Features - GIGWISE.com Copyright (c) 2014 Gigwise. All rights reserved. http://www.gigwise.com/features Music Features from Gigwise.com en-us Music Features - GIGWISE.com 144 32 http://www.gigwise.com/features http://www.gigwise.com/images/gigwise_logos/gigwise_onWhite_sm.gif 15 gigwise94928 <![CDATA[Glastonbury Festival: 46 years, 33 festivals, 33 facts]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94928/Glastonbury-Festival-46-years-33-festivals-33-facts This weekend, Glastonbury tickets sold out in a flash - and it's hardly surprising for a festival with a history like no other. 

Since its beginning in 1970, Glastonbury has steadily got bigger and bigger over the past four decades years to become the most iconic festival on the planet. Starting with just 1500 at tickets for just £1, Glasto now draws over 170,000 to Pilton in Somerset each summer for a celebration of music, art, and culture.

Somehow, even after demanding performances from some of the biggest and most seminal acts on the planet to perform across it's many stages, Glasto has kept an inkling of its hippie roots. The idea to start the festival was that of Michael Eavis, who owns Worthy Farm in Pilton, and was inspired by a festival he attended in 1969 where Led Zeppelin performed in Bath.

Glastonbury has changed a lot from the price to the size, but it's obviously got something that keeps people flocking to Somerset every year. As we look forward to next year's event, we have taken a look every event since 1970, and have pulled together weird and wonderful facts from every year.

1970: The first festival, and originally called Glastonbury Fayre. Costing £1 (with free milk included) Glastonbury 1970 was held the day after Jimi Hendrix died. Around 1500 people attended, and it was headlined by Tyrannosaurus Rex - stepping in for the Kinks who failed to show up.

1971: Back for a second year Glastonbury Fayre had Hawkwind and Traffic headlining, while David Bowie played his first, of three appearances (to date), on Worthy Farm.

1978: This, the third year of Glastonbury Fayre, wasn't planned per se. People showed up, en route from Stone Henge as they heard a festival was set to take place. After a discussion, it was decided that indeed, a festival would happen. It was powered by a caravan and a makeshift stage, there were no headline acts as such. 

1979: Grown to a three day event, Eavis raised funds for this by securing a bank loan against the deeds to his farm. Peter Gabriel was one of the headliners. However, unfortunately the festival was a huge financial loss and thus 1980 there was no Glastonbury. But it was back in 1981 with 'proper management'.

1981: Back with a new name, Glastonbury Festival, 1981 saw the arrival of a permanent Pyramid Stage, which when not used as a stage was a cow shed. Hawkwind were among the bands performing.

1982: This year Glastonbury Festival was involved with the Mid-Somerset and Western Region 'Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament'. To deter an anti CND plane, Festival organiser Michael Eavis aimed a £70 firework at it, in order to chase it away. There was also the festival's first laser light show was backed by backed Tubeway Army's iconic 'Are Friends Electric'.

1983: This was the first year of proper toilets! And the first of Glastonbury's Radio Station Radio Avalon broadcast the three day festival.

1984: This year The Smiths played, which led to uproar amongst those who attended, who questioned whether 'popular' bands should perform on the Pyramid Stage. They do look a little frightened in this photo from backstage, and Johnny Marr himself would later himself admit: "We were out of our depth." 

1985: The festival was now so big that it took over neighbouring land on Cockmill Farm, to add another 100 acres. It was also hit with seriously bad weather. However Michael Eavis, said he was pleased that "we have had the mud bath and proved we can still cope with the conditions." This is just as well, for there have been countless mud-filled years ever since.

1986: The Cure performed the Pyramid Stage, and also, in contrast, to show the spectrum of musical and artistic talents catered to by Glastonbury, it was the inaugural year of the classical tent curated by composer (and Daft Punk collaborator) John Williams.

1987: By now the festival was gathering a crowd of over 60,000 - huge compared to the 1,500 who attended the first, but who pale in comparison to over 170,000 who now attend.

1989: Suzanne Vega, who headlined the Friday night, played wearing a bulletproof vest, after death threats were directed at her and her bassist. Not that that deterred her, above she is pictured performing nearly two decades later - and will be back this year. 

1990: 20 years since the first festival and the festival had increased almost beyond all recognition. Now boasting theatre and arts as well as musical performers, the festival was re-titled 'Glastonbury Festival for Contemporary Performing Arts'. French theatre troupe Archaos performed atop the Pyramid Stage on both Friday and Saturday nights. The numbers attending topped 70,000, and security became noticeably tighter - for better or worse.

1992: The released line up had a slot named 'Special Guest' which provoked much curiosity. Tom Jones turned out to be the performer, and was apparently 'fantastic'. HURGH!

1993: Lenny Kravitz stepped in to the headline slot when confirmed performers Red Hot Chili Peppers failed to turn up.

1994: This year, the Pyramid Stage burned down, but a makeshift one was made so the festival could continue. The festival was broadcast by Channel 4, which only added to the festival's growing publicity. A dampner on this weekend was the festival's first fatality - a result of a drugs overdose. But the most memorable thing about 1994 was Manic Street Preachers performance, complete with bassist Nicky Wire's infamous 'joke', when he said "someone should build a bypass over this shithole." It didn't go down well. "It was supposed to be a joke," he said later. "As I was saying it I thought 'this is going to be really funny'. Then this deathly silence descended on the place." Glasto still loves the Manics, though - they've since headlined and will return for one of the most hotly-anticipated performances of 1994. 

1995: The Silver anniversary of Glastonbury was worthy of some celebration. Tickets sold out faster than ever before - within four weeks of going on sale, and Original performers Al Stewart and Keith Christmas returned to perform again. The festival expanded again - opening a Dance Stage which featured Massive Attack (who in later years headlined the festival), System 7 and Eat Static.

1997: This was deemed another 'year of mud' not that that deterred the enthusiastic crowds. This was also the year they introduced solar-heated showers, perfect for mud-splattered revellers.

1998: Yet another muddy year - although this gave rise to the sport of mud surfing. It was the biggest festival yet, with over 100,000 attendee's, and 1000 acts over 17 stages which included Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters and Bob Dylan.

1999: The sun came back! This year was held in the memory of Michael Eavis' wife Jean, who was known as 'Mother Glastonbury'. She was remembered with a fireworks display and a wicker structure. The line-up featured  Blondie, REM and Manic Street Preachers (who were allowed back after their haphazard comment years before - but caused a stir and upset Billy Bragg by bringing their own private toilets).

2000: The new millennium brought with it a host of new stages (and a ruined outer fence thanks to hoards of gatecrashers). The new stages included a new Pyramid Stage, (over 100ft tall), a left-wing political stage, Leftfield, and outdoor dance venue The Glade featured for the first time. Billy Bragg, who's frequented the festival, played the Leftfield stage which opposes apathy and encourages left-wing politics with speakers and activist performers. 

2002: To deter gatecrashers, who had been a problem for almost every festival so far, a steel fence was put up, letting only the 140,000 ticketed guests in. Among the music, arts, and general vibe of the festival a new venue Lost Vagueness brought a silver service restaurant, encouraging guests to add a Glastonbury spin on evening wear. Coldplay were one of the headling acts, and the crowd's gentle sing along almost brought a tear to Chris Martin's eye: "Best choir I ever heard in my life," he choked during the show.

2003:The Best Glastonbury to date? Crime free, gatecrash free (relatively), rain free, and with a cracking line up. Also over £1 million was raised for charitable causes. The Lost Vagueness, an off the wall venue which in amidst festival madness allowed for silver service dining and evening wear, facilitating ballroom dancing was growing in popularity too!

2004: This year saw the launch of the Unsigned performance competition, giving new bands the chance to perform at the festival. The festival screened the 2004 England vs Portugal European Cup match, and 65,000 people are estimated to have watched the game - more than who were at the stadium watching the game. It wasn't all good news though. Despite Muse stepping up to the major leagues to headline the Pyramid Stage for the first time, their glorious set was marred by tragedy when drummer Dom Howard's father passed away shortly after seeing them.

Mud glorious mud again... Two months of rain in just hours caused floods that could have been a disaster, if not for the drainage system installed the previous year. Celebrating the Make Poverty History campaign, festival creator Michael Eavis, Bob Geldof, and Greenpeace took to the stage and declared: "This year, let's make poverty history and get clean energy for our future."

: This year the festival expanded again, with Emily Eavis opening her own area, The Park Stage. The Who pulled out all the stops, and triumphantly closed the festival on the Sunday night.

2008: This was a rare year where tickets didn't sell out within hours. However, a last minute boost in the weather was followed by a surge in ticket sales to ensure a sellout festival. Jay-Z performed, and was received well, despite early criticisms that 'rap didn't have a place at Glastonbury.'

2009: As the death of Michael Jackson broke, the entire festival paid homage to the King of Pop. Lily Allen performed wearing a white glove.

2010: Happy 40th Glastonbury! To honour the anniversary of the festival, event organiser Michael Eavis joined Stevie Wonder on the Pyramid Stage to sing 'Happy Birthday'. Eavis said: "It has been the best party for me of 2010. The weather, the full moon and last night a crowd of 100,000 people, every single one enjoying themselves." Doctor Who actor Matt Smith joined Orbital on stage to play a remix of the TV show theme tune.

2011: Like her husband Jay Z several years earlier, Beyonce defied her critics to pull off a truly historic headline performance on the Pyramid Stage - as did Queens Of The Stone Age on the Other Stage. The difference in opinions around the two sets caused a stir between BBC presenters Zane Lowe and Lauren Laverne - causing  a storm on Twitter and Lowe leaving early. Oh yeah, and loads of people were left disappointed by U2. 

2013: One of the biggest and best received years' of Glasto's new Millenium, a stellar bill sees headline performances from Mumford & Sons and The Rolling Stones - while Arctic Monkeys return to headline for a second time and kick off their AM campaign. It was pretty triumphant, despite many critics of Alex Turner's new 'Elvis-style' bravado and 'American accent'. 

2014: Despite hopes and rumours of Prince, Foo Fighters, Fleetwood Mac and (optimistically) Daft Punk and David Bowie, the final Saturday night headliners joining Arcade Fire and Kasabian were revealed to be Metallica. It's drawn a fair whack of criticism and controversy due to their hard-rock nature, but now all eyes are on Metallica to see if they can prove the world wrong. 

2015: Tickets sold out in a record smashing 26 minutes. Momentum is gathering around rumours of Fleetwood Mac, Muse, AC/DC, Prince, Queen and more headlining. Everyone should probably all stop talking about Prince. 

Below: Who could perform at Glastonbury 2015?

Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:14:35 GMT
gigwise94832 <![CDATA[How to crowdfund your own album without a record label]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94832/How-to-crowdfund-your-own-album-without-a-record-label Crowdfunding is currently in the rudest of health. It has seen Neil Young fund his new Pono music player, and Foo Fighters play a show at the request of fans (with potentially many more to come).

Bypassing record label politics, Nottingham upstarts Lacey have managed to crowfund their debut LP on Pledgemusic through the support of scores of hardcore fans and admiration from the likes of Bowling For Soup.

Nothing can stop their horizon-chasing arena-emo.Through a variety of innovative ideas of PledgeMusic, their debut album Under The Brightest Lights will now see the light of day - thanks to the only people who really matter. Not critics, not record label A&Rs, but their fans. 

Here's how they did it, and why they had to, in their own words:

"It’s the age old story…an up and coming band struggles to make ends meet whilst trying to break into the big bad music industry. You’re left with barely enough cash for food and rent.

"For an unsigned act without the luxury of any financial backing, facing the day to day slog of the old 9-5 is the obvious means available to fund your efforts. However, there’s only so much that can be done off your own back, there’s only so far you can go. With Lacey, our determination, desire and commitment can never be questioned but as so many acts out there have realised, there are limits that not even the most dedicated of us can overcome.

"So where do we go from here?

"Having a released a couple of well received EPs, along with a couple of decent tours the next step seemed obvious…Lacey were to record an album!"

"Of course there was only one thought that entered our heads, you guessed it, how on earth are we going to fund this?

"When budgeting, the costs began to stack up fast. There’s recording time, that goes without saying, mastering, production, PR, videos, equipment, merchandise and countless other things we didn’t foresee. Frightening really.

"So enter…PledgeMusic to save the day!

"For those unaware, PledgeMusic allows fans to fund any musical venture you can put forward and offers a rare opportunity for fans to get involved in the process of making an album, and get an insight into exactly what goes on."

"PledgeMusic appeared the only option available to get our debut album up and running. When putting the project together, we obviously had to consider what our fans would want other than just the album. Of course, it’s no secret as to where the money would be going, but what could we give back to encourage people to invest in us?

"It was only right that our fans get involved and receive a real insight into the process itself. We needed to ensure they got something worthwhile out of it, it’s the least we could have done.

"So with that in mind we allowed people to pledge to come down to the studio and see the album take shape, a writing practice, they could experience the tracks in their rawest form, a gig experience with sound check and back stage access, here the pledgers could hear the new songs being trialled live for the very first time.

"More personal items were also included, a guitar was made available, tour laminates, hand written lyrics, a jacket worn on tour (washed of course)."

"Then there were exclusive album related items such as, t-shirts and hoodies, album artwork on canvass, pledgers name in the linear notes. We also offered to cover any song acoustically, music reviews and personal hangouts. All in all, anything and everything that would allow people to experience the process of us writing and recording an album and even get an insight to us as people.

"The reaction we had to the project was quite simply overwhelming. This was reflected not only in us hitting our financial goal but by the interest people showed in the album and us as band. Never could we have predicted such a positive response and to be quite honest, we’re humbled by the whole thing and will always be truly grateful to those who got behind us."

"Perhaps there’s hope for the music industry yet, if guys like us can fund an album purely off the support of our fan base, there’s no reason why many more acts can follow suit. For any unsigned band today, don’t underestimate the number of people out there willing to get behind you and support you, and don’t underestimate yourselves.

"For Lacey, now more than ever, this album needs to be a success. With fans having invested so much of their time, interest and money into this, along with their faith in us as a band, we need to do them justice.

"Hopefully this will give us the platform needed to take things to the next level and we couldn’t have done without everyone who got involved with our Pledge Music campaign. Thank you again and thank you to anyone who’s pledged towards any other projects."

For more information, find Lacey on:

Below: 13 exciting bands coming out of Nottingham right now

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:14:01 GMT
gigwise94824 <![CDATA[Fifth Floor on bringing Carl Barat and The Jackals to the 100 Club]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94824/Fifth-Floor-on-bringing-Carl-Barat-and-The-Jackals-to-the-100-Club Next month Gigwise are co-presenting the UK debut of Carl Barat's new band The Jackals with bleeding edge promoters Fifth Floor. With less than 100 tickets remaining we caught up with founder Vlad Chant to discuss what fans can expect come 21 November. 

"Fifth Floor is not a club night but a concept of hosting one-off shows" says Chant, who first began running Fifth Floor experiences in his native Australia last year. The model for the gigs? "Hoppy's 14 Hour Technicolour dream," Chant deadpans, referring to Pink Floyd's marathon session from 1967. "Any kind of multi-art event seems to always have a feeling of nostalgia".

Having already hosted gigs in Melbourne and Berlin (with New York planned for 2015), Gigwise discussed with Chant his favourite events so far, a Libertines classic and why he recommends seeing a band with a singer dressed as a rabbit.

Gigwise: What has been the most memorable Fifth Floor gig so far?
Vlad Chant: The launch party of Fifth Floor in Melbourne with The Murlocs was alot of fun. We managed to keep the show a secret location until presale sold out and this concept has worked ever since. Also Flyying Colours live are certainly worth checking out.

Which new band are you excited about at the moment?
Both on record and live, Fat White Family is intense. The Wytches are great and The New Pollution from Melbourne are worth checking out. And who could forget a live show of Burger Record's Nobunny? He's a nut.

Your previous party took place in Bang Bang club in Berlin. What makes it so special?You could say it feels like being in some kind of warehouse. It's the best joint in Berlin for live music.

What impresses you most about Carl Barat?
After seeing The Libertines live you can only expect Carl would bring this same energy with his Jackals. My favourite Libertines track? 'I Get Along' is a classic. Good memories of all hanging out on the porch in Melbourne yelling the lyrics at akward neigbours.

What are you looking forward to most about bringing Fifth Floor to London?
I guess Melbourne and London are simliar. Berlin is great but it's driven by techno and space cadets. Like Melbourne, London is more about small bars putting on shows for local bands: you grab a pint and the nights sorted.

Carl Barat and The Jackals will play a show at London's 100 Club on 21 November. There are now less than 100 tickets left. For tickets and information visit here

Listen to Glory Days by Carl Barat And The Jackals below

For a limited time only Carl Barat and the Jackals debut single 'Glory Days' will be available for free on the band's website, while the as yet untitled debut album which will be released in early 2015. The album was recorded in LA with Joby J Ford, best known for his work with The Bronx. Barat recently revealed he had over 1000 applications to be part of his new band.

Below: Exclusive photos of The Libertines performing at Alexandra Palace 

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 11:32:57 GMT
gigwise94753 <![CDATA[Prince's 3RDEYEGIRL: 'Live only in the now']]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94753/Prince's-3RDEYEGIRL-'Live-only-in-the-now' "Something that I carry near and dear to my heart is Prince's wisdom on not worrying about the past" beams 3RDEYEGIRL drummer Hannah Ford. "Not wallowing in it, not worrying about the future either, just being in the now."

She has  a real compulsion in her voice when quizzed on the domino effect of Prince's passion and influence. "Being in the present with the people that support you and love you and enjoy what's happening right now - you don't want to miss something. It's very easy to miss special moments, even the small ones. You can't be too worried about what happened yesterday or what hurt you years ago, or what you're going to do in a month or a year down the road. That's stuff that 's going to get taken care of and is out of your control. Just be present and right now."

That very spirit is the essence of Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL in 2014. Rather than being a legacy act relying entirely on former glories, Prince has found a new lease of life with three incredible new musicians - dropping two of the finest records of his career in one day. 

Their last-minute UK Hit And Run shows this year were one of the best live events of 2014, not least because of the thrilling mindgasm of the foursome as a live unit, but for the sheer sense of occasion. 

"It's a lot of things," laughs Ford, "but boring is not one!"

3RDYEGIRL are a delight to talk to. We meet them in a fittingly plush and purple room upstairs in the decadence of Soho's L'Escargot in London. As anyone who caught them on the Hit And Run tour can testify, these are not just three hired hand musicians brought in to back up a legend - they're a rock band who play as one tight unit and have bonded as sisters. 

They were brought on board for their incredible musicanship (each was respected in their own right before heading to Prince's Paisley Park), but the reason they stayed was twofold: their stamina for His Royal Badness' endless jam sessions and monumental shows, and their undying dedication to the power of the music. 

From talking to them about their love of FKA Twigs and their interest in London fashion week, no moment is taken for granted. The excitement reaches fever pitch when L'Escargot's owner's puppy is unleashed in the room, prompting squeals of glee and a threat of canine kidnap. Do they not have dogs in Paisley Park? "No, there are doves though," they reply. Of course there are.

The only topic that generates similar levels of excitement to the surprise entrance of a tiny terrier is their long-awaited new album, PLECTRUMELECTRUM.

"Prince wrote the songs, then brought them to us and was like, try this out, try this out and it was really cool because he gave us a lot of movement and freedom to add our musical personality in there," says guitarist Donna Grantis. "We would interpret the party."

"This album has so much attitude, arrogant attitude - in the most humble way,"  chuckles Ford. "A lot of his music has attitude on a certain level, but I feel that whenever I listen to the album, I wanna punch something...in a good way! It sounds like a freight train rushing through a narrow tunnel and it's really cool. It sounds so huge, 'PRETZELBODYLOGIC' especially."

'There's so much arrogant attitude, in the most humble way. Whenever I listen to the album, I wanna punch something. It sounds like a freight train rushing through a narrow tunnel' - Hannah Ford, drummer

Bassist Ida Nielsen nods her head and clenches a fist. "This is a rock album," she states with a fixed gaze. "We wrote these songs for this unit and you can totally hear it. He's the kind of artist to do something new. He doesn't make the same album twice, he's always changing it up. This is just another step."

And what better way to demonstrate 'not making the same album twice' than by releasing two brand new albums on the same day? The yin to PLECTRUMELECTRUM's yang, ART OFFICIAL AGE is a more soulful dose of polished pop perfection. After all, if Prince has something to say, why wait?

"What's great about ART OFFICIAL AGE is that it's a digital record, and more R&B and funk - compared to PLECTRUMELECTRUM which totally analogue and recorded live," reveals Nielsen. "There's something completely different, but they're all great songs."

Ford continues: "They're two very separate project in the sense that they were done at two very different times, with two different people and different methods. PLECTRUMELECTRUM was a collective between the three of us and Prince and we were a part of the mixing and everything. It's our baby. Whereas ART OFFICIAL AGE was just an album between Prince and Joshua, my husband.

"They were in the studio countless hours and it felt like the album was done in a week. They worked all through the night and so quickly. It was incredible to watch."

But what makes PLECTRUMELECTRUM such a life-affirming ride is the chemistry between four musicians very much on the same page - or as Prince calls it, a "feminine energy". This is something key to the communal spirit of the band.

"I think about a balance with male and female energy," says Grantis. "I think it's so cool when balance is present, not just in music but everywhere: education, politics, film, teaching, science - everything. If there was a greater balance between both energies, then I think the word would be a better place."

Ford agrees: "Everyone on the planet is here, because there's a purpose. I think there's a reason why men have a certain energy and men have a certain energy and so the balance is extremely important.

"It doesn't mean that one gender is greater than the other. All roles are important and we need to be fulfilling them, that goes beyond what we look like. You need to do that with integrity and that puts gender aside."

'I think about a balance in male and female energy, not just in music, but everywhere: education, politics, film, teaching, science - everything' - Donna Grantis, guitarist

Do they grow tired of reviews reading 'these chicks rock just as hard'?

"That doesn't mean anything," laughs Ford, rolling her eyes. "We work just as hard as men, too."

Grantis casts her hand towards the window, and the sunny day outside. "We've found that a lot of the reviews here in the UK haven't really brought that up," she says. "They've just talked about how these performances are from one of the greatest funk-rock bands ever, period. That's what it's supposed to be." 

Indeed, there's very much a two-way love affair with the UK and 3RDEYEGIRL at the moment. Prince and band have been very kind to us with their run of surprise shows and arena tours, making the cry for them to headline Glastonbury all the louder. It's also a cry we should quit hollering - they're tired of it.

"Always!" squeals Ford when asked about the rumours. "It's like 'Quit lying, man!' Right when tickets go on sale... If you keep saying it falsely every year, that's not a good look. It's not going to make us want to come." 

On Glastonbury: "It's like 'Quit lying, man! If you keep saying it falsely every year, that's not a good look. It's not going to make us want to come' - Hannah Ford, drummer

So what does it take to make Prince want to play somewhere?

"He's said many times that we don't wanna just 'play' We want to play with a purpose, we want to play for something or someone and make it mean something," says Ford. "Every time we play, it means everything to us. Whether it's planning a tour or when we were doing shows in Oakland, we did a show for charity. It's stuff like that, it inspires us to play.

"Prince wants to help people and encourage people and that's what drives us."

It's a drive that has kept the band entirely focussed on one thing and one thing only: 3RDEYEGIRL. While Prince's shows have always been a carnival celebration of not only his own vast back catalogue, but of music throughout the ages, his onus was the same for 3RDEYEGIRL - but with the added vision for them to 'become their own favourite musicians'. 

'It's the collective vibe of it. It's the four of us, together, creating something really special and magial that we love and put our heart and soul into' - Ida Nielsen, bassist

"To constantly have an open mind and listen to new music, is very smart," replies Hannah. "What he meant in that is that he wants us to be in love with what we do and in love with our sound and be proud of who we are and who we have become and will become. It's weird to say that 'I'm my favourite drummer', but in a sense, I get where it's coming from and I can say that honestly, I like my style of playing - I love my approach and my technique. 3RDEYEGIRL is my favourite band now, I love our sound and our characteristics. I love what we represent and everything about the band."

Nielsen chimes in: "It's the collective vibe of it. It's the four of us together, creating something really special and magical that we love and put our heart and soul into."  

So, that's Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL. A constantly jamming, ever-evolving, music-consuming, constantly creating tour-de-force of hard rock and free energy. A restless rush to the future, celebrating the past while living only for the moment.

It's that rush that brought us two new albums this week, but what comes next?

"We're always working on new material," says Ford, kicking her legs enthusiastically. "We're always rehearsing and jamming so it stays fresh. A lot of what the last few months have been is preparation for the album, talking about how to release it, what we want to do. Now we're preparing for what happens next.

"We recorded a whole lot of new stuff, so we'll see what happens there. 'The vault' exists - it really does."

We fully trust Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL to treat us to their wealth of new material and tour dates when they're good and ready. For today, we're too busy living in the now.


Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:14:56 GMT
gigwise94612 <![CDATA[A quick five minutes with Anna Calvi]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94612/A-quick-five-minutes-with-Anna-Calvi Few artists receive one Mercury Prize nomination in their career, let alone two for consecutive albums. But then again Anna Calvi isn't like her contemporaries.

Breaking out in 2011 to immediate critical acclaim, her self titled debut wowed audiences with its calculated charm, held together by stunning vocal work and jawdropping instrumentation, something that was replicated in her ferocious live shows.

Taking things to new heights and further developing her already mature, defined sound, 2013's One Breath was equally well received, defining her place as a force to be reckoned with both as a songwriter and a performer.

Her upward trajectory has continued in recent months, with Calvi set to support Morrissey at the O2 Arena later this year, and collaborations with David Byrne and Marianne Faithful under her belt.

Needless to say, Anna Calvi is having a very good 2014, so Gigwise caught up with recently to find out how it's all going.

We saw you last at Green Man Festival this year. Is it odd or liberating playing shows when you're not immediately promoting anything?
I guess I don't really think about my performance in terms of promotion, instead I just put together a collection of songs that feel right for a particular audience, and I really enjoyed today because of that. With festival shows like this I gathered a lot of your set was built around improvisation and expression, and your performance today felt free and loose in the best possible way.

Do you find it tough condensing everything you want to do with a live show into the time restrictions of a festival slot?
You do have to cater it to an audience with less of an attention span, and it's a challenge to get it right, but when you do and you get a good response from an enthusiastic audience it's incredibly rewarding.

When shows like this are going well and an audience seems receptive is there perhaps a temptation to test out new ideas?
No I don't think now would be the right time to do that, I think you want to do that on a tour in a club-like space with your own fans, because you don't really know who this audience is.

Where would you say you're at in terms of new material at the moment?
Well I've just started writing so I'm kind of at the beginning stage, then after all the festivals I'm going to concentrate on it all properly. I think that's the way I work, it's a matter of just being on my own in silence to reflect on things and work from that.

Any indication of what direction you may take in the future?
Oh it's too early to say definitely. Once the festivals are done I can then just take my time with it all.

Anna Calvi's second album One Breath has been shortlisted for The Mercury Prize 2014 alongside the likes of Jungle, Royal Blood, FKA Twigs, Kate Tempest and others. The winner will be announced on 29 October.

Below: 13 stunning, exclusive photos of Anna Calvi at Green Man Festival

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:03:59 GMT
gigwise94561 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams has taken over Gigwise]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94561/Ryan-Adams-has-taken-over-Gigwise From the first time we heard Ryan Adams fourteenth album, we knew it was something special - and seeing him tear through it on his recent UK dates made it even more remarkable. That's why we've asked him to take over Gigwise. 

Ryan Adams sat down with Gigwise to talk in-depth about every element of the new record - from what goes in to making an album, overcoming his personal demons and writer's block, what goes on at his PAX AM studio, collaborating with the likes of Johnny Depp and Bob Mould, as well as a little bit of insight into his favourite comic books and heavy metal for good measure. Check it all out below. 

 See our Ryan Adams takeover below

Ryan Adams speaks openly about battling his demons to overcome writer's block


Adams tell us about his favourite comic books - and his dream of publishing his own

Ryan Adams tells us about life inside his studio, and collaborating with Bob Mould, Johnny Depp and his new band

Adams opens up about his love of heavy metal music

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:18:25 GMT
gigwise94557 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams: 'It took a lot to know who I was again']]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94557/Ryan-Adams-'It-took-a-lot-to-know-who-I-was-again' "That was a dark fuckin’ time," says a wide-eyed Ryan Adams, glancing through his long, tangled fringe as he sips on his tea in Soho's Dean Street Townhouse. "At the very end of The Cardinals I was just out of all kinds of gas. New York was done for me, I don’t think I even knew that yet. I was just done, and so there was this whole time where everything just stopped. The ideas stopped and the reasons for doing them stopped."

The very notion of Adams finding himself at a loss for inspiration seems totally bewildering. Today, during a whirlwind run around London that will see him wow the Invictus Games, Later...With Jools Holland and the iTunes Festival (casually having friend and collaborator Johnny Depp join him on stage for two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire), he's an artist sitting on a wealth of material. 

Here's an artist who's released 14 solo albums in 14 years. Beyond that, countless EPs and one-off singles. Adams is friendly and forthcoming as he bounds about the sofa to discuss his favourite passions - including recording studio Pax-Am, comic books, heavy metal, working with Bob Mould and Johnny Depp, Star Wars, where in LA to get the best fish taco and the best way to wear a denim jacket. He's a restless man at the peak of his creative powers - so what went wrong for him to wonder off the trail?

"The feeling was gone, and I hadn’t experienced that void before in my life, even when I thought I had writer’s block," says Ryan. "I was desperate to write, the need to communicate was there. Around Love Is Hell is when I had writer’s block, which is super-weird – which is why that record was super weird because I was actually writing about writer’s block on that record and nobody can tune completely into that because of the way that I wrote it. That record is almost entirely about watching television and movies and writer’s block.

"At the end of The Cardinals thing, so much of my life changed. I quit smoking, I had long-since quit taking drugs and drinking and I moved to the West Coast and it just got really quiet. I did a bunch of stuff to get to know myself in a deeper way. I had to handle a lot of physical issues, that I later found you handle mentally."

Photo: iTunes Festival London

The main physical hurdle Adams had to overcome was suffering from Ménière’s disease (a potentially debilitating inner-ear disorder than can cause vertigo)  and the ensuing reluctance to play live.

"It was my balance issue," admits Adams. "It was like when you go jogging, after 15 minutes is when it gets hard. There’s a five minute interval where you’re like ‘God, I just wanna stop now because I’ve run now’. That’s the five minutes that sucks. That’s the five minutes where I shut my music off and have a deeper conversation where I left myself know that just on the other side is an entire rush. That’s what happened when I quit writing."

'Through hypnotherapy, I understood what my problems were. Why was I spiteful? Why was I scared about music? Why was I angry about music? What was wrong?'

By the time that Adams came upon the writing of 2011's stripped-back and soulful Ashes & Fire, he "didn't even know how to any more" - neither for himself, a band nor for any alternate reason or personality. The answer? Running up a nearby mountain, and  facing his demons through hypnotherapy. 

"You get really relaxed," nods Adams, remembering his hypnotherapy sessions. "It lasts an hour and I could understand what my problems were. Why was I spiteful? Why was I scared? Why was I angry about music? What was wrong? I think just being dizzy and afraid that someone was going to flash lights at me on stage made me not want to do it, because it makes me want to fall over. Before I fall over, it’s like having a panic attack. My nervous system feels like there’s electricity shooting through it, and I feel like everything is going to the right."

Beyond his own fears that were driving him further and further away from music, he had one more demon to square up to: himself. Taking a long look at himself in the media, he found himself baffled by the cartoon that had been created, made all the more frustrating by the fact that Ryan Adams himself is resolutely focused on the music alone.

"I made so many mistakes when I was young," he bashfully smiles. "Drinking and not being sure of myself and not being sure who to please and had to find my way. Honestly, I did things like a big dumb puppy.

"In the music press, I was just bumbling around, pissing on the rug, chewing on the fucking shoes like an idiot. I just thought that was what you were supposed to do, and I did it at the time when it all changed. When Dionysian ideas of excess went from being the stuff written about in books, to being the stuff written about in social media, that really changed people. I don’t think you could have a Jim Morrison kind of person now."

'I did things like a big, dumb puppy. In the music press, I was just bumbling around, pissing on the rug, chewing on the fucking shoes like an idiot'

At this point it's worth considering how little the media caricature of Adams resembles the man sat opposite Gigwise. The facts speak for themselves: you don't write a surplus of 14 albums in 14 years with a plethora of side-projects and endeavours if you're constantly wasted or foppishly bouncing between celebrity parties. His workrate is simply astonishing.

Photo: iTunes Festival London

Adams did, however, make fans grow a little restless during the wait from 2011's Ashes & Fire. After all, three years is a pretty standard turn-around for most artists, but it's the longest gap he's left between releases. As you can probably imagine, those three years were not just spent playing pinball and drinking tea (two of his favourite pastimes). In that time, not only did he record his self titled album, but also the break-neck garage punk EP 1984, and another album that was a tender tribute to his late grandmother. He spent $100,000 recording it, but ditched it because it was 'too sad'. 

Either way, that's three records, folks. 

"There’s more than that," Adams is quick to correct. "There’s the singles that come out every month. The Jacksonville single, the next single is about to be announced, then the one after that, then the one after that. There’s a lot of stuff. Hundreds of songs. That time was the most fruitful period I’ve had in a long time. We don’t even know how much stuff there is."

Listening to Adams speak about throwing himself into his work is not only inspirational, but it's enough to make even the most restless of polymaths feel just plain lazy. So what is it that keeps driving him onwards?

"Basically, you’re a human vessel, you have your muse – which would be the thing that you long for that you can not have. It’s like your star. Then there’s the motion of making it and the will and the inclination to make it is like the wind at your back. In order to get yourself in a position to get yourself towards the muse, you have to put yourself in the wind."

'There's the motion and will of making a record, and that's the wind up your back. To get back towards your muse, you have to put yourself in the wind'

He gestures outside and goes on: "I would see all of this, and it made me know a lot of things. It made me know that I have to go to my studio and I have to go hire my friends who have regular jobs. I need to go and say ‘Take six months off of your job and just come and play music with me every day’. We’re going to get ourselves in the wind. As soon as I did that, all of that information that I was uncomfortable about made itself available to me. I had to tap into something that could last a little longer – an intellectual pursuit, a song that has an intellectual destiny.

"All of these channels became very narrow to me and I started seeing a much larger, more energetic place to go.I knew who I was again."

 See our Ryan Adams takeover below 

Adams tell us about his favourite comic books - and his dream of publishing his own

Ryan Adams tells us about life inside his studio, and collaborating with Bob Mould, Johnny Depp and his new band

Adams opens up about his love of heavy metal music

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:50:50 GMT
gigwise94556 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams on his favourite comic books]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94556/Ryan-Adams-on-his-favourite-comic-books Ryan Adams is far more than simply a music obssessive - he also has a weakness for collecting classic comic books. As part of our Ryan Adams takeover, here he indulges in one of his passions.

"I’ve only gotten two since I’ve been here," he tells us from the lobby of his London hotel, speaking of his comic shopping in the capital while he's in town. "I got Son Of Satan No.1 which is amazing. All of the golden age stuff over here, there isn’t much to get."

"I bought Mike [Viola, recording partner] a bunch of shit the other day from Orbital because he likes a lot of horror comics, like Tomb Of Dracula. I know a lot about the English ones, or at least the ones you can find here that you can’t find in the States, like Devilina and Monster Squad. He’s not really into 2000AD but I fucking love that."

"One interesting thing is that here in England, a newspaper-type comic came out called Fury that sort of collected what in America would become World War II-themed comic books. Sgt. Fury, Sgt Rock or Army At War – they were really dark. People don’t know how dark they are – but they’re kind of beautiful too. These are comics that I just imagined that a lot of GI’s and stuff were reading if they ever had a smoke break on the frontline. They would ship Captain America comics and stuff like that over to the GIs and then that continued to Vietman with these troops reading comic books in trenches. There’s something really heavy about that. It allowed for a lot more adult, serious reading far, far before things got heavy again in comics – it’s pretty interesting."

"I actually have a pretty completist comic collection, so a lot of the stuff I wanted I have and have read. I’m drawing them now. I buy these books that already have the squares and stuff in them, when we’re on the train or plane for a couple of hours and there’s nothing else we can really do I’ll just draw my own."

Any chance he might ever publish some of them?

"I don’t know. If I can finish one that I like then maybe. I was thinking of doing one and putting a flexi-disc in the back. I think that would be really cool. But the [comics] are really bad! There’s more where that came from."

 See more of our Ryan Adams takeover below

Ryan Adams speaks openly about battling his demons to overcome writer's block


Ryan Adams tells us about life inside his studio, and collaborating with Bob Mould, Johnny Depp and his new band

Adams opens up about his love of heavy metal music

Below: 8 stunning photos of Ryan Adams live at iTunes Festival

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:42:54 GMT
gigwise94555 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams on PAX AM and collaborators]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94555/Ryan-Adams-on-PAX-AM-and-collaborators For an artist to be as prolific as Ryan Adams, they need three things: great ideas, great friends and a great place to work. The latter for Adams is his home studio PAX AM - a haven and breeding ground for creativity as well as a place to just hang.

It's said that Prince's Paisley Park is like 'an academy' and Jack White's Third Man is 'a factory' - but Adams says his Los Angeles studio is like a cross between a social club and 'a laboratory'. 

"I don’t really know how PAX AM works," shrugs Adams. "Now there’s a chaos factor. We have invited people who now come back. It sounds like name-dropping to say this, but [Husker Du's] Bob Mould literally does just pop into town and I won’t know until he’s there. He lives down in San Francisco, so it’s not that far to LA - I mean Californians just drive any-fucking-where. You can find yourself driving down to Santa Cruz just because you want a decent fish taco.

Bob willl be like ‘Driven down to LA today to see a buddy, 30 minutes away - see you in 30!’ I’ll just tell the guys. My studio always has amps set up in pretty much the same place, drums, consoles, external mics so the board is always set to mix – and we just turn that thing on, man. Bob can just come and everything is set up so you can just instantaneously make the energy."

Adams and band on stage at iTunes Festival. Photo: iTunes Festival, London

Fans on his current UK tour have been delighted when Johnny Depp joined Adams on stage for a raucous run through tracks. It's that 'energy' with Mould that has brought them all together - jamming together to create some pretty interesting new material. 

"We've actually had a couple (of sessions) now," Adams tells Gigwise. "The first one was pretty out of control - it was awesome. Bob was on guitar, I was on bass half the time and Johnny was on bass half the time and switched through guitar. My friend Marshall was on drums.

"The jams aren't just 'Let's just goof off' - the songs are real. Songs are constructed. I don't think some of those jams would have sounded out of place on a Die Kreuzen record or Husker Du's Metal Circus or something. Even a few of them were kind of contemporary, it was cool."

When asked if the recordings were likely to be released soon, Adams replies: "I don't know, man. We haven't sat down and finished all the vocal stuff on that yet, it just exists. It exists and we'll do something with it.

"Sometimes we go through Johnny's phone because he plays guitar into his voicenotes, so he'll have some riff or some bridge or some chorus that he'll have done on a film set somewhere or whatever and he'll come round and play us a couple and I'll be like 'Oh man, let's put a verse there', stuff starts happened and an hour later the song is done. It's the same with anybody there. It's that kind of thing - 'What are we going to do today?'"

Watch Ryan covering Bob Mould's 'Black Sheets Of Rain' below

It's that casual carefree approach that has made PAX-AM such a beehive of activity, and a magnet for in-the-know musicians from miles around. 

"I think that because it’s that way, it’s allowed a lot of stuff to happen," says Adams. "That’s the way I wanted it. I had all of this leftover gear that was sitting in storage and that space became available. I knew that if I set up my own private studio in LA and invited all these great musicians who are used to always paying [for studio time], always being on the clock for how much money it is per hour, always being stuffy.

Then I just go ‘Hey man, this place is just set up like it is It’s very home-y there, I mean VERY home-y. There’s like comic book stacks in the bathroom, there’s my office which is generally open, there’s one computer (it usually stays off), manual typewriters and books up in the wall – it’s very chill.

"That environment became very conducive for people to come in and they relax. They pick up a bass and guitar and we just go."

The key beneficaries of Adams studio time are, naturally enough, his touring band. Following his acoustic tour for Ashes & Fire, fans of the rockier Adams will be pleased to see him on the road with his new backing band drummer Freddie Bokkenheuser, guitarist Mike Viola, keyboardist Daniel Clarke and bassist Charlie Stavish - the latter recently the recepient of heavy appreciation at Adams' Shepherds Bush, with fans hollering "WE LOVE YOU CHARLIE" well into the night, often drowning out the screams for Johnny Depp. 

"I love that!", beams Adams "I encourage that."

Adams is clearly someone who enjoys being in a group of talented contemporaries. "I like them, we enjoy each other’s company, it’s easy," says Adams of his new band. "They’re better musicians than I am, and in different ways which is super cool for me. It’s like playing basketball with the tall kids.  I know that whatever I throw out there, I’m going to get this really cool thing back that’s like a question mark and kinda mysterious and it’s going to make me think.

"I just in general feel a little more peaceful all round."

Naturally, they're largely to thank for huge, loud, life-affirming nature of Adams' latest self-titled effort, as well the rip-roaring punk of his 1984 EP - both achieved through constantly having their noses to the grindstone over the past three years. 

"That time was the most fruitful period I’ve had in a long time," admits Adams. "Every day, me, myself and Charlie made the ‘weekend rule’ – just so our home lives weren’t fucked just because of the amount of beautiful energy that was at PAX-AM. It’s just 10 or 15 minutes from all of our homes, so we had to make that rule. All of our wives, girlfriends or fiances go to bed at a relatively early time, like 9 or 10 o’clock at night.

"We would work from 4pm-12am and not work weekends, like a proper job just so we could contain the amount of energy. For about four of five months it was out of fucking control and it would be ten day stretches, of getting up and going down when it was still early. It wasn’t a problem for anybody, it just got to the point where we were tapping into the idea of just making a new song every day. It was really interesting and fucked up, how much material and different kinds of material were being constructed. It wasn’t always finished, which is actually more daunting. There are a lot of ready-to-be-constructed bridges and choruses and verses all hanging out on tape in the studio.

"It’s really cool. It’s exactly the perfect laboratory."

 See our Ryan Adams takeover below

Ryan Adams speaks openly about battling his demons to overcome writer's block


Adams tell us about his favourite comic books - and his dream of publishing his own

Adams opens up about his love of heavy metal music

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:32:17 GMT
gigwise94550 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams on his favourite metal bands]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94550/Ryan-Adams-on-his-favourite-metal-bands "I get the same stuff out of metal that I get out of other music," says Ryan Adams, adjusting the sleeves on his old-school, red Judas Priest jersey - totally at odds with the suited and booted clientele of Soho's Dean Street Townhouse.

You may associate him with folk, country or alt-rock, but as you can tell by the patches on his denim jacket, cut him open and he reads 'METAL HEAD' like a stick of rock. 

His love of the harder stuff has never been a secret - it became most evident when he released Orion in 2010 - a "fully-realised sci-fi metal album".

With a penchant for punk as well the harder-shredding stuff, Adams eyes light up when discussing his harder-leaning listening habits.

"Lately I’ve just been listening to a lot of classic 80s stuff," says Adams. "I really like a new metal band called Power Trip from Texas, who are really fucking amazing – they're ones to watch. They remind me of South Of Heaven-era Slayer, they have great breakdowns, they’re really original."

But metal also offers something else for Adams - it was a key part of his recovery when overcoming writers' block, and the dark cloud that blocked his view of getting back to music and the stage. 

"It was all about the songs, that’s how I got back," Adams tells Gigwise. "I did the hypnotherapy stuff and I just started to run. There’s a really, really big hill in Los Angeles near my house. It’s basically a small mountain. It’s about 2,100 elevation, 2,700 at the peak. There are running and hiking paths leading up to it.

"For two years, I got up every day and I fucking ran that. I walked it when I couldn’t run, sometimes I’d walk like halfway up and stand there, defeated. I did it listening to music every day, until I really started to know what kind of music I loved again.

"I started listening to stuff I didn’t know I really cared about. The whole aberration of music I was into happened: Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel Of Love happened! Then at the same time, I also started listening to Husker Du, and stuff like that in a different way than I had before – in a way I can’t explain. Like, I started listening to the bass player, the undermelodies. I listened to the entire AC/DC discography and I was kinda like ‘ OK – I get this’. I’ve always liked them but I realised that they’re making the same record every time in a different way and it’s always good.

"I started seeing elemental properties in music that I’d never saw before."

 See our Ryan Adams takeover below

Ryan Adams speaks openly about battling his demons to overcome writer's block


Adams tell us about his favourite comic books - and his dream of publishing his own

Ryan Adams tells us about life inside his studio, and collaborating with Bob Mould, Johnny Depp and his new band

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 12:35:04 GMT
gigwise94409 <![CDATA[Morrissey's legendary album revealed: Frankly Widow Twanky]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94409/Morrissey's-legendary-album-revealed-Frankly-Widow-Twanky A savage send-up of music journalism that would fit in perfectly at 9pm on BBC4, Great Lost Albums is a new book that seeks out some slightly dubious entries in band's back catalogues.

Although there are many favourites (including the non-existent LPs Elbow's Off The Top Of My Head, U2's The Satanic Choruses and Blur's Critique Of All Reason), one particularly stood out. As such the four authors - Mark Billingham, David Quantick, Stav Sherez and Martyn Waites - have shared with Gigwise the first documented evidence of Frankly Widow Twanky by Morrissey...

Frankly Widow Twanky by Morrissey

"Morrissey has previous when it comes to recording material and not releasing it. He ditched an entire album in 1993, confining himself to bed for three months after Alan Bennett walked by on the other side of the street without waving. He later recorded tracks with Tony Visconti, then refused to release them after witnessing Visconti looking into a butcher’s shop window and later sneaking back to buy a bag of pork scratchings. But without doubt it is Frankly Widow Twankly, his great lost panto album, that has invited most speculation.

‘There’s nothing as British as panto,’ Morrissey declared. When the interviewer pointed out that panto was essentially a bastardisation of the Italian commedia dell’arte, Morrissey spanked him with a wet slipper. Carrying on regardless, thus was born Frankly Widow Twankly. (Incidentally, when the same interviewer pointed out that it should be ‘Twanky’ not ‘Twankly’, Morrissey said it rhymed, so it was correct and not to challenge him. He then went back to working on lyrics claiming all British monarchs were descended from Oliver Cromwell.)

Morrissey set to work, gathering a crack team of seasoned panto session musicians around him. At first he objected to the smell of Old Holborn pipe tobacco and the sight of Angler’s Monthly and Practical Caravanner in the studio, but he was informed by co-producer Biggins (famous for his work with cheeky scouse sex-bomb Cilla Black) that it was a different way of working; a different culture. Morrissey, unhappy – always, always unhappy – grudgingly went along with it.

He also surrounded himself with the very best talent to realise his artistic vision. The Krankies were called in to play the comedy Chinese policemen double act, here called ‘Meat’ and ‘Murder’. A heavily refreshed Charles Hawtrey played the part of the Genie of the Lamp; in a spirit of reconciliation Mike Joyce featured as Baron Hardup; Judge John Weeks was the Sheriff of Nottingham and John Barrowman was on hand to give Mozza his Dick.* David Bowie (at his most chameleon-like) was scheduled to appear as the Thin White Dame, but soon left after an argument with Morrissey because of his insistence on bringing his own Bovril sandwiches to rehearsals. He was replaced by the ever-reliable John Inman. Morrissey now had his dream team around him. ‘When I looked at some of the people I was working with,’ he said later, ‘I just felt my essential Englishness rise up.’

Unfortunately Morrissey and Biggins clashed constantly throughout the sessions,** Morrissey’s insistence that only organic lentils could be used during the cakemaking scene creating a tense atmosphere. Morrissey then decided to take the production on tour.

It opened at the Pavilion Theatre on Cromer Pier, with Morrissey singing the perennial classic ‘Oh I Do Like to Be beside the Seaside’ in his own inimitable manner: 'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside/But only when it’s grim and really bleak/Oh I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom/While I pray they drop a nuclear bomb, bomb, bomb.' Then moving on to some traditional call and response with the audience: ‘Have you all had a lovely Christmas, boys and girls? Anyone who felt the need to viciously slaughter poultry in order to enjoy themselves can leave now.’

Sadly, it only lasted one performance, as Morrissey, who refused to throw sweets into the audience as they contained gelatine, almost blinded a four-year-old boy by hurling a stick of celery at him. Fearing another court case, Morrissey abandoned the project and fled the country for Jamaica where, rumour has it, he collaborated with Peter Tosh on his great lost reggae album, Ragga Polari. But that’s another story.***"

1. The Principal Boy with the Thorn in His Side
2. Meat Is Murder (Even For a Pantomime Cow) (feat. The Krankies)
3. Oh I Do Like to Be beside the Seaside
4. I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Organic Coconuts
5. How Soon is the Interval?
6. Frankly Widow Twankly (feat. John Inman)
7. He’s Behind Me, Oh Yes He Is! (feat. John Barrowman)
8. The More You Rub Me the Closer I Get (feat. Charles Hawtrey)
9. Devious Truculent and Unreliable (feat. Judge John Weeks)
10. Babes on Saddleworth Moor
11. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (Ensemble)

* Dick as in Dick Whittington. Give as in perform the role. God, you people!

**Morrissey would later chronicle their fallings-out on his coruscating hit single ‘Biggins’s Mouth Strikes Again’.

*** Oh no it isn’t.

Extract taken from Great Lost Albums by Mark Billingham, David Quantick, Stav Sherez & Martyn Waites (Sphere, £12.99). Click here to buy the book from Amazon.

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:39:23 GMT
gigwise94374 <![CDATA[Frightened Rabbit talk Scottish Independence]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94374/Frightened-Rabbit-talk-Scottish-Independence "It is time for the people of Scotland to stand up and take responsibility for our own actions and make the decisions that best suit our country," says Grant Hutchison, drummer with acclaimed Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. Indeed, Scotland is on the eve of a great change. There is no doubt that regardless of tonight's referendum on Independence, the impact will forever alter the way that Scotland view their own identity, sense of self, and world standing. 

"Come burl around my body, Scottish blood," sing the band on the stirring call to arms track 'Scottish Winds'. "I'll try not to spill a drop, oh I'm sure you've spilled enough - and the English fucking rule, who mean nothing to these times  - ah, run forever in my veins, bold Scottish blood."

Needless to say, their nationality is quintessential to Frightened Rabbit - and their own sense of independence is a fundamental atom in their DNA. 

"You can certainly draw parallels between ourselves and what an independent Scotland could be," says Grant, speaking of his band's own struggles from obscurity to success. "We started out ourselves working hard, putting on gigs and not making a lot of money, and then it slowly progressed to where we are now. It's fun and we've enjoyed it but it's been really hard work and at times frustrating. Not everyone has got their way or got what they wanted but that's not really the point.

"We've made a lot of decisions for the good of the band. That's exactly what it's going to be like for an independent Scotland."

This past weekend, F'Rabbit found themselves sharing a bill with fellow indie heroes from North of the border, Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai at a special 'Vote Yes Scotland' gig in Edinburgh. In an age where musicians speaking out about political causes is becoming more and more of a rarity, it was a bold move for all concerned - but Grant argues it was an essential one, considering what's at stake.

"The crowd were obviously predominantly decided on what way they were voting so it wasn't so much about changing people's minds as such, but I think it was more to motivate people that were already voting yes to then go out and really do all they can to convince the undecided what way to vote," says Grant of Sunday's show. "I have in past spoken to Stuart (Braithwaite) from Mogwai about it and he's quite vocal in his backing for yes. We're not politicians, we're not there to pull out stats and facts - there was just a really positive energy in the room."

Summing up the general mood of the nation, be they voting aye or naye, Grant succinctly puts it: "A lot of people don't see this as a political decision, it's a decision for the good of our country. It has a very different meaning to people voting Labour or Tory or whatever. Once this is over, that'll be enough for us."

Grant on stage with brother Scott at Frightened Rabbit's Brixton Academy show. Photo: Gigwise/Justine Trickett

Politicians they may not be, but Grant and his fellow Scot artists are certainly realists when it comes to the long-term implications of what a potential 'yes' vote could bring. Like he himself with Frightened Rabbit has experienced, it's a long, tough and troublesome road when you take on the world on your own terms. 

"It's not going to be that easy straight away and there's going to be a lot of uncertainty and decisions will be made that not everyone will like," he admits. "The reason for voting yes is to make a country that's fairer and does more for everyone's interests. There's never any kind of final solution in terms of running a country, we just want a government that we trust more than the one we've got now. I think the majority of the Yes campaign understand that it will take time to get it right, but it's worth it."

And what if the majority say 'NO'? 

"I really try not to think about it," he winces. "Whatever the outcome, I think us and most people will back it and support it because it's still our country, it's still Scotland. That's what's important."

He continues: "It's something that I would be genuinely devastated if it didn't happen, and I don't often feel that way about politics. It's not a decision that we are making or has been put forward because life is currently unbearable, it's about what positive change we can make as an independent country going forward.

"Life won't dramatically change either way, but one good thing that has come out of this campaign is that it has engaged people - over 90% of Scotland has now registered to vote because of this referendum. That alone is a good thing. It's really sparked people's interest in politics and put a spotlight on the way that the country is being run at the moment. We now have a country standing up for themselves, which is great."

Now is your time, Scotland - whatever you vote for, you're voting for change in varying degrees. The future has never been closer. When you vote, make the best vote for Scotland. 

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:34:21 GMT
gigwise94345 <![CDATA[Peter Hook on touring, New Order and the 1975]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94345/Peter-Hook-on-touring-New-Order-and-the-1975 Peter Hook, founding member and bassist for both Joy Division and New Order, has been spending all day rehearsing for his tour. “Today,” he tells us when we ask how it’s going, “I'm crapping myself.”

It’s not an entirely surprising confession. At the end of September, Hook will not only be playing New Order’s third and fourth albums Low Life and Brotherhood in full alongside their singles and B-sides 1983 to 1987, he’ll also be opening with a set of Joy Division material, under the moniker Peter Hook & The Light. It's something we're keen to discuss with him (as are his management) rather than focus on the increasingly messy fallout with Bernard Sumner and New Order. In practice though, it's Hook who brings up the subject, sharing frequently and with great candour, his disdain for his former band.

To begin with though, we're still on his forthcoming tour. “Trying to learn 30 songs,” he admits, “when you've not played them for 25 years, is a little bit daunting… to say the least." Despite the hype though, and the occasional waves of terror, performing live is an experience Hook relishes – “Because Joy Division never went anywhere. Most of the world never got anywhere near Joy Division, so it's a real achievement to do it. I love playing still, I love the physicality of it, I always did.”

Watch Peter Hook & The Light play 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' below

We all know the reason Joy Division “never went anywhere” - they never got the chance to. But from the ashes of Ian Curtis' tragedy, New Order were born. Despite foundations built on darkness, they achieved decades of success. By the turn of the 21st century though, things very publicly soured. Hook left the band in 2006, and New Order broke up.

Five years later, they reunited, but with one crucial difference - Hook was not invited. His contempt for Bernard Sumner and co first comes to the fore when we ask if he feels added pressure for his own live shows, given his former band are still touring. He interjects: “Well they aren't New Order, they're masquerading as New Order! I definitely remember New Order and it didn't look like that.”

The fractured relationship between Hook and his former bandmates is a messy, drawn-out affair, which involves legal proceedings and a large dose of public mud-slinging. “If they'd have handled themselves properly and honourably,” he insists, “and done the right thing when they wanted to come back, it would have been all hearts and flowers. But they didn't, and they seemed to infer that I didn't handle myself honourably before, because I was playing Joy Division songs, when in reality they played Joy Division songs in Bad Lieutenant before me."

“If they'd have come to me and said, ‘Listen, we don't want to play with you, you don't want to play with us, we want to reform, let's do a deal and sort it out’, then I would have gone, ‘Alright that's fine, I'm not gonna push myself on you if you don't want me, what human being could possibly do that?’ Then you go off and you go, ‘Good luck mate, we had some great times’. But the fact that they chose to do it while I was abroad in China, and the way they treated me financially, it's just disgusting. You just can't wish them well. It's impossible. I defy anybody to do it.”

Below: Hook reading Sumner's autobiography frrom the bassist's Twitter.

Amongst the long list of things about the current New Order lineup which irks Hook, is that they allow their newer members to sign old New Order merchandise. “I won't let my lot do that,” he says. “If someone brings a Joy Division album, just because they're playing Joy Division, doesn't give them the right to sign it. The whole point about this so-called reformation or whatever, is that it's very anti-me, and they are leading a hate campaign against me.” He thinks for a moment, before adding, “In the same way, I suppose, that I'm leading one against them. I've not heard them say anything good about me, unless you can correct me...” There’s a short silence and a little nervous laughter on our end. “So there you go,” he says, satisfied.

Hook is no stranger to rivalry, though it hasn’t always been between members of his own band. During the 1980s, Joy Division’s rivalry with The Smiths spurred both to greater heights. Perhaps the sheer quantity and quality of the music coming out of Manchester led to a more intense sense of competition? “It's funny,” he says, “I was having this conversation the other day. There's not been a wave of Manchester bands for a year or two - I think Manchester actually might have peaked. It's had a stranglehold on music for years and years and years, and it did just strike me the other day, I thought, 'Hang on a minute, where's all the bands now?’"

The 1975? “Ah yeah, they're from Cheshire, he's actually a neighbour of mine. I know his mother very well. He came up to me when I was judging a competition with his mother, Denise Welch, and I met him. God, he must have been 13, 14, and he told me that he loved Joy Division and he was forming a band. The 1975 are a very interesting group, but to me, they sound a bit like Hall & Oates? Their music has that sort of American twang, which is quite interesting considering where they come from, but it's an interesting LP.”

It surprises us, we tell him, that The 1975 were influenced by Joy Division, given that the two sound so profoundly different. “That's good though! I actually like that, because so many bands sound like Joy Division when they've been influenced by Joy Division. The art of being a musician is to take your influences, use them and then sound different. Like Interpol - 'Oh we love Joy Division' - shit, they sound just like Joy Division! White Lies - 'Oh we're big fans of Joy Division' - oh God you sound just like us! That is a difficult art. I don't mind though, I take it as a homage.”

Peter Hook & The Light performing in San Francisco (Photo: Marianne Carillo)

Perhaps the reason Joy Division’s influence has remained so profoundly evident, even 30 years on, is because their music inspires an intense, emotional reverence from fans. “It always used to puzzle me whenever people who reviewed Joy Division would say ‘It's very dark, intense, tragic music, that makes you want to lock yourself away and slit your wrists’” he laughs. “I'd go, 'What? I'm having a great time, mate! I wrote it, I played it, I'm full of the joys of spring!’ I used to love Joy Division, I used to love playing, and that was one of the tragic things for me when Ian did take his own life - 'How could he do it? Why did he do it?'

“But the simple fact of the matter was that he was ill. And in those days treatment for epilepsy was almost like putting leeches on him, it was that old fashioned, that barbaric in a way. It's come on so much over the years, and unfortunately, Ian's family are the ones that had to pay the heaviest price. Ian was a very poorly man, very sad, and it was a very tragic end, and nobody wants that for anybody.” Does he ever worry that the reverence of fans might add greater weight to the problematic ‘Live fast, die young’ mythology? “I'm only with them for an hour, and I might see them for ten minutes afterwards, and then they have to lead their own lives,” he says, matter-of-factly.

“But I would hope,” he adds, “that, in the same way as someone would look at Ian, who had a tragically short life, and didn't really enjoy it as much as he should have, that they’d then then look at me and go, 'Oh he's having a fucking good time, look at him, the old twat'. I'd hope that they'd go, 'Oh I'm gonna do that’.”

Peter Hook and the Light head out on tour next week - for their debut Low Life and Brotherhood concerts. Details below. 

September 2014

Wednesday 24th Glee Club, Cardiff
Thursday 25th The Ritz, Manchester
Saturday 27th Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:42:40 GMT
gigwise94341 <![CDATA[Review: Nick Cave - 20,000 Days On Earth]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94341/Review-Nick-Cave---20000-Days-On-Earth "At the end of the 20th Century, I ceased to be a human being," says Nick Cave in the opening scene, with a frame so close-up you can see the veins of his eyeballs. "I wake, I write, I eat, I watch TV...I'm a cannibal - looking for someone to cook in a pot."

Everything you've read about 20,000 Days On Earth is true. It's an absolutely enthralling film. Beyond being an unprecedented portrait of this artist as an older man, it's a seismic achievement in story-telling - eagerly both dispelling myths and embellishing them. 

This, is what a Werner Herzog 'rock doc' would look like. 

Framed as a day in the life of one of the most menacing and unmoveable figures in music, 20,000 Days follows Cave about a less than ordinary routine. Sure there's the standard waking beside his wife and muse Susie, some family time and rather heart-warming bumblings and banter with Bad Seed, friend and long-time collaborator Warren Ellis, but beyond that this is like no other 'documentary' you've ever seen.

The DNA of the Cave we know today is explored through a string of revealing sequences: a psychiatry session about his childhood and relationship with women with Darian Leader, a telling of the rising chaos and ultimate demise of earlier band The Birthday Party with a trip to his personal archives, recording sessions for the Bad Seeds' flawless 2013 album Push The Sky Away, and 'dream' scenes where he imagines conversations with past collaborators in the car as he lends a lift to Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone and Blixa Bargeld. 

His live persona is explained as he discusses his notion of finding one audience member and making them feel absolutely terrified, before blistering concert footage shows a performer without fear and relent - feeding the bloodthirsty desire of his howling cult following. 

It's been a strong year for music films already, but the best of them stand alone. While Jarvis Cocker used Sheffield as the canvas of his backstory in 'PULP: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets', and The National made a film about brotherhood with the band as merely a footnote in 'Mistaken For Strangers', Cave's 'story' is told through the prism of his own artistic vision - a grand narrative of characters, dreams, nightmares, heaven, hell, horror, angels, demons and otherworldly things, but ultimately deep-set in reality. 

As Cave himself calls this world depicted: "This shimmering space, where imagination and reality intersect - where all life and tears and joy exist, this is the place, this is where we live."

As the film closes on Cave eating pizza with his sons, a shot of the man has been taken from every angle: restless polymath, musical monolith, addict, father, friend, husband - but essentially, the human behind the legend of the beast. Through the eyes of Cave, they've captured his essence - and there's nothing quite like it. 

For information and screenings of 20,000 Days On Earth, visit here

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:00:06 GMT
gigwise94238 <![CDATA[UK Foo Fighters discuss 'dream' of appearing with band in Brighton]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94238/UK-Foo-Fighters-discuss-'dream'-of-appearing-with-band-in-Brighton Earlier this week, Foo Fighters played a secret, last-minute gig at Brighton's Concorde 2. Part way through their set, and without warning him beforehand, they pulled Jay Apperley - lead singer of tribute band UK Foo Fighters - onto the stage, pointed him towards the mic, and blasted out the opening riff of 'White Limo'. Despite being thrown in at the deep end, Apperley rose to the occasion, and sang vocals for the entire song, while the real Dave Grohl took a "vacaton for three and a half minutes." 

We caught up with Jay, who, despite currently battling a "stinking cold", is still riding high on the memory of his Foo Fighters performance, and he summed up the experience for Gigwise in his own words: 

Being on stage with Foo Fighters was like a dream that I've had, that I never thought could happen, but I kept working hard at the possibility. It was a bit of a coincidence that we were playing there on the 27th September, so we knew that Dave was going to see the posters at the venue and probably ask questions - so it seemed like a good idea to make the 350 mile trip from Harrogate. Then the owners said, "Oh you're on the guest list so you don't have to buy a ticket or try and get a ticket."

I had no idea at all that we were going to be brought onstage. I told the venue owner that I'd bring my guitar just in case. Dave doesn't know yet, but he signed it. I believe he gave it away when The Edge from U2 was doing an auction in New York for Hurricane Katrina victims a few years ago, and I managed to get that guitar, so instead of putting it in a glass box I put it to better use. I don't think I've ever played anything on it other than a Foo Fighters song.

Five songs in, he started talking about us, saying, "I don't want to shit the bed in front of the UK Foo Fighters", and I remember thinking it was amazing that he'd even mentioned us. Then he looked at me and pointed and beckoned his finger at me, and said something like, "Hey you, Motherfucker. I wanna see what you got." The only pressure that I had was wondering which song he would pick and whether or not he would hand me his guitar and just sit in the audience and watch.

It was a big relief when I heard the intro to 'White Limo.' I was so relieved that he picked that. I know from doing the circuit that people generally comment, "How can you do that one?" and I don't know, I just tried it when they made the song, and it came out. I knew he was testing me with that type of a vocal, but I also knew that it was one that I could nail. Dave's last words were, "That was fucking awesome. Can we do this every night?" I've already sent him a tweet saying, "Call me."

I didn't get to meet Dave afterwards but he asked for a bunch of posters and flyers so maybe he's got an idea in his head about some other tribute things. If you're reading this Dave, and you need some props or something for a music video or some little weird twist, one of those goofy music videos you're known for, I'm available!

I didn't know how he'd feel about tribute bands, I thought he might say to me, "Just get your fucking mates together and write some shit and it's yours." He's a big fan of that. He's the biggest thing in rock music on the planet, but everybody said to me, "He's not just the nicest guy in rock, he's just a seriously nice guy, he won't have an issue with it." Clearly he doesn't, because he wouldn't have let me take his place on a song on the first ever secret gig in the UK after nearly three years of silence otherwise.

As the days pass I ask myself, did he do it to say something to the world or did he just do it because he knew I was out there and somebody had told him what it would mean to me? The last 24 hours, I mean christ, what's next?

For more information on UK Foo Fighters, visit their website here

Foo Fighters will play their final UK secret show at London's Islington Assembly Hall tonight (Friday 12 September), before headlining the Invictus Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday 14 September. For tickets and more information visit here

Below: 17 photos of Foo Fighters rocking London's House Of Vans

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:11:03 GMT
gigwise94144 <![CDATA[The 11 best things about Bestival 2014]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94144/The-11-best-things-about-Bestival-2014 Countless festivals pride themselves on their 'atmosphere', but in most cases end up being a homogenous event in a field on the outskirts of an anonymous town based entirely around a line-up and nothing else (apart from some questionable fairground rides).

Bestival however, is the real deal, a non-stop four day party with perhaps the best audience in the world and a vast lineup of established talent and future-greats, from house to grime through indie via hip hop, not to mention the incredible dedication to a theme. This year was no exception, with Robin Hill County Park transformed into a site-wide Desert Island Disco, full of castaways, palm trees, the world's biggest disco ball and Nile bloody Rodgers.

We've already given you daily round-ups, shown you the beautiful people of the festival and asked what they thought about Outkast's headline slot, but here are our highlights - the 11 best things about Bestival 2014.

Photo by Victor Frankowski

1. Beck
Kicking off the festival in style, Beck's headline slot on the Thursday night was a stunning start to the weekend - a perfect testament to why he's one of the most influential artists on the planet. Kicking off with 'Devil's Haircut' before rolling into 'Black Tambourine' and 'Loser', his set was the perfect mix of classics and cuts from new record Morning Phase with a glorious sense of unpredictability underpinning the whole performance, evident in his slapdash rendition of 'Billie Jean' halfway through. It's been a while since he had played in the UK, but boy was it worth the wait.

Photo by Victor Frankowski

2. Ezra Furman
Taking to the stage in a dress (obviously) before storming into a visceral, captivating set, Ezra Furman was one the weekend's biggest surprises. With awkward-stage patter hilariously contradicting his empowered live vocals, every second of his set on the Invaders of the Future Stage was eye-opening, a frantic yet tight performance that got everyone in the tent going suitably crazy. If you get a chance to see this guy live, do it.

3. Outkast
One of hip hop's most important duos of all time, Outkast's headline slot was always going to be great, but nothing could have prepared us for what ensued on the Friday night. A rip-roaring ride through their acclaimed back catalogue, Big Boi and Andre 3000 found the perfect middle ground between hits and fan-favourites, playing the likes of 'ATLiens' off against crowd pleasers like 'Ms. Jackson' with ease. Naturally it was the likes of 'Hey Ya' and 'Roses' that saw the most rapturous reaction from the crowd, yet for every person that was only there for one song, there was someone who knew all the words religiously. Needless to say, it was a momentous occasion that will no doubt go down in festival history.

Photo by Victor Frankowski

After catching him at Reading and Leeds earlier this summer, we knew SBTRKT's performance was going to be on-point, but the producer's Big Top slot on Saturday was pure madness. Packing out the tent to full-capacity and filling the stage with a massive inflatable creature, his set may have been short on guest stars, but upped the anti on the immersive front. Reeling of hits from his acclaimed debut alongside huge cuts from his forthcoming second album Wonder Where We Land, the intensity was repeatedly increased throughout, culminating in every person in the tent losing their shit to breakthrough track 'Wildfire'.

5. Foals
A triumphant send off for arguably Foals' best album to date, their headline slot on the Saturday was massive, even if they failed to draw a huge crowd like Outkast or Nile Rodgers. Opening with 'Prelude' and 'miami', the set followed a typically hit-fuelled direction, with the likes of 'Red Socks Pugie' and 'My Number' drawing strong reactions, whilst more intimate tracks such as 'Bad Habit' and 'Spanish Sahara' brought an atmospheric edge to proceedings. With confetti and streamers bringing things to a majestic close with 'Two Steps Twice', this was no doubt a celebratory show for Foals, and one that gets us considerably more excited for their next record. Hurry up, boys.

Photo by Caitlin Mogridge

6. Sohn
One of 2014's biggest breakthroughs, Sohn's debut album Tremors will no doubt plague the 'best of' lists later this year, and his fantastic live show in The Big Top on Sunday only further proved that. With awe-inspiring live vocals over luxurious live instrumentation, tracks from the acclaimed album were taken to soaring new heights in his short but sweet performance. Seeming genuinely humbled by the entire experience, the somewhat mysterious star effortlessly justified the hype that has surrounded him for the last year or so, proving himself as one of the best live acts around at the moment.

Photo by Caroline Faruolo

7. Public Service Broadcasting
On paper, the combination of vintage samples with live banjo may seem like a questionable prospect, however Public Service Broadcasting manage to provide one of the most intriguingly brilliant sets of the weekend. Tailoring everything to the occasion, even the ridiculously British vocal samples, their performance effortlessly combined seamless visuals with visceral live instrumentation, everything working in perfect harmony to create an engrossing live experience (and one that perfectly cured our hangover on Sunday).

8. The Port
A stage that's an actual boat, The Port is perhaps the perfect testament to Bestival's individuality. Drawing a huge crowd throughout the entire weekend, this year saw the stage play host to some of the biggest DJ's in the world, from Annie Mac to Sven Vath and the head honcho himself Rob Da Bank. With a stunning sound system to boot, it's of little surprise that this stage has become one of the biggest hits of the festival in recent years, and will no doubt continue to be for years to come.

Photo by Dan Dennison

9. The Ambient Forest
When one wants to take a break from the intensity of festival life (and believe us, we did quite a few times), then The Ambient Forest is the perfect antidote anytime of day or night. Full of hammocks, giant nets and overwhelming serenity, the wooded area became a place of refuge for many over the weekend, something that could only happen at Bestival.

10. Craig Charles
Yes, Craig Charles off of Robot Wars was one of our festival highlights. The best moments of any weekend lie in the unexpected, which is what made our last minute decision to see Charles play on the Sunday night at midnight such a good one. Just when we were ready to go home, fed up of sleeping in a tent and drinking warm beer, we were fully invigorated by the 90's legend's funk and soul set in the Aperol Spritz Social. Drawing a huge crowd and repeatedly climbing out of the marquee that doubled as a DJ booth, Charles was on top form, leading the dedicated audience through singalongs of Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five and countless other classics. Shout out to the person in the front row holding up the homemade "bring back Robot Wars" sign as well.

11. Chic and Nile Rodgers
Not only a Bestival legend, but the founding father of disco, Chic and Nile Rodgers set was unsurprisingly phenomenal, but also tinged with sadness. Early on into the set Rodgers revealed that this show would be one of the hardest of his career, after finding out his guitar roadie of 19 years had passed away minutes before taking to the stage. Holding back tears, what followed was one of the most poignant sets in the festival's history, a barrage of hits from his incredible career underpinned by an air of dedication. Reeling off classics such as 'Le Freak', David Bowie's 'Let's Dance' and countless other megahits before closing with a ten minute rendition of 'Good Times', the band's set was a celebration of life and disco, the perfect closing to a majestic weekend.

