As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on my musical highlights of 2019, before venturing on into the next decade; the twenties – how did we get here so soon?! Musically speaking, 2019’s been good to me, great, even! I’ve attended more gigs than I can even remember, and despite having been doing this work for years now, I’ve at times had to pinch myself in excitement about all these opportunities I’ve been given, and I just wish I could go back in time and tell my 15 year old self.

In 2019, we unfortunately lost the good Dr. John, but were also blessed with the news of the return of Rage, and with where the western world is heading now politically, we need them now more than ever. Preferably in the UK – perhaps in Hyde Park, please? Rage Against the Machine is the final band on my bucket list and I would pretty much walk through fire to be able to attend one of their shows, although I’m hoping I wont have to go to such extreme lengths. Anyway, as I’m bracing myself for the next decade, it’s time to get nostalgic about all the good times I’ve had this year.

Favourite Gig of 2019
This is such a tough one as I’ve seen so many incredible acts this year, however, taking my friend Holly to have her Sleep cherry popped at the Kentish Town Forum in October was pretty awesome – you just can’t beat a shirtless Matt Pike.

Favourite Album of 2019
My mates in Sacri Monti released their second album ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ and it’s just fantastic, a beautiful mix of the current San Diego psych sound, mixed with elements of 70s prog and twin guitars along the likes of Wishbone Ash. I love it, and so does my dad, which, let’s be honest, is the ultimate seal of approval. Dads know their stuff.

Favourite Festival Experience of 2019
I’ve enjoyed every single festival I’ve been to this year, but as the majority of them were for work (Desertfest London, Download & Black Deer Festival), I have to say the one that allowed me to kick back and relax, and more importantly, turn off my phone: Portugal’s Sonic Blast Moledo – from being drenched to the bone watching Earthless in the torrential rain, to be poolside for Giöbia while drinking Super Bock in the sun while surrounded by some of my best friends, it’s a pretty hard one to beat.

Sampo from Kaleidobolt crowdsurfing during Sacri Monti’s set at Sonic Blast Moledo

Favourite non-musical Music Event of 2019
I’m a sucker for a music exhibition and cried my way through both the Bowie and Pink Floyd exhibits in London a couple of years back, so of course – when Home of Metal announced their ’50 years of Black Sabbath’ exhibition I was hell bound on a train. A day out spent in Birmingham educating myself on the purveyors of doom – I had a blast.

Favourite Song of 2019
Hardly a new song, but Neil Merryweather’s cover of Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman’ is my most played song of 2019, which came as no surprise at all. Who doesn’t love some funky rock ‘n’ roll you can dance to? You can view and listen to my full Top 100 here.

With that done and dusted, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s read and commented in 2019, and I look forward to sharing more musical musings with you all in the new year. Happy holidaze!

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