All Tomorrow’s Parties was, essentially, established as a response to the success of the Bowlie Weekender in 1999, when Belle And Sebastian curated three days of eclectic indie-rock performances at Camber Sands Pontin’s holiday camp. The first ATP took place the next April, its curators: Mogwai.
The Scottish (mostly) instrumental rockers took the reins and pulled in a bill featuring a wealth of household names – Sigur Rós, Snow Patrol, Super Furry Animals, Sonic Youth – alongside some of the best niche artists on both sides of the pond, including Labradford, Wire, Shellac and Aphex Twin. And we could easily go on, all the time amazed by the assembled cast: Arab Strap, Hood, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, …Trail Of Dead, Stereolab, Mice Parade, Clinic, Ganger, The Delgados…
Sorry, slipped into some sort of dream, there. Clash caught up with Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite for a wee chat about curating the first-ever ATP, returning to curate a day at 2004’s Directors Cut weekends, and playing a handful of other events too.
Strange, thinking back to 2000… you were still a relatively new band. And look how far you’ve come…
Yeah, it is… We never really thought anything much would happen when we formed this band, so it’s all been something of a bonus.
How did you wind up curating the first ATP?
We did Bowlie, and when ATP was getting organised for the next year we offered to play because it looked really good fun. We had a great time at Bowlie – there were a lot of our friends’ bands playing, and just a lot of great bands in general, and there was a great atmosphere. Barry (Hogan, ATP founder) was doing the next one, as ATP, and they asked us if we’d play. So, we asked if we could choose the bands, and surprisingly Barry was happy to let that happen.
And you had something of a free reign in terms of who you put forward to play?
We had a few bands come and play again, who’d played the Bowlie weekend the year before, and the rest weren’t all chosen by us, but the vast majority we selected. And it was a really good time, y’know. Our second record was out…
Wow, that really does lend some perspective.
Yeah, definitely! When we played Bowlie, that was the week that (Mogwai’s second album) ‘Come On Die Young’ had come out, so it was a long, long time ago. We were a new band, so that makes me feel quite old now. So the festival was really, really good, and we were so lucky to be asked, and subsequently other bands who have been curators have asked us to play their events. My Bloody Valentine asked us to play in New York, and we curated a day when they did the Director’s Cut event. We had a bit of a fight with Barry to book Turbonegro. They threw fake blood at a lot of scared-looking indie kids, it was amazing. Barry had to admit that it was pretty memorable.
I think the first one, in 2000, definitely set a precedent, and established a template of sorts in terms of the type of band that plays ATP…
It really was just us writing a list, and then submitting it to ATP. I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing our own trumpet, but I know that us having Shellac play in 2000 was a big thing for them. They’d not played a festival before, and they really enjoyed it, and have had a great relationship with Barry ever since. They’re over all the time now, but I don’t think that would be the case had we not asked them to play the first one. ATP has brought Shellac to a much more… It’s hard to explain, but I think without ATP Shellac would probably just play once or twice a year in some bar or something. So I know that’s one band that ATP has made a big difference to, and Shellac have really embraced the spirit of ATP. Like, Steve (Albini, Shellac vocalist/guitarist) plays all the kids at the festival at poker and stuff; they’ve become the in-house band, that sort of thing. I don’t think you could tire of watching them.
Too right. Did you see them at Release The Bats?
I didn’t, but I heard about them. Steve was dressed as a mummy, right?
Sure was, head to toe, glasses balanced delicately. It was pretty funny…
Yeah, I bet, but their music has a lot of humour in it. Like, it can seem quite serious, but some of what’s going on can be quite funny.
You had some pretty serious bands play the 2000 event alongside Shellac…
Yeah, we had Sonic Youth, and the Super Furry Animals…
Any that you never thought you’d get?
We never thought we’d get Wire – that was the big coup. A band that was never huge, but that was so important to us, was Labradford, so to have them play was a dream come true. And getting to have Sonic Youth was amazing, obviously. Erm… (laughs) I remember one amazing thing. Sigur Rós were playing, and someone got the times wrong because of some long soundcheck or something. The time they were meant to play, Bardo Pond were playing, so there were like three and a half thousand people watching them! That was absolutely brilliant.
So do you think you’re responsible for ATP being what it is today, almost as much as the company itself?
