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LTW Warriors newsletter 20

Welcome Warriors!

It’s been another week where the comedic farce of the real world lurches towards a curious dystopia with each passing day. Sid James stars in ‘Carry on Dystopia’ as the baffled bumbling PM? Way beyond parody the crumbling infrastructure this week sees our hapless PM try to ‘save Christmas’ again like the over stuffed turkey that he is whilst chucking millions of tax dollars towards the American billionaires who own our CO2 industry so that the hapless xmas turkeys can be preserved. Turkeys voting for xmas! Phew! At least we can breathe out and relax in our parallel universe of musical endeavour.

Strange that the craziness that used to fill the musical side of things has now been left to inhabit the ‘real world’ and the lunatic craziness that was once the life blood of the empire of sound is now for board rooms and cabinet meetings. This week in music has been a helter skelter of magic activity tinged with a real sadness - some of our world has been celebratory and some of it quite sad.

Nick Cave continued his tour of unlikely towns and cities popping in places like my home town of Blackpool and also Stoke and Bradford where Andy Brown caught up with his brilliant performance with Warren Ellis that had everything from theatre, drama, darkness, melody, soundscapes and great aching songs - it was an evening where magic, melancholy and communal euphoria ensued to get lost in. (Opens in a new window)

Another old stager - the eternally youthful Johnny Marr popped out on tour again with a wonderfully catchy new single and an upcoming album to support. The nimble fingered craftsman made quite an impression on our reviewer who reported that ‘Johnny Fucking Marr’ chant was ringing around the venue free of the tiresome laddishness that can blight these sorts of gigs, but instead is a heartfelt tribute to the greatest guitarist of his generation who has reinvented himself as a really good frontman.’ (Opens in a new window)

Roisin Murphy has also been with his some time and we celebrate her return to the stage here. She has been at the forefront of the club and dance music scene since the 1990s and last night Louder Than War’s Martin Mathews and photographer Melanie Smith were at her sold-out Academy Manchester gig to witness her enforcing Murphy’s Law… (Opens in a new window)

Fear not though, the world is not full of old stagers with Generation X or even older generations stomping the stages for ever and we don't mean the Rolling Stones who have been accused of being ‘too old’ since they were a breathtaking 28 years old!

The world is also full of young bands and we were fascinated to hear of grunge revival when an enterprising young label called Grungepop got in touch with us with an amazing roster of young grunge teenage groups. If there is one thing that we have found constantly true in pop culture it’s that as soon as one music scene is consigned to the dustbin of history then it will suddenly re-emerge all revitalised and fresh and how revitalised does this all sound ! The label have discovered this wonderful young Manchester band called Stereotyped who we rave about here… (Opens in a new window)

All this interest was sparked by the great Nirvana doc that was BBC2 last week that saw a hefty contribution from Louder Than War - we get asked to be on so many of the music docs but this one was pretty special celebrating the UK’s love of Nirvana and how that embrace was key to the development of the band and also gave them their first audience. The white heat of UK pop culture is always seeking out new sounds and is always the first to get into new things. We have a lot of history with Nirvana - I was the first person to write about the band back in the day when I was writing for Sounds and that history is detailed here (Opens in a new window)

Another newish young band that we have become enraptured by are Sea Fever and their melodic songs that combine almost west coast classic sixties melodies are aligned to New Order style pop electronics - pop-tronics anyone? They have a great fresh sound and also have connections with one of the great post punk bands Section 25 - we reported on the band here. (Opens in a new window)

The Lathums are hurtling to number one with their album proof that there is a whole new musical history being written. It’s fascinating how the blokes with guitars model defy fashion and never seem to end and despite most media ignoring the phenomena it just continues to write new chapters at its own pace. From Wigan, The Lathums finally get their debut album out there after putting their plans on hold the last year and a half. We take a listen and talk to singer Alex Moore about the album, his influences and their swift rise. (Opens in a new window)

We were sorry to hear of the death of Cabaret Voltaire founder Richard H Kirke. The band, who formed in Sheffield in 1974, really were game changers taking home made electronics and imagination into a whole new direction and it’s hard to imagine just how groundbreaking they were operating in Sheffield in the pre internet ea when geography and isolation were key factors. All they had was that imagination and a sense of possibility to create such a breath taking journey of music and sound and Richard was a key part of that. (Opens in a new window)

Just up the road in Wakefield another ground breaker was armed with a guitar - Be Bop Deluxe are a fascinating proposition. Bill Nelson is one off the great English guitar players and operating very much under his own steam. His music that was experimental but giving a glam makeover is perfect misfit music and his guitar sound and timbre was massively influential as we celebrate here. The expanded and remastered reissue of Be Bop Deluxe’s 1977 live album, which hit the UK top ten in that year - this 3CD set that is reviewed here is enhanced by the Hammersmith Odeon Concert taken from the same run of shows and a John Peel Session from January 1977. A limited 15CD edition set that contains every recording available from the 1977 tour is also available. Ian Canty takes in the air… (Opens in a new window)

A couple of non written things here to captivate your with - we are posting these podcasts for subscribers. There is a great one here from our American corrospondent Audrey Golden. It’s about music in films and the first in series. Really informative and fascinating.

The first episode of Audrey Golden's podcast for Louder Than War looks at Martha Coolidge's film Valley Girl (1983) (Opens in a new window)

And also we have tickets for our own festival - Louder Than Words. It’s a music and books and writing event that sees a series of in conversations with the likes of Will Sergeant, Buzzcocks book event with original members of the classic band, Barry Adamson, Kevin Cummins on Joy Division and much more more…check the link below for tickets and info! (Opens in a new window)


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