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LTW Newsletter 45

Autumn has overcome us with its thrilling rush of golden yellow and indeed golden browns which is apt as I have to apologise for my absence for a couple of weeks due to gallivanting around Europe in support of the Stranglers with my band the Membranes. We saw many lands and heard Golden brown many times and met many of our fellow travellers and fans of the site so a great jaunt!

In the mean time there has been much happening including prepping our upcoming Louder Than Words music and books festival held in Manchester on Nov 11-13 which sees many names like David Gedge, Miki Beryeni, Stuart Braithwaite, Kevin Cummins and about 60 others come and talk about their new books in a series of in conversations - for more details of the whole bill or special mates rates tickets for people on our subscription —— that’s you! Please go to Mates rates £50 weekend link

In the mean time our hive of reviewers and photographers has been out buzzing about around the many venues around the world starting with Billy idol at the arena in Manchester. These days Billy is a full on gleaming LA superstar whose polished take on the patented Sid Vicious swagger is a hint of where St Sid could have ended up if he had a plan. Billy is the Elvis of punk and a no holds barred old school rock star who does his Sid in Vegas stadium thing even if 1/3 of the seats have not been sold. it's a great show if you can suspend disbelief - which is surely the point of dynamite showbiz.

Billy is far smarter than he is letting on and understands the primal thrust of R’n’R and his world tour is an example of survival in the fast lane., Support came from the incongruous Killing Joke which twitched many eyebrows in the facebookerati but they are both different ends of the showbiz spectrum - one dealing dark apocalyptic punk funk grooves and one living up to his name.

Hugh Cornwell quit the Stranglers decades ago but I guess there is rarely a day when he gets asked about his old band whilst trying to forge his own solo career. His new album is out now and is another crafted of yet off kilter set of pieces of tune-smithery from one of the UK's great lost songwriters. His old band is on the finest of form at the moment and his own under the radar journey possibly suits him better.

Richard Ashcroft swaggered around the Arena bringing his solo show to the city of Manchester. There will always be a big crowd for Richard since the Verve ended up being one of the biggest bands of their generation and he soared to iconic status in the post Britpop meltdown. Those huge anthems are carved into the psyche and arms were held aloft at his sonic terrace anthems and he is still in fine voice.

Roxy Music also played to what looked like the oldest every crowd at a rock gig and sounded damn fine for it. Still svelte and still smooth the band seemed to have grown into their older years very comfortably.

Black Lips  return with their new album Apocalypse Love, exploring new territory while retaining their roots.

Morrissey is the most difficult of the old school and the ultimate test in art v artist debate. His interviews are often car crash and his views on life many find repugnant and yet his live shows are still really good to many. Many find him a too difficult to listen to these days because of his views and yet our reviewer was overcome by emotion and possibly too many words in his review and yet Morrissey remains the most awkward in the canon.

On more familiar territory, Girls In Synthesis are one oft he best of the new breed with their angular pop/noise and their new album is a fine beast as we discuss here.

Fields of the Nephilim have announced two shows of their dark soundtrack post Goth dark energy and will be ably supported by the Membranes in Manchester and London.

Gina Birch of The Raincoats announced a solo painting show that takes her back to her art school roots.

Glastonbury are just one of many event to announce a big ticket price hike..its getting tough out there with band's fees as well as Brexit/Covid and Ukraine fucking up supply lines and the sheer logistics of putting these events on. People expect the full on bells and whistles from live events now and it seems to have got to a point where the large events are almost like lumbering dinosaurs - can they survive?

Feral Five make a return with single Silver Sky taken from their forthcoming album Truth Is The New Gold. The single is out digitally on 12 October, while the album will land 10 February 2023 on limited vinyl, CD and digital with both releases marking a new collaborative partnership with independent label Reckless Yes.

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