MetalTalk 2020 Review / The Writers: Paul Monkhouse

22 December 2020

2020 was one of the most challenging and extraordinary years for Heavy Metal and the music industry as a whole. Being a music fan now means listening by yourself and the shared experience of a concert hall gig is a memory at a time when isolation kicks in further.

MetalTalk was read in 170 countries this year and we have looked to expand our editorial as the number of concerts we would usually cover ground to dust.

Our first review of the year comes from Paul Monkhouse.

Gigs of the Year (in no particular order):

Samantha Fish – Waterfront, Norwich

Beth Hart – Hammersmith Apollo

Five Finger Death Punch – Wembley Arena

Little Triggers – Portland Arms, Cambridge

Goo Goo Dolls – The Roundhouse, Camden

Most Missed Gig of the Year:

Take your pick: Queen, Rammstein, Download, The Who, Aerosmith, Evanescence & Within Temptation, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Genesis, Duran Duran, Rose Tattoo, Geoff Tate, Ramblin Man Fair, Cambridge Rock Festival, Hellfest, Stonedead, Pearl Jam, Deep Purple & Blue Oyster Cult etc etc etc…

Best Memory of 2020:

Getting a personal thanks from Ritchie Blackmore, interviewing Buck Dharma and doing more and more writing…and having a pint with our esteemed editor at The Roundhouse prior to the Goo Goo Dolls.

Abiding Memory of 2020:

The lack of gigs but the amazing amount of new music being produced.

Top Three Albums of the Year:

Koburg – ‘Positions of Power’

Millie Manders and the Shut Up – ‘Telling Truths, Breaking Ties’

Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons – ‘We’re The Bastards’

Honourable mentions to:

Blue Oyster Cult – ‘The Symbol Remains’

Diamond Head – ‘Lightning to the Nations 2020’=

Little Red Kings – ‘The Magic Show Part 1’

Ward XVI – ‘Metamorphosis’

Top Five Songs of the Year:

Milly Manders and the Shut Up – ‘Glitter Mix’

Koburg – ‘Rise’

Ward XVI – ‘The Cradle Song’

Fish – ‘Garden of Remembrance’

Constant Follower – ‘Set Aside Some Time’

MetalTalk Highlights that I have worked on:

The Sunday supplements for Black Sabbath and Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy, interview with Buck Dharma.

MetalTalk favourite reads:

Take your pick…genuinely…the site has some of the most passionate, skilled, entertaining and knowledgeable writers in the business and it’s a joy to read them all.

Those we lost this year:

It’s got to be legends such as Eddie Van Halen and Pete Way who struck me the most…but you can also count Lee Kerslake, Paul Chapman and many, many more to that list…

What are your hopes for 2021:

The return of live shows and venues, bands and musicians to be able to make a decent living again.

When do you think concerts will return:

Hopefully by Autumn 2021…but realistically, if we are talking about gigs as we truly remember, it is probably going to be sometime in 2022.

First big gig:

Well…optimistically I’ve booked tickets to see Genesis at the O2 in April but who knows…

2020 in five words:

Music sustained us through it.

2021 hopes in five words:

A better world for all.

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