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As I sit here in early June I look out of my window at the glorious grey skies and endless pouring rain of a monochromatic English summer. The relentless grinding weather has already made the couple of festivals I’ve gingerly waded around been something of a wash out - one of which saw the promoters nervously spending the weekend looking at the rolling Met weather forecast on their mobile phones hoping a thunderstorm did not break within five miles which would have meant closing the festival down for a couple of hours. Not only this potential curveball, there was also the rising river levels of the nearby watery way being an inch from breaking its banks…it’s been a nightmare season for suncream manufacturers! Welcome to the English summer! Wading through this is pretty grim but at least we have lots of music to wade through as well.

Pretty vacant!

The big news this week has been the Sex Pistols reforming - or 3/4 of that glorious band with the engine room reforming with Matlock, Jones and Cook coming back together to play a benefit for the Bush Hall venue in Hammersmith. 

It’s a worthy cause and one that should be celebrated. 

Sadly, it looks like the family squabble with Mr Rotten is ongoing, and he will not be there in all his confounding charisma. His stand-in for the two shows is Frank Carter from the Rattlesnakes, who will make a pretty good stab at filling in the biggest boots in music.

We think the shows will be fantastic - even in their dotage the Sex Pistols are one of the greatest bands that this country has ever produced and their glorious sonic barrage will be something to behold as they blast their way through Never Mind The Bollocks from one end to the other. (Opens in a new window)

Speaking of classic bands, the whole film of the Stone Roses's fabled Spike Island gig has been found. Parts of this rumoured film have emerged over the years - indeed, Shane Meadows used some of it in his film, but the whole lot has just been a whispered hope amongst aficionados until now. The questions are not just about its existence but about the fact that someone forgot they had it! And also, what the fuck is going to happen to it.

There is talk of making it into a film, but that would take some work to bring the scratchy footage up to date but then after the Beatles ‘Get Back’ project nothing is beyond the realm of tech these days. (Opens in a new window)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have been long term faves here at LTW. The Australian psych band seem relentless in their creativity and barely a month goes by without us reviewing a new album from them! The twists and turns in their musical plot endlessly fascinate us. They have moved the music around in all directions and somehow remain as captivatingly odd and hypnotic as ever.

Currently, on a UK tour, we caught up with them in Bristol. (Opens in a new window)

Tim Booth from James has been busy! Not just with the band who never seemed to stop - he’s also found time to write a novel! When I Died For The First Time tells the story of Seth Brakes – lead singer of The Lucky Fuckers and drug addict, trying to get his life back on track after a near-death experience, with his band members and record label agreeing to give him one final chance to prove himself.  Fresh from a book tour to promote this debut novel, Tim Booth chats with Louder Than War’s Natalie Royle about sex, psychedelic therapy and not confirming to societal norms. (Opens in a new window)

Three centuries of anarchy, chaos and destruction! In one of the most heartwarming stories in punk rock it was great to see Rat Scabies back playing drums with the Damned. One of the great drummers, his erratic career seemed like it was going to leave just memories, but in one last hurrah, he is back! and the band have never sounded better. 

The reports coming back from their tour have been ecstatic, and we had to get a review of this glorious moment. (Opens in a new window)

It’s been a bumpy year for everyone, and the belt-tightening has affected the music economy with bands struggling to get by and now festivals in all kinds of trouble. It’s funny now to think that growing up in the seventies, music was a place where people were thought to be heading to make large amounts of money to escape from the grind of life - now it seems the other way round and driven by passion and bankruptcy. Far from the seventies, excess music now seems to be a place where people struggle. The latest news story is of a whole raft of festivals that have been going bust this summer… (Opens in a new window)

Spotify has long been controversial - for all its upsides - accessibility of music and a great place to find new tunes, it has got its critics. The money thing is often a misunderstanding and it is possible to make some kind of money out of the model if you understand that the record labels are also taking a big cut from your dosh but none of this is helped by the person that runs the company and his ill-considered musings on Twitter that created a lot of criticism this week. (Opens in a new window)

Gary Numan has continued his triumphant tour this week that sees everyone’s favourite sci fi android pop star culminate a string of dates at the Roundhouse. Numan has never sounded better and his remarkable late career bloom continues with another triumphant show. (Opens in a new window)

The enigmatic princess of dark disco pop noir, Mango In Euphoria, has returned with a haunting slice of heartbreak pop that drips melody and spectral emotion. ‘Lovestruck’ is her best yet. (Opens in a new window)

The Wave Gotik Treffen Festival is the biggest Goth festival in Europe. Thousands of black clad hordes descend up Leipzig in Germany to celebrate rooks, ravens and crows on stage and the dark energy of the music noir. We despatched our team there to celebrate the on going brilliance of Miranda Sex Garden and other fellow artists and also the audience who, perhaps, are the true stars of this exotic show.


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