One of the weirder and more heartening musical shifts of the past few years has been the way post-rockers have moved into looser, hairier, trad rock terrain. I’m thinking of records like Jim O’Rourke’s southern-tinged “Insignificance”, perhaps (Incidentally, O’Rourke has broken his musical exile, after a fashion, with something called Osorezan; more on that soon), as well as that palpable move towards heavy jams and psych by any number of college rock types in the wake of Stephen Malkmus. And so on.


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“Class of ’88 reunion,” announces Sonic Boom. He has just played “Transparent Radiation” and is about to launch – launch may not be the right word, exactly; slope, perhaps? – into an excellent “When Tomorrow Hits”. In front of me, someone is wearing a “Goo” t-shirt. On the way to the Roundhouse, someone randomly proffered an open bottle of amyl. Only Sonic Boom’s haircut appears to have changed, slightly, in the intervening 20 years.


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“Class of ’88 reunion,” announces Sonic Boom. He has just played “Transparent Radiation” and is about to launch – launch may not be the right word, exactly; slope, perhaps? – into an excellent “When Tomorrow Hits”. In front of me, someone is wearing a “Goo” t-shirt. On the way to the Roundhouse, someone randomly proffered an open bottle of amyl. Only Sonic Boom’s haircut appears to have changed, slightly, in the intervening 20 years.


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A fascinating one, this. For some of us, Michael Nyman provided a sort of entry point into the world of modern classical music, thanks to his scores for those inscrutable Peter Greenaway films through the ‘80s and early ‘90s.


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Looking through the extensive musical bill for Latitude, there aren't many artists making a return from last year's line-up. But on Saturday on the Uncut Stage, Kendal's extraordinary Wild Beasts will be making a much-deserved second visit to Henham Park.


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An exciting, slightly confusing package arrived for me last week, addressed to John Mulvey at Melody Maker; a magazine which hasn’t existed for, what, eight years, and which, in any case, I never worked for. Beneath the address, though, was a tantalising tagline: “Compliments of Van Dyke Parks”.


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A couple of regular Uncut.co.uk readers posted messages on our Wild Mercury Sound blog this week to sing the praises of Elbow’s Meltdown gig at the Royal Festival Hall. According to this review on the Observer blog, the show featured a giant organ, a choir of Guy Garvey lookalikes and children with trumpets.


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I was just settling down to watch the football last night, when the phone rang. I picked up the receiver, but it was one of those – usually incredibly annoying – calls from a gig, where you can just hear a song reverberating around the venue. After a few seconds I could make out a baritone invocation, some ethereal harmonies in the far distance, and a generally spectral air that was uncannily enhanced by the phoneline. Leonard Cohen, singing “Who By Fire” in Manchester, at his first British date for some 15 years.


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It’s hard to remember the last time the venerable Archdrude played a major British festival – I have a faint memory of some brilliant, mildly alarming show one Reading afternoon in the mid ‘90s. But it’s testimony to Latitude’s cultured charms that Julian Cope – author, ancient historian, Gnostic adventurer and, lest we forget, a tremendous rock star – will be playing the Uncut Arena on Friday July 17.


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Strange to relate, but not long ago, plenty of people were tipping Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong as the next big thing. I was looking at the BBC Sound Of 2008 list a few minutes ago, to check up on the progress of their tips, and the Music Hack Hivemind appears to have managed a pretty good strikerate thus far this year.


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Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...