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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Extensive tour for @TheHeadMusic and here you can see previously unreleased #videos ..@Lttlebuildings #newcastle 14/11

THE HEAD 
RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘SPACE’
TO COINCIDE WITH CITY TOUR IN THE UK WITH OVER 50 DATES




“This is a dynamic live band who have recorded what must be the culminating achievement of their career (so far)” – No Earplugs



Atlanta rock band THE HEAD officially release their new full length album Space in the UK this Autumn to coincide with an extensive run of shows across the nation. Currently on tour in the US, the band’s current run spans over 50 dates, including 14 cities in the United Kingdom. 

Speaking about the upcoming UK tour, The Head said, "People can expect us to be playing songs mostly from our new record Space. We have a few brand new songs that we’ll be debuting as well. This will be our first time ever touring the U.K., so to say we’re looking forward to it is an understatement. Most of the bands that have impacted us hail from the the U.K.---bands like The Stone Roses, Echo & the Bunnymen, Spiritualized, Milburn, The Action, to name a few.   The U.K. has always had a rich history of groundbreaking bands, so we’re excited to be playing in the land where it all began for us. In a way, we feel like we’ll be coming home."

 Brothers Mike Shaw (bass, vocals) and Jack Shaw (drums) and Jacob Morrell (guitars) have been jamming together since high school, writing and performing original songs inspired by the bands they love: trippy Brits like Stone Roses, Spiritualized, Ride, The Verve and Echo and the Bunnymen, and moody Americans like The National, Scott Walker and early R.E.M.

Over the years The Head have opened for/shared the stage with Primal Scream, Lucy Dacus, Those Darlins, Steve Wynn (of the Dream Syndicate), Shovels and Rope, among many others. They’ve also just wrapped up recording sessions at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, CA.
 After logging more than 200 nights on the road, The Head returned home to Atlanta to record with producers Tanner Hendon & Wyatt Oates at Madison Studios in a room anchored by an SSL board that previously recorded albums by Matthew Sweet, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam when it lived at the old Southern Tracks studio.

Previously Released Music Videos from Space:


Zoey

Lilies





UK Tour Dates
Nov. 2- Blackpool, UK- Bootleg Social
Nov. 3- Sheffield, UK- Frog & Parrot
Nov. 4- Birmingham, UK- Dare's Bar
Nov. 6- London, UK- Birthdays
Nov. 7- Brighton, UK- Green Door Store
Nov. 8- Cardiff, UK- Gwdihw Cafe Bar
Nov. 9- Bristol, UK- Mr. Wolf's
Nov. 10- Leeds, UK- Hyde Park Book Club
Nov. 11- Liverpool, UK- 24 Kitchen St.
Nov. 12- Manchester, UK- Castle Hotel
Nov. 14- Newcastle, UK- Little Buildings
Nov. 15- Glasgow, UK- Nice N Sleazy
Nov. 16- Edinburgh, UK- Sneaky Pete's
Nov. 17- Inverness, UK- Mad Hatters

'Space' comes out for release in the UK to coincide with the tour on 10th November 2017


Little Buildings in Newcastle have a Facebook page here




Coming to @CityH4ll #Newcastle it's the (on one) LEGendary flutey #progrockers @JethroTull ...amazing!

Jethro Tull
Announce 50th Anniversary Tour
Newcastle City Hall
Thursday 5 April 2018



It was on the 2nd of February 1968 at the world-famous Marquee Club in Wardour Street that Jethro Tull first performed under that name. The group would go on to become one of the most successful and enduring bands of their era, selling over 60 million albums worldwide and entering the cultural collective consciousness along the way.

To celebrate this golden anniversary, Ian Anderson will present 50 years of Jethro Tull coming to Newcastle City Hall on Thu 5 Apr 2018.

The debut album, This Was, was released later that same year.  Founder, frontman and flautist, Ian Anderson, is rightly credited with introducing the flute to rock as a front line instrument, not to mention the codpiece! 

Jethro Tull are one of the biggest selling Progressive Rock artists of all time and their immense and diverse catalogue of work encompasses folk, blues, classical and heavy rock.  The anniversary concerts will feature a broad mix of material, some of it focussing on the earlier formative period through to the “heavy hitters” of the Tull catalogue from the albums This Was, Stand Up, Benefit, Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, Too Old To Rock And Roll: Too Young To Die, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses, Crest Of A Knave and even a touch of TAAB2 from 2012.

Anderson says: “I am not usually a birthday or anniversary kind of guy but, just for once, I won't be a party-pooper either! I treasure the memories of the earlier years of Jethro Tull repertoire, associated as it is with the adventures of visiting so many countries for the first time to connect with new fans around the world. And this is a celebration of all the 33 band members who graced our ranks - musicians who brought their talents, skills and styles to bear on the performances live and in the studio. Join me and the current band for a nostalgic evening of varied music, representative of my ever-changing songwriting as our careers progressed through the years.”

Jethro Tull plays Newcastle City Hall on Thu 5 Apr 2018 Tickets are from £38.00 and can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk  or from the Theatre Royal Box office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge).




Tuesday, 15 August 2017

New Album and Tour from @_BlancMange_ ..@BoilerShopNCL on 26.10

BLANCMANGE
LISTEN TO 'WHAT'S THE TIME'  
FROM NEW ALBUM
'UNFURNISHED ROOMS'  
RELEASED SEPTEMBER 29TH 2017 
+ UK TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED



‘Blancmange has been part of the soundtrack to my life ever since Happy Families was released.’ - JOHN GRANT

'Listening to Blancmange obsessively. Probably the most under-rated electronic act of all time.' - MOBY 

   
On 29th September, Blancmange are set to release a new album of 10 songs written and recorded by Neil Arthur and co-produced by Benge (Wrangler/John Foxx & The Maths and Gazelle Twin co-producer). It’s been a fantastically creative period for both of them, releasing their debut album as a new electronic duo – Fader’s First Light - in June 2017 and then the final sessions for Unfurnished Rooms followed immediately in the summer. For the new Blancmange album, all the songs were written by Arthur while Benge added percussion and layers of analogue synth, with the pair then mixing the record together in the latter’s Memetune studios in Cornwall.


Unfurnished Rooms opens with the echoing, playful title track, a search for something that always feels just out of reach and incomplete. Like many tracks on the album there’s a feeling of being lost in a dream - a house where rooms are unfurnished/unfinished, doors lead to private, empty apartments and images flicker. The reality is, as Arthur sings on the opener, ‘no amount of online shopping will cover for the loss.’ 


Listen to 'What's The Time' from 'Unfurnished Rooms' - Here


Arthur plays the scratchy, almost Cardigans-esq indie guitars on the first song and it’s also his strummed riff that forms the basis for ‘We Are The Chemicals’. An air of mystery and threat hangs over the track, as the ‘chemical spillage on a trading estate in Altrincham’ proves not to be an isolated incident but also occurs ‘in a garden shed 80 miles due south’ and ‘in the boot of a hire car.’ Sparse and atmospheric with a rich vocal from Arthur, it’s a hypnotic song and an early highlight. Vague ‘70s glam rock echoes filter through ‘We Are The Chemicals’ and the same can be said of ‘What’s The Time?’s percussion and riff. Essentially a spoken word piece, it’s both funny and sad – a conversation with a friend in a pub, or with the family on a car journey, for all its humour the track has the melancholy pull of time having passed rather than just something to pass the time. In between those two songs is the airy, groove-led psychedelia of ‘Share It Out’ where feelings are uncorked and Arthur gently sings, ‘I could be your ocean wave.’  


‘Wiping The Chair’ re-works a familiar Blancmange theme about friends meeting again after a long absence. As ever Arthur’s lyrics are passionate and lonesome and full of little details – ‘you always wiped your chair before you sat down’. Glam – infact hints of Ziggy – come back from another age as ‘the subconscious subtitles’ roll over the scene. ‘Anna Dine’ signals a change into Cure-like moodiness but the sense of threat in ‘We Are The Chemicals’ is reprised again without anything really defined. Once again there’s imagery of strange rooms – in fact a ‘bad news room’ – and walking through dreamlike doors into other times and places. It’s a covert track haunted by the sound of dripping taps and echoes low in the mix. The icy atmosphere crystallises on ‘In December’, a slow-mo, almost shoegaze-y lament with another great set of visual lyrics – ‘January don’t piss me off/you’re just June in a mask.’