I think Belle and Sebastian need to take some credit, too, because they did an amazing job with Bowlie. It was so innovative, and I actually remember the band complaining at the time because they thought Bowlie would have got them the cover of NME, when the magazine went with Paul Weller. But then again I see The Prodigy are on the cover of NME now… what is happening to the world? It’s so weird… It’s not really new music, is it?
Not so you’d notice. Have you ever been to ATP just as a punter?
The only one I have been to that I wasn’t playing at was the Autechre one. I went down for all of that. It was amazing. I find it hard to completely relax at ATP when we’re playing it, so that was probably my favourite event. I saw Sunn O))) for the first time, having never heard them before, and they literally blew my mind; I could not believe how amazing they were. And also seeing A Guy Called Gerald, and Public Enemy, it was fantastic. Jim O’Rourke did a really weird laptop set that weekend, which I don’t think he’s done since.
How did you approach the 2004 Directors Cut event, where you only had to book one day?
I think that we went for some extremes – like we had stuff like James Orr Complex and Cat Power alongside Isis and Converge. Did Cat Power play our day? I think she played, and it was really quiet. We also had Growing, and I think that was one of their first shows in Europe. They’re one of my favourite bands in the world. I wish I could remember who we booked…! I remember Converge were amazing…
I’m pretty sure the first two bands I saw that weekend were Part Chimp and Todd…
Probably… That would make sense. I remember Hood played first at the 2000 one, which makes them the first band to ever play All Tomorrow’s Parties. So that’s something of a claim to fame. They’re one of the best British bands of all time, but hardly anyone’s ever heard of them… it’s terrible! Laurence [Bell] at Domino loved them, but they never got the breaks, and it does have a lot to do with luck. Hopefully they’ll have their time in a few years, when people rediscover them.
Do you think the different curators angle worked well? It’s been used again since…
I think it worked really well, the differences between the curators – everyone brought something to the same party. And also, at the event in New York, there was a real spread of types of artists. I think that is one of my favourite ATPs, where they had Bardo Pond doing a Don’t Look Back* show for ‘Lapsed’, and Tortoise doing ‘Millions Now Living Will Never Die’. It really was brilliant, and our show there was the best show we’ve ever played at an ATP. The atmosphere was so great – so many people were there and desperate to see My Bloody Valentine, and to see Dinosaur Jr in their original line-up.
(* ATP’s Don’t Look Back events present a band playing one of their albums from start to finish.)
Is the atmosphere different at the US event, compared to its British daddy?
The crowd is pretty different – I think American crowds are generally just a lot better behaved than British crowds! I don’t mean in a sort of bullying sort of way, but British people tend to get pretty wasted at festivals, and in the US the crowd was quite respectable. The reactions to the bands were great, and the live rooms were great too. Not the accommodation – those rooms were so horrendous I slept on the bus! But the main live room is amazing. It’s held at this dilapidated holiday camp place, but it’s got this great Scooby Doo ghost town feel about it. It’s definitely good.
How did you feel when the domestic ATP upped sticks from Camber Sands to Minehead?
Oh, I like the rooms better!
The live rooms?
No, the ones with the beds in! Minehead is good… the venue we played, the big stage in the tent, that wasn’t my favourite, although they don’t use it anymore. I wasn’t totally into that.
You performed at the 2007 ‘Versus The Fans’ event, where attendees got to vote for who played, a set-up being repeated this May. Were you a fans pick or an ATP pick at that?
I think we were a fans pick, actually. I think the fans demanded we came back! Mogwai, again! It was good, and we were just really happy to play. I remember seeing Battles play that one, round about the time people were properly getting into them and excited by them. They’re a really great band. My wife puts on concerts and she had them support Four Tet years ago, and we all hung out. They’re really great guys, and amazing musicians, so I’m delighted whenever I get to see them.
Given the band members’ backgrounds I bet they’ve some stories…
Well, two of them are younger than me, but Ian [Williams] and John [Stanier] are quite a bit older. They sort of have all bases covered. They’re really funny, and always up for partying! I have a lot of time for them.
You mentioned enjoying Don’t Look Back shows, but you’ve never played one for ATP. You must’ve been asked…
Yes, we get asked all the time. And the answer depends on what member of the band you ask! Me, I’m up for it – I’ll play anywhere. But a certain member or two of the band won’t play a show where the audience knows when to have a break for the toilet. But I would play one today. We did get asked by another festival to do ‘Young Team’ last summer, and that was quite a lot of fun.
