Morrissey has cancelled his upcoming tour of the UK and Europe.

The singer had been due to spend summer on the road, arranging a flurry of British shows including a Manchester date.

These shows have now been cancelled, with the official statement citing "logistical circumstances beyond our control".

The statement confirms that refunds will be available at the point of purchase, and that Morrissey's tour of South and Central America in November will go ahead as planned.

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Like the rest of the world, we’ve spent the last 24 hours listening to Drake’s double-sided fifth studio album ‘Scorpion’.

Here are five things (and a couple of bonus things!) that we’ve taken away from the experience…

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Remaking Three 6 Mafia songs is the new real hip-hop
‘Talk Up’ sees Drake and Jay-Z trading bars over production from DJ Paul of legendary Memphis collective Three 6 Mafia (and samples N.W.A’s ‘Dopeman’).

Paying homage to Triple Six is a rite of passage for contemporary artists – not to mention an easy way to get a tried and tested banger. See: Cardi B’s ‘Bickenhead’, Rae Sremmurd’s ‘Powerglide’, G Herbo’s ‘Who Run It’, A$AP Ferg’s ‘Plain Jane’, J. Cole’s ‘No Role Modelz’… the list goes on.

Jay-Z references the murder of XXXTentacion on ‘Talk Up’
Although Florida rapper XXXTentacion’s murder occured just ten days prior to the release of ‘Scorpion’, Jay-Z makes reference to the murder of the 20-year-old on ‘Talk Up’.

In the midst of the ‘On The Run II’ tour with Beyoncé, he closes his post-hustler talk with: "Y'all killed X and let Zimmerman live, streets is done.”

Drake “collaborated” with Michael Jackson on ‘Don’t Matter To Me’
While much of the OVO Sound roster is heavily inspired by Michael Jackson, Drake managed to secure a posthumous appearance from the King of Pop on ‘Scorpion’.

Earlier this year Drake was revealed to be in the studio with 76-year-old Canadian legend Paul Anka. It turns out that the pair were working on the ‘Don’t Matter To Me’, an unreleased MJ song that was produced by Anka, which appears on Side B.

Ty Dolla $ign is the king of contemporary music
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the influx of new music that’s being released this Summer, and somehow it feels like one artist has been present across most of it.

This month alone, Ty Dolla $ign has appeared on Kanye West’s ‘ye’ and Kids See Ghosts, Teyana Taylor’s ‘K.T.S.E’. He’s joined 6LACK for new single ‘Switch’, Buddy for ‘Hey Up There’ and Stanaj on ‘Dirty Mind’.

And if that wasn’t enough he’s released a video for his single ‘Pineapple’ and the brilliant collaborative single ‘The Light’ with Jeremih from their forthcoming ‘MihTy’ album. The singer, songwriter and producer makes his latest appearance on ‘Scorpion’ standout ‘After Dark’ – which also features, and is produced by, the late Static Major – as well as providing backing vocals on ‘Jaded’.

Whatever his involvement in a track, from backing vocals to leading the parade, Ty Dolla’s presence never fails to elevate a track and his consistency should be noted.

Pusha T wasn’t lying: Drake opens up about his hidden child
During a beef with Pusha T at the end of last month, Pusha revealed that Drake has a son to adult film star Sophie Brussaux, accusing him of hiding the child on the brutal diss track ‘The Story Of Adidon’. Soon after the beef was squashed by Rap-A-Lot Records CEO, J. Prince, and Drake hasn’t spoken on it until the release of ‘Scorpion’.

While there is nothing on here to reignite his situation with Pusha, Drake does make several references to his son. On ‘Emotionless’ he raps: “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.”

And the album’s closer ‘March 14’ sees him reflecting upon the day he found out that his son was born, admitting that as the child of separated parents he’s embarrassed to have ended up a co-parent: “Single father, I hate it when I hear it/ I used to challenge my parents on every album.”

By the end of the track he talks to his son directly, expressing his hopes to make up with Brussaux and closing, “We’ll talk more when you hear this, my G.”

