Bye Bye 2014

31 12 2014

2014 was an incredibly happy, healthy and hugely productive year for me. Now normally when it comes to Dec 31 posts on Dead Horse, I usually stick up a bunch of photos which have summed up the past 12 months, but this time,I’m only going for one as it’s a photo that I’ll always remember until the day I kick the bucket.

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“Childhood Dream Achievement unlocked” as “the kids” say these days.

To put it all into context, in 1987 Daddy Christmas brought me Iron Maiden’s ‘Live After Death’ on double cassette, which I played the absolute shit out of.In fact, here it is here.Fun fact-for years I thought Bruce Dickinson’s iconic “Scream for me Long Beach” line was actually “SCREAM FOR ME LONG BITCH.” What a Long Bitch is, I did not know of course.

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It started a lifelong love affair with all things Maiden.They were like a favourite band, football team and super-heroes all rolled into one big galloping bass/dueling guitar-laden bundle. I really can’t count the amount of amazing times I’ve had that have featured Maiden in some way. There have been tons. They’ve never let me down. They’ve always been inspiring and frankly if the likes of ‘Aces High’ doesn’t make you hold your air guitar aloft and shoot invisible crowd members just like Steve Harris, then frankly you’re a lost cause.

My first ever tape I bought for myself was ‘Killers,’ my first CD I purchases was the live version of ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name,’ my first  “proper” gig was Maiden https://edwinmcfee.wordpress.com/?s=my+first+gig You get the drift…

For decades, I figured the closest I’d get to Steve Harris (AKA Maiden’s head honcho and one of the most creative, driven and inspiring people, well, ever, really) was when he “shot” me a couple of times with his bass at Brixton Academy during the Irons’ Clive-Aid gigs.Little did I know then of course…

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2002 was also the year I started my music journalism career and through sheer bloody-minded-ness and being a stubborn bastard, I eventually interviewed Maiden singers past and present-Paul Di’Anno, Blaze Bayley and Bruce Dickinson. The latter happened when I was 25 (at my brother’s house) and afterwards, while getting well and truly shit-faced to celebrate achieving a/the career goal, I contemplated packing it all in and getting a proper job.

However, despite initially being a little bereft due to ticking off all my entries of my career bucket list in three years (that’s my second bucket reference so far.I fucking love buckets, me!), I stuck at it, came up with some new goals, ticked them off and everything was dandy.

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Steve was still at the back of my head though and on July 5, 2014, something I’ve literally dreamed about since I was 8 became a reality and our paths crossed while I was frantically trying to find the press office at Sonisphere (hence why my face is redder than Babe the Pig’s arse after a night round Dita Von Tease’s gaff. Coz, y’know,she’s proper into spanking and stuff *shrugs*). He was cooler than Pingu in a freezer too,

That moment has literally made all the cancelled interviews, delayed payments, unavoidable dalliances with melters who steal credit and contacts and “that fucking Chris Rea” interview all worth it.Every single horrible minute of it all.

So yep, here’s to 2014.An unforgettable year for me.What happens next, I really don’t know but I’m looking forward to finding out.Maybe I’ll have a pint with Eddie?

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So without further ado, thanks to all the editors, promoters and bands I’ve worked with this year (yes, even those of you who destroy my happiness by bugging me constantly on Facebook via private message).

Here are my end of year lists which I sent off to the mags I write for. Happy New Year folks. Up the Irons.

