Guillemots continue on their UK tour with all it’s attendant problems (getting lost and sock with holes in). Singer Fyfe Dangerfield fills us in…


Eventually, I see “Norwegian Jade”, who sounds like a buxom stripper but is actually a huge ferry

The tour continues. I wake up at 10, and know that over yonder lies the rolling ocean. And so I set off on the streets of Southampton to find the great ocean. Something goes wrong though, because I end up wondering around a network of industrial estates and finding myself in the John Lewis Warehouse. Maybe this wasn’t the best day to go wandering. I let myself be guided there by the distant cranes, but then I keep getting to the edge of various car parks only to find a high mesh fence that cannot be overcome. This happens a few times. Eventually, I see “Norwegian Jade”, who sounds like a buxom stripper but is actually a huge ferry, and I realise I’m almost there. And at last I see it, the ocean. Sort of. A bit of concrete and same water. And a couple of black-headed gulls. Which, fact fans, don’t have black heads. They’re chocolate brown. The world of facts is a murky place.

I then go to Primark to buy some socks, as I have all but run out of holeless ones. There’s a very long queue. After standing in it for about five minutes and not getting very far, I have a mild moment of panic when I see that the socks I’m buying are for “Size 6-11 feet”. I’m a size 12. It then occurs to me that I’ve never tended to check the size of socks I’ve bought in the past, and that maybe this was a grave error on my part. So I cautiously dash off back to the bit where the socks are, to make sure that there wasn’t a larger sock option anyway. There isn’t. My socks are a safe bet. I make a very good manoeuvre back into the queue at the same position, which strictly speaking is queue jumping, but no-one seems to mind. I think it was the nonchalant look in my eyes that saved me being told off. Earlier on a wee old lady with a walking stick had sort of landed in the queue near me and then this other horsey-looking woman just in front of me turned to her and said “the back of the queue’s over there”, pointing a few metres away, which I thought seemed a bit pedantic. But then I could see that if I tried to intervene I’d end in another Larry David situation. People are strange.

For a good ten minutes I proceeded to try land grapes in their open mouths

But anyway, touring – well, I haven’t told you the most exciting bit of the day yet. Grape throwing. On returning to the dressing room, I found some grapes and, trying to be a bit rock’n’roll, threw one out of the window. Except I have a very bad aim so it just hit the glass and bounced back. I tried again and the same happened. On the third attempt, I finally managed to get a grape out of the window. By this time, Greig, Martin – our stage manager – and Neil – our tour manager – were all sat in a line with mouths agape like sea-lions, and for a good ten minutes I proceeded to try land grapes in their open mouths. This, I think, has been the peak of the day’s excitement so far. But anything could yet happen…

Scottish post rock group Mogwai have announced an exciting collaboration with fallen space rock star Roky Erickson – a hero in the original psychedelic era.

The twin talents will unite on the track “Devil Rides” taken from the Scottish group’s new release “Batcat EP”. Roky Erickson was the singer in the 13th Floor Elevators, a group who burst out of Texas with a tough psychedelic-punk sound. Indeed, their debut LP is hailed by many as signaling the birth of the psychedelic era. Tragically, few heard it and the band went on to become cult heroes. Two further albums followed, as the band’s lysergic workouts became longer so too did the line of policemen looking for an easy collar.

Erickson was found guilty of drug possession in 1969, and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. This proved to be a desperately unfortunate mistake on Erickson’s part, who found himself incarcerated in Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was subjected to electric shock treatment.

The singer became a cause celebre in the US underground, and went on to release several albums of varying quality under his own name. Erickson has struggled with his mental health ever since the late 60s, and so this latest development is encouraging news for his fans, as well as an exciting musical development.

The Mogwai “Batcat EP” release also contains a song cheerfully titled “Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police And Loses His Slut Girlfriend”. The EP will precede the band’s new album “The Hawk Is Howling” due to be released on September 22nd.

“Batcat EP” will be released on September 8th. Mogwai will also play the following dates:

October 21st – Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
October 23rd – Manchester, Academy
October 24th – London, Hammersmith Apollo

Sir Paul McCartney has promised “a couple of surprises” at his Capital of Culture concert at Anfield football ground in Liverpool this weekend.

The former Beatle told the BBC he will also be playing plenty of old favourites as well: “If I go to see someone’s show, I want them to do the hits,” he said. The concert will also feature the Kaiser Chiefs, Liverpool band the Zutons and Dave Grohl of US band the Foo Fighters.

Macca has played down speculation that fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr would join him on stage, telling the Liverpool Echo “that was never going to be on the cards”.Sir Paul McCartney also said he would be interested in producing the Wombats who are former students of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts.

Talking about the Wombats, Paul said: “I don’t do much production now but it might be very tempting. I’m not sure they would want me. I had one of the guys out the wombats in one of my classes. It was great. Now years later they’re doing great.”

The Liverpool Sound concert will be aired on BBC 2 this Sunday (1 June) at 11pm.

By Katie Weatherall

Bad news for festival fans as Sunrise becomes the first event to fall victim to the British summertime as flash floods sweep through Somerset.

With heavy rain disrupting Gatecrasher, and more predicted for the weekend, organisers have taken the step of calling off this year’s Sunrise festival. The event, set to happen this weekend, was called off following a decision by Avon and Somerset police.

