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LTW newsletter 68

Hark the turning of the year!

The days are inching longer, and the more adventurous trees and flowers are pushing out their earliest buds. The beavers are frantically splashing around in the cold and damp, collecting driftwood and moss and building their dams; the corvids are fluttering across the mountains and cities, caw cawing at the ebb and flow of our daily life, watching the humans scurrying around, remembering our faces fascinated by our meanderings! The rats are ever present in the cityscapes, lurking behind billboards and hurrying along their rat runs with their paws full of detritus and junk food junk. The seagulls are soaring inland, seeking food and dreaming simultaneously of the ocean and rubbish tips, and the foxes are furtively flashing their fiery fur as they duck and dive in the back gardens and ginnels seeking a midnight snack….

Yes! Spring is somewhere on the horizon - we just have to wrestle with those lingering months of cold and damp that is part of our melancholic soul in these rainy isles! ‘It’s better than living in an arid desert’ we mutter as the wind howls and the rain caresses and drips through our wintry attire!

But enough of the cityscape!

Has there been any musical adventures in this first week of the year…?

But of course…

Louder Than War was straight of out of the traps - the first weekend of 2024 saw us ever present at the rather wonderful Rockaway Beach Festival, conducting in-conversations whilst watching a great bill of bands that perfectly mixed the old and the new with the Cribs, Snayx, Bob Vylan, Skids, Dream Wife, Sleaford Mods and many others. (Opens in a new window)

The death of Annie Nightingale was a sad moment for many of us. She was a wonderful spirit who played so much great music without boundaries in a long career that went back to the very beginnings of Radio One. Annie was the heart and soul of all that is great about music and her sense of adventure and musical breadth of vision was always an influence on us here at LTW. We had also met her many times, and she was as warm and engaging as you hoped. (Opens in a new window)

German band Xmal Deutschland was a much-loved addition to the darker end of the eighties post-punk, and the announcement of a compilation of their work as well as a brand new solo album from their magnetic front-woman Anja Huwe was greeted with much excitement. (Opens in a new window)

It's great to start the new year with a new band to get fired up by, and Erotic Secrets Of Pompeii fitted that bill perfectly. The Bristolian conceptualist criminals debut EP, Trash Jugular pounces at all points with grandiose torrents of hot-wired art-punk. Their arty, artful post-punk is a scratching remake of a familiar model and sound fantastically of the now. They are a  truly thrilling and deliciously dark experience that you must listen to. (Opens in a new window)

A few more dates were added to my ‘Do You Believe In The Power Of Rock n Roll’ tour where I will be talking about my life in music with anecdotes about Manchester, Nirvana, Britpop, punk rock, post-punk, mad raves, crazy gigs and smashing the Berlin wall down with pick axe, and so much more… (Opens in a new window)

Out of the milds of Cheshire, John Squire suddenly reappeared on the scene. The Stone Roses legendary guitarist has teamed up with Liam Gallagher for a new song that summed up both of their strengths in a single that everyone seemed to have an opinion on… (Opens in a new window)

Canadian band No Means No defined the ethics of hard touring, hard-working, complex DIY punk. Their songs were breathtaking in their combo of energy and intricacy, and for several years, they seemed to be touring forever before retiring. It was quite an adventure that has been perfectly captured in this new book. (Opens in a new window)

Our first album of the week in 2024 goes to Bill Ryder Jones who returned with his fifth solo album, his most personal to date and a rumination on the strength that we can find when we look inside ourselves. (Opens in a new window)

Hardy Liverpool perennials The Farm have returned with a new single, which is a classic slice of post-New Order pop. Instead of sounding lumpy and tired, the band sounds fresh and modern - it's a great slice of delicious pop. (Opens in a new window)

Who would have thought that Shaun Ryder would have ended up being the hardest working man in showbiz, but here he is with yet another rekindling of the great Black Grape, whose new album we review here. (Opens in a new window)

Swedish superhuman all-rounder and avant-pop wunderkind Rein recently released her second album, the fantastically titled ‘God Is Woman’  this time on her own label. MK Bennett has a listen and celebrates the power of modern pop where the soundscapes are always fresh and changing. (Opens in a new window)

It was great to run a think piece of the Sophie Coppola 'Priscilla' film that paints Elvis in yet another different light, which is about his young bride. Elvis Himlsevis looked at the deconstruction of an icon and how his film version played out in so many different ways. (Opens in a new window)


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