KEVIN COURT­NEY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

This was the year you couldn’t even give your mu­sic away. Well, you could, if you were Prince or Ray Davies, whose new al­bums came free with news­pa­pers.

With so much mu­sic out there, pun­ters have been less will­ing to fork out, so Ra­dio­head left it up to fans to de­cide how much they wanted to pay for their new album. Most paid noth­ing; the rest forked out an av­er­age of four quid..

With record sales tum­bling into mi­nus fig­ures, and young hy­pe­fuls such as The View and The Twang burn­ing out faster than a roach end, the mu­sic in­dus­try looked to the old uns to stave off the bailiffs. The Led Zep re­union bal­looned into a global event; the Po­lice re­union net­ted Sting and co the big­gest pay­check of their ca­reers, while the re­formed Take That seem to be back in the charts for good. Money is mak­ing the Spice­world go round again, and the lure of the euro has brought Boy­zone back out of palookav­ille.

The pop kids are scream­ing for a new breed of Ir­ish bands – The Flaws, Deloren­tos, The Im­me­di­ate, La Rocca, Dark Room Notes and Fight Like Apes. Ar­cade Fire have ousted the Catholic Church, poach­ing more Ir­ish wor­ship­pers ev­ery time their re­vue rolls into town, and Bruce has re­placed Bono as God’s rock’n’roll en­voy on earth. And meet the new Apos­tles: Matthew, Caleb, Jared and Nathan aka Kings of Leon. Hal­lelu­jah! Highs of the year 1. A free Ra­dio­head album (oh, all right, here’s a fiver) 2. Ir­ish rock bands not be­ing shite 3. Old rock­ers (Young, Plant, Spring­steen et al) re­vived Lows of the year 1. Re­unions – thought they threw away each other’s num­bers 2. Mika (right) – the new Leo Sayer 3. Amy Wine­house – oh, bee­hive! CDs of the year 1. The Good, The Bad & The Queen 2. Ar­cade Fire – Neon Bi­ble 3. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Rais­ing Sand 4. Field Mu­sic – Tones of Town

Gig of the year Daniel Court­ney, De­liv­ery Room, Holles St, July

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