FEATURE: bigfatbig – A Look Back on 2020 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. We’ve asked a few of them to tell us about their 2020 and offer a few tips about great stuff they’ve seen, watched and read.

Here, Sunderland’s alt. rock girl gang bigfatbig tell us about their 2020…

Sum up 2020 in 3 words

Really bloody exhausting.

It’s been hard – harder than we could’ve ever anticipated, especially with the year we actually had planned. There’s been struggles personally, professionally, mentally, but we’re honestly thankful we’ve made it to the other side in one piece. Some of the stuff we’ve been involved in wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the pandemic cancelling everything, and we’re big believers in trusting the process. We are so grateful for every single opportunity we’ve had in this godforsaken year. We realise how privileged we are in every aspect of our lives, and 2020 has really put everything into perspective for us. We’ve learned a lot, which is a huge positive.

What skills did you learn in lockdown?

I didn’t use my time as effectively as I could’ve, but like I said, I’m just grateful that I made it to 2021 unscathed! I cooked a lot more than I usually would’ve, and also took up cross stitching, which was super therapeutic. This lockdown, my new thing is running (I literally hate exercise so unsure why???) but I’m currently on week 5 on Couch to 5k – so that’s something!

Your favourite band/artist of the year?

My Spotify top 5 was The Front Bottoms, Carly Rae Jepsen, Paramore, Super American and Taylor Swift. Super American are a band I found in March and fell absolutely head over heels for. I’ve also loved Declan McKenna’s new album, everything Orla Gartland has put out, and (obviously) Hayley Williams’ solo project. New music is my biggest passion and is single-handedly what’s kept me (mostly) sane during the pandemic.

Your favourite song of the year?

Genuinely, the new(?) BTS song, Dynamite, slaps soooo hard. That key change nearly knocked me off me feet the first time I heard it. Speaking of, Iceland’s Eurovision entry – Think About Things by Dadi Freyr – outrageous. My most listened to song of this year was Kyoto by Phoebe Bridgers which would also be a shout.

Favourite TV show of the year?

I don’t really watch a huge amount of TV. I do love crap reality telly like Catfish and Love Island, but also at the other end of the spectrum, Criminal Minds and documentaries about serial killers (unsure what that says about me…). A series I binged this year, though, was Sex Education which was bloody brilliant and kept me busy for a while in April. Would it be bad to mention Tiger King?

Best book you read?

Is now a good time to admit I haven’t read at all this year?… Yikes.

Venue you’re looking forward to playing next year?

We’re booked for a lot of festivals that we really hope can go ahead. This is Tomorrow in Exhibition Park is one we’re buzzed for! A lot of stuff is yet to be announced, so we can’t say much yet, but there are loads of venues we’ll hopefully be getting to play for the first time which is dead exciting.

What was your favourite gig/livestreamed event?

My favourite show we played has to be the one we played with Zuzu, as aforementioned. A real ‘pinch me’ moment for us all, and luckily early enough in the year that we got the full experience. Locally, I’ve seen Mt. Misery more than any other band this year, and they’ve been incredible every time. Club Paradise’s last show in March really stands out, as well as Kay Greyson at Tyne Bank in September.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2021?

My ones-to-watch for 2021 would be Faye Fantarrow, Blamire, ZELA, Sophia and Trunky Juno. I’m really lucky in that a lot of my best mates are also in my favourite bands, so I would implore you to check out Club Paradise, Deep.Sleep, Ghost//Signals, St. Buryan and Holly Rees – they’re all amazing, and I’m not just saying that because they’re my friends!

Predictions for 2021?

Honestly, I just want to play a proper show. A minging, horrible, sweaty show. I would love to think that would be possible at some point soon. (Wear your masks everyone, please!!). I also think that, as soon as live music is back properly, the scene is going to be on fireee. Loads of sell out shows for everyone in the region, and you best believe we’ll be at every single one.

And finally, have you got anything in the pipeline for next year?

Hopefully some bloody live shows! If next year is close to what this year was supposed to be for us, specifically in terms of festivals, then I’ll be a happy girl. We’re also in the studio in January recording some brand new tracks so expect a couple of releases from us too


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