Best of Times, Worst of Times...

'What's the point in always looking back
When all you see is more and more junk?'

It's the time of year for pointless lists.

So, as 2019 stood stranded in the late night bus station of time, R*E*P*E*A*T collected the views of its friends and allies, movers and shakers, nobility and ne'er do wells, on the journey...

Robin Francis
Currently poorly drummer with Bury St Edmunds / Brighton garage rock genii, Gaffa Tape Sandy.
Gaffa Tape Sandy

Album: Of Sclagenheim - Black Midi,
Single: Titanium Step 2 - Battles,
Gig of year - Girl Band - Electric Ballroom,
Best live band - Snapped Ankles - Glastonbury, Best new band - Just Mustard,
Inspiration of the year - Gordon Ramsey,
Best of times - just playing gigs in general, Worst of times - My appendix going all dodgy and missing the last gigs of 2019


Elliot Rodger-Brown
Athletic drummist in R*E*P*E*A*T flexi things and tips for the top, Bury St Edmunds' very own hyper powered surf punks,Tundra.

Album of the year - Of Schlagenhiem - Black Midi

Single of the year - Forever Endeavour - SuperGlu

Gig of the year - You Flexi Thing Release Show, Bunkhouse Swansea.

Pic Rosey

Favourite live band - SuperGlu

Favourite new band - Wreck

Most exciting event of the year - Wild Paths Festival


Russell Taysom

Best new band - Bruno and the Outrageous Methods of Presentation

Best album - Encounters by Scully.

Most exciting event - Killdren getting banned from Glastonbury

Inspiration of the year - Sam Seder

Worst of times - election night.

Russell's work for the Idles video


Tom Emyln
Swansea songwriter and guitarist in Psychedelic indie artsters News From Nowhere and bilingual noise wizards Bandicoot

Album of the year - either Big Thief "Two Hands" or Richard Dawson "2020".

Gig of the Year was maybe Keys in Crowleys.

Inspiration of the Year - King of Despair

Caffy St Luce
Inspirational driving force behind Artbeat, Bespoke DIY Creativity based in South London. And so much more...

Thanks Rosey, it's so hard to choose, some amazing young talents coming through! Cheers for thinking of me, best wishes as always. Xx

p.s. I wanna see The Verdicts you sent me. niiiiiiice one!


Singer with Boris bashing Colchester kids The Verdicts
The Verdicts

Album of the year: Berkeley's On Fire by SWMRS!

Single of the year: People by The 1975.

Gig of the year: I didn't go to too many this year, but I did see SWMRS in March at the Electric Ballroom which was incredible. Best gig I've ever been to!

Best Live Band: Black MIDI, haven't seen them but they are so chaotic and amazing based on a few friends responses as well as a few videos I've seen! The guitarist ran into a piano, got concussed - then did a backflip, how cool?

Best New Band: Is it biased to say The Verdicts, hahaha? If yes, then some mates of ours (Anorak Patch) are about to drop a single in early 2020 and defo should keep eyes out for that.

Most Exciting Event of The Year: The Mercury Prize awards were full of great acts this year. Black MIDI, Idles, Slowthai and Little Simz were great, bummed The 1975 weren't able to perform.

Inspiration Of The Year: Boris being elected, if that counts. But also I've been really getting into the Libertines a lot more (my sister's favourite band) which is inspiring me a lot, I'd like to say.

Best Of Times: June 28th. First gig with our drummer Archie. Packed pub, first time we'd ever had a proper crowd. First time I'd ever heard people singing my own words back to me, super surreal. Also August 1st, first ever single released which was just amazing.

Worst Of Times: I won't say the date or the Venue, but we were opening for a band and there was 6-7 people there. The other support act were being right twats about us and laughing off stage, had bad post gig depression for about a month after, but recovered quite well since.


