After reading many end of year lists, I realised there was something missing from them - my opinion. So here's my own personal list of 2011's highlights, because nobody else was going to write it for me.
I will remember 2011 for giving me some wonderful gigging experiences. If you'd have told me this time last year that I would get to see The Killers, Patrick Stump, Snow Patrol (twice) and Biffy Clyro all in 'intimate' venues, I'd have laughed and said "If only". Amazingly, all those things did happen ... and they all felt quite surreal, and still do.
The New Music
If I'm entirely honest, 2011 let me down with new offerings. Many artists who I considered myself a fan of no longer inerested me, I didn't buy their third/fourth/fifth album even though I'd previously collected their discography. Either I've changed or the bands have - or maybe we all have. However, there were some good points of the year such as Patrick Stump's solo venture, Panic! At The Disco's reinstatement of the exclamation mark, Kids In Glass Houses' seriously grown up 'In Gold Blood' and the far-too-good-to-be-Christmas-exclusive album from new duo Smith & Burrows.
While Lady Gaga's eggcellent (sorry) costumes and Brian May's surprise live appearances with both her and My Chemical Romance may seem obvious choices, the defining live performance of 2011 for me would be "my Mum's favourite band" Snow Patrol's mesmerising rendition of their trance-meets-rock track "Fallen Empires" on Later Live With...Jools Holland. The only competition it faced from any other televised live performance was Janelle Monae's astonishing set at Glastonbury Festival which saw many casual fans convert to devotees (including myself).
What I'd Like To See In 2012:
More of the above, please - but a few more new releases that actually sound new. Specifically speaking, I'd like to see Patrick Stump tour some more (London again please a-hem), watch no less than 40 different bands perform live (it's a goal I set myself a few years ago), discover some new bands and discover some old ones too. I'm aware that my wishlist is ambitious, but I'll report back on my progress in twelve months time.