More than 25,000 people had a say in our ‘band of the year 2017’ through two rounds of voting over six weeks. More than simply a generic popularity contest, the rankings of the 167 shortlisted bands blended results from two public web votes, three live radio votes, listen again figures for our interviews over 12 months, recognition for bands that had achieved album of the month reviews, plus monthly play listings and exclusives from the Friday rock show over the course of 2017. Every act that gives us an interview during the year is on the very long shortlist and 73% of the final verdict is in the hands of followers and Friday rock show listeners.
Any band that wants to be on the list for 2018, get in touch and book in for a Great Music Stories interview!
Those Damn Crows
The Dead Diaisies
Broken Witt Rebels
Black Stone Cherry
Swamp Born Assassins
Black King Cobra
The Texas Flood
A Welsh act we got behind in 2016, we have followed their story through a number of interviews over the last 18 months. Their story is one of overcoming barriers, enduring and self-belief in their art, whatever the odds. Their debut album garnered immediate listener reaction on my Friday rock show and they have since been one of the most requested acts week-in, week-out through 2017. The band’s music has intensity and a metal edge that offers something distinct, contemporary and fresh to the classic rock sound that many young acts adopt. During 2017, the band has gained rave reviews from its festival appearances at the likes of Wildfire and Camden Rocks and they seem set to become one of the ‘must see’ live acts on the scene. During the band of the year voting, as well as the Friday rock show in general, Those Damn Crows emerged as one of a handful of bands whose appeal bridged both ardent rock fans and a mainstream music audience tuning in for a bit of guitar music on a Friday. The people behind the band are down to earth, hard working and with a good sense of humour: There’s no spin behind this band – what you see is what you get. The recorded music is great, the live performances even better. And as our band of the Year 2017 one has the sense this is only the beginning for Those Damn Crows.
Aaron and his new band landed with a bang over the summer months. The debut album attracted immediate critical acclaim. We reviewed it as our album of the month for June and the title track along with ‘Morals’ dominated our playlist for the weeks that followed. Further, for our end of year awards, Aaron Buchanan was the only artist to be nominated for all four categories in 2017 – Album of the Year, Band of the Year, Single of the Year and Best Live Act.
Each month, we review and call just one album as our ‘album of the month.’ At the end of the year, picking just one of these 12 as our album of the year is tough. Beyond the multiple play listings, this album stood out simply because it offered something different. Rock music would have been poorer in 2017 if this album hadn’t existed. Some bands sound a bit like someone else – but Aaron Buchanan’s debut album gave us a new lens through which we could enjoy fresh, contemporary rock music.
People will still be playing this album in 10 years time. And quite a few will discover it in 2018 and wonder how on earth they missed it the first time round.
From a shortlist of nine tracks, this song by Theia picked itself. Following a first play on my Friday rock show in June, this song was requested without prompting for a further 19 consecutive shows.
This track wasn’t actually ever released at a single but in an age were few – if any – rock singles get anywhere near the official Top 40 singles chart, we often spot and nurture new songs that people react to and form a bond with. A kind of underground world of arresting singles evolves.
‘Home’ reminds us that with young bands it’s all about good songs – songs that people adopt as their own, the art of music capturing a sentiment or feeling that people maybe can’t put into words themselves. ‘Home’ won the hearts of many of our followers and in contrast to so many rock singles that bang and bounce with intensity, it can sometimes be the pure, stripped back and simple songs that quietly pack the biggest punch.
One of the most exciting debut acts of the year, many raved about the album – but it was the live shows that seemed to really make people go ‘wow!’
This category featured five world-class live acts also including: Broken Witt Rebels, Massive Wagons, Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics and Those Damn Crows. Seemingly impossible to separate the nominees, we asked a panel of gig reviewers and avid concertgoers from around the UK to pick the winner.
Wayward Sons were picked for the drama and professionalism of their shows, the richness of the new music and because they were seen to be true role models for new and emerging bands. On stage, Wayward Sons epitomise everything that is right with rock music in Britain today.
In a music world where the bands are always centre stage, it’s important not to take for granted the many managers, agents, event organisers, mentors and publicists behind the scenes that make things happen.
Terri Chapman I have worked with for four years. She is passionate about her bands, always forward looking, always fair and has a professional integrity that helps gives the genre at large a good reputation. The silent sixth member of Massive Wagons, she is also working hard to establish new bands such as Empyre. In a rock world where some moan about the challenges, Terri always has an eye on what is possible.