And so there it goes, that was 2015, what have you done? Another year over and another …no, hang on that’s Wonderful Christmas Time by George Harrison (I know, I know, but you have got to give the little darlings who like to commentate on-line something to work with.) So, a time for reflection on a tough year for live music with more venues than ever seeking to get involved but the pool of bands being called on getting seemingly ever smaller. How to inject something new, fresh, appealing and exciting without losing the existing punters, that is the trick. And how do you create a real event but also sell beer at the same time? Do we need better promotion and publicity? Do venues need to reflect our more ethnically diverse world and get away from the “white guys with guitars” template that dominates? Is the idea of going to grassroots level shows redundant? Should live shows also be streamed for the stay at home fan? Maybe we can find some of those answers next year, so keep the faith, keep things afloat, keep supporting. And buy a CD on the way out.
For now, there is only one thing to do. Go to a party and see the old year out in style. And there are plenty of options tonight. Although New Years Eve isn’t usually about going to a gig as such, there are a few bands to catch. Longs Bar, for example, is the place to be for a slice of hip-hop and reggae infused funky dance floor fillers with The Tribe. Mixing an euphoric pop sensibility with some rootsy undertones and groove-laden rhythms, this is the perfect band to usher in the New Year.
For all of your favourites from the rock and pop canon you could opt for either Outfall at The Locomotive or Mid Life Crisis at The Swiss Chalet and if ska is more your thing then head down to Level 3 and you will find The Killertones and a night of originals and standards from the genre.
The Victoria will be taking us back to the 80’s with synth pop classics from the likes of Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears and Clan of Xymox. Okay, maybe not Clan of Xymox that’s my over active imagination playing up again (I think I suffer from 4AD/HD (only people of a certain age and musical inclination will get that joke.)) Anyway, bouffant that hair and slip into a Day-Glo mini skirt to really get into the spirit of things. You ladies might wish to dress up as well.
Party invites also extend from Riffs Bar who are running a TFI Friday theme, so go as guests, crew, presenters or apparently “anything ginger.” With karaoke, DJ’s, party games and much more it will be just like the show itself has been resurrected for blatant commercial gain. (What’s that you say?) Evans above!
The Beehive has DJ Joe’s New Years Special, records spun by a stalwart of the venue and even The MECA is springing into action with a night of classic funk, soul and disco tunes and not a roller skate or boxing glove in sight. At The Castle you will find music spun by Dizzy Twilight, the self styled “Grandma DJ who likes to party.” And why not?
And as we go into the New Year there are a few choice selections to help you recover. On Friday at The Rolleston you can indulge in a bit of vintage R’n’B with Josie and The Outlaw and at the same venue on Saturday The Don Fox Scandal will assault your senses with some fantastic soul, funk and jazz blends.
Saturday also sees the first gig back at The Locomotive and it is a blinder. Port Erin have built up a solid reputation for amazing musicianship, inventive songwriting and utmost originality. If the idea of Frank Zappa writing music with Pink Floyd tickles you fancy, or smooth, soulful vibes being welded on to funky and often spiky grooves then there is only one place to be.
And rounding off on Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey and the welcome return of Nick Parker (pictured) who writes fantastic songs, very much in a Waterboys/Levellers vein and even as a solo player this certainly isn’t a show that you want to miss.
So there we have it, another year of me moaning about, championing, ribbing and promoting some interesting music, I hope you found something new you liked through this page, if so I feel like I have fulfilled my brief. Have a great night and see you at a gig in the New Year.