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LTW Newsletter 16

Welcome Warriors

It has been a week full of tragedy I’m sorry to say and we have lost many of our musical kith and kin. The loss of Brian Travers from UB40 touched a lot of us personally as the approachable sax player was very much part of the Midlands music fabric and a popular and well loved figure in the city and on the scene. On the same day we also lost Olli Wisdom the singer from the Specimen and the instigator of the eighties Goth culture driver - the Batcave club. Olli was a lovely person and another death that touched a lot of people we know personally.

Then came the big one as another of the giants left the stage with death of Charlie Watts who none of us know personally but it felt like we did in that curious way that legendary bands enter into our lives with their glorious soundtracks. The Rolling Stones are so much part of the fabric of our times and it felt like Charlie was going to be with us for ever with his stoic smile and perfect heartbeat drumming. The Stones are utterly totemic and like the Beatles seep into every corner of our lives. They were the founding fathers and we now living in the twilight of the gods - the sixties generation are dwindling and that glorious decade is retreating into history. Charlie was such a brilliant drummer - creating the heartbeat that drove more dance floors than any other drummer - I’m willing to bet that the Rolling Stones are the most danced to group of all time and Charlie was the prime mover in this - a wonderful drummer and wonderful presence who defined a sardonic cool.

John Hall was a fixture on the Manchester scene - one of those faces that would always be lurking at every show in town and part of that community of committed gig goers who are the trampoline for so many up and coming bands to bounce off. Tragically John died last week of cancer but he was alive for just enough time for this magical gig that celebrated his life headlined by Peter Hook and Cabbage. (Opens in a new window)

Jim Bob was one half of the pun heavy Carter USM who defied fashion to end up being one of the biggest bands of their period. Dressed in cycling gear in the middle of grunge and baggy and out of step with the prevailing musical scenes they created their own universe with their catchy songs and witty social commentary that made them the perfect underdogs. These days operating separately and Jim Bob returns with another dose of clever wordplay and catchy songs that encapsulate his world wise view of modern Britain (Opens in a new window)

Shaun Ryder is a legend and national treasure. He is also the hardest working man in showbiz touring both the Mondays and Black Grape and also during the lockdown finding an old unreleased album down the back of his sofa which he has just released it on his own label - it’s a wonderful treasure trove of perfect wonky pop and the kind of leering lyrical genius that we all love Shaun for and a great album. (Opens in a new window)

Van Morrison has been an awkward presence during lockdown and his anti vaccine stance makes him across like a Piers Corbyn type figure shouting at the clouds. We respect anyone’s point of view though no matter whether we agree with them or not and we sent a reviewer along to Manchester Apollo to see if the grumpy van man was till delivering the musical goods. (Opens in a new window)

The festivals are back and there have been a whole clutch of them this week including Bloodstock - one of the prime metal festivals. Bloodstock 2021 wowed thousands of music fans in its epic return to normality; from the atmosphere to the bands, to the people who run the show. Our new writer Lucy Shevchuk wrote her debut piece on the event and also found time to interview Barney of the infamous Napalm Death and chatted with Alex, vocalist of the upcoming incredible Malevolence. (Opens in a new window)

Kevin Martin aka The Bug is on the verge of releasing Fire: a new LP of heavy, speaker-shaking dub, dancehall and noise with an impressive cast of MCs and co-conspirators. Martin sat down with our Andy Brown for a chat, to discuss the pandemic, live music, his array of projects and his unyielding passion for music. We hear tales about Techno Animal, an ill-fated headline slot at the Supersonic festival and the time he was effectively banned from playing in Holland. Despite the vaguely apocalyptic nature of the chat, Martin is a really friendly and enthusiastic interviewee throughout. Ever the optimist, you’ll find The Bug smiling and laughing as he drops beats into an increasingly insane world. (Opens in a new window)

Kraftwerk are arguably one of the most influential bands of all time. It’s hard to work out if they are even a bandar travelling robots! The electronic music pioneers were a key imprint on techno, electronic, house and hip hop and they came out of late sixties Germany long hair music - it’s been a fascinating trajectory. They have somehow never dated and their music defines timelessness and this week founder member Ralf Hutter was 74 which our writer celebrated here. (Opens in a new window)

Growing up music was central to our lives. Everyone defined themselves by music but is this the case any more? Our writer, Banjo, has written thought provoking piece that asks if music is actually that important to the younger generations… asking, ‘The reason that I have felt compelled to take to my keyboard and write this article is that one member of this Facebook music group showed photographs of people following bands around to her children, who were moved to comment, “Isn’t it mad how important music was to old people?” (Opens in a new window)


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