Albums of 2014

The Murder City Devils ‘The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again’

The Dwarves ‘Invented Rock & Roll’

Beach Slang ‘Cheap Thrills On Dead End Streets/Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken’

Gaslight Anthem ‘Get Hurt’

Blood Or Whiskey ‘Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil’

Rancid ‘…Honour Is All We Know’

Raglans ‘Raglans’

Chuck Ragan ‘Til Midnight’

Dan Sartain ‘Dudesblood’

Windings/Land Lovers ‘Windings/Land Lovers’

Brody Dalle ‘Diploid Love’

Death From Above 1979 ‘Physical World’

Abebisi Shank ‘This Is The Third Album By A Band Called Adebisi Shank’

September Girls ‘Cursing The Sea’

Skull Fist ‘Chasing The Dream’

Groom ‘Bread And Jam’

The Riptide Movement ‘Getting Through’

Ben Glover ‘Atlantic’

Metronomy ‘Love Letters’

Kerbdog ‘Congregation’

 

Metal Hammer albums of 2014

The Murder City Devils ‘The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again’

The Dwarves ‘The Dwarves Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll’

Rancid ‘…Honour Is All We Know’

Skull Fist ‘Chasing The Dream’

Darkest Era ‘Severance’

HARK ‘Crystalline’

Mastodon ‘Once More Round The Sun’

Primordial ‘Where Greater Men Have Fallen’

John Garcia ‘John Garcia’

Cerebral Ballzy ‘Jaded & Faded’

Skindred ‘Kill The Power’

SSS ‘Limp.Gasp.Collapse’

Black Label ‘Society Catacombs Of The Black Vatican’

Demonic Resurrection ‘The Demon King’

Down ‘IV Part II’

Portrait ‘Crossroads’

Grand Magus ‘Triumph And Power’

Trash Talk ‘No Peace’

Orange Goblin ‘Back From The Abyss’

Brant Bjork ‘Black Power Flower’

 

Songs Of 2014

Beach Slang ‘Dirty Cigarettes’

Beach Slang ‘American Girls And French Kisses’

Chuck Ragan ‘Non Typical’

Kasabian ‘Eez-Eh’

Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’

Charli XCX ‘Boom Clap’

Bully ‘Milkman’

Lorde ‘Tennis Court’

The Minutes ‘Cherry Bomb’

Iggy Azalea ‘Fancy’





Happy Crimbo

23 12 2014

As some may know, every two weeks in Hot Press I write a spread called the Tracks Of The Fortnight (which, I’m hoping, should be pretty self explanatory).

For our Christmas issue I decided to put together a mini festive playlist for those who are fucked off with hearing the likes of Shaky etc, so I thought I post it up here too.

Happy Christmas peoples!

The fortnight’s best digital downloads, podcasts and live sessions

THE MURDER CITY DEVILS

364 Days (CHRISTMAS SONG)

Contrary to what some mainstream media outlets would have you believe, there’s much more to Christmas music than ‘The Fairytale Of New York.’ With that in mind-here’s an alternative selection of tunes to listen to while you give your chestnuts a proper roasting. First up, here’s seminal punk rock ‘n’ roll band the Murder City Devils with a fiddle-led whiskey-soaked waltz about all the best things about Crimbo-ie booze, prezzies and Santa.

DROPKICK MURPHYS

The Season’s Upon Us (CHRISTMAS SONG)

If the schmaltzy likes of Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ isn’t your cup of eggnog, then check out this little ditty from the Dropkick Murphys. Telling the tale of a Scrooge-like man who meets up with his dysfunctional family every Yule, it’s a funny, oddly sweet song with a cool video featuring Irish dancers, daft dogs and cute kids.

BEST COAST & WAVVES

Something For You (CHRISTMAS SONG)

Featuring two of modern garage pop’s biggest acts, ‘Something For You’ is a beautiful duet that could melt the heart of the coldest curmudgeon. Boasting a plethora of bells (including both “sleigh” and “church”), some grungy guitars, slushy lyrics and harmonies which are as warm and fuzzy as Fozzy Bear in a fleecy Christmas jumper, fans of Phil Spector and Weezer will love this.

WILL FERRELL & JOHN C. REILLY

Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (CHRISTMAS SONG)

Current kings of comedy Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly decide to play things straight (for the most part) in their re-enactment of David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s legendary performance of ‘Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy.’ Frankly, if this cracker doesn’t jingle your bell, then expect a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past over the next few days….





R.I.P. Dimebag

8 12 2014

Ten years gone. Spending tonight listening to some Pantera.