Author: Nils van der Linden

Cornbury Music Festival Returns With Alanis Morissette

Cornbury Music Festival returns for its 15th year with a line-up headed by Alanis Morissette. Although last year’s event was intended to be the last, the staple of Oxfordshire’s live music calendar is back at Great Tew Park from 13th to 15th July 2018. Morissette, whose Jagged Little Pill is one of the defining albums of the 1990s, will also be performing intimate shows in London, Cork, and Dublin in July, but her appearance at Cornbury on 14th July is a UK festival exclusive. The Canadian singer/songwriter/activist/author/agony aunt/actress/podcaster who’s sold over 60 million albums and won 7 Grammys will be...

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The Hold Steady Extend London Stay With Sunday Roast Gig

The Hold Steady have long since sold out their two London shows in March, so they’re extending their visit. The US band, who play Electric Ballroom on 9th and 10th March, are now also hosting a Sunday roast dinner at The Lexington on 11th March before playing the venue that night. Tickets to the event, which will give you the chance to eat with the band before the show, go on sale here  on 14th February at 9am. Only a limited number will be available due to the venue’s capacity. This run of shows nominally celebrates a decade since...

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For Indoor Pets So Soon Is Now

Get Inuit may have a new name, Indoor Pets, but everything else remains the same. Same members, playing the same songs, with the same wild energy. That’s not entirely true either. They’re starting to release new music, including So Soon. Their first track as Indoor Pets has already been tipped by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens (it’s currently his Track of the Week). And now it’s got a video, showing frontman Jamie Glass visiting various famous London landmarks within a series of animated Polaroid photos. Achieving the effect was easier said than done and involved Glass lip-syncing the lyrics at...

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Y Not Festival Returns With A New Home And Bigger Line-up

Y Not Festival returns to the Peak District for its 13th instalment from 27th to 29th July 2018. Featuring headliners The Libertines, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and (in a UK festival exclusive) Jamiroquai, this year the Pikehall, Derbyshire event moves to Aston Hill Farm, adjacent to the previous site on Mouldridge Lane. “We’re so happy to be back with our biggest line-up to date. There are a lot of changes and improvements being made to make sure the festival is the best it’s ever been in 13 years and I’m excited that we can come back stronger than ever,”...

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Ezra Furman Embarks On A Transangelic Exodus In His Maraschino-Red Dress

Ezra Furman has shared his latest single Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill just days before releasing his new album Transangelic Exodus. The LP, out on 9th February, will be supported by several UK dates in May. The jagged song addresses Furman’s own experiences coming out as queer and gender fluid, which the singer-songwriter describes as “the painful experience of being a closeted gender-non-conforming person”. He adds: “From a young age, because of issues surrounding gender and sexuality, I felt fated to have an outsider perspective. It radicalises you.” That outsider perspective flows through the follow-up to 2015’s Perpetual Motion...

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Wye Oak Beckon With The Louder I Call…

Wye Oak have released the first taste of their upcoming album, The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. Due for release on 6th April, their fifth LP is preceded by the emotive title track, which will no doubt be part of their setlist when the duo tour the UK in May.   The album is the third that Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack have recorded since leaving Baltimore, where they originally formed the group. With Wasner now living in Durham, North Carolina and Stack in Marfa, Texas, they flew to one another’s cities for a week at a...

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HANNIE Are Cosmic Bound On Their Debut Single

Meet HANNIE, London-based Hannah Koppenburg and Annie Wagstaff. Like Clean Bandit and Disclosure, the two multi-instrumentalists write and co-produce their own tracks, choosing different singers to collaborate with on each song. For Cosmic Bound, their funky debut single released on Friday, they picked newcomer Carys Selvey. Keyboard player Koppenburg, originally from Germany, and guitarist Wagstaff, from Surrey, first met at Guildford’s ACM University. After playing in various bands together, they formed HANNIE in 2017 and moved to East London. Since turning their living room into a studio, they’ve been writing and recording music and sharing their work in multiple...

