Six years of stowaways

Well, here we are already – six years of this blog! Where are we, 1,871 posts later? Honestly I’m not sure.

I’m not going to post too much self-gratifying celebration this year, but I have taken today off so I can go to a marvellous party. Why don’t you come too?


Coming soon – NME Awards

You may remember that a few months back, we ran through the long and distinguished history of the annual NME Poll, which ran for pretty much exactly forty years, until 1992.

Well, I think we may now be ready to continue that story, with the NME Awards, which have run annually since 1994. So please sit tight for the next few weeks, as we dive into the past yet again!

In the meantime, why not take another look at who won the NME Poll? Here’s part one and part two.

Greatest Hits – Vol. 11

Time for another selection of reviews that you might have missed in the last year or two.

You can also see Vol. 10 here.

Week of oldies 5

Time now for another week of oldies. This week, we’ll listen to one of the most important dance records of all time, hear an influential experimental album that itself owes a lot to another influential experimental album, and rediscover some early Saint Etienne. It’s going to be fun!

Fun not guaranteed.

Bizarre search engine terms – 2018 edition

I don’t often look at the statistics for this blog, but occasionally it tells me one or two interesting facts. One of the more revealing is the search engine terms that bring people here. These are a selection of the ones that brought you here in the last year or so!

b.e.f. ‎– music for stowaways torrent

No. Just no. I say this every time, but if you want illegal music, this is not the right place to look. Stream, buy second hand, or best, buy the original in some form. Most of B.E.F.‘s debut album is available on the 1981-2011 box set.

“stephen hague” produce

A search which has brought people here on an astonishing nine different occasions. Stephen Hague turns up a lot on this blog, of course, and not always by name. Over a four-decade career, he’s been responsible for producing many of our favourite acts around here, including Orchestral Manoeuvres in the DarkPet Shop BoysNew OrderErasureMarc AlmondElectronicBlurDubstarSarah CracknellAfro Celt Sound Systema-haPeter GabrielClientClaudia Brücken and more. A future stowaway hero for sure.

location of the first brit award in 1981 [and 1981 brits awards]

A lot of people seem to come here now looking for information about the BRIT Awards. As you’ll see from this article, the first BRIT Awards was not in 1981 – there wasn’t even a ceremony that year. The first was in 1977, at Wembley Conference Centre. The first regular ceremony was in 1982, at Grosvenor House.

best kraftwerk album to start with

Everyone will have their own opinion on this, but I gave mine when Kraftwerk appeared on the Beginner’s guide feature three years ago. I’d stand by that judgement – start with Trans Europa Express or The Mix. It’s worth paying extra for the German releases.

vangelis aimless noodling

This might be one of my favourite web searches ever. Honestly, yes, a good chunk of Vangelis‘s music is aimless noodling, and rather amusingly it turns out that I actually used those exact words when I reviewed the Metropolis soundtrack in 2014, although at the time I wasn’t referring to the man himself.

If you want more, here’s the 2017 edition.

Looking ahead at 2018

Welcome to 2018! Coming up in the next year on this blog…

  • Awards season begins in January, with our annual obsession with the BRIT and Grammy Awards, plus as of this year, the NME Awards, and of course our very own Stowaways!
  • Based on our current schedule, we’ll do a week of oldies, and then we’ll return with another series of Stowaway Heroes
  • Later in the year we’ll pick up the history of the NME Awards from 1994 onwards, and for the first time in a couple of years we’ll also look at the Ivor Novello Awards
  • If everything goes to plan, this December will see us celebrating our 2000th post! The 1000th was a very long time ago!

Here’s to another great year for stowaways!

Looking back at 2017

Well, that’s pretty much it for 2017. As this blog becomes increasingly irrelevant, I predicted at the start of the year that it might not last forever, but we’ve made it through another year, despite our politicians’ best attempts.

But this year, as the blog celebrated its fifth anniversary, we ran our last series of posts about the Peel Sessions, launched the new Stowaway Heroes series (which will continue early next year), and investigated the entire history of the NME Poll. Next year, we’ll expand that thread to look at the NME Awards, and, well… more on that later.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year. Let’s see what 2018 has in store for us!