Photo by Dan Dennison

Below: The beautiful and crazy people of Bestival 2014

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:03:37 GMT
gigwise94066 <![CDATA[First Aid Kit: 'We're not afraid to be political']]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94066/First-Aid-Kit-'We're-not-afraid-to-be-political' Klara Soderberg was six years old when she wrote her first song. When she and her sister Johanna first began performing live under the name First Aid Kit, they had to fit it around their school holidays - and their first album was written when they were both teenagers.

Now though, as the sisters enter their 20s, the ‘child prodigy’ label is peeling off at the edges. Their insightful lyrics no longer seem as though they must have been stolen from the mouths of adults. Thankfully, their new album, Stay Gold, proves how seamlessly their precocious talent has evolved into something with true staying power.

It’s a richer, more orchestral offering than its two predecessors, and, cloaked with images of road trips and the Deep South, hangs together with a coherent self-assurance. Surprisingly though, First Aid Kit never planned any of this. “We didn’t really have a concept,” they tell us. “The songs just ended up calling for a big arrangement, and we brought in strings… But that wasn’t a conscious decision, it was just the way the record ended up turning out. The songs just needed that. We don’t really think of our records as having a concept.”

First Aid Kit live at Islington Assembly Hall. Photo: Richard Gray/Gigwise

It’s perhaps this effortless cohesion that has led to the album’s incredibly warm reception. When we speak to them sitting in a non descript Swedish hotel room, they’ve just played Green Man Festival - a set they describe as “probably our favourite festival show ever. It was magical.” Despite the album being newly released, people already sing along with enthusiasm. “People know the songs, and they’re excited about it, and that’s all we can ask for really.”

Amongst the lyrics crowds have been bellowing back includes the line: “I always thought that you’d be here / But shit gets fucked up, and people just disappear." It's the latest in the band's sideline in acerbic wit. ‘Hard Believer’, for example, from the band’s first album The Big Black & The Blue, is a fairly unflinching “no thank you” to religion. “Well I see you’ve got your bible,” they sing, wryly. “Your delusion imagery.”

"I had a friend who was very, very religious,” Klara explains of the song’s origins. “We just discussed religion a lot, and I wrote that song for him. You know, the older I get, I understand other people’s views more and more, but I still don’t believe you have to believe in something… not in that way at least.” 

Listen to 'Master Pretender' below

“I don’t think we’re afraid to be a little bit political,” adds Johanna, though they insist their music doesn’t have any specific message. “I think a lot of artists are scared of that. We’re also not scared of calling ourselves feminists.”

Naturally enough there follows a conversation about encountering any sexism in the music industry. In fact, as it turns out, their issues are not with the industry, but with the media surrounding it. “We talked to Haim about this actually" says Klara. "We just said that we’re tired of being asked about 'What it’s like being a woman in a band?' Because we don’t feel like we should have to be champions for that.”

“We’re feminists,” Johannah reiterates, “but at the same time, we shouldn’t have to talk about it. It should just be natural that we’re doing music and that we’re women. Not, ‘Oh, so you’re girls doing music? How crazy!’ It shouldn’t even be brought up ideally.” Feeling slightly guilty for perpetuating this, we begin to offer our apologies. “No no no!” they interrupt. “We brought it up ourselves. But we shouldn’t have to be role models for all girls. It’s a lot of pressure.”

Then there’s the endless comparisons they are constantly fending off, most of which are irrelevant. “We always get compared to other women. Every female artist gets compared to Kate Bush. Anything a bit different from the mainstream, it’s like, ‘Kate Bush!’ You know, Kate Bush is amazing, but…”

One can’t help but feel that in a few years, it’ll be First Aid Kit whose name is being lazily attached to any up-and-coming female musicians. “Making an album,” they tell us, “is really special. Just creating your own little world. We hope that people will take the time out and step into that world for a little while.” If their music continues its trajectory of ever-growing depth and fullness, we have little doubt that people will be clamouring to step in.

As for their plans for the rest of the year? “Touring, touring, touring. Yeah, touring.” They pause. “Until we die.”

Below: 14 stunning photos of First Aid Kit at Islington Assembly Hall

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 14:38:50 GMT
gigwise94023 <![CDATA[The 7 best things about Queen's Live At The Rainbow '74]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/94023/The-7-best-things-about-Queen's-Live-At-The-Rainbow-'74 For Queen fans everywhere, and for most rock fans really, 8 September 2014 is a special date: after a 40 year wait, Queen’s first live album Live at the Rainbow ’74 is being released on CD, DVD and more.

It is, in many ways, a missing piece of the jigsaw; a landmark performance and live album which really reveals Queen at their 1970s peak and offers great insight into the transitional time between their first two albums - Queen and Queen II - and their upcoming glory days of the 1980s, which is how they are remembered by many.

Live at the Rainbow ’74 does an admirable job: for some it is a respectful tribute to the Queen they love, to others it is a true educational offering into the past of a band we all thought we knew pretty well. We were lucky enough to attend a preview screening to bring you the 7 best things we took from it:

1. They’ve done an incredible job
The footage has been painstakingly and lovingly restored, and the result is really quite amazing. The video is clear and the audio is arguably even better than it would have been on the fateful night itself, as testified by a guy at today’s screening who had been there in 1974, to be seen today standing at the bar with a gleam in his eyes.

2. Queen in the 70s were real, heavy rock n' roll
This will come as a surprise to some who are more familiar with their stadium-ready pop operatics, but perhaps not for die-hard fans. In the pre-synthesisers age before shiny production, the band was raw and very loud. Live at the Rainbow ‘74 makes the disparity clear between what some distinguish as the ‘real Queen’ and ‘80s Queen’.

3. They are total perfectionists
Almost to a flaw. For all the aforementioned heavy rock, it was perfectly executed heavy rock. Even an unexpected outburst of ukulele mid piano solo seemed a precisely oiled part of the machine. Brian May’s musicianship is precise and masterly, and the harmonious, melodic chemistry between himself and Mercury is undeniable. Not to mention the seamless costume change Mercury performed during May’s solo in ‘Son and Daughter’. Seamless in two senses of the word: his skin-tight clothes looked like they had to be painted on. And despite the high-octane performance, nothing was out of control; everything was perfected. Which leads us to our next point…

4. There’s no such thing as 'too much smoke machine'
Well, not when you have a vocal like Freddie Mercury’s. What it would take to overshadow his voice is hard to say. Something Biblical, surely.

5. Freddie did it before Dolly
Skin tight silver satin pants that is, à la Dolly Parton at Glastonbury 2014. Who wore them better, it is hard to tell.

6. There will never be anyone quite like Freddie Mercury
For many reasons of course, but this footage displays a particular trait: he was very generous to his bandmates in a way sometimes lacking in bands, especially those which boast frontmen of such a high calibre as Mercury. The limelight was very much shared, much to the band’s and the performance’s overall credit.

7. Queen fans are really great
There were tears, wolf whistles, barely contained sit-down-dancing and questionable moaning sounds from one part of the room whenever powerhouse drummer Roger Taylor took the spotlight. After each song it was almost difficult to tell whether the cheers and applause were from the original 1974 crowd or the intimate gathering present today, such was the genuine, palpable appreciation in the room.

See this film at all costs, and witness one of the last truly classic rock n' roll bands in their prime

Below: See incredible shots of Queen Live At The Rainbow '74 film

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:37:24 GMT
gigwise93935 <![CDATA[Interpol have taken over Gigwise]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/93935/Interpol-have-taken-over-Gigwise Few bands can hold you quite like Interpol do. Arriving on the airwaves in 2002, they already had a certain totality to them: the aesthetic, the attire, the sound, the attitude, the whole 'Interpol experience' - it all gave fresh ears a real opulence to invest in. They were a fully formed artistic vision; self-contained and destined for greatness. 

Now it's over a decade since they first turned on the bright lights and they're back on the form of their lives. Returning after a four-year absence, fifth album El Pintor marks not only one of the finest records of 2014, but of their career. As such, this week we've let Interpol take over Gigwise.

To mark the release, we spoke to each band member individually for full and frank interviews to paint the full picture of the past, present and future of Interpol, as well as gaining insight into their reading, viewing and listening habits. Not only that, but the band have also given us the exclusive premiere of the  'Making of El Pintor' documentary EPK, giving unprecedented access to the band in the studio and on the road as they charge into what call their 'new chapter'. 

Few bands like Interpol come along in a generation. Celebrate Interpol, and celebrate El Pintor. 

- El Pintor is released on Monday 8 September

See our Interpol take-over below: 
EXCLUSIVE: Go behind the scenes with Interpol on the making of the band's 'new chapter' in this in-depth video EPK

INTERVIEW: Sam discusses El Pintor, evolution and 'the cult of Carlos'  

INTERVIEW: Paul talks staying true, Interpol fans, ignoring critics and 'becoming a new band'

INTERVIEW: Dan on Interpol's artistic drive, originality and passion  

CULTURAL INSPIRATION: We ask the band what they've been enjoying  

COMPETITION: Your chance to own a copy of the album on beautiful vinyl  

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:07:40 GMT
gigwise93934 <![CDATA[Premiere: Interpol unveil making of El Pintor video]]> http://www.gigwise.com/features/93934/Premiere-Interpol-unveil-making-of-El-Pintor-video "We didn't have a plan," admits guitarist Daniel Kessler. "We weren't like 'We need to make a new Interpol record'. Obviously it was a new chapter being  without Carlos for the first time."

But the 'new chapter' of Interpol is much more than another album - it's a band finding  a new lease of life and becoming a more highly evolved version of themselves. El Pintor is Interpol back, and better than ever. As part of our Interpol takeover, they've given us an in-depth picture of what went into the creation of the album.

Watch Interpol's making of El Pintor documentary exclusively on Gigwise below

The video shows Dan Kessler, frontman Paul Banks and Sam Fogarino being more upfront and direct than ever - just like the record itself. It's also the perfect accompaniment  to the rest of Interpol's Gigwise takeover, as the band delve deep into what brought them  back to the airwaves, the organic and natural process they enjoyed and the effervescent energy that drives El Pintor with so much conviction and life. 

Go behind the scenes, in the studio and on the road with Interpol, as they tell the story of one of the finest records of their career.

Watch the exclusive Gigwise premiere of the making of El Pintor below

Interpol release El Pintor on 8 September.

See more of Interpol's Gigwise takeover:

INTERVIEW: Sam discusses El Pintor, evolution and 'the cult of Carlos'  

INTERVIEW: Paul talks staying true, Interpol fans, ignoring critics and 'becoming a new band'

INTERVIEW: Dan on Interpol's artistic drive, originality and passion  

CULTURAL INSPIRATION: We ask the band what they've been enjoying  

COMPETITION: Your chance to own a copy of the album on beautiful vinyl  

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:10:45 GMT