Strike while the iron's hot, why don't you…

Despite getting 2/10 for new album '48:13' in these very pages, Kasabian are set to receive two news stories in one day. A rare honour!

Closing Glastonbury yesterday evening (June 29th) the Leicester crew have now announced a full 16 date tour. Opening in Glasgow on November 19th, the tour then hits Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Hitting November on November 28th, December opens with an ambitious five night stint at London's Brixton Academy.

Ending in Manchester on December 12th, tickets go on sale this Friday (July 4th) at 9.30am.

Kasabian have confirmed the following shows:

November
19 Glasgow The SSE Hydro
21 Leeds First Direct Arena
22 Birmingham LG Arena
23 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
25 Bournemouth International Centre
26 Brighton Centre
28 Nottingham Capital FM Arena

December
1 London O2 Academy Brixton (5 Night Stand)
2 London O2 Academy Brixton (5 Night Stand)
4 London O2 Academy Brixton (5 Night Stand)
5 London O2 Academy Brixton (5 Night Stand)
6 London O2 Academy Brixton (5 Night Stand-All Nighter)
8 Dublin The O2
9 Belfast Odyssey Arena
11 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
12 Manchester Phones 4u Arena

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

For the past two summers pool slides have been the biggest player in the sandal field, beating Birkenstocks by a price difference of about £30, while the simple addition of a sock (traditionally white), throws the style ever deeper into office conversation.

Initial sightings (if you will), began in 2012 when Matthew Josephs styled Shaun Samson’s SS13 show; the duo turned up both on the catwalk and backstage, adorning the stylist’s own feet.

Last summer they were officially toasted by the fashion press, with features, look books and individuals all sporting a variation of the look. And as summer 2014 takes hold, little has changed.

Of course there are those for whom the style is less ‘a look’, more a practice as regular as changing from jeans to cut offs, and in their latest editorial, adidas Originals pays tribute to the forerunners of a trend deemed “biggest fashion faux pas” in a 2013 study conducted by Debenhams.

“I played football at a fairly decent level up until 21 and socks and slides was part of the uniform for training,” says brand consultant Ollie Olanipekun. “Any look that's super casual will always win.”

Olanipekun is joined in the ‘We Know What You Did Last Summer’ campaign by blogger India Rose, photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce, and creative director-cum-brand consultant and some time skater, Maria Falbo.

The second edition of #Socksnslides – last summer the brand asked fans ‘How Do You Wear Yours?’ – the campaign was shot by proud Mancuinan and analog photographer, Michael Mayren.

“adidas slides have donned the southern Italian coastlines for decades,” offers Falbo, “I enjoy wearing them as a tribute to that nonchalant classic summer style – especially donned with some gold accessories and slick swimwear.”

Pryce on the other hand, enjoys the juxtaposition of the sport element paired with smart clothing, while Rose owns five pairs: “One which I've covered with grey suede, one with black leather, one with frayed denim and the other two with the stripes.”

Like dip dyed hair before it, socks worn with slides is a trend encroaching on the masses (Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr will all tell you the same thing), but like the former it somehow retains its edge, making the wearer that bit different from the rest, in doing so forgoing for the most part cheap imitations. 

www.adidas.co.uk

—-

Buy The American Dream Issue of Clash
Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone /Android

One of British music's most iconic names, The Who began as flag-bearers for the Mod movement before helping to pioneer the rock opera.

2014 represents their 50th anniversary, and – to celebrate – the band are set to host a nationwide tour. Returning to the road, the shows are billed as being a truly career-spanning experience, with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey ransacking the archives.

The Who launched the tour this afternoon (June 30th) with an intimate show at iconic London nightspot Ronnie Scott's. Preceded by a short montage featuring notable highlights from the band's career, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey then blazed through a quick-fire four song set.

Stripping things down to a simple acoustic format, the pair opened with 'Substitute' as Townshend played some intricate 12 string guitar lines. Dalrey's voice retained its evident power, with 'Who's Next' favourite 'Bargain' delivered with no small degree of soul.