Bonus: Stefflon Don appears on the album
Similar to Dave’s appearance on ‘More Life’, Drake enlists London rapper Stefflon Don and her crew to speak on the outro of Disc Two opener ‘Peak’. Steff took to her Instagram to reveal her presence on the album, writing: 

 

13 years later after sharing the same class room with these hoes vinessa @empressrhe & I done made drakes album lol and all we did was chat about man as we girls usually do thanks @champagnepapi #scorpion #drake

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀DON V – IV (@stefflondon) on

Bonus: The album was inspired by a bunch of UK artists
After releasing the album, Drake took to Instagram to reveal some of the music that inspired him during the ‘Scorpion’ recording process. Unsurprisingly this included legends like 2Pac and Biggie, and US rising stars like Lil Baby and Gunna, but also saw him looking to his “second home” London for new sounds.

The series of Instagram story posts revealed that Octavian’s ‘Hands’ and Ama Lou’s ‘TBC’ were both on heavy rotation during ‘Scorpion’ sessions, as was Loski’s ‘Call Me Loose’ mixtape.

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Words: Grant Brydon

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Since being established, Strawberries and Creem festival has proven it’s determination to provide a setup that’s different to its counterparts. Though an overcast day which brought some slightly temperamental weather, the line-up did not fail those who had travelled to Cambridge’s humble Haggis Farm.

In true Strawberries and Creem fashion, the music artists on show ranged from older to newer, covering a number of genres ensuring everyone’s musical taste was catered to. The festival was created by a group of students. In its five years of existence, it has gone from strength to strength, and this year was no different.

Maintaining its three stages, choosing between them wasn’t always easy. But there were certainly some key highlights that made it an appealing festival amongst the choices this summer. Some of the UK’s brightest musical talent were present to add some flavour to Cambridge’s quaint settings.

In the Top Tent, Octavian performed a handful of tracks including '100 Degrees' and 'Hands'. The young rapper then finished with a crowd favourite, 'Party Here'. Over at the main stage, Kojo Funds attracted a large audience and gave them numerous bangers back to back, including 'Stallin’', 'Warning' and 'Dun Talkin’' for which Abra Cadabra joined him on stage. Funds also performed the many tracks he’s featured on such as Yung Bxne’s 'Fine Wine'.

Whilst today’s artists allowed the crowd to enjoy present day hits, the Garage Allstars set gave festival-goers are much welcome dose of nostalgia, where all bases were covered in taking us back to the heyday of the garage scene. Led by the heavyweights of the genre, DJ Luck and MC Neat, the duo performed their biggest hits including everybody’s favourite, 'A Little Bit Of Luck'.

All pages of the garage history book were covered with tracks from Ms Dynamite, T2 and So Solid Crew. The Top Tent continued to host some of the newest artists on the UK rap scene who all ensured a crazy time was in store for those in attendance. This included performances from D-Block Europe, Mowgli and a surprise set from Ambush who performed 'Jumpy' which has been clocking up views into the millions on YouTube.

Another man of the moment, Not3s later took to the main stage to perform. Admitting that performing an hour set was not easy, he had little to worry about filling it with his well-known hits such as 'Aladdin'. He was also joined on stage with NSG, for their track 'Pushing Up'. Strawberries and Creem is always full of surprises. Filling the dead space in the lineup before T-Pain, the organisers promised a few surprises.

This came in the form of giving an opportunity to some young artists who are just beginning to blow up. Famous for their song, 'London', 'AJ x Deno' gave a professional performance despite some sound difficulties. 'German' rapper EO also had a quick set straight following them. Though the temperature dropped and the sun began to set, the momentum did not. Without any real extravagance, T-Pain came on stage to humbly give the audience his hits back to back. He diminished any fatigue amongst the crowd with tracks like Kanye’s 'Good Life', and Jamie Foxx’s 'Blame It'.

Strawberries and Creem ended with an energetic set from the legendary David Rodigan MBE. Including some reggae and dancehall classics, Rodigan did not miss a beat as per usual, and helped keep spirits on a high till the close of the event. His varied set gave the audience a bit of Biggie, Beanie Man, and much more to epitomise the real levels of variety that exists in the festival. Not afraid to take risks with their lineups, Strawberries and Creem continues to provide the UK summer with a festival that is full of quality music, appreciating the present and the past.

