Listen to Connie Constance’s upbeat new single ‘Prim & Propa’

“It’s about looking at that big white house and the perfect grass and saying ‘Yeah, nah, not for me, mate – not without my people enjoying it with me’.

“It’s an anthem for everyone that feels betrayed and let down by this country,” she continued. “It’s for the single parents, the people that work their arses off every single day and can barely get their head above water.

“It’s a reminder that we’ve got what’s important right here with us: ‘When you want more then look around, if you’ve got love you know you’re good / Cause when the grass is greener, the people are meaner.”

Constance will embark on a UK and Ireland headline tour this September in support of her ‘Prim & Propa’ EP – see the full schedule below.

September
23 – The Louisiana, Bristol
24 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
28 – Oslo, London
29 – YES, Manchester
30 – Workmens Club, Dublin

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Back in March, Connie Constance performed as part of the virtual SXSW 2021. Reviewing her set, NME wrote: “[Her] eclectic, conversational pop can switch between the quivering, quiet power of ‘WOAH’ and the swaggering disco-punk belter of ‘Monty Python’ with ease.

“Constance’s set is a frustratingly brief display of her energetic, personality-driven tunes – but she does a fine job of making the format work for her.”

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A pop-up record store with free vinyl is coming to London

David Bowie. CREDIT: Bob King/Redferns

Rest assured, however, there’s still a chance of picking up a gem. Records from the likes of AJ Tracey to David Bowie are all up for grabs, alongside special editions and rare, collectible albums.

Customers will also be able to take advantage of listening stations to enjoy their newly-acquired vinyl, as well as an in-store DJ.

The SMARTY Disc-overy store will be open from 11am-7pm BST on 16 July at 19 Air Street, London, W1B 5AG.

Meanwhile, Amazon has launched a new subscription service that focuses on “the golden era of vinyl” from the 1960s and ’70s.

The new ‘Vinyl Of The Month’ club offers music fans “must-haves” delivered to their door for $24.99 (£18.58) per month, handpicked by the Amazon Music team.

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“Start or grow an enviable collection with some of the greatest albums ever,” a statement reads, adding that the new Amazon service is “a great gift for anyone who’s just fallen in love with vinyl”.

Last month, fans from all over the UK flocked to record stores for the first Record Store Day event of 2021.

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Listen to Demob Happy’s “inter-dimensional” new single ‘Sympathy Boy’

“It has been ready – gestating, growing and germinating – for a little while now,” he said. “But because of the last year, and the foundation having been ripped from the music industry, we’ve been stuck in a kind of limbo, neither coming nor going really, constantly at the whim of other people’s plans.

“But it’s sounding wonderful, and is, quite frankly, the best stuff we’ve ever done.”

‘Sympathy Boy’ comes ahead of Demob Happy opening the main stage at next month’s Reading & Leeds festivals, where they’ll perform alongside Sam Fender, Sports Team and headliners Catfish & The Bottlemen.

SYMPATHY BOY – New Single – Broadcasting NOW on all good streaming services – https://t.co/Bfdo3Hw1q3

Written by Demob Happy.
Produced and Recorded by Matthew Marcantonio.
Mixed by Dom Craik.
Mastered by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road pic.twitter.com/MHHCjiuHpu

— Demob Happy (@DemobHappy) July 7, 2021

The group will also embark on a UK headline tour, with shows scheduled for Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, London, Brighton and other cities throughout August and September – find tickets here.

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Demob Happy’s London performance (Scala on September 9) will mark their biggest headline show to date. “It’s gonna be special. Our last London show at The Garage was pure electricity + one of the most joyous, insane gigs we’ve done. Lets fuckin top it,” the band wrote on Twitter.

Demob Happy will play:

2021

AUGUST
25 – Cavern, Exeter
26 – Thekla, Bristol
27 – Reading Festival
28 – Leeds Festival
31 – O2 Academy, Oxford

SEPTEMBER
01 – Club Academy, Manchester
02 – O2 Academy, Liverpool
03 – Newcastle, Northumbria Uni
04 – Broadcast, Glasgow
06 – Bodega, Nottingham
07 – O2 Institute 3, Birmingham
09 – Scala, London
10 – Patterns, Brighton
11 – Patterns, Brighton

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Enter Shikari announce new live film and UK warm-up shows

You can view a trailer for the film below and tickets are available here.

The band are set to hit the road for a series of UK dates in December and they’ve now announced four warm up shows ahead of the jaunt in November, taking in Exeter, Northampton, Brighton and Bexhill.

Tickets for the shows go on general sale this Friday (July 9) at 10am and can be purchased here.

The full list of Enter Shikari’s UK shows now read:

November 2021
24 – Exeter Great Hall
25 – Northampton Roadmender
26 – Brighton Chalk
27 – Bexhill De La Warr Pavillion

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December 2021
4 – Alexandra Palace, London
5 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
7 – Engine Shed, Lincoln
8 – Asylum, Hull
9 – O2 Academy, Bristol
11 – Mountford Hall, Liverpool
12 – O2 Academy, Leeds
13 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
15 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
16 – Great Hall, Cardiff (SOLD OUT)
17 – O2 Guildhall, Southampton
19 – Town Hall, Middlesbrough
20 – Rock City, Nottingham (SOLD OUT)
21 – Rock City, Nottingham (SOLD OUT)

The band were due to release 2xLP / 2xCD deluxe editions of ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’ and its companion piece ‘Moratorium (Broadcasts From The Interruption)’, which is made up of tracks recorded during livestreams over the last year, on July 16.

But that’s now been put back to August 27.

Speaking about the latter album, frontman Rou Reynolds recently told NME: “It’s a load of sessions that we did from the first lockdown onwards throughout the year – the ones that felt special.

“I think one of the most special ones was recorded on this hallowed nature reserve near me in North London in the middle of the woods. I really enjoyed those renditions. At a time when everything was quite manic and difficult to deal with, these made for nice moments of calm.”