Evidently shooting from the hip, the pair's easy-going demeanour and happy-go-lucky stage banter led into a celebratory rendition of Mod anthem 'The Kids Are Alright'.

However the mood quickly dissipated when the guitarist began plucking out the opening lines of 'Won't Get Fooled Again' on six string. Boasting of having done this "once or twice before" the performance still felt fresh, with Daltrey delivering those lines with his trademark – albeit age-worn – sneer.

The songwriting duo then took part in a short Q&A with the assembled crowd, revealing that The Who could well turn this jaunt into an international tour. The pair mused on the rigours of the road and sympathised with Eric Clapton – who recently hinted at potentially retiring from live engagements.

Jocular to the last, Pete Townshend bantered with the journalists present and took a swing at some of the commenters on the Guardian website – describing the rather more cynical, acerbic posters as "c*nts".

Revealing that the format for each show could echo the epic set lists of their 25th anniversary tour, the guitarist also confirmed that he recently sent Roger Daltrey three demos of new material. Continuing, Townshend explained that the pair had sought inspiration in Daltrey's recent back-to-basics style collaborations with Wilko Johnson.

The Who played:

'Substitute'
'Bargain'
'The Kids Are Alright'
'Won't Get Fooled Again'

Full dates for The Who's 'Who Hits Fifty' tour:

November
30 Glasgow SSE Hydro

December
2 Leeds First Direct Arena
5 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
7 Birmingham NIA
9 Newcastle Metro
11 Liverpool Echo Arena
13 Manchester Phones4 U Arena
15 Cardiff Motorpoint
17 London The O2

Tickets go on sale from 9am this Friday (July 4th).

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

The music world lost a legend on June 27th, as celebrated soul man Bobby Womack died at the age of 70. He’d been due to release a new album, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’, later this year – the follow-up to his sensational 2012 comeback, ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’.

Said collection, co-produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, was Clash’s album of the year for 2012 – and, accordingly, we featured Womack on our year-end cover. The interview from that issue (81) has never before appeared in full online, with complete photography. To mark the great man’s passing, here it is.

– – –

Look, if you gonna go and reach, reach

– – –

You know someone is important when their personal assistant is a professional Barack Obama lookalike. Yes, even fake presidents follow in the wake of Bobby Womack: soul superstar, bona-fide legend, and full-time survivor. But when both men walk onto set for Clash’s cover shoot, shit gets real.

They’ve come to East London all the way across town from their record label’s Notting Hill base on a day packed with duties, and we’re fully expecting them to be grumpy for doing so. Added to this fact, we were expecting Bobby to be indignant at the suggestion he get changed for the camera – trust me, we’ve dealt with enough difficult divas and cooler-than-thou indie kids to know that image is precious.

So it was refreshing, and something of a relief, that while perusing our vivid assortment of vintage, designer and decorative glasses and hats, Bobby simply conceded: “Whatever you want me to wear, I’ll wear it. You just give it to me, and I’ll put it on.” Meanwhile, Arthur, Bobby’s aforementioned right-hand man, is whooping with laughter, claiming: “This is gonna be one to remember!”

He’s not wrong. What follows is three hours of the easiest and most fun shoot Clash has ever experienced, where in between swapping hats and shades, Womack entertains the studio with stories collected from his 60-year career (more on which later), some involving Sam Cooke, others Jimi Hendrix, but all delivered with a beaming smile.

We’re here today because Clash has judged Womack’s latest album, ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’, made in collaboration with Damon Albarn and XL founder Richard Russell, our favourite long-player of the year. “That’s great news,” Bobby responds, genuinely grateful of the honour.

It’s an album that crowns his career, which bridges generations, genres and technologies, and one that nearly killed him. It’s music that affects the depths of your soul, that makes you want to dance, that makes you want to cry.

– – –

‘Whatever Happened To The Times’ (2012)

– – –

From the title track’s dark, humbling sermon, we experience the paralysing pain in ‘Please Forgive My Heart’, where Womack pleads over sparse piano and penetrating, warm beats. ‘Deep River’ is a stripped-back gospel original, just Bobby, his guitar, and a direct link to decades past, and then Lana Del Rey adds her ghostly refrain to ‘Dayglo Reflection’.

