Putting 2014 to bed:
Your and our favourite records and other things of 2014


We have lists. And there's nothing you can do about it.

Lists seem to permeate the entire months of November, December and January, as if Buzzfeed had risen like a phoenix and delivered a scorched earth address. "I like lists but I don't like list articles" is something I've stated often. So this isn't a list article, but some lists by people who are involved in, related to or fans of Xtra Mile Recordings. Do these really mean anything? Not really. At least not beyond us wanting to share what we love with people who might be interested in what we love.

These things helped us make sense of the year. These things kept us buoyant, thoughtful, excited and driven throughout the year. These things entertained us when we were bored at some point in the year, and enough to remember them. This art and entertainment is inspiring and it is throwaway. It is innovative and it is comforting. What's important is that we all found some worth in these things.

These aren't the "best" things of this year. They may not even be our favourites once we've gone through some of the other things we missed that were released during the year. But right now, these are the things we (and you!) responded to in a highly positive way.

Xtra Mile Recordings - some favourite albums

Against Me - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
The Hotelier – Home Like No Place, Is There
Koo Koo Kanga Roo - Whoopty Whoop
Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
Möngöl Hörde - Möngöl Hörde
The Retrospective Soundtrack Players - It's A Wonderful Christmas Carol
Antarctigo Vespucci - Soulmate Stuff/I'm So Tethered
Perfect Pussy - Say Yes To Love
Half Man Half Biscuit - Urge For Offal
La Dispute – Rooms of the House
Baxter Dury - It's A Pleasure
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There Yet?
Melvins - Hold It In
Carnivores - Lets Get Metaphysical
Shellac – Dude Incredible
Christian Fitness – I am scared of everything that isn't me


Xtra Mile Recordings - some favourite films

Big Hero 6
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Wish I Were Here
The Fault In Our Stars
The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies
Vi är bäst (We Are the Best)
Mr Turner
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Xtra Mile Recordings - some favourite books

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Imperfections of James and Kate by Christopher Gutierrez and Keltie Colleen
The Scott Pilgrim VS The World series by Bryan Lee O'Malley
The Walking Dead - All Out War, Vol 1 & 2 by Robert Kirkman
Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye
Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
The Quarry by Iain Banks
I, Partridge by Alan Partridge
Straight White Male by John Niven
Book - The Jesus Lizard
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Xtra Mile Recordings - some favourite gigs

2000 Trees Festival @ Upcote Farms, Cheltenham, UK
Frank Turner, Flogging Molly & Beans On Toast @ the O2 Arena, London, UK
Patent Pending & This Good Robot @ Revolution, Amityville, USA
Antarctigo Vespucci @ The Palisades, NYC, USA
Koo Koo Kanga Roo & The Aquabats @ Irving Plaza, NYC, USA
Future of the Left @ The Garage, London
NAILS - Birthdays, London
King Buzzo - Oslo, London
Half Man Half Biscuit - Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Faith No More - BST Festival, Hyde Park, London
Möngöl Hörde - The Garage, London
Mineral @ St Vitus, New York, NY
65daysofstatic (The Fall of Math/Wild Light show) @ Koko, London











Fan favourites: gigs of 2014

And now, it's your turn! We asked on social media what your favourite Xtra Mile (and other gig) memories of 2014 were. And you answered in droves. Droves, I say! See a little (LARGE) list of your responses below. None of these have been edited, they are left as was posted. Hope you don't mind.

From Facebook:                                                                                         From Instagram:

Sam Battle: Being asked to jump up on stage to join Matt (Northcote) and Billy the Kid to sing Worry at Gulliver's in Manchester - a memory that will last a lifetime and more!

Joseph Stevens: Frank at the Manchester Arena, ft. two AMAZING supports (Flogging Molly and Beans on Toast)...best feeling I've had from a gig in a very long time. The moment of disbelief finally getting to see Jamie Lenman perform. Stage-diving during a Mongol Horde gig and the spontaneous circle pit when Against Me! played 'We Laugh at Danger and Break All The Rules'. Basically, your guys defined my 2014 in the best way possible. Also have to mention future of the left playing THE best setlist possible in October and seeing Manic Street Preachers play The Holy Bible. It has been a hell of a year, thank you.

Hayley Bradford: Frank in September. Saw him twice. Norwich and Cambridge. X

Turtle Marzi: This year I've seen Against Me, The Smith Street Band and John K. Samson for the first time live and each of them blew me away in their own way! And of course Frank who's still after many years on my top. Best shows London O2, Winchester and Zurich and eerm Augsburg too. Sorry I can't decide, each show have their own special memories!

Tracy Tompson: Frank in Cooperstown, NY...I got to meet him for the first time and it was one of the best nights of my life!

Ben Foxhall: Have to say that Chuck Ragan with Billy the Kid and Northcote in Brighton was utterly glorious.

Beks Woods: oxford last koo frank gig amazingxxxx

Devon Hulse: Mongol horde in Manchester with Ben Carter Danny Bonferino and others where I accidentally kicked Frank Turner in the head and he pushed me off the stage and flipped the birds. Met him after the gig and apologized and he did too and everything was swell.

Caryn Himsley: So many great gigs this year......but FT at New Slang, FT and the Sleeping Souls at XFM Winter Wonderland, Billy the Kid at Our Black Heart.....and the "secret gig" at the Hawley Arms which started the year in a way I thought could not be bettered. Thank you John Rawson ...and any Ben Marwood gig (the Camden Monarch, Colchester, and Reading).

Jo Bowden Was Blake: Best night of the year was seeing Frank Turner play old no 7 in barnsley with Joe McCorriston. Frank....in my local....how does stuff like that happen. And how can he sound just as fab in an arena gig (Nottingham)

John Rawson: Ben Marwood at The Monarch, fun gig and what a great guy. FT and Billy the Kid at The Hawley Arms, so personal and LOUD lol, Billy the Kid at Banquet Records and at The Black Heart, intimate and personal, Tim OT, Billy and Frank at The New Slang...what a year, and so many more great gigs with artists having so much fun. It was amazing seeing the Xtramile big screen at Xfm WinterWonderland and realising how many of the people we had seen live.

Marcus Groome: Reading 2014... seeing Mongol Horde for the first time

Tom Oliver Evans: Frank in bath. Was literally the hottest thing I have ever been to. Not having a clue about Koo Koo kangaroo or who they were and debating to walk out after thier first song. So glad I didn't, best support act ever. But yea, so bloody hot, was well worth it thou! Thankyou.

Julia Sarah Conopo: Interviewing Jamie Lenman in Guildford. Such a lovely man, and he even dedicated a song to my boyfriend after hearing it was his favourite song!

Eddie Schwing Robinson: Seeing Frank (and KKKR) for the first time, Jeremy from ADTR in a zorb ball over the crowd, Michael from Volbeat crowdsurfing to give a kid a t shirt. And seeing the Skints again (that happened 2 hours ago)

Matthew W. Groves: Frank Turner - 9:30 club in D.C. when he recorded the song for Josh and the entire room was silent.  Followed closely by playing with Beans on Toast in Vienna, Virginia. Bobby Banjo got up and played a tune with me, which was pretty rad.

James Pudney: Frank Turner in Warrington.. the best place i've ever been to a gig and especially watching him was just unbelievable! gives me goosebumps just thinking about it

Xtra Mile Street Team: The two skiffle tours we organized this year with help of our lovely street team members is definitely our highlight! Oxygen Thief in the North East of America, To Kill A King in London - here's to more next year!

Chris Linstead: Taking my 11 year old boy to see Frank Turner at Uea norwich, was his first gig. That memory will stay with him forever and was an awesome show too.

Tim Jansen: Riverboat Gamblers in the beginning of the year were a great night. Soon after, Frank with Andrew Jackson Jihad was (as always, 4th time!) a blast! Invasionen and Crazy Arm killed it at Groezrock, but I think my highlight is Dave Hause two times in the same week. First at Lowlands (thanks again for the guestlist spot!) and a club show in Amsterdam. So much fun. It's been a great year for gigs.

