LTW newsletter 40
I’ve just crawled back from Glastonbury and back to the real world. It’s a strange experience to stay up for three days straight with about ten surrounding stages of music surrounding your temporary abode with a perfect pot pour of African free jazz, thunderous techno, Macca’s triumphant 80th, grime, mainstream pop and plaintive folk all at the same time swirling around your head. It’s like a snapshot of 2022 culture! And then you unleash yourself back into real life with a thousand yard stare and a slight culture dislocation!
I had no idea when I was there in the middle of the magic and the mayhem that the festival had become such a huge talking point across social media! Seems like everyone has an opinion of what it should be or what it used to be! Maybe it’s the TV coverage, which I’ve never really seen, that gives the wrong impression but the comments I read on Facebook etc don’t really reflect the experience of actually being there!
I was the compere of Billy Bragg’s Left Field stage which combines political debates with the likes of Andy Burnham, Chris Packham and Steve Rotheram and lots of great bands each evening like Yard Act, Billy Nomates, The Magic Numbers and a whole host of new young combos. I even found time on the never ending train home to review it…!
This week on Louder Than War we are thrilled to have followed up our recent excitement about becoming the UK’s 5th most read music website with a new surge in reader numbers with most articles on the site almost doubling the amount of views. This is very exciting and it feels like the site is really moving forward - thanks to your support which means we can keep paying people for their work on the site and also pay the rest of the site bills.
We have several new subscribers on board as well!
Hello and welcome aboard!!
Please message us if you want to ask something and also get ready for the upcoming new book giveaway…
Prog rock champs Yes may be down to one member now but they still sounded great at their recent London show according to our prog writer who was at the show. The ensuing positive review caused some dissension in the Yes fan ranks with many miffed that the Jon Anderson version of the band is no more. There is little time left though for many of these bands and their fans to fuss over - these are the last days of these older generation groups…allow them their lap of honour!https://louderthanwar.com/yes-royal-albert-hall-london-live-review/
Ian Rankin is the best selling Scottish author whose Rebus series of books are brilliantly dark books that are entwined with his home city of Edinburgh and post punk references. John Robb interviewed him in-depth on his Rebus books, the art of writing, his love of music and much more…https://louderthanwar.com/ian-rankin-the-john-robb-interview/
LTW fave St Vincent has been on the UK road after her triumphant Glastonbury set. Her music is stunning and currently embraces an almost Prince type funk soaked sex strut and she’s an incredible guitar player. Our reviewer was overcome and no wonder - St Vincent is at the top of her considerable powers and her albums get better and better as she explores deeply personal subject matter with brilliant songs full of drama, tunes and a stunning soul power.https://louderthanwar.com/st-vincent-manchester-academy-live-review/
That most marmite of bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a huge London show that was probably sniffed at by the legion of naysayers and yet the 60 000 sold out crowd was thrilled by the band’s mesmerising set that crossed their jukebox of endless hits with free form jams. There can be much annoying about the band’s Californication swagger and yet they also harbour an amazing sensitivity and melodic nous in their macho strut.https://louderthanwar.com/red-hot-chili-peppers-london-stadium-london-live-review/
That most infernal of bands, Killing Joke, have announced a date at London’s Albert Hall next year where they will play their first two albums in full. There is much excitement about this event in darker circles and tickets will sell fast - details here…https://louderthanwar.com/killing-joke-announce-special-london-show-at-the-albert-hall/
Another post punk classic band was Wire who many believe pioneered the form. The band have released a section of old demos which of course are as full of ideas and perfect pop melodies in the dense twisted sound as any of their better known albums. The band have remastered and officially released what was previously a bootleg collection of demos for their 1978/79 Harvest albums ‘Chairs Missing’ and ‘154’ – ‘a fascinating snapshot of Wire in transition’ now sounds more like a ‘classic lost album’ according to Ged Babey.https://louderthanwar.com/wire-not-about-to-die-album-review/
Hollie Cook is the daughter of the Sex Pistols legendary drummer and cut her teeth in a later day line up of The Slits. Currently releasing great solo albums that mash up reggae, post punk and a perfect pop she remains on tat roll with her new album, ‘Happy Hour’, that sees her mature into the queen of modern-day Lovers Rock.https://louderthanwar.com/hollie-cook-happy-hour-album-review/
Upcoming Manc hopefuls, The Shed Project, are older geezers who are steeped in the deft melodic touch of the Roses. It maybe old school but they transcend this with their own melodic skills and surprisingly light touch that is seeing them building up a big following in the home city.https://louderthanwar.com/the-shed-project-manchester-academy-live-review/
The coolest of cool, Bryan Ferry, is still the louche velvet voiced frontman of the iconic Roxy Music whose style and artful art school foppishness was such a huge influence on British pop culture. The much loved crooner has been busy with his typewriter and has a book of lyrics out that we pour over in this review…https://louderthanwar.com/lyrics-bryan-ferry-book-review/
Soap Girls are South African duo who like to wear skimpy outfits that look like chandeliers and whose goose pimple cold fleshiness saw them swop their pop roots for a punkier taker on life and music. Their album has raised eyebrows on the scene so we sent our reviewer to get to the bottom of this…https://louderthanwar.com/the-soapgirls-in-my-skin-album-review/