We hear the 2012 equivalent of Jackie Wilson in the irrepressible ‘Love Is Gonna Lift You Up’, while the pounding techno punch of closer ‘Jubilee’ comes complete with Womack’s seasoned baritone layered all over itself. Forward-thinking the album certainly is, and we’re in love with it. Looking back at its genesis, however, Bobby admits he could never have predicted its impact.

“Matter of fact, I didn’t have no idea at all. I just knew that it was different than anything that I had ever done. I mean, working with Damon and Richard, it was just different – their approach was different.” How so?

“One thing different was the way that we would come up with songs. I’d never sit down and work on material, except for when we got in the studio. They would throw something at me, and the next day I would come back with the song. It was just great, and it was very fresh. Plus, I had never cut with a band so small – it was only about three pieces. So I would say, ‘God!’ And they kept saying, ‘Yeah, I just think the most important thing is your voice should be out there. You got an incredible voice’.

“So, I was just saying, look, if you gonna go and reach, REACH! You can’t say, ‘No, don’t do it that way!’ We didn’t have that argument! We just went right in and kept going. It was magical.”

The Womack/Albarn partnership dates back to when Damon got in touch with Bobby asking him to contribute vocals to the Gorillaz album ‘Plastic Beach’ in 2009 – he sang lead on first single ‘Stylo’, and ‘Cloud Of Unknowing’. When Womack confesses to never hearing of Albarn’s outfit, you can believe him – even when talking about them now, he calls them ‘Gorilla’. Bless.

“I told Damon to send me some material and let me hear it. Now, my daughter just walks in when I was listening to the tapes, and she said, ‘Dad, what are you doing listening to Gorilla?’ I was shocked. I say, ‘You know them?’ And she said, ‘Dad, that’s one of the hottest groups in the country. What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Is that against the law? I’m just listening!’ So she said, ‘Well, I sure wish you would cut with them.’ She said, ‘Dad, that’s the way you can get back in it!’”

– – –

If I’m still living, I wanna keep living. I wanna try out the new things…

– – –

Impressed by Damon’s work ethic, clean lifestyle and professional attitude, Bobby found himself a new partner, and even agreed to tour with Gorillaz, accompanying them across the globe, even though he’d only perform his two songs each night. “They said, ‘You only gotta be on stage 10 minutes’,” Bobby remembers. “I said, ‘Ten minutes? It takes me that long to burp!’”

But it was an impetus that re-awoke Bobby’s passion and drive, setting himself up for something more. After all, he’d practically retired after his last record, ‘Christmas Album’, in 2000.

“All the people that I grew up with – Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Wilson Pickett – all them people are gone! I say, if they left me here to carry the ball, I gotta do it where they feel proud of what I’m doing. And that right there kept me in the game, and just waiting on the opportunity – if it ever came along, I would open up. And it came along, and I opened up. If I’m still living, I wanna keep living. I wanna try out the new things.”

All of which led to Bobby, Damon and Richard convening in London and New York to start work on an album with sessions that blurred the lines of master and protégés. There’s a video on YouTube that provides an insight into what happened behind the scenes with the trio. We see Damon handling piano and keyboards and Richard programming the drums, both immersed in the man and the moment, and Bobby freestyling over their choppy beats. They look like they’re having a ball. Life was good.

Then, things took a turn for the worse. Already diagnosed a diabetic, in early 2012, while putting the finishing touches to this album, the 68-year-old was struck with a string of health problems. He was hospitalised for three months, where he was in a coma for 14 days, had pneumonia three times, and told he had prostate cancer (the tumour was removed, and later proven to be non-cancerous). He hid his medical problems from the public, and thought this exciting new venture would never see the light of day.

“I thought, ‘Boy, isn’t this a drag?’ Now the break that should’ve came 30 years ago is coming now, and my body is falling apart. My dream – the way it should have been – has just come along.”

