For a few years, it seemed as if Bruce Soord’s Pineapple Thief would always be a genuine underground band. Then, with the release of ‘Tightly Unwound’ gaining favourable press in 2008 and 2010’s ‘Someone Here Is Missing’ being compared to Porcupine Tree, the band made a huge leap forward in the world of cult prog rock. From then on, each release has been eagerly awaited by fans and critics alike and The Pineapple Thief have truly carved themselves a place in the annals of thoughtful rock music.
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.
Vinny and The Hooligans’ 2016 EP ‘Late Nights’ was a reasonably enjoyable punk release that drew influence from the more accessible end of hardcore, Good Riddance and Screeching Weasel at their most tuneful. The recording was a little rough around the edges and Vinny’s vocal wasn’t necessarily the most perfect, but the charm in the songs often shone through. Two years on and with a bigger budget, ‘Don’t Give Up’ – a pointed message for so many DIY punk bands – is an improvement on almost every level. Stretching Vinny’s talents to a full release and a bigger sound, its ten songs cover a variety of punk styles, but whatever the outcome, it’s a record packed with big hooks and a lot of love for New York.
In the late 60’s singer-songwriter Graham Bonnet scored a UK #5 single with cover of the Bee Gees’ ‘Only One Woman’ as part of pop duo Marbles, after which his career took somewhat of a downturn. After two more flop singles with Marbles, he made the move into recording advertising jingles, before releasing a couple more unsuccessful singles in the early 70s. After an appearance in the 1975 UK comedy film ‘Three For All’ – starring his then partner Adrienne Posta – Bonnet signed a deal with the small Ring-O record label, with whom he released two full length albums, ‘Graham Bonnet’ (1977) and ‘No Bad Habits’ (1978).
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.