There’s a psychic from Southampton called Craig Hamilton-Parker who says he can predict the future.
Somewhere between Christmas and New Year I lost myself to his website for several hours, having delved into the tricky world of psychic predictions. At points the guy is spot on. For example, he successfully predicted Brexit, though arguably that was very much a 50\50 (or 52\48) call. A headline from The Independent also states he predicted the Trump presidency.
However there are other times when Hamilton-Parker is slightly less on the money. The death of the Queen is a regular feature in his predictions. Given that she’s 91, it could be argued that's less of a psychic prediction and more of a general punt in the direction of common sense. The same goes with his seemingly evergreen prediction there will be a terror attack in a major European city – much less of a prediction and more the uttering of someone with a baseline knowledge of the current international political landscape.
The more I read, the more I became convinced that, potentially, Hamilton-Parker might be relying more on context clues than psychic powers to predict the future. And so, I figured: I listen to music. I have more than a glancing investment in the minutiae of the lives of people I have never met (team Solange for life), and I have bills to pay, so – much like my pal Craig – I have also made some predictions for the year in music in 2018. Strap in kids, because it’s going to be quite the ride.
In 1995, a recording named "Wibbling Rivalry" was released on which Noel and Liam Gallagher argue and bicker about whether being thrown off a ferry and deported is rock and roll or football hooliganism. The 15-minute recording then takes a whistle-stop tour around both brother’s egos as they shout over, across and at each other, intermittently stopping to once again reassert that Oasis are one of the greatest bands on the planet.
23 years later, they’re still fucking doing it – what’s worse is that there are people who are still fucking interested. At best, the Gallagher feud is a simple pissing contest, an exploration of sibling rivalry through the medium of the phrases ‘fuck you’ and ‘shut up’. At worst it proliferates a culture of toxic masculinity in which the fallacy that insults equate to emotions is perpetuated.
All this for a band who’ve made some of the most boring guitar music of the last 30 years bar maybe Coldplay and Keane. And in 2018, it’s about to get much, much worse. According to Liam Gallagher on Twitter, the brothers are back on speaking terms, filling the hearts of people called Brad or Bernard or Ross who spent most of their university years at Propaganda with joy.
Fear not, though: they’ll be back to calling each other potatoes soon enough.
There are those who have put a good deal of time and energy into researching the possibility of a Destiny’s Child reunion. Trawling through the Instagram feeds of Beyonce, Kelly, Michelle and the other ones; piecing together bits of the puzzle; analysing cryptic posts; playing Destiny’s Child hits backwards searching for clues; frantically tweeting about it, working themselves up into a frothing, fever pitch.
I am not one of those people. Instead, I chose to rely on a heady combination of homosexual intuition and wishful thinking. Either way, you’re probably going to want to start preparing for this jelly very soon because 2018 is about to get bootylicious. Or something like that.
The end of 2016 was a rough time for Kanye West. He was hospitalised due to exhaustion, and later visited then president-elect Trump in New York. Since then, bar a few sightings and brief appearances, he’s been mostly AWOL. He skipped the Grammys, the Met Gala and Fashion Week as well as deleting his social media accounts. That, however, has not stopped his name from being in the press.
In part, this has been thanks to one woman. Taylor. Swift. With her comeback single “Look What You Made Me Do” Tay-tay came for Kanye HARD. And so in 2018, Kanye will return. And he will do it in style. Acerbic, visceral style in the form of a diss track so stinging a rebuke of someone’s being it’ll make the scalping of Nick Clegg in 2017’s UK general election look like a light head massage. At least that's what we can hope for anyway.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry Fully Making Up
On the subject of feuds, the story of Perry vs Swift is one of the most glorious, petty, and extra feuds in pop history.
It was a feud made public by Perry’s tweet allegedly describing Taylor Swift as ‘Regina George’ in sheep’s clothing. It then evolved to include Tigers (a reference to Perry’s track "Roar"), wolves in sheep’s clothing (a reference to Perry’s first shot fired), Insta Stories, news stories, music videos, rocket launchers, bad wigs x10, basketballs, Grammys, car crashes, surprise back catalogue releases, interviews, Selena Gomez, backpack boy, drag queens, dancers. Calvin Harris. Hillary Clinton (in gif form) and (gaaaaaaaaaasp) Lena Dunham smoking a motherfucking cigar.
It’s been real. It’s been emotional. Frankly, it’s been a great distraction. But 2018 is the year that it all ends. When the squads disband. The sheep’s clothing is hung up. The rocket launchers are packed back in their cases. Those three dancers finally return home.
That great bastion of truth, The Daily Mail has circulated rumours that Perry was spotted on the set of Taylor’s new video for "End Game" as, you guessed it, a back-up dancer. As the dawn breaks over the first few weeks of the new year, the world may finally be at peace. Notwithstanding Trump, obviously. Or North Korea. Or the huge numbers of armed conflicts. Or poverty. Or the migrant crisis. Or the rise of far right nationalism. But still, small victories?
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Favourite Worst Nightmare. Humbug. Suck it and See. The first album from The Last Shadow Puppets. The soundtrack to the film Submarine. Arguably all absolute bangers.
AM though? The second Shadow Puppets album? Shit shows. Self indulgent, self referential shit shows.
This year, there’s a new Arctic Monkeys album scheduled. And let me just say it: it's going to be shit. They were going to record a great one, but Alex Turner’s head had completely disappeared up his arse by the time they got round to it, so that’s that. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s looking a lot like this album will simply be leaving us all out in the cold. The arctic cold.
“‘Wrist icicle, I got a dick bicycle. Come true yo, get this type of blow. If you want a menage, I got a tricycle”
What Shakespeare was to writing about, expressing and exploring the concept of love, Nicki Minaj is, without doubt, to fucking. Her ability to twist and turn her tongue around a double entendre is unparalleled. Over the last few years, she’s laid down some of the best, most beautiful and most disgusting lines about sex, to ever be committed to tape.
In 2018, expect “pussy put his ass to sleep now he’s calling it Nyquil”. Expect “Pink wig, thick ass, give him whiplash”. Expect “I guess it’s my turn, maybe it’s time to put this pussy on your side burns”. Why? Because there’s a new Nicki album and ‘like MJ’s doctor, she killing you’.
James Blake falls into many categories. Haunting. Beautiful. Would definitely bang. Surprising doesn’t tend to jump straight to the forefront of your mind. He’s the guy you introduce to your friends at dinner and have a lovely chat about pickling. He is definitely not the guy you find yourself crouched over in a bathtub having just jointly discovered your love of golden showers. Or is he?
On Christmas eve, Blake released an ethereal cover of Don Mclean’s Vincent with no warning. In 2016, he featured on Beyonce’s Lemonade a secret he kept for months. His Glastonbury 2016 saw a surprise performance from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
Secrets. Surprises. Subterfuge.
Maybe, just maybe, our boy Blake is less pickles and more piss after all? There is no Blake album scheduled for 2018, but that didn’t stop his good pal Beyonce in 2016. What’s more, LCD Soundsystem’s reunion album (one of THE albums of 2017) dropped after – what’s that? – "Christmas Will Break Your Heart," a surprise Christmas Eve release in 2015.
Conclusion? Get ready to sit in the bath tub, drinking gin from the bottle and crying over every broken heart you’ve ever had, soundtracked by the rising crescendos and empyrean vocals of a brand new James Blake album. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Stormzy continues to be the hero we don’t deserve, but definitely need.
Ed Sheeran continues to be the villain we deserve, but definitely don’t need.
Harry Styles will finally sit on my face.
You can find Ben on Twitter.