Whilst creating these lists I’ve realised just how good a year 2014 has been, as it’s been surprisingly hard choosing just 10 albums of the year. Personally this year has had its fair share of musical highlights for me. From seeing Black Sabbath for £2.50, the worlds largest disco ball at Bestival and one of my favourite bands – Red Hot Chili Peppers – for the second time. Not only has this year been amazing for seeing older bands, I’ve made the most of seeing emerging talent such as Darlia, The Struts and The Wytches.

My Top 10 Albums of The Year

#1. Turn Blue // The Black Keys 

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Despite being around for well over a decade, The Black Keys manage to deliver albums that refresh the blues rock genre time and time again. The opening song ‘Weight of Love’ could be taken straight out of Neil Young’s 70’s catalogue, whilst ‘Fever’ is a totally fresh way of presenting modern garage rock music. The Black Keys and Jack White will always be compared, but unlike White’s ‘Lazaretto’, ‘Turn Blue’ isn’t a replica of their past records.

#2. Singles // Future Islands

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#3. Diploid Love // Brody Dalle 

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#4. Ultraviolence // Lana Del Rey 

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#5. Lazaretto // Jack White 

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#6. Deep Fantasy // White Lung 

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#7. Annabel Dream Reader // The Wytches

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#8. Warpaint // Warpaint

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#9. Amphetamine Ballads // The Amazing Snakeheads

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#10. Don’t Say That // Superfood

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My Top 10 Songs Of The Year

#1. Stars Are Aligned // Darlia

I am crossing my fingers for a debut album from Darlia in 2015, so for now I’ve chosen ‘Stars Are Aligned’ as my favourite song from 2014.  I first saw this band way back supporting Deap Vally, and ever since then they’ve stuck with me.

#2. Seasons (Waiting on You) // Future Islands

#3. Kiss This // The Struts

#4. West Coast // Lana Del Rey

#5. Transgender Dysphoria Blues // Against Me!

#6. Love Is To Die // Warpaint

#7. American Dream Plan B // Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

#8.Third Day of a Seven Day Binge // Marilyn Manson

#9. Motherfucker // Faith No More

#10. Figure It Out // Royal Blood

Top 5 Gigs Of The Year

#1. Black Sabbath –  Hyde Park – 4th July

Not much can really beat seeing Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Soundgarden and Motorhead for £2.50. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when seeing an old time band like Black Sabbath, but they completely blew me away. Ozzy’s vocals didn’t falter, and despite the fact I was standing near the back, the sound was electric, as were the crowd. I know I’ll probably never get the opportunity to see a band quite like them again, so this has been a real highlight of my year.

#2. Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Manchester Cathedral

#3. The Amazing Snakeheads – The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent

#4. Tame Impala – The Institute, Birmingham

#5. Alkaline Trio – O2 Academy, Bristol

Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2015

#1. Tour Announcements

As I’m not going to any festivals in 2015, I’m seriously looking forward to gigs. It seems every year Jimmy Page mentions something about making new music and the possibility of a tour. I’m not getting my hopes up, but you never know what might happen. Another band I’ve always wanted to see is KISS, so I’m hoping their slot at Download means other UK dates for the future.

#2. Gigs instead of festivals

As much as I do love festivals, for now I’ve had enough of dragging heavy luggage, heat stroke, blisters and extortionate food and drink prices. Maybe I’m getting old and boring, but I’d much rather spend my money on a few quality gigs than having to stand in a field where the sound quality never does the band justice. I do squeal whenever I see the latest festival line ups for 2015, but for now I’ve seen enough drug crazed idiots in fields to last a lifetime.

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