Stephen Jordan: Mongol Horde at the Garage, London and FT at Northampton both great gigs.... Have Against Me booked for Paris next year buzzing for that

Valerie Gritsch: Having so many XMR artists play in America this year! Off the top of my head, we had Beans On Toast, Oxygen Thief, Against Me, Cheap Girls, Northcote, Jon Snodgrass, Mineral, Frank Turner, Rob Lynch, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Larry and His Flask, To Kill A King and Billy The Kid... hopefully next year sends many more our way again, or here for the first time!

Yehudith Valentine: Frank in Boston in May. Got close to the stage, screamed myself hoarse, and met a new friend (Wendy Reitzel). Brought Corinna Davis with me. Excellent show with great people.

Rob Ellis: Billy The Kid and Against Me! in Portsmouth.

Bianca Lewis: Saw Frank Turner & Sleeping Souls 4 times this year! Every time I see them my love and admiration grows even stronger!  Another highlight was seeing Gogol bordello twice, such a great band to see live - dancing shoes a necessity!  Finally managed to catch Royal blood at winter wonderland after trying to get tickets for both tours but selling out in minutes! Hope to see more of them next year xx Bring on 2015

Claire Reynolds: Beans on Toast, Flogging Molly, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Manchester Phones 4 U, Möngöl Hörde, Palehorse & Oxygen Thief Manchester Academy 3, Koo Koo Kanga Roo & Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Warrington Parr Hall

Steffi Killinger: For me, FT! I saw FT nine times this year... The best war in Augsburg as he sang a new song Josefine. I am looking forward to the new album

Stuart Provan: Frank Turner headlining Y-Not festival and Beans On Toast everywhere at Glastonbury!

Peter Gritsch: Either trekking down south to see They Might Be Giants in Washington DC or going to a bunch of Oxygen Thief's skiffle shows and almost getting hit in the head with Barry's guitar.

Bee Anchor: 2000 Trees <33333 Also seeing Crazy Arm twice in one day at Camden Rocks.

James Clark: I know he's not on your record label, but gaz brookfield's 1000th gig at the fleece. Unbelievably epic

Dave Bobby Shanks: Billy the kid supporting against me! At Manchester academy. Quality

Joel Small: 2000 Trees, ArcTanGent, Jamie Lenman at Gorilla Manchester, Biffy Clyro at Glasow Barrowlands, Frank Turner and KKKR at Wakefield Unity Hall, Twilight Sad at Leeds Brudenell... such a good year!

Toby Davies: Mongol Horde at the Fleece where I got to front row for the entire set, met frank, and sang/screamed into his mic  And meeting the amazing Billy the Kid at the birdcage in Bristol - best intimate gig I've seen  And not an xtra mile band but Band of Skulls at the O2 Guildhall in Soton was frickin awesome

Gillian Hackett: Frank Turner at the O2 arena, The Railway Inn, Lamar Tree Oxford and Brixton Academy were ALL amazing!! But the best was probably The Railway Inn as I got to meet him in the bar!

Sarah Anderson: Frank Turner in Winchester, supported by Will Varley (he's not one of yours though). Also Beans on Toast in Bristol Fleece, supported by Will again. All excellent x

Daniel Benson: Jamie Lenman at the Oran Mor, Möngöl Hörde at King Tuts and Against Me! At the Garage, this year was a great year for Xtra Mile gigs, also the fact that I now have 2 Race car t-shirts (not a gig I know but it means the world to me)

Matt Woody Woodclart Woodward: Difficult one! Either Frank at Nottingham arena or Beans on Toast at Nottingham Rescue Rooms.......but, I say Frank as Beans AND Flogging Molly supported!

Grant Hume: Mongol horde, oxygen thief loads of times!, Gaz brookfield, lonely tourist, inme, 2000 trees as a festival, retrospective soundtrack players a few times, Chris TT, list goes on, not all Xtra Mile but certainly are in flavour  thanks for a great year of gigs!

