Below are two lists: my top 10 favourite gigs of the year, and top 10 favourite albums.
Top 10 gigs
1. Pokey Lafarge – Corner – 9 April – Brilliant stage presence, such a tight band and so, so much fun! Pokey was my gig of the year for many reasons, but mostly because it caught me off guard (going in with little idea what kind of show it would be). He is such a great performer with an endless, genuine energy, his band was spectacularly good, and the show kept a solid dance party going without a moment’s rest.
2. Paolo Nutini – Palais – 1 April – ‘Iron Sky’ gave me shivers and ‘Pencil Full of Lead’ had me dancing – such was the versatility in Paolo’s theatre show. This performance showed an evolution to headliner status, with huge stage presence and the songs to back it. This one also had some of the funniest heckling.
3. Florence + the Machine – Sidney Myer – 10 November – No one receives a crowd quite like Florence. She brought everything to this show, embracing the crowd both figuratively and literally. How anyone can run and dance so much while singing like that is incredible.
4. Father John Misty – Meredith Music Festival – 12 December – Pipping his own sideshow for a place in my favourites, the reception Father John Misty (rightly) received in the Sup played a big part in this rating so highly. Hilarious, sarcastic, soulful and what great hair…
5. Marlon Williams – Corner – 3 July – The most memorable encore of the year. Marlon loves a few covers, but the double of The Zombies ‘Time of the Season’ and Screamin Jay Hawkins’ ‘Portrait of a Man’ was perfect.
6. Montaigne – NSC – 6 November – Another real surprise of a gig. I knew Montaigne had a cool voice, but wow can she sing. This felt like the start of something massive.
7. The Basics – NSC – 24 February – 3 hours of tunes and silliness and working on the spot with occasional sheet music from the crowd, this was one of the more memorable Basics gigs I’ve attended.
8. Flight Facilities & MSO – Sidney Myer – 17 October – This was a special and unique event, with the MSO breathing new life into the electronic numbers. Katie Noonan’s soaring vocals and Reggie Watts’ hilarious cameo were my highlights.
9. Mumford & Sons + Future Islands – Sidney Myer – 12 November – Future Islands redefine rock performance with dancing like this show, while Mumford & Sons brought some of the loudest and most glorious singalongs I’ve heard.
10. Jordie Lane – Toff in Town – 18 April – Jordie continues to develop as a poignant storyteller, through songs and banter. An intimate performance of one of our recent greats.
Top 10 albums
10. Maccabees, The – Marks To Prove It
9. Wombats, The – Glitterbug
8. Mark Ronson – Uptown Special
7. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
6. Marina & The Diamonds – Froot
5. Calexico – Edge Of The Sun
4. Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams
3. Everything Everything – Get To Heaven
2. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
1. Lianna La Havas – Blood