Category Archives: Music

New Order return to play in Ibiza

imageNew Order will join Kasabian, Tinie Tempah and Ed Sheeran at the Ibiza Rocks festival later this year – 20 years after the Manchester band played there.

Manchester legends New Order are heading to Ibiza to play their first gig on the island more than 20 years after they adopted its Balearic sound for one of their most successful records.

They will join acts including Kasabian, Tinie Tempah and Ed Sheeran at the Ibiza Rocks festival later this year.

Radiohead announce UK shows

imageRadiohead to play in London and Manchester with tickets on sale from Friday.

Radiohead have announced that they will play their first UK shows in four years this October.

The band, currently touring the United States, will play two nights at the O2 Arena in south east London and one night at the Manchester Arena.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday and the band have announced a series of measures to stop them being sold on by touts, including limiting the number of tickets that can be bought and insisting that the payment card holder shows photo ID to get into the gig.

Lang Lang at Latitude: should music festivals embrace classical?

imageAs the superstar piantist Lang Lang is added to the Latitude Festival lineup, Ivan Hewett looks at the pitfalls of open-air classical music.

Can an outdoor festival like Latitude embrace classical music?

Previous experience makes one doubt it. It’s true there are odd corners of classical music which can cope with the great outdoors.

Berlioz’s immense Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale was meant to be heard by a vast outdoor crowd, like the propaganda music of the French Revolution which inspired it. Janacek imagined his Glagolitic Mass played under the stars.

But these exceptions prove the rule that classical music is a quintessentially indoors thing. You need peace and quiet, and preferably a chair, to be open to its subtleties. And a decent acoustic, so those subtleties actually reach your ears rather than vanishing on the breeze.

Pink Floyd as you never imagined them


Here is a treat for Telegraph listeners, a chance to hear a Pink Floyd classic in the making with a live stream of classic tracks and exclusive demos from The Wall, says Neil McCormick.

Pink Floyd are releasing a massive seven-disc box set of their 1979 classic The Wall. Alongside the remastered original and live albums, it features two fascinating discs of demos, illustrating the music’s transformation from Roger Water’s weird and grizzly lo-fi demos via rough and ready band demos to the highly polished and stylized finished pieces.

Listening to the various strands of ideas coming together lends remarkable insight into the creative process of a band who were fracturing in the studio, with alternative track listings and more organic performances conveying an intriguing sense of different albums that may have emerged from this source material.

Martin Simpson, June Tabor

imageMartin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan, Kings Place, London, review
Three titans of modern folk – Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan – on one stage makes for a memorable concert.

There was bound to be some banter. June Tabor had swept the boards at the BBC folk awards and come down to London the following evening (Thursday 9th February) to be part of Martin Simpson’s Purpose + Grace events at Kings Place.

Whitney Houston back in top 40 charts

image200,000 Whitney Houston records bought in a week as I Will Always Love You reaches number 14 in the singles chart.

Three of Whitney Houston’s best-known hits are back in the UK’s top 40 following the star’s death.

I Will Always Love You hit number 14 in the official singles chart yesterday, while I Wanna Dance With Somebody went in at number 20 and One Moment In Time was in the number 40 spot.

The singer, who was yesterday buried in Newark, New Jersey, was found submerged in the bath in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles last Saturday.

Sir Paul McCartney ‘gives up cannabis for daughter Beatrice’

imageThe former Beatle said it was finally time to give up smoking the drug due to a “sense of responsibility” in caring for his daughter.

“I smoked my share. When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “Enough’s enough – you just don’t seem to think it’s necessary.”

The 69-year-old rocker also revealed that the Fab Four had considered a reunion but had decided against it so they didn’t “spoil the idea of the Beatles”.

In the magazine interview Sir Paul admitted to smoking cannabis “a lot” and has previously declared a passion for “wacky baccy”. Heather Mills, the mother of Beatrice, claimed Sir Paul smoked marijuana as often as most people drink cups of tea during the couple’s divorce proceedings.

Bruce Springsteen: I enjoy artists who take on the world

imageBruce Springsteen’s 17th studio album is his most overtly political yet. At its launch in Paris, the blue-collar icon reveals why .

“You can never go wrong in rock’n’roll when you’re p—ed off,” according to Bruce Springsteen. In Paris yesterday to unveil his new album, Wrecking Ball, to the world’s media, Springsteen admitted it had been written in a spirit of political anger. “My work has always been about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream.”

Coldplay write in doll’s house

imageChris Martin has been writing songs in his daughter’s playhouse.

