The Rolling Stones have postponed the North American leg of their No Filter tour.

The band launched the tour in 2017, and played a string of excellent UK stadium shows last summer.

Due to hit North America this month, the shows have been pushed back to allow Mick Jagger to receive medical treatments.

According to reports a routine scan shows something unexpected, with the iconic frontman ordered to take a month off.

As a result, the upcoming No Filter dates in the United States and Canada have been pushed back.

Mick Jagger apologised directly to fans on social media:

Get well soon, Mick!

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There are difficult interviewees and then there's Robert Smith.

The Cure's iconic frontman tends to do and say as he please, veering from taciturn to hilariously gleeful.

Wandering on to the carpet at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, a excitable American presenter rushed up to the singer.

"Are you as excited as I am?!" she exclaimed.

To which Robert Smith replied: "By the sounds of it, no…"

Watch the clip below.

Check out the full interview here.

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Blur played a surprise three song set at the Africa Express show in London last night (March 29th).

The band have been on down time since their epic Hyde Park show in 2017, but dusted down their instruments for a secret show.

Frontman Damon Albarn is a long-time supporter of Africa Express, and couldn't resist joining in the multi-artist show at Waltham Forest.

The full Blur line up leaped onstage for a three song set, playing 'Clover In Dover' for the first time in concert. Delivering a rabble-rousing 'Song 2' the band also found time to play 1997 single 'Tender'.

Here's a few fan clips.

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There are few more beloved singers than Dusty Springfield and her 50 year old iconic ‘Dusty In Memphis’ LP is her most treasured recording.

It wasn’t always that way though. Indeed, recording the album was a fraught and stress ridden process for the singer and it was met with a commercial apathy that almost torpedoed her career. Instead, the album has slowly grown to become appreciated as a soul classic and the sound of one of our greatest performers at the top of her game.

At the end of the 60s there was an appetite for Dusty to do something a bit different. The pop world had changed and short, snappy singles and, ‘big ballady things’ as Dusty herself described her speciality, were out and the long playing artistic statement were in. Her label, Atlantic records, wanted Dusty to take a risk and launch herself into the looming rock era with a harder, tougher R&B and soul record that would re-establish her as the UK’s equivalent to Aretha.

Dusty herself was nervous about the project. “Like most people, perhaps, I associated Memphis with one kind of sound, a hard R&B sound. That’s not the thing i can do, and I’d rather leave it to those who can,” she says in Stanley Booth’s original edition. Fortunately, Dusty was convinced and, working alongside the very best in studio musicians in the musical hotbed of Memphis, including esteemed jazz guitarist Tommy Coghill along with strings arranged by legendary producer Arif Mardin, they crafted the ultimate blue eyed soul record.

The songs are provided by a who’s who of classic pop songwriters from Goffin and King, Bacharach and David to Randy Newman. They were all chosen to perfectly accentuate and complement Dusty’s performance.

The album is characterised by its perfect pitch. Nothing is out of place and the musicians and Dusty work together in harmony. Well, at least it sounds that way on record. In reality the sessions were blighted by fights and arguments, with the singer and the musicians eventually working completely separately with Dusty recording her vocals on top of their rhythm tracks.

None of that takes away from the magic of the recordings though. Each track is supremely layered and tenderly constructed to bring Dusty’s voice to a soaring crescendo like on the opening two stunning string filled heart stoppers, ‘Just A Little Lovin’ and ‘So Much Love’.

Much of the album’s enduring legacy has been burnished by its most famous single. Dusty’s reading of ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ was the album’s only real hit and has gone on to be rightly acclaimed as one of the greatest singles in history. Dusty’s voice drips with attitude and class while the band cook up a storm behind her. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Elsewhere, you hear here rocking out on ‘Don’t Forget About Me’ before reaching a deeply emotional gospel climax on ‘No Easy Way Down’. Dusty was a unique singer and the qualities she brought to the Memphis recordings mark it out as a singular record. She would never resort to just belting a song out. Her considered approach coalesced with the craftsmanship of the musicians wonderfully.

The album was a significant step forward for Dusty Springfield musically but ended up as a commercial step back, only just scraping in at number 99 on the US billboard chart. It’s been reported that it was decades before Dusty could even bear to listen to it.

Time though, has worked wonders for both Dusty and the album’s legacy. It represents a monument for her willingness to take risks despite her own anxieties and fears. It set a template for a whole new soul era and stands as Dusty Springfield’s greatest moment.

