FEATURE: CEITIDH MAC – A Look Back At 2021 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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So, how was your 2021?

It was a good example of taking the rough with the smooth! It was a weird start to the year, but music wise it’s been so flippin’ exciting! Seeing live gigs again was a highlight.

What was your best moment?

Getting in the North Sea! I’ve been learning to surf, and getting in the sea nearly always clears my head.

And your worst moment?

I think the constant cancellations.

Who was your favourite band/artist this year?

It’s impossible to say one… but I’m continually inspired by Little Simz, who released another album this year. She’s so committed to her art, her music videos are unreal. I went to her gig in Newcastle, it was just so good!

Your favourite song of the year?

Another impossible question! One song that makes me think of this year is Mr Sun (miss da sun) by Greentea Peng. I think I’ve listened to it 100000 times as it was always on in the van when we were driving about. The catchiest song of the year is Fast Food by Ruth Lyon!

Recommended album?

Hemet by Niamh Regan. It actually came out in 2020 but I’ve listened to it so much ever since. Love the production, the lyrics… it’s a beauty!

Favourite TV show of the year?

There’s a series called Undone which I watched pretty much in one sitting. It’s an animation all about time and mental health. It’s beautifully made, and raises a lot of questions! The main character is deaf, which is good to see being represented. I’d recommend it, but it is quite a lot to take in!

Your favourite film?

This is a hard question because I have a real bad memory when it comes to films. It’s very frustrating! But it means I can watch the same film twice and only realise half way through! I just watched Don’t Look Up on Netflix. It’s about a comet heading straight for Earth, but it’s so close to the bone with the situation with the climate crisis and how we have a finite amount of time to change. It’s really worth watching! The reactions of the government and the media are awful and accurate!

Best book you read?

I’m currently reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, it’s beautiful.

Best podcast?

Changes by Annie Mac. Very, very good for the hours spent sitting in the van driving to a gig! She interviews people from all walks of life about big changes that happen in their lives. She’s such a good interviewer too. Also Blindboy, he’s got some really good ones about history and mental health, explained in an accessible, articulate and soothing way.

Favourite venue of the year?

I loved going back to Fresh at Cobalt Studios after so long. An all time favourite!

What was your favourite gig/show of the year?

Little Simz in Newcastle…so good. It was the last gig I saw this year so it’s fresh in my mind! Kneecap were wild – they’re from Belfast and rap in Irish and English. Really loved seeing them. Rachael Dadd at Shambino Festival. Ishmael Ensemble at The Cluny.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2022?

Northering, which is Anna Hughes and Maisie May. Anything they do will be mint! I’m excited to catch Cosy’s Ex live somewhere soon, which is Rob Griffiths’ collaboration with loads of incredible musicians. Also Amy and Fran, a percussion/accordion duo project from Amy Thatcher and Fran Knowles.

And finally, what has next year got in store for you?

I’ve got some new music on the way…will be announcing that soon! I’ve been getting more into the production side of my music making, I’m getting more stuck into that, and fingers crossed lots of gigging!

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