Music Rules: Why I love bands that play

Recently I saw notices for “concerts” coming to Taiwan.

Sam Smith.  Westlife.  Coldplay.

Seriously, that’s it?  Taiwan has better bar bands than that.  The last time a good band came here was 2017, when D.O.A. appeared for one night.  And it was a Tuesday, so I couldn’t get out of work.

My favourite new album of 2023 is Ian Hunter’s “Defiance, Part 1”.  He turns 84 in June, and he probably made the best album of the year.  It’s an all-star collective performance, recorded online during lockdowns with a list of huge names contributing (probably fans and those influenced by Hunter): Mike Campbell, Slash, Robert Trujillo, Ringo Starr, Taylor Hawkins, Billy Gibbons, and many more.  The link below is a playlist from his own account, not just the title track.  It’s all killer material.

This is why bands that play and write their own songs will always be better, just like they were better when “All The Young Dudes” came out in 1972.  Hunter’s voice isn’t what it used to be, but the songs he wrote for this album are as good as any he’s written.