I guess the fans’ pick might be ‘Come On Die Young’?
Well, that’s the one Barry always asks about… I think we’ll wait ‘til we get a big tax bill. (Laughs) No, actually, I would like to do it… I just need to convince the members who don’t, because we’re quite democratic and no individual has the final say.
What do you think performing at a Don’t Look Back event means to the participating bands? Do you think people see it as a sort of badge of honour?
I guess it makes people think about the records in a different way, the way they fit together. I’ve not always agreed with the records Barry has had featured, to be totally honest, but it’s not like you can ever ask a band to do one of their bad records. (Laughs) I think he’s neglecting to ask Northside to do ‘Chicken Rhythms’.
Not so sure about that. But anyway… ATP is ten next year – who would you love to see play such an anniversary event?
To play it? The ultimate band that we wanted, but we just couldn’t convince, was Codeine. We were just a little too young to have seen them, but they were a massive influence on us, and on a lot of bands we really like, like Low. So they’d be amazing. Codeine doing ‘Frigid Stars’ for a Don’t Look Back show would be just unbelievable.
Worth the train fare?
I think so. I would probably walk, all the way from Scotland.
What about someone a little ‘bigger’?
I would love to see The Cure play it, someone like that. That’d be amazing, someone ridiculous… Like, imagine Guns N’ Roses?! That’d be amazing. And I know Barry’s a big Jane’s Addiction fan, so I’m sure they’ll be asked one way or another, if they’ve not been at some stage already. Unfortunately, these bands don’t come cheap!
– – –
Find the official ATP website, with details of forthcoming festivals and associated live events and label releases, HERE
One of Britain’s top dance events has expanded its bill again with Glade set to rumble to the sub-bass of dubstep guru Benga.
Glade began life as the maverick dance stage at Glasonbury, before winning its freedom. The event is unusual in that it has an age restriction, meaning that only seasoned dance veterans can get into the the festival.
New developments for this year include a new site. The area has been kept under wraps, but can now be revealed as the Matterley Bowl, Winchester. A new site, perhaps, but Glade promises to have its familiar atmosphere.
Headliners this year include Underworld, Juan Atkins and more while recent additions include Benga. One of the top names on the dubstep scene Benga’s productions have helped shape the genre. Early cut ‘Night’ remains the scene’s calling card, while his DJ sets are highly sought after.
Nick Ladd, Glade director spoke exclusively to ClashMusic saying “The Glade has always been a strong supporter of dubstep and its profile has increased every year since we introduced it in 2005. We’re well chuffed to have Benga joining the likes of Digital Mystikz, Rusko Live, Starkey and plenty of other killer dubstep acts.”
Joining the boss of bass on the bill this year will be London indie dance types Filthy Dukes. With their debut album just hitting the shops the group are on a high, and their set will surely be one of the highlights of the event.
Always eclectic, this year the Glade organisers have handed over two new club tents to Mulletover and Finger Lickin’ Funk who will be able to assemble any bill they fancy.
One of the most anticipated events of the summer, Glade is set to carry on its unique path with yet another successful event.
Glade takes place between July 16th – 19th.
The Clash Essential 50, in a nutshell: the 50 greatest, most significant, downright brilliant albums of Clash’s lifetime. We need them, which means you, too, most probably need them.
Why? Clash celebrates its fifth birthday in April. It’s not an anniversary to make too much of a fuss about – we’ll save that for our tenth, thank you very much – but worth marking all the same. And what better way to look forward to the next few years of Clash than a look back at some of our ‘greatest hits’.
The Clash Essential 50 was compiled by the core Clash editorial team – should you disagree with any of our selections, which will be counted down throughout April, you know where to go to have your own opinion heard.
Part two sees us edge further into our list; find part one (50-47) HERE.
– – –
Vampire Weekend, ‘Vampire Weekend’
(2008; XL Recordings)
Back in late 2007, as British folk waded through the neon seas of nu-rave with the first crunch of a comedown starting to bite, you’d have been forgiven for wondering: “Hell’s teeth, man, where on earth has all the jaunty jingle-jangle guitar-pop gone?”