In turn, having faced death, this became the most important album Bobby had ever worked on. “They allowed me a chance to be me. That means when you grow from materialistic things, your attitude changes as a writer, your attitude changes as a person, your attitude changes period. And I think for the better.”

Apparently healthy now – “but not like I wanna be” – Bobby still has ambitions left. “It’s like somebody breathing life into a dream that you’ve always had,” he says. Yet he can’t guarantee there will be a follow-up to ‘The Bravest Man…’.

– – –

To say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna do another album’, I say, who knows if I’ll still be around…

– – –

“Because, from my sicknesses and all the things that I went through in my life, I say you can’t predict what’s gonna happen tomorrow. I live for today and try to put as much into today, but to say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna do another album’, I say, who knows if I’ll still be around?”

The thought of losing Bobby at this juncture is heartbreaking. Not only would a reprise of this twilight promise be unfulfilled, but the world would lose a true musical icon, a conduit to a bygone era and departed heroes. Another long, rich and intriguing branch of music’s family tree will cease to grow.

It began to bloom in Cleveland, 1952, when Bobby was just eight-years-old, drafted into a gospel vocal group with his four brothers by his Baptist minister (and aspiring guitarist) father, Friendly Womack, with little choice: “My father just said, ‘Hey, you gonna do this or I’m gonna beat you into the next week’, and if you didn’t want that whipping, you wouldn’t say no.”

The Womack Brothers were a sensation on the gospel circuit, and even though Curtis Womack was the lead singer, it was his younger brother Bobby that would steal the spotlight. The group caught the eye of Sam Cooke, himself then a member of gospel group The Soul Stirrers. After leaving to go solo and follow a secular musical direction, Cooke soon launched his own label and publishing company, SAR Records, and in turn signed The Womack Brothers, converted them to secular (against the wishes of Friendly), changed their name to The Valentinos, and relocated them to Los Angeles.

Bobby was the group’s main songwriter and guitarist – a role with which he’d moonlight with Sam Cooke on tour and in the studio. Womack was brought to international attention when The Rolling Stones covered his Valentinos hit, ‘It’s All Over Now’, a move which still rankles Bobby.

“I was saying, ‘Let them get their own song! Write your own song!’ And [Sam Cooke] said, ‘Bobby, you don’t understand. You’ll be a part of history through them.’ He said, ‘You’re giving them their first shot in America and all around the world.’ And I kept saying, ‘Yeah, but I still don’t want them to record the song.’ And he said, ‘Bobby, I own the publishing!’”

Decision made, Womack surely benefitted from the song hitting number one in the UK and its consequent royalties, but what runs deeper is the racial implications of white artists stealing the music of black artists. Despite the Stones’ intention of paying tribute to Womack, it’s one more example in a long line of unfair treatment to artists never given the chance of exposure.

“I look at the black artist as they come a long way,” Bobby sighs. “But it’s a lot of people paid heavy, heavy dues, and was never recognised for anything.”

Following Sam Cooke’s murder in 1964, Bobby was left reeling. The Valentinos were put on ice while he tried to forge his own career – which was marred right at the beginning by controversy when he married Cooke’s widow, Barbara. (Furthermore, Bobby’s brother Cecil went on to marry Sam and Barbara’s daughter, Linda; the pair would later record as Womack And Womack.)

– – –

‘Across 110th Street’ (1972), as used in the movie Jackie Brown

– – –

Session work with Aretha Franklin, Sly Stone and Janis Joplin led to his own deal with United Artists in the early-’70s, and a proto-funk, raw soul-rock direction that delivered hits such as ‘Harry Hippie’, ‘Woman’s Gotta Have It’, ‘Lookin’ For A Love’, and ‘Across 110th Street’, from the soundtrack Womack composed to the film of the same name.

The latter is a song that still packs a punch – its gritty descriptions of life in the ghetto (“Been down so long, getting up didn’t cross my mind”) are no less potent today, and is testament to Bobby’s incisive and profound talents. He recalls to Clash how he had to persuade his label to let him do a soundtrack – they weren’t sure, however, if this film was right for him.

