Thanks mostly to the phenomenon that is #TimsTwitterListeningParty, 2020 has definitely transitioned from being my year of gigs to a year of albums – and this recent challenge week definitely helped me to up my game again. Not only were two of my most anticipated albums (Queen + Adam Lambert and The Jaded Hearts Club) released on day one of the week, but another hotly anticipated release (Travis) came the day after I’d finished (although my bundle saw fit to be fashionably later, arriving on Saturday morning instead). I’ve had a week off from new releases, but now I’m of course counting down to Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You coming out this Friday.
Initially the limited edition ‘mango’ version of the Tailenders Christmarch vinyl was due to arrive at the beginning of #MindTheBand week, so I was going to attempt some crusic to coincide with that – however, as the logistics of getting them all signed have been complicated somewhat by the pandemic, that’s now been pushed back to the end of the month. You’ve escaped that one!
After a hectic time at work spanning late August & all of September, I see it as something of a miracle that I did manage to get one post out each day as per the plan; publication timings changed, and subjects got tweaked along the way, but I still managed to get it done (around ongoing busy working hours). The only thing I slipped up on really was missing a film one day, then making up for it with a double bill the next day.
As normal, I managed to document things as much as possible via my Insta stories, and tried my best to keep sharing recommendations throughout the week; check out my #FollowFridays for some podcasts and artists, for one thing.
At the beginning of each challenge week I tend to promise variety and don’t necessarily deliver, but this time I think I did find a nice mix of posts:
- Queen + Adam Lambert – Live Around The World CD-DVD/Blu-ray review
- “Discovering The Classics”: Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One
- Interview with Danny Horn: “There is nothing like live music”
- “Discovering The Classics”: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- The Jaded Hearts Club – You’ve Always Been Here album review
- “Discovering The Classics”: Jagged Little Pill
- Memorable gigs through time
Not only did I have at least one album to listen to each day of my own choice, but there were also some opportunities to join in with some Tim Burgess listening parties: Madness’ 7 on day one, Delays’ Faded Seaside Glamour on Sunday & Ultravox’s Vienna on Monday. I also sneakily did Ash’s 1977 on replay first thing on Friday morning as I hadn’t quite managed to fit it into my #ThrowbackThursday special to round off the week (work really does ruin everything).
I also had a bonus gig, of sorts, on Thursday just to make the week feel more authentic; in anticipation of the release of 10 Songs, Travis performed a few songs and then did a fun Q&A with Adam Buxton live on their YouTube channel. It was quite fitting that this was on my #TBT day as it brought back great memories of their The Man Who anniversary tour two years ago, where I fulfilled a very longheld ambition to see them live – I have tickets to see them in May next year, so everyone keep your fingers crossed that things are allowed to go ahead as normally as possible by then…
Like last year I decided that it would be a good idea to put a playlist together based on my listening for the week. Obviously it’s more varied this time as multiple artists were involved, rather than just the one! Basically, it consists of a track from my album of the day, track of the day & whichever song I’d taken my lyrics of the day from (all found in my ‘Day-by-Day‘ post) – plus anything else that might fit, such as a Danny Horn & the Shared Myths number to link with his interview, a Travis track following their live performance, and an Ash song following my 1977 replay, just because. A pretty good listen on shuffle, if I say so myself!
As I say, fingers crossed live performances can speedily head back to what we all know & love, as I’m now missing gigs more than ever thanks to this week – particularly after watching and listening to Live Around The World on the same day (DVD in the morning, CD in the afternoon). But if not, there are plenty of classic albums out there which I’ve yet to discover, so #MindTheBand will definitely be back.