I’ve pulled myself out of a bit of a nosedive in time to do one last post for 2014…although for some readers in far-off lands the year of 2015 will already be a few hours old.

The last 25-30 posts were all put together in a burst of activity before I headed off on holiday a few weeks back, mostly as an insurance policy in case I ran into problems with motivating myself on my return although I usually find that relaxing on the beach gives me some fresh inspiration and leads to all sorts of new postings and long-term features.  But this time I came back devoid of ideas and then just before Xmas I learned of three separate deaths over three successive days which affected the families of some of my very closest friends. To put it mildly, I was on a bit of a downer and although Xmas with Mrs Villain was enjoyable enough, I haven’t been motivated enough to return to the keyboard. Till now.

First of all….a huge thank you to those of you who said such lovely words on the occasion of the 500th posting on T(n)VV – they were hugely appreciated.

Secondly….apologies for those of you who were looking for the Morrissey links from last Sunday’s post – a slight technical hitch has emerged (i.e. – I can’t find three of the five tracks as I appear to have deleted a batch of downloads at some point in time and only have those that I got from the purchase of the vinyl; I’m planning to try to rectify things by this weekend)

Thirdly….apologies in general if some of you have dropped an e-mail to me in recent weeks. The malaise around the blog has extended to the e-mail account which hasn’t been opened in nearly four weeks. I’m going to get round to it again soon.

The strange thing is that, from a musical perspective, 2014 turned out to be hugely enjoyable in many ways, primarily from the number of tremendous and unusual live shows that I managed to get along to. Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games also saw it host a diverse cultural programme, within which sat something called the East End Social (click here) which was single-handedly responsible for some of the most unforgettable moments in what is now 35 years of going along to gigs.

Other highlights in my home city included Aidan Moffat at the Barrowlands, the Cairn String Quartet (with all sorts of special guests) at Platform, Johnny Marr at the O2 and Randolph’s Leap at the Glad Cafe while the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh brought great joy on a few occasions, not least the last ever gig by Meursault (not that I was happy the band were splitting up but they really went out in style)

The year was rounded off by something special too, namely getting to see The Twilight Sad at the Tolbooth, a 200-capacity venue in Stirling, when the band demonstrated just how strong and memorable their new songs are while somehow also making the old favourites sound better and more powerful than ever before.

I’ve also got into the habit in recent years of holding back on some of the music I’ve most wanted to buy so that Santa can bring me joy on Xmas Day. 2014 was no exception and this past week has seen me really appreciate the work of Honeyblood, The War on Drugs, Owl John, Roddy Frame and the wonderful soundtrack that Edwyn Collins put together for The Possibilities Are Endless film.

2015 will hopefully turn out to be half-decent. I’ll do my very best to keep T(n)VV ticking over. Thanks for being part of it.

This was the final few minutes of a look back at 2014 which went out on BBC2 in the UK last night. I can’t think of a better way to end the year.

mp3 : Charlie Brooker and The Blockheads – Reasons To Be Fearful ’14