2022 was another brilliant year for music. This time last year hundreds of shows were being delayed and cancelled due to Covid. Dozens of live venues have shut down, don’t take live music for granted. Here are ten reasons why

James – Victorious Festival

Photos: Amrit Kaur

Highlight: It’s rare to hear the 90’s hits so being treated to an early ’90s set list featuring ‘Come Home’, ‘Born of Frustration’, and even ‘Sit Down’! Yes, please! Tim Booth seemed to be having the time of his life crowd surfing and showcasing his trademark freaky dance moves

Plastic Mermaids- Southampton’s Joiners Arms

Highlight: The bewitching ‘Elastic Time’ showcasing the band’s epic endings, with Jamie Richards on bowed guitar.

Arkells – Brighton’s Chalk

Highlight: When frontman Max Kerman came into the centre of the crowd to serenade a couple with the lover’s favourite ‘And Then Some’. These gestures are why the band is adored, they would struggle to be this intimate back home where they play arenas so the band must enjoy these spectacles.

Anna Mann (Colin Hoult)- Edinburgh Festival

Highlight: Anna narrating her life story, including a string of marriages, her part in Predator The Musical and how her friend Sue Clinch became ill. The floor was wet with tears of laughter, I wasn’t surprised that it was nominated for best show.

Sugababes- Victorious Festival

Highlight: Just being able to see the original line-up and being treated to all of the hits, ‘Round Round’, ‘Ugly’ and ‘Freak Like Me’, a sea of Sugababes fans sang back their anthems like they were released yesterday.

Suede came on slightly early to perform a greatest hits set Including ‘Trash’, ‘Animal Nitrate’ and ‘Beautiful Ones’. Brett Anderson was up for it and when he wasn’t frantically whipping his mic lead he was telling the cameramen to fuck off. He paraded the stage demanding more and certainly got what he needed. A great set from indie legends.

Sam fender – Truck Festival

Highlight: Shaun Williamson as a surprise gues. Fender fancied his own Barrioke and the duo performed ‘Getting Started’ whilst the entire field took out their phones to record a special moment. Fender called this the highlight of his life so far, imagine how happy he would have been if it was Ant n Dec?

Sports Team Truck Festival

Highlight: Alex Rice dressed as a matador ran out of ideas on stage so took his show to the crowd and delivered the entirety of the band’s biggest hit ‘Here’s The Thing’ mid audience. The rest of the band played on without a care in the world. Rice did eventually return unscathed. It was hard to catch most of his on stage vocals, but as a visual display – they were a thrill.

Bombay Bicycle ClubVictorious Festival

Highlight: They delivered all of the hits from the set opener ‘ Eat, Sleep, Wake’, through to the jazz sampling ‘Shuffle’ to the Bollywood influenced ‘Luna’. But the real festival highlight would have to be ‘Carry Me’ where the band invited as many people to be carried up on their shoulders. I was then lifted out of the crowd and I crowd surfed onto the stage and was applauded by the 30 000 watching. Ok, that didn’t actually happen, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who dreamt it.

Jake LambertEdinburgh Festival

Jake is always an affable performer and has delivered an engaging show that covers his epilepsy, plotting his own indie rom-com and some brilliantly observed joke on Anatidae. An absolute must-see