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Villagers share gospel-like new song ‘So Simpatico’ and announce in-store gigs

Director Rosie Barrett added of the video: “’So Simpatico’ is a journey of awakening and self-reflection of a sad clown finding love within himself and sparking that zest for life that was lost some time ago. Creating a visual narrative for this beautiful song was a joy as I have been long admiring Conor’s music. I had the pleasure of working with a brilliant cast and crew in the making and I am very excited to see this video out in the world.”

Additionally, Villagers have announced a run of UK in-store shows for August before they head out on a headline Irish and UK tour this autumn – find tickets here.

Villagers 2021 live dates:

JULY
24 – Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk

AUGUST
19 – Banquet Records, Kingston – Evening
20 – Rough Trade East, London – Sold out
21 – Relevant Records, Cambridge – Lunchtime
21 – Resident Records, Brighton – Evening
22 – Rough Trade Bristol, Bristol – Lunchtime
22 – Truck, Oxford – Evening
23 – Rough Trade Nottingham, Nottingham – Lunchtime
23 – Vinyl Tap, Huddersfield – Evening
24 – Jumbo Records, Leeds – Lunchtime
24 – Action Records, Preston – Evening
27 – Down the Rabbit Hole Festival, Beuningen, Netherlands
28 – Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands

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OCTOBER
12 – SWG3, Glasgow
13 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
15 – Albert Hall, Manchester
16 – SWX, Bristol
17 – Junction, Cambridge
18 – The Glee Club, Birmingham
20 – Chalk, Brighton
21 – Roundhouse, London

NOVEMBER
2 – Opera House, Cork
3 – Set Theatre, Kilkenny (sold out)
4 – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick (sold out)
5 – Black Box, Galway (sold out)
7 – Empire Music Hall, Belfast

DECEMBER
11 – Vicar Street, Dublin (sold out)
12 – Vicar Street, Dublin (sold out)
13 – Vicar Street, Dublin

Reviewing Villagers’ last album ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ upon its release in 2018, NME wrote: “Villagers’ 2010 debut ‘Becoming A Jackal’ came out at a time where acoustic guitar music was in vogue and the charts were flooded with the likes of Mumford and SonsEd Sheeran and Ben Howard.

“Eight years on, singer-songwriter Conor O’Brien has proved he’s not a one-trick pony, capable of making more than just dainty guitar music. ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ is the band’s most ambitious record to date.”

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Listen to Maxïmo Park’s new live EP ‘By The Riverside’

“We tried to warm up the empty venue with our natural energy and passion, as you can hear from this selection of tunes!” Smith explained of the EP in a statement.

“We chose older songs that are live favourites, like ‘The Hero’, but also a few from the new album that felt super-strong. ‘Versions Of You’ was originally inspired by my daughter, and the personal subject matter, along with everything else going on over the last year or so, made it a very emotional performance.”

You can stream ‘By The Riverside’ above via Spotify and find it on other online platforms here.

Maxïmo Park are set to embark on a UK headline tour in October, which will begin with a homecoming gig at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop.

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The full tour schedule is as follows:

OCTOBER
Saturday 2 – Boiler Shop, Newcastle
Sunday 3 –  The Mill, Birmingham
Tuesday 5 – The Leadmill, Sheffield
Wednesday 6 –  EartH Theatre, London
Thursday 7 –  Trinity, Bristol
Saturday 9 –  EartH Theatre, London
Sunday 10 –  O2 Ritz, Manchester
Monday 11 – Saint Luke’s, Glasgow

In a four-star review of ‘Nature Always Wins’, NME’s Damian Jones wrote: “The Geordie misfits return with joyful pop songs and introspective anthems aplenty on their seventh studio album.”

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Listen to Everything Everything’s stark new song ‘Mercury & Me’

The ‘Mercury & Me’ video was created by Everything Everything frontman Jonathan Higgs. Describing the process of creating the visual, he said: “The video was made in 3D using motion capture, and was my first attempt at capturing a live performance and recreating it in software. I tried to make an atmosphere that reflected the starkness of the song.”

Check it out below.

Alongside releasing ‘Supernormal’ earlier this year, Everything Everything also shared details of new UK tour dates for 2022, rescheduling their planned spring 2021 UK and Ireland tour by a year.

See the new dates below.

MARCH 2022
30 – Tramshed, Cardiff
31 – Rock City, Nottingham

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APRIL 2022
1 – O2 Academy Leeds
2 – Newcastle University
4 – SWG3 Galvanisers, Glasgow
5 – O2 Academy Liverpool
7 – Waterfront, Norwich
8 – Manchester Academy
9 – O2 Academy Birmingham
11 – O2 Academy Bristol
12 – Brighton Dome
13 – The Roundhouse, London
16 – Academy, Dublin

In a four-star review of 2020’s ‘Re-Animator’, NME wrote: “On the surprisingly huge Manchester band’s fifth album, frontman Jonathan Higgs channels his inner Thom Yorke, and writes the biggest song of his career.”

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Orlando Weeks talks ‘Big Skies, Silly Faces’: “I’m savouring and cultivating joyful things”

“It’s a song about recognising how I’m very capable of being my own worst enemy. Sometimes just noticing that and calling it by what it is can be half the battle.

“I like [‘A Quickening’], but it focuses a lot on the anticipation and this long, intense build-up [to fatherhood]. It doesn’t come close to explaining how much joy I felt about waiting for my son to be born and his arrival afterwards. That was the start of this record, thinking that ‘The Quickening’ was just half of the scrapbook. I hope that if you listen to the record then you’ll feel lighter afterwards.”

He continued: “My writing over the last 10 or 15 years has been trying to take something confusing, difficult or sad, and try and turn it into something positive. With this record and this song, I was just trying to make something positive without needing to explore difficult things. It’s just to savour and cultivate joyful things. It shouldn’t be such a surprise, but it’s a very nice way of working. You stay higher and lighter.”

Does Weeks miss being a tortured artist at all?

“I can still turn that on, I reckon! If you do it for long enough, it becomes second nature. It’s embarrassing that it’s a surprise that if you spend enough time thinking of uplifting and pleasant things then it will seep into your writing, your day to day, your relationships, everything.”

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The result is his upcoming second solo album, produced by Deek Recordings founder and ‘Blue Pedro’ viral sensation Bullion and set to be announced in the coming months.

“He has a very assured musical taste and aesthetic in his own work and he makes very uplifting pop music,” said Weeks of Bullion. “I wanted to have some of that in this record and was so pleased that he was available and loved my demos.”

The Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks returns with new solo single ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’. Credit: Cal McIntyre

We also asked Weeks for his thoughts on last year’s debate around the term ‘landfill indie‘ after The Maccabees were included in a list by Vice of other popular guitar bands from the ’00s. While remembering the era fondly, the former frontman also said he had little time for looking back.

“I don’t give it a second thought, to be honest,” he replied. “Some of that music meant a lot to a lot of people and I suppose someone was very pleased with themselves when they came up with that clever and witty title.

“It was a wonderful time to be in a band. Starting out in pubs and clubs in London and feeling like there was a different back room every third street for you to get a gig the next weekend – it was great.

“I’m not very interested in looking backwards. I sort of love and hate everything that we did and I’ve done in equal measure – I’m proud of it, but I can’t really listen to it.”

Weeks has also crafted the score for a new theatrical adaptation of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 1998 film After Life, which is running at London’s National Theatre until August 7. Having also written and illustrated the children’s book The Gritterman, does he have any other extra-curricular areas of culture he’s looking to explore?

“I’ve never made music for a film, so I’d still like to have a go at that,” Weeks replied. “I’m potentially doing something with the Hepworth Museum around the big Barbara Hepworth retrospective, which will be a short animation film – but again, it’s a little bit up in the air!”

Watch our full video interview with Weeks at the top of the page, where he also tells us about his plans for touring, whether or not he still feels like a reluctant frontman and much more.

Check out Weeks’ upcoming UK tour dates below, with tickets available here.

MARCH 2022
10 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
11 – The Mash House, Edinburgh
12 – Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
15 – The 02 Institute 2, Birmingham
16 – Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
17 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
19 – Concorde 2, Brighton
20 – The Barbican Centre, London

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Biffy Clyro announce huge Cardiff show for September

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on June 11; you can get them here.

We are excited to announce that Biffy Clyro will headline Cardiff Bay on September 16th 2021, as part of the Bay Series with special guests @frankcarter23 & @therattlesnakes … 1/2 pic.twitter.com/vx1viMhO3c

— Biffy Clyro (@BiffyClyro) June 4, 2021

It comes after Biffy Clyro rescheduled their upcoming ‘Fingers Crossed’ UK tour following the UK government’s recent announcement of its ‘roadmap’ out of coronavirus lockdown.

The gigs, which were set to take place in a number of venues that the trio haven’t played “in over 10 years”, have now moved the gigs to October and November 2021, with the live dates set to kick off in Liverpool on October 29 and end on November 4 in Bristol.

In March, Biffy also rearranged their huge summer concert in Glasgow to September 9, moving it from Bellahouston Park to Glasgow Green.

See the full list of upcoming Biffy Clyro gigs below:

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September 2021
9 – Glasgow Green, Glasgow
16 – Cardiff Bay’s Alexandra Head, Cardiff

October 2021
29 – University (Mountford Hall), Liverpool
30 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
31 – O2 Academy, Sheffield

November 2021
2 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
3 – O2 Guildhall, Southampton
4 – O2 Academy, Bristol

Last month, the band told NME on the red carpet last month that they’ve already finished the follow-up to ‘A Celebration Of Endings‘.

“The title has changed and we’ve got to keep it top secret at the moment, but we finished it literally last week,” Neil told NME. “We weren’t intending on doing it, but we’ve ended up making an amazing album.”

Meanwhile, Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil is to host six specialist shows on BBC Radio Scotland, starting this month.

The Simon Neil Experience will hear Neil “explore his love of music and share tracks from artists that have inspired him as a musician and music fan”. Each show will focus on a particular genre including rock, pop, experimental, heartbreak, soundtracks, and metal.

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IDLES to release documentary ‘Don’t Go Gentle’ in cinemas next month

You can see the film’s trailer and preview dates below:

Initial Previews and Q&As

JUNE
23 – Watershed, Bristol
24 – Rio Cinema, London
24 – Abbeydale Cinema, Sheffield
25 – Duke of York, Brighton
26 – Picturehouse Arts, Cambridge
27 – Moth Club, London
27 – 
Curzon Soho, London
30 – Clapham Grand, London
30 – Showcase Cabot Circus, Bristol

JULY
1 – Ritzy, London
1 – Phoenix, Exeter

A synopsis of the film reads: “Don’t Go Gentle captures the 10 year journey of IDLES’ struggle, grief and moving determination. Exploring their vulnerabilities through their experience, lyrics and sound, we learn the reasons why these five individuals have connected with legions of people across the world. We see just how that relationship unfolds in the most courageous and positive of human ways.

“In a time when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, where open communication and truthful reflection are more vital than ever, we journey with lead singer Joe Talbot and the band as they tear across stages, knocking down stereotypes, empowering fans to talk about mental health and the realities we may not feel comfortable to speak about.”

NME’s four star review of the film said: “Don’t Go Gentle, created by the AF Gang themselves, tracks the journey of the band, the community that runs alongside them, and how music can forge togetherness like little else…”

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Don’t Go Gentle hammers home some very worthwhile lessons: social media isn’t always toxic, there is room for community as well as division online, and bands can still change your life – this one in particular.”

Last month (May 27), it was announced that IDLES will perform at next year’s Primavera Sound Festival. The Barcelona-held event is set to return next year for its 20th anniversary after the 2020 edition was cancelled earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Primavera confirmed the first 100 acts for the 2021 line-up, announcing that the likes of The Strokes, Tame Impala, Gorillaz, FKA twigs and Tyler, the Creator will perform next year between June 2-6.

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London record store De Underground awarded heritage plaque

Posting on Instagram alongside a picture of the plaque being presented, Rendezvous Records wrote: “Massive respect and thanks to all involved with De Underground, it’s been a privilege and delighted to see @newhamlondon and @newhamheritagemonth recognising your contribution to British culture, our lives are richer for it.”

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A post shared by Rendezvous Projects (@rendezvousprojects)

Audio clips have also been installed around Sebert Road in London, playable via QR codes on placards attached to streetlights, with the intention of recognising and celebrating Black innovators in UK dance music history and culture.

A new hour-long podcast, titled ‘Crate Digging: The Influence of De Underground Records’, has also been produced by Rendezvous Records to celebrate Newham Heritage Month. The podcast features interviews with various key figures from the scene at the time – listen below.

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Meanwhile Record Store Day will have events taking place in both June and July in 2021.

It comes after the 2020 version of the annual celebration ended up being split across three events in August, September and October.

After announcing their initial date of June 12 for 2021’s RSD at the end of last year, an additional date of July 17 has since been added.

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iDKHOW announce summer shows in London and Glasgow

“We’re incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to play safely in the UK again! We can’t wait to go back!” said Weekes of the gigs, which will feature special guest Will Joseph Cook.

We are thrilled to return to the UK in August! We’ll be performing at the legendary @OfficialRandL as well as two headline shows featuring @WillJosephCook, and we do hope to see you there.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 4th June at 10am BST. pic.twitter.com/gP529hx9ZX

— iDKHOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (@iDKHOW) June 1, 2021

Tickets go on sale this Friday (June 4) at 10am. They will be on sale here.

The shows will be the duo’s first in the UK since the release of their debut album ‘Razzmatazz’ last October.

Speaking to NME about the origins of the band last September, Weekes said: “I started collecting ideas in 2016. I did one record with Panic! and after that they started hiring hit-makers to create their records, so they didn’t really need me anymore.

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“I’m a creative person by nature. I had to have an outlet of some kind so I just started to casually record these ideas with no intention of doing anything with them. I called up my pal Ryan (the pair played together in the indie rock band The Brobecks) to put drums on everything.

“The more we hung out, the more songs we did and it was so fun. We started to book shows at dive bars and just not tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to do this without Ryan and we definitely came to a point where we realised that people actually cared about what we were doing.”

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Thurston Moore to headline London’s Grand Day Out 2021

“It’s our total pleasure to announce that Thurston Moore will be headlining this year’s Rockaway Beach’s Grand Day Out 2021,” organisers wrote on Twitter, hailing the musician as “arguably the most influential guitar player of the past 20 years”.

You can see those posts below.

🚨 Arguably the most influential guitar player of the past 30 years… and he's coming to play for us. In case you didn't hear, @THURSTONMOORE58 is joining our Grand Day Out at The Grand this summer. Tickets for our all-dayer are on sale now at https://t.co/rhiuk2FNqF. pic.twitter.com/b61XMxsYJZ

— Rockaway Beach (@rockaway_fest) May 28, 2021

🎳 It’s our total pleasure to announce that Thurston Moore will be headlining this year’s Rockaway Beach's Grand Day Out 2021.@nowjazznow pic.twitter.com/YbjRL5Q3dg

— Rockaway Beach (@rockaway_fest) May 27, 2021

Also on offer will be a late-night aftershow, a selection of street food, karaoke, vinyl and quizzes – tickets are available now from here.

The announcement comes after Thurston Moore released a surprise album of 10 abstract and ambient instrumental pieces, ‘Screen Time’, back in February. His latest studio album, ‘By The Fire’, came out last September and featured Moore’s former Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley and My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe.

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In a four-star review, NME said of ‘By The Fire’: “Moore elegantly channels his sense of poise and calm in a word going to shit, easily proving why he remains a hero in the world of alt-rock.”

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London’s legendary Crobar has been saved from closure: “You did it!”

After raising an additional £30,000 and launching a digital pub in March, Crobar staff this week announced that the venue has been saved. “You did it! Our Crowdfunder is now closed and we smashed it!” a statement on the bar’s Facebook reads.

“Thanks to your generosity we have raised £100,000 and the hunt for a new premises has begun. From the depth of despair last July, we are now looking for a new venue, and it’s all thanks to you.

Thank you!You have saved The Crobar!!!You did it! Our Crowdfunder is now closed and we smashed it!Thanks to your…

Posted by The Crobar on Monday, May 17, 2021

“Words do not begin to express how grateful we are for all your generosity, help and kindness, and all we can say is, from the bottom of our hearts, We Salute You!”

The post went on to thank the 1156 people who donated through the Crowdfunder, hailing their “amazing generosity”. “You guys are the best and we love you!” the message continued.

You can see the full statement above.

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The ‘Re-open The Crobar’ Crowdfunder’s final figure stands at £100,135, which was raised across a 209-day period.

Earlier this year, Dave Grohl added his voice to the calls to save The Crobar, recalling some of the “extraordinary experiences” he’s had at the pub.

“I can’t imagine that the Crobar will disappear forever,” he said. “I just can’t. What world do we live in where there could be no Crobar? There has to be another – and I’m sure there will be someday.”

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Independent Label Market to mark 10th anniversary by returning to London this summer

The event, which will be soundtracked by ILM-curated DJ sets from artists and labels taking part on the day, will feature market stalls offering limited editions, vinyl rarities and test pressings as well as exclusive label and band merchandise.

ILM has partnered with Dice and London Brewers’ Market to offer a 10 per cent discount on drinks at the event.

❗ TO ALL UK-BASED INDIE LABELS ❗ We are coming back to London … Fill this form now for more info 📝 https://t.co/NfyQRPDhKi pic.twitter.com/1rlkhUQsSN

— Indie Label Market (@IndieLabelMkt) April 29, 2021

“When we came up with the idea for an indie label market, we never imagined doing a second one, let alone another 10 years of events,” said ILM co-founder Joe Daniel. “The idea back in 2011 was to bring together our favourite labels to celebrate a particular kind of creativity and passion that you only find in the independent sector.

“The fact that we are here 10 years later is a huge credit to the community of labels who consistently find new and exciting ways to grow and adapt in a fast changing industry. We love the camaraderie and their tireless commitment to presenting the most envelope-pushing music around.”

Music Declares Emergency will return to ILM to raise awareness and share their expertise with labels, artists and fans about meeting the challenges of the climate crisis.

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See the first list of labels and partners announced for ILM Summer 2021 Market below:

4AD
51-53
ACC Art Books
Apron
Bella Union
BBE
Big Scary Monsters
Blitzcat
Brownswood
Bureau B
Burning Witches
Caught by the River
Cherry Red
Les Disques Du Crépuscule
Delusions of Grandeur
Deptford Northern Soul Club
Drag City, Inc.
Dynamite Cuts
Earth
East London Printmakers
Erased Tapes
Factory Benelux
Far Out
Fierce Panda
Fire
Freerange
Full Time Hobby
Gare du Nord
Heavenly
Hyperdub
House Anxiety
Jazzman
Late Night Tales
LEX
Matador
Memphis Industries
Music Declares Emergency
Moshi
Mukatsuku
One Little Independent
Partisan
Rivertones
Rough Trade
SA Recordings
Scratchy
Slowdance
Slowfoot
Sonic Cathedral
Speedy Wunderground
Sunday Best
Tapete
Tiergarten
untitled (recs)
Upset The Rhythm
Vintage League Music
Whities/ad93
WOLF

Meanwhile, Dry Cleaning have covered Grimes’ 2012 track, ‘Oblivion’, for the third instalment of 4AD’s ‘Bills & Aches & Blues’ 40th-anniversary compilation release.

Side three of the record dropped on March 24 and includes four covers of songs originally performed by artists signed to 4AD.

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London’s O2 Arena details new coronavirus safety measures ahead of BRITs pilot event

Another partnership has been made with Rentokil Initial as ‘Official Specialist Hygiene Services Partner’. This will see the installation of a cutting edge air purification technology known as ‘VIRUSKILL’, which the venue has said is proven to kill 99.9999% of viruses, including the coronavirus.

Additionally, the arena will utilise a new ventilation system to maintain a flow of fresh air, and installed 75 additional sensors to measure CO2 level changes throughout events.

Pete Tong performing to a full capacity O2 CREDIT: Luke Dyson

As part of the pilot event, all attendees at the BRITs will have to take an NHS Lateral Flow Test in the 36 hours before the event, a PCR test on the day and another five days afterwards, which will be specially analysed to determine whether the awards have any impact on transmission rates.

A section of the O2’s car par is also being converted into a walk-up and drive-in asymptomatic testing site until at least the end of June.

“This event is such a big moment for us, and I’m enormously proud of the team at The O2 who have been working round the clock to ensure we have a best-in-class event as always, and that our customer experience is everything our fans have been waiting over 14 months to experience again,” said VP & General Manager of The O2, Steve Sayer.

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“Our new measures and partnerships will ensure our guests feel confident at our venue as we make history as the largest indoor pilot event. This and all of the events that make up the Events Research Programme create a really important step for the industry’s recovery. Ultimately we hope that it will contribute to all venues across the country being able to reopen with full capacity crowds from next month.”

This year’s BRIT Awards is set to feature a number of big-name performers. Pink and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man will perform their duet ‘Anywhere Away From Here’, and Olivia Rodrigo will mark her debut UK performance

Coldplay will open the ceremony, and The Weeknd will perform remotely, with Arlo Parks, Dua Lipa, Griff and Headie One also due to perform. You can find a full list of nominees here.

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London’s Royal Albert Hall to reopen at full-capacity in July

With all social restrictions set to be lifted in England by June 21, organisers have confirmed plans for the venue to reopen at full capacity from Tuesday, July 6 (subject to the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown going to plan).

The first full house concert will be by James Blunt, whose sixth album ‘Once Upon A Mind’ was released in October 2019.

The Grand Organ at the Royal Albert Hall. CREDIT: Press

“This has been the toughest period in the Hall’s 150-year history – and not how we ever imagined marking this remarkable milestone,” Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, explained.

“But we are so excited about getting back to doing what we do best, and can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Hall to help us celebrate this anniversary in style.”

You can find more information on the Royal Albert Hall’s reopening plans and upcoming shows on the venue’s official website.

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It comes after a new survey found that over 17,000 full-capacity shows are booked to take place in England’s grassroots music venues by the end of September, with 2,534 socially distanced events scheduled between May 17 and June 21.

Meanwhile, this weekend Liverpool played host to a government pilot event, which saw Blossoms perform to a crowd of 5000 people – who were not required to socially distance or wear face coverings.

Following the gig, Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn told NME that “it feels like we can be back to normal” in regards to full-capacity shows.

“If we adequately test people before they come into a gig, there’s no reason why the gig can’t happen,” he reasoned. “That’s what this event is about: effectively demonstrating that people can be responsible, they’ve had the test, came to the gig [and will] have a test afterward. And I think it means the festival season can happen.”

Next week’s BRIT Awards 2021 will also serve as a pilot COVID event, allowing 4000 fans to attend the ceremony at London’s O2 Arena.

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Legendary nightclub group Pacha to open new venue in London

The new club will be opened under Pacha’s Lío umbrella, which uses a cabaret restaurant concept as opposed to a traditional nightclub. A Lío was previously open in London as a pop-up in 2019. There is also a permanent venue under the name in Ibiza.

Credit: Getty

In a statement, Pacha’s Chief Executive Nick McCabe said: “Café de Paris has been an icon of the West End since the 1920s, so it is a great privilege to be taking it on into the next phase of life.

“We are delighted that, true to its roots, it will remain somewhere that people can come and experience entertainment hospitality at its finest and we can’t wait to welcome people back.”

Meanwhile, nightclubs in England are set to reopen on June 21 when all lockdown restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic are scheduled to be lifted.

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Before that, two day-long raves will take place in Liverpool as part of a pilot event to test crowd safety without social distancing. Fatboy Slim and The Blessed Madonna will headline the two nights, which take place next weekend (April 30-May 1).

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Watch Sports Team’s ‘Wicker Man’-themed video for new single ‘Happy (God’s Own Country)’

Speaking about the track, the group added: “We recorded this at the end of last year at a time when it was hard not to feel exhausted by the scale of insincerity everywhere.

“It’s a sort of Cold War Steve collage, a cut and paste diorama of cronyism, cottagecore and window-dressed Toryism, with the frustrated energy of live performance without a stage.”

Last month, the group announced details of a new B-sides and rarities vinyl being sold exclusively through independent retailers.

‘Plant Test’ features music from 2016 to 2021, including unmastered new material following on from the band’s 2020 debut album ‘Deep Down Happy’. ‘Happy (God’s Own Country)’ is the first song taken from the project and their first new music since the release of their first album.

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The group also announced details of their rescheduled tour dates, which will take place across the UK and Ireland this October and November. You can see a full list of the ‘Red Hot Rock Show’ dates below.

Sports Team Rescheduled Tour Dates 2021

OCTOBER
1 – O2 Academy, Liverpool

2 – Manchester Academy, Manchester
26 – SWG3, Glasgow

NOVEMBER
17 – Rock City, Nottingham

18 – Leeds University Stylus, Leeds
21 – Whelan’s, Dublin
23 – SWX, Bristol
25 – O2 Academy Brixton, London

Reviewing the band’s debut LP, NME wrote: “You can find Rice and his sidekick Rob Knaggs either charmingly or irritatingly gobby, and the joy lies in the tribalism that’s inherent to Sports Team’s approach.

“After a listen of ‘Deep Down Happy’, you’re left in absolutely no doubt as to what the six-piece stand against and this unabashed straightforwardness and refusal to bend makes them a unique prospect.”

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Sadiq Khan “honoured” to be endorsed by Dua Lipa in London mayoral election

She added: “Join me and thousands of other Londoners and vote by post to make sure we re-elect Sadiq. Vote for London, vote Labour.”

London calling! It's time to re-elect @SadiqKhan as our mayor. Deadline for postal votes is 20th April. Sign up for yours at https://t.co/BdREpPbdMQ.#VoteLabour pic.twitter.com/jXDM10AbNt

— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) April 15, 2021

In response to the pop star’s endorsement, Khan wrote: “Dua is one of the world’s top creative talents and an incredible ambassador for London. I’m honoured to have her support.”

Dua is one of the world’s top creative talents and an incredible ambassador for London. I’m honoured to have her support.#VoteLabour🌹#TeamKhan 💫 https://t.co/mRwrs09S0C

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 18, 2021

Earlier this month, Sadiq Khan launched a new review examining the possibility of decriminalising cannabis as part of potential new ways to tackle drug crime in London.

If re-elected as the Mayor of London in May, Khan says he will set up an independent commission to examine the potential health, economic and criminal justice benefits of legalising the class-B drug.

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While ruling out the decriminalisation of class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine, Khan said he is willing to consider supporting changes to the legality of cannabis if the commission reaches that conclusion.

Last month saw New York decriminalising the drug after state officials finalised a deal to permit casual usage and possession.

Dua Lipa, meanwhile, has the UK’s biggest album and song of 2021 so far, with her acclaimed second record ‘Future Nostalgia’ remaining in the Official Albums Chart since its release a year ago, securing an impressive 33 weeks in the Top 10, four of which were at Number One.

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Ghetts announces ‘Conflict Of Interest’ livestream show

“Levels are being set this Sunday 11th April at 8pm (pun intended),” the rapper wrote on Twitter. “Come and bear witness… And imagine what it’s like when you’re able to be here with us. Conflict of Interest is being performed in stride cinematic fashion, directed by @charlie_______s.”

Levels are being set this Sunday 11th April at 8pm (pun intended)

Come and bear witness… And imagine what it’s like when you’re able to be here with us.

Conflict of Interest is being performed in stride cinematic fashion, directed by @charlie_______s pic.twitter.com/fJ25qgQ6JY

— GHETTS (@THEREALGHETTS) April 6, 2021

The livestream performance will be available to view globally for free via Ghetts’ YouTube channel – watch it here.

Conflict Of Interest, Live In London acts as a precursor to Ghetts’ forthcoming UK and Ireland tour, which kicks off on November 13 in Dublin – see the full list of dates below.

NOVEMBER, 2021

Saturday 13 – Academy, Dublin
Sunday 14 – Albert Hall, Manchester
Wednesday 17 – O2 Institute, Birmingham
Thursday 18 – SWX, Bristol
Saturday 20 – Roundhouse, London

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‘Conflict Of Interest’ reached Number Two in the UK albums chart in February following a well publicised campaign against Mogwai, who eventually landed their first Number One.

In a five-star review of the album, NME‘s Kyann-Sian Williams wrote: “The rapper’s third studio record and first on a major label, showcasing his growth over nearly two decades in the game, proves lyricism is in rude health.

“It’s a rare achievement to make an album as thoughtful and transparent as this; you need real lyrical talent to do so. Therefore – despite the little snub at poor old NME – ‘Conflict Of Interest’ could sit on the same shelf as Dave’s ‘Psychodrama’ as an album that depicts honest tales of London through the art of true lyricism, a tradition that will never die out.”

Meanwhile, Ghetts has spoken about collaborating with Ed Sheeran on his new album, revealing the pop star went out of his way to find a studio while he was in Japan.

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London’s The Crobar is launching the world’s first digital pub

Today (March 31), The Crobar launched an online pub which owner Richard Thomas saw as “an opportunity to help his customers and anybody else who wants to join in by creating a secure and controlled space where anybody is welcome to have a natter, lift their spirits and be themselves”.

The Crobar (Picture: London Snapper)

The Crobar Virtual Party Room will run every Friday from 3pm to 3pm BST every Saturday.

Customers only need to register once in order to gain unlimited entry to any Friday event.

“My customers are my priority and without them we’d not have reached the fantastic amount of £70K- that’s £30K since January 29 – which is no mean feat!” said Thomas.

“But since we closed down our physical location and started this crowdfund, the amount of people who have shared how much loss they’ve felt since that fateful facebook post is immeasurable.