“I can write about the ghetto – I was born in it. I lived in it all my life. It’s nothing new. And so it happened. And even today, I say the ghetto still will never go out of style. People can still relate to that song. That song was written 40 years ago, but look what it says. Look how we’re living today. So I think all of that comes from being somewhere, and you’re there for a reason. I like to make the reason a positive reason for it to work and give other people hope, and the only way you can do that is through music.”

Bobby’s success waned from the late-’70s, partly due to the effect his brother Harry’s 1974 murder had on him, and then throughout the ’80s, as a drug dependency made his output unpredictable and his personal life precarious.

“I used to play it because I loved to play it,” he reasons, “but once I started seeing that the guitar had a way of making more money for me and putting me in a bigger position, then I lost the craving and the creativity for wanting to play the guitar, unless it was going to bring a song. You see what I’m saying? So when you lose that, you lose the true you.”

– – –

Because creative people are so creative, they think they can figure everything out, and drugs is one thing you can’t figure out…

– – –

A spell in rehab changed his perspectives and his fortunes, and saved his life. “I would like to be able to enlighten new artists and new entertainers that’s coming up: don’t even stop and waste your time,” he advises. “Because creative people are so creative, they think they can figure everything out, and drugs is one thing you can’t figure out. While you’re figuring it out, you know you’re hooked. Creative people are the worst when it comes to that. I seen Marvin Gaye walk past a lot of stuff, but he could not walk past that. The bigger he got, the bigger it got, until you knew what was going to win in the end. The drugs will win.”

As is evident, Albarn’s phone call was the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. It pulled Bobby through, and out into a world that’s entirely grateful to see him back, and all the better for his experience and hard-earned advice.

“I say one thing to the young generation: if you love this business, you must have a passion for it, because your passion will be tested every day,” he stresses. “Most artists get ripped off before they get started, and when they really learn the business, they’ve already made tonnes of money. If they still can go behind that, they wasn’t doing it for the money, they was doing it because they love the music. And you will get through it.”

His own love reignited, his star shining brighter than ever, Bobby Womack is right where he belongs: lost in music. ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’ is not only a most appropriate title, it’s a testimony to a life dedicated to the pursuit of music and the joy it can bring to others. We hope, Clash signs off, that Bobby can stick around to continue his good work.

“Well I’m hoping too,” he nods. “Matter of fact, I don’t even think of it like that. Even though it comes on my mind, I just say, ‘God, let me just do a tour around the world, then I’ll let it go’. But I just feel the best is yet to come.” Hallelujah.

– – –

RIP Bobby Womack, 1944-2014

Words: Simon Harper
Photography: Rory Van Millingen (website)
Fashion: Zoe Whitfield
Creative Direction: Rob Meyers

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

The world cup hasn't reached the half-way stage yet, but for many England fans it may as well be over.

Roy's Boys lasted just two games before being knocked out, making their final nil nil draw against Costa Rica something of a formality.

Since then, the nation has plunged into a state of introversion, attempting to divine just where it all went wrong. Thankfully, an answer is at hand: Zomby.

Yep, the 4AD signed producer has stepped in to offer Dazed a few thoughts on where England went wrong. "Roy just isn’t very chic but I still like him, despite the custom Hublot (watch). Watching Italy vs England it became obvious that Pirlo's sense of style was way ahead of anything the England team had seen before. They were unlucky that game really though, shout out to Raheem Sterling."

Asked where he would play, the producer said: "Probably central midfield or upfront. You know I like to have vision and my play could slot in with Welbeck and Sturridge. I could partner Sterling nicely too."

Disappointed by England's 2-1 loss against Uruguay, the producer revealed that he had placed bets on the outcome. "I was buzzing though because I realised I'd picked that goal. I picked all 3 goals and the final score and had a minor windfall so in a way I was like "whatever", I didn’t care too much."

Asked why England so consistently under-perform at the highest level, Zomby said: "1. Shit weed 2. A sense of regret before the event."

Quite. Zomby for England manager? The campaign starts here!

Related: 7 Of The Best: Zomby

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Toasting their tenth anniversary, Sonic Cathedral are geared for all manner of releases and live shows.

