Crystal Balls – We Predict The Next 12 Months In Music

Gavin Haynes takes us on a tour through the headline stories that might be appearing in 2010.


While in a palace in the Himalayas, high on mescaline and DMT, Jamie Klaxon hallucinates he’s an office administrator living in Putney. Describing it as “the most insane psychedelic vision ever imagined”, he writes a record that sounds like The Rakes’ first.


T-Pain becomes the first hip-hop star to have an Auto-Tune device implanted into his throat. Is arrested after being caught by the FBI having phone-sex with a Pentagon modem.

The mystery of Baria’s departure from The xx is finally resolved when a human thigh bone is discovered poking through the weeds of Romy’s suburban garden. At their trial, Romy and Oliver testify by always speaking in low whispers at the same time.

Vampire Weekend cancel their tour as Ezra Koenig gets concussion after an evening spent crushing beercans at his band’s annual New Year ‘kegger’.



Bored by the bourgeois notion of the ‘debut’, Joe Lean opens his career with a retrospective boxset of unreleased LPs.
Inspired by the iPod Shuffle’s ability to turn a weakness into a marketing gimmick, Microsoft hit back with their own version: dice and 12 numbered CDs.

It’s like Britpop all over again: the NME Awards descend into chaos when a massive fight breaks out between White Lies and The Maccabees over inheritance tax rates. As further insults are traded during a squabble over who Top Gear’s The Stig actually is, only a taser will separate the warring bands.

As Massive Attack release only their second record in 12 years, 3D lets us in on the secret of what’s been keeping him so long: the 60ft tall model of St Paul’s Cathedral he’s been building matchstick-by-matchstick in his garage.


Ellie Goulding is arrested in a sting operation after the discovery of what police later describe as a “hype pyramid scheme”.

Lord Mandelson’s Three Strikes And You’re Out anti-downloading policy is drafted into law, but amended
to include the footnote: “Unless the group you’re taking from are, like, really rich, or on a big label, in which case it’s not really like stealing if they don’t actually need the money, is it? Or if you probably wouldn’t have bought the CD anyway ’cos you were just a bit curious.”

Lily Allen expands her ongoing boycott of technology by renouncing the microwave oven, the toaster and the remote control.


Apple release a perfectly smooth white plastic sphere onto the market. Hailed as an instant design classic, no-one’s quite sure what it’s meant to do but it still sells a million units in its first week.

Oasis Wars Update: As Liam blags naming rights by officially dubbing his new band ‘Oasis’, Noel hits back
by launching his own new group: Liam Is A Total Fucktard.

Dizzee Rascal denies that his approach to music has become too corporate; defends outsourcing all his phone interviews to an Indian call centre.


When, for the first time ever, all of Simon Cowell’s latest pop products fail to crack the Top 20, he finally unleashes the DeathBot 3000 Chartinator on an unsuspecting public.

As the general election looms, Jon ‘Reverend’ McClure announces he will be standing as an independent. He duly gets elected for Sheffield North, and immediately sets about introducing the Free The Weed Thatcher Were Evil Say No To Mind Control No More War And Fuck The Police Bill (Act 43 of 2010, Amended) to Parliament.

Oasis Wars Update: As a riposte to Liam’s Pretty Green label, Noel launches his own spin-off merchandising line: Noel Gallagher’s Trusty Non-Rusty Wrenches & Spanners, featuring the likes of the ‘Champagne Super Socket-Wrench’, the ‘Crow With It’ Crow Wrench, and the ‘Never Slide Away’ Ratcheting Box Wrench. He also joins forces with Paul Weller to launch a range of low-fat deserts called ‘Eatin’ Trifles’.


U2’s Glasto headline set has to be abandoned as customs police detain Bono over the five kilos of raw ivory they’ve found in his suitcase. But all’s well that ends well: after they pull out, a newly reunited The Others step in to replace them, leading a deliriously happy Glasto through a nine-minute encore version of ‘Stan Bowles’.

Tom Meighan collapses with exhaustion onstage at the Albert Hall after a fan hands him a piece of paper with ‘PTO’ written on both sides.


In what even her harshest critics must concede is a brilliant demonstration of how her Warholian ‘pop art’ ideals have divorced celebrity and commerce from talent, Lady Gaga releases a recording of her sawing some wood and still manages to hit Number One with it.

After years of rubbish footie songs, the FA decide to take things upmarket by asking These New Puritans to write the official England World Cup anthem. The resulting track: ‘XxB$X45 Fnyxx11’ takes the nation by storm.
As Wayne Rooney hammers in the 30-yard strikes, strangers link arms in pubs to bawl out its rasping, staccato, one-note, indecipherable metallic hook to each other.

The Office Of Fair Trading has to slap down The Courteeners after they cannily attempt to leverage a few
sales by naming their new album ‘A Nationwide Mercury Prize Nominee’.


To everyone’s relief, Lil Wayne finally gives up cough syrup once and for all – announcing that from now on he will only be treating his dry, chesty cough with heroin.

After evidently straining the hinges of her own sanity for so long, Florence Welch snaps, raising up an actual rabbit heart during the middle of her Reading show as a misguided stage prop, then messily guzzling the organ down onstage. It’s official confirmation that, yes indeed, she’s not just mad in the office-clown-sense, but in an unnerving clinical one too…

Mercury Prize judges decide to cut out the middleman this year, and award the prize solely based on which album looks best when laid upon a coffee table. Follow-up single ‘Lady Gaga Filleting A Plaice’ hits Number One for three weeks strictly off ringtones alone.


Lady Gaga announces that her tits are going solo.

Eminem relights his mojo by writing an entire record of death threats to the 13-year-old boy that daughter Hailie is seeing.

That nagging feeling that Spotify is just too good to be true proves accurate, when the system starts transmitting users’ innermost thoughts in handy playlist format.


‘Unique’ voice. Ridiculously vertical ’80s hair. Inexplicably popular. La Roux announces that she is to join Jedward.

After the two roadies who normally stand in for them beneath those robo-helmets are both killed by a lightning strike during a Melbourne stadium gig, Daft Punk are forced to give a refund to everyone who ever ‘saw’ them ‘live’. They declare bankruptcy. Or at least, two guys under sci-fi robo-helmets declare bankruptcy…


Kanye West’s quest for absolute creative control leads him to code every one of the 14million lines of binary that go into the sound files on his new CD. He also now claims to have invented the concept of memes, satellite dishes and ring-pull soft drink cans.

Damon Albarn denies rumours that he’s cracking up, insisting that the Gorillaz split was due solely to ongoing creative differences between him and Murdoc.


Rik Waller, Michelle McManus, Leon Jackson, Steve Brookstein, Lemar, Darius, Gareth Gates and Eoghan Quigg star in The First-Ever All Ex-Cowell Regional Town Hall Panto at the Barnsley Civic.

Lady Gaga is beaten to the Christmas Number One by her tits. Tom Morello’s collab with Ollie Murs is in at three.