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2011 Review - News & Featured ReleasesView Our 2011 Review Chart

Here we go again! The review of 2011. Again an eventful year with so many great records and so many amazing events we were stoked to be involved with!

After the inevitable hang-over of Christmas and New Year it took a while for the best of the month's releases to come through. But that they did. Lemuria, The Hot Water Music / Bouncing Souls split and Funeral Party all sold well for us, but the biggist album of January for us came out on the 31st and was a beaut from Chapel Club. This tied in with a great release show at New Slang, and of the 4 shows they've played for us this was by far the best. That gig also saw the first ever show anywhere from London band The History Of Apple Pie. New Slang was pretty solid throughout the month with Stagecoach, British Sea Power and Young Knives all headlining there. Probably the gig of the month though was the one off Dave House vs Dave Hause at The Fighting Cocks. The Banquet and Loved Ones acoustic punks were also joined by Frank Turner and the video below was our most viewed show vid of 2011.

Records of the month
 

Lemuria
Pebble

Chapel Club
Palace

Bouncing S..
/ Hot Water...

Funeral Party
Golden Age...

British Sea...
Valhalla...

GROUPLOVE
Colours..

Two of the year's cross genre slow burners were released in February. Gil Scott Heron and Jamie XX's collaboration, and the James Blake full length both won over fans from the guitar and post-dub step worlds. Last year's snowed off Futureheads gig finally took place at New Slang, and we also saw headline shows from Man Like Me, Frankie And The Heartstrings and The Skints there. We were very happy to put on GROUPLOVE's first ever UK show in February, and Twin Atlantic showed what a great year they were about to have with a sellout show at The Peel. but the month's gig highlights were from the punk world. Our friends The Wonder Years sold out The Peel, and gig of the month was surely from Four Year Strong who we somehow convinced to play the tiny confines of The Fighting Cocks. The gig, which sold out in 11 seconds, caused us all sorts of ebay ticketing issues, but in the end we got there, and FYS played 'Rise Or Die Trying' in its entirety at a super hot show!

Records of the month
 

Gil Scott Heron
We're New..

James Blake
s/t

Joyce Manor..
s/t

Chase & Status
No More Idols

Bright Eyes
The People's..

Get Up Kids
... Rules

March saw the return of indie mainstayers such as Radiohead, The Strokes, Noah And The Whale and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart plus debut albums from best of the year contenders such as Naked And Famous and The Vaccines. The punk world gave us the Dave Hause album, another from Teenage Bottlerocket and the return of Rival Schools. We had some great instores in March from the likes of Cage The Elephant, Sucioperro, Morning Parade and the first of three gigs this year from Dry The River. New Slang's highlight was surely New Sláinte as St Patrick's night fell on a Thursday and The Lagan gave us such a great party! Worldwide, March 2011 will probably be remembered for the Japan earthquake and tsunami. New Slang hastily arranged a fund-raiser and with the help of Kingston bands and music fans we raised £2400 towards the relief effort.

Records of the month
 

Naked & Fam..
Passive Me..

Dave Hause
Resolutions

The Vaccines
What Did You..

Pains Of Be..
Belong

Wolf & Lamb
DJ Kicks

Rival Schools
Pedals

April is the month of Record Store Day, and that dominated the month and maybe even longer. The busiest day in this shop's twisted 35 year history, we made a documentary of the day (shown below) which is worth 5 minutes of your time. A lot of hard work was repaid by an amazing amount of love for our shop and for records in general. The queue started at 3am and, well, the video explains a lot more. Its great to see so many people excited by records and a lot of old friends returned to us following this.

Of course we're a record store all year round and April was a great month for non Record Store Day releases too. The King Blues, Metronomy, We Are The Ocean, and letlive. all came out in April, and all of them popped by to Banquet in way way or another in 2011. The King Blues played at New Slang with David Rodigan's first Kingston set on the same night, whilst Dananananayrkoyd played their last ever Kingston gig. Fireworks added a second Kingston gig in a fortnight and brought Make Do And Mend along for their first show in our town. Yasmin and Devlin played DANCE and a main room Repeater gave us Danny Byrd, Wilkinson and Netsky on the same bill!