Happily for fans of airy unpretentious indie, preppy lyrics and string arrangements that sound like the Ski Sunday theme tune, Vampire Weekend were just across the pond in New York, getting set to release their debut album. The self-titled release dropped in 2008, and sounded as fresh as the smell of cut grass on campus lawns. The effortlessly breezy songwriting and spacious, African-influenced rhythms made ‘Vampire Weekend’ a record you wanted to live with: an endlessly enjoyable and replayable indie joint that challenged you not to engage with it. Thanks to the musical talents of the group, particularly Rostam Batmanglij, the record is richly textured, with classicist keyboard arpeggios, swooning strings and just the right amount of percussion.
Although the tracks are often simply arranged – second single ‘Oxford Comma’ rides four stabbed guitar chords, a restrained beat and the occasional piping organ swell – they never feel empty. Lead singer Ezra Koenig gets much of the credit for keeping things moving along. His wry, observational lyrics pull off the neat trick of locating the band firmly in the Ivy League’s moneyed milieu while giving him enough distance to observe and report. There’s even space for some poetic magic: the frankly gorgeous ‘Bryn’, a tale of college-holiday separation from a campus love, drops similes and metaphors as artfully as you’d expect from a lyricist beefed up on Eng-Lit courses. When Koenig says: “Eyes like a seagull/ No Kansa palm beetle/ Could ever come close to that free”, he nails the cultural divide between coastal and interior Americans – and undermines it with his slyly critical choice of symbolic animals.
This is an album overflowing with these lovely little moments, which means it repays repeat listens in spades. Even if the thought of sun-kissed indie-pop made by benevolent characters from a Bret Easton-Ellis story makes you sick, you’ll find yourself seduced by ‘Vampire Weekend’.
Words: Nick Tebbutt
– – –
MGMT, ‘Oracular Spectacular’
The New Yorkers’ major label debut arrived in a splash of pop-psychedelic colour, dazzling us with its unfettered sense of joy and wide-eyed wonderment. The zesty ambience of the Dave Fridmann-produced record was matched by an abundance of limpet-like pop melodies, songs such as ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Kids’ quickly bedding down in the brain and pleading squatter’s rights.
The duo, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, described themselves as “psychic pilgrims”. In reality they were space cadets on a cosmic voyage, ‘Oracular Spectacular’ their vehicle as they slipped the tethers of genre and embarked on an odyssey that would find them exploring the acid-addled sounds of the 1960s, the glam posturing of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and the disco inferno that was Studio 54.
They initially called their holy union of influences “Future ‘70s”, stating that it sounded either like people in the ‘70s making futuristic music, or like people in the future making music that sounded like it was from the ‘70s. Whatever. In 2008, there was nothing else quite like it. Getting us giddy on its SodaStream synth, the opening ‘Time To Pretend’ set the tone, its lyric popping the bubble of the rock star dream: “I’ll move to Paris, shoot some heroin, and fuck with the stars / You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars,” they sang, but they were only kidding.
These adventurers derived stimulation from altogether less obvious sources, Goldwasser claiming that “aliens, the future, stars and dinosaurs… anything cool” were sources of inspiration. Not surprisingly there are times when ‘Oracular Spectacular’ gets vaguely experimental – how could it not? This after all is the same duo who used to play elongated jams on the Ghost Busters theme at college gigs – but, for the most part, their excursions to the outer limits of wigged-out psychedelia are no more than day trips and MGMT always ensure that the melody-craved are left fully satiated.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of the album was that it allowed us to look at and hear the world anew, as VanWyngarden and Goldwasser saw it, bereft of cynicism, brimming with enthusiasm.
Words: Francis Jones
– – –
The Portishead trio of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley have long been lumped in with the Bristol trip-hop scene that grew up around Massive Attack and Tricky in the early ‘90s. But only location, and a similar use of low-key, down-tempo beats, have kept this strained association going.
Portishead showed in spectacular fashion, on their 2008 comeback ‘Third’, that they have a more expansive vision than just morose beats and vocals. The album is staggering, coming across like the perfect musical adaptation of a classic dystopian novel. It’s full of half-remembered samples and guitar hooks, little ditties, funk breaks and ‘70s nostalgia, all buried below the persistent electronic hum of modernity.