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Words: Martyn Young

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The passing of Scott Walker closes the final chapter in a remarkable musical story.

From teen idol to avant garde juggernaut, Scott Walker's many paths have opened up some incredible avenues, spaces for other artists to make their own.

Everyone from Radiohead to David Bowie doffed their cap to the songwriter, while his sonorous baritone influenced several generations of male vocalists.

Spending a few days absorbing the news, Clash writers gathered to pick their own personal favourites from the Scott Walker catalogue…

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Scott Walker – 'Boy Child' (As picked by William Salmon)

Scott 4's most spectral moment comes at the end of its first side. Walker's voice is carried aloft on a gently-undulating bed of strings on a song that eschews percussion entirely to create a mesmerising dreamscape. That it's immediately contrasted with the upbeat – and utterly bloody furious – 'Hero Of The War' is a perfect bit of sequencing on Walker's part.

Listening to the quartet of Scott LPs today in the light of his later, wilder and weirder work can be a disorientating experience. A lot of it sounds comparatively straight-laced compared to what was to come, but the idea that Walker's experimental instincts only developed later is wrong – they're clearly developing over the course of these records, reaching hauntingly beautiful fruition on 'Scott 4' and, especially, this lovely, song that sounds like a serenade from a heartbroken angel.

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The Walker Brothers – 'The Electrician' (As picked by William Salmon)

The Walker Brothers last – and best – studio album, 1978's 'Nite Flights', was the first where the former pop idols allowed themselves to make a record that truly reflected their interests. Its dark heart is 'The Electrician' – a six minute song that's opens with a deeply-sinister swell of strings before switching things up. Suddenly it feels bright, pretty even.

It's a con, of course – the song is, lyrically, about a torturer ("There's no help, no…") and it's constantly changing temperaments unsettle, even while the music seeks to soothe.

The song became an obsession of David Bowie and Brian Eno's on release and you can hear echoes of it in Big Dave's work on '1. Outside' and 'Blackstar', especially. But, more importantly, 'The Electrician' helped define the singular path that Walker himself would tread over the next 40 years.

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Scott Walker – 'It's Raining Today' (As picked by Susan Hansen)

After a period as The Walker Brothers’ enigmatic frontman, this track is one of the earliest releases from Walker’s career as a solo artist and it provides a vital key to identifying Jacques Brel’s influence on Walker.

During a TV interview from 1969, Walker referred to this song as being a reflection on his teenage years. During the Beatnik era he read lots of Jack Kerouac, it was a time when he got kicked out of school and met lots of ‘wonderful people’. He described the relationships as ‘ephemeral’ and ‘It’s Raining Today’ tackles some of them. It makes use of sparse instrumentation and the pace is slow, but it’s a mesmerising arrangement.

A highlight on ‘Scott 3’, it sizzles and builds towards the overall theme of the album, but contrary to the other tracks that follow, its lighter, far more uplifting atmospherics make it a well-chosen opening track.

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Scott Walker – 'Only Myself To Blame' (As picked by Nick Roseblade)

Scott Walker should have recorded a Bond theme. Can you imagine what that would have sounded like? Literally can you imagine? It’s the song he was born to record, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

The nearest we ever got was ‘Only Myself To Blame’. Recorded for the end credits of 1999’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’ it was written by David Arnold and Don Black. ‘Only Myself To Blame’ is a glorious jazzy slow burner which allows Walker to croon and wallow in self-pity whilst reminding us why we loved his Brel covers in the first place.

Sadly the director Michael Apted felt the film would be too bleak and fans wouldn’t enjoy the experience and went for a remix of the Bond Theme instead. So close…

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Scott Walker – 'Use Me' (As picked by Nick Roseblade)

When discussing Walker’s stacked discography it is usually his four Scott albums or his later more experimental work that gets the love. His 1970’s period is generally dismissed as being shit, sometimes by the man himself, and it his lack of creative control makes the albums suffer. No one is going to say that ‘We Had it All’ is better than ‘Scott 3’ or ‘Bish Bosh’ there are some amazing songs hidden in these overlooked albums.

1973’s ‘Use Me’ is one of these songs. Taken from ‘Stretch’ Walker’s glorious vocals sit over huge breakbeats and a dirty organ. It makes his vocals sound grittier than they ever had before. This is a ton of fun and a reminder that Walker could be at the top of his game when having fun, as well as delivering some avant-garde and terrifying.