Will Scott
Energetic drummer in Tredegar's melodic punk heroes, The Sandinistas
The Sandinistas

Album of the year: Picsel Modern Life Discovery
Best of times: Anything that Love Music Hate Racism do
Best Single:Hypersonic Missiles Sam Fender
Worst of times: Anything written on social media by Katie Hopkins


Dave Hammond
Presenter of Smelly Flowerpot radio show and enthusiastic supporter of new music

Album: Welcome to Jackson Heights by The Seven Twenty
Single: Curse the Songs by Weimar
Gig: Adventures of Salvador at the Blue Moon, Cambridge
Live Band: For the Hornets
New Band: Sleeping Ducks (formed by ex Cambridge residents Andy Quayle and Hazel Fairbairn).
Exciting Event: Humber St Sesh festival in Hull.
Inspiration: Jeremy Corbyn
Best of Times: The Labour Manifesto giving hope.
Worst of Times: The election result, mainstream media lies and the dumbing down of politics. An opportunity missed.


Kieran Doe
Guitarist and bassist with bilingual explosive fuzz pioneers Bandicoot and indie rock melody stompers Vanilla, Swansea

Kieran crowd surfs to String Theory (pic Rosey)

Album of the year: Cate Le Bon- Reward

Single of the year: Show me the body- Madonna Rocket

Gig of the year: Thee Oh Sees, Tramshed

Best live band - News from Nowhere

Best new band - Private world


Dom Waters
R*E*P*E*A*T designer and writer
Swansea and Bristol

Album of the year- SASAMI
Single of the year- Calm Down by Ezra Furman
Gig of the year- IDLES at the Tramshed
Best live band-IDLES
Best New Band- Low Hummer
Most exciting event of the year- last minute tickets to Mac Demarco
Inspiration of the year- not losing my keys once
Best of times- seeing a politicised youth flock to voting stations
Worst of times- OAPs giving us the finger at the polls.

Dom and Skeggs


James White
Musician and campaigner, Saffron Walden

Album - Tyler Childers - Country Squire

Single - Yellowman Blueheart by Flint Moore or House Fire by Tyler Childers

Gig - Flint Moore, Cambridge Junction

Best Live - Flint Moore

Most exciting - My show at the Blue Moon in Cambridge, because it raised so much money for mental health; also I got to gig with one of my heroes and celebrate chart success

Inspiration - Greta Thunberg

Best of times - for me, the Blue Moon gig. If not that, the first International Rebellion in April by XR.

Worst of times - Election result... Bloody Tories.

James with The Subways' Billy Lunn


Michael Kennedy
Sound Board Magazine, Swansea

Album of the year - The Ballad Of Peter & Jane by Sarah Birch
Single of the year - Rabbit Hole by Dunkie
Gig of the year - Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders at Pontardawe Arts Centre
Best live band - King Goon
Best new band - Revolution Rabbit Deluxe
Most exciting event of the year - Sound Board Magazine awards
Inspiration of the year - The Welsh Connections team
Best of times - The hope that we'd get a new government in charge.
Worst of the times - The reality of another 5 years of Tory rule


Vocalist and guitarist from innovative Swansea garage punk wannabes Kikker

Albums of the year:
Black Midi - Schlagenheim
The Murder Capital - When I Have Fears

EP of the year: Squid - Town Centre

Singles of the year:
Black Country, New Road - Sunglasses
Clwb Fuzz - High
Seaside Witch Coven - Pink Freud

Gigs of the year:
Viagra Boys (+ Squid), Clwb Ifor Bach
Oh Sees (+ Heavy Lungs), Tramshed

Festival of the year
Swn Festival

Best live bands:
Just Mustard / Viagra Boys

Best new bands:
Clwb Fuzz / Seaside Witch Coven


Motel Thieves
Chirpy and talented Swansea youngsters who look like being on the verge of something big.

Favourite album, that’s always a solid one. Don’t think we could point one in particular. However, there’s a lot of bands that have build some anticipation for their debut/next album released. Sports team have two huge new tracks, can’t imagine how well the album is going to sound in 2020. Another act is blossoms, they’ve released a few songs that are slightly more acoustic than their older material. Definitely dig that! Sea Girls have also been smashing 2019, they’ve got a very promising 2020. One act that has killed this year is Sam Fender, in fact he could even have our album of the year haha!

In terms of local acts, Pastel, The Rotanas, Al Moses, Carolines & Bandicoot each have the chance of making it big in 2020.

Gig of the year is certainly a hard one! We each have different personal experiences so we couldn’t come together with one, but in terms of a Motel Thieves gig, probably our headliner on July 12th!

