Continuing with the traditional Rock Sins end of year awards, this time it’s the turn of one of our senior photographers, Fran Dignon, to make her choices from the past twelve months. Over to Fran!
1) Album of the year: The Interrupters – Say It Out Loud
Not only would I say The Interrupters put out my favourite album of this year, but they are most likely my favourite discovery of 2016. To put it simply, Say It Out Loud is 40 minutes of pure punk rock attitude, along with some ska influences and all the huge catchy choruses you could possibly want. Album opener “By My Side” sets the perfect tone for the album and I defy any person who thinks they could listen to this song, let alone the entire album without shaking their hips and shouting along at the top of their lungs.
Every Time I Die – Low Teens
Pup – The Dream Is Over
Rob Lynch – Baby, I’m a Runaway
Touché Amoré – Stage Four
Nervus – Permanent Rainbow
2) Song of the year: Pup – Sleep In The Head
Never in my life did I think I’d hear a song about a chameleon passing away (nor did I think said song could make me as emotional as this song does), but here we are. Sleep In The Heat carries on the raw punk rock sound that Pup have become well known and loved for but brings an entirely new level of emotion with its very honest but heartfelt subject matter, this is something that happens a lot of Pup’s newest album “The Dream Is Over”.
3) Music video of the year: Yellowcard – Rest In Peace
This is probably the most self indulgent of my awards this year as both myself and many people I know appear in this video, but firstly my love for it does stem from its simplicity. The video is made entirely from still images that have been gathered from Yellowcard fans or people who have worked with the band over their career and this gave to video a very personal connection to many. I particularly love photographer Joe Brady’s pictures featured from Yellowcard’s set at this years Slam Dunk festival. This this was by far one of my favourite days of the entire year and one of my favourite Yellowcard shows ever.
Pup – Sleep In The Heat
4) Gig of the year: Architects @ Brixton Academy
I doubt I’m the only person at Rock Sins to say this show/ another from this tour was my gig of the year. After seeing Architects many times over the last seven years, I’d been patiently waiting for them to finally headline Brixton Academy meaning this night was incredibly highly anticipated for me. There is no denying there was also some tragedy surrounding this show and really this year as a whole for Architects, but tonight was not a sad event, it’s was a celebration. It was a celebration of Architects’ career but in particular it was celebrating the life of the Tom Searle. The atmosphere in Brixton Academy during this show was just something I’ve never seen at a show before and I almost believe it’s something I’ll never see again, I think everyone there could admit this show was something special and one no one involved will be forgetting any time soon.
Pup @ The Fighting Cocks
Yellowcard @ Shepherds Bush Empire
Every Time I Die @ The Borderline
Letlive @ The Fighting Cocks
5) Festival performance of the year: Cancer Bats & Every Time I Die @ Slam Dunk Festival South
Since Slam Dunk Festival back in May I’ve swapped daily on who I thought was the best out of Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die that night, so I’ve somewhat cheated and just picked both of them for this award. The two bands effectively co-headlined the Impericon stage at this years Slam Dunk and I think that might be the best piece of booking I’ve seen since I first started going to gigs. Slam Dunk marked my 19th Cancer Bats show and somehow even now that band can surprise me. With an opening run of a cover of Black Sabbath’s Children Of The Grave, into Hail Destroyer, followed by their well known Sabotage cover, this was one of the most outrageous shows I’ve ever seen Cancer Bats put on. If there is one band on the planet who could successfully follow the sort of show Cancer Bats put on, it’s Every Time I Die. Every Time I Die have a reputation for being one of the most chaotic bands around and as always they lived up to that, their hour long set saw a constant stream of bodies (both fans and the band) flying around the room. Even when the band dropped new unreleased songs, no one would take even a second to rest, Every Time I Die definitely proved that night that they were more than worthy of their position on that festival line up.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Download
Anti-Flag @ Download
Yellowcard @ Slam Dunk
6) Most disappointing album of the year: Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
Although Ellipsis wasn’t the worst album I heard this year in the slightest, it was one of the albums I had the highest expectations for and was then the most let down by. I think my disappointment is caused particularly after how much I love Buddy Clyro’s previous album Opposites. Although Ellipsis is only 11 songs long, I find myself getting very bored when listening to it and very few songs stick in my memory, whereas when listening to the Opposites double album (or almost any other Biffy Clyro album for that matter), this is never something I’ve never found before.
7) Festival Of The Year: Slam Dunk Festival
Slam Dunk festival has always been one of my favourite days of the year ever since I first started going. It’s the kind of festival that being only a day long and having such a diverse lineup, you spend just as much time bumping into all kinds of friends as you do watching bands! This year was no different, both in that sense and in the fact that Slam Dunk pulled out such a strong line up to accompany all the hanging out with friends you’d get to do. As always Slam Dunk featured all kinds of bands on their bill, they had everything from some of the best heavier bands around with the likes of Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die, to the acoustic artists like Rob Linch. Or even from the more old school ska punks like [Spunge] and Zebrahead, just to the more rock bands such as Young Guns or this years headliners Panic! At The Disco. One of my personal highlights of this years Slam Dunk Festival was getting to see Yellowcard play their Ocean Avenue album in full. Yellowcard have always been my favourite festival band and as far as album in full shows go, this is the one for me. Getting to see Ocean Avenue in its entirety, with the sun shining down whilst surrounded by so many great friends was one of my favourite moments of this entire year.
8) Band of the year: Yellowcard
I doubt this award will come as a shock for most who know me, in June this year Yellowcard announced that after nearly 20 years of being a band, they would be ending their career with one final album and a world tour. Obviously this news did leave me pretty sad but I think anyone would agree that if your favourite band were going to break up, it being as amicable as this, for them to release one final album they seem incredibly proud of, and finally for them to take the time to visit almost the everywhere in the world once more to celebrate what an incredible career they’ve had as a band is the way you’d want it to be. Over this year we got one final amazing album from Yellowcard, something that comes across as incredibly personal and still totally new and different for them. I got to see them play my favourite album of all time at Slam Dunk Festival and then see two incredible career spanning sets at the final UK shows on their world tour. I’m going to miss Yellowcard as a band more than I could explain, but it has been amazing to see them go out on such a high and to be left with so many great memories thanks to them.
Be sure to catch up with the end of year awards from other members of the Rock Sins team too: