Highlights of the Year #2

This is part 2 of our unordered-highlights-of-the-year. Read part 1 here.
This post is from Oliver Barrett, whose 
The Nuckelavee will be released by Tartaruga in early 2015 

Roughly chronological order with the caveat being bad memory not entirely down to too much ale. Limited to purely musical endeavours - others and my own - after I realised there was more than enough on that front after I started to write it down. I've bought far too little music that actually came out this year so this is all live but anyhow, highlights include…

/  the debut Astrothrone gig at the ICA which involved me and Wayne making a noisy scree over fragments of tracks whilst everybody in the bar did their best to ignore it  
/  Paul Watson, aka Bbblood, stopping halfway through his set at OTO to lead an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday to Andie Brown - which must have been pretty unsettling to anybody who was unaware it was a birthday party in the first place  
/  seeing the David Alden production of Peter Grimes at the ENO for the second time, which was every bit as incredible as the first despite the fact that seemingly every single member of the cast had been struck down with flu  
/  playing a set in the atrium of the Musiekgebauw in Amsterdam with the lights across the water acting as a backdrop behind me and a stomach-churning glass floor beneath me   
/  playing cello as part of a short-live trio with John Chantler and Jennifer Allum - wish we'd done more  
/  playing amongst the old machinery at the incredible Zollverein mining complex in Essen - and especially just wandering around the buildings beforehand in the twilight  
/  playing at the fantastic FUSE space in Bradford - long may it continue
/  Seeing Johns Lunds & Maria Bertel, aka G.E.K., tear the roof off with sax and trombone through several amps at OTO before Lean Left obliterated the remnants the following night  

Photo: Dawid Laskowski

/  playing a string of dates around Belgium, Germany and Holland with the great Talvihorros and Laid Eyes combo  
/  hearing the all-female choir take shape for a track on the next Petrels album  
/  hearing the LSO echo around St Pauls  
/  seeing Apartment House's incredible rendition of Harley Garber's monumental 'The Winds Rise In The North' despite loud coverage of the World Cup final filtering in through every wall and window  
/  Kevin Drumm and Russell Haswell's coruscating duo set at OTO  
/  every bit of the 5-day Corsano residency that I got to see but especially his sets with John Butcher/Okkyung Lee, Evan Parker/John Edwards and Massimo Pupillo  
/  the incredible Fort Process allayer at Newhaven Fort which I think I could have gone to another 3 times and still not caught everything  
/  Fire! Orchestra being every bit as good as I hoped they would be at The Laundry  
/  doing my own version of a big-band (well, relatively speaking - a 5-piece) with Petrels at Swingfest in Essen  
/  pure coruscation from Hijokaidan and Borbetomagus at OTO  
/  John Chantler basically playing the room at St John  
/  Hey Colossus at the Windmill which is definitely up there as one of my gigs of the year  
/  and lastly, every single set of the two Cordyceps Is Your Friend nights - more to come in 2015.

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