It’s Boxing Day and the goose is now simmering on the stove for making stock. The gigs are all done for 2017 and I thought I’d have a look back at my fave shots from the year before it finally sputters out. So, here are 12 pics, one for each month and a bit of a brief and imperfect reflection of sorts. There were other things that happened, but here's a snapshot.
Falling at the first hurdle, there appear to have been no gigs in January. But there was the “North” exhibition at Open Eye. This was one I wrote about - "The portraits are the main focus – this is, after all, a gallery designed for photography, but the other material – the clothing, the mock up bedroom, the old copies of magazines – all add together to create a thoroughly impressive piece of curation."
Tonstartssbandht isn’t a name that trips off the tongue and was new one for me (a recurring theme throughout the year) but I thought they were great in The Magnet. Long sprawling, 20 minute numbers is nearly always a winner with me. These guys nailed it.
Peter Hook still has the swagger and the moves. The material from the Joy Division days was easily the more powerful and effective, but this was a belter of a gig.
April saw Wrong Fest at the Invisible Wind Factory and it was a brilliant kicker of a start to the festival season. Bo Ningen had me spell bound and the finale to the set was a special moment.
Another one I wrote about and a great night at Manchester's O2 Ritz. It was a kind of John Robb party with all his mates being invited to play but it worked superbly.
June means Africa Oyé in these parts and this year's version was, perhaps, the best yet. All the acts, save headliner Max Romeo were repeat visitors. It's a glorious party in the park and shows off Liverpool perfectly.
August really had few peers. The absolutely brilliant Rebellion at Blackpool was an amazing voyage of discovery. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes in the Empress Ballroom is a gig I'll not forget in a hurry - when he went walk about on the up-stretched hands and shoulders of the audience in some march of faith was something else.
Jesus and Mary Chain month. Nuff said.
I don't really think of myself as a writer, but I was persuaded to do an interview with Spoon's Rob Pope before their Liverpool gig. I'd like to think it went OK.
This is a bit of a cheat as it was taken on 30 November, but I don't have any decent December gig shots. But that's OK. Hunter and the Bear were a revelation at the Best of the West Festival I shot in the summer and their trip to Liverpool on a cold and wet night was a real treat. Great show.