Another sign that the Brits love for festivals annoyingly mix with our soggy weather, let’s hope the skies get it right for Glastonbury where the Met Office have predicted ‘above average rainfall.’ 20,000 people were due to see The Orb, The Beat, System 7 and Seize The Day appear at Sunrise, reports the BBC. Organisers said the decision was made for safety reasons after heavy rain waterlogged the ground.

Much of Somerset and the surrounding counties were hit by heavy rainfall last night (May 29th) which led to flash flooding.

It’s understood that 5,000 people had already arrived on site when the heavy rain began. An operation was taking place to help stall-holders and revellers who had already arrived to leave the site.

Devon and Somerset fire service spokesman Andy Newland explained to BBC News: “a tremendous amount of water came down with very little warning and the surface water drainage couldn’t handle it.”

By Katie Weatherall

Fresh from a mobbing by photo-hungry groupies outside the male toilets, Sam Sparro finally emerged onstage at a sweaty packedout Night and Day donning his questionable trademark white wayfarers and kaftan.

Appearances can be deceptive and the Australian-born 25-year old could be perceived to be a little gimmicky. Perhaps his management want him to appeal to the neo-rave Camden kids, but behind the glasses stands a performer who has bags of stage presence – underpinned by a vocal prowess praised by non other than Chaka Khan.

Opening with the pulsating Daft Punk-esque title track to debut set “21st Century Life”, Sparro immediately worked Manchester’s beerthirsty revellers into a party fever. Effortlessly delivering the biggest tracks off the album, he unleashed a recipe of falsettos and baritones comparable to Prince and D’Angelo; a sprinkling of pointless self-indulgence on the keyboards and a refreshing dose of scatting for good measure.

“Hot Mess” – Sparro’s answer to the Purple One’s “Alphabet Street” – was a standout, as was “Pocket” which drew comparisons to the velvety tones of Omar. “Black and Gold” arrived to rapturous applause and was unquestionably the highlight of the night. A gambling man wouldn’t have bet against it been the crowd pleaser.

Hitting the city, fans were satisfied, but Sparro seemingly has more in his armoury than he cared to show on this occasion. “Cottonmouth” would have been more than well received, but despite the seemingly short set, Manchester witnessed a bonafide pop star set for international stardom. But lose the glasses hey Sam?

Noisy New Yorkers Liars are set to return to the UK with a new EP – “Freak Out” – in the pipeline alongside a full UK tour.

Liars returned from a short hiatus last year with a phenomenal self-titled album, blending their traditional experimental muse with a new found addiction to pop melodies. The new EP will contain the track “Freak Out” alongside a live version of album track “Clear Island”. Also on the EP will be a number of video promos, including Patrick Daughters’ disturbing takes on “Plaster Casts of Everything” and the Karen O directed film for “We Fenced Other Gardens With The Bones Of Our Own”. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman, of course, previously dated Liars’ frontman Angus Andrew.

Liars release the “Freak Out EP” on May 26th.

Liars will play the following tour dates:

June 17th – London, Koko
June 18th – Liverpool, The Kazimier
June 19th – Manchester, Club Academy
June 21st – Dublin, Andrew’s Lane
June 22nd – Cork, Crane Lane Theatre

French house titans Daft Punk have returned to the studio to work on a follow up to their 2005 album “Human After All”.

The dance duo helped define French music in the electronic era, becoming one of the biggest live attractions in the dance world. Last year’s performance in the Clash Arena at Rock Ness was regarded as one of the top festival moments in the summer of 2007.

Long time Daft Punk manager Busy P explained to In The Mix magazine that “The boys are in a studio in Paris at the moment. And I can’t wait to listen to their new stuff! The good thing is that they are making music at the moment.”

Busy P also announced his intentions to stand down as the manager of Daft Punk to spend more time on his cult imprint Ed Banger.

The last release from Daft Punk was their live DVD “Alive” which documented a show in Paris in 2007. Fans have been made to wait four years (and counting) for the new album, with music lovers around the world eager to catch the band’s next move.

Montreal’s Islands are due to release Arm’s Way, the follow up to their lauded 2005 album Return To The Sea.

Preceding it is lead track The Arm, a grandiose opulent piece of music if ever there was one. Opening with a surf rock guitar riff, the song quickly bursts into overblown life with extravagant strings, bold organs and wildly stuttering drums. It’s awfully grown-up in its elements but they sit together like Skittled-up children in the front pew of a church. In its brief moments of clarity it’s like Hard Fi but more interested in mid-period Bowie than Level 42.

Opening with an organ emanating from the bowels of hell and anguished, howling backing vocals, Rum Shebeen’s debut single proceeds to recount a devilish nightmare of drug highs, comedowns and remorse.

Turns out that amidst the paranoid fears of bloody bank notes and meeting your mother whilst on a binge, hell also features a particularly bouncy brand of raggle-taggle ska and twisted carnival music. The South London five-piece have much in common with the manic folk of New York gypsy punks Gogol Bordello, but instead of Balkan influences, Rum Shebeen look west to the Caribbean, like a latter day Specials.

Beggars Banquet have confirmed a Biffy Clyro Single collection entitled ‘Singles 2001-2005’ covering the early part of the Ayrshire trio’s career.

Signed to Beggars Banquet after an appearance at the T in the Park Festival back in 2000, the band has steadily put in the hard work and were rewarded by 2007’s ‘Puzzle’, which hit number 1 in the UK album chart. Their famously committed live show also saw them support The Rolling Stones, The Who and Muse.

‘Singles 2001-2005’ is released on July 7th with the artwork and track sequencing dictated by the band themselves.