Bit late with this partly because three gigs in a row wore me out and meant I did very little over the weekend. I have included a Top 5 though so there’s a treat for those that possibly still follow this blog for that very reason.
I got a little obsessed with this track after hearing it via a Contraflow playlist. Turns out the album is great too. They’ve been around since 2003 but the latest release is via John Dwyer’s Castle Face label.
Albums I’m enjoying
The start of the year has been full of new band discoveries largely from Twitter recommendations which is a refreshing change from my usual obsession with everything Marc Riley plays.
I’m still very much enjoying the latest albums from Andy Shauf, The Just Joans, En Attendant Ana and Lucy Leaves.
This week’s listening added the debut self-titled album from Bonny Light Horseman which features Anaïs Mitchell alongside Eric D. Johnson & Josh Kaufman.
Gigs of the week
Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something @ The Old Blue Last (5/Feb) - Another three band freebie gig at the OBL. Openers Dutch Mustard were a bit too straight rock for me, Wahl had some interesting moments but Jemma Freeman blew me away despite only playing for 25 minutes.
Lisa O’Neill @ Union Chapel (6/Feb) - This felt like a really special evening. Union Chapel is a great venue for the right sort of band and it really suited Lisa’s vocal. I’ve seen her about 4 times in the last year and she played just about every song I’d heard tonight with a couple of new ones too.
Isobel Campbell @ St. Pancras Old Church (7/Feb) - A tough few years for Isobel with her album stuck in limbo due to record label issues so lovely to finally see her play solo. I went for the early show which had the benefit of giving me an early night but meant I didn’t get a solo support set from Nina Violet. A magical show all the same with a few songs from the Lanegan duo albums included and a Belle & Sebastian tune too.
I rarely get into spats on Twitter but this week I got blocked by, American Jazz crooner, Curtis Stigers. Turns out he doesn’t take kindly to people pointing out he might be bullying other users by encouraging his 22k followers to pile on.
As has become traditional I watch the Super Bowl last week and it was a great game. Got me thinking I ought to do a Top 5 Super Bowls (that I watched live) so, here it is.
NB: As far as I can remember I’ve watched 19 games starting with SB16 (1982) through to SB25 (1992), then SB45 (2011), then SB47 (2013) through to SB54 (2020).
- SB51: LI (2017) Patriots 34-28 Falcons - An incredible game with the Falcons racing into a seemingly unassailable lead by halftime before getting gradually pegged back by the Patriots in the second half and heartbreakingly end up losing in OT. The Falcons were the team of the year for me and had been thrilling in regular season. I was desperate for New England to lose but, boy, you’ve gotta hand it to them (and Belichick in particular).
- SB47: XLVII (2013) Ravens 34-31 49ers - I think this SB coincided with the return to UK terrestrial telly and was a great finale to a season that I’d been able to follow properly again. Kaepernick was 49ers QB and was outstanding at this point. As good with his feet as he was passing he was a forerunner of the Mahomes / Lamar era that’s just beginning. He should be still playing in the NFL and I still hope one day he will.
- SB52: LII (2018) Eagles 41-33 Patriots - After the shock of the previous SB, I wasn’t counting any chickens. The Eagles surpassed themselves to win this game despite losing starting QB to injury about 75% through the season. Nick Foyles stepped into the breach and was imperious. That trick play to allow Foyles to catch a pass from Trey Burton was sublime.
- SB17: XVII (1983) Washington 27-17 Dolphins - My first live SB and first I’d watched after keeping up with the regular season as it happened. The season was shortened by a player strike and Washington seemed like plucky underdogs to me throughout which led to me picking them as my team. I particularly loved QB Joe Theissman & RB John Riggins and it was Riggins who starred claiming more yardage individually than the whole of the Dolphins team.
- SB45: XLV (2011) Packers 31-25 Steelers - My memory is a bit patchy of this SB but it was a great game between two of my favourite old school teams. I stopped supporting Washington in 2018 for a number of reasons (but mainly the naming issue) and it’s the Packers I’ve now attached myself to.
This year’s SB54 is right up there with these and could nick that 5th spot.