All in all 2019 has been awesome!


Simon John Court - vocalist in Swansea's super noiseniks, Soundwire

Album of the Year Soundwire, by Soundwire

Steve Bateman
R*E*P*E*A*T photographer and writer.

Album of the year - The Joy Formidable: A Balloon Called Moaning 10th Anniversary Edition

Single of the year - Liam Gallagher: Once + The Big Moon: Your Light

Gig of the year - MSP: Bath Forum + Suede: Bristol Academy

Best live band - MSP + Suede (love both bands so much!)

Best new band - The Big Moon

Most exciting event of the year - The Clash London Calling Exhibition

Inspiration of the year - Quentin Tarantino for directing one of his greatest films, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best of times - Finally adding MSP's Feminine Is Beautiful 7" to my record collection!

Worst of the times - Original copies of MSP's Suicide Alley 7" are still so expensive!


Sara Bennett
Vocalist with socially committed Cambridge band Sugarbeat now living in Scotland.

Album of the year: 2020 Richard Dawson
Single of the year: Too Real - Fontaines DC
Gig of the year: Mattiel
Best live band: IDLES
Best new band: Fontaines DC
Most exciting event of the year: Moving to Edinburgh
Inspiration of the year: Jeremy Corbyn
Best of times: Whenever I'm not working
Worst of the times: Labour's catastrophic election defeat


Phil Rose Esq
R*E*P*E*A*T photographer and designer,
Bellingham, USA

Album- Never Mind the Bollocks for the 42nd year running.
Single- Shotgun Mouthwash- High Contrast (I think they're called)
Don't know if I went to a gig! Oh yes, IDLES in Seattle.

More of Phil's pix from this gig here

And The Bugle podcast live, if that counts.
Most exciting event- Going to bed.
Inspiration- Andy Solzman
Best of times- Seeing my daughter Ally so happy in her university setting like a well transplanted Rose.
Worst of time- NoroVirus (sp?) with it coming out both ends like a latter day GG Allen.

Ryan Bird
R*E*P*E*A*T writer based in Cambridge and Guildford.


An absolute killer from start to finish. Album opener ‘Belleville’ could destroy a CD player with ease (it’s a good thing few people use them now). Every track on this record oozes with raw power and having opted out of going for an Uber-polished production, Knocked Loose have created an organic and truly crushing body of work that so many modern metal bands fail to create.


Frank Carter in Swansea
Pic Dom Waters


Whether you only like ‘old’ or ‘New’ Bring Me The horizon (or just loathe them altogether), this song has something for everyone without feeling like a DJ mix put together by someone who has no idea what works and what doesn’t.

Stellar sound design encompasses this track. Every synth, loop and drum sample sound absolutely amazing. The band have created a song that perfectly explains what they are all about, catchy as hell, accessible but still innovative and, when they want to be, explosively heavy.



For the majority of 2019, I was on a gap year. My goal was to go to as many gigs as possible and save up money for university. Unfortunately the former goal made the latter rather hard, but it was worth it.

There were so many incredible shows that I was lucky enough to see this year and it’s hard to pick one but King Gizzard really was something special. A psychedelic masterpiece of a show and a great celebration of all their fourteen albums (all released in just seven years), there really isn’t another band quite like KGATLW, they are inimitable and their live show is just as whacky as their music.



Enter Shikari will always be my favourite live band. I’ve seen them headlining arenas, clubs and festival tents, and they tear it up every single time. No matter the size of the venue, Enter Shikari always bring an arena sized show packed with insane lighting and their unique quadrophonic sound system that has the sound swirling around the audience.



I first heard Plague Vendor at Leeds Festival this year after walking into the tent on a whim. I loved them straight away, they capture the energy of punk with a sort of rock n roll swagger that is just infectious.



Leeds Festival knocked it out of the park this year with an incredible lineup of bands across all three days. A Day To Remember, Frank Carter and The Story So Far all performed amazing sets and Foo Fighters put on a headline set like no other.

There’s a great sense of northern pride about it (I was a Southern intruder), chants of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire” are heard throughout all of Bramham Park. It really feels like community within the festival grounds.