It’s visceral in the extreme. Harsh synths and percussive stabs sweep in to cut through the emotional tone like metal through flesh, the only respite being Beth Gibbons’ vocals that keep the human element part of the overall mechanical melee. But her voice, too, is kept locked somewhere within the cavernous metal box of this album’s sound. She surfaces sometimes to deliver typical, pained sentiments on love and loss, but it’s like a whisper within the context of so much incredible range and variation through samples, instrumentation and electronics.
The whole thing pulsates as one whole, even from doo-wop influenced number ‘Dark Water’, to the sad, PJ Harvey-esque ‘Small’ and the undulating, ‘Kid A’-evoking, synth build up of ‘The Rip’: it all fits together as part of a grand scheme to create a razor-sharp sense of modernity; the present as controlled by slices of the past and visions of the future. ‘Machine Gun’ is an impressive standout. Eight bars of pounding electric ear-destruction, repeated over and over and tweaked out to Aphex Twin proportions, with Beth Gibbons’ voice sounding no more heart wrenching.
‘Third’ took 11 years to come out, after 1997’s self-titled album ‘Portishead’, but for once there is no disappointment with this comeback. Along with debut ‘Dummy’, ‘Third’ will go down one of the great UK albums of an era from an act that have never really slipped from the peak of their powers.
Words: Jonny Ensall
– – –
Elbow, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’
Well versed in hard knocks, Bury boys Elbow reacted the only way they could following V2’s decision to drop them in 2006. Closing ranks, they regrouped to their Salford rehearsal base to record the album of their lives; scooping a deal with Fiction, winning the Nationwide Mercury Prize and a Brit Award along the way. Following the label split (their second after being discarded by Island at the end of the ‘90s), Elbow emerged battered and bruised; a band of ordinary northern blokes singing for the troublesome British Isles.
‘Starlings’ opens their fourth album with orchestral flourishes and ear splitting brass; “I’m stubborn, selfish and too old,” moans Guy Garvey, asking his spurning lover: “Darling, is this love?” ‘The Bones of You’ follows with percussive acoustic strums and Garvey lamenting work, deadlines and lost love: “I can work ‘til I break,” he coos, before a lone saxophone ends the track (a fragment of jazz composer George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’).
The gorgeous ‘Mirrorball’ holds delicate guitar melodies, while aching strings breathe for air. Garvey surveys modern Manchester with loved-up wonderment: “The street’s an empty stage / The city sirens, violins”. We’d rate ‘Grounds for Divorce’ as of the best modern comeback singles – Elbow at their most direct, rock ’n’ roll and brimming with power.
‘Weather To Fly’ sees Garvey trace the relationship roots between his own band members: “We’d sing in the doorways / Or bicker and row / Just figuring how we were wired inside”. ‘The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver’ is a real life story of man’s social and mental detachment, working alone in the clouds. Fellow Northern wordsmith Richard Hawley turns up on the betting yarn ‘The Fix’, while ‘One Day Like This’ is fabulous, heart-warming pop. In contrast, ‘Some Riot’ and ‘Friend of Ours’ – touching tributes to Bryan Glancy, a close friend who died while the album was being planned – are spine tingling in their emotive qualities.
Garvey’s oblique lyrics aren’t immediately clear underneath his croaky singing voice, but unravel delicately with repeated listens. The rest of the group deserve high praise for producing precise textures and sophisticated arrangements, all of which combine to make ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ the best and most accessible record of Elbow’s career.
Words: Alistair Beech
Read an interview with Guy Garvey about this album HERE
– – –
The Clash Essential 50 so far…
50: The Killers, ‘Hot Fuss’
49: Kasabian, ‘Kasabian’
48: Deerhunter, ‘Microcastle’
47: Bat For Lashes, ‘Fur and Gold’
46: Vampire Weekend, ‘Vampire Weekend’
45: MGMT, ‘Oracular Spectacular’
44: Portishead, ‘Third’
43: Elbow, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’
Tomorrow: numbers 42 to 39.
British indie giants Kaiser Chiefs are set to take a break.
Since emerging in the summer of 2004 with their single ‘I Predict A Riot’ Kaiser Chiefs have barely rested. Swiftly becoming one of the biggest groups in the UK, the band have toured relentlessly with album number three dropping last year.
