Pick of the Year: 2009


  1. 50 Cent – Get Up
  2. Kanye West – Heartless
  3. Lady Gaga – Just Dance
  4. Kevin Rudolf – Let It Rock
  5. Lily Allen – The Fear
  6. All American Rejects – Gives You Hell
  7. Flo Rida – Right Round
  8. Katy Perry – Thinking of You
  9. Noisettes – Don’t Upset The Rhythm
  10. Eminem – We Made You
  11. Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow
  12. Veronicas – Untouched
  13. Little Boots – New In Town
  14. Kasabian – Fire
  15. Jordin Sparks – Battlefield
  16. Take That – Said it All
  17. Paloma Faith – Stone Cold Sober
  18. Chipmunk – Diamond Rings
  19. JLS – Beat Again
  20. Pink – Funhouse
  21. Just Jack – The Day I Died
  22. Lady Gaga – Love Game
  23. Dizzee Rascal – Holiday
  24. Jay-z – Run This Town
  25. Taio Cruz – Break Your Heart
  26. Jay-Z & Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  27. Robbie Williams – Bodies
  28. Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
  29. Cobra Starship – Good Girls Go Bad
  30. Florence & the Machine – You Got the Love
  31. Kesha – Tik Tok
  32. Leona Lewis – Happy
  33. Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone
  34. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name

Pick of the Year: 2008


  1. Britney Spears – Piece of Me
  2. Alphabeat – Fascination
  3. Mika – Relax
  4. Lupe Fiasco – Superstar
  5. Adele – Chasing Pavements
  6. David Jordan – Sun Goes Down
  7. OneRepublic – Stand and Stare
  8. Flo Rida – Low
  9. Taio Cruz – Come On Girl
  10. Estelle – American Boy
  11. Madonna – 4 Minutes
  12. Gabriella Cilmi – Sweet About Me
  13. Sam Sparro – Black and Gold
  14. Usher – Love In This Club
  15. James Blunt – Carry You Home
  16. T-Pain – Church
  17. September – Cry For You
  18. Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
  19. Kanye West – Flashing Lights
  20. Ne-Yo – Closer
  21. Chris Brown – Forever
  22. Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go
  23. Elbow – One Day Like This
  24. Dizzee Rascal – Dance Wiv Me
  25. Kid Rock – All Summer Long
  26. Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
  27. Verve – Love Is Noise
  28. Madcon – Beggin
  29. Little Jackie – The World Should Revolve Around Me
  30. Keane – Spiralling
  31. Biffy Clyro – Mountains
  32. Gym Glass Heroes – Cookie Jar
  33. New Kids on the Block – Summertime
  34. Flobots – Handlebars
  35. MIA – Paper Planes
  36. Pink – So What
  37. Saturdays – Up
  38. Britney Spears – Womanizer
  39. Leona Lewis – Forgive Me
  40. Beyonce – Single Ladies
  41. Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah


Pick of the Year: 2007


  1. Jojo – Too Little, Too Late
  2. Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
  3. Mika – Grace Kelly
  4. Fray – How to Save a Life
  5. Keane – A Bad Dream
  6. Take That – Shine
  7. Bowling for Soup – High School Never Ends
  8. Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around Comes Around
  9. Fergie – Glamorous
  10. Pink – Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)
  11. Hilary Duff – With Love
  12. Ciara – Like A Boy
  13. Timbaland – Give It To Me
  14. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
  15. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
  16. Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms)
  17. Jojo – Anything
  18. Rihanna – Umbrella
  19. Twang – Either Way
  20. Kelly Rowland – Like This
  21. Fray – Over My Head
  22. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
  23. Kate Nash – Foundations
  24. Timbaland – The Way I Are
  25. Robyn – With Every Heartbeat
  26. Kanye West – Stronger
  27. Gym Class Heroes – Clothes Off
  28. Matchbox 20 – How Far We’ve Come
  29. 50 Cent – Ayo Technology
  30. Shayne Ward – If That’s Ok With You
  31. Enrique Iglesias – Tired of Being Sorry
  32. Britney Spears – Gimme More
  33. Take That – Rule The World
  34. Backstreet Boys – Inconsolable
  35. Robyn – Handle Me
  36. Craig David – Hot Stuff
  37. Chris Brown – Kiss Kiss
  38. Rihanna – Don’t Stop The Music
  39. Leon Jackson – When You Believe
  40. Kate Nash – Pumpkin Soup
  41. Bowling for Soup – When We Die

JustSO release debut album

‘All music is escapism for me, but I like the way that, on a good night, that sense of escapism can be shared’ – Jamie xx

One of the best parts of my job is being able to talk passionately about things I love and discovering new music has always been a great love of mine. Writing this blog has given me many amazing opportunities, and none more amazing than being offered the opportunity to work as press officer for local North East rock band The Longsands after they read a review I wrote of one of their gigs. It helped that I was mates with them at school of course; having an already established relationship made the job so much easier and it was a dream come true for me.

