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The Decemberists announce UK tour dates (2018)

The Decemberists

Story by Jack Foley

THE Decemberists have announced a series of UK tour dates for November 2018, including a night at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith.

The band have also released Once In My Life, the second single from their new album I’ll Be Your Girl, which is available now on Rough Trade Records.

By embracing different influences (Roxy Music, New Order) and working with a new producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Rey), the acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band broadened their sonic range and explored new approaches to making music.

“When you’ve been a band for 17 years, inevitably there are habits you fall into,” says the band’s lead singer and songwriter Colin Meloy. “So, our ambition this time was really just to get out of our comfort zone. That’s what prompted working with a different producer and using a different studio. We wanted to free ourselves from old patterns and give ourselves permission to try something different.”

The band has announced the details of I’ll Be Your Girl: The Exploded Version, a limited edition vinyl box set that features an expanded track listing with four exclusive tracks presented on eight 7” coloured records housed inside an extravagant package adorned with full color artwork by Carson Ellis, each one signed by the band.

The album will also be released on a multitude of other formats, including 180gm LP, 180gm Limited Edition Orange LP, 180gm Limited Edition Blue LP (available at indie record stores), 180gm Limited Edition Purple LP (available at Barnes & Noble in the US), 180gm Limited Edition White LP (available via Rough Trade Records in Europe), softpak CD, cassette, and digital download.

The UK leg of the world tour will see The Decemberists play the following dates in November 2018…

4 – Vicar Street – Dublin, Ireland
5 – O2 Academy – Glasgow
7 – Eventim Apollo – London
8 – O2 Academy – Bristol
10 – O2 Academy – Leeds
11 – Rock City – Nottingham
12 – Albert Hall – Manchester

Tickets are on sale now.

Footloose and The Sound of Music added to The US National Recording Registry


Story by Jack Foley

KENNY Loggins’ classic Footloose and the soundtrack to The Sound of Music have been added to the US National Recording Registry, which preserves records of great cultural significance.

The recordings are among 25 to have been selected for recognition this year, alongside Chic’s Le Freak, Run DMC’s Raising Hell and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

The National Recording Registry, which is held by the Library of Congress, now comprises 500 titles. To be eligible, recordings must be at least 10 years old. But the choices are not limited to music (a Groucho Marx concert is among this year’s additions) and anything from a single song to an entire album is considered.

All successful additions must be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important”.

Loggins’ Footloose, taken from the Kevin Bacon movie of the same name, was a global smash in 1984 and still receives regular airplay on some UK radio stations. The singer himself has previously described it as being “almost like the national anthem”.

Commenting on Run DMC’s inclusion, Rev Run told the LA Times: “For a rap artist to be put on the same level as these other great artists is truly a massive honour.”

Others added this year include Bill Haley’s rock and roll standard Rock Around the Clock, Tony Bennett’s I Left My Heart in San Francisco and The Temptations’ My Girl.

There are also spoken-word recordings and noteworthy newscasts, including NBC Radio’s coverage of the gathering in San Francisco that led to the creation of the United Nations.

The full list of recordings added to the registry this year is:

- Dream Melody Intermezzo: Naughty Marietta – Victor Herbert and his Orchestra (1911)

- Standing Rock Preservation Recordings – George Herzog and Members of the Yanktoni Tribe (1928)

- Lamento Borincano – Canario y Su Grupo (1930)

- Sitting on Top of the World – Mississippi Sheiks (1930)

- The Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Artur Schnabel (1932-35)

- If I Didn’t Care – The Ink Spots (1939)

- Proceedings of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (April 25, 1945 to June 26, 1945)

- Folk Songs of the Hills – Merle Travis (1946)

- How I Got Over – Clara Ward and the Ward Singers (1950)

- (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets (1954)

- Calypso – Harry Belafonte (1956)

- I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett (1962)

- King Biscuit Time (radio) – Sonny Boy Williamson II and others (1965)

- My Girl – The Temptations (1964)

- The Sound of Music (soundtrack) – Various Artists (1965)

