Gig Scene: Best of 2014 - Dragonfly Tattoo triumph

Vicky Whelan of Dragonfly Tattoo - The haunting EP Closer to the Sun is no. 1 for 2014.
Vicky Whelan of Dragonfly Tattoo - The haunting EP Closer to the Sun is no. 1 for 2014.
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By the Harrogate Advertiser’s Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

Top 5 local releases of 2014

1. Dragonfly Tattoo: Closer to the Sun (EP) What we said: “From the crunch and snarl of opening track Mad Cat Woman to the stately, semi-classical mood of Spider Song, Dragonfly Tattoo’s stunning dark mix of drama and melody hits the brain and the heart at the same time. As written, and sung, by the quietly brilliant Vicky Whelan, Closer to the Sun is one of the best things I’ve heard by anyone anywhere.”

2. Holly Rose Webber: Sparkle & Fade (album) What we said: “Within seconds of the opening bars of the cracking indie-ish country rocker Angel Eyes, the opening track of Sparkle & Fade, it’s crystal clear this is a serious album and Holly Rose Webber is a serious talent. Such is the quality of her own voice made flesh by her own songwriting, not to mention superb musical arranging and accompaniment, it’s hard to believe this is this novice Harrogate singer’s debut ‘long player.’”

3. The Wirepushers: Electric Puppetry (album) What we said: “What started as a bit of fun for the German guitar wizard Sascha Paeth, bassist Arne Wiegand, drummer Robert Hunecke and Harrogate vocalist Paul Kettley has turned serious with a debut album which showcases Paeth’s non-metal side.”

4. Ashley Reaks: Compassion Fatigue (album) What we said: “This impressive collection of eight tracks by the ex-Harrogate maverick begins in post-punk mode, veers temporarily into prog and modern minimalism and ends in an epic flurry of World Music, attacking society’s hypocrises with witty surrealism and occasional outright obscenity.”

5. Strangers in Paradise: Weight of Possibility (EP) What we said: “Who else would try to combine classic funk-rock with chilled out soul and rap with slithers of prog and metal?”

Mentioned in dispatches

Tim Hunter: Knaresborough (EP).

Mike Starkings: Another Flame (album).

Karl Culley: Come Over To me (video).

Fave local live act

Hell Fire Jack

They’ve still got it

Magna Carta - Fields of Eden (album)

Tip for 2015

The Wilde.