Up and coming Swansea punky 3 piece

Albums: These Four walls by We Were Promised Jetpacks (technically a 10 year anniversary album), Varsity by Negative XP.

Single: Eggs and Bacon by DTT.

Gig: Smile at Strangers always do a great set, especially when the rhythm guitarist jumps into the drum kit.

Live bands: The Smashing Pumpkins @ Download, Death Grips

New band: not sure if it counts, but Ben Ballantyne has a new solo project and it is amazing.

Event: Download 2019

Inspiration: The Fens wrote a song about us and a few different songs came from writing a song about them, so The Fens.

Best of times: Our headliner at Creature Sound

Worst of times: when we played way too drunk at The Duke in Neath on the 20th of Dec.
And December 12th, election result.


Slava Belecov
Wisbech's Monster of Rock, originally from Russia, effortlessly fusing Jazz,Ska,Punk and Metal

Album of the year :Slava B.-Ants

Single of the year: Pink Lemonade Take - It Squeezy

Gig Of the Year - R*E*P*E*A*T Love Music, Hate Racism anti Christmas Party 2018

Best Live band : Sprainer

Best new band : Sprainer

Most exciting event of the year : Love Music, Hate Racism / R*E*P*E*A*T gigs.

Inspiration of the year : Rammstein

Best Of Times : I'd go for Slava B??!

Worst of times : Boris Johnson


Guitars and vocals with innovative Cambridge teen 'prog punk' band The Monoliths
The Monoliths

Album of the Year - Of Schlagenheim by Black Midi


Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T
R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine and Records

Albums of the year
Family Mammal by Gaffa Tape Sandy
Diagnosis by The Wildhearts
A Beautiful Thing by IDLES
Soundwire by Soundwire.

Single of the year
You Flexi Thing Vol 5, On My Way Home by Vanilla, Fucked Society by Picsel, You're Welcome by Tundra, Anarchy Beats by The Sandinistas

Gigs of the year
White Riot, String Theory, Vanilla and The Furns at Creature Sound - our first and chaotically packed, frenetic R*E*P*E*A*T gig in Swansea, March.
Bandicoot at Sin City in July.
The Skids at Sin City.
Werecats at The Portland Arms.
Manic Street Preachers at Cardiff Castle.
BuzzardBuzzardBuzzard / Bandicoot at The Brangwyn Hall in October.
Totally Wired!R*E*P*E*A*T's Cambridge (anti) Christmas Party at The Portland, especially for the palpable atmosphere of solidarity, resistance and anti racism, and for the young bands who finished the night and gave us new hope for the new year, Hungry, The Monoliths and Pockets for Girls.

Favourite live band - IDLES

Favourite new bands - The Verdicts, Kikker, DTT

Most exciting event of the year - school kids seeing off the far right DFLA in Swansea Castle Square after Johnson first became PM, July.

Inspirations of the year - School Climate Strikers, Jeremy Corbyn, Stormzy, young performers stage at Strawberry fair and Relevant Records.

Best of times -inaugural R*E*P*E*A*T stage at Swansea Fringe, sharing a platform with Jeremy Corbyn in Haverfordwest Market Square.

Worst of times - 10pm December 12th, EXIT poll announces that the Tories have won a landslide.

Guitarist with Cambridge alt rock band Venus Says No
Venus Says No

Album of the year: Strawberry Lace ep

Single of the year: Ever Be by Strawberry Lace

Gig of the year: Venus Says No at the Portland
(obviously can't not throw ourselves in there!)

Best live band: Hungry

Best new band: Venus Says No (the boys have spoken)

Most exiting event of the year: Too many to count

Inspiration of the year: Our first song was written about me breaking my leg and tripping on morphine after a surgery

Best of times: Being on stage

Worst of times: Being off stage


Joel Morgan
Guitars ansd vocals in Swansea's genre-hopping rock/dance/ska kings, King Goon
King Goon

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Wildhearts, ‘Renaissance Men’
Well, yes - I should really have gone for a more local act, but, as a long-time fan, I was rocked back in my little booties when the news emerged early in 2019 that the ‘classic’ line-up of teenage me’s favourite band had not only settled some long-festering and bitter differences and reunited, but were also going to be bringing out a brand new album. Now, I’ll be honest: I’m old enough and jaded enough to know that very few acts ever recover the vitality and purity of their early work after a long hiatus, so my expectations, accordingly, were pretty low...but, by God, how I was WRONG! What an album! It was everything I’d hoped for and a whole lot more, and reminded me once again just how much I love that utterly preposterous Beatles/Metallica, funny/angry, silly/profound utterly unique approach to rock and roll music that The Wildhearts perfected about 25 years ago. Tremendous.