Guitarist from The Longsands Stan had always had a side project in JustSO, a more laid back acoustic offering with vocalist Olivia Morley which he managed concurrently with The Longsands but when the boys decided to call it a day in 2017, Stan moved forward with JustSO and started recording their own material rather than just relying on a popular wedding band repertoire.


They’ve now just released their first self titled album full of original material and although it couldn’t be more different from The Longsands back catalogue, on just first listen it sounds like a perfect laid back pop album.

The change in direction (for Stan at least) is a refreshing change of pace and his distinctive voice shines through as he shares 50% of the vocals. As soon I heard his guitar kick in I instantly thought ‘there’s Stan’. His voice melts like butter with Olivia’s who although may vocally lack the power of Beyonce or Adele, she certainly more than makes up for it in soul and reminds me of some of my favourite female singers from the 90s like Paula Cole and Jewel.

The album is track after track of polished classy radio friendly hits with a distinct modern americana vibe. Stand out track from me is Stay, which could have been pulled straight off the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack and believe me when I say I hold the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack in very high esteem!

History hasn’t been too kind to male/female bands however I think JustSO manage to pull off the musical credibility of Fleetwood Mac (without being too mumsy) and the energy of The Beautiful South (without being a bit rubbish). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you heard them on radio 2 in the very near future!

Download the album from amazon and find out more about the band on their Facebook page.

Gig Review: Jaret Reddick Heartache & Hilarity Tour

‘It’s cool to meet your idol’ – Meg White

It’s safe to say Dave and I have quite varied musical tastes and provide very little overlap. In fact if you drew a venn diagram of what we listen to it would look something like this:

BFS Venn

So of course when Jaret Reddick, Bowling for Soup front man announced that he was doing a solo tour, you can bet your sweet ass we were getting tickets. Before I go into a review of the gig let’s rewind slightly to earlier in September and me bored on a train to Eastbourne. Idly scrolling though my instagram feed and I see that Jaret is asking people to post pictures of themselves doing their best ‘Jaret Faces’ to win 4 VIP tickets to a gig of their choice. Now, it’s 6 hours to get from Newcastle to Eastbourne, (it’s literally the other end of the country you know) so to pass the time I thought i would post a picture of me and Emma (also a massive BFS fan) pulling our best Jaret faces:


And then I forgot all about it. Until 7am on a Tuesday morning when  I woke up and checked my phone as I always do and saw that Jaret had tagged me in something. My sleepy blonde brain instantly though ‘oh the winners of that competition must be announced, bet I didn’t win’ then I though, hang on a second, he wouldn’t be tagging me in if I hadn’t won right? RIGHT? Our drunk mugs had only bloody won! Now our drunk mugs (along with Dave and my Dad) were off to meet the great man himself!


Despite a few rokc n roll admin issues surrounding the Meet & Greet (it started early so we showed up a little late) we were let into the venue and ushered through to say hello and have our pictures take with Jaret. I know people say you should never meet your idols however he couldn’t have been more lovely, he happily posed for pictures with us and loved the story I told him about my dad introducing me to the band, he then went on to suggest my dad have a commemorative tattoo from the onsite tattooist (that was clearly the ‘hilarity’ aspect of the tour title).

We had a few drinks and watched the Lounge Kittens who were supporting – definitely worth checking out for their mashup of 80s cartoon theme tunes alone. We also had chance to practice our kazoo work – something we were given by Jaret to join in with when he played 1985.

I’d seen Jaret and Erik so a solo acoustic tour back in 2010 which isn’t something I thought could be topped however I think this may have even been better (sorry Erik!). Jaret, in my opinion, has never sounded better and I love the laid back vibe of gigs like this and takes me back to the old Storytellers series that used to be on VH1. We’ve all heard the songs of our favourite bands but it’s a unique experience to also hear the stories behind them. It helps that Jaret is a natural storyteller, the right amount of ernest and witty (unlike a lot of Americans he seems to get British humour) and had the audience hanging on his every word.