The Coldplay frontman found inspiration to pen the lyrics for their new album Mylo Xyloto in an unusual place. Chris has explained the British rockers spent time putting the track Charlie Brown together in seven-year-old Apple’s den.

‘This is the only song we ever wrote in a doll’s house. I turned it into a studio because my daughter didn’t like it,’ Chris is quoted as saying by British newspaper The Sun.

Jimi Hendrix ‘best guitarist ever’

imageJimi Hendrix named ‘greatest guitar player in history’
Legendary musician Jimi Hendrix has been named the greatest guitar player in history by Rolling Stone magazine in a list compiled by a panel of music experts and top guitar players.

“Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage,” said Grammy-winning guitarist Tom Morello in the magazine, citing Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as key tracks.

Hendrix is joined by the likes of Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend among the top 10, in a list laden with rock ‘n’ roll icons spanning decades.

Bieber and Usher record festive duet


Bieber and Usher record festive duet

Justin Bieber has recorded a song with Usher for his Christmas album.

The 17-year-old pop star revealed he has teamed up with his mentor for a festive track. Justin has been working hard on the new album, and took to his Twitter account to tell fans about his latest collaboration.

Little Feat are still kicking up a storm

imageThe band that Lowell George founded are thriving after 40 years – and have a new album, 40 Feat, which celebrates some hidden treasures from of one of America’s most original rock acts.

Little Feat made some of the finest, original rock music of the 1970s and they have endured and thrived despite losing their founder member and talisman Lowell George at the horribly young age of 34.

The musicians who have played with Little Feat, or recorded their music, would resemble a who’s who of music.

Their fans are passionate and among the Little Feat believers is author and TV maestro David Simon, of Homicide, The Wire and Treme fame.

40 years of Queen: Brian May interview

imageAs a lavish new history of one of the world’s greatest rock bands is published, Queen’s guitarist Brian May grants a rare interview to tell Peter Stanford about his fight with depression, and the long shadow cast by Freddie Mercury’s death

‘It’s like looking through a family album,” Brian May muses softly as he turns the pages of 40 Years of Queen, the sumptuously illustrated new history of the legendary rock band. “But where’s Freddie on this one?” he puzzles, coming to double page photograph, taken from the back of the stage in a stadium in Ireland in the summer of 1986.

From PJ Harvey to Keith Richards: who deserves an award?


Are there just too many award ceremonies?

There were two in London last night, with some guests apparently bustling between both red carpets.

In the Grosvenor Hotel Ballroom, PJ Harvey was the deserving winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize, an edgy yet esteemed artist being justifiably celebrated for creating a substantial career best work of poetry and power. Meanwhile over at the Royal Opera House, Model Lara Stone was being hailed as Woman Of The Year by GQ magazine for (as far as I can see) getting her kit off in fashion shoots for glossy magazines.

Brian Wilson, Royal Festival Hall, review

imageBrian Wilson brings on the sunshine in his gig at the Royal Festival hall on the weekend.

Brian Wilson is the definition of a musician who should be heard and not seen. In his glory days, he created some of the most gorgeous, inventive and harmonically complex pop music ever heard, its colour and vibrancy in perfect sync with the golden sun-brushed youth of the Beach Boys. Whatever has assailed him, in terms of mental and physical health problems, his musical gifts remain intact enough for him to front a 15-piece band capable of recreating Wilson’s music in its full splendour.

Adele – De Montfort hall, Leicester: review

Having been forced into last minute postponements due to a bout of bronchitis, Adele finally opened her homecoming UK tour in Leicester’s De Montfort Hall.

Lovely as the elegant 3000 capacity venue is, it seems an odd spot to see the girl who has become the biggest singing star in the world, with ten million album sales this year. A brochure advertises forthcoming attractions including Engelbert Humperdink, “the world’s top Robbie Williams tribute” and an organ recital from “the ever popular Nigel Ogden”. With tout tickets selling out front for several hundred pounds, Adele should really have graduated to arenas by now but this is clearly not just an environment in which she is comfortable but to which she is perfectly suited.

New music: Clock Opera – Lesson No 7 (Tom Vek Tripping Mix)

imageWhen we last wrote about “chop pop” exponent Clock Opera he was reshaping Tracey Thorn’s You Are a Lover. This time it’s his turn to be remixed thanks to Tom Vek, who has decided his first remix – a Guardian exclusive – should be Clock Opera’s latest single, Lesson No 7. While the original gallops along over pounding drums and a wobbly bassline, Vek strips all that out, lowers the tempo and replaces the guitars with synths.

Around the three-and-a-half-minute mark those synths expand to create a huge wall of noise that steadily engulfs the song before it calmly returns to its equilibrium.

• Lesson No 7 is due 3 October on Moshi Moshi/Island. You can download Tom Vek’s remix for free (in exchange for an email address) from here.

Bono says he’ll be a proud American on 9/11

U2 singer Bono will be in New York on tenth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.


Bono, appearing for the gala opening of the Toronto International Film Festival, declared that he’s “a very proud American on 9/11”.

A documentary on Irish rock band U2’s rise to stardom opened the Canadian event and comes two day’s before the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. Bono said: “It’s just too big a moment in all our lives. Even if you’re not American, everyone became an American that day.”

The Irish-born singer will be in New York on Sunday with his wife Ali Hewson for a fashion event promoting a men’s collection for their EDUN line. The couple launched the not-for-profit fashion company in 2005 to raise awareness for business opportunities in Africa.

Mercury Prize 2011: PJ Harvey wins for the second time

PJ Harvey has become the first artist to win the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize for a second time.


The 41-year-old musician – who had long been the bookies’ favourite – triumphed with her release Let England Shake, which was inspired by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Polly Jean Harvey beat acts such as chart-topper Adele and Brit-winning star Tinie Tempah to the £20,000 prize.

She previously won the Mercury Prize a decade ago – on the day of the September 11 attacks.

Harvey wore a full-length white dress with a white leather bodice shaped like a strait-jacket – the design of which had been inspired by her album – to attend the ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Spotify takes on Apple’s iTunes with iPod syncing


Spotify has launched its own music download store and introduced iPod syncing, upping the ante against Apple, its biggest rival.

The digital music service has also opened up its mobile apps to Spotify free users for the first time, in a bid to become the default music player on the move.

N-Dubz, O2 Arena


Considering the group are new to arenas, this was a smooth affair, though after a while it dragged a bit. Rating: * * *

As the annual Camden Crawl festival sucked rock acts from around the world into the vortex of north London’s live music scene

Russell Watson, Albert Hall


Watson reckons his post-treatment voice is richer and fuller, though he was treading warily around the high notes during this gig. Rating: 

Monkees swing back into town


The original boy band is attracting a new generation of believers, says Helen Brown .

In September 1965, the Hollywood Reporter ran a wanted ad for “Four Insane Boys: 17-21”. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider – the Hollwood producing team who would later make Easy Rider – were seeking “rock and folk musicians” for “acting roles in TV series”.

How Noah and the Whale resurfaced as guitar heroes


The band’s musical progress is proving refreshingly unpredictable says Neil McCormick.

Reviews for Noah and the Whale’s acclaimed, top-10 album Last Night On Earth have been peppered with references to Eighties pop.

Readers recommend: songs about weddings


For no particular reason, we’ve chosen weddings as our topic this week. So what are the best tunes about tying the knot?
As you put out the bunting and toast Britain’s future head of state and his missus/spend the day studiously avoiding the vulgar, anachronistic celebration of privilege (delete as applicable), what music springs to mind?

Big Boi Recording New Music With Modest Mouse


Big Boi released his first solo album last summer and now the OutKast rapper is focusing his energies on musical collaborations with unlikely artists, such as indie rock band Modest Mouse.

In a series of tweets this week, Big Boi announced that he has been recording new music with the Oregon-based group. “Me and @mouche1 in the studio workin with Modest Mouse on their new album Turnt up!” he wrote. “Shout out to Issac and the crew!” The initial news was followed by two shorter tweets, “Real Rock Star S—!” and “Modest Mousin’ it” before Big Boi revealed that he had already put in a few days work on the group’s upcoming album.

Chiddy Bang Breaks Guinness World Record for Longest Rap at O Music Awards


At the first-ever O Music Awards on Thursday night, Chiddy Bang performed but didn’t take home one of the newfangled cube awards, aimed at honoring online music accomplishments. However, Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege himself (pictured) was actually the night’s biggest winner, having won a much more impressive prize.

50 Cent launches comedy website and show


This is 50 will stream show of the same name US rapper 50 Cent will launch a new website to coincide with the debut of his new entertainment vehicle, This Is 50 Comedy Show, due to be filmed in New York and streamed live online.

According to the beta version of the website, which is already live, the new venture will “expose the world-wide web subscribers to the cutting-edge humour of the nations funniest comedians”.

Gerard Smith dies at the age of 34


TV on the Radio musician Gerard Smith dies after battle with lung cancer.

Gerard Smith, who has died of lung cancer at the age of 36, is performing here at T In The Park Festival in Scotland in 2009

Gerard Smith, the bass player with alternative rock band TV on the Radio, has died at the age of 34 after a battle with lung cancer.

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