December 31st, 2004

Old Friend

Angus' Top Ten of 2004

Top Ten Films of 2004
10. Shaun of the Dead
9. The Passion
8. School of Rock
7. The Last Samurai
6. Hellboy
5. Dawn of the Dead
4. The Incredibles
3. Finding Neverland
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
1. Lost In Translation

I saw a lot of good films this year and cutting the list down to just ten was pretty hard. Even harder was choosing between Eternal Sunshine and Lost in Translation as my favourite of the year. Both films really touched me and in any other year would have easily been top. Lost in Translation just won out in the end though.

Worst film of the year has to be BIRTH by miles and miles. Although trailing behind that was HERO which will surprise a lot of people. Yes it *looked* nice but it was so dull. What plot their was was entirely predictable and I, literally, fell asleep at points. Never a good sign.....

I saw 34 films this year at the cinema. King Arthur and Shrek 2 I saw twice (different friends) . The above list is only taken from films I actually saw on the 'Big Screen'.

Top Ten Live Bands of 2004
10. Screaming Banshee Aircrew
9. Voices of Masada
8. Zombina & The Skeletons
7. All About Eve
6. Bella Morte
5. NFD
4. New Model Army
3. Skinny Puppy
2. Diary of Dreams
1. The Mission

New Model Army's greatness would have been higher had I not only caught less than half their set (grumble) but they are so stunning live that even 40 minutes of them gets them the 4th spot. The top three spots were difficult but The Mission just won out - although saying that on another day I could equally have made Diary of Dreams #1.Bands #9 thru #7 could also really have ended up in any order.
KMFDM and Syaranosui just missed out on the top ten. Syaranosui deserve a special emntion as I brought their EP at the gig and it is stunning. I would love to see them again and will certainly buy more of their material once it's produced. I saw 52 live performances this year (although that's counting multiples of the following: Voices of Masada x3, Faces of Sarah x2, Devilish Presley x3, Zombina & The Skeletons x2, Xlover x2, Screaming Banshee Aircrew x2).
What surprised me when reviewing the year was that many of the gigs I've been to this year have been Goth bands in smaller venues. In fact I only went to two gigs at Brixton Academy (Placebo and Nick Cave) which was the largest venue I visited in 2004. On the other hand there are quite a few damn fine small bands around at the moment and the 'scene' (be it goth/deathrock/or whatever 'tag' you choose to call it) is more alive at the moment than it has been for many, many years (I'd say it's better than it has been since the early 90's personally).

Choosing the worst bands of the year is always tricky. You usually don't remember them very well. The biggest disappointment was Nick Cave. I've seen him loads of times and he has always shined. I have friends who saw him on other nights at the same venue and they loved this time round. Unfortunately for me, and the guys I went with that night, he was lacking a lot. I would see him again because I know he can be brilliant. But it just didn't work for me this year. Other bands worth mentioning due to their terribleness or forgetfulness include: Society 1, Greenhaus, Antiworld, Sleeping Children and Portion Control.

Top Three Clubs of 2004
3. Full Tilt
2. Synthetic Culture
1. B-Movie

B-Movie continues to reign supreme on clubland. Synthetic Culture is very, very good too but I've had some hit and miss nights there music-wise whereas I'm guaranteed good music at B-Movie. The old Full Tilt gets an honourable mention in 3rd place although it sadly passed away this year after running since the 80's (and having me as a patron almost as long). Another club I used to frequent died this year too, Feet First at Camden Palace. It seemed the old order faded away to be replaced by a variety of smaller clubs. This was both good and bad, it meant more variety and some new life in clubland but also meant a splintering of people. There are quite a few people I've not seen again since the last nights at Full Tilt before it closed down in March!