‘Old Friends’ channels The Beatles and even ELO but with a more aggressive edge which then cuts deeper with ‘Gratitude’, one of the heaviest tracks Blancmange have ever recorded, though you can hear its roots in the twitchy intensity of ‘I Can’t Explain’ from their debut album Happy Families. Long-standing Blancmange collaborator David Rhodes (best known for his work with Scott Walker, Talk Talk, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush) rips into the song on guitar while Arthur screams ‘a part of me feels I should be grateful . . . why?’ Benge’s Moog Modular forms a NIN-like pattern underneath the rage as the music builds to a climax. And then into ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ which features John Grant on piano and backing vocals. At over eight minutes it’s the longest track on the album and pulls together some of the threads on previous songs – images of secret rooms, hints of Aladdin Sane and Ziggy Stardust and friends meeting again. Once again self knowledge is hiding as Arthur sings with dry detachment – ‘you look so well . . . in your online profile.’


It’s a fantastic closing track on a record which explores some solitary, introspective thoughts but always with humour, compassion and, let’s face it, real sonic power. Unfurnished Rooms is full of haunted passion - edgy, pared down and personal. The album follows the release of the first three Blancmange records – Happy Families (1982), Mange Tout (1984) and Believe You Me (1985) – as deluxe 3CD editions this summer. Despite breaking up in 1986, those records weren’t quite the end for Neil and original Blancmange partner Stephen Luscombe as they came back to great acclaim in 2011 with their fourth studio album, Blanc Burn –  ‘new sounds and renewed enthusiasm’ (The Guardian). 



Semi Detached (darker but still pop-savvy) followed in 2015, the first of several new albums written and recorded by Neil Arthur without the input of Luscombe due to illness. Blancmange’s first ever instrumental album, Nil By Mouth (ambient, new sense of freedom) came out in 2015 and Commuter 23 (minimalist, brutalist, raw with moments of hazy Krautrock) arrived in 2016.



UK Tour: 

October 5th Brighton Concorde 2; 

6th London 229; 

19th Southend Chinnery’s; 

20th Southampton 1865; 

25th Darwen Library; 

26th Newcastle Boiler Shop; 

27th Edinburgh La Belle Angele; 

28th Glasgow Audio; 

November 2nd Bristol The Fleece; 

4th Nottingham Rescue Rooms.






www.blancmange.co.uk







Big TOUR for @JohnSmithguitar with a stop off at @sage_gateshead 17/10

JOHN SMITH
ANNOUNCES EXTENSIVE UK TOUR
NEW ALBUM – ‘HEADLONG’ – OUT NOW







It’s rare these days to find an audience so wrapped up in a performance as this one **** – The Independent

John Smith has captured something special – Acoustic

Far from the connotations his name brings, John Smith is one of a kind – Wonderland

This is the sound of a hugely underrated songwriter revealing more of himself, and it’s resulted in a wonderful record 9/10 -Guitarist

Should see him reach the bigger audience his talents most definitely deserve **** -Total Guitar

The searing thrum of ‘Undone’ is testament to how powerful his music can be – Uncut


Following the release of his rapturously received new album Headlong, acclaimed singer and guitarist JOHN SMITH has announced an extensive forthcoming UK & Euro headline tour for 2017. Full dates listed below.

Produced by Sam Lakeman and featuring Cara Dillon on BVs, Headlong comes dedicated to the memory of John Renbourn and is the follow up to Great Lakes, John’s widely-applauded and Radio 2-supported release of 2013. John will make several festival appearances this summer, including Latitude & End of The Road – full run of dates below.