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This Is The Kit Are Engagingly Enigmatic At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

There aren’t enough songs with whistling. Maybe that’s because most end up sounding either cloying (Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy) or downright irritating (The Scorpions’ Winds Of Change). So when somebody does get it right, the effect is spellbinding. Like when This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables, plucking out the chords of Two Wooden Spoons alone, whistles the vocal melody. Together, the stark instrumentation and the haunting sound from her lips easily create a feeling of intimacy and vulnerability in a venue as vast as Shepherd’s Bush Empire. And this is even before she’s begun to sing or...

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Laurence Jones Reveals The Truth At Borderline

Laurence Jones is 25, which makes him just an infant in Blues years. But he plays with the talent and conviction of a veteran. Turns out, he is. He first picked up the guitar at 8, discovered Eric Clapton at 12, and released his debut album at 20. Over the course of four subsequent LPs, he’s evolved exponentially as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter capable of injecting his own DNA into a fusion of the old (Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore) and the new (Royal Blood). Never has that been more apparent than on the upcoming The Truth. His boldest...

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Steel Panther Bring The Bombast To Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Steel Panther have done for music what Donald Trump has for America: make it great again. With rocket-fuel party anthems, they’ve not just restored widdly-widdly guitar solos, anthemic keyboard melodies, and booming drums to their rightful place in the rock pantheon, they’ve completely undermined the bleeding heart establishment who feel the need to explore such trivialities as socio-economic injustice and the effects of climate change. With subtlety and restraint to rival ‘80s masterpiece Every Rose Has Its Thorn, they’ve single-handedly resurrected the long-lost art of crafting the perfect lighter-waving, heart-breaking power ballad. And with straight-talking lyrics like “Find a...

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King King Let Love In At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

“I love what I do,” King King front man Alan Nimmo told me a few months ago, “and I want the audience to love it with me.” The clearly thrilled singer and guitarist achieves exactly that at the band’s biggest London headline show to date. As soon as the quartet hit the Shepherd’s Bush Empire stage to the strains of Free’s All Right Now, Nimmo starts sharing the love. With the broad grin of a gregarious host, his fists raised in excitement, he welcomes the punters with a cheery “Happy new year” before even playing a single note. That...

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King King Taking Exile & Grace All Over The Place

King King are embarking on a UK tour that kicks off with their biggest London gig yet. The blues-rock quartet play Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 17th January 2018 before making their way to Birmingham, Bath, Edinburgh, and Sheffield over the following weeks. The tour is in support of their latest studio album, Exile & Grace, which was released in October 2017, “Exile & Grace definitely has a rockier feel and sound to it,” says singer and guitarist Alan Nimmo. “We are following our influences from the classic rock genre: Bad Company, Whitesnake, and Thunder. “We really set out to...

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ShitKid’s New EP Declares This Is It

ShitKid, the anti-popstar from Sweden, is back with Yooouuu. The first single from upcoming EP This Is It channels ‘90s grunge as it describes the ending of a relationship and obsessing over crossing paths with the ex. “The video for Yooouuu was recorded during one day in Malmö by my art director/road manager, Moa Romanova who recently became friends with Elias, the cute guy who also stars in the video,” explains ShitKid, AKA Åsa Söderqvist. “We had decided we wanted a cheesy love-video for the song and filmed it at the cold beach, at Elias’ home and walking the...

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Black Country Communion Sway Into Hammersmith

Black Country Communion may, as Glenn Hughes says more than once tonight, be a band built on friendship. But they’re also a band built on supreme talent. Best known for his time with Dream Theater, the six-packed Derek Sherinian is one of those players who can sprinkle a delicate keyboard melody onto the end of Sway or lean into the mellotron swells of a thunderous The Outsider with equal flair. Jason Bonham is such a seismic performer that Hughes admits he sometimes can’t tell the difference between him and his father, Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, undoubtedly the greatest rock...

