Rocking The Casbah in 2010

As I have been asked by Double Dance to put together my personal top picks from 2010, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share them on here. After all, I am right as it's totally my opinion - you're probably right about your top artists/albums too. But for now, here are my stars of 2010....

Arcade Fire, Suburbs. This band always do it for me, I've been a devoted fan since Funeral was released in 2004. I think Suburbs shows how they've evolved and really found a popular sound (well definitely in the UK anyway). Seeing this album live in December was perfect, they manage to turn a huge venues into intimate experiences. Everyone can relate to this album, it's about where you grew up, the fields and parks you'd play in and reminiscing about the feelings that are so hard to recreate as you you grow up and move away.

Foals, Total Life Forever. Another band that has really developed and honed their sound. This UK band used to be a 'singles band', I say that as they would have a couple of notable tracks that would be played to death in indie clubs around the country but Total Life Forever shows more of a story, a compelling journey - of which no tracks are skip worthy. Spanish Sahara took UK radio by storm this year, which is interesting to hear as it's such a moody, atmospheric track.

Tinie Tempah, Disc-overy. I think if you asked any British citizen who's name they've heard constantly throughout the last 12 months it would be this guy! Tinie is a hard grafter, he knows what it is to put in 100% and I highly doubt he has a day off - he was plugging his next single Invincible ft. Kelly Rowland via twitter on Christmas day! He's going to break America next year, I think if he doesn't then the American public are genuinely missing something.

Ellie Goulding, Bright Lights. She started 2010 by being named the 'Sound of 2010' by the BBC. An accolade that gives the singer-songwriter a sure fire glittery road to success not to mention endless bragging rights.

Not that she would, Ellie is so humble and would rather go for a run round Hyde Park then stand on a red carpet. Lights was re-released towards the back-end of 2010 as Bright Lights with some additional tracks, personal favourite 'Lights' just encompasses her feelings about stardom and escaping back home, where she feels content and at one with the world.

Tame Impala, Innerspeaker. This Psychedelic foursome from Perth, Australia have proven popular with the British public. Possibly because of their familiar 60's vibe that the UK pop scene delivered so well. Key single 'Solitiude is Bliss' is just romantic and dreamy in its delivery. The band is over in the UK next year supporting the Foo Fighters, and I can only imagine that they've been booked up for festival after festival - perfect summer band and driving through the country ammunition.


Passing Clouds with The Worm

On Saturday night I was lucky enough to shimmy on down to Passing Clouds, in an icy Dalston, London to watch spectacularly sunny band, The Worm. The event was in celebration of the band's latest album release 'Fine Girls', out now on Wormfood Records.

As soon as I entered the Marrakeshi-style venue my chills had wriggled right out and the West African vibes had me all in a toasty tingle. The four-piece have a unique sound to say the least, the instruments were a mix between big band blowers, classical strings, ethnic drums and something you'd find in your Great Uncle Bill's shed under a hundred layers of dust - all being laced together with some big tasty beats. The set-up was special and inspired, but then the vocals began, and this early bird was really having a juicy brekkie dangled in front of her face. It was a delight to see a band with not just one strong vocal, but three. Niccie Simpson brought smooth soulful delight to the picnic whilst Max and Andre brought clever solid vocal covered in lashings of rap reminding us that this genre is hard to recreate, especially live!

The carnival atmosphere I had found myself in with hundreds of happy, like minded folk, gave us all a taste of some fresh tracks including title track 'All You Fine Girls'. I dare you not to dance, it's impossible. The Worm know all too well about not wanting the party to end, and threw in previous release and favourite 'Don't Stop' to a rapture of applause. In between came some sumptuous and bouncy tunes, including an almost unrecognisable Blackstreet cover.

A true festival band, they are laid back and living for the moment. With previous appearances at Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Bestival and Saturday's more than successful album launch, I can only hope they keep pushing up at the earth and get the sediment shaking some more next year.