End Of Year Review 2012

I know, I know, what’s an end of year review doing appearing in March? Well I’ve been busy. Very busy. You may have noticed that the Northern Line has been a bit quiet of late? Well we’ve all had loads on and…… excuses, excuses. Anyway we are back and you should see a raft of new stuff up on the site very soon. But we will begin by looking back at last year. As is now traditional we tell you our favourite bands, LPs, gigs, books etc over the previous 12 months. You may agree, you may disagree. We will also spout loads of nonsense and bore you with trivia. Here goes………


2010: MITCHELL MUSEUM “The Peter’s Port Memorial Service”
2011: THE MINOTAURS ” Eat Yr Hate”

Another great year for music and a host of great albums. HOPE & SOCIAL keep producing excellent albums and “All our Dancing Days” was no exception. Bored of wondering when they’re going to make it. Probably never will but who cares as long as they keep sharing gems like this. Bands who have made it but continue to be good? ADMIRAL FALLOW’S second long player “Tree Bursts in Snow” was a real grower. I wasn’t sure at first but it was one of my favourites after I stuck with it. Another one that I stuck with was THE VACCINES’S; “Come of Age”. Another great album which has seen them move up to the arena league whilst remaining good. A rare feat!!! The now defunked RACE HORSES provided us with “Furniture”. Not sure if it was named after their wardrobes or the band. They must be out of their brilliant minds to have split up!!! Some lesser known albums that are just as good were PAINTINGS OF SHIP’S “English Weather” and DRESSED BY WOLVES’S “Heaven is just memories of a place I used to know”.
But album of the year is…… opens envelope…… THE WELLGREEN and their superb Beatlesque “Wellgreens”. If you’ve not heard it or of them seek them out. Byrds, Dylan, Kinks and the fab four. They mix them all up and a brilliant sound it is too.


2010: “Wreckin’ Bar”: THE VACCINES
2011: “Sold my Soul”: CATTLE & CANE

Probably the toughest category as there are 100s of great tracks and picking the best is almost impossible. I will simply list everything that tickled my fancy and pick the track that is my favourite today. It may well be different tomorrow!!
THE LAKE POETS; “City by the Sea” and “Rain” are two brilliant tracks and the launch of the first may well feature later!!! BLANK MAPS “Between you and me”, FANTASY RAINBOW ” No hope not ever”, THE RAILWAY CLUB “Broken Strings”, ST JAMES INFIRMARY “Eight for a Fiver”, PALMA VIOLETS “Best of Friends”, THE IMAGINEERS all of the “Karma Soundcheck part 1″ EP, GENERAL SHERMAN’S Tales of Noddy’s House EP and NATASHA HAWS’S version of The Futureheads “Heartbeat Song”.
The winner….. A song I cannot get out of my head…… DEERHART “I just can’t stop thinking of you” mixing the chiming guitars of Hurrah with the lyrics of Lloyd Cole. A winning combination.


2010: Woodenbox with a fistful of Fivers/Washington Irving/Cattle & Cane @ The Westgarth
2011: Stockton Calling (Various venues in Stockton)

Again loads of stuff at The Westgarth in Middlesbrough. Highlights being BETH JEANS HOUGHTON & THE HOOVES OF DESTINY, PALMA VIOLETS, CHILDHOOD, THE WELLGREEN, DEERHART and NATASHA HAWS. WOODENBOX with WAHINGTON IRVING and CALICO at the Georgian Theatre. SPECTOR at the Empire. SAVAGES and PALMA VIOLETS at the Cluny in Newcastle. This years Stockton Calling was again a strong contender with THE IMAGINEERS, CATTLE & CANE and BEAK.
But the winner was a gig in Gateshead at the eloquent surroundings of The Sage. THE LAKE POETS debut single launch was a memorable night from start to finish. My first sighting of NATASHA HAWS. Great Arcade Firesque noise from THE UNION CHOIR and then an amazing set from Martin and his newly put together band. Tracks old and new and a launch that could have got the single into space!!!


2011: THE SMITHS: Complete.

Not a massive category as very few box sets are worth looking at and even less worth buying. The House of Love’s debut was re-packaged over 3 discs and is well worth a look. Guy Chadwick and friends are back together and touring soon. It was in buying this that I realised what an utterly great band they were. Looking forward to seeing them in the flesh again. Last year all The Smiths LP were boxed together and made a sure fire winner. This year the same was done with The Jam but they didn’t win!! Beaten into second place by….. THE JAM and the box set that accompanied the re-release of The Gift. Yes it was lavish, yes it was expensive but to all the old mods it was fantastic!!


2011: This is England ’88

Now we don’t really watch a lot of telly. Apart from the footy there isn’t a lot that tickles our fancy. Last year it was Shane Meadow’s This is England ’88. This year the thing that captured our imaginations the most was THE OLYMPICS. Some great performances, some records broken, lots of Northern heroes, gold painted post boxes, bikes, badminton and all on the BBC.


