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

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We chat to some of our passionate and dedicated team to find out what they thought of 2020…with some occasionally sweary results! Here, Paul Broadhead tells us about his past twelve months.

Sum up 2020 in three words.   

For fuck’s sake  

Your favourite band/artist of the year?  

Lanterns On The Lake. Big music awards ceremonies mean little to me, but our own LOTL being nominated for a Mercury Prize filled me with immense pride. Spook The Herd saw the band truly coming into their own and its lyrical content was eerily apt for what was to follow. 

Your favourite song of the year?  

C2.0 by Charli XCX. The words ‘lockdown recording’ may send shivers down the spine by now but How I’m Feeling Now – and this song in particular – is the very sound of someone both capturing, and exorcising, their anxieties.  

Favourite TV show of the year?  

If ever there was a year that needed some light-heartedness, 2020 was it and The Duchess took Katherine Ryan’s biographical comedy as a single mum and made it eminently watchable and relatable for all. Also a shout-out to The Eddy, a French drama about a troubled jazz club; the best music based drama since 2016’s Scorsese / Jagger produced Vinyl.  

Your favourite film?  

Birds Of Prey. Harley Quinn rescued The Suicide Squad and in a year when the Avengers were nowhere to be seen, maybe it was appropriate that 2020 should belong to an anti-hero armed with bad tattoos and bigger issues.  

Best book you read?  

Tranny by Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! Amazing to think that this book was written three years ago but that only further amplifies the depth of courage documented in its pages. Yes, it’s a rock bio. Yes, there’s sex, drugs and rock and roll. But there’s so much more. There’s inspiration to accept your truth and your self, no matter what or who that might be.     

What was your favourite gig/live stream event?  

Giant Drag at The Cluny. January seems like a lifetime ago now, but for all the wonderful socially-distanced gigs put on by the likes of the Tyne Bank Brewery, there’s still nothing better than a beer-soaked night in a sweatbox and everything about Annie Hardy’s set that night was exactly why we miss those nights so much.  

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

Alix Alixandra is a wonderful local songwriter whose breathy vocal evokes and conveys an understated emotional outpouring with wise words that belie her age. Whether she’s singing about Tories or flaccid peni, The Stones Sesh takes you on an elegantly dishevelled and thoroughly captivating voyage of wide-eyed cynicism. 

Predictions for 2021? 

An impending Brexit does little to stoke the hopes for the future, but the ways in which people have rallied around each other and thought outside of the box, especially within local communities, has been inspiring. I don’t want a ‘return to normal’. And I don’t want the ‘new normal’. I want a ‘better normal’ and for that to happen people need to come together. And if that happens, then we’ll be ok. 

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