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January 2021

Henry Bruce-Jones TEEN blurs the digital and the organic with ‘Cache’

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CAS My Classic Album: Ego Ella May on Sade ‘Diamond Life’

Ego Ella May joins Classic Album Sundays’ Tina Edwards as part of our new series ‘My Classic Album’ on Sunday 24th January at 8pm GMT, for a deep dive into Sade’s Diamond Life. Ego is a songwriter and vocalist. Hailing from South London, she has an all-encompassing love of music, which she channels into her own neo-soul and contemporary jazz compositions.

The interview will be streamed live on our Facebook and YouTube pages at 8pm GMT on Sunday January 23rd and available on demand thereafter.

‘My Classic Album’ is a series of free-to-view artist interview streams created with support from the Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund. Future interviews will feature artists such as Ego Ella May, Goldie, Black Midi and many more.

Join our monthly Album Club, Classic Album Pub Quiz, Safe & Sound Hi-Fi webinar and receive rewards here.

The post My Classic Album: Ego Ella May on Sade ‘Diamond Life’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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“I wasn’t constrained by too much technical knowledge. I learnt as I went along. And often the…

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Henry Bruce-Jones Arca collaborates with Oliver Coates on the haunting ‘Madre’

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Rob Hughes The Clash in New York: “De Niro took us out clubbing”

The new issue of Uncut – in shops now or available to buy online by clicking here, with no delivery charges for the UK – features an astonishing oral history of The Clash’s 17-date residency at Bond International Casino in New York, during which they caused riots in Times Square, went clubbing with Robert De Niro and kicked off a “punky hip-hop thing” with the city’s newest underground scene. Here’s a little taster:

DON LETTS (DJ/filmmaker): They were like four sticks of dynamite on stage. It was a beautiful thing to see these guys in sync. Off stage there was some friction here and there – a clash of identities, because they were very different people – but on stage it was like the whole Magnificent Seven thing. You do the fucking job. You draw fast, shoot straight and don’t hit the bystanders.

CHRIS SALEWICZ (NME journalist): I hadn’t seen The Clash for some time and I was stunned by their energy on stage. They were really firing, I’d never seen them as good or as powerful. I was there for about nine shows and the whole thing was just steaming. It was all part of how they just took New York. You’d turn on the TV and there’d be Joe and Paul, like some kind of royalty.

JOE ELY (singer-songwriter and guest artist): The sheer power of those shows blew everybody away. Of course the songs were good, but they were showing no mercy. That got around town, which only made the mayhem bigger and louder than it already was. Then there was the social scene that always goes with music events like that. Afterwards everyone would hang out at the Gramercy Park Hotel or another one down on 8th Street. Or the Chelsea Hotel, which was Joe’s favourite because it had so much history.

CHRIS SALEWICZ: There was a bar across the road from Bond’s called Tin Pan Alley, which had been used for one of the scenes in Raging Bull. That became Clash Central for three weeks. Joe and Kosmo [Vinyl, The Clash’s right-hand man] would hang out there. It was run by a lesbian bankrobber, which all added to the weirdness. At one point I remember meeting Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, who both thought the whole Bond’s thing was fantastic. That’s how The Clash’s appearance in The King Of Comedy came about. One night, Mick threw a birthday party for [girlfriend] Ellen Foley at Interferon. I remember looking over at Joe and Mick and they just seemed like blood brothers, really tight. They were really enjoying themselves in New York.

DON LETTS: There was a club called Negril that we all used to go to, where Kosmo used to DJ. That’s where we met Rick Rubin, The Beastie Boys, Russell Simmons and Afrika Bambaataa.

PEARL HARBOUR (DJ/singer): The Beastie Boys would be drinking backstage and smoking. They were so young then, just funny guys who were all bowled over by The Clash. John Lydon was a good friend of Paul’s at that time, so he was with us a lot. We’d go to lots of different bars, drinking cocktails we’d never heard of, like Brandy Alexanders – chocolate milkshake with brandy.

PENNIE SMITH (photographer): Everybody popped in all the time, it was mayhem being around The Clash. I remember Scorsese having an oxygen cylinder sitting on the settee. I think he was asthmatic. I took a picture of De Niro talking to Strummer. He was just as much a fan of Joe’s as the other way round. It was a sort of parallel universe.

PEARL HARBOUR: De Niro and Scorsese came out with us a couple of times. Scorsese took us to a really posh Indian restaurant with [then-wife] Isabella Rossellini. When we were all sitting down for dinner, Joe said to Isabella: “Does everybody tell you that you look just like Ingrid Berman?” She said, “Yeah, that’s my mother.” Joe got so embarrassed, because he didn’t know. That was sweet. She and Scorsese thought it was cute. De Niro took us out clubbing one night and also gave us free tickets for a boxing match. He had these fancy $100 seats. I think he just wanted to show us a good time. He became a friend after that. He and Christopher Walken came to visit us in London not long after. We took them out with Joe and Kosmo and all got drunk at Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues. That all happened because of New York.

You can the full story of The Clash’s 1981 Bond Casino shows in the March 2021 issue of Uncut, out now with Leonard Cohen on the cover – buy a copy here!

The post The Clash in New York: “De Niro took us out clubbing” appeared first on UNCUT.

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

This week Donald Macleod reflects on five aspects of Tchaikovsky. The rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy, his love of literature and his long-standing love-affair with Italy. Also, the composer’s relationship with the man he called ‘Modya’, his beloved younger brother, Modest.
In 19th-century Russia, music was a key strand in national identity. Tchaikovsky’s ancestral Russian roots were a matter of great pride to him, but just how Russian a composer was he?

Music featured:

The Nutcracker, Op 71 (Act 1 Scene 2, March of the Toy Soldiers)
The Snow Maiden, Op 12 (No 2, Dance and Chorus of the Birds)
Swan Lake, Op 20 (Act 2 No 13e, Danse des cygnes: Pas d’action (Odette et le prince))
The Slippers (Act 1 scene 2, extract – Oksana’s aria)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op 66 (Act 1 No 5 (‘The Palace Garden’), No 6 (‘Valse’))
The Nutcracker, Op 71 (Act 2 No 12, Divertissement)
12 Romances, Op 60 (No 5, ‘Simple Words’)
Manfred Symphony, Op 58 (2nd mvt, Vivace con spirito)
Eugene Onegin, Op 24 (Act 1 scene 2)
Hamlet, overture-fantasia, Op 67
Six Romances, Op 73 (No 2, ‘Night’)
Six Romances, Op 38 (No 6, ‘La Pimpinella’)
Piano Trio in A minor, Op 50 (1st mvt, Pezzo elegiaco. Moderato assai—Allegro giusto)
String Sextet in D minor (‘Souvenir de Florence’), Op 70 (2nd mvt, Adagio cantabile e con moto)
Capriccio Italien, Op 45
Six Romances, Op 38 (No 2, ‘It was in the early spring’)
12 Pieces for Piano, Op 40 (No 1, Etude)
The Queen of Spades, Op 68 (Act 3 scenes 6 (conclusion) and 7)
12 Pieces for Piano, Op 40 (No 8, ‘Valse’)
Iolanta, Op 69 (No 7, Scene and Duet of Iolanta and Vaudémont)
Sixteen Songs for Children, Op 54 (No 10, ‘Lullaby in a storm’)
Scherzo à la Russe, Op 1 No 1
Symphony No 2 (‘Little Russian’) (2nd mvt, Andantino marziale, quasi moderato)
String Quartet No 1 in D, Op 11 (2nd mvt, Andante cantabile)
All-Night Vigil (No 16, The Great Doxology)
The Year 1812, Op 49
Six Romances, Op 6 (No 6, ‘None but the Lonely Heart’)

Presented by Donald Mcleod
Produced by Chris Barstow

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) https://ift.tt/2Y5xu4E

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Watch: Tomaga “Intimate Immensity”

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Sam Richards Genesis reschedule The Last Domino? tour to Autumn 2021

Genesis have been forced to reschedule their upcoming UK and Ireland tour for September and October 2021.

The Last Domino? tour – their first in 14 years – was originally due to take place in 2020 before being postponed to April 2021. Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid restrictions, it’s now been moved back again. The new dates are as follows:

Wednesday 15th September Dublin 3 Arena
Thursday 16th September Dublin 3 Arena
Saturday 18th September Belfast SSE Arena
Monday 20th September Birmingham Utilita Arena
Tuesday 21st September Birmingham Utilita Arena
Wednesday 22nd September Birmingham Utilita Arena
Friday 24th September Manchester AO Arena
Saturday 25th September Manchester AO Arena
Monday 27th September Leeds First Direct Arena
Tuesday 28th September Leeds First Direct Arena
Thursday 30th September Newcastle Utilita Arena
Friday 1st October Newcastle Utilita Arena
Sunday 3rd October Liverpool M & S Bank Arena
Monday 4th October Liverpool M & S Bank Arena
Thursday 7th October Glasgow The SSE Hydro
Friday 8th October Glasgow The SSE Hydro
Monday 11th October London O2
Tuesday 12th October London O2
Wednesday 13th October London O2

Existing tickets remain valid, and ticket holders will be contacted by their ticket agent. New tickets are available here.

In a joint statement, Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford said: “Well let’s just forget about that last year and focus on 2021 shall we! We can’t wait to finally get this show on the road, but we feel the decision to move the tour is the best one for those planning on attending and for us as a band and crew. We hope now we can all relax a little more and focus on the music and having a good night.”

Watch a new clip of Genesis rehearsing for the tour below:

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The post Genesis reschedule The Last Domino? tour to Autumn 2021 appeared first on UNCUT.

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Nigel Williamson Cat Stevens – Mona Bone Jakon/Tea For The Tillerman 50th Anniversary boxsets

By 1970, Cat Stevens had been absent from the charts for three years. Rendered hors de combat by a life-threatening bout of tuberculosis, the time out also offered an opportunity for a major reset. The likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor were ushering in the age of the sensitive acoustic troubadour, and to Stevens their songs sounded so much more profound and poetic than the overblown, melodramatic orchestral pop of “I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun” and “Matthew And Son”. As he slowly recovered, a stream of songs in a more reflective folk-rock vein poured out of him.

Released from his old recording contract, Stevens auditioned his new material for Chris Blackwell, who had just signed John Martyn and Nick Drake. The result was Mona Bone Jakon. On its release in April 1970 the album flopped. Yet although five platinum LPs would follow over the next four years, MBJ remains the most compellingly human statement of his career.

Half a century on, the naked intimacy of the songs still sounds fresh and alluring, from the spiritual awakening and self-discovery of “I Think I See The Light” and “Katmandu” via the sardonic denunciation of his old life on “Pop Star”, to the confessional soul-searching of “Trouble” and “Maybe You’re Right”.

The original, glorious album on which dandified pop star was reborn as bedsit poet is augmented in this expanded 50th-anniversary “super deluxe” edition with a new 2020 mix, a disc of stripped-down demos that sound even more introspective than the fully worked album versions, and a further disc of contemporaneous live performances.

When Stevens auditioned for Island he allegedly had a cache of 40 new songs, 11 of which appeared on MBJ. Others were recycled on later albums and there are early concert versions here of several tracks that would make it onto Tea For The Tillerman, plus “Changes IV”, which would surface on 1971’s Teaser And The Firecat. Yet somewhat disappointingly amid the wealth of unreleased demos, there’s only one song – “I Want Some Sun” – that we haven’t heard before. It’s fine enough in its way, an upbeat, countryish romp on which Stevens has never sounded so American. But you can hear why it didn’t fit on the album.

Within a month of the release of Mona Bone Jakon, Stevens was back in the studio recording Tea For The Tillerman. Several of its more pensive songs such as “Father And Son” and “On The Road To Find Out” fitted readily into the MBJ template. But at the same time, his writing was developing in other directions. Songs such as “Wild World”, the title track and “Where Do The Children Play” boasted a greater urgency that reflected his growing certainty in his new-found singer-songwriter persona, like a man who has tried on a new coat, wasn’t sure that it would fit but feels increasingly comfortable in its warm embrace. 

Again, we get the original album as heard at the time and in a new remix, plus the recent Yusuf-sings-Cat 2020 updates on the songs recently released as Tea For The Tillerman 2. Then there’s a swathe of live recordings and another disc of demos, this time with two previously unreleased songs, the heartfelt “Can This Be Love?” (which could have been a contender) and the throwaway “It’s So Good” (which has no such pretensions).

There are also half-a-dozen other semi-rarities, all of which were previously released on the 2008 boxset On The Road To Find Out. “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” and “Don’t Be Shy” were written for Hal Ashby’s 1971 coming-of-age movie Harold & Maude after Elton John had dropped out and recommended Stevens as his replacement. “Honey Man” is a sprightly duet with Elton from around the same time. “The Joke” is a surprisingly soulful electric blues with a hippie-friendly lyric about “too many schemers and not enough dreamers”, while the whimsical “I’ve Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old” sounds improbably like something The Incredible String Band might have recorded.

Inevitably, there’s a lot of duplication as two crisp vinyl albums that originally clocked in at around 35 minutes apiece
are expanded over nine audio discs and two Blu-rays, so that we end up with 10 versions of “Lady D’Arbanville”, and 16 of “Wild World”. But maybe you can’t have too much of a good thing. 1970 was Stevens’ annus mirabilis and Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman represent the high tide of his troubadour triumph. As he became a pop star for the second time round, he never sounded so real and true again.

The post Cat Stevens – Mona Bone Jakon/Tea For The Tillerman 50th Anniversary boxsets appeared first on UNCUT.

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