Gig Scene’s top 10 of the year

Fringe Festival Harrogate'SIRA Studio
Fringe Festival Harrogate'SIRA Studio

Gig Scene’s top 10 local releases of 2013

By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

1. Phosphor: Karl Culley (album)

What we said: “The biggest compliment I can pay to Karl Culley isn’t to mention his dazzling technique on Martin 000-15 acoustic guitar nor the strong hooklines. The biggest compliment I can pay this former Harrogate singer-songwriter is that, in a time when the obvious is king, he remains an enigma.”

2. Dragonfly Tattoo: Songs of Love and Murder (EP)

What we said: “Few people hit the bull’s eye first time round but this stunning debut EP by local semi-acoustic outfit Dragonfly Tattoo marks them out as a cut above.”

3. Lewis Fieldhouse: The Water’s Fine (single)

What we said: “Born in the wilds of North Yorkshire, schooled at Paul McCartneys’ LiPA, singer-songwriter Lewis Fieldhouse’s new single is quietly brilliant, heartbreakingly lovely.”

4. Angie Shaw: Head for Heights (EP).

What we said: “Put simply, Head for Heights is the best thing this deceptively sweet-voiced singer-songwriter has ever done by some distance.”

5. Book of Job: Hamartia (album)

What we said: “There’s intellect and soul at work in this rock band, a passion for musical greatness and a rejection of the idea that things have to be done as they have been done before.”

6. These Young Sons: One More Time (EP).

What we said: “These Ripon Grammar School students’ blitzkrieg mix of punk, metal, pop and 70s hard rock blaze with self-confident energy and non-stop hooks.”

7. Strangers in Paradise: The Story Pt 2 (EP).

What we said: “The ambitious Harrogate rock band combine a rock crunch with a sweet sharpness, total tightness with passages of drifting ambience and, of course, some cracking guitar riffs.”

8. Area 40: One Small Step (album)

What we said: “If you told me Area 40’s stirring Where Are You Now was the new single by Mumford and Sons or The Waterboys, I’d say “great, sounds like a classic to me.””

9. PseudoNympho: Eponym (album)

What we said: “If the members of Queen had all been born 20 years later, they would probably have sounded like PseudoNympho.”

10. Pete Oliver Band: For The Love of the Poor (EP)

What we said: “Mixing the blues with rock and a touch of soul and funk, Pete Oliver Band’s strengths lie in their slightly early-70s like delivery.”

Bubbling under

Tom Loffill: On The Surface (album)

Lobo: A Stage 3 Game (album)

Ashley Reaks: Power Failure (album)

2012’s winner

The Birdman Rallies: Moons (album)