on a daily basis, and with the recent overturning of Roe v Wade, it has sadly become only more relevant since its initial release on Patreon. I hope you like the song but I mostly hope the issues it deals with will be a thing of the past before I am.”
Doom trap pioneer Mimi Barks has announced her highly anticipated upcoming mixtape ‘DEADGIRL’ which is set for release in December 2022. She has also dropped a new offering in the form of defying single ‘nihil’.
“‘nihil’ is the first track I wrote after having my entire music collection and visuals wiped off all DSP’s including YouTube in 2020. And just when I entered the void, thinking this is it, my brother KOEN sent this beat, which lead me to writing the first song for what would later become the DEADGIRL Mixtape. I needed to move forward from this, and “nihil” be my reboot in a paradoxical way.”“There lies great power in resistance” – Mimi Barks
Sunsleeper – ‘Quitter’
Indie rock band Sunsleeper have shared their new single ‘Quitter’.
“’Quitter’ is about the pains and joys of being a band,” says vocalist Jeffery Mudgett. “How touring is both incredibly fulfilling while also being a detriment to normalcy and comfortability. Poking fun at the comparison game. The realization that creating music in a live scenario is often the place I feel the most present, when I allow myself to be.”
noyou – ‘Same Old Story’
Having recently exploded onto the scene, Synthetic Pop-Rock band noyou have dropped their new single ‘Same Old Story’.
“Same Old Story explores the anxieties and stresses that come with adult life. Are we ‘on track’ with where we’re supposed to be for our age? The track deals with the repetition and monotony of the everyday and the struggles of wanting to be released from it. The train never stops, but what is our destination?” – noyou front man Connor Jobes.
Keep an eye on our Socials this week for the latest episode of the ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests noyou!
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.
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.
‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice
‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO
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.
‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO
‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner
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.
Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.
This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.
Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!
With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!
What we said:
“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”
The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.
What we said:
“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”
As soon as The Offspring announced an arena tour with The Hives in tow, an evening of early 2000’s rock scene nostalgia was destined. With the walk down Wembley Way lit with Christmas lights, with festive music playing, a fantastic Friday night in London is in store. We just won’t mention the tube strike!
Whilst nostalgia is at the heart of the evening, we start off with something new, vital and refreshing. Bob Vylan are earning their stripes. They’ve jumped onto this tour straight from supporting Biffy Clyro last month, and they’ve just announced a headline tour for next year.
Our advice following their performance tonight is to get your tickets for said headline tour as soon as possible. Enjoy them in small venues while you can, because they belong on stages like Wembley Arena. Their politically charged punk ruckus is guaranteed to elicit a reaction one way or the other. Tonight the overwhelming majority are on board and the likes of ‘Pretty Songs’ and ‘GDP’ showcase a band with a big future.
Main support for this tour comes from The Hives, generally understood to be an incredible live act. Thankfully nothing has changed during the enforced lay-off of the past two years.
With their time on stage relatively short the band blast out their biggest hits such as ‘Main Offender’, ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ and ‘Tick Tick Boom’ to the delight of the crowd. Our headliners will need to be at the top of their game in order to match the brilliance of The Hives.
Things start well for The Offspring with ‘Staring at the Sun’, ‘Come Out and Play’ and ‘Want You Bad’ immediately getting the audience riled up. A visually simple yet stunning stage show also helps to fill the huge space of Wembley Arena and make the band seem at home on such a stage.
Whilst that word nostalgia keeps coming up, The Offspring are actually touring a new album and up next two new tracks demonstrate the quality that the band is still putting out. ‘The Opioid Diaries’ and title track ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’ are received just as well as the older tracks ‘Hit That’, ‘Hammerhead’ and ‘Bad Habit’ that follow.
WATCH ‘LET THE BAD TIMES ROLL’ ON YOUTUBE
The question of whether The Offspring can match or eclipse The Hives is already positively answered by the time we are treated to an incredible piano version of fan favourite ‘Gone Away’.
The closing run of ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job?’, ‘Original Prankster’, ‘(Can’t Get My) Head Around You’, ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’ and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ is as good as it gets and vindicates the bands decision to play arenas on this tour.
The encore of ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’ and ‘Self Esteem’ is the cherry on the icing of a beautiful cake that is made from three superb performances from Bob Vylan, The Hives and The Offspring. This was a thoroughly enjoyable show, which celebrates both the present and future of punk rock.