Headlong is the fifth album in a hard-working, under-the-radar career that has earned the Devon-born Smith a dedicated following and secured the respect and admiration of his peers. The late Renbourn called him “the future of folk music”, and Smith has opened shows for artists as diverse as Iron and Wine, John Martyn, Tinariwen and Gil Scott-Heron. He has also played on sessions for Joan Baez, Cara Dillon and Joe Henry among others, with Lianne La Havas and Lisa Hannigan both recruiting him to play lead guitar in their bands.
And so not by chance is it that John’s new record comes bearing a title implying impulsive, breakneck motion- written as it was, across various touring stints playing guitar for the likes of La Havas and Hannigan (who fittingly lends a co-write to Headlong, on ‘Coming Home’), across the U.S. Having wound up his own successful 2 year stint touring Great Lakes round the UK & across Europe (taking in sold out shows at Union Chapel and The Purcell Rooms), in early 2016 John was finally afforded a chance to come off the road, settle in one place for a while. An opportunity which, for better or worse, Smith elected to decline. Says John; “When I finished touring Great Lakes I felt like I had time on my hands, and I thought rather than go home and try to write where it just didn’t feel natural, I wanted to keep on touring. It felt right”.

And so- in stark contrast to the agonising 24 month period of writer’s block which frustrated the arrival of Great Lakes – the songs that would eventually become Headlong came together at nimble pace, during woodshedding in the isolated lulls afforded to touring musicians.

Many of the songs here are inspired by John’s wife and newborn baby- together they form a magnetic north of sorts for Headlong. His wife is the source of the redemptive, unconditional love to which ‘Save My Life’ is indebted – she’s also the ‘Joanna’ of the track that bears the same title, spurring Smith through the humdrum niggles which invariably pepper lengthy stints on the road, from clearance issues on the Oregon country border to inter-band squabbles. Yet for all that Headlong is informed in part by separation, it is also an album full of hope and trembling promise for the future. “Open the door into my time,” John sings on the joyously surging “Threshold”, inspired by the rite of passage of becoming a father for the first time

Headlong also bears the indelible loss of John’s close friend Renbourn. The death of the Pentangle legend took a particularly strong toll; “His death really hit me hard” says Smith; “He was so much more to me than someone I’d played with, and who had encouraged me. He was a friend as well, so I wanted to reference him on this album- that’s why I’ve dedicated it to his memory”.

Renbourn’s presence is particularly palpable in Smith’s equally sparing and striking electric guitar work, which weaves through Headlong, marking a break of sorts from the lush string orchestration that characterised Great Lakes. “I learnt a lot about guitars on those big U.S. tours” says John, “Finding the best tone, getting a big guitar sound for a big room. Bringing that back to my studio, and playing that kind of electric guitar on my songs, felt really good.” And so the remit for John and producer Sam Lakeman (brother of Seth & Sean) – when they eventually repaired to Lakeman’s Somerset studios – became aligning the glistening Petty and Clapton guitar lines of which Smith was so in awe, with the paired-back world inhabited by Headlong.

The success of this distillation is borne out in spades- particularly on the freewheeling outro to ‘Joanna’, galvanised by sparing blasts of Smith’s telecaster & the silken backing vocals of Cara Dillon (who also lends vocals to John’s homage to belt-tightening, ‘Living In Disgrace’). John and Lakeman’s labours were smoothed by the easy creative shorthand the two friends enjoy; “We’re really direct with each other, but it actually makes for a friendly working relationship. If we disagree, we can have a raging argument about it, but 5 minutes later we’ll be recording again and everything’s fine. For Headlong I really wanted someone who could challenge me, dare me to chop out that part of a song, or add in an extra chorus.”

Whilst John Smith has stood still just long enough to commit this new album to record, there’s yet little danger of moss gathering. With a 24 date UK & European tour beginning next month, Smith has also been tapped to play guitar on the forthcoming album from Joan Baez (with an appearance on the forthcoming Martin Simpson album also in the works), alongside his Great Lakes’ collaborator, Joe Henry.

LIVE

Tour dates for 2017:


