2012 rock music highlights

This music video from the USA is called Wild Flag – Romance.

By Susan Darlington in Britain:

Friday 28 December 2012

My two live music highlights of the year were united by a belief in the power of art and individuals to change society for the better.

Wild Flag kick-started this positivity at The Cockpit in Leeds. A riot grrrl supergroup comprised of former members of Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders, they combined a love of The Who-style riffage with ragged girl-group harmonies and hints of garage rock.

They created joyous slices of indie rock such as Romance, an ode to the power of music, and Boom, which tapped into the grungy guitar sound of Beautiful Son-era Hole.

Their love of playing music without an agenda made them deliciously refreshing, which was perfectly summed up by their breezy encore of The Ramones’s Do You Wanna Dance?

This music video, recorded in the Netherlands, is called Patti Smith–GLORIA–Amsterdam– 8 june 2011–church De Duif.

It’s arguable that the band [Wild Flag] wouldn’t have existed without the trailblazing work of Patti Smith.

Her show at the O2 Academy in Leeds saw her revise material from her back catalogue, adding new inflections to the vocals and amending lyrics to make them relevant for the current times.

Thus People Have The Power was updated for the Occupy and Pussy Riot generation, while Ain’t It Strange was boosted with a newly emphasised bass line.

Some things, however, stayed refreshingly consistent.

The passion in her voice as she whirled around to Ghost Dance remained spine tingling, and guitarist Lenny Kaye continued to be a reliable presence as he provided a vocal counterpart on Rock’n’Roll Nigger.

The clutch of tracks she aired from latest album Banga proved she hadn’t lost her ability to inspire, with the title track being as uplifting as anything she’s recorded and the Amy Winehouse tribute This Is The Girl being a tender girl-group ballad.

Both shows demonstrated rock and roll at its most vital, with the ability to empower the audience on both a personal and political level.

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