- Alice’s Restaurant Massacree – Arlo Guthrie (1967)

- New Sounds in Electronic Music – Steve Reich, Richard Maxfield, Pauline Oliveros (1967)

- An Evening With Groucho – Groucho Marx (1972)

- Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

- The Gambler – Kenny Rogers (1978)

- Le Freak – Chic (1978)

- Footloose – Kenny Loggins (1984)

-Raising Hell – Run-DMC (1986)

- Rhythm Is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine (1987)

- Yo-Yo Ma Premieres: Concertos for Violoncello and Orchestra – Various Artists (1996)

The Magic Numbers and Rae Morris to perform at Labour Party's Labour Live 2018

The Magic Numbers

Story by Jack Foley

THE Magic Numbers and Rae Morris have been confirmed to appear at The Labour Party’s first music festival this summer.

Labour Live 2018 will take place at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane recreation ground in London on June 16.

It will include appearances by the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as well as the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and the shadow secretary of state for international development, Kate Osamor.

Jermain Jackman will also appear at the one-day event, with more acts to be announced in due course.

The festival will also feature political and literary speakers and campaign training.

The World Transformed, a group which organises political events and which is an off-shoot of Momentum, will also have a presence. The group previously organised #TWT2016, a four-day politics, art, music and culture festival that ran parallel to the 2016 Labour party conference in Liverpool, attended by more than 5,000 people.

Corbyn is no stranger to music festival appearances, having been a surprise guest at the 2017 Glastonbury festival, in which he gave a speech on the importance of unity and creativity from The Pyramid Stage.

Tickets are on sale now.

As yet, The Conservative Party has yet to successfully launch an alternative music festival. One previous attempt, by Norfolk MP George Freeman, was The Big Ideas Festival, which was held on the Berkshire estate of Betfair founder Mark Davies. But despite costing £25,000 and being described as comparable to something like Latitude, it only attracted an estimated 200 people.

It remains to be seen what the ticket uptake for Labour’s one-day event will be like – but Corbyn’s appearance at Glastonbury was generally hailed as a success and one of the turning points in the last General Election campaign.

Heaven 17 to perform The Luxury Gap LP in full (2018)

Heaven 17

Story by Jack Foley

HEAVEN 17 are to perform their celebrated and acclaimed 1983 album The Luxury Gap in full across the UK throughout November and December.

The Luxury Gap was the moment when everything just clicked into place to overwhelming effect. It came after the critically acclaimed Penthouse and Pavement in 1981.

The Sheffield trio convinced their sceptical record company that Temptation had to be the next single. A duet between Glenn Gregory and Carol Kenyon, this song of lust, brilliantly framed by a musical structure stormed the charts and remains a momentous classic to this day.

The album itself went to reach number 4 and cemented Heaven 17 as one of the most important British post-punk bands.

35 years later, The Luxury Gap – Heaven 17’s sly, post-modern critique of modern society has never sounded so resonant, nor been so necessary.

Martyn Ware said: “All of us at H17 HQ are thrilled to announce our forthcoming tour. Our 35th anniversary celebration of The Luxury Gap will be spectacular, and the themes of the songs are more relevant than ever before. Don’t miss it!”

The band will be covering 10 dates this winter performing in full along with some of their classic tracks. Tickets go on sale on Friday, March 23 at 10am.

The dates are (all November and December 2018)


9 – Northampton Roadmender
10 – Norwich UEA
16 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
17 – Birmingham O2 Institute
23 – Glasgow O2 ABC
24 – Liverpool O2 Academy
30 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire


1 – Bristol O2 Academy
7 – Manchester O2 Ritz
8 – Sheffield O2 Academy

Thom Yorke announces European headline shows, including London (2018)

Thom Yorke

Story by Jack Foley

THOM Yorke will perform headline shows in Europe this May and June in addition to his previously announced appearance at Sonar Festival in Barcelona.

Thom will be performing in a live mix with Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barri, playing tracks from across his solo material.