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Words: Nikita Rathod

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New York riser Alice Kristiansen began by placing her music online, putting it out into the world to see who was listening.

As it turns out, cinema icon Ashton Kutcher was seeking her out, and began posting about her music on social media.

Swiftly going viral, Alice's music matches a slight lo-fi feel to fractured R&B, all delivered in a perfect pop package.

New single 'Weightless' is online now, and it's a dose of nimble pop that deals with love's first flowering.

Speaking on the motivations behind the track, Kristiansen states:

“The song was inspired by my youth in suburbia and the magic that surrounded cool summer evenings with nothing to do. Life seems to get heavier, and a bit darker, but there are still nights where fifteen doesn’t feel so far away for a little while.”

Tune in now.

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Dublin's Chirpy – real name Rebecca Shannon – likes to take control of her own work.

Each song is self-written, self-arranged, self-produced, linking her fondness for classical music with songwriting that borders on electronica.

Recorded in Dublin, London and Lucerne (Switzerland), Chirpy's debut album was released a few hours ago and it's a remarkable piece of work.

In turns soothing yet devastatingly emotional, it's wonderful, rich songwriting is gently layered, effortlessly pieced together.

Album highlight 'Breathe' has been given the video treatment, an evocative, touching clip that ably builds on Chirpy's music.

Tune in now.

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South London producer Ben Hauke wants to match the digital with the organic.

Having worked with jazz musicians like Joe Armon Jones and Nubya Garcia, the beat maker has been able to sculpt a vivid yet wide-open sound.

The producer's new EP on Far Out Recordings (pre-order LINK) takes this even further, adding elements of South African culture to his intense approach.

The results are stunning. A rich, varied EP blessed with incredible breadth, the rich sense of sound design moves from broken beat to underground jazz to samba in a dizzying creative display.

We're able to premiere new cut 'Only Old', and the fractured percussion allows space for those tantalising jazz keys to daub bright colours on the canvas.

Moody, and headily atmospheric, you can check out 'Only Old' below.

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‘Ecstatic Arrow’, Virginia Wing’s third full-length, was written as “a means of escape” but is rooted in an often horrible reality, and handles this duality commendably.

For Alice Merida Richards and Sam Pillay, “straddling lines and blurring edges has been one of the things that brings us continuous joy”. Crucially, it’s one of the main reasons the group is so hard to categorise, reconciling at times quite limpid pop with playful experimentalism.

“All the music we love strikes the balance between the serious and the absurd, the experimental and the accessible, humour and out-and-out pomp, and I don’t think we’d be able to create a straight-forward album if we tried”, explains Richards. And since life’s a very nuanced thing indeed, “making music that embodies a singular emotion would feel unnatural”.

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As far as means of escape go, holing up in Switzerland, all icy lakes and mountains, is a good one – the album was recorded with long-time collaborator Misha Hering at his family’s home there. It was a “truly wonderful and peaceful time” that “felt like it was a dream”, and the setting lent the songwriting process heightened focus and vigour. With Richards previously lamenting a slightly worrying “track record of not finishing things”, they made sure they stuck to a “unified vision” of ten songs. Unusually, they didn’t end up discarding a bunch of tunes either; ‘Ecstatic Arrow’ sees the pair at their most focussed and self-assured.

Writing ‘Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day’, Richards says, “felt like I was ripping something off because it just became a song so naturally”. Richards and Pilley would often send each other demos, but working closely with Hering and previous collaborations with XAM Duo and Hookworms also animated the process and set off a kind of musical osmosis.

Richards also collaborated with friend R Elizabeth on ‘A Sister’, the one song written after returning from Switzerland, just as the Weinstein scandal was coming to light and allegations of sexual assault were being made against Matt Mondanile. “I wanted to write this song and sing it with my friend as a testament to female friendship, as well as a sort of ode to her, but this painful stuff kept seeping in”, she says.

The record aims to be a respite from all this, the fact that a “self-confessed sexual predator” holds the world’s most powerful position. A recent tour with Hookworms left the pair increasingly irate at the laddish, leery sections of the former’s fanbase and they decided to project ‘END RAPE CULTURE’ on stage behind them.