THE OFFSPRING – LET THE BAD TIMES ROLL – ALBUM REVIEW
Was anybody craving a new album from The Offspring in 2021? Where would you set your expectations for such a release? ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ arrives some nine years since its predecessor ‘Days Go By’.
In fact the band have exercised a very sparse release schedule since their last Platinum record – 2000’s ‘Conspiracy of One’. With ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ just the fourth album in the last 21 years, how would this record size-up with their early material.
The answer is teased from the outset with ‘This Is Not Utopia’, ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ and ‘Behind Your Walls’ capturing the energy of their biggest hits. Theories of a toned down The Offspring are quickly dispelled as the album shows little ease.
There is a maturity on this album that I’d liken to a Bad Religion model of teenage angst through the eyes of a wise old punk rocker. That brings a sense of relevance to the release that may have been missing had the band simply tried to mirror early successes.
The fact is that at this stage of their career The Offspring didn’t need to release an album. They have enough in their arsenal to coast through sell out shows and major festival slots. They could be forgiven for playing on nostalgia until they retire. They haven’t done that however. They have chosen to stick their necks out and release new music for the first time in a long time.
WATCH ‘COMING FOR YOU’ ON YOUTUBE!
‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ is unlikely to reach the heights of ‘Conspiracy of One’, but somewhat surprisingly that isn’t down to its quality. This album will actually gain the band additional credibility and will sit very nicely with their back catalogue.
Was anybody craving a new album from The Offspring in 2021? Perhaps not, but actually in this messed up world we live in, maybe, just maybe, we needed it!
Whilst we are of course hopeful that we will safely be able to return to live music this summer, it’s not yet guaranteed. One festival that has chosen to move to 2022 is Bearded Theory.
In doing so they have revealed that the event will be headlined by Placebo, Patti Smith and The Flaming Lips. The event promises to be one not to miss and you can grab your tickets here.
Red Rooster reveals full line-up
Suffolk’s Red Rooster Festival is another event still looking to go ahead. The festival will take place over the weekend of 27-29 August and will feature sets from Richard Hawley, Jade Bird, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Emily Barker, The Urban Voodoo Machine and many more.
Get Together festival will take place this August from Sheffield Uni Students’ Union. The two day event has just announced a great line-up featuring Black Honey, Dream Wife, Tim Burgess, Willie J Healey, The Mysterines, The Ninth Wave, Self Esteem and The Orielles.
This week we all listened with bated breath as the government announced their “roadmap” out of lockdown. Alongside various other steps that impact on the music industry was a date of June 21st. This is the date that, all being well, all social distancing laws will end.
This announcement clearly paving the way for the return of live music in the form we all know and love. Whilst we are optimistic, we are cautiously so. After all, when has anything gone to plan during this past year. Also, the safety of all involved must remain paramount.
But, we hope that the stars are aligning and we will all be together in a room or field across the country very soon. With all this in mind, this week has seen music fans prove the viability of the industry by flocking to purchase tickets for the return of music festivals.
Many festivals, big and small, have very quickly sold out all tickets, with Reading & Leeds Festivals leading the way. Festivals with no announced line-ups are even starting to sell out. This is fantastic news for festivals and all of the live music industry. Where the government has forgotten the industry, the fans have not.
Iconic rockers The Offspring announced their return this week with a brilliant new single, ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’. Not just that however, as the band also announced their first new studio album in nine long years.
That album will also be entitled ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ and will be released April 16th! Not too long to wait, and you can pre-order your copy here.
Another bunch of rockers releasing new music are The Datsuns. New Zealand’s finest this week dropped the brand new single ‘Brain To Brain’. They also have a new album on the way. ‘Eye To Eye’ will be released on May 28, and you can pre-order your copy here.
Black Sky Research announce physical release for ‘One’
This week also saw Black Sky Research announce the physical release for their debut EP ‘One’. You can grab your copy here.
We started the News Report this week by talking about the return of live music. Whilst the government announcement this week inevitably led to further postponements of tours, we also got a handful of new tour announcements.
One such announcement came from Slowthai, who has unveiled a huge UK tour for early 2022. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that we are fully back to normal and that live music is thriving by the time this tour arrives!
Pick up your tickets for Slowthai from March 5th here.