Now, though, the label have signalled plans to enter the world of publishing. Forthcoming tome 'Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman' will be launched at the Independent Label Market on July 12th, and collates David Quantick's NME columns from the early 90s.

Running between October 1991 and February 1992, the column was an excuse for Quantick to lacerate the excesses of the early 90s shoegaze scene.

Pointing his barbed with at the likes of Ride, Swervedriver, Lush and more, expect much mocking of their middle class backgrounds and (exaggeratedly) sheltered upbringings.

Featuring all ten original chapters, David Quantick has agreed to pen additional material to bring the adventures of Shooey House right up to date.

Also available to purchase via selected bookshops and online, Sonic Cathedral will host a launch party at The Social on July 7th.

Quantick will give a reading, while live music comes from Mark Gardener alongside DJ sets from Chaterhouse’s Stephen Patman and Lush’s Phil King.

(via Loud And Quiet)

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Two pivotal figures in house music, John Talabot and Axel Boman both ply a fine line in melodic, emotionally engrossing dance music.

Very much twin talents, a collaboration between the two… just makes sense. Confirmed earlier this year, John Talabot and Axel Boman are to team up as Talaboman on a new studio project.

Due to be released this August, debut single 'Sideral' is a tribute to Barcelona DJ Aleix ‘Sideral’ Vergés. A note from the press release:

"A truly fearless and idiosyncratic DJ, Sideral mixed genres wildly and brilliantly, uniting in the dance people from all kinds of musical backgrounds. At a time when few DJs dared cross musical borders, he was a real inspiration for both the Barca native Talabot and the young Swede Boman, who lived in the city during the peak of Sideral’s reign."

A co-release from Talabot’s Hivern Discs and Boman’s Studio Barnhus, it follows a number of back-to-back performances from the pair.

'Sederal' will be released in August.

(via Resident Advisor)

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

He's called Tricky for a reason.

Ever unpredictable, the Bristol MC is nigh on impossible to pin down. Recently heading back into the studio, Tricky began laying down material for what is billed as a "club" album.

"I suppose this is my club/hip hop album," he says in a press statement. "I’ve only heard my music a few times in a club but I grew up in clubs from when I was 14: blues parties, hip hop clubs, a few raves. I'm not known for doing club music but this album has some club tracks on it — well, what I would consider club music."

Due for release on September 8th, 'Adrian Thaws' half-inches Tricky's real name for use as a title. "Calling it Adrian Thaws is saying you don’t really know me," he continues. "So many times people have tried to put a finger on me and every album I go to a different place."

New cut 'Nicotine Love' is online now. Check it out below.

'Adrian Thaws' is set to be released on September 8th.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Seven outstanding cinema releases of the year so far, as chosen by Clash’s film contributors.

(Please note that selections are based on UK release dates.)

– – –

12 Years A Slave

With 12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen created a masterpiece – a film that is both savage and tender in equal measure. The true story of Solomon Northup’s kidnapping in pre-Civil War USA is one of horrific happenstance that sees a loving family man torn from his comfortable life in New York and forced into Southern state slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor brings a quiet solemnity to Solomon that is much in contrast with Michael Fassbender’s maniacal plantation owner who revels in his own barbarism and prides himself on being able to ‘break’ his property – slaves. And although backs were broken in the fields and spirits pushed beyond breaking point, hope is a constant for Solomon in an experience that both appals and amazes. Gareth Kolze-Jones

– – –

Dallas Buyers Club

This is an exceptional and essential piece of modern cinema. As Ron Woodroof, a Texan who reacts to his HIV-positive diagnosis in the early days of the AIDS epidemic by seeking alternative forms of treatment, a physically atrophied Matthew McConaughey cements his place as a truly fine actor – a continuing reinvention following strong performances in Killer Joe and Mud. The whole film feels ripped from the vitality and urgency of the American New Wave of the 1970s, and in channelling that energy becomes one of the most important movies of the last 10 years. Andrew Law