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Scott Walker – 'Copenhagen' (As picked by Fergal Kinney)

‘Scott 3’ is the death throes of Scott Walker the commercial crooner, and the difficult birth of Scott Walker the avant-garde musician. Arguably the biggest shift in Walker’s career would be that which occurs between ‘Scott 2’ and ‘Scott 3’.

On ‘Copenhagen’, this transition is at its most explicit – introducing the twin peaks of Walker’s career to come. The first being a lyrical modernism, Walker’s words from hereon in owing more to TS Elliot than they do the Brill Building. The second being the mournful, dissonant use of that rich, velvet baritone. No matter how far Walker pushed his art over the ensuing decades, it would all operate within these two pillars.

In this short and dreamlike track, there is an embarrassing surplus of beauty. Wally Scott would be the string arranger on all four of the eponymous Scott records, but never previously had his arrangements so complimented Walker in their richness or ambition than here, all wintry and twinkling. Europe was proving profoundly inspiring for Walker at this point; indeed, as it would throughout his life.

Like so much of Walker’s work, there’s a complex interplay between contemporary pop and classical music, film and literature, philosophy and place. The track is gorgeous as a piece of baroque pop, but what keeps me returning to the track is quite how elusive it is. Images aren’t returned to. Like the melting snowdrops described in the song’s opening lines, images come into focus and then dissolve; fragmentary, quicksilver.

The only motif is the idea of childhood; there are three mentions of childhood in this short song, and even that, as innocence fades, must fade from view also.

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The Walker Brothers – 'Nite Flights' (As picked by NB)

The first song I reached for when I read Scott had passed was 'Nite Flights'. Something about the strange, languid defiance of this song has always lifted me.

The four tracks Scott contributed to the Walker Brothers final album represent the pivotal moment in his discography, the hinge that connects Scott Walker the faded 60’s pop star to latter day avant Scott.

The album itself was a contract filler, recorded in 1978 when the Walker Brother’s reunion had worn out a brief mid-decade welcome. They could have hashed out a few covers and called it quits, instead they each decided to make their own mini album.

In Scott’s case the results were all the more enthralling for the years of artistic near-dormancy that preceded them. Suddenly, here was the supreme command, the auteur’s precision and dark drama that had characterised the quartet of records that had seen him become the toast of late ‘60s British pop, only to overreach and fall precipitously from grace.

The person who made those records was irreconcilably altered by the years in the wilderness that followed. From this point on, his every word would be inscrutable, rich in bleak, often nightmarish imagery, while the music would skew ever forward down a path of discord and despair.

That said, 'Nite Flights' is an accessible song, at least musically. Over a pounding disco/kraut backing, that cavernous voice is reborn in roiling oddness:

it's so cold
the dark
dug up by dogs
the stitches
torn and broke
the raw meat fist
you choke
has hit the bloodlite

And then the tonal shift into something like serene redemption:

be my love
we will be gods
on nite flights
with only one promise
only one way
to fall

That the album was another flop probably surprised no-one involved at the time, but it must have come as a major blow all the same. Scott had created arguably his finest work up to that point, and no one had cared. It wasn’t until Julian Cope’s Fire Escape in The Sky compilation a few years later that Scott’s fortunes really started to look up. Culthood set in around his increasingly enigmatic legend.

And while the cult of Scott centred around veneration of his solo ‘60s catalogue, his new work gradually gained acceptance. By 2006’s 'The Drift', things had come full circle. It heralded a late flowering, slow burning renaissance that represents perhaps the longest comeback in pop history, beginning with Nite Flights and gaining momentum over decades.

When his death was announced the disparity between the pop star many of his generation remember for a few 60s mega-singles and the totally committed, fearless, uncompromising artist that emerged much later was evident as ever.

The person born Noel Scott Engel embodied such a unique multiverse of possibilities in his music. Nite Flights captures him poised on the threshold of all the doors he opened, and those he left closed.

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Janus Rasmussen has shared his immersive new album 'Vín' – tune in now.

The producer was born in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago of Nordic settlements out in the fringes of the North Sea.

Divorced from mainstream culture, Janus dedicated himself to learning as much as he could about electronic music, recalling: “it's amazing how stubborn you are as a kid, nothing will stop you from doing what you love”.

This stubbornness runs through his music as a whole. Following his own path, he reached wider prominence after forging Kiasmos alongside Olafur Arnalds.

Now based in Iceland, Janus began sketching together a new solo album last year, constructing an immersive, highly distinctive world.

