Week One: PR Mishaps
February started on a hilarious note as pop stars across the world came to the stunning realization that Colonel Gaddafi might not be that great of a guy, reaching the conclusion years after the fact that they should donate their million pound pay offs to Charity. Nelly Furtado was most famously caught out, who, unlike Beyonce, had kept the money up until the outbreak of revolution, while others had donated her pay prior to the headlines. Still who can blame poor old Nelly, American and British leaders seemed to have a collective memory lapse regarding Gaddaffi for the best part of a decade. Mariah Carey felt embarrassed, as did the entire western world.
V Festival continued its world conquering form by announcing that Arctic Monkeys, Eminem and Rihanna would top the build of the increasingly urban flavoured festival. The festival sold out almost immediately, highlighting the value of moving with the times as opposed to fighting against them.
The worsening Gaddafi-gate fiasco allowed Christian Aguilera’s arrest for public intoxication to fly under the radar, well almost.
Nothing much changed in the charts as Adele held on to both top spots despite competition from Beady Eye’s Different Gear, Still Speeding in the albums chart.
Week Two: Green Shoots Of Recovery
Spotify, still feeling its way in the dark towards a system that would prove profitable for both artist and audience, hit 1 million paying subscribers and claimed that a whopping 15% of all costumers now paid.
Pete Doherty refused to stay out of the headlines in 2011 as he was implicated in a German Record Store Robbery, one of a series of incidents that would eventually put his Reading headline set in jeopardy.
Few paid much attention back then but REM announced that they would not tour new album Collapse Into Now citing exhaustion from their last time out on the road and showing little or no enthusiasm for a live in future.
Lady Gaga showed the kind of back bone many other stars lacked as she cancelled a profitable dead with Target in the US when she learnt of the store’s support for anti-gay political candidates.
Bob Dylan announced a headline slot at the newly restored London Feis Festival, as 50 Cent became the latest celebrity to apologize with his tail between his legs for playing at Gaddafi’s behest.
On a lighter note Bieber fever became strangely ironic when the singer caused chaos at the Hard Days Night hotel in Liverpool as screaming fans flocked to the hotel, while Kate Bush came out of the wilderness promising a new album later in the year.
Adele’s “Someone Like You” made it four weeks at no.1 as 21 enjoyed a seventh week atop the album chart, despite competition from Elbow, REM and Noah and the Whale.
Finally, Brian Wilson ended a generally positive week by promising that the Beach Boys legendary Smile Sessions would be released in full.
Week Three: Reformation Special
Latitude had a reputation to restore after allegations of rape had derailed the family friendly atmospheres of past years. They started out on the right foot announcing headline performances by The National, Paolo Nutini and the recently reformed Seude. As well as big name comedy sets from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
Not to be out done, Download Festival won some its own fans back over by announcing that The Darkness would reform and support Def Leppard on the festival’s much derided Friday night.
Manchester’s International Festival enjoyed perhaps it’s best ever year as they unveiled that Damon Albarn and Bjork would form the centerpiece of the event, with the Icelandic superstar taking up a three week residency to debut her new interactive LP.
Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John and the truly incredible Tom Waits were all inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. Waits in particular struck a blow for the unlikely superstar proving that credibility could overcome populist.
Lady Gaga good will campaign continued as she designed some cool little arm bands to raise money to aid the nuclear clean up in Japan while the Malaysian government banned her “gay anthem” “Born This Way”.
Nate Dogg died at the age of 41 having already recovered from two strokes and left the hip hop community reeling. Wyclef Jean had his own brush with death narrowly escaping tragedy in Haiti when he was shot in the hand while running for the office of president.
The Foo Fighters announced that they intended to tour fan garages in support of the release of Wasting Light, an album that Grohl claimed would take the band back to its earthier roots.
In a bizarre move Mohamed El-Fayed announced that a gold statue of Michael Jackson would be unveiled outside of Craven Cottage to the general bafflement of football fans the nation over.
Adele’s reign of dominance finally came to an end as Nicole Scherzinger’s “Don’t Hold Your Breath” finally unseated the imperious “Someone Like You”. The Vaccines, The View, Rise Against and The Naked And Famous could do nothing about Adele’s dominance in the album chart as 19 shot to no.2, joining 21 atop the charts.
Week Four: Reading Doesn’t Sell Out…huh?
The final week of March is everyone’s favourite as we all finally get our hands on the illusive Reading Line Up. Unfortunately we all got our hands on it about 12 hours early as a poster page was leaked from Kerrang in the early hours of the morning. But that wouldn’t matter, because Reading always sells out in seconds right?
Wrong. The line up topped by The Strokes, Pulp, My Chemical Romance and Muse playing Origin Of Symmetry failed to inspire, leading to massive online backlash and an ongoing ticket sale saga that wouldn’t be resolved until August as Weekend, Saturday and Sunday tickets were slowly gobbled up.
If Reading was struggling then Bestival was enjoying unparalleled success. Already hailed as the best festival in the land by critics and awards shows a like, Rob De Bank decided to add some populist flare to his art house intricacy by announcing that Pendulum would join The Cure as the Festival’s latest headliner.
Music Royalties fell for the first time ever as PRS announced a loss of 1% across the board despite Adele’s success, blaming the drop on Piracy and the failure of the high street. To make matters worse Global Record sales fell by almost 1.5 Billion Dollars as the UK continued to decline as a market shrinking by 11% and losing it’s status as the world’s third biggest market. SAVE US ADELE.
Radiohead, a band who’d seemingly left Music Industry convention behind, announced their intention to release a free newspaper to promote the physical release of King Of Limbs. And so The Daily Sigh was born, a fun gimmick and collectible that’s sitting on the self across from me right now.
BBC4 continued to shun new music deciding that re-airing Top Of The Pops from 1976 would be move valuable, ugh, great.
Adele’s brief slip up was correct by the end of the month as “Someone Like You” returned to the UK’s top spot, and with a staggering nine weeks at number one 21 equaled Madonna’s record making Adele the longest reigning female artist in UK chart history.
Deaths In March:15th Nate Dogg 14th Big Jack Johnson – American Guitarist and Blues Singer
Notable Albums Releases:7th Build A Rocket Boys – Elbow 7th Collapse Into Now – R.E.M. 7th Last Night On Earth – Noah And The Whale 7th You’ll Be Mine – The Pierces 7th Pedals – Rival Schools 7th Smoke Ring For My Halo – Kurt Vile 8th Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang – Raekwon 8th Relentless Reckless Forever – Children Of Bodom 14th Welcome Home Armagaddon – Funeral For A Friend 14th What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? – The Vaccines 15th Blunt Force Trauma – Cavalera Conspiracy 15th Endgame – Rise Against 21st Awesome As Fuck – Green Day 21st Live On 1-5 – Soundgarden 22nd Vices & Virtues – Panic At The Disco 22nd Angles – The Strokes 22nd Scurrilous – Protest The Hero 28th King Of Limbs – Radiohead 28th Several Shades Of Why – J Mascis 28th Belong – Pains Of Being Pure At Heart 29th Screaming Bloody Murder – Sum 41