It’s bloody Christmas time again. A time, we agree, for unholy amounts of mince pies and wine, and more repeats of Love Actually than you can shake a red and white sugary stick at, but it’s also a time to reflect on the musical year that has been 2017.
From Oh My God debut albums making new British bands massive, to the year’s most anticipated returns being everything we wanted and more, to incredible acts of defiance against hatred, and, as always, healthy servings of bands doing things that simply made us say: ‘Errr, Say That Again Mate?’.
There’s been some pretty amazing moments this year. So many, in fact, that we’ve collated a hundred of them. We’re going to be sharing two posts a day, highlighting some of our favourite festival moments, absolute bangers of singles, political moments that gave us hope, legends of the year and more, before ending up with our ten Big Ones of 2017: the bands and acts that made us laugh, cry, smile and dance the most this year.
Follow everything in The DIY List 2017 here.
It’s fair to say that 2017 has been far from ideal politically. Amongst the global shitshow, though, we’ve seen our musicians give us plenty of glimmers of hope, rallying together for rallies, compilations, fierce, socially conscious albums and making us work together more closely as a result. Here they are.
Run The Jewels capping off a massive 2017 with help from Snr. Corbyn
It felt like a glimmer of hope in the middle of a decidedly shit political year.
Photo: Phil Knott / DIY
Let’s set the scene for a minute for the moment that Run the Jewels officially stamped their mark on this year. Bear with us one second, dear readers and cast your minds back to the seasonal glow of 2016…
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Then all of a sudden, came ‘Run the Jewels 3’,
A festive firecracker from Mike and El-P.
Releasing their third album amid our Christmas Eve sherry-swigging, Run the Jewels haven’t looked back since, touring relentlessly for the last 12 months, and living out “a lot of childhood fantasy shit” in the process. Killer Mike and El-P also found themselves sharing a stage with Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury, as you do, in the aftermath of Theresa May’s quite frankly disastrous election flop. And while there’s clearly tonnes of progress that still needs to be made, it felt like a glimmer of hope in the middle of a decidedly shit political year. And hope, after all, is something that ‘RTJ3’ channels in the droves.
“It could have been anybody who espouses the idea of love and community on a bigger level,” El-P told us, looking back, “and that was so clearly what the message was from Corbyn. It was a huge moment for us, and not because it was about us; because we felt like we were experiencing something powerful. They say that it…and now I’m going to pull a Trump on that crowd shit right now, they say it was the biggest crowd in Glastonbury since the Rolling Stones.” El Hunt
Matt Maltese’s brilliantly apocalyptic ‘As The World Caves In’
Our Matt outdid himself, crafting a tune that was at once political, surreal, anthemic, spine-tingling and just plain weird.
Photo: Jenn Five / DIY
There were a lot of rising stars in 2017; hell, we loved 14 of them so much we decided to make a whole new issue about them. All different in their own special ways, we loved them all for their individual quirks, like a non-discriminate proud mother, refusing to pick from her children.
But if there was an award for The Most Gorgeous Sweeping Anthem About Donald Trump and Theresa May Having A Tumble Before The Apocalypse then, truly, we could only pick one man for the accolade.
Step forward Matt Maltese: the South London crooner with a voice from the heavens and a mind dwelling slightly further towards the gutter. Matt spent the best part of the year carving out a niche as the UK’s answer to Father John Misty and proving himself a witty raconteur that knows that wry humour and soaring romance can be steamy bedfellows. On ‘As The World Caves In’, however, our Matt outdid himself, crafting a tune that was at once political, surreal, anthemic, spine-tingling and just plain weird. Next up: Matt’s piano opus on the day Katie Hopkins fully turns into a literal cockroach. Lisa Wright
Rallying Trump with Our First 100 Days
Together they raised a huge amount of money for the people who need it most in the process.
Following the election of Donald Trump as The President of the United States of America (still a thoroughly unbelievable sentence, to be quite honest) it seemed like already-worsening world events had hit a new low. During his first 100 days as president, Trump attempted enforce a travel ban on immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries, attempted to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the military, made repeated attempts to build a physical wall between the USA and Mexico and, on an almost daily basis, stirred up distrust of any critical media reports with his concept of “fake news”. Thanks to him, the world feels like a far more dangerous and hateful place.
