Our contributors pick the highlights of their year

MAGIC MOMENT: Portishead performing ‘Wandering Star’ beneath a clear night sky at Electric Picnic.

Twenty years after we first heard Beth Gibbons’s voice, it is possibly even more mesmerising than ever.

MUSIC: Germany is still the centre of the world for warm and funky house music, while Pharrell gave us the perfect pop track with ‘Happy’. It’s a tune people will be playing decades from now.

TV VIEWING: Nothing original to say here. True Detective was easily the best show of 2014. Documentary-wise, the RTÉ series, Women on the Inside, on the Dóchas prison for women in Dublin was superb. TV3’s Darndale - The Edge of Town also impressed for similar reasons — both were very moving and shone a light on areas of Irish society many of us know little about.

BEST READ: A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson. Who needs fiction, or even science fiction when you can read about the amazing world of bumble bees.

BEST FILM: I was blown away by some of the offerings in mainstream cinemas near the beginning of the year — in particular Dallas Buyers Club and Gravity. Cork Film Festival also opened with the excellent Charlie’s Country, the tale of an old Aboriginal man in northern Australia.

LETDOWN: RTÉ is always an easy target for potshots, and I understand the budget constraints and much reduced advertising take, but the number of repeats on the national broadcaster during peak viewing times was very frustrating.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015: It’ll be interesting to see if Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell can surprise us all in the second series of True Detective and get anywhere close to the performances of Matthew McConaghey and Woody Harrelson.


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