To Celebrate our first year as All Music Magazine UK/Europe we have decided to take sometime to put together a little piece on our favourite shows, releases and photos of 2021 and introduce you t0 the team.
Desh Kapur Manchester born and Editor and Head of Photography for the UK Mag
The first is The Snuts, i love this band and managed to catch them 3 times this year and each time they were better than the last,
The Snuts are a Scottish indie rock band formed in 2015, originating from West Lothian, Scotland. The band consists of Jack Cochrane (vocals and guitar), Joe McGillveray (guitar), Callum ’29’ Wilson (bass) and Jordan ‘Joko’ Mackay (drums).
Jack Cochrane’s voice is something to behold; he is without doubt is one of the best singers I have heard in a long while. The band is tight, and they write great songs, so if you like your bands to have Indie cool, melody, big choruses and soaring vocals then this is the band for you.
My 2nd favourite Band of the year was The Reytons
The Reytons are a very impressive band with great songs and a live show. Their energy is second to none and more importantly a fan base other bands could only wish for. I really like this band and I hope they have the success they deserve and warrant.
Warren Millar Everton supporter and master lensman, Warren was the first photographer i brought to the team and he has been amazing and taken some more than excellent images, here is what he had to say and pick
Hailing from St Helens this 5 piece band are without doubt one of my favourite bands to photograph. High energy performance is always on the cards at a “Chicken Man” gig. Ryan Morris as a lead man is beyond amazing. Great indie/punk music that grabs you in all the right places. I have high hopes to see these guys go even further over the next few years and I for one want to be there on the ride !
This Cheshire based 4 piece band are without doubt going places. Sold out gigs at The Deaf Institute and Academy3 Manchester is nothing to be sniffed at ! Touring all over the U.K. and along the way picking up a very substantial and loyal fan base. All excellent musicians in their right and a great live sound all add to their popularity. They also seem to have that secret ingredient every top band tend to have which is their own style, not just musically but appearance. Jake Vickers their lead man has a very likable stage presents and all the guys are genuine and real. I say this having had some time with them back stage before their sell out gig at The Academy 3 Manchester this year. Catch these guys out they are amazing !!
Introducing our main man in the big smoke, London UK, ace Photographer Marvey Mills
The so-called “godfather of electronic music” was my #1 favourite artist back in the early 80s when I was young. I never knew then that, roll forwards 40 years, he would also become one of my favourite artists to shoot. With his new-found powerful dark music and striking look, coupled with great lights, it is always a pleasure to point a camera at Numan. Here he is rocking the main stage in the rain at Beautiful Days Festival in August 2021.
One of my favourite bands, and in the past few years, the band that I have probably shot more than any other. Their joyous brand of West Country not-quite folk-punk and effervescent energy are a photographer’s dream. It is also hard to keep the camera still enough to shoot when you are busy jumping around to their music along with the entire crowd. Seen here at Bostin IV Festival in Wolverhampton in October 2021
Von Goloka is a man that makes words sing and was pretty much the first writer to join the team and i always look forward to his reviews, such a clever writer
As 2021 draws to a close I can now confirm that dire predictions that the unprecedented restrictions placed on the ability of artists and bands to meet, record and perform would lead to a pretty thin year for new cuts to be replaced with a glut of fat packed reissues thankfully proved to be wrong. Very wrong. In many regards it felt like business as usual, which is a great credit to all those who kept calm and carried on, underscoring the time honoured mantra that “rock ‘n’ roll can never die”. Here at Zodiac Strasse there seemed to be no end to new bands with new stuff they wanted to be heard and it comes as no surprise really that the two stand out releases that make it to the top of my pile for 2021 come, as they do, in the guise of debut EP releases. Both absolutely outstanding and by complete happenchance both Northern Indie type affairs.
And so in no particular order I give you The Lounge Society’s debut EP “Silk for the starving” which released on Speedy Wunderground on 18th June 2021. Just four tracks and totalling a mere 12 mins in length it is the sharply creative synergy and chemistry between The Lounge Society and the production gurus at Speedy Wunderground that make this hugely inventive EP from the Yorkshire four piece so authentic and damn good. Full of exuberance and fiercely pacy “Silk for the starving” is everything the very best debuts should be. Don’t believe me? Check out “Cain’s Heresy”
Also making the final cut are Blanketman from Manchester with their mini album-like impressive 7 track debut EP “National Trust” which came out on 19th March 2021 on PIAS recordings. Brilliant and concise, urgent and engaging, Blanketman epitomise the very best that the great indie-pop racket mobsters of our times stand for. This one really oozes confidence. So it only remains for me to urge you to seek out both of these bands and lend them an ear because the one thing they have in common is truck loads of talent and potential and they deserve all the momentum they can get.