‘Off With Their Heads’ was another collection of witty, catchy indie anthems which was followed by a lung bursting series of headline dates and festival appearances. Now it seems the band are spent, and plan to take a break following their upcoming dates with Green Day.
Singer Ricky Wilson revealed: “We’ve all got things that we’re doing outside of the band – I’ve got five years of letters to open. Nick has bought an electric drum kit and was making up a song about people in Shoreditch the other day.”
“Our keyboardist Peanut’s building a studio too, but he’ll be working on that until the day he dies.”
Wilson is a frequent guest on television, helping cover the summer festival on the BBC. Rumours circulating amongst fans had suggested he would try his luck as a television presenter, which Wilson has denied.
Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper: “I’m too into being in the band. They’d have to pay me a f**kload of money to do TV!”
“When we made the last record we wanted to do it quickly and have loads of fun. Then you finish it and hand it in like homework. That’s when it becomes really boring. Everyone starts scrutinising it and all you want to do is get back to being in a band with your friends. That’s what I want to do.”
Welsh rock legends Manic Street Preachers have opened up on the decision to use lyrics written by their former bandmate Richey Edwards.
A massive part of the band, Richey Edwards helped define the group’s lyrical and visual stance. A renowned rock poet, he gathered a cult following in his own right which only increased in veracity after he went missing in 1995.
The musician has not been seen since his car was discovered near the Severn Bridge – a notorious suicide spot. He left behind him a number of notebooks which have remained untouched until recently.
Edwards’ family had the missing rock star declared legally dead last year, and soon after Manic Street Preachers began working on new material using the remaining notebooks. Unable to alter them, the band decided to use the rough drafts as they are with the result appearing on the forthcoming album ‘Journal Of Plague Lovers’.
In an interview with XFM, guitarist James Dean Bradfield claimed that recording the album had made them fell “as if we were a band” again.
“For years we haven’t felt like we were ready to tackle the lyrics or use them in any songs,” he said. “As the time has passed, it felt that it was right to use them.”
“Over the years myself and Nicky (Wire) have picked up the lyrics and looked at them in awe, but it was only two years ago that we felt ready, like we could do this.”
“There was a sense of responsibility to do his words justice. That was part of the whole thing of letting enough time lapse. Once we actually got into the studio, it almost felt as if we were a full band, it as close to him being in the room again as possible.”
The album was recorded with renowned producer Steve Albini at the helm in Rockfield Studios last winter.
Manic Street Preachers are set to release their new album ‘Journal Of Plague Lovers’ on May 18th.
Former bandmates in indie stalwarts Dirty Pretty Things Didz Hammond and Anthony Rossamondo are set to launch a new clubnight in London.
Dirty Pretty Things emerged from the carnage of the Libertines, and went on to enjoy considerable critical and commercial success. Clash Magazine covers stars, the band simply refined the songwriting styles lead singer Carl Barat has demonstrated with Libertines.
However all good things must come to an end and the band played their final show in London last year. Amid emotional scenes they said goodbye to their fans, with ClashMusic being granted their last ever group interview.
Since then singer Carl Barat has made his solo debut, supporting Glasvegas on their tour of the United States before returning to the UK for a series of dates.
Now it seems that two former bandmates are to team up on a new venture. Younger Than Yesterday is a now club which is set to take place in London’s Proud Galleries. Taking its name from an album by The Byrds, it premieres this Sunday (April 5th) and boasts sets from Klaxons’ Jamie Reynolds and synth punk duo The Big Pink.
The two hosts will also play an acoustic set, and promise some exclusive performances from very special guests.
Hammond describes the night in a statement to fans as being like “Scotch Of St James, the Crawdaddy Club, Exploding Plastic Inevitable, the Heavenly Social and Sonic Mook Experiment, minced together and flat on their backs, wasted, yet hyper-conscious”.
Which is nice.
Younger Than Yesterday debuts on April 5th.
Mercury nominated singer Laura Marling has begun work on her second album, but took time out to play a special show in London last night (March 30th).
Laura Marling emerged from London’s creative alternative folk scene. Having worked with Lightspeed Champion and toured with Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling is the darling of the scene – and may well be the most striking artist.
Debut album ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ was a spectacular first effort. Recorded in a rush, its intimate setting captured the emotional hush of Laura Marling’s voice, and her spell-binding material.
Nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, the album eventually lost out to Elbow but gained many new fans in the process. Since then, Marling has toured relentlessly but recently took time off to work on new material.
Clearly tiring of the recording process, Laura Marling took to the stage in London and shocked fans with new material such as ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Drinking Alone’. The singer was joined with Marcus Johnstone from Mumford & Sons, with the pair having worked together before.
Mumford & Sons had a miserable time at SXSW recently. After missing their plane Johnstone suffered a rare allergic reaction to a peanut and a schedule collaboration with Marling was cancelled.
Laura Marling seemed eager to stretch out, including surprise covers of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin’ Man’.
Leaving the stage, the singer indicated this would be her only London show before August. Laura Marling played the following tracks:
‘My Manic And I’
‘Oh Mamma How Far I’ve Come’
‘I Gave You All’
‘Hope In The Air’
‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’
American thrash legends Metallica smashed the audience record for London’s O2 Arena at their show on Saturday (March 28th).
The Californian group are currently on a world tour promoting new album ‘Death Magnetic’. A return to their roots, the album was acclaimed by fans as a welcome blast from the past. The band recently cancelled a show in Sweden, but were well enough to play a scorching set at the O2 Arena.
Now a home from home, Metallica have played the venue three times in six months. The band set the original record of 18,000 last September but smashed this on Saturday (March 28th) when 19,017 fans crammed in to see them play.
Those who couldn’t gain entry to the record breaking event need not despair – the band are set to headline the Sonisphere festival at Knebworth House in August.
Before then however the band have the small matter of being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. A signal honour for the band, Metallica formed nearly thirty years ago fuelled by a love of rock but a hatred for the emerging ‘hair metal’ scene.
For the ceremony the group will be joined by Jason Newsted. Newsted played with Metallica for fifteen years before exiting in 2001 amid rumours of titanic rows with fellow band members. However the two parties have seen fit to put aside their differences, and the re-united Metallica will make a one off appearance onstage.
Metallica will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month.
Rave heroes The Prodigy are set to release their new single ‘Warriors Dance’ on May 11th.
The Prodigy were formed by a group of ravers, fired up by the energy of the Acid House explosion. Their early sound inspired the much maligned genre ‘toytown techno’ with the seminal release ‘Charlie’ before turning towards a darker, jungle-infused, direction.
Era defining releases followed, with the album ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ possibly one of the best released in the 90s. The group splintered after the release of their commercial breakthrough ‘Fat Of The Land’ but recently the original trio have begun to work together again.
The result is The Prodigy’s freshest album in a decade. Retaining their trademark sound new album ‘Invaders Must Die’ contains a remarkable sense of daring as the band begin to look to the future.
New single ‘Warriors Dance’ is a blast from the old school. A three minute answer to the question ‘Where were you in ’92?’ the song is the perfect reminder of all that is great about The Prodigy.
The group are set to embark on a new UK arena tour, with tickets long since sold out. A residency in their old manor of Brixton is due to be expanded, with a new date at O2 Academy Brixton being announced.
An all night affair, support will come from Dizzee Rascal, Kissy Sellout and Chase And Status.
The Prodigy have added the following tour date:
18 London O2 Academy Brixton
Welsh wyrd folk event Green Man has added to its already sterling bill with electronic wizard Four Tet set to stun fans.
Held beneath the famous Black Mountains at Brecon Beacons in Wales, the organisers of Green Day leave nothing to chance. With rain affecting many festival goers at last year’s event, five pagan Druids were brought in to ensure a summer scorcher by performing a ceremony near the Spring equinox.
Fiona Stewart, Green Man Director said “it’s a tradition that we have a site visit at the start of spring and sample the first cider of the season. This time we thought why not go one further and organise some really scorching weather?”
Gathering over 100 acts across five stages, Green Man can boast a bill packed with special performances. This year’s headliners will include local heroes Super Furry Animals, Bon Iver, British Sea Power and more.
Joining the fun will be electronic star Four Tet. One of the most renowned producers in the UK, Kieran Hebden almost single handedly invented the folktronica genre before turning back towards the techno that initially inspired him.
Also recently added the bill are Grizzly Bear, Scottish newcomers The Phantom Band, Unicorn Kid, The Dirty Three and many more.
The Green Man festival takes place between August 21st – 23rd.