SINGLE OF THE YEAR: Bandicoot, ‘Everything I need’
I’ve honestly and sincerely loved Bandicoot from the very first time I saw them blowing the damned roof off Sin City a few years ago, and my devotion, if anything, has only grown for them since. That night, as I recall, we were supposed to be on after them, as ‘headliners’ - a fact which gave me a sickness that grew and grew in my belly as their show went on! Anyway, this track is another typically obtuse, sleazy and idiosyncratic expression of the genre-straddling indie/dance that they’re best at. I’ve played it over and over and over again. Great tune for a late night dance.

GIG OF THE YEAR: Trampolene (The Bunkhouse, Swansea)
Hard to see past this one. I’ve seen Trampolene a couple of times now, and each time I do I’m just awestruck at the sheer beautiful, bruised fury of the sound they make together; Jack Jones is, without doubt, a bona fide star with enough charisma to fill hot air balloons, and they’ve got the songs and the fanbase to take those balloons to the moon. This was a hometown show, filled to the rafters, sold out weeks before - and it felt like it: bodies flailing everywhere, utter pandemonium, everything careening along at 500mph, just the right side of chaos...and then, without warning: these beautiful melodies and world-weary vocals come sliding out of the noisy night, and a ragged cheer fills the room. Just brilliant.

Pic Billy Stillman

BEST LIVE BAND: Trampolene


Kikker are the best new band I’ve seen in YEARS. They have great songs, a great show and a great aesthetic, and I fully expect them to go far. They’re a bit like The Damned, except not as silly. Still pretty silly, though. I watched them do a ‘stripped-down’ show a few weeks ago that basically consisted of a very tall man playing a very loud electric guitar while a much smaller girl smashed a crash cymbal mostly in time while they both sang. It was the most punk rock thing I saw all year, and I was glad of it. Check them out. They’re ace.

MOST EXCITING EVENT OF THE YEAR - ‘Swansea Fringe Launch Party’ (Brangwyn Hall)
What excited me the most about this one was the fact that we’d managed to get some of the biggest acts in Wales to play the opening of a totally locally-sourced music and arts festival that’s effectively the work of one very tired yet enthusiastic man - which is some feat, and I admire it. I spent the night wandering around amazed by just how many people had shown up, and wondering if this was the beginning of a wonderful new dawn for the Swansea music scene. Naturally, normal service was resumed the next day, when the infighting and backstabbing kicked off in earnest, but just for one night…

This one's a bit out of left-field, so bear with me. Brian Breeze is a blues guitarist from Swansea who happens to be married to my Dad's first cousin. I had to write an article about his career for Sound Board Magazine, and - during my deep dive into his barely credible musical life - I suddenly realised just how far it was possible to come without being a 'famous' musician. The one thing that came out of all my conversations with people who'd played with him over the years was a deep sense of respect for his talents and hard work, and it's given me a renewed sense of vigour and appreciation for the simple act of keeping on keeping on.

Easy. Dancing with my beloved at a friend's wedding in San Torini, half-shot on champagne, surrounded by lovely people and bathed in golden sunshine.

Did you not see the election results? Iesu Mawr. The horror, the horror! A mate of mine, who used to work for Welsh Labour, but has now basically crossed the floor, called me about 20 minutes before the exit poll and correctly predicted everything that was going to happen in Wales. I tell this story without pleasure. So, now we have to reorganise and rebuild. Do not lose heart and do not write people off. There is always hope. Always



And with those wise words, it's time to give big thanks to all who've helped with some unforgettable best bits, and extra heaps of gratitude for those who've enjoyed and plugged R*E*P*E*A*T and Love Music Hate Racism; now on to 2020 and to start to put right some of 2019's bad bits...


Get Tanked by Russell Taysom