14 Sept Limerick, IE Dolan’s, upstairs

15 Sept Galway, IE Roisin Dubh
17 Sept Dublin, IE Whelans
18 Sept Belfast, UK Black Box
20 Sept Clonakilty, IE Folk Alliance International & Clonakilty International Guitar Festival
21 Sept Clonakilty, IE International Guitar Festival
30 Sept Cork, IE Coughlan’s Live Music Festival 2017 (SOLD OUT)
01 Oct Amsterdam, NL 7 Layers Festival
05 Oct Elgin, UK The Drouthy Cobbler
07 Oct Inverness, UK Eden Court
08 Oct Ullapool, UK Guitar Festival
16 Oct Edinburgh, UK The Caves
17 Oct Gateshead, UK Sage Gateshead
18 Oct Kendal, UK Brewery Arts Centre
19 Oct Manchester, UK Gorilla
21 Oct Cardiff, UK SWN Festival
22 Oct Kingskerswell, UK Parish Church
29 Oct Stroud, UK The Prince Albert
30 Oct Milton Keynes, UK The Stables
01 Nov Guildford, UK The Keep
08 Nov Folkestone, UK Quarterhouse
09 Nov Brighton, UK The Brunswick
10 Nov Hebden Bridge, UK The Trades Club
11 Nov Liverpool, UK Liverpool Philharmonic
13 Nov Southampton, UK Talking Heads
14 Nov Bristol, UK The Louisiana
15 Nov Shrewsbury, UK Henry Tudor House
16 Nov Oxford, UK St. Barnabas Church
17 Nov Weston-Super-Mare, UK Loves Cafe
20 Nov Sheffield, UK The Greystones (SOLD OUT)
21 Nov Sheffield, UK The Greystones
22 Nov Norwich, UK Waterfront Studio
23 Nov London, UK Cecil Sharp House
25 Nov Leeds High and Lonesome Festival
07 Dec Copenhagen, DK VEGA – Ideal Bar
08 Dec Brienz, CH Reusser Guitars
09 Dec Z├╝rich, CH Papiersaal
10 Dec Hamburg, DE Nochtwache
11 Dec Berlin, DE Privatclub
13 Dec Munich, DE Unter Deck
14 Dec Cologne, DE Studio 672
19 Dec Vienna, AT B72



Thursday, 10 August 2017

An #interview with @NikKershaw about #pop stardom, #songwriting and his upcoming #tour.

Interview with Nik Kershaw

Following the success of his 2014 "Me, Myself and I" tour, Nik Kershaw returns with more solo shows. An intimate evening of songs and stories in the company of one of the UK's most respected songwriters. Nik chatted to Jo about the tour, music and what it’s like being a former popstar and one of the UK’s most acclaimed songwriters.



J Are you all ready for the tour?

N Ahh, nope!

J Ha ha!

N That’s kinda what I’m doing now, basically the frantic last few weeks trying to get my stuff together. You think “It's just a bloke on a stage with an acoustic guitar, how much is there to prepare”? But I’m using three video screens, I’ve got to get that all together and get all the video and media to trigger correctly. I got 4 or 5 songs I’ve never performed before, that need rehearsing, and all the nonsense and stories I chat between songs..it can’t be the same as three years ago!

J You’ve quite a varied range of events you’re playing on the tour, 80’s revival festivals etc. But at The Sage it will be an intimate evening of songs and stories. 

N That’s it, yeah I did a similar thing at the same venue about three years ago but you have to mix it up with new stories, different songs.

J I saw you back in 2012 do something like that at The Cluny and we did see a different side to you from the one we saw in the 80’s- funny, kind of relaxed.

N Yes you do find that back in the day it was very much like a mirror. You never really got to mix with the people who were buying your records. So being on stage with just a few hundred people, in that kind of close proximity, I took questions last time, I might do that again. It is more intimate, you feel almost you can have a conversation with the audience. Instead of me just entertaining with the big wall between me and the audience, I don’t want that.

J  I remember you had a bit of a fight with the loop pedal back at The Cluny!

N  Story of my life! I have a love/hate relationship with my loop pedal!

J I guess you have a different perspective now, as a parent, as a songwriter, looking back at the pop star era. The song The Sky’s The Limit, I believe was inspired by your daughter.  As your life changes it must bring more inspiration for your music?


Nik, 1984
N Yeah having kids is a huge event and it does change your perspective on life. Looking back, it all seemed so desperately important. All “Me” and “My songs” and when you look back as a parent it all looks kinda ridiculous. Why be so stressed and obsessed by all that? There are more important things to think about.

J Arguably your period as a songwriter for other people was even more successful than the pop star period although it was less visible. 

