Music news and reviews, music videos and tittle tattle, with a lingering look at the past from Anorak. A source for rock, pop, album and live music, new releases, artist interviews and features.
I once watched The Alarm get pelted with bottles, cans and at least three big ceremaic cider jugs. They played on. Terry Hall, of The Specials, isn’t going to take it. When a face in the crowd at Nottingham Rock City tosses a can towards the stage, Hall reacts.
Language is very spicy. You’ve been warned.
This Christmas why not sit back and liten to the sounds of former Coverntry City, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Manchester United footballer Dion Dublin? It’s for charity.
And it might be pretty good. Dion has muscial roots.
EVER been to a disco that made you feel awkward, terrible and upset at the realisation that you were among your people?
BIG Bank Hank, US rapper and Sugarhill Gang founder member, has died. He was 57.
Born Henry Jackson, BBH only became a rapper as he couldn’t find a job connected to his oceanography degree.
He was “six foot one and tons of fun”:
TO Uppsala, Sweden, where former Europe’s lead singer Joey Tempest, aka Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson, is performing a one-man version of his group’s classic, back-combed tribute to space travel, The Final Countdown.
EVER wonder what a needle on a vinyl record looks like at 1000x magnification?
Here’s what it looks like in action:
IN San Francisco, artist Ben Venom recycles heavy metal t-shirts into handmade quilts.
Metal fans hould enjoy looking for familiar looking swatches:
YOUTUBER jonofthesouth showcases the house music dancers moving to the beat of holiday camp music:
Take it away, Reginald Dixon and the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ enthusiasts:
STUART MacBeth reviews UB40 for the Oxford Mail:
You may, at this point, wonder when I’m going to tell you what the UB40 gig was like.
For the first 90 minutes this gig was like being at a funeral, waiting for a coffin to turn up. The band looked bored. And by the end my mother’s old adage rings true: “if you haven’t got anything good to say… don’t say anything at all”.
At the end, when it was finally over, my girlfriend and I met up with a couple of friends who’re from Jamaica. We all went to the Hi-Lo Jamaican bar, down the road, and spent a couple of hours listening to reggae. A breath of fresh air.
THE news today is that supermodel Cara Delevingne has hired Pharrell Williams to give her what she needs as she makes her musical bow.
A source told The super soaraway Sun: “They’re going to release the song without warning, complete with video and global launch. They seem to have formed a great little writing collective and apparently it’s a huge song.”
SCOTT Ian of Anthrax on meeting Lemmy for the first time. Language is spicy.
HIGHLIGHTS from Iggy Pop’s John Peel Lecture for BBC Music at the Lowry theater in Salford, Manchester.
On Apple and U2:
“The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, ‘Don’t try to force me.’ And they’ve got a point. Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s kind of an anointing, you are giving people love. It’s your choice to give or withhold. You felt like they were robbed of that chance and they have a point.”
On Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke selling the album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes via BitTorrent.
“Sure, BitTorrent is a pirate’s friend. But all pirates want to go legit, just like I wanted to be respectable. So it’s good that Thom Yorke is encouraging a positive change.”
On Modern Piracy:
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Read the rest of this entry »
WORLD’S Got Talent presents four-piece ensemble novii god h:
SLIPKNOT sacked drummer Joey Jordison, by singing telegram. As he says:
“I was sitting in my living room playing Skyrim, when there was a knock at my door. I wasn’t expecting anyone, so I was like, ‘Who could that be?’. I opened the door to find a guy in what looked like an old-fashioned elevator boy outfit. He did a little jig and started to sing this horrible song letting me know I’d been let go from the group.”
LIFE mirrors The Produers:
Charles Manson: Summer of Hate – The Musical just opened at Hamburg, Germany’s Thalia Theater.
The Los Angeles Times calls it “musical trip between L.A. and the Death Valley”.
The songs are in English and spoken dialogue in German.
YOU can strop the music….
BIG news from the world of showbiz – big enough to take over the Sun ‘s front page: Jason Orange has quit Take That.
THE MOBO Awards have doled out their nominations, inevitably prompting spectacularly thick people to say “WHY DON’T WE GET A MOWO AWARDS EH?” Classical music awards are exactly that, you berk.
Anyway, Sam Smith and Krept & Konan lead this year’s nominations with three nods each and the event will take place at the SSE Arena, Wembley on October 22nd, which is pretty fancy for it’s 19th year in business.
As well as Krept & Konan and Sam Smith, Fuse ODG, Beyonce, Meridian Dan, Tinie Tempah, FKA Twigs, Katy B, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar and MNEK get a look-in too.
In even better news, the ceremony will be broadcast on ITV2 this year.
Discussing the news, MOBO founder Kanya King said: “As we enter our 19th year, the MOBO Awards show promises to be bigger and more audacious than ever. This year’s nominees represent an incredible crop of artists. I find it particularly exciting to see so many underground artists featured, who’ve reached new heights over the last year and broken into the wider consciousness.”
“It’s testament to their talent and their determination to succeed and we are very proud to witness their successes to date. This year’s show at Wembley is set to be nothing short of spectacular”.
If you fancy a flutter, we’re going to arrogantly predict who will win. If you land a big bet, we want a round of drinks off you. We’re not kidding.
There’s a very strong bunch of nominees, so let’s have a look.
