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MPT’s live band of the year was heavily hinted at several points in the year and undoubtedly has to be Randolph’s Leap.

Leap gigs prior to this year  tended to be breakneck, energetic affairs and that certainly remained true of many of the performances in 2014. But increasingly there were more subtle elements creeping in with the shows in Dundee in March and Portobello earlier in the month prime examples. More of the same in 2015 would be welcome.

Maybe if I’d seen the Phantom Band a couple of more times that might have seen a different outcome but for sheer unadulterated entertainment then the Leap are worthy winners.

One day festival winner of the year was, again, Kid Canaveral’s Christmas Baubles which continues to grow in stature whilst at the same time featuring the most diverse range of bands that the Canaverals have ever selected.

Otherwise here’s the best dozen gigs I went to in 2014:

1 Bob Mould / The Young Knives – Oran Mor, Glasgow – Saturday November 15th 

2 Meursault / Plastic Animals – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh – Wednesday 13th August

3 The Phantom Band / Remember Remember / Birdhead – The Pleasance, Edinburgh – Saturday 19th October [Photo Gallery]

4 The Everlasting Yeah – Stereo, Glasgow – Thursday 27th November [Photo gallery]

5 The Chills / Clipper – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Friday 1st August

6 Throwing Muses / Tanya Donelly – Holmfirth Picturedrome – Saturday 20th September

7 Kid Canaveral /Randolph’s Leap / Deathcats – Beat Generator Live, Dundee – Saturday 8th March

8 Randolph’s Leap / Tuff Love – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Saturday 23rd August [Photo Gallery]

9 James King and the Lonewolves / Lola In Slacks / Roy Moller – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh – Sunday 23rd November [Photo gallery]

10 The Mirror Trap/Cherri Fosphate/Union Chapel – Duke’s Corner, Dundee – Friday 11th April [Photo Gallery]

11 For One Night Only – The Grand Gestures vs Man Without Machines – CCA, Glasgow – Sunday 9th February [Photo Gallery]

12 Book Group / Wozniak / Gigantic Leaves – Opium, Edinburgh – Fr1day 12th December

Over the last 12 months I saw 37 different shows comprising 109 performances (in whole or in part). That represents something of a drop on the last couple of years (and I suspect that that trend will continue in the New Year).

In the course of the last 12 months I saw 76 different (musical) acts perform seeing the following acts I more than once:

Randolph’s Leap 7 (+ 2 solo);
Book Group – 5;
Kid Canaveral 3 (+ 1 solo);
Adam Stafford, Wozniak 3;
Blood Indians , Cancel The Astronauts , Deathcats, Gigantic Leaves, Man Without Machines, Bob Mould, PAWS, The Phantom Band, STOOR, Tuff Love, Luna Webster, Withered Hand, The Young Knives 2;
Meursault 1 (+ 1 solo)

The 37 shows took place in 25 different venues, 9 of which I visited for the first time.

Venues which I visited more than once:

Beat Generator, Dundee 8; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh 3; Opium, Edinburgh, Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Duke’s Corner, Dundee 2;

I went to shows in the following towns/cities:

Edinburgh 11; Dundee 10; Glasgow 8; Aberdeen 2; Holmfirth, Leeds, Leith, Leslie, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Portobello 1

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