Week One: Odd Future arrive in the UK
Love them or hate them, there is no denying that Odd Future blew the non-existent roof off the Camden Crawl in May. Drawing the biggest and sweatiest crowd of the day Tyler, Mellowhype and Hodgy Beats bounced their way through a greatest hits set which saw band members diving off speaker stacks and sparking mosh pits and rampant chants of “Swag”. The hype train official reached a new high.
The morosely contrived political commentator Glenn Beck decided to turn his hateful vitriol in the direction of Reading Headliners My Chemical Romance saying that they were brainwashing children with warped anti-corporate message. The Fox News pundit failed to notice that the track in question, “SING”, was part of a concept album set in a fictional apocalyptic future.
Charlie Gilmour, son of Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, pleaded guilty to public disorder charges after his statue climbing misbehavior during the student protests.
Music fans were made aware by Which? that at worst Booking Fees were tacking up to 20% onto the cost of concert tickets enraging fans, especially those who were forced to pay to print their own tickets.
Adele’s 21 stays at the top of the charts and selling two million copies in the process, but she wasn’t the only female star breaking new ground as Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour became the highest grossing ever by a debuting artist. LMFAO enjoyed a third week atop the single’s chart.
Week Two: Doherty Dodges Jail, For One Week At Least
Blues fans celebrated the 100th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth. It is almost impossible to imagine the progression of modern music without the legendary Mississippi bluesman.
Ofcom decide to ban Rihanna’s “S&M” video during the daytime, labeling it “too explicit”. It was an odd choice as the video saw Rihanna wearing skimpy outfits (nothing new there) and saucily eating a banana (ooooh how subversive).
Bruno Mars responded to Tyler The Creator’s lyrical threats by telling the young MC that he’d have to wait at the back of a very long line to stab the singer.
The UK officially reached one billion music download sales in May, as the BPI announced the figures dating back to 2004, unsurprisingly Adele was named the biggest seller of them all.
Peter Doherty breathed a deep sigh of relief as he was cleared of charges relating to the death of Mark Bianco, a friend who died when he fell from a balcony.
Two of the 21st Century’s most important voices fell out in May as Diplo accused his former understudy M.I.A of “glamourizing terrorism” in what was a dark day for a once fertile relationship that had since dissolved.
Adele made it 15 weeks (total) at number one in the album charts while Bruno Mars stole top spot from LMFAO with “The Lazy Song” oh the joy.
Week Three: With The Good Comes The Bad.
Panic gripped a certain percentage of Reading fans as Sunday headliner Peter Doherty was jailed for six months after being filmed taking crack. On paper Doherty was set to miss Reading, but most assumed the star would get some sort of reduced sentence.
The doom and gloom returned to the music industry as gig revenue fell for the first time in what seemed like an eternity as sales fell by 6.7%. Analysts were surprisingly calm pointing to over pricing and over touring as opposed to a lack of appetite for the core product, as hugely expensive arena tours were hit hardest.
Don’t worry, there was good news as UK Music reported that musical tourism was adding billions to the UK economy, with a whopping £1.4bn of foreign money being spent at UK festivals.
Hop Farm made a major statement when they lured Prince, an act who was reportedly wooed by Glastonbury, to headline the little Kentish festival. Unsurprisingly, he drew the festivals biggest crowd in 2011 and his performance was met with glowing five star reviews.
Plan B was named songwriter of the year at the Ivor Novello awards rounding a breakout year.
Adele made it 16 weeks as Pitbull completed an awful two months for the single’s chart as he pipped Bruno Mars to the top of the charts with “Give Me Everything”
Week Four: Do You Remember The First Time?
Pulp made their official comeback in Barcelona after a series of sneaky warm up gigs. Fans at the Primavera Sound Festival gave the headline set rave reviews as the hype machine went into overdrive ahead of their imminent UK return.
Alex Turner said that he was not the voice of a generation and said that he didn’t possess the power to continually document the age in which he lives. A typical ploy, from a band who’ve continually deflated expectation.
iTunes was accused of leaking Bon Iver’s hotly anticipated second album, thankfully for the American songwriter, his second album was so strong that he had little to fear in the way of lost sales.
Bob Dylan turned 70, and fans across the world celebrated the songwriter’s birthday by looking back at his incredible career, sparking a week of heated and intensely nerdy debate.
Legendary Poet and musician Gil-Scott Heron died at the age of 62, the vocalist was key in both supporting and critiquing black culture in the fight for civil rights, and while he will always be remembered for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” he won an army of new fans with his excellent 2010 release I’m New Here and Jamie xx’s equally excellent remix of the same album, We’re New Here.
Lady Gaga ended Adele’s reign of terror as the daring Born This Way topped the album charts; sadly the single’s chart was far less interesting as Pitbull made it two weeks at no.1.
Deaths In AprilGil Scott-Heron – Poet, Author, Musician. Bob Flanigan – The Four Freshmen Josh Walker – The Walker Brothers Simon Brint
Notably Albums Released In May2nd Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 – Beastie Boys 2nd Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes 9th Past Life Martyred Saints – EMA 9th Eye Contact – Gang Gang Dance 9th Let Them Talk – Hugh Laurie 9th Turtle Neck & Chain – Lonely Island 9th The Colour Of The Trap – Miles Kane 9th Goblin – Tyler The Creator 9th Crisis Works – Young Legionnaire 9th Smother – Wild Beasts 16th Austra – Feel It Break 16th Director’s Cut – Kate Bush 16th Bliss Reelase – Cloud Control 16th This Is The Computers – The Computers 16th Pala – Friendly Fires 16th Mona – Mona 23rd Adulthood – CocknBullKid 23rd Born This Way – Lady Gaga 23rd Cape Dory – Tennis 23rd Demolished – Thurston Moore 30th Cults – Cults 30th Codes And Keys – Death Cab For Cutie 30th You And I – The Pierces 30th You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks – Seasick Steve 30th Ukelele Songs – Eddie Vedder