ONCE upon a time, rock and pop lived together in perfect harmony and music fans didn’t feel the need to pick sides. Then, at some point in the ’80s, indie music came and spoiled it all, taking up the same opinion as people like Morrissey, who needlessly hit out at anything that was vaguely popular.
In 2014, too many White Artists With A Guitar (WAWAGs, pronounced Waaaaaaaah Wags) feel the need to hit out against pop music because it makes them feel more authentic when they talk about ‘real music’ and other horsepiss.
THERE’S been much chatter about Apple’s move to give away U2′s new album Songs of Innocence to 500 million iTunes customers in 119 countries to coincide with its iPhone 6 and Watch launch.
U2′s singer Bono (Mr G21) opined:
“People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library,”
IN September 1994, a reel-to-reel tape emerged and was put up for auction. Sotheby’s were all over it because this wasn’t any old recording they had on their hands.
What had arrived was a reel to reel tape of The Quarry Men appearing at St Peter’s Parish Church garden party Liverpool in July, 1957.
The Quarry Men would of course, turn into The Beatles, who are still the biggest band in the whole wide world. The tape went for what is a reasonably low price of £69,000. That wouldn’t buy one leg of a Champion’s League footballer in 2014.
So with that, we got to thinking about famous rock stars, pop singers and rappers before they were famous. Of course, there’s a lot of them who were on television and there’s yearbook photos of just about every celebrity online, but we wanted to look at the music they were making and the evidence of it.
Pull up a chair, remove the wax from your ear and let’s get stuck into rock’s flipside.
THIS week, in ’65, The Rolling Stones crash-landed at the top of the pop charts with a song that would become the band’s signature tune.
(‘I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ gave the group their 4th no.1 single in the UK, which Keith Richards came up with while in Florida. He recorded a rough demo of the riff in a hotel room. Famously, he knocked the riff out into a tape and then fell asleep.
The song started life as two minutes of acoustic fumblings and and “then me snoring for the next forty minutes.”
One of the main ingredients that made the song so memorable was the Gibson Maestro Fuzz Pedal. That FZZZZing, BZZZZZing noise would become one of the hallmarks of ’60s beat music and the Stones taking it to the toppermost of the poppermost only ensured that everyone was going to jump on the sound.
BRITISH soul music is in a very, very good place at the moment and one of the leading lights of the scene is the wonderful Sam Smith, who has just announced a big ol’ UK tour for Spring 2015.
Smith just reached number one in the album charts and is currently being wooed by America, which will either make him or break him into a puddle of nervous breakdown.
Of course, Sam Smith isn’t the first soul singer Britain has produced, but his success is worth looking back at some of Blighty’s finest balladeers and belters.
Britain has a much richer seam of soul music (and blue-eyed soul) than you think. Of course, Adele conquered the entire world and Beverley Knight has stuck it out for years.
Let’s have a look at some of the best.
The current champion of Britsoul, Sam Smith, who has cut a fine furrow himself, along with making some great songs with Disclosure and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.
If there was a title for the greatest British soul singer of all time, Amy Winehouse would absolutely be in with a shout. Dead too young, but with a couple of killer albums released in her lifetime, making the rest of pop immediately up its game.
MNEK has gone from writing for others to making a go of it himself and, by God, we’ve needed him. Mixing ’90s R&B sensibilities with modern pop and dance music, he’s creating some of the best music in the world right now and if we don’t make a megastar out of him, we frankly don’t deserve the ears on our heads and the ass in our pants.
Cymande are an overlooked London funk outfit from the ’70s who ended up being sampled by De La Soul, thereby giving salivating record collectors and sample hunters a second stab at hearing their terrific music.
Few could argue that Britain has produced a better soul artist than Dusty Springfield. No-one channelled the feeling of a song quite like her and that remarkable, unique voice of hers is one that’ll never be copied.
You may remember Estelle’s ‘American Boy’, which featured a Kanye West verse, but there’s more to her than that one big smash. That said, if you’re going to go global with a record, ‘American Boy’ isn’t a bad one at all.
The critics favourite, Laura Mvula has melted the hearts of everyone with her modern-take on soul. She’s a magnificent artist and, as good as her work is, you get the impression she’s not yet released her best.
London’s R&B champion, Angel, has all the ingredients to be a superstar, so fans of his are enjoying him up close and personal before he ends up vanishing behind the velvet curtain of the VIP section.
Courtney Bennett is one of the most promising singers in Britain right now. She’s put out loads of great songs and was spotted by Ryan Leslie to sing on his ‘Black Mozart’ LP. One of the future, for sure.
Swedish-born, but British raised, Fatima has been making some very interesting and original soul music (‘Circle’ is well worth a listen). Another one who, if we’re not careful, could be huge!
Lianne La Havas
The fabulous Lianne La Havas as dazzled everyone who has seen her live and on record, she’s no slouch either. Mixing jazz, soul and electronics, she’s so good that Prince went ’round her house for a cup of tea.
Another one of Britain’s blue-eyed soulies from the ’60s, Chris Farlowe’s voice is a force of nature. The thing that bellows out of that awkward frame of his provided Immediate Records with some of their best hits. You’ll know him from his famous version of ‘Handbags & Gladrags’.
Lynden David Hall
Britain’s answer to Neo Soul, LDH sadly passed away in 2006, but not before cutting some great records and an amusing appearance in ‘Love Actually’.
Honorary mentions to:
Katy B, Craig David, Alice Russell, Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, Brand New Heavies, Misha Paris, Rebecca Ferguson.