I had the very best of intentions. Two weeks in Spain should have been ample time to complete Sonic Breakfast’s top ten countdown of 2019. I thought that mornings might have been spent writing content whilst drinking juice and eating tostadas con queso y tomate.
But the sad reality was that I needed the time to chill; long lie-ins were required, hangovers were nursed and batteries recharged. It was a fabulous way to spend two weeks away from the frantic day to day rush.
Now back in London, I’m preparing for 2020 by having a tidy-up. And I feel motivated to crack on with the countdown.
2019 had a lowlight. A thirty second blip that’s haunted me on and off since. On the Sunday morning of the August Bank Holiday, I was beaten up, mugged in broad daylight for the sake of a wallet. I tried not to let it impact upon life but I’d be lying if I said that it hadn’t. I find myself much more anxious when rapid movements surprise me behind my back. The slightest, accidental touch on my shoulder still sends me into a nervous spin.
I remember The Tearaways gig at the 100 Club fondly partly because it was one of the first gigs that I went to after the mugging. I reviewed it here. I had such a great night and felt able to fully breathe freely again. It sounds a bit ‘wank’ to talk about the restorative power of rock ‘n’ roll but that night left me feeling all sorts of happy. The Tearaways, reeling in a recent grief themselves, immaculately showed how the show must go on.
Since that night, they’ve headed back to the States and played tirelessly. They’ve also released two videos of key tracks during December. Tributes to John Ferriter, the key Tearaway who passed away suddenly in 2019, loom large. I really hope that this good time band return to the UK this year.
And any review of that gig wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the support act, Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts. What a 2019 they had. I loved their set. They played a UK gig in December in one of my old Nottingham haunts, a holiday hoedown raising funds for an excellent local homelessness charity, Emmanuel House. Ryan plays a series of acoustic shows across the UK later this year and a documentary film is being prepared around it. A great opportunity to see this modern day Tom Petty up close and personal.
Worthy of a top five 2019 Sonic Breakfast position I’m sure you’ll all agree.