– – –

Her

As far as sci-fi cinema is concerned, there’s nothing new about falling in love with your computer. Yet for all the antecedents, it’s never been done quite like in Spike Jonze’s self-penned film Her. Set in a near-future Los Angeles utopia, Her is a captivating pastiche of light-hearted rom-com and hard-hitting societal examination, centred on the relationship between Theodore and his Operating System love interest Samantha. It’s through this well-worn conceit that the film negotiates its true interest – that distinctly modern complaint that Theodore nails when he says, “Sometimes I think I’ve felt everything I’m gonna feel.” In Her, we perhaps have Jonze’s first masterwork – a wry meditation on love, lust, and life. Jack Enright

– – –

Nymphomaniac

So many strands of Lars von Trier’s previous films quietly influence his controversial double-bill Nymphomaniac that it feels like the Dane’s personal greatest hits collection. There’s the grim despair of sex and control falling into disequilibrium that he previously mined in Breaking The Waves; there’s the absurdist humour of The Boss of It All; the explicitness of Antichrist; the sheer audaciousness of The Kingdom. Being a professional contrarian and all-round madcap bastard, only Lars could use sex addiction as the starting point for his most thought-provoking, emotional and funny film to date. Ben Hopkins

– – –

Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets

Pulp’s last hurrah – a homecoming gig in Sheffield – is the starting point for this documentary, but its main focus is not the Jarvis Cocker fronted five-piece. Its scope is far wider. Taking a fascinating, witty and affectionate look at the city’s ‘common people’, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets mirrors the no-nonsense ordinariness of its subjects, and it’s ultimately a film about all of those things. It shows real life and real people, erasing any of the self-indulgent pomp and ceremony associated with rock and roll as it anchors Pulp to their roots. Echoing the subject matter of their songs, it gives more of an insight into the band than many a more conventional rockumentary would. Kim Francis

– – –

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s films tend to ramble and roll as his characters loquaciously debate everything from the foibles of their upbringing to existential discussions of their place within the wider world. Essentially a shaggy dog story by nature, The Grand Budapest Hotel uses plenty of the director’s usual collaborators who are again spoiled with the wealth of their dialogue, but the plot bombs forward with a manic energy that stretches across both eras and geography. It makes for an experience that’s definitely Wes Anderson, but also one that feels a step apart from his prior work. Ben Hopkins

– – –

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Even the most cynical mind can’t watch The Wolf Of Wall Street without briefly considering that with money, power, woman and brotherhood, Jordan Belfort’s life must’ve been awesome. Yet only the most hedonistic, emotional vacant soul could view the film as a blueprint for life. Expertly seesawing this celebration / condemnation of emotionally vacant, money-fuelled hedonism, The Wolf Of Wall Street isn’t Scorsese’s finest film (look at the competition) but it could well be his most enjoyable. A howling, hilarious rush through bad behaviour and a scathing satire on the moral vacuity of the 1990s stockbroking scene, it’s rammed with killer performances (Jonah Hill perhaps even overshadowing Leonardo DiCaprio) and shoots past with a gonzoid energy that fully justifies its three-hour running time. Ben Hopkins

– – –

Related: more 7 Of The Bests for 2014 so far

Related: more Clash film content

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

According to House of… designer Henry Holland, the best thing about the Beats Pill XL is that “you can take it anywhere” so he suggests, “why not carry it like a fur trimmed accessory?!”

Sweaty faux fur woes aside, there’s little to argue against, hence Holland’s decision to drape the Pill XL carrier – his collaboration with Beats by Dre – in the brightly coloured stuff.

Debuted just days after Fendi’s Beats collab came to light at the label’s SS15 menswear show, Henry’s fluffy carrier bears not just festival vibes (certain pop stars may have bandied theirs around at Glastonbury), but an all important sense of utility, with enough pockets to cater for iPhones, lighters, cash and other so-called essentials.

Released today, the strap borrows its garish aesthetic from the House of Holland resort collection, its two prints matching those found adorning dresses, jackets and bags.

House of Holland resort images via Style.com.

beatsbydre.com

—-

Buy Clash Magazine
Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone /Android