As autumns rusting leaves and damp tendrils wrap their glorious technicolur around us and summer is bansihed to the back room for another year we await gig season with baited breath and ear plus at the ready!
We are ready for our own music and books festival in November - we would love to see you there and meet you...full details from below...https://louderthanwordsfest.com/whats-on/
Sorry about the delay in this weeks newsletter I’ve been, what some would say, gallivanting or what I would call working in Estonia. Finally! I have made it out of the country to an event. It was Tallinn Music Week - the music conference and festival thingy in the capital of Estonia that is considered by many to be the best of its kind. With an emphasis on music and culture and ideas - this is less of a business type gathering than a place of great eclectic music and future thinking.
Louder Than War is well respected in these parts and we go every year. There is always a new musical idea or a game changing new band that enthrals us and the first of two reports on the event is here.
This is a review of the opening night which was a concert that featured an eloquent speech from the country’s leader (imagine that!) and a soundscape that captured the sights and sounds of the surrounding city with keyboards and drones into an enthralling piecehttps://louderthanwar.com/Tallinn-music-week-2021-opening-night-live-review-where-modern-classical-meets-dark-matter-electronics/
It’s been a sad week with the loss of glam rock veteran John Rossall from The Glitter Band. This one was closer than many of the recent departures from the music world as we knew John really well. I had even made an album with him - the recent ‘The Last Glam In Town’ which is the last glam album and a final outpost of the culture that dominated the seventies that we grew up with.
A decade ago I had persuaded John to make one last album - and an album that had an edge to it and work with some of the bands that had been so influenced in many different ways by the Glitter Band. The idea was that John would co-write a song with the likes of Youth, Marco, myself and other bands like the Nightingales etc…it didn’t quite end up that way but the album sounded great with a proper big production and we made sure that its mixture of glam rock and post punk worked.https://louderthanwar.com/john-rossall-the-glitter-band-rip/
We also lost the super agent - Steve Strange. It was a measure of just how loved Steve was to see the outpouring of universal grief for a live gig agent. Steve was a real character - his ebullient personality and genuine love of music filled every room he was in and his loyalty and determination saw the bands he worked with handed deserved careers. He himself was louder and more exiting than many of the bands he worked with and his passion for what he did and his volcanic sense of humour will be sorely missed.https://louderthanwar.com/steve-strange-best-ears-in-the-business-and-much-loved-live-agent-rip/
We also lost Greg Gilbert of the Delays. Since his diagnosis of inoperable cancer nearly five years ago Greg Gilbert had became much more than just the singer and front-man of indie-dreampop band Delays.
He produced paintings and drawings, wrote poetry, engaged with socialist politics online and lived with cancer, but didn’t waste a minute.
Gregs poetry was published after being selected by Carol Ann Duffy for the 2019 Laureate’s Choice Collection. And his art exhibition ran for five months at Southampton Art Gallery.https://louderthanwar.com/greg-gilbert-from-the-band-delays-has-died/
Somehow defying this trend of losing key players and much loved musical heroes, Shane McGowan remains the poet laureate of the disposed. His ribald ramshackle poetry is the bitches brew of genius and full of a wild stream of tales that no matter how imaginative and wild cannot match his own own life. Somehow he is still with his laughing his hissing laugh and dominating Christmas every year with his cackling guttural genius anthem. Punk protagonist, legendary drinker, Irish musical icon. The complete and extraordinary journey of the Pogues’ notorious frontman from outcast to national treasure has never been told – until now. A Furious Devotion vividly recounts the experiences that shaped the greatest songwriter of his generation: the formative trips to his mother’s homestead in Tipperary, the explosion of punk that changed his life, and the drink and drugs that nearly ended it.https://louderthanwar.com/a-furious-devotion-the-authorised-story-of-shane-macgowan-book-review/
Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks are touring their Last Domino show in the UK through September and October. Whilst this last hurrah has picked up much press attention, another extensive (and much Covid delayed) tour of Genesis music is taking place at the same time in the form of Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited.
Hackett, who left the band in 1977 keeps the earlier music of the band alive in a way that the official version of Genesis sadly doesn’t.https://louderthanwar.com/steve-hacketts-genesis-revisited-on-tour-now/
Punk’s own Elvis Billy Idol managed to turn a sneer into a career and his astutely brilliant survival sees him still selling out stadiums decades after having a hit. He returns to the UK in 2022…https://louderthanwar.com/billy-idol-announces-2022-uk-stadium-tour/
Never Mind The Buzzcocks returned to our screens last week. The programme where comedians you have never heard of get to take the piss out of musicians that you have heard of was always an exercise in snark and has somehow survived through the decades. Will the new series continue this tradition?https://louderthanwar.com/never-mind-the-buzzcocks-episode-1-of-the-sky-re-boot-reviewed/
Alabama 3’s career is full of madness, magic and music. Living life to the full they have somehow not only survived but thrived and have become a festival staple bringing the party to an endless patchwork of fields with their acid house C’n’W groove. God knows how they do it and god knows how they find the time from their extensive bar propping and tap room rioting but they do as our interviewer finds out…
‘I’ve lived in South London and worked in the music scene since the ’80s and know most of the band – primarily through drinking in The Prince Albert in Coldharbour Lane and the other late-night watering holes around Brixton. Unchanged by fame, as far as I can see, they’re a great, down to earth bunch of loveable and articulate scoundrels.’https://louderthanwar.com/Alabama-3-interview-with-rob-spragg-aka-larry-love/
Elbow returned from their effaced Covid break with a series of shows. It’s funny to think of the group as a veteran bunch of old stagers but they are so woven into the patchwork of the UK musical narrative. At the final night of Elbow’s three-show run at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo, Nils van der Linden experiences a show running over with joyful singalongs, hope and despair, and stellar new songs.https://louderthanwar.com/elbow-eventim-Apollo-London-live-review/