During his first 100 days in office, a huge collective of artists responded with ‘Our First 100 Days’, a project to raise funds for “organizations working on the front lines of climate, women’s rights, immigration and fairness.” Toro Y Moi, Angel Olsen, Jay Som, Bully, Mitski, Julien Baker, Cherry Glazerr, Speedy Ortiz, Kate Tempest, and tonnes of other musicians all got involved. The result was a brand new song - either rare or previously unreleased - for every single day of the symbolic 100 day period. Together they raised a huge amount of money for the people who need it most in the process. El Hunt
Peace and Wolf Alice perform at Tories Out
Theirs wasn’t only a display of solidarity but also a smart way of spreading word of the event to a whole tribe of fans.
Photo: Emma Swann / DIY
Musicians: they’re a silly bunch, aren’t they? Putting on mad outfits, leaping off stages and spouting all sorts of mad bollocks for willing scribes such as ourselves, the occupation of ‘pop star’ isn’t necessarily one that lends itself to vast amounts of responsibility.
Sometimes though, musicians can also be bloody good sports, and one such time was when our faves Wolf Alice and Peace teamed up to perform at the Tories Out rally this summer. Joining legions of righteously pissed off people in protesting the election results, theirs wasn’t only a display of solidarity but also a smart way of spreading word of the event to a whole tribe of fans – fans who, for the large part, were comprised of the exact young, angry generation that the results would affect the most. Lisa Wright
Jeremy Corbyn joins the Wolf Alice fan club
Of course, both of our heroes in this story sadly got pipped to their relative posts, but still, it doesn’t make the nod any less iconic.
Over the course of 2017, Wolf Alice made their allegiance to big JC (no, not that one) clear: singer Ellie Rowsell recorded a message urging people to vote as part of Jezza’s election campaign, while the whole band showed up to lend their support to the Tories Out march. So far, so reasonable for a leftie indie band.
What we potentially weren’t expecting, however, was for Corbs to return the favour.
Taking to social media as approximately the 216th famous person to profess their love of ‘Visions of a Life’ during Wolf Al’s hotly contested, mildly surreal chart battle with Shania Twain, Corbs tweeted “After helping Labour beat the odds in the election, it’s great to see Wolf Alice doing the same in the charts.” Of course, both of our heroes in this story sadly got pipped to their relative posts, but still, it doesn’t make the nod any less iconic. Lisa Wright
Jarvis Cocker giving it some welly for Grenfell
It’s hardly surprising such an astute lyricist could prove himself such a cultural polymath.
Since Pulp’s heady heyday, when he succeeded in taking over stereos, dance floors and overblown award ceremony performances, our Jarv has turned his hand to a few (more) things. Radio presenting, taking the grand-sounding role of editor-at-large at a publishing house, directing music videos; it’s hardly surprising such an astute lyricist could prove himself such a cultural polymath.
But all that’s nothing compared to September 2017. Because then, dear reader, national treasure and consummate frontman Jarvis Branson Cocker took to the football field. In his glasses. Ganglier than Peter Crouch hanging off the crossbar, and as pin-sharp as… er… Frank Lampard during an England international, it was the sight of all sights to behold.
Of course, he was there for a very good cause. The game at QPR’s Loftus Road had been organised by Marcus Mumford in aid of the people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, just a short distance from the stadium. #Game4Grenfell featured teams managed by former professionals Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, with other musicians taking part including Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian, Bastille’s Woody, Richard Ashcroft, McFly’s Danny Jones and Jarvis’ Pulp bandmate, Steve Mackey. Emma Swann
One Love Manchester
Music found an unexpected figurehead of a community that refused to be scared into submission
On May 22nd, the world was shaken by news of a terrorist bombing at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert, a vile act of violence that left 22 concert goers dead and more than 500 injured.
A mere two weeks later, however, the singer had rallied a legion of pop megastar friends together for One Love Manchester, an enormous charity event featuring some of the world’s biggest stars including Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Robbie Williams and Manchester’s own Liam Gallagher. Rather than retreat, Ariana set about reclaiming the space and proving that music couldn’t be beaten that easily. It was an incredibly brave and determined move at a time when the world needed people to be standing strong, and in the diminutive pop star, music found an unexpected figurehead of a community that refused to be scared into submission. Lisa Wright