Janet Harding is based in Warrington and is one of our live concert reviewers covering both Manchester and Liverpool and all places in between another top top writer her reviews are always on point
A 4-piece indie rock, Wigan-based band. For me Rivver are stand out – strong, hard beats, deliciously jangly guitar lines, thumping base lines and rich, smooth, full and velvety vocals; feel-good vibes and consistently toe-tapping performances. For real high energy, high octane, no holds barred, must see stuff, I cannot recommend seeing Rivver enough!
This 5-piece St Helens based indie punk band are a real force…controlled chaos coming right at you in one giant, punk rock whirlwind. They perform with real passion and throw everything into each performance, leaving you feeling like you just witnessed something very special. Expect the unexpected, but you are guaranteed one hell of a show – end of!
Lloyd Wakeling is another amazing writer and long time friend of mine, is also a brilliant and talented artist
“I find choosing favourite albums to be number 1, difficult, and number 2, bloody impossible. Last year though if you had asked me, Humanist without a doubt took my two votes, it was back to the raunch and brilliance of what for me, is a true rock album. Back story, emotic lyrics…stinging, thumping guitars and rhythm that could not be bettered.
This year though, much much harder. James has now probably edged it, a beautifully put together EP intitled Campfire that reinterprets some classics, and then there was the iconic
2nd is the modfather Paul Weller “Days Of Speed” . An album passionately stripping down again some classics. Maybe I’ve turned mellow this year but the appreciation I have for these two albums bears a description bordering on beautiful, lush…gorgeous. check out the review here
Paul Evans is another top photographer based in the North West, not only is he a great photographer is a great writer and his reviews are always amazing.
“My first choice is Cheshire’s unique Deja Vega. when they played Plazapalooza, The Plaza, Northwich UK on 24/10/21 they were the final band of a four day music event staged in an iconic, renovated old cinema. Their adrenaline-charged rhythm section of Jack and Mike ruthlessly driving the band and once overlaid with Jack’s extraordinarily reverbed and delayed guitar sounds the band were pure sonic theatre”
“My 2nd choice Ist Ist at Manchester Academy 2, based in Greater Manchester Ist Ist are unashamedly atmospheric and dark. Their sound of throbbing keyboards, rumbling bass, optimistic guitar and deep vocals is mirrored in the dark Victorian archways and rundown backstreets of the past, but given a 21st Century Ist Ist twist. A mesmerising gig”
Brian Sayle is the next cab of the rank another great photographer and based in Liverpool
“Two shots from 2021, with gigs not coming back for me and most other people until the start of August it hasn’t been a very long year as far as live entertainment goes, however over the last four months there have been a lot of great gigs, including plenty that had been postponed from earlier in the year.
These are my two favourite photographs.
First a shot of Bella Podpadec from Dream Wife at Jimmy’s Liverpool. The reason I choose this shot is because it was simply my first gig back, so it meant a lot to me, and we can all remember our first gigs right?
Apart from liking the photography aspect and the circumstances, I like the way she is looking at me, its like she is loving being back playing in front of people as much as people enjoyed seeing bands again, it wasn’t just punters that missed out on the live experience but the bands too. This night was fun for everyone not just me.
Also, she isn’t the lead singer, and I think sometimes it easy to just focus on a front person in a band, when all the other members are just as important really even if they don’t all have the same rapport and interaction with the audience”
Second The Ks also coincidently from Jimmy’s. What I liked about this one was it was a rammed gig, I was a bit nervous like most people about crowds and didn’t feel confident being in front of the band, so I lurked in the corner. But on this one it kind of went in my favor, everyone was having fun, lots of energy in the crowd and I was wanting a good photograph. Sometimes were you stand determines how good your shot is going to be, POV is vital, on this one the timing went in my favor as I not only caught a house light on the singer but a technician lit a torch too just as I took the frame, and I think it made the shot, in fact I know it did when I looked through the rest of my card.
Tamsin Jones is another addition to the writing team and what an addition we are so happy to have her on board.
“2021 saw the return of live music and the release of so many long awaited albums that bands could finally play live to their fans along with the release.
