“I think I was reaching quite high from the beginning. I may not have had any right to be, but I was. I was always interested in people that were older than me and I looked up to them – people really from a different era to me: Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, even writers like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I wasn’t particularly influenced by my contemporaries. They weren’t very good.”


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There’s a great video on uncut.co.uk at the moment of Neil Young singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in affectionate celebration of Willie Nelson, who was, astonishingly, 80 last month.


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The last time I had occasion to write about my old friend BP Fallon in Uncut was in March, 2010, when he’d just released his debut single, produced by Jack White and released by Jack’s Third Man Records as the first in the label’s new Spoken Word-Instructional record Series. “Fame #9” was backed with “BP Fallon Interview By Jack White” and “I Believe In Elvis Presley”, on which White played some viperish slide guitar, with The Raconteurs’ Patrick Keeler on drums. There was also a video, featuring some of BP’s many friends, including Kevin Shields, Bobby Gillespie and Gemma Hayes.


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The full line-up for this year’s Great Escape festival in Brighton was announced today and along with it the line-up for the Uncut Stage at the Pavilion Theatre, where we’ll be hosting three nights of great music from May 16-May 18, with four bands each night. It’s probably our strongest-ever Great Escape bill and includes several of my own current favourites, among them Phosphorescent, Allah-Las, Lord Huron and Mikal Cronin, although there’s no one I’d really want to miss.


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“To make true political music,” the great American critic Greil Marcus wrote nearly 25 years ago, “you have to say what decent people don’t want to hear; that’s something that people fit for satellite benefit concerts will never understand, and that Elvis Costello understood before anyone heard his name.”


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When I first started reading what used to be Melody Maker, in a time now shrouded not so much in what are usually called the mists of time as they are in a fog as dense as anything that might gather over Dogger Bank, I used to accept its weekly delivery in the manner of some kind of jackal, cur or otherwise fanged and ravenous critter.


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Shameless plug coming your way! This Thursday, March 14, the next in our ongoing series of Ultimate Music Guides hits the shops. This one is dedicated to The Smiths.


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The world and nearly everyone in it has been reduced to trembling excitement by the return of David Bowie, but for some of us there is another recent resurrection perhaps even more miraculous and just as unexpected, a comeback by The Replacements, who today release online the Songs For Slim EP, their first new recordings in more than 20 years.


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David Bowie’s return to active service with The Next Day has been described as the greatest comeback ever and I’m sure every Bowie fan is hoping this will in fact be the truth of the matter when they finally get to hear the album, which is released on March 11, still a tantalising couple of weeks away at the time of writing.


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In his memoir, Prince Among Stones: That Business With The Rolling Stones And Other Adventures, which I’ve just reviewed for the next Uncut, Prince Rupert Loewenstein, who was the band’s financial adviser for nearly 40 years, reflects at one point about how time as he gets older has started, as they say, to fly. Thinking about this, he is reminded of a famous quote by the grand old thespian, John Gielgud, who wryly remarked that in his old age time had started to speed by at such a pace that it seemed like breakfast was being served every 10 minutes.


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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...