Thom Yorke will also be supported by special guest Oliver Coates.

The shows include a night at London’s Roundhouse in June – one of only three UK dates.

The dates are (all May and June 2018):


28 – Teatro Verdi, Florence, Italy
29 – Fabrique Milano, Milan, Italy
30 – Halle 622, Zurich, Switzerland


1 – Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany
3 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
4 – Royal Theatre Carré, Amsterdam, Netherlands
7 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
8 – Roundhouse, London
10 – Palace Theatre, Manchester
12 – L’Olympia, Paris, France
13 – Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France
16 – Fira de Barcelona – Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain

Tickets will go on general sale at 10am on Friday, March 23.

DJ Spoony presents December 2018 Garage Classical show with Ignition Orchestra

DJ Spoony presents Classical Garage

Story by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING the runaway success of the upcoming Garage Classical show at the Barbican in July, which sold an impressive 2,000 tickets in just 52 hours, DJ Spoony has announced a huge new show at London’s Eventim Hammersmith Apollo on Friday, December 14, 2018.

DJ Spoony, one of the original and most respected pioneers of the UK Garage scene, has joined forces with the 36-piece Ignition Orchestra to bring you one of the biggest Christmas parties. Expect an unmissable night of the most iconic UK garage hits like you’ve never heard them before.

The performance does exactly what it says on the tin… Spoony, the curator and presenter of the event, alongside Composer and Conductor Katie Chatburn, have put together 20 of the biggest Garage anthems, stripped back and performed live with the original vocalists.

The show will also feature some very special guests. Classic hits including 21 Seconds, You’re Moving Too Fast, We All Have Good Rhymes and many more will be performed on stage at Eventim Hammersmith Apollo.

Garage Classical will be hosted by DJ Spoony, one of the founding fathers and instrumental players in a movement that defined a generation.

This was something he had wanted to do for a long time having heard several orchestral performances of dance music, and drawing on his vast knowledge and respected status within the scene, Spoony was able to bring together the original singers, producers and MC’s behind the tracks and get them on board with the event.

Speaking on the new show, DJ Spoony said: “I first worked with Katie (composer and conductor) at the Liverpool Music International Festival and I knew that I wanted to work with her again. Once the Barbican show sold out so quickly and lots of my friends (ex-friends now) couldn’t get a ticket we knew that we had to do another one… and here it is! See you on December 14.”

The aim of ‘Garage Classical’ is to put on the most bespoke event ever put on for the genre, with the stars and the unsung heroes being represented throughout.

Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Thursday, March 22.

Drake White and The Big Fire announces UK tour dates (2018)

Story by Jack Foley

RISING country singer Drake White will be playing a string of UK tour dates along with his band The Big Fire this October.

Following years on the road in the US performing night after night, the Alabamian’s authenticity was soon recognised and he subsequently released debut album Spark (on which he impressively co-wrote 11 out of the 12 tracks).

Drake & the Big Fire – Adam Schwind (Drums), Philip Pence (Bass), Jabe Beyer (Guitar), and Jon Aanestad (Fiddle) – have also toured as an opening act for established country artists such as Kip Moore and Zac Brown Band.

Drake’s foot-stomping and enthusiastic sets with the band earned him critical acclaim from Country Music Tastemakers Rolling Stone Country, citing Drake as “One of the country’s most energizing performers”.

Drake & the Big Fire have graced many a stage in the UK, including last year’s Country2Country festival, with Drake becoming one of C2C 2017’s “break-out” artists.

Additionally to this rapidly rising success, his emotional track Makin’ Me Look Good Again earned him recognition last year from the British Country Music Association, honouring him with an award for International Song of The Year.

Already proving himself to be a country sensation, his headline show in London last year sold out in 30 minutes – cementing his well-deserved place as a favourite in the British Country Music scene.

Tickets go on general sale on Thursday, March 15 at 10am.