The Reytons ‘kids of the estate’ was an eagerly anticipated release with the anticipation growing when further when the production halted the release date from September the 24th to November the 12th and it was well worth the wait! The Reytons have that package of loveble rouge which is dressed up in sweet lyrics but punchy guitar riffs and beats! This band always make my ears prick with their releases as they put huge amount of detail into not only the audio but the visual delivery of their music videos”
Next up is The Lathums I’ve chosen them as a stand out bamd to this year. The rapid growth of The Lathums has been incredible to watch. The relase of the album ‘How beautiful life can be?’ Which saw them chase Drake to that number 1 spot. I had the opportunity to chat with lead singer Alex Moore during an interview with Indiemasterplan this year we spoke of his success and how he was a late starter into music, and that being spotted by Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess gave them the opportunity to perform at Kendal Calling. The album expresses coming out of periods of darkness and them feelings don’t last forever which is something Alex wanted to portray to their fans. I also feel this album portrays a light of positivity, a nudge towards you being able to achieve anything you want to, which comes across in the lyrics and the down to earth attitude the band, coming across so well in performances they’ve given in peoples back gardens. The band also took over Wigan Market providing fans with limited first editions of the album they could only get In person.
Last but definitely not last is another Mersey sider Peter Goodbody, great writer and a great photographer
1st up is Jimmy Cauty – Municipal Disaster Zone – The Florrie, Liverpool, November 2021
As we pulled ourselves slowly into the dawn of a new day as the months rolled on after the most frustrating of lockdowns it seemed like there may have been some light. Bars and restaurants were open, gigs were back on, we were no longer required to wear masks and The Clowns in charge seemed to think everything was all going to be OK. Of course, it wouldn’t be, and as we write this on a train to London and, later to Paris (woo hoo), masks are now mandatory again. Save there aren’t many people paying attention and even the threat over the tannoy of a BTP patrol along the train isn’t having a great deal of effect.
Jimmy Cauty captures the mood perfectly, even if he exaggerates the alarm. We find ourselves in a shitstorm outside, yet Cauty sums it all up in a 40ft container with four scale models of tower blocks in various states of dereliction or destruction. We peer through the tiny windows, amidst the smoke and the alarm sound affects. We almost feel sorry for the imaginary people who have to endure this nightmare, we thank fuck it’s not us.
And then we realise. Cauty is inviting us to look at ourselves and our world. He magnifies it, of course, even explodes it. But it is a mirror of sorts. We would do well to take notice, but of course, we won’t.
The piece toured the UK at various locations during 2021. It was some of the best and most affecting public art we’ve seen. Cauty has moved on from his antics with KLF and the others. And we’re glad he has, because as a visual artist, he is superb.
2nd The Runaway Models – Room 2, Glasgow, 28 August 2021
There were lots of gigs we could have chosen for this spot. Dream Wife at Jimmy’s, Henge at Future Yard, Walt Disco at IWF, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes at O2 Academy, that pub gig on a Sunday afternoon in Birkenhead full of freaks, leather, green hair and tattoos where nothing was out of place and everyone was included. All of them brilliant.
The Liverpool gig calendar has been rammed since restrictions eased in August and there have been choices pretty much every night of the week.
But this one stopped us in our tracks. It was a chance trip to Glasgow, planned only a day or so before. A scan of the listings brought this up and it looked promising, even though we’d never heard of them. We could have trawled YouTube for advance info, but where’s the fun in that?
What we got was a full on punk night with four bands each playing about 20 minutes and spraying fizz and love around the room. Standing outside for a between set smoke was a joy. People were happy to talk, even to the middle aged scouser.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE LVING THROUGH THE CRAZIEST OF TIMES AND THE SITUATION HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NOT JUST IN THE UK BUT WORLD WIDE, MUSIC HAS PREVAILED AND THERE HAS BEEN SOME AMAZING GIGS SHOWS AND RELEASES AND ITS BEEN AN HONOUR AND PLEASURE FOR ALL MUSIC UK/EUROPEAN TEAM TO BE A PART OF IT, SO HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR AND LETS ALL DO IT AGAIN IN 2022
ALL THE BEST XX
FOLLOW THE SNUTS
FOLLOW THE REYTONS
FOLLOW GARY NUMAN
FOLLOW THE LEYLINES
FOLLOW CHICKEN MAN AND THE BAD EGGS
FOLLOW THE LOUNGE SOCIETY
FOLLOW PAUL WELLER
FOLLOW DEJA VEGA
FOLLOW IST IST
FOLLOW DREAM WIFE
FOLLOW THE K’S
FOLLOW THE LATHUMS
FOLLOW THE RUNAWAY MODELS
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.