Feature: Conor Roy – A Look Back At 2021 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

So, how was your 2021?
A considerable improvement on the year which preceded it. I’m still very much in the house all the time working (which I really love) but the return of live music meant that the tail end of the year has been incredibly busy both as a musician and a fan of music. Casual Threats came back to the local scene, released new music and managed to squeeze in a few shows. Motel Carnation also played some pretty spectacular sold out headline shows which I still can’t believe happened. 

What was your best moment?
The Right Now tour which Motel Carnation played with Marketplace and NoYou, it was 3 shows in 3 days across the North East and it really felt like a proper tour. We made some amazing friends and it really highlighted the resilience and passion of independent promoters (Ben Richardson, Allan Scorer and Adam Gallagher) battling both a pandemic and recovering the local scene after the much needed nosedive of the main promoter in Newcastle who’s had the monopoly on the local scene for far to long. 

And your worst moment?
I bought a house and the day I moved in I got pinged by the app and had to isolate for 6 days with no refrigerator or washing machine. It was rough but I had amazing support from my friends who fetched things for me. (I know it sounds like a proper first world problem but I’ve never cried so much in such a short space of time haha).

Who was your favourite band/artist this year? 
Oh wow that’s an answer that changes daily. Nationally I’d say Yard Act and locally I’d let Marketplace, NoYou, Keiran Bowe and Squarms fight for it.

Your favourite song of the year? 
Sunglasses by Black Country, New Road (it’s a triumph).

Recommended album?
Drunk Tank Pink by Shame.

Favourite TV show of the year?
I pretty much just watch Doctor Who all the time so probably that.

Your favourite film? 
The French Dispatch.

Best book you read?
The Descent Of Man by Grayson Perry.

Best podcast?
Jon Richardson and The Futurenauts, it’s an INCREDIBLE podcast which lays out the world’s problems in such a way that anyone can understand, explains how things got so bad and highlights how you as an individual can make a difference without being preachy. I tell literally everyone I know about it, it’s actually changed my life.

Favourite venue of the year?
Independent in Sunderland, Ben and the team have made real moves growing that venue and they’re starting to reap the rewards.

What was your favourite gig/show of the year? Technical performance wise, Black Midi at Wylam Brewery. Those guys just do something I’ve never witnessed before and it’s the tightest organised chaos you’ll ever see. Overall performance was Shame at Boilershop, Charlie Steen is probably my favourite front man and their bass player spends a lot of the time sprinting around the stage, doing front flips off the kick drum and they never miss a beat.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2022? 
I am really into any bands that Wandering Oak put on in Newcastle, I’ve recently discovered Folly Group, Kaputt and TV Priest through them. I’m really excited to see what Wet Leg do as they have had a phenomenal rise of late and Yard Act’s album comes out in January and I think it might be a game changer. 

Any predictions for next year?
I’m a bit of a pessimist so I think things might get worse before they get better but I think if people keep supporting each other and we all look after live local music we’ll be fine.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout