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LTW Newsletrer 37

Welcome warriors!

It's been a week where memories have dominated the narrative. Louder Than War pottered down to the beautiful John Rylands library in Manchester to celebrate the opening of the Great British Pop Archive - a joint affair between Jon Savage and Manchester University that is dedicated in creating the biggest archive of pop junk and memorabilia you have ever seen. It's already an amazing resource and is open to the public and full of all that stuff you have in the loft but given a new purpose as it documents the wonderful pop culture that we are so good at in the UK. On Saturday we then went to the 40th anniversary of the Hacienda which was in the car park that is all that remains from the legendary venue that is now, of course, posh city centre flats! The car park was the old Hacienda cellar which used to be a trip on its own being full of New Order and Factory bands backline and sporadic props and artwork and probably piles of cash and drugs (joking!). Of course it was chaotic and Tony Wilson would have grinned at the on going chaos - the fire department the night before split the capacity in two meaning the promoters had to make the night into two shifts which didn't please the public!

In many ways a British Pop Archive turned into pop perfection, The Pet Shop Boys, delivered their epic pop cool around the arenas this week. Their sardonic yet emotional brilliance saw them showcase their pop perfection that is littered with hooks and reference points and was captivating and thrilling for our reviewer.

Gawd! Another 40th! Its really weird when your own youth becomes ancient history. What was once the now is now encased in memory stone! The Clash's 'Combat Rock' came out 40 years ago and was initially treated as the great comeback but has seemed to have faded from the frontline in the past few decades which is a shame as its an album that saw a band moving forward whilst honouring their own manifesto and fusing their London punk rock suss with an embrace of all the thrilling street culture coming out of New York at the time. It's a hint of where the Clash could have gone next but of course they fucked it up when they lost Mick Jones....

Worry ye not! There is still great new music being made out there. The London jazz genius Shabaka has released his first solo track and its a wonderful and atmospheric piece.

We were sorry to hear of the death of the great Microdisney and Fatima Mansions frontman Cathal Coughlan. The charismatic singer from Cork died at the age of 61 and leaves behind a brilliant legacy of music and ideas - it was great to interview him last year about his life and his music.

A reconstituted My Chemical Romance popped over to the UK this week and seem to be settling comfortably into their new veteran band status! For a certain generation they are a legendary band and played out their Emo Goth role to perfection and did that thing that these bands are eternally great out - they allowed people to dare to be different whilst creating a soundtrack for them to do it!

Trouser snake rock is an old form that died out in the late seventies but it still retains a popularity and its king pins Whitesnake somehow still sell out arenas. Our new young rock writer was oddly pretty excited about the prospect of seeing them and reports back below.

The poptastic Marina writes witty and perfect modern pop songs about life - full of great lyrics and captivatingly catchy choruses and with her Day-Glo image has created a homegrown star - a Katy Perry from the Welsh valleys but somehow with better songs. We checked out her recent Manchester show and got some great photos along with a report...

The Sex Pistols mini series is finally upon us with all the expected hoo hah and Pistolian carnage surrounding it. Mr. Rotten is not happy and continues to tell everyone whilst Cook and Jones get on with the red carpet business. Initial reports are that, despite the trailer, the The four part caper is actually pretty good. Meanwhile we interviewed Paul Cook about the series, his life, his music and dealing with Johnny.

We saw that parts of the classic John Peel collection may be up for sale and wondered if they were flogging off his Bogshed vinyls - might be a good time as there is a Bogshed box set finally coming out next year!

The wonderful Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins and Massive Attack fame has released the second track from her upcoming album and its utterly wonderful - listen now!

If you feel like doing something off kilter then we recommend Acidfest - its in Iceland and full of bands that sound like they know what LSD stands for. More like geysers than geezers this is one for the freaks out there...

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