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“It’s why, with the help and hard work of some techy fans, we were able to set up an online pub to recreate that ‘safe zone’ where people can chat, giggle and share stories – without judgement – and reattune their social skills again! They are free to create their own tables or float around other tables with groups of up to 8.

“Our three pilot tests before the launch worked so well because we’re all dealing with practically the same struggles. I am so grateful to be of some service to the punters who require this outlet; furthermore, the feedback I’m getting is that it’s fun and people are making new friends!” Thomas added.

As well as Dave Grohl, other artists who visited Crobar over the years include SlashAlice CooperSlayer’s Kerry King, Gwar, and pop stars Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

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Listen to All Time Low’s hopeful new single ‘Once In A Lifetime’

According to frontman Alex Gaskarth, ‘Once In A Lifetime’ is about “loss and dealing with loss, facing harsh realities and coming out the other side stronger for it.”

“We wrote this song in bleaker times, in a world still asleep at the wheel that left us all relearning how to navigate the uncertain roads ahead, but ultimately there is a hopeful undertone to the entire sentiment,” he continued. ​

“Things can only be so bad and once it’s over, it’s over; there’s room to start rebuilding. This song feels like it’s cut from the same cloth as [2020 single] ‘Monsters’: a progression and continued evolution from the celebration of All Time Low that was ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’.”

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Further information on a potential new album or EP is not yet known.

All Time Low will hit the road for a string of UK headline shows this September. You can purchase tickets from here and see the full schedule below.

September 2021
22 – O2 Academy Brixton, London

23 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
26 – O2 Apollo, Manchester
27 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
28 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow

Back in January, All Time Low announced a new graphic novel based on their 2017 album ‘Last Young Renegade’.

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New outdoor club Ernie’s Yard coming to London this summer

The venue, which will be set across 12,000 square feet of land and will host 12-hour open air parties until 11pm, will feature stacked shipping containers to create a clubbing space and will be equipped with stretch tents and clear roofing so partying can continue even when it rains.

Explaining how the club came to be, Ernie’s Yard co-founder Stuart Glen said: “Back in 2019 we walked past a huge street food & drinks venue built from shipping containers and decided to have a pint. As we walked in, the bartender explained the lease was up on the site. I immediately thought this structure would be amazing for a party, maybe I can buy it and find some land to move it to. Two weeks later we’d agreed to buy it, put a deposit down and had three months to seal the deal on some land I was after.”

He continued: “Long story short. Two sites fell through and we’ve been juggling where to put nineteen 40 foot shipping containers for two years. It’s been a sticky situation to say the least but somehow we’ve managed to pull in some favours, met an East End legend called Ernie and Bob’s your fathers brother – ‘Ernie’s Yard’ was born – a killer new daytime space for London.”

To find out when tickets go on sale, you can sign up for updates on the Ernie’s Yard official website.

Meanwhile, Fabric has announced that it will be hosting a 42-hour reopening weekend in June.

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The London nightclub is set to reopen on June 25, with its Friday session running from 10pm-10am and its Saturday (June 26) session running from 10pm right through until 4am the following Monday (June 28).

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London’s The Black Heart reaches 100 per cent of its fundraising target

The Black Heart has now announced that it has reached its final target with five days to spare.

“Goddamn, not even half an hour later and WE REACHED THE TARGET!” the venue tweeted an hour after sharing an update that the fundraiser was 99 per cent completed. “Wow wow wow, we’re beyond thrilled and grateful! What a relief! Can’t freaking wait to welcome you all back! Black Heart, SAVED!”

Goddamn, not even half an hour later and WE REACHED THE TARGET! Wow wow wow, we’re beyond thrilled and grateful! What a relief! Can’t freaking wait to welcome you all back! Black Heart, SAVED! 🖤🖤🖤 https://t.co/5VCJAeGQb2

— The Black Heart (@Theblack_heart) March 18, 2021

The Black Heart is on the Music Venue Trust’s ‘red alert’ list of UK venues that are in a critical situation in terms of their survival post-coronavirus.

Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be permitted to open from May 17 under the government’s proposed four-stage ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. Hospitality settings can serve customers outdoors from April 12.

Live shows, however, are unlikely to return until at least June 21 – when it’s hoped all remaining COVID restrictions will be lifted.

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“We want to reopen safely and we want to do what is right for our staff, customers, artists and society in general – but every week we remain closed or restricted, we build up thousands more in debt,” The Black Heart explained earlier this month.

“The £150,000 we need to raise is simply to cover the build-up of debt – the bills that have been mounting up while closed or heavily restricted for over a year. It is impossible for us to trade profitably until all restrictions are lifted.”

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Blondie are set to appear in their very own graphic novel ‘Against The Odds’

The graphic novel, artwork of which you can view below, is set to arrive in the autumn.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Z2 Comics (@z2comics)

Z2 Comics have worked with a number of musicians on graphic novels including Cypress Hill for the 30th anniversary of their self-titled debut album, Machine Gun Kelly for his Hotel Diablo album, The Doors and Graham Coxon.

Meanwhile, Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry recently praised Miley Cyrus‘ cover of Blondie‘s ‘Heart Of Glass’, saying that the singer made the classic single “uniquely hers”.

Speaking to NME, Harry was asked whether she’d had a chance to speak to Cyrus about the cover.

“No, we haven’t actually spoken, but we’ve written back and forth and I congratulated her on doing something that was uniquely her with ‘Heart of Glass’,” she replied.

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“I thought she did a great job and I liked the way the performance looked and she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m really proud of the fact she did our song and made it uniquely hers.”

Shortly after the performance was shared online, Harry took to Twitter to say she thought Cyrus had “nailed it”.

Blondie recently announced a run of UK arena shows with Garbage. The ‘Against The Odds’ tour is due to begin in Liverpool in November 2021, and you can see the full schedule below.

NOVEMBER

Saturday 6 – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
Monday 8 – Utilita Arena, Birmingham
Tuesday 9 – AO Arena, Manchester
Thursday 11 – Bonus Arena, Hull
Friday 12 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Sunday 14 – The Brighton Centre
Tuesday 16 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Thursday 18 – The O2 Arena, London
Saturday 20 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Sunday 21– First Direct Arena, Leeds

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Watch Arab Strap’s disturbing video for new single ‘Here Comes Comus!’

