And another year draws towards its close on Sweeping The Nation, just the usual hyper-countdown of our albums of the year and sundry festive stuff to go. So what have we learned?
Well, at the start of the year we found out our peers' album of the previous year again and then set our store by a number of new bands, nine of whom have released albums, at least one of whom have split up and some of whom just disappeared. Alright, Warmsley's been too busy for Acres Acres, but Euan who is Stars Of Sunday League must be up to something. And will Beth Jeans Houghton ever rear her bewigged head again? (Er, yes, she's supposedly been recording an album all year)
In late May we celebrated our fifth birthday, partly with memories and thoughts but mostly by commissioning this:
Sweeping The Nation's Fifth Birthday Presents by Sweeping The Nation
We did festivals. Latitude was fun, Indietracks was wonderful, Summer Sundae over all three days was mixed, Green Man was very, very wet.
Before we ran out of confidence in the questions, our Q&A The Music That Made motored along with Dave from Frankie & The Heartstrings ("Jo Whiley was shrieking like she'd spilt her skinny latte on her Echobelly t-shirt"), Tom from Her Name Is Calla ("I'm actually a huge western fan"), Elizabeth Allo Darlin' ("I remember wearing out my older sister’s Mel and Kim cassingle"), Mat Riviere ("A, before they became briefly popular"), Nick from Screaming Maldini ("there's a fair bit of hate out there for Jim Carrey, but I think he's pretty close to being an acting genius"), Mitchell Museum ("too much of that fucking about between song sonic jam nonsence and i'll be giving that Moore lad a stern telling off"), Jesca Hoop ("voyeurism") and Standard Fare ("quick! I need to phone my brother! He needs to know how good these guys are!") We went on to question record label owners in Always Check The Label - Fortuna Pop! ("I don't like saxophones and I don't like Serbian death metal"), Brainlove ("Don't forget the 3mm bleed"), Song By Toad ("I've never met a couple of our bands") and Alcopop! ("Ensure to have at least one band in your roster whose manager has a generous expense account"). It was supposed to be part of a whole month celebrating the perhaps dying art of the label. That didn't work out.
We ran A Classic Education's CMJ photo spread, only six months after the fact. We found out that the old charts were our most popular feature so kept pumping that seam, from Italia 90 to Agadoo. We guided you through Ian Dury and Dexys Midnight Runners. We ranted about the singles chart, the cult of the 'unsigned band', the cult of the 'unsigned band' (television version) and the singles chart (Christmas campaign version). And we did plenty of other things. Some were even vaguely readable.