Monday, December 26, 2011's End of Year Review 2011 - Bobby Townsend

Over the next few days, all of Bobbysix's contributors will be sharing their highlights of 2011, culminating in the announcement of our overall album/song/movie/gig of the year later this week. Today, Editor Bobby gets the ball rolling: 

Top 10 albums
1. A Creature I Don’t Know - LAURA MARLING
Marling's most expansive record and also her most accessible, it proves her to be one of the most honest, intelligent and breathtakingly talented artists in music today.
Twerps - TWERPS
Twerps is the sound of a band growing up and finding their sound. This is an album that could soundtrack long summer days spent falling out of love.

3. Bad As Me - TOM WAITS
Existing fans will love it, while newbies will find this the ideal place to begin their Tom Waits collection.
4. Ceremonials - FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
The art-pop of Ceremonials exudes impressive confidence from a woman on top of her game, while retaining enough of a dark edge to keep it interesting.
5. Vows - KIMBRA
Vows is a soulful, textured, vibrant triumph of a debut which immediately establishes Kimbra as a unique and genuinely exciting new artist
6. In Your Room - CAMERAS
The most refreshing thing is that, rather than front-loading the big singles, as so many albums do nowadays, it ebbs and flows like a set-list and feels very much like a musical journey.
7. Veronica Falls - VERONICA FALLS
A beguiling, intriguing coming together of dark and light, it is really rather wonderful. Melancholy never seemed so much fun.
8. Milk Annual - CAITLIN PARK
The delightful truth is that the nuanced, beautiful and outstanding Milk Annual is actually a unique sounding record. And you can't say that very often these days.
9. Smoking in Heaven - KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS
If the rubbish that litters commercial radio station playlists had one-hundredth of the honesty, heart and soul that this record does, the music world would be a much more satisfying place.
10. Yuck -YUCK
This album doesn't sound derivative in the slightest, but rather is a fresh and exciting post-grunge offering with a DIY ethic.

Top 10 songs
1. Defeatist - CAMERAS 


2. History’s Door - HUSKY
3. Cameo Lover - KIMBRA
4. Who Are You? - TWERPS
5. Walk Like Thunder - KIMYA DAWSON
6. Even Though I’m a Woman - SEEKER LOVER KEEPER  
7. Found Love in a Graveyard - VERONICA FALLS
8. Back in the Crowd - TOM WAITS
9. Endless Summer - THE JEZABELS
10. Covered By Snow - DEAD LETTER CHORUS

Top 10 gigs
1. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE - Seymour Centre, Sydney
So magical was the atmosphere in room during this perfect occasion that to step back into the real world felt painfully mundane. This was a wonderful and unforgettable night.
2. DAVID FORD - The Empire Bar, Belfast
At the midway point, Ford ran down the street in order to play a song at Duke Special and Phil Jupitus’ gig. They passed him on the way and came to read some poems at The Empire Bar.
3. KIMBRA - The Metro, Sydney
Her effervescence was complimented by her band as finger-clicking, red-suited male backing singers boogied in the background. She even managed a mid-set costume change. 
4.SEEKER LOVER KEEPER - St Stephen’s Church, Sydney
A night in a warmly-lit church watching three talented and charming musicians can be aptly summed-up in a single word. Lovely.
5. THE GRATES - The Metro, Sydney
With the combination of infectious pop, post-grunge and a singer that owns the room with her lust for life, tonight once again proved that to see The Grates live is to best understand them.
6. CAMERAS - Changing Lanes Festival, Sydney
While their atmospheric sound is best suited to playing in the dark, they still gave one of the performances - if not the performance - of the day (pictured, left)
7 SIMONE FELICE - The Vanguard, Sydney
His voice was beautiful, ethereal, transfixing and when he bowed at the end of the gig he did so with the awkward charm of a five-year-old having performed in the school nativity play.
8. KIMYA DAWSON & AESOP ROCK - Manning Bar, Sydney
It was a rare joy to see two such different artists sharing a stage and creating an evening of such eclecticism.
9. THE JEZABELS - Homebake Festival, Sydney
Singer Hayley Mary has something of the Kate Bush about her in terms of her vocal and the band's pop songs were powerful and engaging.
10. HOWLING BELLS - The Standard, Sydney
Simply, they sound like a proper band, with clean, strong guitar driven indie songs and an excellent vocalist in Juanita Stein.

Top 10 Films
1. Submarine
2. Bill Cunningham New York
3. Snowtown
4. Midnight in Paris
5. We Need To Talk About Kevin
6. Black Swan
7. Senna
8. Drive
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
10. The Guard

Top 5 TV Shows
1. 24 Hours in A&E
2. Match of the Day
3. Boardwalk Empire
4. At The Movies
5. Q & A

Top 5 radio shows/podcasts
1. Kermode and Mayo’s Film Reviews - BBC Radio 5Live
2. Guardian Football Weekly Podcast
3. Arvos - FBi Radio
4. Desert Island Disks - BBC Radio 4
5. The Allnighter - FBi Radio

Favourite interview of the year
There were a few actually. It was a joy to chat to Florence Welch, even though it was at 7am and I hadn’t been to bed from the night before. I also enjoyed doing a face-to-face with Juanita Stein from Howling Bells. Our interview would lead to me drunkenly teaching her how to use the DJ decks at Sydney’s World Bar the next night. Speaking to Britany Nola was very interesting. I always enjoy interviewing models, as they have so much to say and are rarely afforded the opportunity. Her words about human rights and tolerance were inspiring. However, my favourite interview was with Laura Marling. I adore her work - firmly believing her to be the best lyricist of her generation - and I enjoyed catching up with her, as we first spoke over three years ago, when she was a shy 18-year-old. Though she is now a pretty big deal, it was lovely to discover that she remains as unassuming, polite and friendly as she was back then.

Highlight of the year.
Being able to attend the first Brighton & Hove Albion game at The American Express Community Stadium was an incredibly emotional end to a 14-year journey and something I will never forget. However, my actual highlight came at Sydney’s Metro Theatre in September. I was attempting to woo an especially beautiful lady when a young man came up to me and said “Excuse me, I just wanted to say I love your blog.” It is the only time in my life I have appeared cool and his timing was excellent.

2011 in words
Regina Spektor once told me that, "Man plans and God laughs." She could very well have been talking about my 2011. A fucked up fruitcake of a year, starting in the snow of England, ending in the heat of Australia, via Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eastern Europe. An era ending. Stolen moments in Budapest. A head resting on my chest in Sydney. Tourbus hilarity on the motorways of Britain. New friends on both sides of the world. A crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.  

Prediction for 2012
Our new website is going to blow your fucking minds. Watch this space.

Bobby is the Editor of He has written for publications and websites including CNN, Drum Media, Inpress, BBM, Time Off, Rip It Up and The Argus. He has also appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC 7. He splits his time between Australia and England.

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