@pacingthinking: Echoing other AM! Memories - hearing Baby, I'm An Anarchist live for the first time in Dresden, Germany

@oakdoon: the @Mongol_Horde show @kingtuts has to be it for me, cracking night

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 9.39.31 AM.png

@venomousbear: Every Oxygen Thief, Marwood and RSP gig that I was able to attend this year blew my socks off! Sometimes they were together, sometimes one of them was in America, but they were always awesome!! Huzzah

@cwjorgensen3: At the 930 Club in Washington, DC. Frank Turner playing for Josh. The emotions were flowing through everyone's veins.

@chelsealeighfarrell: @frankturner Warrington..the entire gig

@jjleppink: @billythekidpettinger and @frankturner playing a super small intimate gig at new slang, kingston a few weeks ago. Perfect in every way

@stevaud: @xtramilerecordings @frankturner playing Hereford. Fabulously intimate yet still blow your socks off stuff!!

@devon_fthc: Mongol Horde in Manchester and (accidentally) kicking @frankturner in the face.

@rhys_jos: @mongol_horde in Manchester. @devon_fthc, glad you guys hugged it out in the end. Or maybe Beans On Toast playing in the car park by The Shipping Forecast in Liverpool, what a man.

@stillborn_unicorn: Billy the Kid supporting Chuck Ragan in the Thekla!

@rifa: Chris T-T and the Hoodrats at the Lexington London, January 2014.

@taylormoore95: Frank Turner - Prague in March

@valeriegritsch: Seeing #benmarwood and #theRetrospectiveSoundtrackPlayers at the Southampton joiners in February

@asdpfc: Got to be Frank playing Pie and Vinyl the lunchtime after his O2 gig. Not only was he brilliant for an hour but he stuck around for another hour to chat and sign stuff for the 50 of us lucky to be there. Utter hero and the complete gent all round (all this with a massive hangover too!)

@n1rvxna: Seeing Frank Turner for the first time back in February, then seeing him again in September. Dancing with Koo Koo Kangaroo and meeting Brian! Both gigs were the best I've ever been to by far, so amazing.

@williamowenpond: Beans On Toast - Electric Ballroom, away from Xtra Mile, Feed The Rhino in Joiners, Zebrahead - Fighting Cocks, Kids Can't Fly farewell gig in Joiners and Alestorm in Sub89 to name a few

From Twitter

@jburgy_95: Frank at Bath Pavilion. Gig was perfection really.

@KeithALondon: The five times I saw @billypettinger perform. A brilliant singer-songwriter and a wonderful human being.

@Gerry_Trimble: @Xtra_Mile wise, twas either @frankturner at De Montford Hall, @oxygenthiefYEAH at Rock City or @benmarwoodmusic at @JTSoar

@colourmama: shaking Frank's hand after Oxford, and the entire tiny Hereford gig on my 50th birthday.

@itsNicoleHa: frank turner gig in February and meeting him afterwards :-)

@CarlNelson10: Frank turner (o2) Beans on toast (electric ballroom) Xfm winter wonderland (Brixton)

@MissSallyWalker: Frank at santiagos after live at Leeds, the arena shows, against me at Leeds met uni, beans at the Brudenell and oc solemn sun!

@Billdaz: @ChuckRagan @northcotemusic @billypettinger #Manchester #Leeds #Nowords

‏@remco1993: Frank playing my request song (LI&S) at a festival in Germany I decided to go to rather last minute :-)

@JoJoJoeyx: there's been a few, Against Me, Billy, Beans and the RSP but my ultimate favourites of the year - Frank in Oxford and Hereford

@Laulaul: @frankturner singing upside down from a pillar at @Mongol_Horde set at @FleeceBristol preceded by the awesome @oxygenthiefYEAH

@ascottkeys86: Frank Turner 9:30 Club Washington DC. Song for Josh

‏@RadAstronaut: Jon Snodgrass, The Menzingers, Frank Turner, and of course: Lagwagon (all in Boston, MA)

@Devon_fthc Wow. I went to a fair few @Xtra_Mile shows this year. 2 @againstme 2 @Mongol_Horde 1 @beanstoast and 4 @frankturner Here's to next year!

Aaaaand - with pictures!

@RaeeRaven: @jamielenman at the Oran Mor with the added horn section. Heavy and jazzy.

@jayandrew25: Got to be @againstme at @Garageglasgow - I may have been the oldest yin there but I was right doon the front, moshing away

Billy Pettinger onstage with Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! - good shot!

Billy Pettinger onstage with Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! - good shot!

@CheltenhamUnder: Having Ben Marwood and Retrospective Soundtrack Players on stage back in Feb

@maddyhorsley: RSP in London, Oxygen Thief at Camden Rocks, Ben Marwood in Feb and all three together at 2000trees!!

@dennasus: For me it was @frankturner & @_sleepingsouls at Dudelange, Luxembourg 14/06/14. Front row and "Get Better"

@Hannarrrb89: @theRSPuk in Manchester last week. That @frankturner bloke in hereford and @Mongol_Horde in nottingham

@levivalentinouk: @frankturner at the Railway, Winchester in May, along with just 120 others, met him as well, amazing!!

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@MaribellaNYC: when @frankturner sent a photo pass b/c the Sinclair didn't like my itty bitty non-pro camera in May

And also: ‏@MaribellaNYC: It’s Xtra Mile bingo! Many great moments this year!

From left to right starting from the top: Matt Goud (Northcote), Barry Dolan (Oxygen Thief) on his Skiffle tour, Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Frank Turner, Billy the Kid, unknown, Beans On Toast, xxxx, Maribella with:&nbsp;Beans On Toast, Nigel Powell (The Sleeping Souls), Ben Lloyd (The Sleeping Souls), Barry, Frank, Billy, Matt, &nbsp;and photographer Gregory Nolan!

From left to right starting from the top: Matt Goud (Northcote), Barry Dolan (Oxygen Thief) on his Skiffle tour, Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Frank Turner, Billy the Kid, unknown, Beans On Toast, xxxx, Maribella with: Beans On Toast, Nigel Powell (The Sleeping Souls), Ben Lloyd (The Sleeping Souls), Barry, Frank, Billy, Matt,  and photographer Gregory Nolan!

Fan favourites: Xtra Mile album(s) of 2014

You also gave us some of your favourite Xtra Mile records of the year too. Go on. Have a read and see if you agree.

Traci Ann Dis: lots of my favorites of 2014 in here- Frank Turner, Cheap Girls, Oxygen Thief, Algiers, The RSP, Billy The Kid, Rob Lynch....

@emiliano_nobis: Billy The Kid, Horseshoes & Hand grenades is absolutely my favorite album of 2014

@molliemarvell: Those @ToKillAKing lot did good this year, I'll go with them

‏@JeremyErickson: @billypettinger 's album horseshoes and hand grenades for top 2014 releases

@kittie01: Absolutely loved Beans on Toast's new album! So raw :)

Paris Mackenzie: Horseshoes and Hand grenades is my album of 2014, Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Mongol Horde were my other favourites

Peter Gritsch: Transgender Dysphoria Blues for sure

John Rawson: Hmmmm, tricky. I'm gonna say Horseshoes & Handgrenades, then The Third Three Years, closely followed by, in no particular order, One Day This Will All Be Fields, The Grand Scheme Of Things, Möngöl Hörde, Northcote

Sarah Denison: Mongol Horde all the way! I felt like I had waited years for the album release(which technically we all did due to FT's busy schedule, ha!) and once it arrived I was completely blown away. If you haven't checked this band out yet, you're are missing out on the greatest eargasm you will ever experience. So go pick up the album, and tell your friends. Then have those friends tell their friends, and maybe we can all rock the baracades together someday.

Joseph Stevens: Got to be 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues', followed by the 'Racecar is Racecar Backwards' reissue and Mongol Horde's s/t!

‏@MissSallyWalker: there are so many! Billy the kid, against me, RSP, beans, oxygen thief and Mongol horde to name but a few. Brilliant albums [😃]

‏@DickCherry2: Northcote....immense album. My favourite XtraMile release of '14.

@caroline_pooley: @ToKillAKing can't wait to see more of their new material in the new year

Peggy Bygrave: No fave. It's impossible to choose.

