Readers Poll 2012: The Shame Cauldron Decides Pt 1

Today, we reveal your picks for Best Comeback, Best New-Ish Act, Best Live Act and – for the first time – Worst Break-Up. Tomorrow, it’s your Top 50 albums of the year.

Best Comeback

1. The Sunnyboys

The Sunnyboys was a reunion that just about everyone had given up on, including [The Sunnyboys themselves](/icons/4541333). The love was there, as, presumably were the offers, but no amount of filthy lucre was going to negate Jeremy Oxley’s health issues, which were inadvertently chronicled in the diminishing-returns run of albums that followed their classic 1981 debut. But – the stars aligned, a tentative [Dig It Up!](/articles/4459644) appearance went down a treat, and a triumphant [Meredith](/articles/4542642) followed. There are more shows to come, but the return of The Sunnyboys, a tick over thirty years since their finest moment, already feels like redemption.

2. The Bad Seeds
3. The Beasts Of Bourbon
4. The Mark Of Cain
5. The Spazzys

Best New-ish Act

1. Boomgates

Boomgates did something a little bit remarkable in 2012. Drawn from members of the Melbourne garage/jangle/lo-fi in-crowd, they managed to create something that was distinct, something new and exhilarating, all while staying within that tightly-defined frame of reference. On debut album [Double Natural](/releases/2001119), the members of Boomgates dialled down the snot (Twerps), the snarl (Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and the slacker moves (Dick Diver) of their ?parent? bands, focussing instead on spare, driving rhythms and subtle songcraft. Meanwhile, Brendan Huntley and Steph Hughes? salty/sweet vocals suggested a melancholy that their banal suburban vignettes barely hinted at.

2. The Murlocs
3. Courtney Barnett
4. Lower Plenty
5. Chet Faker
6. Terrible Truths
7. Baptism Of Uzi
8. White Walls
9. Bushwalking
10. Tantrums

Best Live Act

1. The Dirty Three

In their 21st year, the fire-and-brimstone intensity with which The Dirty Three made their reputation showed no sign of ebbing. Touring in support of the excellent, uncompromising [Toward The Low Sun](/releases/2001002), the band proved that they could bring an elemental force to [regional theatres and grand opera halls alike](/articles/4447237), while still finding time to crack tawdry ?Bono ?n? Gina Rinehart? gags (?y’hear the one about the megalomaniac and the plutocrat??). A fine combination.

An honourable mention must go to Henry Wagons? street team also, for snagging their man a second-place finish. You can’t win ?em all, Wagonites?

2. Henry Wagons
3. Royal Headache
4. Mesa Cosa
5. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard
6. Tame Impala
7. The UV Race
8. Twerps
9. Boomgates
10. Deaf Wish

Worst Break-Up

1. The Wiggles

The Wiggles (ex-The Cockroaches) didn’t break up in 2012, but the combination of Yellow Wiggle Sam Moran’s messy departure (he was abruptly fired and replaced by his predecessor Greg Page) and the subsequent replacement of three-quarters of the band (including Page) with younger performers have left some Wiggles fans proclaiming the demise of the ?real? Wiggles. The [influential](/news/4352362) ARIA [Hall of Famers](/news/4360700), intend to continue, with Blue Wiggle Anthony Field leading new bandmates Emma Watkins (Yellow), Lachlan Gillespie (Purple), and Simon Pryce (Red), but whether they can ever reclaim their standing among long-time followers remains to be seen.

2. True Radical Miracle
3. Weddings Parties Anything
4. Bridezilla

TOMORROW: Your Top 50 albums of 2012 revealed.