2010: “No Redemption”: KEITH PATTISON
2011: “Clough & Revie: The rivals who changed the face of English football”: ROGER HERMISTON

Again football and photos dominate this category. KEITH PATTISON launched a new book with pictures of the past and the present in “Shipyards”. My love of Leeds was fuelled by no less than 3 books this year; “Dirty Leeds” by ROBERT ENDEACOTT, “The Last Champions” by DAVE SIMPSON and ANTHONY CLAVANE’S “The Promised Land”. Photos of bands are always popular at TNL and NEW ORDER’S “From Heaven to Heaven” by DEC HICKY was no exception. Lawrence from FELT was given a whole load of publicity last year and the superb photo book “Felt” added to the legend. THE SMITHS were remembered in the superb “A light that never goes out” by TONY FLETCHER.
Book of the year is a real book. A novel. Not a photo or footballer in sight. Now I know I am biased as this lad is local and drinks in my local. I even shared a mini bus to Leeds with him before Christmas. But RICHARD MILWARD is a special talent. His third novel; “Kimberley’s Capital Punishment” is a great read. Like Irvine Welsh if he’d been raised on Parmos rather than heroin!!!


2011: DEERSHED 2011

Again a lot of festivals take place but having the time and/or the money to see them is something else again. Favourable mentions go to KENDAL CALLING, SPLIT and EVOLUTION. This years line ups are looking impressive as well. A great day out was had at STOCKTON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL. A great set from JAKE BUGG stealing the show. This years appearance from Primal Scream may well prove a contender for next years honours. But the winner is the same as last year!!! Take a bow the people at DEERSHED. It truly does what it says on the tin; great bands, loads to do for the kids, great ambience, food, drink and a setting to die for. Appearances from DUTCH UNCLES, VILLAGERS and TREETOP FLYERS. As well as a show stealing appearance from the WASHINGTON IRVING boys. I’m already excited about this years festival; the highlight of the summer.


2011; THE WESTGARTH in Middlesbrough

THE CLUNY in Newcastle, THE SAGE in Gateshead, THE GEORGIAN and the SUN INN in Stockton, THE EMPIRE in Middlesbrough all great venues. Loads of great nights out but there can only be one winner…… my second home and the place to be; THE WESTGARTH SOCIAL CLUB in sunny Middlesbrough takes the prize for the second year running. Well Done.


New category. Only one entrant. Only one winner… “THE SOUND OF YOUNG SCOTLAND”. If you don’t know what or who this is then you’d better find out. Quick!!!


Again a new category that we aim to expand upon in 2013. Only one artist took my fancy in 2012. His portrait of the Queen hangs triumphantly in my front room. Still saving up to secure his wonderful Fabrice Muamba. He is the new Banksy, the new Salvador Dali, the new kid on the block….. SAMUEL PEPE JEFFERIES. A name to take note of.



Final category. Again very tough to choose. Another great year for bands that we knew and bands we discovered for the first time. Our album winners THE WELLGREEN were a pleasant addition to our “SOUND OF YOUNG SCOTLND” movement. DEERHART not only provided us with track of the year but also with the “why haven’t we noticed this lot before?” award!! THE LAKE POETS go from strength to strength. THE VACCINES are still relevant as are their young brothers PALMA VIOLETS. Old hands like I AM KLOOT continue to enchant. JAKE BUGG isn’t a band but he’s still worth a mention as he obviously plays with a band and unleashed one of our albums of the year. SAVAGES were enigmatic and alluring all at once. They also won best lead singer in high heels. Last years winners WASHINGTON IRVING were very close to stealing the prize for a second year. Their appearances at the Deershed Festival, supporting the Men They Couldn’t Hang and with Woodenbox at the Georgian were some of our highlights of the year.
But the winners and sadly now looking like calling it a day are….. THE IMAGINEERS. Their debut EP, their appearances on the Late, Late Show and seeing them in the flesh at Stockton Calling gave them a special place in our hearts. Their new stuff is truly magical and when they bow out in May with a final show at, of all places, The Westgarth it will be a mixture of joy and tears that greets them.


So that was 2012 what now. Debut albums from the wonderful WASHINGTON IRVING and hopefully CATTLE & CANE. Remember them? I’ve been predicting how great their debut is going to be for 3 years now!!! It is turning into The Las debut mixed with The Stone Roses’s Second Coming. Lets hope this year it finally sees the light of day. Rumours that Lee Mavers is producing it have been circulating in Thornaby!!! THE LAKE POETS debut should be with us in 2013 and a contender for album of the year if his two singles are anything to go by. THE IMAGINEERS seem to be calling it a day which is a real tragedy. If they have to go hopefully they will leave us with an album to help dry away the tears. DAUGHTER unleash their debut very soon and STORNOWAY their second. I have seen both bands already this year and if their albums are half as good as their live performances they will be absolute crackers.

So that was 2012. 2013 is shaping up to be even better. Previews of what’s in store will be up on the site soon. Well done to all the winners and the contenders.

By peter on March 9, 2013

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