Records of the month
 

Metronomy
English Riv...

King Blue
Punk & Poe..

letlive.
Fake History

Piebald
RSD11 LP

Glassjaw
Worship &...

Parlophone
RSD box set

Many a fine album in May. Albums from friends of the shop The Computers, Twin Atlantic, Fireworks, Title Fight and Pete And The Pirates who put out a long overdue second album. Communion Records documented just how great they are for the London folk scene, and Cloud Control became one of our new fave bands. Instores and release shows happend from Twin Atlantic, Oxygen Thief, Cloud Control and Treetop Flyers, whilst The Peel sang along to a sold out Mayday Parade gig, and a real special show from Banquet label band Iron Chic. Frank Turner sold out his New Slang show and we've been delighted to see his continued rise throughout this year!

Records of the month


Title Fight
Shed

Twin Atlantic
Free

Brontide
Sans Souci

Fireworks
Gospel

The Computers
This Is...

Communion
Flowerpot..

June was a really strong month for albums, particularly from our US punk / pop-punk friends like The Swellers, Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years (who won our album of the year award), Touche Amore, and Balance And Composure who all put out full lengths. We also saw a return from old Banquet boys Tellison and old local lad Tom Vek whilst our second biggest album of the year, from Frank Turner, was also released this month. New Slang had a good month with Darwin Deez and the mercury nominated Metronomy each pulling in a thousand plus people. Bands we put on at other nights were of a high calibre and varying music types, including a sold out gig from The Weakerthans, Breakage, Doctor P and 16bit at Repeater and some great instores from the likes of Pete And The Pirates, Jehst and Kitty Daisy & Lewis.

Banquet's football team again got knocked out in the first round of the BSM 5-a-side tournament, altho we did score the best own goal of the whole day. Needless to say, having lost in a contensious manner to The Xcerts (and there's only three of them) they've not played Kingston since....

Records of the month
 

Wonder Years
Suburbia..

Touche Amore
Parting...

Frank Turner
England...

Bon Iver
s/t

Swell ers
Good For Me

Tom Vek
Leisure...

July's highlights were, in the main, from the punk rock world. Albums from The Story So Far, Face To Face, Basement and most notably Spycatcher kept mail order busy and the array of shows at The Peel and The Fighting Cocks brought Title Fight, Polar Bear Club, Lemuria, Man Overboard, Deaf Havana and Algernon Cadwallader to Kingston. Chapel Club, Mystery Jets, GROUPLOVE, Big Deal and Givers were amongst the New Slang highlights, and in July we announced a sponsorship deal for New Slang which was timed well with the third annual New Slam game of s.k.a.t.e. in a nightclub!

July also saw the marriage of Banquet buddy and New Slang DJ Sean Leahy to Elanor Luker. Congrats to them both!

Records of the month
 

Spycatcher
Honesty

Story So Far
Under Soil...

Ram Records
Ram 100

Fair Ohs
Everything...

Basement
...Stay Here

Face To Face
Laugh now..

August is always a little quiet for big new releases as we approach festival season. Having said that there were big albums from Bombay Bicycle Club, Nero, Into It Over It and one of 2011's most talked about bands, Viva Brother. if festival season makes the number of albums coming out go down, then the number of shows goes up, and we put on 18 gigs in August. There were many highlights and in other months shows from Touche Amore, H20, Capdown, The Menzingers, and Teenage Bottlerocket would stand out. But this month we were lucky enough to have longstanding faves of Dave, Jane and JT Bouncing Souls play in the shop and Face To Face play at The Peel. in both cases their first shows in Kingston in 2 decades of playing shows!

August in the UK will be remembered for the summer riots. We had to think up very real contingency plans of what to do if Kingston rioted. Baseball bats were at the ready. Seems pretty surreal thinking back. The effects of the riots were many. Gigs were cancelled as venues closed for safety reasons, (although that did mean we put on a last minute Lemuria gig) but the main significance was the burning of the SonyDADC/PIAS warehouse. Overnight the unit housing the stock of the biggest distributor of INDEPENDENT record labels was gone. Despite the 'Sony' name the stock was very much from indie labels. Some releases would be gone forever, some releases were significantly delayed and much of the Banquet label stock is now just ashes. For example, the Fireworks LP which had only been out a matter of weeks had two thirds of the manufactured stock completely gone. We STILL havent received the insurance money from this. It is STILL a problem to us to this day. In the wake of the fire there was a real rally of supporting indie labels affected by the fire, and there was a massive promotion of buying digital versions of the now destroyed physical records. This was a tough one for the indie record shop to take, as the effect of not being able to order stock from our biggest supplier was felt for months to come.

