2020 has been a rubbish year for most of the world. It has certainly been a rubbish year for the arts industry. I only went to one gig this year, and even THAT didn’t go according to plan!
For the record, before people start kicking off at me, the safety of everybody will always be a priority and I am aware sacrifices and difficult decisions had to be made. I am just writing this cathartic, self-indulgent Top 10 to make you all giggle.
Here is a list of gigs I have missed thanks to the catastrophe that is 2020. I write this with the hope 2021 will see a return of live music and a revival of the arts sector. Videos will include top songs by artists I missed and may possibly #cancel on me in 2021…
No 10. Beat Horizon
OKAY this is the only gig I went to in 2020 BUT! I purchased tickets hoping to see Mos Def (Yasiin Bey), who was sadly sick and couldn’t make the show. To rub salt into a small wound, the GZA pulled out, but he was replaced by Raekwon, so the show was salvaged. Despite this, I did enjoy my night, the lineup was still good, although I got lost and missed the Jeru the Damaja set.
So not only did Wu-Tang Clan icon GZA get replaced at Beat Horizon in January, he set up his own tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his second solo album Liquid Swords, which thanks to 2020, got #cancelled.
No.8 Michael Kiwanuka
Okay, I really shouldn’t complain about this, as I did get to see him for a second time at Glastonbury 2019, but this tour was to promote his 2020 Mercury Prize award-winning album KIWANUKA. This tour was sadly #cancelled because the artist had a viral throat infection, then Lockdown 1.0 happened shortly after the rescheduled date.
No 7. Parliament/ Funkadelic
The reason this gig was #cancelled was down to, you guessed it, Covid-19. This has been rescheduled to next year so hopefully, I can dance along to some trippy 70s funk by the music maestro George Clinton and the remaining members of his Parliament/ Funkadelic groups before he retires. Even if listeners have never heard of them before, they will have heard his stuff sampled everywhere!
No 6. Toots and the Maytals
So this was #cancelled for Covid-19 reasons and alas, there is no hope of rescheduling the tour, for the music world lost this legend who coined the term Reggae, earlier this year. This is a tragic loss for music, but his legacy will never be forgotten.
No 5. Thundercat
No 4. Kojey Radical
Not only was this rescheduled several times, it has since been totally #cancelled until the world resumes some sort of normality. He has recently had a child too, so he can spend some quality time with his family in the meantime.
Okay, so I purchased these tickets WAY BACK in 2018, as Sir Elton John announced his retirement from music. The world tour was due to end in 2021 but, it was #cancelled because of the pandemic, and has been rescheduled.
No 2. Mr. Scruff
When pubs and bars reopened on July 4th 2020, I was offered a glimmer of hope to go to a second gig at one of my favourite venues Band on the Wall, to see our own Mr. Scruff. This was #cancelled because Matt Hancock announced that Greater Manchester was to go back under stricter restrictions on 1st August 2020, an announcement he made at 9pm on 31st July 2020. I will not get political, but tactical moves such as that make me see why Andy Burnham fought for the greater good of his county.
No 1. Disclosure
Okay, I thought I would end this on a small positive, this has not been #cancelled yet, but I am not getting my hopes up, as I booked tickets to see them in Northern Ireland, which is back under a national lockdown. Again, I shouldn’t complain as I have seen Disclosure twice before but, this tour is to promote their amazing third album ENERGY.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that Boris won’t, as this song says, ‘F**k up my high’
To conclude, I wasn’t completely starved of live music in 2020, but I am hoping that in 2021, I will not see as many #cancelled gigs. I only hope that the world will be able to see a revival of all arts in the New Year, and that we can live safely with Covid-19 in the world.
Although artists have taken to live streaming shows, it is not the same as going to pay for overpriced Red Stripe and watching your music come to life before your eyes. There are campaigns however, such as #saveourvenues which have been fighting for their livelihoods which you can check out here.