Happy Christmas everyone. Unless anything amazing happens I doubt I will post again in 2006, so I thought I'd add just a little to the interminable 'best of 2006' lists that we've all been drowning in recently. No comments, though - just the details - some bright spots in what has been a very depressing year for those who think a state of peace is the desirable condition for mankind to inhabit. (Though it was fun touring with North Americans when the US Senate and House of Representatives elections were held and seeing their glee as the results came through.)
Record of the Year: Scott Walker, The Drift
Book of the Year: JH Prynne, To Pollen
Gig of the Year: John Butcher and Eddie Prevost at Freedom of the City, April 30th
and honourable mention for
Stage Announcement of the Year: Alexander Hawkins, the day after the American elections, for one night only changing the dedication of his composition Goodbye,Sir from Art Tatum to Donald Rumsfeld.
It is exactly one year since the death of Derek Bailey, so the great man should be in our thoughts. Why not go here as a reminder of his brilliance? (Thanks to the indefatigable David Reid for the clip.) But we've lost someone equally brilliant today - what can I say about James Brown - I guess only that without him all popular music today would be utterly different, and a hell of a lot more rubbish! He was on telly performing on a BBC Electric Prom not long ago, and aside from an ill-advised Georgia on my mind was awesome. They will both be hugely missed.
See you in 2007!