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Five Finger Death Punch Knock Out Wembley Arena

  Metal is all about volume and intensity. Which is exactly what Of Mice And Men supply as they kick off a night of guttural vocals, guitar riffs of sledgehammer subtlety, soul-shaking drum fills, chest thumping, and sweaty, screaming, moshing fans at Wembley Arena. Led by Aaron Pauley, who sings and assaults his bass with equal ferocity, the quartet from Orange County, California play a tight six-song set that balances the old and the brand new. The fittingly named Unbreakable, which opens the show, and guaranteed future live staple Warzone are both from the forthcoming Defy (out in January),...

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Jim White Keeps His Destination In Mind

Jim White describes himself as a “singer/songwriter, author, fine art photographer, crackpot philosopher, folk artist, record producer, film maker, dad”. But the multi-hyphenate, who’s just released his sixth solo album Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, could also add fashion model, cab driver, and pro surfer to his CV. Nils van der Linden had a conversation with Jim during his recent UK tour. “You can take a circuitous route to get where you’re going, just so long as you always keep your destination in mind,” he offers. “I always knew what the destination was, it wasn’t to be famous, it wasn’t...

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Escape The Fate Are Human, And Headed To The UK

Escape The Fate are kicking off 2018 with a flurry of activity. In January and February they’re heading to the UK for a headline tour. In February they also release their new studio album, I Am Human. And the band have just shared the lyric video for the LP’s title track. The song, and previously unveiled tracks Do You Love Me and Empire, reveal the rawer sound of the band’s sixth album, produced by Howard Benson (known for his work with My Chemical Romance, Seether, and Theory Of A Deadman). “We’re getting older, and we’re changing – so our...

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Bombs Away As One OK Rock Hit Shepherd’s Bush Empire

One OK Rock are, to use a familiar phrase, big in Japan. So big in fact that last summer, across two shows at Shizuoka’s Nagisaen Park, the band played to a total of 110 000 fans. Captured in the forthcoming concert film 2016 Special Live In Nagisaen, the gigs were on the same epic scale as historic live events like Queen at Wembley Stadium or Green Day at Milton Keynes Bowl. Although the quartet haven’t yet achieved such popularity outside their home country, they’re making a real go of becoming “Japan’s first globally recognised band”. Their last three albums...

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Stone Sour Are Fabuless At Brixton Academy

Corey Taylor was 24 when he joined Slipknot. Now he’s 44 and wondering out loud in interviews how much longer his body can meet the physical demands of fronting metal’s most energetic live band. Based on his performance with his other band, Stone Sour, the singer won’t be packing away that Leatherface mask just yet. From the second he bounds on to the sound of 5,000 people chanting “Corey! Corey! Corey!” he’s like an adrenaline shot to the heart. Whether he’s racing across the stage, leaping up onto the platforms dotted around the set, or preaching about the unifying,...

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Manic Street Preachers Return With International Blue

Manic Street Preachers are back with their first new music in three years. International Blue is the lead single from the Welsh trio’s forthcoming album Resistance Is Futile and spiritually marks a return to their punk-rock roots following the electronic influences that characterised 2014’s Futurology album. “The track itself is carried by the kind of naive energy that powered Motorcycle Emptiness,” admits lyricist Nicky Wire. Adds singer-guitarist James Dean Bradfield, who writes the band’s music with drummer Sean Moore: “Often I just need a great title to set me off. Seeing the word blue struck a chord and set off...

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Terra Lightfoot Shares New Mistakes

“I write lots of songs, but usually I don’t write them from other people’s perspectives,” admits Terra Lightfoot. “But I met a woman in Canada a couple of years back who’s so inspiring to me that I had to write her a song. Her name is Norma Gale and she played bass.” The Canadian musician is introducing her latest single, named after the ’70s country musician, at Stoke Newington’s intimate Waiting Room venue. “She played the Grand Old Oprey, she backed up Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. She was so cool. But she was also raising a young son...

