Think fast, act slow.

Edging into 2023, neither triumphantly or anxiously, the dust has now settled so I’ll allow myself to look back. Waking up the other day on the first day of 2023 I didn’t feel like I did 23 years earlier, where the world feltfresh and open, and just being alive seemed exciting. On that bright new morning, 1/1/00 my then-girlfriend and I tuned into the radio as soon as wewoke up just to ensure there was no 2k meltdown, then we wrapped up warm and took a train to have a champagne breakfast at the coolest cafe (now sadly closed) in St. Benedicts Street. Everything felt possible. A new century. It was our century….Happiness and hope was in fashion Easy to say we’ve messed things up. But I won’t say that. Change ispossible. Life is possible. Love is possible. If not now, then soon. The ideaof tomorrow is intoxicating if you make the right choices. Now it’s a few days into 2023, and I’m off to Germany – actually to the best town in all of Germany – for a few days, but before I go, it’s time for my yearly highlights….
ALBUM OF THE YEARMarcus Mumford (self-tilted) – In what feels like another world I use to write music reviews. There was a new band called Mumford and Sons, and I gave it 9/10. However I didn’t really listen to their subsequent albums much and I had pretty much forgotten about them. Then one autumn evening I heard Marcus Mumford on the Jo Whiley radio show and his new songs completely blew me away. A few days later he was on Jools Holland and I was hooked. I picked up his cassette. This was honest and raw music, and emotionally almost too difficult to listen to, if it wasn’t for the heartbeat and love flowing through the album.
TRACK OF THE YEARthe beths “expert in a dying field” – swirling indie rock from New Zealand, but what sets it apart are the poetry and feelgood guitars that rattle through the album. I’m still saving up (?) for the album, but this song has kept me in high spirits all year long. The beths along with soccer mommy are the most exciting bands around at the moment.
LIVE ARTIST OF THE YEARremember sports. I saw them on a rainy slow Monday in Brighton, and the crowd was kind of annoying and uninterested, but sometimes that creates the best concert. This little lo-fi punk rock group effortlessly write dreamy and catchy love-gone-wrong songs and melt even the hardest hearts.
BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR – I haven’t quite finished Kerouac‘s original scroll “on the road” so instead I’ll say Dave Eggers “The everly”. Reading it means you’ll very likely to throw your smartphone away and that can only be a good thing….
FILM OF THE YEAR – As a beautiful summer drew to a close, I went to the cinema with my 2 teenage sons and we saw Elvis. I hope it wins lots of Oscars, as a cinematic event it was perfect. The best film I’ve seen all year though was a 2019 social=-realism Irish film called Rosie about the impact of poverty on an ordinary and loving family. About as different as Elvis as you could possibly get.
TV SHOW OF THE YEAR – the tourist. As good as tv gets, and super cozy evenings watching this over coffee and flipping out over the wild storyline. As the year ended we’ve been watching the old Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice which is perfect winter watching too.
VIDEO GAME OF THE YEAR – I’ve got a soft spot for Denmark ever since I went on a little road trip there with some friends back in 2002 and not only was it one of the best holidays of my life, I also had the nicest hot chocolate I’d ever tasted that I find myself still talking to my wide-eyed small children about. So Gerda, a Flame in Winter is an old fashioned point and click adventure game set in 1944 Denmark under nazi occupation during a bleak midwinter and it gets my vote. I’ve got a PC but I think it’s out on whatever system you play games.