No offence to the other pinheads in this rundown but up next is someone who’s actually done something meaningful with their life. Scotty’s published two Proper Books (Playing Mercy and The Ground Remembers), as well as several plays and other theatre events as part of Slung Low. More importantly, especially for booze fans, he’s one half of Balloon, organisers of Cardiff’s finest dipsomaniac spoken-word-and-live-music events. The next Balloon night *taps nose* is going to be very special indeed. Just saying.


Recorded music highlights of 2010:

Flying Lotus’ Cosmogramma; Autechre’s Oversteps; Darkstar’s North; Wolf People’s Steeple; Caribou’s Swim; Toro y Moi’s Causers of This; the reissue of Virgo’s Virgo; Mount Kimbie’s Crooks and Lovers; James Blake’s CMYK EP; Italians Do It Better’s Solid Gold compilation; Steve Mason’s Boys Outside; JJ’s JJ No.3; that Soul Jazz Krautrock comp (can’t be bothered to look up the real title); Kyle Hall’s Kerchunk and remix of Aidy’s Girlfriend is a Computer; Floating Point’s People’s Potential; Four Tet’s There Is Love In You; Prins Thomas’ Prins Thomas; Sean P’s Originals Volume 3; Balearic Mike & Kelvin Andrew’s Down To The Sea And Back: The Continuing Journey Of The Balearic Beat. Volume 1; Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Part Two Return of the Ankh; that massive Fela Kuti Box Set and the Best Coast album.

Live music highlights of 2010

Primal Scream doing Screamadelica at the London Olympia. I know in the post-Pitchfork world of ATP chin strokery it isn’t cool to say a gig like that was your live highlight of the year but it blew the ironic moustaches off all that trendy stuff.

What else did you enjoy this year?

Many things but, as usual, mostly books, many not published this year. Melville House’s Art of the Contemporary Novella Series hasn’t had a dud yet and I’ve read all but three of them; Deadwood by Pete Dexter, and The Chivalry of Crime by Desmond Barry are two amazing Westerns but you already know that; Tyler Keevil’s Fireball genuinely does mark him out as a Bright Young Thing; Blaise Cendrars’ Gold: The Marvellous History of General John Augustus Sutter is as good as I always thought it would be; Herta Muller’s The Passport was mesmerising; Willy Vlautin pulled it off yet again with Lean On Pete; Breece D’J Pancake became my number one short story writer but I’m three quarters through the first volume of Ballard’s shorts so who knows how long that will last; and The Classic Slum by Robert Roberts continued my my non-fiction obsession with housing.

2010 was…

The Year of The Balloon. The year I finished writing my new book. The year Slung Low put on┬áseven new plays simultaneously at the Liverpool Everyman – a mind-blowing achievement when you actually stop to consider it, even if I do say so myself. It was also the year that some people liked a guy on the telly for an evening or three and we ended up with this Government. Fools.

Tips and predictions for 2011

Slung Low will be doing something incredible in Hull; I will sell my new book for an advance of at least a quarter of a million pounds; there will be an app called Vicarious Diss so that we don’t just keep posting Johann Hari’s articles (as great as they are) on Twitter and instead fully embrace armchair revolution; James Blake will win the Mercury Music Prize (I’m sticking fifty on it as soon as I get to a bookies); Balloon will put on the noisiest literature night ever considered by idiots; and Matt Jarrett will spend a third of the year drunk.

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