Editor’s Picks 2011

Yes folks, its time for the round up of what your editor was reading/listening to/watching etc during the year just gone.

Best Genesis/Solo Gig: Well, the year was quite busy as far as solo activity was concerned with gigs by Peter, Mike and Steve. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend any of Peter’s New Blood shows, so the choice comes down to either Steve or Mike and the reinvigorated Mechanics. Winner by a short head is Mike’s gig at the Liverpool Empire. The injection of new blood (pun intended) that Roachford and Tim Howar brought to the band ensured that the gigs on the Hit The Road tour were a joy to behold and this one was no exception!

Best Genesis tribute band gig: There certainly wasn’t any shortage of contenders for this category this year. The Genesis tribute band scene is still thriving thankfully and long may that continue. This year’s worthy winner of this category has to be the Carpet Crawlers’ show at the Stanley Theatre back in May. A band which have improved enormously, and a show which was an extremely enjoyable experience.

Best non-Genesis gig: Without doubt the award in this category goes to Roger Hodgson’s performance at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, a gig replete with musical and vocal excellence and a feast of memories for someone like me who still remembers the vintage days of Supertramp!

Best Album: Well, it has been a prolific year for new Prog albums and there are two in particular which merit mentions in despatches. First of these is the new solo album by Steve Wilson; Grace For Drowning which is a truly magnificent effort worthy of investigation. As a long standing fan of the band who produced the other contender, I was delighted when I heard that they were to finally produce a follow-up to their 1980’s concept album; The Sentinel, so it is of course, Pallas with XXV a far darker and heavier offering than its predecessor but equally as magnificent.

Best Film: Well, sadly yours truly isn’t a cinematic buff so the choices here have been rather limited but one does stick out and that is Sherlock Holmes - Game Of Shadows. I thoroughly enjoyed the revamped format for the world’s most famous sleuth and this new offering contained just the right mix of drama and humour to make it a worthy winner.

Best TV Programme/Series: Well, only one entry in this category and despite the controversy surrounding certain elements of it, the BBC’s Frozen Planet had me glued to my TV set. If ever this country adopted the Japanese system of nominating people as “national treasures” then David Attenborough would definitely get my vote. No one presents wildlife programmes as well as he does and this one is a worthy successor to his previous masterpieces.

Best Non- Fiction Book: There have been a lot of contenders for this one but a worthy winner is Sam Willis’ The Glorious First Of June - Fleet Battle In The Reign Of Terror, the third and final volume in the Hearts Of Oak series of naval histories, a fascinating examination of some of the more misunderstood aspects of English naval history - marvellous stuff!

Well, there you have it, a brief idea of what your editor gets up to when not immersed in the minutiae of bringing you another edition of TWR.