THE YEAR IN REVIEW
It was no question a weird year and the Pandemic has thus far infected 65 million people globally and killed 1.5 million of them (us). . . . . . . . .
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:
Emily Barker - A Dark Murmuration of Words [Album of The Year]
Amy MacDonald - The Human Demands
Kate Rusby - Hand Me Down
Neil Young - Homegrown
Fiona Apple — Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Fleet Foxes — Shore
Paul Weller — On Sunset
Nick Cave — Idiot Prayer
Laura Marling — Song for Our Daughter
Toots and the Maytals — Got to Be Tough
Leonard Cohen — Thanks for the Dance
Shirley Collins — Heart's Ease
Maria McKee — La Vita Nuova
Dua Lipa — Future Nostalgia
Lucinda Williams — Good Souls Better Angels
The Waterboys — Good Luck, Seeker
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit — Reunions
'Sonogram' Emily Barker
Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
Amy MacDonald - The Hudson/Fire
Emily Barker - Machine EP
Emily Barker - The Woman Who Planted Trees
Richard Thompson - Bloody Noses EP
Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
Richard sings from his EP 'Bloody Noses'
Richard & Linda Thompson :: Hard Luck Stories (Universal)
Their marriage didn’t last, but the music that Richard and Linda Thompson made together stands the test of time—and then some. Hard Luck Stories collects all of the pair’s outstanding studio LPs (remastered to sound better than ever) and adds a healthy dose of essential rarities, demos, live recordings and more. At over a £100 the eight disk set proved more than out of my reach telling as it does the complete story of the talented yet star-crossed UK folk-rock duo, tying up loose ends and illuminating areas previously shrouded in darkness.
Musical events online:
Folk On Foot- Folk in The Front Room 2
The award-winning podcast Folk on Foot has announced the line-up for a second Front Room Festival to take place on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, May 25th. It follows the success of the first festival on Easter Monday which raised an amazing £110,000 through a crowdfunding appeal to support musicians who can’t play gigs during the lockdown.
Folk on Foot Front Room Festival 2 will start at 2pm BST and run for 7 hours on YouTube and Facebook, featuring 30-minute sets recorded in their front rooms by Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman, Chris Wood, Duncan Chisholm, Eliza Carthy, Frank Turner and Jess Guise, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, John Smith, Johnny Flynn, Kate Rusby and Damien O’Kane, Kathryn Tickell, Kitty Macfarlane, O’Hooley and Tidow, Richard Thompson and Zara Phillips and Rioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies. The festival will also feature the online premiere of a behind the scenes film showing The Unthanks and their families on tour, featuring beautiful unaccompanied performances recorded at London’s Union Chapel.
Tribute to John Prine
and one’s we couldn’t afford!
Richard Thompson 70th at The RAH (£100 a ticket)
Best TV & Film
*I May Destroy You (HBO)
*Normal People (Hulu)
Mrs. America (FX on Hulu) was watchable but unusual somehow
The Salisbury Poisonings - uniformly excellent and ever so slightly scary!
Dracula (by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) - such FUN!
Fleabag of course . . . . . . it's a given isn't it?
Des (David Tennant as Dennis Neilson)Tennant proves he can act his socks off and BECOMES Neilson here in one of the creepiest and most intelligent portrayals of the 21stC bogeyman par excellence
Life (BBC) Alison Steadman, Adrian Lester, Rachael Stirling, Victoria Hamilton, Saira Choudhry and Peter Davison . . . . all human life is here in this block of suitably middle class apartments
This Country (3rd series) - I wept with laughter and nearly had an accident several times! . . . .
. . . . . . wear your Tenna pants!!!
Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads - I felt like they were all new (only two were in actuality!) but the remaster/remakes were little short of superb and TV at its best!
Killing Eve 3rd and final series (BBC One, April-June) hhmmmmm not sure here, no room for another series I fear and noticeable for not being written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge but Jodie Comer spellbinds as ever
Also rans that we watched this year and thoroughly enjoyed:
Trigonometry - speaking of relationships! This was a beautiful and convincing story of a triad , a trio, a triumvirate yes alright a 'new' relationship drama portraying the realities of a three way. BRILLIANT!
A Suitable Boy - gorgeously done and worth watching alone for the music but the realisation of the book was exemplary here and I heard very little about it. I thought it was superb! Note: never trust a man who is prettier than the women in it!
Black Narcissus - starring Gemma Arterton and featuring a fine cast including Dame Diana Rigg's last appearance, Arterton finally convinces beyond all doubt she can truly act and then some. Beautifully done and expertly carried out in the run up to Christmas.
The Sister - more drama to have you gripped but disappointed somehow and if it weren't for being stolen by the mesmerising Bertie Cavel I might have given up on this and found the usually 'funny' and entertaining Russel Tovey somehow out of his depth here. The women actors too here were superb mind you. Simone Ashley and the stunning Amrita Acharia with the ever watchable gorgeous Nina Toussaint White acted the chaps off the screen except for Bertie's ominous and disturbing 'baddy' Scary!
This Way Up (Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan) comedy got a look in too. A masterclass from two favourites Sharon and Aisling in a comedic delight
Game Face - the under used and always hysterically funny Roisin Connaty wrote this for us and can't wait for more . . . . . . more Roisin more!
'Staged' with David Tennant & Michael Sheen was hilarious . . . more please!
Staged, Series 1:: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p08dnl67/staged
Series: British Film Premiere: New Films From New Voices
- Apostasy - writer/director Daniel Kokotajlo
- Make Up - writer/director Claire Oakley
- Perfect 10 - writer/director Eva Riley
- Lynn + Lucy – writer/director Fyzal Boulifa
- Monsoon - writer/director Hong Khaou
- One Man And His Shoes - director Yemi Bamiro
- Dirty God - writer/director Sacha Polak
Steve McQueen’s new five-part Amazon anthology series, Small Axe
- Lover’s Rock
- Red White and Blue
'Disobedience' with Rachel Weiss and Rachel McAdams and the stellar Anton Lesser - ever seen him in something where he DIDN’T deliver the most mesmerising often scene stealing performance? His Fagin was unmissable (‘Dickensian’, which yes, yes, I didn’t expect to like, let alone love, as it was a confection not a Dickens. I LOVED it!) he’s one of those folk who frankly I could listen to reading the telephone directory!
Love it and both women excel in this fascinating complex relationship drama
Confused by ‘Industry’ produced by Lena Dunham as there seemed to be nobody to identify with. All vacuous money grabbing, indeed grubbing, shallow shysters with no moral compass and yet whilst I understood not one jot or word of what they did during the day to see unseen and tantalising amounts of cold hard bitcoin etc (the jingo in the first few episodes is difficult to say the least, at night their casual sex 'hook up' lifestyle began to show cracks and we slowly developed sympathy, if not quite empathy ever, for at least 'Harper' our heroine but precious few others, the series did seep and worming it's way inside my head, began to really grow on me. Especially the lead actor who played Harper who we will see a whole lot more from I predict.
UPDATE: Finale and SPOILERS
Well that about settled THAT. The ending is awful, truly dreadful and hatefueled characters come to their end here. Feels like its written as they went along, a la 2004s 'Lost', we are suckered into eventually liking Yasmine and Harper the only characters with any depth and drawn in 3D especially since Harper plays her final card and proves beyond all doubt, if you actually had any, that she is prepared to play the corporate rat race game and then some. Selling her soul to get 'Eric' his job back after his 'abusive behaviour' when she got him the sack and ensuring her line manager is got rid of with not a second thought, no compunction whatsoever. No truth, no trust, no honesty or integrity, no care, no share or real engagement with any of the players.
The programme should really be called G.M.T (short for Gross Moral Turpitude) or maybe Broken Compass, as the total lack of ANY moral compass comes to its true finale as our heroine is clearly capable of doing anything, especially as a young black woman, in order to succeed and gain a place in the company that makes its living from selling hedge fund packaging to the greedy and super-rich, profiteering, money for money's sake, bringing on the overarching subtext of Gordon Gecko's true message, 'I'm all right Jack and the Devil take the hindmost' . . . .even the denouement with our gay black character (Gus) is bitter sweet as he throws it all back in their faces as you just KNOW he's had a better offer. Hardly the moral high ground . . . just another opportunist F**K Bitcoin! precisely!
TRULY AWFUL writing, (or is it a sign for the times and actually brilliant? I can't tell! I just ended up hating everyone! Well done) well acted and watchable but the story engages us for all the wrong reasons. I didn't want to wind up angry at the end of my few weeks entertainment! No-one here is of any merit or value or conscience or positive human traits WHATSOEVER! Enjoy!
(*What do all the best of the above have in common? All written, produced and starring central characters acted by women)
High points of the year:
Drum Off between Nandi and Dave Grohl who had to concede and record a tribute to her!!!
Nandi won! and graciously said
Greta Thunberg changing F/B name to Sharon and why!
Harold Budd, 84, American avant-garde composer and poet, complications from COVID-19
John Baldessari, 88, American conceptual artist.
Robert Parker, 89, American R&B singer
Simon Posthuma Designer of The Fool who designed much poster art and products for The Beatles Apple Store, died on 28 February 2020, aged 81.
Ulay, 76, German performance artist
Many in Nashville celebrated Prine's life and achievements this year. An all-star virtual tribute — featuring Jason Isbell, Kurt Vile, Bonnie Raitt, Sturgill Simpson and Amanda Shires, Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church, Bill Murray and others — debuted via YouTube in June. Voters for the annual Americana Honors & Awards named Prine "Artist of the Year" in 2020.
Nipper Read, 95, British police officer and boxing administrator, COVID-19
Michael McClure, 87, American poet and writer, complications from a stroke
Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch; December 9, 1916 – February 5, 2020)
Dame Olivia Mary de Havilland DBE (/də ˈhævɪlənd/; July 1, 1916 – July 26, 2020)
George Floyd, 46, American police detainee, asphyxia, murdered
Christo, 84, Bulgarian-born American artist
Justin Townes Earle, 38, American singer-songwriter
Chris Killip, 74, Manx photographer, lung cancer
Dawn Wells, Pin-up and Gilliagns Island star most recently passed away
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _