Music highlights of 2009
Best bit of something for nothing
When Spotify let UK users sign up for free this February, the floodgates were open for hours of random music searches. (Beatles, Fugazi, Metallica, no; Battles, Can, Phantom Band, yes) Non-stop, customised radio – and all free? It was like all our electric dreams had just come true.
Even glass eyes were welling up when SuBo wowed the Britain’s Got Talent judges in April – and it was nothing to do with all that crotch gyrating of hers either. Her performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Miserables raised hairs on backs of necks around the world, and launched a record-busting star.
Best use of bagpipes
Proving bagpipes aren’t just for bekilted buskers on Princes Street (or Korn), Yeah Yeah Yeahs brought the East Kilbride Pipe Band on stage at T in Park in July. Karen O belted out ‘Skeletons’ in a multicoloured headdress, while the boys tunefully whined and squealed along in the background. Cue crowd going mental.
Best odd couple
There were strange pairings aplenty this year, with Dizzee Rascal sharing a stage with Shirley Bassey at Children in Need; The Maccabees doing a single with Roots Manuva; Patrick Wolf making sweet music with Tilda Swinton and Laddy and Maddie cavorting and catfighting on Saturday Night Live. Lil Wayne with Weezer was one we really didn’t see coming though.
Best impression of Jarvis Cocker
There was a slight whiff of déjà vu last month when Calvin Harris mounted the stage, stealing the glory from concrete quiffed twins, Jedward, as they performed Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ on X Factor. His pineapple waving antics called to mind Jarvis’s storming of the Brits stage while Michael Jackson sang ‘Earth Song’ in 1996.