Firstly, massive thanks to everyone who read my first Kentishtuner column, and for all the subsequent tweets and follows and likes. And since it’s Christmas Eve, and the fire must surely be roaring, how about a Top 10 of the year? After all, it’s been a lively twelve months in our music-rich manor, especially at the refreshed Forum (your number one venue), with highlights including Bat For Lashes, Bobby Womack and that not-so-secret Rihanna gig.
10. Gabby Young & Other Animals – Walk Away
Kentish Town girl Gabby Young had a pretty exciting 2012. As well as writing for this very site, she released an album that was raved about, headlined a show at the Scala – and shot Walk Away, a quite moving ballad, on Hampstead Heath.
9. Maia – Constant Play
I caught this Huddersfield act at the last Flaxon Ptootch party, where they captivated the crowd packed in the marquee out the back. Brilliant vocals – I was utterly hooked.
8. Lois & The Love – Dark Serenade
Featured in our music section in July, Lois & The Love were described by staff writer Tim Sowula as having the ‘the sleazy blues of Janis Joplin, the flair of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.’ A fair assessment indeed.
7. Woodkid – Run Boy Run
Firstly, Woodkid is one of the acts to watch out for next year, as he so adeptly demonstrated at the London Jazz Festival. Secondly, this song singlehandedly got me to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in September; there’s something about an epic instrumental that keeps even dead legs moving.
6. Bastille – Flaws
Hailing south of the river, they’ve been knocking about NW1 throughout 2012, including a stop at KOKO. The four-piece offers up some very melodious harmonies and the always welcome ability to sound better live than in some of their recordings.
5. Years & Years – I Wish I Knew
This London group, who recently played at Proud, list a whole host of instruments in their repertoire including ‘loopers, ebow, uke, glock, laptop, moog, bass’…and the end product’s very special indeed. Gorgeous vocals too.
4. Lianne La Havas – Forget
2012 has been quite the year for the London native Lianne, what with supporting the likes of Bon Iver and Alicia Keys. Forget sums up her talent nicely, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s crazily catchy.
3. Little Nikki – Intro Intro
A wicked song with a video set in nearby Camden and Hampstead Heath, this 16 year old is well on her way to big things indeed in 2013. One to watch.
2. Frank Ocean – Bad Religion
Every song from his album would be in my end of year Top 10 if I had my way. Needless to say, there’s a pretty simple reason Ocean has become so well respected; he knows how to ‘do’ brilliance. An intimate date at the Forum next year, pretty please?
1. BIGkids – Superhero
If the Kentishtowner had a theme song, it’d quite simply be this. Most of you will know that BIGKids is a duo featuring former Kentish Town-based superstar Mr Hudson and Rosie (daughter of Bill) Oddie. The video was shot in some prime locations across NW5 by local teenager Billy Boyd Cape (don’t forget also to read the Q&A with his mum here). Result? An insanely catchy best track of the year, not to mention a show-stopping performance in front of hundreds of us at Alma Street Fair back in May.
With that, I’m off. Happy Christmas, people. See you in 2013.
Words: Conor Fisk
Got a gig or band you want Conor to check out in 2013? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @conorfisk