On New Years Eve in the small seaside town of Teignmouth, people used to dress up in fancy dress. For some reason hoards of people descended on the town and took advantage of the towns many pubs. Around 9pm a grand parade would take place and prizes would be given out to the best costumes. It was always a fun evening my friends and I would usually wander around the towns charity shops before hand buying up the most garish and awful clothes and then hit the town. In 1999 I’m fairly sure I wore a blonde wig, a multi coloured shirt and some bright red cord trousers, just because I could.
At around midnight people would emerge from the pubs and wander onto the beach and see in the New Year with cheers, snogging and back slapping. After that most people would mooch off home or back into one of the late night pubs. In the centre of Teignmouth is a small pedestrianised area called The Triangle (it being oblong shaped, it made sense to call it that) and smack in the middle of that is a large fountain, which lit up and made the water look various different colours (it is now switched off and grass grows out of it) and there in that fountain is where at 1230am on January 1st 1999 I saw Batman and a giant chicken having a marvellously drunken (and wet) scrap. Moments like that can easily make you think that it was going to be a great year.
The record that topped my end of year chart around 360 days later wasn’t a single but was comfortably the greatest single piece of music I heard all year and if I recall correctly might well have been the first track that I played in the year 2000.
Streets of Kenny – Shack (1999, London Records, Taken from ‘HMS Fable’) – which I’m sure you’ll agree still sounds all kinds of wonderful.
In second place was a track that if were lucky enough to have ever been given a lift by me anyway in the second part of 1999, you would have heard about eight times as it featured on nearly every mixtape that I made for the car.
Dirge – Death in Vegas (1999, Concrete Records, Taken from ‘The Contino Sessions’)
In the summer of 1999, I went on holiday to Malta and during a day trip to its crumbling capital Valletta I stumbled across a small market and there tucked away in the corner was a guy selling clearly bootlegged versions of the latest releases. Which was where I picked up my copy of Moby’s all conquering ‘Play’ album for the princely sum of two Euros. At Number five in the 1999 chart was this slow paced dance classic from that album.
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? – Moby (1999, Mute Records, Taken from ‘Play’)
Elsewhere in my Top Ten, the usual blend of big beats, guitars and hip hop. Primal Scream were at six (and should have been higher probably) with a remix and The Charlatans scraped into tenth position with their seven minute epic ‘Forever’.
Swastika Eyes (Chemical Brothers Mix) – Primal Scream (1999, Creation Records, Taken from ‘XTMNTR’)
Forever – The Charlatans (1999, Island Records, Taken from ‘Us and Us Only’)