The announcement by The Damned that they'll be playing the London Forum in April to celebrate Captain Sensible's 60th birthday and tickets for it will cost what they would have in 1977 has caused a lot of excitement among the band's venerabe fans and reminded me of the following mad escapade from that lively year.


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What sounded like the roof coming off the house sometime in the early hours of last Sunday morning during what you can only hope was the last of the winter’s great storms woke me with a start, stirring me from a hugely disturbing dream in which I was on Mastermind answering questions in my specialist round on The Vicar of Dibley, Seasons 1-3 (1994-2007).


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There’s a very good feature in the current Uncut on the making of XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel”, which reminded me of a time when I was often in their company, usually in far flung corners of the world, far from their Swindon homes, including the following adventure.


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The new issue of Uncut went on sale at the end of last week, with a cover story by Peter Watts on The Ramones that celebrates the 40th anniversary of a band of punk misfits from Forest Hills, New York, who revolutionised rock’n’roll, the opening lines of one of whose earliest songs, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, gives its name to this month’s free CD.


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Fans of BBC’s Sherlock will know that the legendary detective has what he calls a Memory Palace, in which he is given to roam around, looking usually for clues to mysteries galore. My own equivalent is a sort of Memory Shed, where I am inclined to potter, most recently after reading Peter Watts’ excellent cover story on The Ramones in the current Uncut.


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Anyone who’s read any of Robert Gordon’s previous books, like Can’t Be Satisfied, for instance, his great biography of Muddy Waters, will no doubt be looking forward to Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, Gordon’s history of the legendary Memphis label, which is published this month by Bloomsbury.


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The new issue of Uncut has just gone on sale. The Kinks are on the cover and inside we have exclusive interviews with Ray and Dave Davies, who tell us what it will take for them to get back together to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary in 2014, so we’ve titled this month’s free CD after one of their early hits.


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This is the last newsletter of 2013, and therefore an appropriate moment perhaps to thank you for your support over the last 12 months and wish you all the best for the New Year. The next time you hear from me, our first issue of 2014 will already be out – we’ll be on sale from Friday, January 3 – so here’s a brief taster of what to expect.


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The current issue of Uncut comes with a rather spiffing free 52-page magazine that hosts our essential guide to the best new albums, reissues, box sets, films, DVDs and books of 2013. This year we’ve expanded our new album section to a Top 80, as voted for by the Uncut staff and nigh on 50 of our regular contributors.


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First of all this week, let me quickly plug our most recent Ultimate Music Guide, which is dedicated to Depeche Mode. As with previous specials in the Ultimate Music Guide series on David Bowie, the Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul Weller, The Clash, Nick Cave, The Kinks, U2, REM and The Smiths – all of which you can order online at uncut.co.uk/store or order digitally at uncut.co.uk/download – Depeche Mode – The Ultimate Music Guide features brand new reviews of all Depeche’s albums, written by a stellar team of Uncut scribes, plus a ton of vintage interviews from the archives of Melody Maker and NME, reprinted for the first time in years and covering the whole of the band’s career from their first stirrings in deepest Basildon in the early 80s.

Depeche Mode – The Ultimate Music Guide is on sale now.


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Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Dave Edmunds at 70! Happy birthday, boyo!


First of all, there was the somewhat staggering recent news that Captain Sensible was about to turn 60. Then a few weeks ago, Nick Lowe was 65. And today, it turns out, Dave Edmunds, Nick’s former best mate and partner in Rockpile...