N Yeah I could always write songs but had to learn how to write for other people. After about nine years it got a bit frustrating so I ended up releasing my own albums again. 
J. Yes I noticed the resurgence of you releasing albums again. Where did the album name Ei8ght come from? 

N Ha ha, nothing exciting about that one! I just couldn’t think what to call it. Nothing leapt out as an album title from the lyrics. It was the 8th studio album that’s as exciting as it gets.

J You got to play The Sky’s The Limit to 62,000 people in Hyde Park?

N  That number just keeps going up! I mean how many people can you fit in Hyde Park? It was for the 2012 Olympics, I didn’t realise quite the size of it all. We set up behind these big video screens and then they parted and we expected a couple of thousand people on picnic blankets! It was huge. At the time I didn’t expect to be playing to a crowd that size, that was great.

J As my final question, is there another studio album planned?

N Well, yeah it’s in constant progress, I don’t wanna repeat myself! I spend a lot of time half recording things, I thow a lot of stuff away. It’s like one step forward, two steps back, but I’m getting there! Hopefully sometime next year there’ll be a release of some description.

J Great, thanks for talking to us and I’m sure the gig at The Sage on the 17th September will be great, have a great tour! 

N Great talking to you!



Read the "About Nik" section on his website! Most amusing. Jo

https://www.nikkershaw.net/about-nik/







http://amzn.to/2lBrmPB

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

An evening of music and stories with @nikkershaw at @sage_gateshead Sun 17/9

Nik Kershaw At The Sage
Sunday 17th September



Following the success of his 2014 "Me, Myself and I" tour, Nik Kershaw returns with more solo shows. An intimate evening of songs and stories in the company of one of the UK's most respected songwriters.


Photo by Lawrence Harvey


Nik  spent his formative years in Ipswich and he signed to MCA Records in 1983, in September releasing  the single "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down" for the first time, reaching a respectable No.47 in the UK charts. It got to a more respectable No.2 when re-released in summer 1984.  Wouldn’t It Be Good brok Nik worldwide in January 1984. The seminal “Human Racing” album was released in March and achieved platinum sales in many territories. He managed to squeeze in two European tours, four more hit singles and another platinum album, “The Riddle”, before the end of the year.

1985 saw three more hit singles,  a world tour and an appearance at "Live Aid". He recorded  two more albums with MCA, “Radio Musicola” and “The Works” before leaving the spotlight in 1989 to focus on songwriting and production.

During the 90s Nik worked with the likes of Cliff Richard, Bonnie Tyler, Lulu, Ronan Keating, Jason Donovan, Nick Carter, Connah Reeves, Colin Blunstone, Petula Clark, Gary Barlow, The Hollies, Let Loose and Imogen Heap. Most notably, he penned and co-produced the ubiquitous “The One and Only” for Chesney Hawkes.

His sabbatical was briefly interrupted to work with Tony Banks (Genesis), and to record a self penned duet with Elton John for the great man’s “Duets” album. He returned to making his own records in 1998 with his fifth studio album “15 Minutes”, on Eagle Records. This was followed by the equally well-received “To Be Frank” (2001), “You’ve Got To Laugh” (2006) and the solo acoustic “No Frills” (2009).
Nik’s most recent album “Ei8ht” was released in 2012 and produced the singles ‘The Sky’s The Limit’ and ‘You’re The Best’. 

In 2014 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his first chart success, Nik  toured the UK with his  "Me, myself and I tour", an intimate,  solo retrospective.  Accompanied by just his guitar and flanked by three large screens, Nik entertained audiences with  songs and  light-hearted tales from his impressive career, in addition to taking questions from the audiences. 

Throughout his career, Kershaw has attracted praise from such legends as Eric Clapton and Miles Davis and has been nominated for four Brit Awards.  Elton John famously described him as being “the best songwriter of his generation”.

He continues to write and record, both for his own projects and for film and TV and performs his songs, old and new to his faithful following all over the world.

Look out for an interview with Nik by Jo of Jowheretogo.


Extensive tour for @TheHeadMusic and here you can see previously unreleased #videos ..@Lttlebuildings #newcastle 14/11

THE HEAD  RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘SPACE’ TO COINCIDE WITH CITY TOUR IN THE UK WITH OVER 50 DATES “This is a dynamic live band who ...