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Calexico Reveal Voices In The Field

Calexico, who return with their ninth studio album in January, are building anticipation for its release with a new single. Voices In The Field, says vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns, draws inspiration from Mavis Staples, Bombino, Joe Strummer, and Bob Dylan. “In the age of the extremes, when walls attempt stifling words, this song is inspired by the poems on postcards from those uprooted by war and oppression,” he explains. “It’s a song to remind us to open up our hearts and hear other voices sing their stories.” The LP from which the song’s taken, The Thread That Keeps Us, finds...

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Robert Plant Shifts Space And Time At Royal Albert Hall

Like every well-worn rock ‘n roll story, Robert Plant’s has definite touchstones. He possesses one of the genre’s finest voices. He’s the original golden god who, with Led Zeppelin, defined what it is to be a rock star. He’s not one for nostalgia, turning his back on lucrative reunions to focus on creating music that pays no heed to genre. He loves Morocco, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and having a pint in his North London local . But he could also be considered something of an anthropologist or musicologist. Clearly fueled by an innate curiosity, Plant is well versed in the...

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Benjamin Clementine Lays Down A Challenge At Brixton Academy

  Benjamin Clementine knows the conventions that live gigs follow. “I play, you clap,” he observes at one point during his Brixton Academy performance. So the hits from his 2015 Mercury Prize-winning debut, At Least For Now, get an airing. A generous selection of tracks from its ambitious, experimental follow-up I Tell A Fly, are slipped into the set. There’s audience participation. There’s between-song conversation. And of course there’s an encore.   But the self-described expressionist whose latest album started out as a theatre piece about two romantically entangled flies exploring the world, isn’t one for blindly following those...

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The Pretty Reckless Run Wild At Brixton Academy

The stage is what makes or breaks a band. There are no do-overs, no overdubs, no ProTools to iron out those imperfections. It’s just you, your songs, and (especially if you’re an opening band) an audience to win over. The Pretty Reckless, who’ve been doing this since 2009, know the score, especially when they’re playing to fans as rabid as Stone Sour’s. So, no time for ballads like You and House On The Hill. Instead, the 50-minute opening set is packed with a succession of their heaviest songs, each performed with a matter of life or death intensity rarely...

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Charlotte Gainsbourg Is Lying With You In Her New Video

Charlotte Gainsbourg revisits her youth (and actual childhood home) in the self-directed video for Lying With You. The latest offering from her album Rest was filmed in the house that belonged to her father, the musician and artist Serge Gainsbourg. Unchanged since his death in 1991, it provides the backdrop to lyrics that reimagine his passing. Portraying herself as a 19 year old who finds and lies beside his body, the song is accompanied by shots of herself and a depiction of her younger self wandering through the home that’s filled with photographs, heirlooms, a giant preserved spider, TV...

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Bad Touch Feel Good At Islington Academy

All bands, if they’re around long enough, reach that point where youthful urgency overlaps with experience. Bad Touch are now in that zone. Currently on their first UK headline tour (“eight years in the making,” as frontman Stevie Westwood puts it), the group have two full-length studio albums and two EPs of material, the skills gained from supporting big names like The Kentucky Headhunters around the country, and the lessons learnt from playing hundreds of shows. But, almost a decade in, they’ve lost none of the unbridled passion and dynamism of their early days as a bar band in...

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Samantha Fish Gets The Voodoo Working At Borderline

Some artists, like AC/DC, specialise in familiarity. Others, like Kate Bush, Bjork, and now Samantha Fish, specialise in surprise. The singer-songwriter-guitarist has been looking beyond her blues base to incorporate elements like Americana, ‘50s rock ‘n roll, vintage R&B, and retro soul into her sound. At this point in her career, all that’s guaranteed are her powerful vocals, expressive guitar playing, and emotional authenticity. “You should always get outside of the box,” she explains. “Challenging yourself is how you grow.” As if to prove her point, this year the Kansas City native’s released not just Chills & Fever (reinterpreting...

