EACH week, we present a top 10 of tracks, each with a connection to borough.
It’s the Wokingham Loves Music list curated by Chris Hillman from White Star Records.
Every genre is covered meaning that there’s something for everyone – and it’s not just a passive listing, as you can log on to Spotify and hear Chris’ picks and discover some new music at the same time.
As this is our last issue of 2020, Chris and his panel of experts has gone over the listings to produce their definitive 20 best records of the year.
Don’t say nothing good has come out of the past 12 months.
This playlist is on a different link to the usual weekly playlist. It is at bit.ly/2020top20
Kyros – Rumour
It’s no surprise that this is Number One as the band have been one of the success stories of the year. They have local links with management and record label being based in Wokingham as well as their excellent drummer, Robin Johnson.
They released their Celexa Dreams album earlier this year to great acclaim. Despite lockdown they showed great creativity with their videos and online shows that were so innovative that they received extensive press coverage for them, including in this paper.
Following a surprise new EP release Four of Fear in November, things are looking very positive for the band in 2021 – www.kyrosmusic.com
Hester and the Heathens – Regenerate
An energetic and powerful pop-punk sing-along anthem from this three-piece local band, who are definitely one to watch in the future – www.facebook.com/hesterandtheheathens
Split the Dealer (Feat. Deva St. John) – XV
Kepler Ten – Falling Down
This prog rock trio have just released their A New Kind of Sideways in November on Wokingham’s White Star Records featuring this track – www.keplerten.com/
Sarah Jane Morris – Solid Air
Sarah Jane was due to perform her Songs of John Martyn show at Wokingham Music Club (WMC) earlier in the year but unfortunately it was cancelled due to covid – sarahjanemorris.co.uk
Zach Johnson – Mississippi
Taken from the live EP Songs from the Riverhouse Barn by this local indie/folk singer-songwriter who has appeared at WMC and Wokingham Festival. – www.zjohnsonmusic.com
The Veras – Paper Cup Telephones
A wonderful pop singalong from this local band, that you may have seen in their other guise as Small Faces tribute, The Small Fakers – theveras.co.uk/
Gemma Dorsett – Broken, Blessed and Beautiful
As well as her solo work, Gemma also fronts the blues/rock band Eleven:11 who went down a storm at last year’s Wokingham Festival – www.gemmadorsett.com
Bradley Watmore – Rock Bottom
Debut single from rising talent and local indie acoustic singer-songwriter who featured in the paper earlier in the year – www.facebook.com/bradleywatmore
Reliant – Antisocial
This single release from the Wokingham/Reading-based four-piece is an exciting and uplifting anthem that the band describe as an unconventional love song – www.facebook.com/WeAreReliant
Katrina and The Waves – Walking on Sunshine
Katrina had been due to perform live at Wokingham Music Club in November but unfortunately was another covid cancellation – www.katrinaandthewaves.com
Mordecai Smyth – Billywitch
Wokingham musician whose album The Mayor of Toytown is Dead was released on Wokingham-based Mega Dodo Records – www.facebook.com/stickytapeanddust
Dennis Siggery and Neil Sadler – Don’t Want Your Tears
Local blues rock duo with a track recorded in Wokingham’s No Machine Studios – www.ericstreetband.com/dennis-solo.html
The Orange Drop – Make It Her, Forever
Here’s some psychedelia from Philadelphia in the US, brought to you by Wokingham based record label, Mega Dodo Records – www.facebook.com/OrangeDrop
The Room – Broken
Local band who went down a storm at 2019’s Wokingham Festival.
This is a track from their latest album Caught by the Machine – www.theroom.band
Selina and the Howlin Dogs – Music Is
A local band that, in lockdown, created a new community-based video for this track – www.facebook.com/SelinaandtheHowlinDogs
Mother Vulture – Tell Me
This ‘hectic blues punk’ band from Bristol featured at the recent Jamma Presents: The Everyman Everyjam event – www.facebook.com/MotherVulture
Duke Pearson – I Don’t Care Who Knows it
Wallen Bink is a new record label in Wokingham specialising in quality vinyl reissues of rare jazz recordings.
Their first release was from this legendary pianist – www.wallenbink.com
Laura Marling – Held Down
Laura grew up in the local area and has achieved great success with her music.
This track is from her Mercury Prize nominated album, Song For Our Daughter – www.lauramarling.com
Never The Bride – You’re Not Alone
A great live band that is a favourite of Wokingham Music Club and Wokingham Festival and has returned to play here on a number of occasions – www.neverthebride.com
THE PANEL AND THEIR TOP TRACKS
Andrew Merritt (Andrew Merritt Photography)
Top Track from the Wokingham Playlist – Regenerate by Hester and the Heathens
Top Non-Wokingham Track – Shot in the Dark by AC/DC
Chris Hillman (White Star Records / Magick Eye Records)
Top Track from the Wokingham Playlist – XV by Split the Dealer ft. Deva St.John
Top Non-Wokingham Track – August by Taylor Swift
Dean Nelson (Generation Studio)
Top Track from the Wokingham Playlist – Antisocial by Reliant
Top Non-Wokingham Track – Bloody Valentine by Machine Gun Kelly
John Blaney (Mega Dodo Records / Billywitch Records)
Top Track from the Wokingham Playlist – Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves
Top Non-Wokingham Track – And by Colorama
Stan Hetherington (Wokingham Music Club and Wokingham Festival)
Top Track from the Wokingham Playlist – Rumour by Kyros
Top Non-Wokingham Track – Cold Mine by Fil Bo Riva
The non-Wokingham panel faves have been added as extra tracks to the Top 20 Playlist of the year. Top 20 Playlist Link is at – bit.ly/2020top20