It’s certainly been a busy year, you can’t deny that. You also can’t deny that it’s been an eventful year. 31 December 2013 marked the first ever post on www.allthingsloud.com, with our launch taking place in February. Since then, we’ve gone from a small bedroom side-project into a (still small) music website which has been given some fantastic opportunities. Following our launch interview with Temples at the start of the year, we subsequently spent a week covering the likes of All Time Low, Haim, Beady Eye and Breton at the Paradiso in Amsterdam before spending the summer covering FortaRock, Pinkpop, Glastonbury and Lowlands. There were some great interviews (Neck Deep and Skinny Lister in particular), as well as some not so great ones (we’re looking at you, Teleman and Young Fathers). All in all, it was just a fantastic first year. To round off what’s been a fantastic first twelve months, we’ve compiled a list of the best things that happened this year.

BEST GIG
There were a lot of great gigs this year, but the best of them all has to be Jungle’s show at the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht earlier this month (December 5). Back then, we said: “If tonight’s show, which was by far the best show of 2014, is anything to go by then Jungle will definitely be even bigger and better come next year. Will they sell out massive venues? Definitely, although their music is ideally suited to these kind of venues – the small sweatboxes where all people can do is dance and dance and dance the evening away. Bring on 2015, because we know it’s going to be a big year for Jungle.

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(Jungle, by Jack Parker)

BEST FESTIVAL SET
As there were so many fantastic shows this year, we decided to separate solo gigs from festival sets. The festival set that stood out head and shoulders above the rest for us this year was Arcade Fire’s rain-drenched show at Pinkpop Festival. The second half of the show was bugged by a code red thunderstorm which eventually cut the set short, yet these adverse conditions only made the show better and better. No Cars Go sounded majestic as lightning struck in the background, before Here Comes the Night Time’s colourful confetti blew into everyone’s faces as the 10,000-strong crowd went wild in the rain. No one seemed to care about the weather for that one hour, quite rightly so. It’s a deserving winner for the best festival set of the year.

BEST SONG
As we announced earlier this month, the best song of 2014 title went to Busy Earnin’ by Jungle. This was always going to be the hardest song to pick, especially as so much rides on a number 1. It means that this song is basically considered better than the 49 preceding songs, but we think we got it right with this one. Enter Jungle, the hype band of 2014 for all the right reasons. Early single Busy Earnin’ is a song you’ve probably heard before, with its signature brass melody and super funky bassline becoming earworms you can’t get away from. Pair that with a cacophony of sounds and silky smooth vocals and you’ve got yourselves a winner. Busy Earnin’ is the song of 2014, and we really can’t get enough of it. Everything about the song is flawless, from it’s opening synths to bassline breakdown. If anything is deserving of the top spot, it’s this song.

BEST ALBUM
The album of the year, on the other hand, went to Kettering psych quartet Temples’ stellar debut effort Sun Structures. When we reviewed the album at the start of the year, we said this:
“At just over 50 minutes long, Sun Structures may well be the record that propels Temples to the top of the psychedelic stratosphere. It’s filled with fuzzy guitars, woozy vocals and hypnotic synths – a perfect formula for a band like Temples, who thrive on creativity built from the simplest of instrumental formulas’. It can only get better from here…”
In our launch interview with Temples drummer Samuel Toms, we asked him what the aim behind Sun Structures was (“one the finest psychedelic rock albums of the last 10 years”, as we put it). He subsequently turned it back on us by saying that “the aim was to convince you that it was one of the finest psychedelic rock albums of the last 10 years.

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(Temples, by Jack Parker)

BEST MOMENT
When deciding on a best moment, there was one standout highlight which eclipsed everything else we experienced this year – The Rolling Stones’ headline set at Pinkpop Festival in June. In our festival recap, we had this to say about the show: “The Rolling Stones, on the other hand, had no problem with pulling off nothing short than sublime. For a band of this stature, there’s little need to worry in pulling off the most anticipated set in years. Opening with a thrilling tribal intro, paired with pyrotechnics, the band walked on and kicked straight into Jumpin’ Jack Flash and You Got Me Rocking. A massive video screen backdrop showed visuals & live footage of the band powering their way through an already legendary set. Mick Jagger had no trouble in entertaining the crowd, with his attempts at Dutch just as fun as his eccentric dance moves. A mid-section of Keith Richards-led songs made way for a final winning combination of Miss You, Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Sympathy for the Devil and Brown Sugar. Closing with I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction), the band left the stage to rapturous applause and cheers as a fireworks display began. Chances to see this band live again will be scarce, making their Pinkpop set even more special. 10/10
You just had to be there.

OUR FAVOURITE INTERVIEW
We were lucky enough to do quite a few great interviews this year, although the one we enjoyed the most was with welsh pop-punkers Neck Deep at Lowlands Festival in August. Frontman Ben Barlow was quite stoned, although we only came to this realization afterwards. Nevertheless, it was a good ‘un. See for yourself below.

OUR FAVOURITE PHOTO
Our photo of the year is courtesy of our photographer Berksun Doganer, who got this fantastic shot of Haimat the Paradiso in March. For a bigger selection of pictures by All Things Loud, check out our Facebook page.

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So with that, thanks to everyone who read our articles, watched our videos and checked us out. It’s been a great year, so here’s to 2015!