1. Collingwood- having done these Top Tens at the Bar for a few years now, I had to make a best team category, just so I could get my beloved Pies in. Now we won the flag, no need. The Magpies take their rightful spot as the best of the best of 2023.

  2. Test Cricket- great series of cricket from the Aussies in India and England, and a ripper series between England and New Zealand, as well as the Kiwi’s against Pakistan. And while some controversy dominated the headlines (Johnny, what were you smoking?), at least people are talking Test cricket again.

  3. Pat Todd, Mad Macca at the Espy, St Kilda- Having been a Lazy Cowgirls/ Rankoutsiders fan for years, it was incredible to finally see Pat live. Pat for me is one of the all-time greats of American rock. A voice any singer would kill for, and a storyteller up there with the best of them. Just a man and guitar, nothing else needed. Macca played a corker of an opening set. While I’ve seen him live many times over the years with different bands, seeing him stripped back solo was a reminder of how good he is, and like Pat, give him a mic and stage, and the man will entertain you.

  4. Ed Kuepper: National Theatre- Astonishing gig from Edmund and band. A ten minute version of "Electrical Storm" had me wondering for days what I just witnessed.

  5. The Breadmakers: The Gem- had the joy of seeing the Breadies many times this year, including an excellent double bill with Brisbane’s The Far Outs. But a tribute show to Graeme Thomas of Preston Records/Studios was a classy way to praise an important Melbourne figure.

  6. Hoss, Persecution Blues, Dino Bravo: St Kilda Bowls Club- I might look like a twat putting a gig I had a hand putting on in this list, but sod it. One of my all-time personal favourites in Hoss played two killer sets, along with Persecution Blues, who would have fit right in the Melbourne scene of the late '80s/early '90s. Three balls-out rock 'n' roll bands on the one bill in St Kilda, you don’t get that often and was proud to be part of it.

  7. Chris Masuak, River of Snakes, The Fiction: Northcote Social Club- Brilliant setlist choice from Masuak; good collection of his solo work, Birdman, Hitmen, and the Tribesmen. Along with the ever-reliable Fiction and River of Snakes, three wonderful guitar focused bands playing intense rock n roll north of the river.

  8. Cruel Sea: The Palais- Having never seen the Sea before, I was blown away. Nice mix of the greatest hits and instrumentals. Greg once again showed why he’s up there as one of our best frontmen.

  9. Shepparton Airplane-, Affordable Repayments, Persecution Blues: St Kilda Bowls Club- Ok, I put another gig I had a hand in on the list, but this was amazing. And onya Flash for booking 'em.

  10. Hip Priests: Old Bar- Great to finally meet my German correspondent Martin Rabitz at the start of the year. He told me to meet him at the Old Bar on a Saturday, never mentioned his drummer also came along for the trip, and they had a show. I didn’t know he was in a band to begin with. That said, was a classic punk show, angry, little talking in-between, intensity to the max, and all over in 30 minutes. I loved every second of it.