God Damn – Newcastle Riverside

Since seeing the punk trio-turned-duo-turned-trio-again support the Foo Fighters in 2015, they have come a long way. Releasing their best album to date this year, Everything Ever, saw them take to the road supporting Red Fang. They, as always, brought energy to the stage and gave an electrifying performance of select tracks off the album. Really lovely guys too.

Gregory Porter – Sage Gateshead

Porter closed the 2016 International Jazz Festival at the Sage in Gateshead earlier this year. Featuring a selection of old favourites (Hey Laura, Musical Genocide) and tracks from the new album, Take me to the Alley, the Harlem-born singer brought sheer musical class to the festival. It was a joy to witness, and his performance of Wolfcry was one of the finest live spectacles I’ve seen. Ever.

The Island Club – The Finsbury (London)

This night brought three little-known bands to the stage. The Island Club were second in the running order and, in my opinion, were the highlight of the night. The quirky rhythms and incredibly catchy choruses had me itching to get home and listen to more. Great venue, great bands, great night.


Matt Corby – Telluric

Telluric is a phenomenal album full of vibrance, electrifying melody and a low key jazz/funk sound. No two tracks are alike, from the grooves of ‘Oh Oh Oh’ to the haunting guitar and melody in ‘Good to be Alone’. The album takes you on an electrifying sonic journey and cements its place as the best album of 2016 in my opinion.

Black Pistol Fire – Don’t Wake the Riot

This is an album I’ve come only just across in the past month. The American duo have a blues/rock/deep south sound which is amazing when played as loud as possible. I love the aggressive, intense nature of the album. Full of energy and dynamism, the album is phenomenal from start to finish.

Charlie Simpson – Little Hands

Little Hands brings an end (for now at least) to Charlie Simpson’s solo career. Featuring wonderful B sides, covers and live versions of tracks featured on his previous two solo albums, this record brings a fitting finale to three of the best albums I’ve ever listened to.


Charlie Simpson – Emily (Little Hands Version)

After the original version featured on 2011’s Long Road Home, this version of Emily is far from its original incarnation. Clean electric guitar and wonderfully expressive vocal work create an utterly immersive sonic environment. This is undoubtedly my favourite track of 2016.

Fleet Foot – Black Pistol Fire

This was a difficult choice, as the album has so many great songs to choose from. Fleet Foot got the nod because of the journey you are part of when listening. The track takes you from suspenseful guitar riffs, to fast distorted single note lines before opening into a chorus you can’t help but tap your foot to (it would also kill live, I’m sure). You need to be ready before listening, but you’ll love it.

Matt Corby – Good to be Alone

It’s true, I’m a sucker for the expressive guitar/voice combination. But this track is exceptional in any given criteria. It stands out thanks to Corby’s masterful vocal work, combined with wonderful, arpeggiated guitar lines and a feeling of isolation and ‘get-lost-in-the-song-ability’ (if such a term can exist…). Once you’ve heard it, you’ll know what I mean.

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Will Lawton

I am a third year music student at the University of Leeds and am passionate about experiencing music. In my view, being able to hear, see and appreciate the human involvement in playing an instrument or singing is the most important thing.