Song Of 2012 Two Fingers, Jake Bugg
2012 has seen no shortage of amazing songs; pop, rock, indie and everything in-between but it’s Jake Bugg’s effortless and almost nonchalant cool and originality that has stole my heart, and soundtracked my 2012. My younger brother urged me to listen to this “council estate Bob Dylan” back when Jake was still relatively “underground” but given his very questionable musical taste, I dismissed his advice . . . at my peril, of course. Jake is completely different from anything else on the radio at the moment; a breath of fresh air in a smoke-filled lift. I simply can’t resist bobbing my head and tapping my foot in time with “Two Fingers” as it starts, and I can’t help singing along (at alarming volume) to the chorus! While playing my acoustic air guitar, obviously.
Album Of 2012 Battle Born, The Killers
I’m biased but do I care?! Having been a fully-fledged “victim” since their gender-bending, synth-soaked beginnings of “Somebody Told Me”, I have followed The Killers career for the past 8 years; the highlights, the disappointments, the LOT! Anticipation for their fourth studio album was dizzingly high (largely due to their “indefinite hiatus” since 2010 . . It felt a lot longer to me!) and when I first heard “Battle Born”, I was delighted! The band had ditched the disco-pop of 2008’s “Day & Age” and returned to their Springsteen-inspired, rock roots; the ideal soundtrack for stadiums (Wembley, anyone?) and they have never sounded better. This is The Killers at their best . . . so far.
Gig Of 2012 Noel Gallgher’s High Flying Birds, Glasgow SECC
I have been extremely fortunate to have seen a lot of really great gigs this year but Noel Gallgher (along with his High Flying Birds) was my undisputed live highlight. Noel oozed confidence and charisma and delivered a faultless set; playing both solo material and some Oasis favourites, however, it was his closing rendition of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” that took me back to 1996 when “What’s The Story (Morning Glory?)” was all I played and Oasis ruled my pre-adoloscent world. It sent shivers down my spine and I’m not ashamed to admit, brought a tear to my eye and the fact that I got to share it with my brother was the icing on the cake.
Festival Moment Of 2012 Scissor Sisters, The Wickerman Festival
I popped my Wickerman cherry this summer and loved every second of it! There were a lot of amazing performances that I was lucky enough to see; Jake Bugg, Kassidy, The View and Texas to name but a few, however, it was Scissor Sisters’ raunchy, rousing rendition of “Let’s Have A Kiki”(roughly translated; ‘a good ass time’) was what festival season is REALLY all about! Show-stopping-ness at it’s very, very best.
Style Icon Of 2012, Rihanna
As a fan of fashion, I admire (and attempt to replicate) the syle of some very lovely ladies; I adore Lana Del Rey’s classic vintage look, she always looks elegantly cool (it was no surprise to me that she was chosen as the face of H&M) and I admire the bold, brassy look of The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen (although The Runaway’s Cherie Currie was rocking the lingerie look at least a decade before Taylor was born). However, 2012 has seen me smitten with Rihanna’s fierce, fresh look. I love how Rihanna flirts with fashion, pushing both boundaries and taste but not to the bizarre extremes of Lady GaGa. Rihanna can rock both classy and trashy and I love her for it.
Shock/Scandal Of 2012 Whitney Houston’s Tragic End
I’ll admit that I was shocked to learn of Kirsten Stewart’s infidelity (I was convinced that it was just an ugly rumour, how wrong was I?) but it was the tragic and untimely death of diva, Whitney Houston that shocked and saddened me this year. Whitney’s drug-induced, downward spiral had been well-documented by the media and her 2009 shambolic “comeback” did nothing but humiliate “The Bodyguard” actress. However, when I woke up to the sad news that Whitney Houston was no longer with us, it was ever so sad. “The Bodyguard” soundtrack (on cassette) was among the first albums I ever owned and I regularly screeched along to Whitney’s epic high-notes (with my hairbrush as my microphone, of course) so her death was exceptionally tragic for me as her definitive album was the soundtrack of my pre-rock/indie years and I’ll never be able to resist singing along to “Queen Of The Night” (still with the hairbrush masquerading as my microphone. I’m 26 now and I don’t care).
Whitney, We Will Always Love You
Highlight Of 2012
I started writing freelance for Gutter in June 2010. I had recently voluntarily resigned from a well-paid job in Social Care to become a cliche and “live the dream” of becoming a music journalist. Thanks to Gutter that dream has become more of a reality than I ever could have hope for and my highlight of the past 12 months was becoming Gutter UK Editor in April. I have had nothing but “pinch me” experiences since working with Gutter and I’m extremely proud of what we create on this website; I have had the privilege of promoting both emerging and established talent, seeing some of my favourite bands play live and been given the opportunity to sit down face to face with musicians I admire and listen to and pick their brains (!) I couldn’t have wished for a better foundation in my journalism career, Gutter has given me more than I could ever give back and I’ll be forever grateful. Long may it continue . . .