Often the hardest part of any year, is reflecting on the damn thing afterwards, on the small decisions and the big decisions, on the rights and the wrongs, on the good things, and on the bad things, especially with a terrible memory such as my own. What the hell, looking back can be fun, especially since NHC actually had a pretty good year, and I myself, in return, had a pretty good year too.
Was it without troubles? Hell no, it was actually one of the most exhausting and mentally stressful years that I have ever had to deal with to be honest, but you just can't create great things without blood, sweat, and tears. Sacrifices must be made, and both professional and personal ones were. It is what it is though. I'm not being glib about that fact, it's just that personally... I would change nothing. The good and the bad decisions brought us all to this point after all, and we have learned from a lot of our earlier mistakes and become stronger, and healthier for it as an organisation.
In fact scrap that last part, we're not just an organisation anymore. Not just a club. We're a family now, for better or for worse. That's what makes NHC unlike anything that has come before it, and I don't give a damn how cheesy that sounds as it's exactly what makes us strong.
My only actual regrets of 2016 is that I worked so much I rarely had the time to go out to actual gigs, which I had always strived to do in the years previous to 2016, it's something that I aim to remedy in 2017. I had a few personal favourites of the registered bands that I did manage go to see though, and I think the bottom list of acts that actually caught me off guard by being so fucking good live in 2016 is a list that you really need to check out, each and every one. It's fully linked up, so after you read the rest of this article you know where to go. (It's in no actual order by the way...)
- Joe Bone And The Dark Vibes
- The Media Whores
- Fallen Arches
- Anton And The Colts
- The Stumblers
- Savage Cut
- Steve Grozier
- Splintered Halo
- Heavy Drapes
- Lisa Kowalski
- The Great Kull
- KC Johnston
- Stoney Broke
- Trongate Rum Riots
- Tim Loud
- The Twistettes
- Painting Rockets
- Hello Creepy Spider
- Brittle Head Girl
- Naked Sunday
Each and every one of these magnificent bastards blew me away and should be heard by as many sets of god damn ears as the country can supply. That may sound a little outlandish, but you need to hear them live before you decide yourself. Make 2017 the year you catch them all at your nearest music venue (Unless it's one of the dodgy promoters or venues on our blacklists, because fuck those guys).
These may not be my favourite registered bands, just the favourite live acts of the year that I managed to catch. Even though I didn't get to a lot of gigs I wanted to, I still went to waayyyy more than the average person, so a list of general 'best' bands for me would require a whole new article entirely, as would a list of bands I was gutted to miss in 2016 (Mickey 9's and Jackal Trades for a start, also missed Sorrows Have Sails doing a fully live set, or for something a bit heavier - Soul Remover and Centrilia were missed by me too- and I was gutted by each one.), or a list of exciting bands who I'm glad registered with us in 2016 because I am now a new fan (The Broken Lovers, Magic Trik, Concrete Kingdoms, Test The Waters, The Ronains).
You get the point, we could have a massive list of lists article here, again though, that's for another time.
Some bands registered with us have come along in leaps and bounds in the last year too, The Ronains for instance are sprinting ahead and don't look like slowing down anytime soon. Daryl Sperry has been one of the busiest artists I know, and he has more than enough talent to go far with it. Then there are acts like Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 who need no introductions from us (unless you are living in a cave... on the moon) and have been blazing a bright yellow trail across the globe, making a legion of new fans with every gig they play. They played the Barrowlands for Christs sakes, and with Jamie & Shoony, Have Mercy Las Vegas, The Twistettes, and one of my all time favourite bands The Girobabies, they sold the place out. They showed others that even if you are an independent band, it could be done. That doesn't demand an article, that demands a bloody plaque somewhere. Every band I have linked above deserves your attention, so go on and give it to them.
As far as mega star artists went, 2016 wasn't a good year at all, and we lost some greats like Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Prince, and yet NHC feels it was one of the strongest years so far for the independent and DIY music scenes, with Glasgow in particular holding a bright torch in the darkness for everyone to see. We seem to be thriving as far as new music goes, and there doesn't seem to be an end to the amount of great new tunes, of every genre, hitting our inboxes every single week. We hope this trend goes on throughout 2017, as we all bloody deserve it. Glasgow deserves it. A thriving music scene means a thriving and healthy city after all, and I bloody well love this city, even it's flaws and faults. It's a living, breathing entity to me, and all living, breathing entities need music in their lives.
So then, what about other reflections of the good stuff that happened with NHC last year? Well, our own registration deal took a massive surge (so much so that there is now a cap in place, but more on that in the next article), we started doing more and more video content (give the people what they want after all, video content does so much better than standard posts on Facebook and the website!), we took on more voluntary staff too (and are taking on more this month!), as an ever growing organisation like ours always needs new brains and new ideas on our side. We had a flood in the shop that the beautiful Glasgow public helped us fix in no time at all, we started our members program so that the people of Glasgow could help us grow, and we started our mixed music packages deal to get more of our registered bands music to those very peoples ears. We began our big CD Duplication deal to help registered bands with the cost of cutting and printing off an Album or EP, and we looked ahead with a change from a tired, musky old blog format, to a proper bloody music website, hell, even the shop was witness to many a makeover, and many a mental party, across the year! Essentially we started getting our shit together in a more professional manner in 2016, and it felt great.
That's only the stuff I can remember... How the hell is that for a mere 12 months?
Tune in tomorrow when we stare forward into 2017, and you get a sneak peek of what is coming up next....
Feed The Music - Not The Corporations