Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has revealed he no longer cares if the band continues saying, “Honestly, I couldn’t care less if it were over.”
Watts is famously dismissive of popular music with jazz his widely acknowledged first love. He is currently on tour with The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie jazz-blues band and confirms, “Jazz is my passion. This is the music that I really want to do. The Stones are merely an annoying pastime.”
He also revealed his dislike of other rock legends continuing, “I’ve never been a big Beatles fan. Of Ringo, yes, but not of the music. And I’ve always hated Elvis. He was the last one I wanted to use as a guide. Miles Davis and Fats Domino, yes, but Elvis, no.”
At just 18 years old, Alessi Laurent-Marke’s pastoral folk tales are stunning anyone within hearing distance.
Armed with an acoustic guitar, Alessi’s Ark craft cosmic madrigals that blend fairytale melodies with space age lyrics. Utterly unique, obvious reference points include Joanna Newsom, Vashti Bunyan and more – though naturally, she sounds like none of them.
Currently working on her debut album, Alessi’s Ark recently played a short tour of the UK. Demonstrating her fragile charm the dates were an enormous success, winning over plenty of new fans.
ClashMusic asked Alessi’s Ark to take a few snaps along the way – check out the results…
Piano bothering American trio Jukebox The Ghost are set to hit the UK for a series of tour dates.
The piano is an underused instrument in rock. Good enough for Beethoven perhaps, but it seems that the gentle black and white keys of the piano are just not suitable for the blues and bluster of rock music.
However all that could chance if Jukebox The Ghost have their way. Hailing from Washington DC the trio centre their music on the piano, recalling indie pop greats Ben Folds Five.
Yet the Washington group have their own style, and are much to unique to brand alongside Ben Folds Five. Lead singer Ben Thornewill’s vocals are sublime, matching his astute brand of songwriting.
With their debut album ‘Live And Let Ghosts’ already completed, Jukebox The Ghost have plenty of stunning material to unleash on fans when they tour the UK later this year.
New single ‘Good Day’ is due to be released on March 1st, before the debut album drops two weeks later. Already firm favourites with radio presenters such as Steve Lamacq, the songcraft of Jukebox The Ghost is set to win more fans on an upcoming tour.
Booked to support one time Mouldy Peach Adam Green, Jukebox The Ghost are ready to unleash their live show on their European fans.
Travelling across the continent, click HERE for more details!
Today, casting a photographic eye over his life through a lens is Reuben Wu, one quarter of Liverpool’s other finest musical export, Ladytron.
The photographic spark
“I did a module in Developing and Printing when I was at college, but my passion for photography came from a desire to document everywhere I went, especially when I was on tour with the band. I became more and more interested in finding out about new places and experimenting with different cameras and films. I’ve always been into natural environments and buildings that have been really built up and then left to deteriorate. So, things like weird, derelict amusement parks have always caught my photographic eye.”
Amusements parks on film
“We were playing a gig in Bilbao and I’d been researching this place on Google Earth, which was basically an old amusement park on top of a mountain, which was a bit of a drive outside Bilbao. It looked really amazing: completely overgrown and really huge, with all these crazy rides and strange pyramid-like structures. It had been shut down since the Eighties and I was desperate to go and check it out. So, I got a cab and told the driver in really broken Spanish to come back and meet me in two hours. When I got out of the cab I walked up to this place and there was literally no one around, or so I thought. I suddenly clocked something moving out of the corner of my eye and it turned out to be a security guard. He was a really big guy with a gun and he started shouting at me. His job was obviously to protect the park. I was shitting myself but he let me off eventually and we had a little chat about The Beatles. So I only took one photo in the end. But at least I made it out alive and in time for our gig that night. And I was happy that I managed to get at least one photo.”
