What a crazy year 2016 was. I imagine it will be one of the most talked about years ever. So many crazy decisions were made, that people may regret for many years to come. I like to try and look at the positives of the year though.
It was a fantastic year for punk rock music with so many bands releasing unbelievably good albums. And there were so many great gigs as well. Punk in the UK and all around the world seems to be thriving at the moment. For me personally, I can't remember a time where I've been so excited to discover more and more new bands. So often I hear a band and am taken aback by their brilliance only to hear another band for the first time a few weeks later and to be amazed again. Punk rock music is the best music in the world and more and more bands are proving exactly why.
In my personal life I've had a great year, including so many wonderful moments with Emma and my friends including holidays to the Peak District, Cornwall and, of course, Florida. All of these were packed with wonderful moments and a healthy amount of punk thrown in. You have to throw the punk rock in! In the new year I will be moving in with Emma and I'm very excited for that.
Colin's Punk Rock World has grown far more than I could have ever expected it to. In 2016, the blog has had 111,500 views which is quite crazy. What started as a way to give me something to focus my mind on when I was going through some stuff, has slowly grown i to a six person team that I'm still looking to add to. Emma, Dan and Omar have all been brilliant with their additions to the site throughout the year and I'm really looking forward to more amazing work from them in 2017, as well as some great stuff from the newest additions to the team, Robyn and Pan. Looking towards 2017 we're looking at ways to improve the blog further to try and spread the word of punk rock to as many people as possible. Look out for brand new album and gig reviews, top tens, columns, art of punks and a whole host of new features, as well as a refresh of the site.
Like I said, 2016 was a great year for punk rock and now I'm wondering what will happen in 2017. Some of the biggest bands in punk released new albums in 2016 including The Bouncing Souls, NOFX, Against Me! and, of course, the Descendents. 2017 will begin with new albums from Dropkick Murphys and The Menzingers as well as new material due from RVIVR, Iron Chic, Jaya The Cat and The Smith Street Band. I'm also really hoping for some new material from Less Than Jake, Rancid, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Bad Religion. Obviously, because of the work I do on the blog, I also get to discover so many amazing smaller bands each year and I'm constantly astounded by the quality of music that is made by the underground.
2016 was packed with great gigs and festivals. There is no doubt about it that 2017 will deliver more of the same. I was extremely lucky to see a few bands I never expected to get a chance to last year including Catch 22, Chixdiggit, Mustard Plug and Kemuri. How amazing would it be for the Descendents, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Streetlight Manifesto and Rancid to tour in 2017. Hey, how about a Fat Wreck all-dayer like they had in San Francisco a couple of years ago! That would be pretty sweet. Due to financial reasons going to Fest again this year is probably out of the question but promoters up and down the UK put on some great festivals too. The third Manchester Punk Festival in particular is looking like it will be the most successful yet and is quickly becoming a great UK alternative to The Fest. If you've haven't got tickets to that yet, get a move on!
Reunion shows are something I always look forward too. I'm still hoping for that Golf Records/Household Name/Moon Ska reunion festival. If someone could make that happen please, I would be stoked.
2017 is definitely going to be another huge year in the world of punk rock. Myself, and I'm sure the rest of the CPRW team, cannot wait for it to start!