In the unlikely event you are tuning in to marvel at my eclectic yet tasteful list of albums of the year, you are out of luck. Real life is a little busy right now, and I don't have the time to go back through all the goodies I have got this year and refresh my memory.
Gigs of the year, in the other hand, is easier, if only because there are less of them to choose from. It is a strong field but as a rough top five I'll go for: John Murry at the Birkbeck Tavern, Kaleidoscope at the Islington Assembly Hall, Jimmy LaFave at the 100 Club, Jupiter & Okwess International at the Open East Festival in the Olympic Park, and Simone Felice at St. Giles-in-the-Fields.
As it happens, Mr Felice's people have recently been in touch. They have kindly sent me a stream of his new album, "Strangers", which I am not meant to share with you, and his new single "Molly-O!", which I am. So here it is.
"Molly-O!" - Simone Felice
Good, eh! As for "Strangers", while it is clearly premature to be talking about my albums of the year for 2014 when I can't even hazard a guess as to what they are in 2013, I would be surprised if it wasn't on the list somewhere. It is out in March and you should nab it when you can.
As a bonus, here are some songs about Simones. The first two are about girls (and the first is a bona fide Afrikaans classic). The last is about a boy, although you possibly know him better as Simon.
"'n Brief Vir Simone" - Anton Goosen
"Simone" - Denny Doherty
"Il Ballo De Simone" - Guiliano & I Notturni