“I like to experiment with film and analogue stuff, which I suppose is a bit of a parallel with the music as we use a lot of analogue equipment because it has a lot of special and different qualities to it in comparison to the digital stuff. But I shoot a lot on Polaroid because it helps me to see exactly what the photo looks like once I’ve taken it so if I want to take it again, I can do so quite easily without having to put in a film or anything like that. I end up spending a lot of time and money on eBay looking for all the films that are obviously now out of production. But they are planning on re-launching Polaroids at some point next year. I think I’ve got about five or so Polaroid cameras but I shoot a lot on my Leica.”
Out and about
“I have to make a decision about which cameras I’m going to take with me when I’m going out somewhere. Obviously I can only take out a finite amount of equipment so generally I take the smaller ones, but I’d say that usually go out with at least six cameras.”
“I found this photographer/film director called Neil Krug on Flickr about a year ago and I asked him to come and shoot one of our videos. At that point he hadn’t done much stuff at all, just lots of little bits and pieces, so this was the biggest thing he’d ever been asked to do. He came out to meet us in Spain and we went to go and shoot our video at this place called Montserrat, which is just outside Barcelona. It’s a massive mountain of bare rock and rounded stone with a monastery right on the top of it. So he spent two days filming and taking photos. I just think he’s really talented, and he’s only twenty five.”
Photographing the past
“I like to photograph everything but what I get most obsessed about are things that people have built in the past which start out as a crazy, over the top idea and then for some reason they fall into disrepair and just look odd in their surroundings. For example, there’s this amazing structure on the highest point in Berlin that originates from the Second World War when the allies were unable to demolish an old Nazi building because it was too big. So instead they covered it with all this rubble making an artificial hill, which they then named Teufelsberg, meaning Devil’s Hill or Devil’s Mountain. Things like that I find totally fascinating and that’s what I like to focus my work on the most.”
Interview by April Welsh
Florida via New York surf popsters The Drums have been added to an upcoming tour with Florence And The Machine.
The Drums are one of the hotly tipped bands to storm the year ahead. Emerging last year with some scorching hit singles, the band seem capable of blending post punk styles with glorious surf pop.
The band’s Florida upbringing puts the sunshine into their music, with The Drums radiating happiness. However the group’s music is often laced with bitterness, with recent EP ‘Summertime’ showing a renewed maturity.
Now The Drums are set to travel to the UK to begin their assault on the charts. The band are due to open a new tour next week, before preparing for the release of their new single.
‘Best Friend’ is a bittersweet ode taken from their as yet un-named debut album. Released through Moshi Moshi Records, the track has already become a firm favourite with fans lucky enough to have caught the band live.
Buoyed with a tambourine solo, ‘Best Friend’ is set to launch the British Spring time. The Drums will continue their assault on the UK with a support slot on Florence And The Machine’s new tour.
Opening on May 2nd the tour takes in The Drums’ biggest venues to date. With Florence And The Machine recently taking the top spot in the album countdown the tour will undoubtedly be packed to the rafters.
The Drums are to play the following dates:
2 Dublin Olympia Theatre
3 Dublin Olympia Theatre
5 Edinburgh Corn Exchange
6 Edinburgh Corn Exchange
7 Blackpool Empress Ballroom
9 Blackpool Empress Ballroom
10 Wolverhampton Civic Theatre
11 Wolverhampton Civic Theatre
13 London HMV Hammersmith Apollo
14 London HMV Hammersmith Apollo
15 London HMV Hammersmith Apollo
Red Bull Music Academy has unveiled details of a new installation featuring music from Warp Records and Ninja Tune.
Red Bull Music Academy is an international project that aims to unite groundbreaking artists with their fans. Shining a light on new talent, the project supports innovation where ever it can be found.
Joining forces with the Royal Albert Hall, the Red Bull Music Academy is set to present a new installation. The basement of the 138-year-old venue provides the battleground for a groundbreaking new project.
Armed with Martyn Ware’s unique 3D Audioscape installation, the venue will support a soundclash between Ninja Tune and Warp Records.
Boasting some top class DJs, the new installation is music as it has never been experienced before. From left to right, front to back, over and under – think some kind of audio version of Avatar. Couple this with the impact of unique movement-capture visuals developed by Red Bull Music Academy alumnus Martin Lester and fans will be literally able to see the sound.
