TOP 20 VIDEOS OF 2020!
What a year it’s been! We may not have had any gigs, but there’s been no shortage of videos, particularly with Covid restrictions forcing bands to get more inventive.
Unsurprisingly, given all the political turmoil as well as the pandemic, there’s a lot of anger and frustration about, but there’s also a determination to make the most of a bad situation, and have fun while you still can, which is good advice for anybody. But make sure you wash your hands and wear a mask!
Anyway, here’s Vive Le Rock‘s top 20 videos for what it’s worth…
20. THE HEAT INC. – RAPTORS – Now this is how you do social distancing! This London-based multinational band took us all by surprised. From their debut 5-track EP, they’re a band to look out for in the New Year.
19. SPIZZENERGI – CHRISTMAS IN DENMARK STREET – A haunting lament to Soho from Spizz. London’s live music centre has been decimated by grasping developers this past decade, and this year has been a real kick in the balls. ‘Til things are brighter…
18. BABY SHAKES – SWEET’N’SOUR PART 2 – A marriage made in glam-pop heaven: NYC’s garage goddesses team up with a couple of Undertones to inject a little sweetness into our sour lives.
17. TABLE SCRAPS – DOOM GENERATION – Crikey! Don’t let the colourful video fool you: these feisty Brummies are back and boy! Are they cheesed off. A ‘War Pigs’ for the craft beer generation?
16. SVETLANAS – JUMP – One of our favourite bands from the past few years, this lot are on course for world domination, and once this itchy-scratchy track gets under your skin it will. Not. Leave. Check out the profile in the current mag.
15. PEDALJETS – DISASSOCIATION BLUES – Contemporaries of Hüsker Dü on the 80s Midwest circuit, these guys have been back a few years and always drop great vids. This was made when you could still go to gigs, obviously.
14. HOODOO GURUS – HUNG OUT TO DRY – These Aussies were just entering a phase of renewed activity when Covid struck. Another of their brilliant put-down songs, proof that they’ve still got humour and bile in equal measure.
13. FOLK DEVILS – MY SLUM SOULS – The perpetually belligerent West London post-punks returned this year with a new, crushingly relevant, EP. Proof, if it were needed, that they’ve still got plenty to be annoyed about.
12. SMALLTOWN TIGERS – FIVE THINGS – These Italian lasses had all their dates cancelled thanks to Covid, but it didn’t stop their debut album going ballistic! Expect big things next year, while you enjoy this souvenir of sunny Dalston and their first UK gig.
11. BAD COP BAD COP – SIMPLE GIRL – Great to see so many women knocking ’em out of the punk park, this L.A. bunch made our Top 3 Albums Of The Year with ‘The Ride’. Catch ’em when you can!
10. CULT FIGURES – LIGHTS OUT – Spawned on the same Solihull post-punk scene as the great Swell Maps, these guys have reconvened with a brand new album set for the New Year, from which this tasty morsel comes. They’re also skilled animators; a handy skill to have in the YouTube age.
9. PSYCHEDELIC FURS – COME ALL YE FAITHFUL – The post-punk legends’ comeback could’ve been derailed by Covid, had their first new album in nearly 30 years been so damn good. Read all about it in the current edition of Vive Le Rock!
8. BOB MOULD – AMERICAN CRISIS – Big bad Bob returned this year with ‘Blue Hearts’, a totally necessary, striking and relevant return to form. And as low budget lyric vids go, this nails you to the floor with the first sentence!
7. IDLES – WAR – Continuing the Bristol lineage (possibly) that brought us The Pop Group, Idles much anticipated third album ‘Ultra Mono’ continued their assault on popular culture. Read the feature in the latest mag.
6. VIAGRA BOYS WITH AMY TAYLOR – IN SPITE OF OURSELVES – Hugely respected Chicago songwriting legend John Prine was one of the first musical casualties of Covid. Teaming up with Amyl & The Sniffers’ Amy Taylor, Stockholm’s Viagra Boys deliver this unexpected, skronky but no less touching version of Prine’s quirky celebration of love in tribute.
5. AERIAL SALAD – ROMANCE – Second time lucky, Manchester’s Aerial Salad stole a lot of heart with sophomore album ‘Dirt Mall’, and this cheap but extraordinarily effective video. Looking forward to the sitcom.
4. CHUBBY AND THE GANG – ALL ALONG THE UXBRIDGE ROAD – Spiritual descendents, surely, of the Cockney Rejects, these West London roustabouts divined that what the world needed was a breakneck Oi/pub rock hybrid. Who knew? We’re certainly not knocking it!
3. MAID OF ACE – LIVE FAST OR DIE – Still doing it on their own terms, the sisters from Hastings have released a string of brilliant videos over the past couple of years. This one, though, hitched to a commendable punk call to arms, takes some beating.
2. JAZ COLEMAN & ONDREJ SMEYKAL – ON THE DAY THE EARTH WENT MAD – In this most apocalyptic of years, who do you call but the most apocalyptic of artists. The Killing Joke frontman teams up with Czech musician Smeykal for this near 8-minute state of the nation address cast against an explosive newsreel montage. Chilling.
- BOB VYLAN – WE LIVE HERE – Crashing out of nowhere, this strident, raging punk/metal/rap crossover took no prisoners. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, but nor is it meant to be. Not for nothing is the album of the same name one of our Top 5 albums of the year.