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Review: 2016

The first thing I told myself in 2016 was to document everything I do, which I've done, and you're reading it. That makes looking back and writing this so much easier to do than in previous years.

Music


I wanted to average one gig a month, I managed way more than that with the highlights being Chvrches at the Albert Hall, Underworld at the Roundhouse and Above and Beyond's acoustic set in Hackney. My favourite gig however was Anna Meredith's Scala show which was on another level. As well as the gigs I managed to hit a few festivals, witnessing LCD Soundsystem at Lovebox was something special, Super Furry Animals at By The Sea was entertaining and at BlueDot, which I think will become a regular for me, I preferred the DJs to the live acts with Cheeba, Yoda and Shadow all playing amazing sets.

I continue to see DJ Yoda way too much


Despite my best attempts Yoda continues to be the artist I've seen the most again with 5 shows this year and me giving up on a sixth as I didn't like the crowd or venue and left before he came on. (thanks Clapham Grand). Each show was different as was the crowd size from handful sized crowd at his Superbowl show in Camden, the party sized rooftop party crowd at Brixton, a bar in Hackney or a festival at Bluedot he never fails to deliver. My favourite set of his was the video game inspired AV set on the IMAX at Waterloo; that was so much fun. Unfortunately I didn't make it to his Stranger Things tour but overall I still did alright.


I'm still getting about


On the travelling front I give myself a stretch target of visiting 5 new countries a year. I got nowhere that this year with just Iceland as the new tick, which was amazing. I did however revisit a number of places with Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and the US (twice) all getting another visit. It was also good to know that they weren't all for rollercoasters as I wind that hobby up (not completely I should add) I found myself travelling for other reasons; shows, UNESCO sites, bucket list and street art mostly. In my US States mission I managed to tick off Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma & New Mexico this year which is really good. I just have 9 to go.

I loves them rolleycoasters still


My favourite holiday was the rollercoaster one, a huge 11-state road trip from Texas to Utah with a wind-down in Vegas (because that's what people do there right?). Along the way we took in around 130 rollercoasters at more than 40 parks and still found plenty of time to sight-see. I'm particularly proud of this trip as it was my turn to plan it for the group and I'd invested almost a year pulling it all together, building the excitement, sorting out the logistics to squeeze in as much as we could and I even produced a little trips book to accompany the journey, which went down well with the group. For it all to work was a huge relief. From a stats perspective I got 95 new coasters this year, less than the 100 threshold but still a bit too high for someone who is trying to give this hobby up :)

Cirque Shows


I managed to see 3 Cirque shows; 2 of which I caught in New York were new. I'm back down to 3 remaining (La Forge, Ovo and Luzia) which always means they'll announce a new show. So it won't be a surprise to know that happened again and I have Volta to also track down when it starts its run next year.

Films


I went to the cinema a lot this year with more than 50 different visits to various screens in and around London, mostly at The Prince Charles though, which may as well be a second home. I got through only 3 all-nighters this year (films of 82, Hunger Games & The Matrix). My favourite films of this year were Your Name, the original Point Break which got a sneaky screening in North London (it's not usually allowed) and Grimsby for making me laugh the most this year for "that" scene. Arrival and Anamolisa were also really good. Hail Caeser was the worst.

In Conclusion



So all in all, a really full year that I'm super-proud of. For other reasons 2016 has been seen to be a terrible year, and I can relate to some of that but when I look back at what I've achieved it hasn't been bad at all. Roll on 2017!




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