Valerie Gritsch: Oxygen Thief's Half-Life Of Facts, The Retrospective Soundtrack Players' It's A Wonderful Christmas Carol, Against Me!'s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Mongol Horde's self titled

@marieoverjoyed: Yay To Kill A King!

Lucy Kendell: Reuben's racecar is racecar backwards reissue definitely! The album on its own is bloody freakin' amazing enough, the reissue includes all these awesome demoes & live tracks! Including one i actually havent heard before, i was sure id heard them all in fact! Every song, & all the demoes have something unique about them, Reuben have such a specific, raw, energetic, heavy sound which i love incredibly & i cannot describe how brilliant they are as a band, & how brilliant this album is. Especially with all the extras!

Chuck Stepp: Mongol Horde and Against Me! are my two favorites. Mongol Horde was a welcomed surprise. I knew something was coming eventually, but then one day it was just there. Against Me! was a longer wait, but once I heard it I definitely realized it was worth the wait. It's the most punk album in years, in my opinion.

Hayley Scott: Its a wonderful Christmas was my favourite this year, I played it while walking to walk in the freezing cold to battle through hordes of customers all wanting various out of stock Christmas rubbish... so it cheered me up immeasurable

Laura Forster: Horseshoes & Handgrenades for sure! I fell in love with Billy's music at Chuck Ragan's European Till Midnight tour & the record is still growing and growing. Awesome!

@aakkkcc: To Kill A King!

Sam Davies: MONGOL HORDE by Mongol Horde, by far the best album for me of this year (I'm not counting racecar because it's a reissue) it has been such a long waited release, since they released tapeworm uprising on YouTube, it was what, nearly a year before the album release... And then the tour, one of the best gigs of my life, stage diving, pits walls !!!!!!! Awesome

Charlotte Pierce: Discovering Billy the Kid and the release of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is my top pick of 2014, and I feel as though Billy has grown each time I have seen her perform throughout the year. When she plays a room truly stops to listen. This is closely followed by Against Me, Transgender Dysphoria Blues; perhaps also my biggest surprise of the year but that album is 29 minutes of kick-ass from start to finish.

@ladyeirelyn: To Kill A King! :D

Daniel O'Dell: Mongol Horde and Reuben made my list.

@grasbysaurus: Thoroughly enjoyed the new work of #JamieLenman this year, along with the ten year reissue of #RacecarIsRacecarBackwards by #Reuben. #OxygenThief were another high point of the year for me, that debut album is AWESOME, should hopefully be seeing them in the new year, and am thoroughly excited by the prospect

Hayley Scott: Its a wonderful Christmas was my favourite this year, I played it while walking to walk in the freezing cold to battle through hordes of customers all wanting various out of stock Christmas rubbish... so it cheered me up immeasurable

Adam Shirlow: Mongol Horde all the way! I can't tell you how long I have waited to hear Frank shredding his vocal chords to pieces in such glorious fashion again.

@ingridabarksdefinitely #ToKillAKing, I love their newest EP

Laura Forster: Horseshoes & Handgrenades for sure! I fell in love with Billy's music at Chuck Ragan's European Till Midnight tour & the record is still growing and growing. Awesome!

Chuck Stepp: Mongol Horde and Against Me! are my two favorites. Mongol Horde was a welcomed surprise. I knew something was coming eventually, but then one day it was just there. Against Me! was a longer wait, but once I heard it I definitely realized it was worth the wait. It's the most punk album in years, in my opinion

Andrew Rhone: Can I say that it is a tie for me, I love Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Laura Jane Grace and the always amazing Against Me! and the single that I own the vinyl of Unconditional Love. By the same band. Both Fucking awesome!!.

@Loopylesley: @billypettinger Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and @frankturner The Third Three Years.

And there we have it! 2014 done and dusted, gone, finito

Can we concentrate on 2015 now? Yes? Good. What are you excited about from XMR? What are you excited about this year in general? What can we do to make your 2015 the best ever? Get at us on Facebook, Twitter @xtra_mile, and by email at contributions[at]xtramilerecordings[dot]com. Suggest some HUB ideas, records you're excited about, anything you want to tell us. Go on. You're good people.