Personally, I think 2015 has been a great year for music. I've seen some awesome bands, and listened to some fabulous records.
One of my favourite live shows this year has to be The Missing Souls at the Cosmic Trip Festival back in May. The Cosmic Trip, on the whole, was a very big disappointment. Not really the fault of the bands (although I still can't understand some of the choices of bands playing e.g. The Warlocks) but more to do with the sound / venue. The main stage was just too big, and the presence of any band playing there disappeared into the ether. Luckily The Missing Souls managed to avoid this by playing a pre-festival gig at a small bistro in Bourges town centre. I was knocked off my feet by their enthusiasm and most excellent choice of covers. They have since released their first single, a cover of 'You Just Gotta Know My Mind', and it looks like they have another 7" in the pipeline for early 2016 so very much to look forward to from their camp.
My favourite weekender this year was without a doubt the inaugural Franklin Fest in Edinburgh, which took place in June. Three days of the best rock 'n' roll on offer from bands as far flung as the the Medway! I was astounded by the performance of The Baron Four, who were just sheer brilliance in terms of energy and authenticity, not forgetting musicality (you can read about that show here), as well as the appearance of old favourites The Masonics with special guest Ludella Black, The Wildebeests and The Thanes. Also, it was really good to see the promoters showcase some of the lesser known bands on the opening night, such as The Phlegm. I'm really excited about Franklin Fest 2016, and cannot wait for the line-up to be announced.
The Franklin has been a constant this year in terms of the quality of bands playing, and the enjoyability of the shows. For a tiny wee shack in the middle of a field, it has something really special. Yes, I know - I've said it all before! More recently they've hosted bands from further afield such as red hot property Les Grys Grys from France, who gave a performance of monumental proportions (see here for more), and the fabulous Oh! Gunquit from down south (review here). Furthermore, it's one of the only places where you can guarantee that the support bands are likely to be just as good as the main act, notable supports this year having been Geek Maggot Bingo, The Brutes, The Black Needles and The No-Things.
All day spectacular Buckfest which took place in Glasgow, is also worth a mention. With many thanks to organiser Alan Gemmel for chatting with Musoss. We saw sterling performances from such bands as The Kosher Pickles and The Bucky Rage (review here). A thoroughly enjoyable day of weird and wonderful rock and roll. Again, I'm looking forward to the same in 2016.
As for LP's, The Arrogants - No Time To Wait, did it for me. However, The debut LP's from The Baron Four and Oh! Gunquit are very close behind.
Next year I'm hoping to provide coverage from the Green Fuzz festival in Spain in April, and of course the Franklin Fest in June.
Finally a huge thanks to all the bands / labels / promoters who've been so co-operative this year - it's truly been a pleasure to make your acquaintance. So please, put on your old-school 3D glasses, and watch this space.