Amongst the DJs scheduled for the event are ferocious dancehall guru The Bug, who has recorded with both Hyperdub and Ninja Tune. Facing off against Kevin Martin will be some of Warp Records’ finest, including Clark and enigmatic visionaries Plaid.
A spokesperson for the Royal Albert Hall said: “The Loading Bay is the hub of the Royal Albert Hal, dealing with show deliveries on a day to day basis. We are constantly looking for new ways in which we can use this incredible space and this innovative and pioneering gig with the Red Bull Music Academy seems the perfect fit”.
The RBMA / Royal Albert Hall soundclash takes place on February 18th.
Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro are the latest additions to the line up for this year’s Isle Of Wight festival.
Biffy Clyro have come a long way. Formed as part of a project at Stow College in Glasgow the trio earned their stripes through travelling the highways and byways of Britain, touring every venue which would take them.
A series of indie releases saw Biffy Clyro develop a devoted cult following, before exploding into the mainstream last year. Now capable of filling arenas in their own right, the band are due to storm the festival season this summer.
With their smash hit new album ‘Puzzle’ up their sleeves, Biffy Clyro are armed with several Top Ten singles.
The Ayrshire band are set to headline the Isle Of Wight festival this summer, joining a bill already peppered with star attractions. The trio will perform alongside reformed new wave legends Blondie.
Debbie Harry & Co. will roll out the hits, alongside fellow New Yorkers The Strokes. The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their fourth album, and are set to preview new material this summer.
Also due to headline Scotland’s RockNess festival, The Strokes are due to perform at the Isle Of Wight alongside Ivy League Afrobeat merchants Vampire Weekend and more.
With Jay-Z, The Saturdays and countless more due to perform it looks as if this year’s Isle Of Wight festival could well be worth the journey.
Isle Of Wight festival is set to take place between June 11th – 13th.
Protests against The Who performing at this year’s Superbowl are continuing in the United States.
The Who are one of the most iconic groups in rock music. Famed for their energetic stage shows, concept albums and raucous after show behaviour the band topped charts around the world.
Still an enormous arena attraction, The Who are scheduled to perform at the high profile Half Time show at this year’s Superbowl. However the band’s appearance has been met with protests by some.
Guitarist Pete Townshend was questioned by police in 2003 after indecent images of children were allegedly found on his home computer. Cleared, the guitarist claimed he was investigating material for his autobiography.
The book is still awaiting release, with many angry at his forthcoming performance at the Superbowl. A children’s welfare group publicly protested the choice of The Who as Superbowl entertainment.
Now a group named ‘Protect Our Children’ have issued thousands of leaflets around Miami making their feelings known. Branded a ‘Sex Offender’ a photograph of the guitarist is shown alongside the group’s claims.
Sent to residents around the Superbowl, the move comes as the guitarist let slip the band’s potential set list. Due to rush through some of their most titanic hits, it seems that Pete Townshend won’t be letting the furore get in the way of his performance.
The Superbowl is due to take place on February 7th.
Watch The Maccabees ‘Empty Vessels’ reworking featuring Brit rapper Roots Manuva. Available now on iTunes, the 12″ is released on Monday 1st February.
The band are out on the road throughout February at the following dates:
Thursday 4th – Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 5th – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 6th – Manchester Academy
Sunday 7th – Leeds O2 Academy
Tuesday 9th – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 10th – Norwich UEA
Thursday 11th – Birmingham O2 Academy
Saturday 13th – Cardiff University
Sunday 14th – Bristol O2 Academy
Monday 15th – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 16th – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thursday 18th – Portsmouth Pyramid / Portsmouth Guildhall
Friday 19th – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 20th – Brixton O2 Academy
Watch the promo clip for Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Skeletons’, available as a digital download with the video from 1st February.
As a bonus, check out this behind the scenes video from the ‘Skeletons’ video shoot in LA’s Hollywood Forever cemetery.