“It takes place in a pub, a club, and city alleyways, all the places I’d hoped we’d be able to enjoy again by now – but it’s been so long since I’ve had a big night out that listening to it now seems almost nostalgic,” the musician added, referencing the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on nightlife.

“He still pops round to see me at home now and again, but I know he’s holding back and planning for the future, and one day soon we’ll dance again.”

‘Here Comes Comus!’ is accompanied by a dark official video, which was directed by Bryan M. Ferguson and explores the song’s themes of overindulgence.

“When I first heard Aidan’s lyrics on the track, my mind was quickly flung into a murky pit of complete debauchery,” Ferguson explained. “And I really wanted the video to be a story of excess to match not just the lyrics but the whole mythology of Comus being the rebellious god of festivity who pretty much represents anarchy and chaos.”

Upon the announcement of ‘As Days Get Dark’, Moffat revealed that the record is “about hopelessness and darkness. But in a fun way.”

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He added: “It’s definitely Arab Strap, but an older and wiser one, and quite probably a better one.”

Arab Strap are due to embark on a UK headline tour this September. At the time of writing, the dates remain unaffected by the current lockdown restrictions – you can see the schedule below.

September 2021
4 – Manchester Academy 2, Manchester
5 – Dublin Vicar St, Dublin
6 – The Mill, Birmingham
7 – SWX, Bristol
8 – Electric Ballroom, London
9 – Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne
10 – Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow

 

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Pale Waves “defeat evil cycle” of relationships on new single ‘Fall To Pieces’

“This isn’t just a completely negative song – like, ‘How long until we essentially break apart?’ – it does have a glimpse of hopefulness and it does wanna defeat that evil cycle. But it’s sort of just [about] getting stuck in that same pattern.”

Baron-Gracie sings of being “full of regret“, seeking forgiveness and questions whether she and her partner are “about to break” in ‘Fall To Pieces’. Later, she pleads: “Can we fix it and make it right?/ You’re the best part of my life“.

Following on from 2018’s ‘My Mind Makes Noises’, ‘Who Am I?’ will also feature ‘Tomorrow’, which was performed by the band during their 2019 UK headline tour. Other song titles include ‘Odd Ones Out’, ‘Run To’ and ‘Wish U Were Here’.

The new album “acts as the Pale Waves manifesto – inspiring inclusivity, self-discovery, and the notion of being whoever the hell you want to be”. The lyrics on the album deal with Baron-Gracie’s experiences of depression, distraction, and feelings of darkness.

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Pale Waves recently announced a UK and Ireland headline tour for 2022. They’ll hit the road next February for a run of dates that includes a show at The Roundhouse in London – you can see the full schedule below.

February 2022
11 – O2 Academy Bristol, Bristol
12 – University Great Hall, Cardiff
13 – Rock City, Nottingham
14 – O2 Academy Birmingham, Birmingham
16 – O2 Academy Bournemouth, Bournemouth
17 – O2 Academy Leeds, Leeds
19 – Limelight, Belfast
20 – Academy, Dublin
21 – O2 Academy Glasgow, Glasgow
23 – O2 Academy Sheffield, Sheffield
25 – O2 Academy Leicester, Leicester
26 – O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford
28 – Roundhouse, London

March 2022
1 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

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Joe Strummer greatest hits album set to be released next month

In addition to tracks such as ‘Coma Girl’, ‘Johnny Appleseed’, ‘Yalla Yalla’ (with The Mescaleros) and a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’, ‘Assembly’ will also feature three unreleased versions of classic tracks by The Clash, including the never-before-heard ‘Junco Partner (Acoustic)’.

The album’s liner notes have been written by lifelong Strummer fan Jakob Dylan.

‘Assembly’ tracklisting:

01 ‘Coma Girl’, ‘Johnny Appleseed’, ‘I Fought The Law’ (Live at Brixton Academy, London, 24 November 2001)
02 ‘Tony Adams’
03 ‘Sleepwalk’
04 ‘Love Kills’
05 ‘Get Down Moses’
06 ‘X-Ray Style’
07 ‘Mondo Bongo’
08 ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ (Live at Brixton Academy, London, 24 November 2001)
09 ‘At The Border, Guy’
10 ‘Long Shadow’
11 ‘Forbidden City’
12 ‘Yalla Yalla’
13 ‘Redemption Song’
14 ‘Junco Partner’ (Acoustic)

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Last Christmas, a 2021 calendar featuring an array of images of the late Joe Strummer was released.

The new offering arrived courtesy of The Joe Strummer Foundation, an organisation set up in the singer’s memory to develop new music talent in the U.K. and overseas.

Meanwhile, Rafferty Law has said that he would love to play Joe Strummer in a biopic.

Speaking to NME, the actor and son of Jude Law and Sadie Frost said The Clash have been a big band in his life, adding “I love the way they dress and their music. Joe Strummer could be a wicked person to play.”

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Virtual hybrid clubbing and gaming events are coming to London’s Tobacco Dock venue

Pre-parties and after-parties will surround the yet-to-be-announced main shows, and a number of gaming options will be on offer as a hybrid music-gaming experience. Livestream and media partner Beatport will also broadcast sets across Facebook, Youtube, Twitch and Beatport.com.

Details for the opening weekend will be posted on February 16 which, as MusicWeek reports, is set to feature major party brands and a programme of big acts.

The idea is that once venues can reopen safely after the coronavirus pandemic improves, events will take place across the physical and virtual venue simultaneously. Multi-platform parties that take place in real time are also included in the initiative’s vision.

Tobacco Dock commercial director Jonathan Read said: “Tobacco Dock is excited to be working alongside our long term partner LWE to develop a cutting-edge virtual venue that will enable remote audiences to have a truly immersive, rich experience with the attributes of being present without the travel.

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“It is a bold new step on our journey to make Tobacco Dock a global destination for music, cultural, fashion and tech events.”

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