WOKINGHAM LOVES MUSIC: Listen in to our 20 top picks for 2020

Wokingham Loves Music
The top three from the Wokingham Loves Music top 20 of the year: Kyros (main picture) head our top 20 of the year .
Hester and the Heathens (bottom left) come in at number two, while Split The Dealer (featuring Deva St John) take third place. You can hear the entire list for free on Spotify

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

This duet from these two talented solo artists from the local area is an example of modern indie pop at its finest – www.facebook.com/splitthedealer   www.facebook.com/dayvasaintjohn

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


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

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