In previous Sonic Breakfast ‘end of year’ posts, I’ve put together a ‘Top Ten’ of featured acts that have most excited me across that year. It somehow doesn’t feel right to do so in 2020 when all music to have given me a modicum of joy should be hailed and praised.
I am going to pick out one live gig I went to and one song/band for top accolades though. Today, I’ll start with the live show before ending 2020 with the number one band. Drum roll please.
Venues and live gigs have been through the mill this year. It seems so long ago that I was crammed into enclosed spaces with others that it’s barely conceivable that such behaviour took place in 2020. Few could see the doom that was on the horizon when I crossed London in February to rock up at the Coronet Theatre in Notting Hill for the wonderfully intimate, sold out and packed ‘audience with Lail Arad and JF Robitaille show’.
Readers of Sonic Breakfast can refresh themselves with my review from that evening here. It begins with an inappropriate throwaway comment about Coronavirus and ends with the observation that Tuesday evenings don’t get better than this.
Lail and JF appear to have had a year of consolidation this year. I see occasional posts about new songs being written and sometimes they post videos of songs they have covered during lockdown. They recently uploaded a cover of a sad Christmas tune (Blue Christmas) that ably demonstrates (as if any reminder was needed) how their voices work together to create all sorts of spine-tingling magic.
There’s been arty pictures in the Financial Times and spurts of creative writing but mostly this has been a year in which Lail and JF desire to be out on the road touring. They clearly miss creating that connection that can really only come from playing your music in a live setting. And I miss being in the crowd to witness such delight.