Ahead of a UK dates to support the new Waterboys album, An Appointment With Mr Yates, Mike Scott will answer your questions in Uncut as part of our regular Audience With... feature.


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Paris, 1968. On the set of a nondescript film called Slogan, 22 year old English actress Jane Birkin finds herself playing the love interest of a washed-up advertising executive undergoing a midlife crisis. In real life, Birkin’s three year marriage to Bond-theme composer John Barry is falling apart. She embarks on an affair with her leading man, a French pop star called Serge Gainsbourg, ushering in a year he would later call “un année erotique”, during which the duo would record a hit single, “Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus”, banned by the BBC for its suggestive sexuality.


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This comes in a cute Dansette-style box stuffed with ten albums of antique Kinkorama and Meet the Kinks!, a fab 1960s style booklet with rare fab pix. For complete retro-authenticity, everything is in mono, this being how the original records were released back in those sacred days (so sacred that “Days” itself is now the theme tune for a car advert).


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Before the rampant egomania, before the bloated double albums, before the mass band purgings and the hagiographic documentary in which Billy Corgan, saintly in white bathrobe, sits in a hotel room writing songs about Nazi Germany and receiving a pair of fans who present him with a huge plaster model of his own head… yeah, it’s easy to forget that before all that stuff, the Smashing Pumpkins used to be a pretty great rock band.


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Thinking about it now, it seems as if many of our favourite film makers decided to take 2011 off. Aside from the Coens' True Grit at the start of the year and Martin Scorsese's foray into children's movies at its close, you could be forgiven for wondering where had all the directors we'd so assiduously championed since Uncut began, in 1997, disappeared off to.


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Elvis Costello wasn’t himself 25 years ago, the musician credits on the two albums he released in 1986 listing him as Little Hands Of Concrete (King Of America) and Napoleon Dynamite (Blood & Chocolate). While the former was a self-mocking reference to his habit of breaking guitar strings, the latter was a more boastful persona who made his stage bow as the mad-eyed master of ceremonies at fairground-like live shows.


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Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

When the Manhattan branch of the Standard Hotel opened for business in summer 2009, it instantly became the hot topic of conversation among New Yorkers. Not as you might think for its stunning views across the Hudson river – but because people were flocking to the park below to watch guests having sex in front of the hotel’s floor to ceiling windows.


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These are, at last, exhilarating times for Bruce Robinson. In the 26 years since his extraordinary debut, Withnail & I, the writer and director has withdrawn almost entirely from films after the grim experiences of his post-Withnail projects.


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George Clooney’s fourth film as director takes place across a handful of tense days during a primary election in Ohio, where governor Mike Morris (Clooney) is a hair’s-breadth away from securing the Democratic party nomination to stand for office...


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X MEN: FIRST CLASS
HHH
DIRECTED BY Matthew Vaughn
STARRING James McAvoy, Michael Fassbinder
OPENS JUNE 1 // CERT 12A // 131 MINS

As evangelists, millenarians and scholars have learned to their disappointment, predicting the apocalypse has never been an entirely accurate business.


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Editor's Letter

The return of The Aphex Twin, and Caustic Window


Last year, Warp Records embarked on a campaign for Boards Of Canada's "Tomorrow's Harvest" comeback that was notable for its obtuseness. Unmarked 12-inches were hidden in record stores, strings of numbers and inexplicable broadcasts were strewn enigmatically across the internet. At one point, I...