‘Glorious Idea’ is one of the album’s most incisive explorations of the “stupidity of male entitlement”, debunking the “myth of male genius”. “It’s about how little a man has to do actually do to achieve the same accolades and respect as a woman”, says Richards. “It’s about all those men sitting alone, shitting out albums where they played every instrument and thinking that that makes them akin to Prince or Brian Wilson”. “It’s about the men who don’t even create anything that but somehow believe themselves worthy of critiquing everything, placing themselves alongside great artists and great minds based on nothing but their own self-regard”.

‘Glorious Idea’ is a “big laugh in the face”, a knowing “HAHAHA, I SEE THROUGH YOU!”, she continues. ‘Ecstatic Arrow’ doesn’t shy away from confronting society’s ills, as the duo wanted to imagine “what it would look like if we spoke about them and collectively tried to change”.

This idealism strongly informs a record that acknowledges the difficulty, drudgery and pain of day-to-day life but refuses to luxuriate in it. As someone “predisposed to melancholy”, Richards found this difficult but notes that “all too often, the story of the artistic woman is the story of a doomed and tortured soul, and perpetuating that is not something that interests me”, preferring optimism over despair.

‘Ecstatic Arrow’, then, is also an emphatic call to loosen up a bit, to “go forward faster” and “be released from all of this”.

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'Ecstatic Arrow' is out now.

Words: Wilf Skinner

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Black Honey are set to release their self-titled debut album on September 21st.

The band have been a precocious landmark for some time, but recently went into the studio to work on some new material.

Finally completing their eagerly awaited debut album, Black Honey are set to release the self-titled effort in September.

By way of an announcement the band have shared opening cut 'Only Hurt The Ones I Love' and it's a biting, unrelenting return.

The video has a wild west theme, with Izzy Baxter taking the starring role as a gunslinger.

Tune in now.

For tickets to the latest Black Honey shows click HERE.

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Australia's Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever released their debut album 'Hope Down' earlier this month, a terrific opening blast.

Seismic of riff and taut of chorus, the band's snappy, ever-infectious approach daubed some personal lyricism in sunshine abandon.

With another run of UK shows incoming alongside a plethora of festival shows it seems that the group's excellent debut is going to receive the praise it deserves.

Clash caught up with Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever to discuss a few of the inspiration points behind 'Hope Down'…

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Mental As Anything – 'Live It Up' (As picked by Joe Russo)

A magic song. A chord progression and groove I could listen to for eternity.

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Midnight Oil – 'Only The Strong' (As picked by Marcel)

Rob Hirst drives the song with pure power. He makes the drums sound like they are in pain.

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The Jam – 'That's Entertainment' (As picked by Fran Keaney)

I love the imagery in Paul Weller's lyrics. In this song, he documents his surroundings. On their own they might seem innocuous, but lined up together they describe the outside seeping into the inside and taking hold.

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Neil Young – 'Cinnamon Girl' (As picked by Tom Russo)

A big influence on my guitar playing and songwriting. Always follows his intuition, and uses a heavy hand to make simple ideas transcendent. One note solo in 'Cinnamon Girl' is a case in point.

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Paul Kelly – 'Careless' (As picked by Joe White)

The sweet chords and melodies against the dark subject of the song. That style of songwriting gets me. And it's another example of his ability to say so much with so few words.

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Catch Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever at the following shows:

October
19 Manchester Academy 2
21 Leeds Stylus
23 Brighton Concorde 2
24 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
25 Oxford O2 Academy

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Cork songwriter Talos has shared evocative slow-burning song 'Odyssey Pt. II'.

Fresh from supporting A Perfect Circle on their UK shows the Irish talent is ready to share bonus EP 'Then There Was War'.

Out now, the pensive, literate songwriting will be augmented by a trilogy of music videos, opening with this beautiful new clip.

'Odyssey Pt. II' is a hushed return, one shaped by silence, by subtle hues and gentle nuance.

Director Máni Sigfússon explains: "This quote from The Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky came to mind while I was working on the video, and it became kind of an outline: 'Weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it's tender and pliant. But when it's dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death's companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.”

Tune in now.

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