The highlight of any BFS tour for me will always be the inclusion of Turbulence which is a song I listen to on a weekly, if not daily basis and particularly if i’m having a tough time. It’s the musical incarnation of the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ and that’s something I regularly need reminding of.

Set list wise I couldn’t have asked for much more. I’m naturally more drawn to the more sentimental serious ballads of their back catalogue, being the lyrics girl that I am, and they’re the songs that lend themselves better to an acoustic show. Hearing Where to Begin live was pretty monumental for me as after Turbulence it’s my second favourite BFS song, however it’s always super cool to hear Girl All the Bad Guys Want and The Bitch Song song acoustically too.

Bowling for Soup are such an important band to me, my family and friends and what a pleasure it was to meet such an honest, friendly humble guy. Never meet your heroes? Poppycock! I’m so pleased we got the opportunity to meet ours. Even if our kazoo skills still need a bit of work.

Pick of the Year: 2004

Picture 008

  1. Kelis – Milkshake
  2. Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
  3. Maroon 5 – Harder to Breathe
  4. Snow Patrol – Run
  5. Blazin Sqaud – Here 4 One
  6. Busted – 3am
  7. Keane – Somewhere Only We Know
  8. Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father
  9. Lemar – Another Day
  10. Britney Spears – Toxic
  11. Kylie Minogue – Red Blooded Woman
  12. Blink 182 – I Miss You
  13. Enrique Iglesias – Not In Love
  14. B2K – Badaboom
  15. Usher – Yeah
  16. Will Young – Your Game
  17. JC Chavez – Blowin Me Up
  18. Streets – Fit But You Know It
  19. Natasha Bedingfield – Single
  20. Jay-Z – 99 Problems
  21. 411 – On My Knees
  22. Gabrielle – Stay The Same
  23. Kristian Leontiou – Story Of My Life
  24. Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
  25. Mario Winans – I Don’t Wanna Know
  26. Brandy – Talk About Our Love
  27. Freestylers – Push Up
  28. Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started
  29. Shaznay Lewis – Never Felt Like This Before
  30. J-Kwon – Tipsy
  31. Ananstacia – Sick and Tired
  32. Mousse T – Is It Cos I’m Cool
  33. Kanye West – Jesus Walks
  34. Girls Aloud – Love Machine
  35. Beverley Knight – Not Too Late for Love
  36. Lucie Silvas – What You’re Made Of
  37. Bowling for Soup – 1985
  38. Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath
  39. Steriogram – Walkie Talkie Man
  40. Gwen Stefani – What You Waiting For
  41. Band Aid 20 – Do They Know It’s Christmas 

Pick of the Year: 2003



  1. Black Eyed Peas – Shut Up
  2. Lemar – Dance With U
  3. Robbie Williams – Come Undone
  4. Zoe Birkett – Treat Me Like a Lady
  5. Matchbox 20 – Unwell
  6. Justin Timberlake – Rock your Body
  7. Melanie C – Here It Comes Again
  8. Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?
  9. Appleton – Don’t Worry
  10. 50  Cent – In Da Club
  11. Lumidee – Never Leave You
  12. Britney Spears – Me Against The Music
  13. Matchbox 20 – Bright Lights
  14. Gary Jules – Mad World
  15. Christina Aguilera – Fighter
  16. Will Young – Leave Right Now
  17. DMX – X Gon Give it To Ya
  18. Outkast – Hey Ya!
  19. Mis-teeq – Scandalous
  20. Jamelia – Superstar
  21. Beyonce – Crazy in Love
  22. Fatman Scoop – Be Faithful
  23. R Kelly – Ignition (remix)
  24. The Darkness – I Believe in a Thing Called Love
  25. Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots pt 1
  26. Tatu – All The Things She Said
  27. Big Brovaz – OK
  28. O-Town – These Are The Days
  29. Eminem – Sing for the Moment
  30. Missy Elliott – Gossip Folks
  31. Eve – Satisfaction
  32. David Gray – Be Mine
  33. Jay-Z – Excuse Me Miss
  34. Triple Eight – Knockout
  35. Girls Aloud – No Good Advice
  36. Bon Jovi – All About Lovin You
  37. B2K – Girlfriend
  38. Michelle Branch – Are You Happy Now
  39. Eminem – Business
  40. All American Rejects – Swing Swing