Records of the month
 

Bombay Bic..
Different Kin..

Into It Over It
Twelve Towns

Viva Brother
Famous First...

Beirut
Rip Tide

Thundercat
Golden Age

Sam Duckworth
Mannequin...

Some strong albums came in September. We had a UK exclusive on the new Thrice LP and we sold hundreds of it. There were also quality releases from recent Kingston visitors Polar Bear Club, Chuck Ragan, Slow Club and Scroobius Pip. Shows-wise September was craaazy as our biggest and also our most prestigious shows both happened this month. We kicked off September with a bang as man of the moment Ed Sheeran sold out TWO album release shows at The Hippodrome in one day. The crowd singing along to A-Team (below) will remain with us for a very long time.. But whilst Ed's album was our biggest seller of the year, amazingly the Ed Sheeran gig wasnt even the busiest New Slang of the year, or even month. Wheatus claim that accolade with a crazy show slap bang in the middle of freshers' week. That is the busiest we've ever had The Hippodrome since we started promoting there 5 and a half years ago! We also had some big nights that included Example and Yuck both playing for us. But from massive shows to ridiculous intimate gigs, we had two sold-out-in-a-minute shows from show of the year contenders letlive. and Scroobius Pip, The Wonder Years and Taking Back Sunday all played instores for us!

Records of the month
 

Thrice
Major/Minor

Scrobius Pip
Distraction...

PolarBear Club
Clash Battle...

GROUPLOVE
Never Trust...

Four Tet
Fabric Live

Slow Club
Paradise

A wide selection of albums came out in October. Punk, pop-punk and hardcore was well represented by I Am The Avalance, La Dispute, and Broadway Calls, which came out on our own Banquet Records label. International DJs Justice and DJ Shadow put out follow ups and there were new albums from local faves You Me At Six and Tubelord. The latter headlined New Slang as did Art Brut and The Skints and October marked 5 years of our indie night, New Slang.. David Rodigan / Andy C was a great main room Repeater at The Hippodrome and Off With Their Heads and Your Demise / letlive. were the highlights of the punk shows. Following on from the Example signing session, in October we had signings from artists such as Wretch32 and Professor Green. Pop / urban signing sessions are not where we've come from, but they're very much a part of where we are right now, as this tumblr post explains.

The most significant thing for us as a shop in October was Dave House leaving his day-by-day work at Banquet. An over dramatic tumblr post made it sound like he'd died or something but it's significant as the very foundation of what we do and why we do it was laid by Dave. Thankfully we're staying on top of the punk ordering and Dave is overseeing the art / branding issues from a distance, and is still very much involved with the runnings of our label.

Records of the month
 

Tubelord
Romance

La Dispute
Wildlife

M83
Hurry Up..

You Me At Six
Sinners..

IATA
Avalanche Utd

Justice
Audio, Video..

Some massive albums for us came out in November, in the traditionally "slowing down" time for new releases. We wangled an exclusive colour variation (banquet blue!!) on the Alkaline Trio LP and released the 4th album of 2011 on the Banquet label, this time from Young Statues. After some complications with our back catalogue the label has almost started afresh, and this year we've licensed U.S. bands Young Statues, Iron Chic, Fireworks and Broadway Calls for releases in the UK.

Deaf Havana battled through illness to play an acoutsic instore the week their second album came out, Beans On Toast and Summer Camp also played the shop to promote their albums but the biggest album release gathering was brought about by Rizzle Kicks. The longest queue we've ever seen for the shop (surpassing the Foals ticket collections, All Time Low or Ed Sheeran signings, or even Record Store Day) went down the side of the shop all the way to the one way system. Rizzle Kicks' was our third biggest album of the year due to this, and even made The Guardian take notice

Against Me! were phenomenal at The Peel at the end of the month... but if you put on as many gigs as we do (175 THIS YEAR) some aren't gonna go so well, and despite the bands being spot on, our shows with Voodoo Glowskulls, Saves The Day and Spector each had poor numbers through the door even if the bands, Saves The Day particularly, were great.