The tour dates are (all October 2018)

18 – Glasgow St Lukes
19 – Manchester Academy 3
20 – Bristol Thekla
22 – Birmingham O2 Institute 2
23 – Brighton The Haunt
24 – London KOKO

Kacey Musgraves and Darius Rucker confirmed for Country Music Week 2018


Story by Jack Foley

THE organisers of the hugely successful Country to Country (C2C) festival have announced that Country Music Week (CMW), which debuted last year, will return in 2018.

Taking place from Sunday, October 21 to Sunday, October 28, 2018, the exciting, week-long series of shows will celebrate the genre across iconic London venues.

The first shows announced for Country Music Week 2018 include Kacey Musgraves at The SSE Arena, Wembley, Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker at the Royal Albert Hall, with support from Russell Dickerson, and at KOKO, C2C’s fast-favourite Drake White.

More shows will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for Darius Rucker and Drake White are on sale now with tickets for Kacey Musgraves going on sale on Friday, March 16.

Country Music Week will once again feature a mixture of live shows and unique events across select venues in central London.

As well as big names in country, the events will recognise and celebrate emerging artists within the broad spectrum of country music.

The shows offer another opportunity to discover UK and US acts early in their career and will connect fans with the stories behind the songs.

In addition to the shows, CMW will also present a song-writing series, day time programmes, on stage interviews and meet and greets in a central hub area.

Announced shows (all October 2018):

24 – Drake White, KOKO, London (on sale Thursday 15 March 10am)
27 – Kacey Musgraves, The SSE Arena, Wembley, London (on sale, Friday, March 16 at 10am)
28 – Darius Rucker, supported by Russell Dickerson, Royal Albert Hall, London (on sale now)

Country to Country festival to return for seventh year in March 2019


Story by Jack Foley

AFTER another hugely successful festival this year with headliners Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town, Country to Country (C2C) has announced that it will return for a seventh year from March 8 – 10, 2019.

Early bird tickets are available from Friday, March 16 at 9am.

The festival will bring three days of the best in country music and programming that fans have come to love and expect from the weekend, with performances from the world’s best country stars as well as emerging talent from Nashville, UK and Europe.

The full line-up will be announced later in the year along with further news from the festival.

C2C 2018 welcomed over 50,000 fans, who enjoyed music from artists, including Kelsea Ballerini, Sugarland, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Old Dominion and more, as well as programming from the Festival Stages, BBC Radio 2 Stage, Late Night Stage, CMA Screenings, The Bluebird Cafe and the newly introduced C2C Close Up.

Fickle Friends announce biggest UK headline tour (2018)

Fickle Friends

Story by Jack Foley

IN celebration of their hugely anticipated debut album You Are Someone Else on Polydor Records, Fickle Friends have announced their biggest ever UK headline tour.

The seven-date jaunt includes their biggest London show to date at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 19, 2018.

To date, Fickle Friends have played over 350 live shows together, been play listed regularly on Radio 1 with an incredible string of singles – including Brooklyn, Glue and Hello Hello – headlined a sold-out London Forum – and all before announcing their debut album.

Debut album You Are Someone Else is being described as an irresistible record, effortlessly capturing both the joy and uncertainty of growing up a 2017 millennial. Songs addressing social awkwardness, self-doubt, anxiety and the qualms of growing into young adulthood all through a prism of perfect timeless pop.

On writing their debut album, Natti said: “This album mostly talks about the feeling that you don’t fit in your own life, forever craving something else. I felt like I was stuck in a perpetual nightmare of bad relationships and worry for so long and this collection of songs kinda pulled me out of that.

“We wrote and produced the bulk of everything between Jack’s bedroom, the tour van and LA so it’s been mostly DIY with an array of producers allowing us to get that extra 20%. We always wanted to make a record that made people dance and think at the same time.

“If any of these songs help anyone feel cool, or strong or even just less alone then we’ll have achieved what we wanted.”

The UK tour dates are (all October 2018)

18 – Bristol, SWX
19 – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
20 – Cambridge, Junction 1
24 – Glasgow, The Garage
25 – Newcastle, Northumbria Institute
26 – Birmingham, O2 Academy 2
27 – Manchester, Academy 2