Richard Derbyshire reflects on an eventful 12 months in his 2017 music review of the year...

IT was the year that Southampton acts sold out headline shows and played alongside some of the most exciting names in music.

Dancehall superstar Sean Paul and Pete Tong’s Heritage Orchestra headlined Rob da Bank’s third Common People with local favourites The Novatones, Sean McGowan and Calum Linott joining them on the festival’s main stage.

The Joiners’ Uncommon Stage was bigger than ever with popular home grown acts Cassava, Costellos, The Manatees, Fever, The Dead Freights and Hampshire’s new Radio One favourites Blaenavon playing across the weekend.

Southampton’s international punk horror heroes Creeper had a huge homecoming show at The Guildhall bringing their epic Theatre of Fear show and debut album Eternity, In Your Arms back to where it all began. Promoter Ricky Bates also presented Circa Waves at The 1865 in February before the Liverpool band played to thousands at Alexandra Palace.

Later that month The Sherlocks, who along with Southampton’s Wild Front were one of the big names at Isle of Wight Festival in June, sold out consecutive nights here and in Portsmouth.

The high-flying South Yorkshire stars then played to more than 700 fans at The 1865 in September after their album Live For The Moment became this year’s biggest selling debut by a band.

Reading rockers The Amazons sold out The Joiners and The Engine Rooms while riding high on the success of their top ten self-titled record. Hampshire trio Blaenavon’s debut album That’s Your Lot propelled them to a headline show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire in October but local fans saw them play The Joiners first in March.

Southampton’s Cassava supported their heroes Milburn and DMA’s, while in March Calum Lintott joined forces with Jordan Allen and SHEAFS, two of the biggest unsigned bands in Britain, at The Joiners. The Collision sold out The Wedgewood Rooms while Southampton’s Pioneers’ single Take Time made it to Radio One after being championed by Radio Solent’s Steph Newenhouse.

Welsh stars Trampolene put on an intimate show at The Talking Heads in November with lead singer Jack Jones revealing his strong family ties to Southampton and how watching Saints legend Matt Le Tissier at The Dell helped inspire him to perform.

Two new venues, The Loft in Bedford Place and Heartbreakers in Hanover Buildings, were opened by Psychedelia promoter Tom Dyer. The Loft has already seen headline shows by Cassava, The Rising, Calum Lintott and Sean McGowan, while local band Kicks supported indie rockers Vant there 48 hours before receiving their GCSE results.