Hello and welcome to the December edition of the Pennyblackmusic Magazine.

It is odd to think that a year ago most of us had not heard of the Coronavirus. It has become such an unwelcome presence in all of our lives, dominating every news bulletin and impacting upon and restricting everything that we do.

Like everyone else, our writers and photographers at Pennyblackmusic have faced difficult times. Three of our writers have fallen ill with the virus but have thankfully recovered. Others have been furloughed or forced to work at home from months on end. Others still have not been able to visit relatives in care homes or only able to see elderly parents or grandchildren from the bottom of garden paths.

For much of our team, Pennyblackmusic has provided some kind of antidote to that, something positive amidst all the negativity, some kind of hope in what has been the most traumatic of years.

We have run over seventy interviews this year.

Some of the many highlights there include The Apartments, The Bathers, The Beat, Doris Brendel, The Distractions, Doghouse Roses, Joe Gideon, The Godfathers, TexasBob Guarez, Bruce Foxton, Bob Geldof, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman, Ronnie Gurr from Hanging Around Books, Hector Gannet, Darren Hayman, Matt Hill, John Howard, Steve Hunter, I Like Trains, It’s Immaterial, Al Joshua, Glen Matlock, My Darling Clementine, Ed O’Brien from Radiohead, Vinny Peculiar, Pedaljets, The Professionals, Ian Prowse, Tom Robinson, Smalltown Tigers, Spear of Destiny, TV Smith, Neville Staple, Peter Straker, The Volunteered, Davey Woodward, The Zombies and European Sun (twice).

To this, we have added with this latest edition another twelve interviews which include Robin Trower, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, Bob Harris, McCookerybook and Rotifer, Union of Knives, KT Tunstall, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Terry Edwards, Scenius and The Electric Cinema.

We have kept all our regular writers’ columns -Ten Songs That Made Me Love…, Vinyl Stories, Under the Radar and Raging Pages - going this year, and have also started some new ones. In The Image That Made Me Weep we have invited a different guest as well as one of our own team to choose a music-related photograph and write of its importance to them, while in Bandcamp Explorer Mark Rowland examines the best of what is available on Bandcamp. We have another new column as well this month, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, in which our new columnist, The Short Stories and European Sun’s Steve Miles will be debating a different music issue in each edition. In the first part of a two part article he writes five out of the ten punk bands that changed his life.

We have run amongst others run features on the demise of Q Magazine, the effect of the Coronavirus on those who work behind the scenes in the music industry, the best live music venues past and present, the short-lived but influential Chicago venue Tuts and the bands our writers would most like to have seen but didn't. In this edition we have our writers Albums of the Year, and also an article on Cliff Richard who those of a certain age will remember was ridiculed mercilessly in the 80’s comedy The Young Ones for his safeness, but whom Bob Nicholson argues is much more of a risk-taker than he is sometimes given credit for.

We have also run over 250 album reviews this year.

As always this magazine has been put together through the hard work of a lot of people. Thank you to Carl Bookstein, Kimberly Bright, Malcolm Carter, Peter Cole, Adam Coxon, Nicky Crewe, Nick Dent-Robinson, Anthony Dhanendran, Dixie Ernill, Dave Goodwin, Zena Greig, Tommy Gunnarsson, Keith How, Ben Howarth, Adrian Janes, Steve Kinrade, Richard Lewis, Bob Nicholson, Owen Peters, Adrian P, Shirley Procter, Jamie Rowland, Mark Rowland, Maarten Schiethart, Helen Tipping, Lisa Torem, Andrew Twambley, Cila Warncke, Denzil Watson and Amanda J. Window for all their contributions this year. Special thanks to our webmaster Richard Banks for his work behind the scenes and without whom none of this would be possible.

We will be back with an album reviews update in mid January and then a full edition towards the end of that month. Please check out our regular Facebook and Twitter updates.

Thank you as always for reading Pennyblackmusic,

John Clarkson
Magazine Editor
www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk







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