Records of the month
 

Rizzle Kicks
Stereo Typ..

Deaf Havana
Fools...

Alkaline Trio
..Infirmary

Summer Camp
Condale

Beans On..
Trying to...

Young Statues
s/t

December = advent calendar, and this years advent calendar was again really strong as loads of great bands, labels and distros got together to enable us to give you 24 lots of something for nothing. She & Him's Christmas album was certainly the soundtrack to the run up to Christmas for us, as we had another super busy Christmas week. But despite us being bombarded with orders for presents and mail order struggling to keep up and then a week later the downstairs staff struggling to deal with how busy it was, there were still a bunch of non-Xmas related albums that were big for us. We were the only shop to be given the 'Second Three Years' Frank Turner album, the long awaited Brand New re-issue sold by the (delayed, import) box load, and the now passed away Amy Winehouse rarities comp sold really well for us

Some solid shows in December, including sold out shows from Title Fight, Leatherface and the first Kingston show with Wade from Gallows Our friends The Swellers, Broadway Calls, Johnny Foreigner and Into It. Over It. also returned to Kingston. New Slang's highlights included the first Kingston gig (since he made it) from the lad who grew up round these parts, Tom Vek and Scroobius Pip donned a Santa hat for the New Slangta Xmas party.

In December, many of the New Slang crowd lost their dear friend Richard Baker. R.I.P.

 

Records of the month
 

Brand New
YFW re-issue

Frank Turner
Second Three..

She & Him
Xmas album

Black Keys
El Camino

Amy Wineh..
Lioness

H2O
..Roots
  Our end of year "best of"s saw The Wonder Years come out as number one! Have a long at what everyone chose at www.banquetrecords.com/2011. Here's the top 6 below...
 
The Wonder Years - Suburbia: I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing (LP) (New Colour) Gil Scott-Heron / Jamie XX - We're New Here SBTRKT - SBTRKT The Naked And Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You Spycatcher - Honesty Bon Iver - Bon Iver
The Wonder Year..
Suburbia: I've..
No Sleep Record..
Gil Scott-Heron..
We're New Here
XL
SBTRKT
SBTRKT
Young Turks
The Naked And F..
Passive Me, Agg..
Fiction
Spycatcher
Honesty
Atticus
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
4AD

 

The month, and year, of course finishes with our massive New Slang New Year's. The last three years have been insane, and we're sure this will be too. Click on the flyer to grab a ticket!!!
 


Well, there you have it. So much has happened in 2011. We're open 363 days a year, and have sold tens of thousands of records by thousands of bands, artists and producers. We've received 45,000 mail orders, and from instores to two people to selling out the Hippodrome we've put on 175 shows and approximately 160 club nights, We've seen heard some amazing music and seen some amazing bands.

Sincere thanks to Mike, Jane, Dave, Sheby, Gary and Simon who are my best friends in the world; who hear (all too much) about the bad things and never really get enough praise for all the good things. Thanks of course to all the staff, those mentioned above, and of course Salty, Piers, Tom, Ollie, Max, Harry, Sean Leery, Tall Dave, Matt Hesselworth and Oscar. This year we said goodbye to Dave, Aaron, Adam Baylis, John Malcom-More, Katie Malco but have welcomed Chris Ousley, Claire, Jamie Bucks, Nu Aaron, Colleen, Livvy, Josh, and Shannon to the gang,. Thanks to the agents, the venue managers / owners and the people at the distros and labels whose work is rarely on the customers' radar,

But mostly, thanks to you, our customers, for bringing the fun and paying the bills and enabling Banquet do what we do. Thanks to anyone who's bought a record, come to a show, shared a post, retweeted a link, handed out a flyer, lent us gear, gave us advice, and helpled us in anyway. We KNOW we're super lucky to be doing this, and we dont take any customers for granted. Nice one! We'll see you for a busy 2012!