“I often work really quickly and I tend to be drawn to really strange ideas,” he says. “I have this kind of obsession with finding something that really should not work and make it work. It’s very satisfying.”

New album 'Vín' went online a few hours ago, matching his crisp electronics to a neat awareness of sonic landscapes that is almost cinematic in tone.

He continues: “I had been playing a lot of these songs [live], and they were working really well. I didn’t really tell anyone what the songs were, but they were obviously really fitting into the sets, as they’re not too far off from the Kiasmos sound, despite being different.”

“I had never done that before: playing unfinished tracks and just seeing the reaction. It was super fun, actually. You learn a lot about your own music when you do that.”

Tune in now.

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A new entirely scientific study has provided full evidence that Drake loves his mum more than any other rapper.

In case you've forgotten it's Mother's Day this coming Sunday – March 31st – and there's just about enough time to slide away from your desk and grab a card.

A new scientific survey has picked up on this theme, pondering the question: which rapper loves their mum more than the rest?

Well, the answer seemingly is Drake. Not really a surprise, but lyric analysis by StubHub UK has found that he mentions Sandi Graham in at least 25 of his tracks.

This pushes him well ahead of the pack, with Drake fighting off competition from Stormzy, Loyle Carner, Skepta, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and – of course – Kanye West.

A StubHub spokesperson said: “Some 20 years ago, rap artists would make the headlines for songs that contained lyrics about their mums that weren’t too kind, but nowadays, mentioning your love for your mum on a record is all the rage.”

“This Mother’s Day, we’re sure plenty of sons and daughters will be playing Drake records to remind themselves of one of the most important people in their lives.”

So: go get that card!

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Leifur James has shared calming new piece 'Wurlitzer' – tune in now.

The electronic composer's recent album 'A Louder Silence' landed late last year, an emphatically creative full length project.

He's not content to rest here, however, with Leifur James recently retreating to the countryside to focus on his next step.

Staying at his father's house, he began playing on an old upright piano, and gently uncovered a space in his music he never knew existed.

New song 'Wurlitzer' is the result. Opening in ambient climes, it then absorbs shocking elements of noise to pierce through the track's thin film.

'"'Wurlitzer' was kind of a break away from the ambience of the album," he says. "I was wanting to corrupt the mood of the album with something a bit intense and destructive. I guess there was an unusual balance there for creating something new but in a bit of a destructive mind-set."

"I’d been staying at my dad’s in the winter months, he lives in the middle of a rural pre historic stone circle, it’s quite an intense place in winter. I was playing on the old upright wurlitzer piano there and the wind was shaking the house, I could hear it aggressively whistling in the chimney. The contrast of the wind with the piano was interesting and gave me the idea."

Tune in now.

Catch Leifur James at the Purcell Room in the Southbank Centre, London tomorrow (March 30th).

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Garbage, Keane and Dermot Kennedy will play the Isle of Wight festival this summer.

The historic festival is currently preparing for another stellar year, with headliners drawn from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Biffy Clyro and special guest Fatboy Slim.

The latest additions include some seminal names, including a crunching set from trans-Atlantic rock phenomenon Garbage.

Drawing on their stellar catalogue, Garbage will be joined by Dermot Kennedy and riotous American types Cage The Elephant.

Returning group Keane will play the festival, with the band commenting:

"We’re so happy to return to The Isle of Wight Festival this summer. It’s one of the most iconic British festivals, and we have great memories of playing back in 2007. We’re closing out the weekend, so hopefully you can join us for a massive sweaty euphoric singalong…"

Other new names for the Isle of Wight festival 2019 include Picture This, Ward Thomas, The Marcus King Band, and ABBA specialists Björn Again.

The Isle Of Wight festival runs between June 13th – 16th.

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German producer Christian Löffler has shared his new piece 'Ry'.

The composer was born in the seaside town of Graal-Müritz, and he remains there, using its unique location as his base.

Fragmented techno with an organic feeling, Christian Löffler's work has a painterly air, no doubt lifted from his experiences in visual arts.

New album 'Graal (Prologue)' arrives on April 5th via his own Ki Records imprint, and it's led by intriguing new piece 'Ry'.

A key aspect of the overarching album, 'Ry' brims with creative energy. He comments:

"'Ry' is the most important song on Graal (Prologue) for me. It was the breakthrough after a phase without making music. This track made this album possible. After devoting myself to painting, 'Ry' inspired me to create new music."

Tune in now.

Photo Credit: Brian Zajak

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