It's that time of year again and what a year it has been, and now it's time to start publishing the Best Of 2016s from our key people and on 31st December we'll be announcing the end result, one winner from each category. Here's Brian's Best Of 2016s...
BEST BAND: THE DEAD DAISIES
A hugely successful year for the band. There hasn’t been a supergroup around for a long time who have created a buzz as big as these guys have.
2. IRON MAIDEN
Having bravely battled through his recent cancer battle, Bruce Dickinson defied the odds and is sounding better than ever. Maiden are still an unstoppable force as seen on their current The Book Of Souls World Tour.
With Queen’s Brian May comparing them to a "really potent, young Deep Purple", the sky’s the limit for Inglorious.
BEST ALBUM: THE DEAD DAISIES: 'MAKE SOME NOISE'
A real throwback to the glorious era of 70/80s rock, this album made me feel seventeen again.
2. MONSTER TRUCK: 'SITTIN' HEAVY'
Without a doubt the finest thing musical to come out of Canada since a pre-vegan Bryan Adams. Loaded with a glorious mix of hard and southern rock, the Truck has arrived.
3. INGLORIOUS: 'INGLORIOUS'
When you have a vocalist with the supreme talent of Nathan James, you won't go too far wrong. The majestic 'Holy Water' is the money shot on this all killer no filler cracker.
BEST FESTIVAL: RAMBLIN' MAN
With a line-up including Whitesnake, Europe, Black Stone Cherry and Airbourne, there’s no other place on planet earth a classic rock devotee would have been.
BEST GIG: MAGNUM: VOODOO LOUNGE, DUBLIN
having been rightly dropped in it thanks to Mark Stanway announcing his departure from the band just hours before the gig, Clarkin, Catley and co dusted themselves down and gave their loyal Irish fans a memorable night. With the aid of slick technology of course.
2. BAD COMPANY: 3 ARENA, DUBLIN
The classic rock veterans may be starting to creek at the knees, but they still sound eternally young in the live arena. 'Feel Like Makin' Love', 'Bad Company' and 'Can't Get Enough' got Dublin's fair city hopping.
3. THE DEAD DAISIES: THE ACADEMY 2, BIRMINGHAM
In the spiritual home of hard rock and Heavy Metal, the Daisies held the hugely knowledgeable Brummies captive for ninety minutes of high octane rock'n'roll.
BEST NEW BAND: BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY
The County Tyrone five-piece came to my attention when they supported Blackberry Smoke in Dublin back in June. Not that they blew the Atlanta boys off the stage, but they certainly gave them a run for their money. They may dip their toes in a lot of genres, southern and blues rock mainly, but a good old fashioned meat and potatoes rock'n'roll band bests sums them up. Check out their self titled EP and prepare to rattle your bones.
BEST VIDEO: ETERNAL IDOL: 'ANOTHER NIGHT COMES'
Fabio Lione may be the head honcho in this project, but in this promo video it's his talented and beautiful co-vocalist Giorgia Colleluori who leads the pack. Stunningly put together, this big haunting symphonic track got the results it deserved.
LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017
Taking my eleven year old boy Ryan to his first rock concert. There were two tickets to Iron Maiden in Dublin in his Christmas stocking this year. I'll be a proud Daddy that night, his life will change forever.
Inglorious releasing the massively anticipated follow up to their debut album. One of the most talked bands of the past year, a mass of eager fans and no doubt a few nit picking critics await their next step.