In 2018, Real Gone celebrated its ninth birthday. It’s been a long and hard road to this point, but we’re pleased to be celebrating our most successful year online to date. Hundreds of new albums have been heard and a record number of gigs have been attended. Not only has this year been our biggest success…it’s also been our favourite.
Nearing the close of 2018, it’s time to look back and celebrate our favourite events – including our top ten album releases…
Normally, each year has an album that’s a clear stand out. Making that distinction this time around has been somewhat trickier, so we’re awarding a joint “album of the year” to two very different albums. If that seems like a cop-out, we don’t care…there really was only a hair’s breadth between them.
Previously at this point in December, it has become the custom for Real Gone to issue a free download containing some of the best underground tracks of the year. For the past seven or eight years, these downloads have been a popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, turning people on to all kinds of artists.
With the changing times, we regret to say the era of the free sampler has come to an end. It seems that people much prefer streaming and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to highlight some of our favourite tunes in an eighty minute playlist.
2018 has really been a fantastic year for The Fierce And The Dead. Their third full length release ‘The Euphoric’ has received great reviews across the internet, been championed by Prog magazine and has led to the band playing higher profile gigs. In the previous six months they’ve played their biggest ever headline show and shared a bill with System 7 and Hawkwind. By now, they’ve earned the right to be genuinely considered a cult band.
Hawkwind invited the band as support for a second time in the summer. While Hawkwind fans, on the surface, seem to be the kind of people who know what they like, the band obviously feel The Fierce And The Dead are interesting enough to appeal to their loyal audience. While – as is so often the case – the venue isn’t exactly packed by the time Matt Stevens and company get ready to play, those in attendance know the next half an hour will be…interesting.
It’s been a great year for The Fierce And The Dead. They’ve played their biggest ever London headliner; they’re about to play an even bigger one; their new album ‘The Euphoric’ – released on May 18th 2018 – has gained the band more press than ever before. [Real Gone’s review of the album and a full stream can be found here.]
For years, it felt like The Fierce And The Dead were a band that few people knew or talked about. Then, at some point prior to the release of their ‘Magnet’ EP in 2015, they started getting semi-regular coverage in Prog Magazine. This helped them to become a cult band in the truest sense, though it still seems odd that they’ve been so embraced by the prog crowd. They’re far beyond the Genesis, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater clones that so much of the Prog audience seem to hold so dear. Their previous releases have had a progressive bent, it’s true, but their artier side has taken in elements of Fugazi and other angular noise-makers that would normally make your average prog fan run for the (Solsbury) hills. There’s a tale that suggests, apparently, at one indoor prog rock event, The Fierce And The Dead managed to half empty a room. For all the talk, some prog fans are anything but progressive in their tastes.