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Royal Blood Have It All Figured Out At Alexandra Palace

Following At The Drive-In takes balls, especially when the Texas quintet finish their 45-minute assault with a rendition of One Armed Scissor that’s the sonic equivalent of a napalm attack. But Brighton-based Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher certainly aren’t lacking in confidence. And rightly so. In the five years since forming Royal Blood the duo have taken their crunching blues riffs and titanic choruses from open-mic nights in Worthington to headlining London’s Alexandra Palace three nights in a row. It’s been a rapid rise, certainly, but gradual enough for the singer-bassist and drummer to scale up their production and...

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Noah Gundersen Drops Number One Hit Of The Summer

Noah Gundersen, who played sold-out shows in Manchester and London in September, is returning to the capital in March. But first the Seattle-based singer-songwriter is releasing new single Number One Hit Of The Summer (Fade Out). The song is taken from his third LP, White Noise, which marks a conscious departure from the more traditional alt-folk/Americana sound of its predecessors, 2015’s Carry The Ghost and 2014’s Ledges. “At the beginning of 2016, I walked on stage and was met with a feeling of overwhelming emptiness,” Gundersen reveals. “Instead of my life up to that point flashing before my eyes,...

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Joanne Shaw Taylor Beats The Blues At Royal Festival Hall

Joanne Shaw Taylor is suffering from a cold. But, other than her drinking hot water and honey (not gin, she promises) between songs and an added hint of huskiness to her voice, you wouldn’t know. The singer and guitarist is all energy and smiles as she (sometimes quite literally) bounds through a set that stretches all the way from her 2009 debut White Sugar to last year’s Wild. Three songs from the current release (the swinging Dyin’ To Know, aptly titled all-out rocker Nothing To Lose, and the touching No Reason To Stay) kick off the show, before she...

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Dan Patlansky Offers Style And Substance At Royal Festival Hall

Gone are the leather jacket and checked lumberjack shirt. When Dan Patlansky steps out onto the Royal Festival Hall stage it’s in waistcoat and suit jacket. “As soon as I put on these clothes, I feel like I’m about to to go to work. It changes your headspace a little,” he tells me later. “And also with all these tattoos popping up everywhere,” he gestures towards the intricate inking on his neck, “I love the contrast of wearing something suave.” A less visual, but certainly more important, change is the interplay with his band. For his previous visit to...

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Bad Touch Are Ready To Get It On Across The UK

As Bad Touch gear up for a headline UK tour and their latest single has been released and features on our November playlist. Baby Get It On features vocals by Mollie Marriott, who is also the special guest for the band’s upcoming shows, which kicks off at Corporation in Sheffield on the 9th of November. The song, written by Ike Turner, originally appeared as a duet with Tina Turner on her 1975 solo album Acid Queen. The new version was recorded at Decoy Studios and mastered at Abbey Road Studios. “We’re excited to be taking to the road in November...

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OMD Get Personal On What Have We Done

OMD, who are currently in the throes of an 18-date UK and Eire tour, have shared the video for their latest single, What We Have Done. The track is the third 12-inch to be released from the duo’s 13th studio album, The Punishment Of Luxury, which entered the UK Album Chart at #4 in September. “The opportunity to combine an abstract aerial aesthetic with human vignettes was not to be missed,” says the band’s Andy McCluskey in describing the video which was shot entirely from a drone’s perspective. “The viewer is a weightless voyeur of landscape and emotional condition.“ The...

