Our first ever annual awards set the foundation for what we have become known for – an end of year awards and our signature was to just focus on a small number of categories – Band, Live Act, Album and Single. Whilst this structure has remained since we started it in December 2015, the first awards was run differently to subsequent years. There wasn’t an online vote in 2015, instead the awards were based on actual listener requests, week-in, week-out, for artists through the course of the year. The first awards in 2015 were done as a bit of fun to finish the year but they reflect the acts that were a keystone of what we did during the year.
One of the first 10 bands we interviewed when Great Music Stories started – and a band we followed closely in the build up to the very first Ramblin’ Man Fair. Songs from ‘St Cecilia And the Gypsy Soul’ and ‘Black Eyed Sons’ became staples of what was then the Monday rockshow, a platform also used to air the interviews from Great Music Stories. Whilst there is a rising generation of new rock bands in the UK, the Quireboys very much embody the true and enduring beating heart of rock and roll – a working band, prolific in the studio and nice people to deal with. Emphatic winners for our first ever Band of the Year in December 2015 – and the only band to have finished the year in the top 10 for the following three years.
The track ‘Orphan’ we played early on release and then ‘Holy War’ had a long run with us. We also did two interviews with the band in 2015 – an hour special with Steve Lukather from the USA on the Toto story and then a back interview backstage in London before a sell-out show for the Toto XIV tour. This album marked an emphatic return for the band. For us we drew comparisons with ’The Seventh One,’ probably because of the return of Joseph Williams on lead vocals. For us, this was one of the band’s finest albums and it dominated much of what we did in 2015.
Only a B-Side, but you just can’t keep a good song down. This cover of a song that appeared in the movie ’The Lost Boys’ got endless requests during 2015 after a first play. And it had a 14 week run on my rock show. To some it was even better than the original. This is a song many have covered, but to us this is a the special one.
A band we rediscovered. Ahead of their UK tour dates with U2, I did two feature interviews with the band – the first of which really captured some real magic in terms of the topics we covered. We then followed the band’s live journey during the year, and 2015 concluded with us broadcasting the band’s sell-out concert from Birmingham Symphony Hall. Everything about this band is about life and their music gains new life and dimension when played live. Some remarkable performances from a band that reminded us that good music is good music, regardless of genre, geography, labels or hype.