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Michael Schenker Fest Celebrates Rock At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

The Michael Schenker Group are a band with such a complex history that their Wikipedia page has one of those colour-coded timelines to track the various line-ups through the decades. Formed by Scorpions and UFO alumnus Michael Schenker, since 1979 the group has had 14 lead singers, 11 drummers, 12 bass players, an extended hiatus, and even a name change (from Michael Schenker Group to McAuley Schenker Group from 1986 to 1993). Schenker, lead guitarist extraordinaire, has been the sole constant. By comparison, the idea behind Michael Schenker Fest is clear and simple. Reunite ‘80s era MSG band members:...

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Weezer Get Their Hooks Into Wembley Arena

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo isn’t your typical rock star. He keeps a Google Sheets database of lyrics, tagged by rhyme and meter. He sticks to a strict writing schedule: Monday’s for words, Tuesday is melodies, verses, and structure, and Wednesday’s all about new hooks. He’s clearly no slacker either, having released six albums since 2008. Oh, and he wears a sweater vest (without irony) for the band’s debut headline performance at Wembley Arena tonight. But looks (and work ethic) can be deceiving. Cuomo and his three bandmates may never rival KISS in the rock ‘n roll showmanship stakes, but even...

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Slowdive Go Deep At Roundhouse

On the excellent Song Exploder podcast, Slowdive singer and guitarist Neil Halstead spends a solid 10 minutes detailing the genesis of Sugar For The Pill. It’s a story of seagulls, effects pedals, layered drums, Wuthering Heights, multiple vocal takes, ProTools experiments, and bubble-wrap that gives a fascinating insight into the group’s meticulous creative process. That attention to detail is equally apparent during a transcendent Roundhouse performance that hinges on the quintet’s ability to create beautiful noise. There’s no long-winded between-song banter, no encouragement of audience participation, just an almost two-hour dreamscape carefully woven from gossamer vocals, ethereal harmonies, inexplicable...

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Steven Page Returning To The UK After A Decade

Steven Page is touring the UK for the first time since leaving The Barenaked Ladies. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who in 2009 left the band he co-founded, is back on these shores in October and November following a 10-year absence. And he’s got new music to share. Last year Page released the album Heal Thyself, Pt. I: Instinct which explores the origins of a life dedicated to music. “I’ve always had a sense of wonder about that era of ’60s and ’70s music, and probably always will,” he says. “I remember getting Paul McCartney’s second solo album for my 11th...

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Keith Christmas Rediscovers His Folk Rebellion

London’s folk music scene was in full bloom by the late 1960s and Keith Christmas was right at its centre, playing not just on David Bowie’s Space Oddity album but at the very first Glastonbury festival. Ahead of his appearance at RockShot Mag’s #BLOGTOBER FEST night at the Finsbury on 19th October, he tells us about those heady days, turning his back on the music industry for decades, and returning with not just a new album but multiple live dates.   In December last year, you released Crazy Dancing Days, your first new album in over a decade. How...

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Barenaked Ladies Are Lookin’ Up At Fake Nudes

Barenaked Ladies, who release their fifteenth album Fake Nudes in November, are bringing their energetic live shows back to the UK in April 2018. The Canadian band (comprising lead singer and guitarist Ed Robertson, bassist Jim Creeggan, keyboard player and guitarist Kevin Hearn, and drummer Tyler Stewart) have reunited with longstanding producer Gavin Brown for the upcoming LP. “I’m incredibly proud of this collection of songs,” reveals Robertson. “This is a record where all band members shine. It’s incredible to feel so excited about something 29 years into our career. I’m excited to get out and play these songs...

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Upcoming Festivals

  1. Live @ Leeds 2018

    May 5
  2. Bearded Theory Spring Gathering

    May 24 - May 27
  3. Catfish & The Bottlemen @ All Points East

    June 1
  4. Field Day 2018

    June 1 - August 2
  5. Festival Of Voice Cardiff

    June 7 - June 17
  6. Download Festival

    June 8 - June 10
  7. Love Supreme Jazz Festival

    June 29 - July 1
  8. bluedot

    July 19 - July 22
  9. Cool Britannia

    August 31 - September 2

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