“This is great, you don’t have to cheer for that,” deadpans Josh Tillman as a smattering of whistles and applause greet his arrival on stage. “It was pretty lazy of me. But I thank you for your faith.”

Tillman, a tall, commendably hirsute figure, has a fine line in flint-dry humour, which he seems more than happy to indulge himself in many times during his 90+ minute set. After a slow, sedentary “Firstborn”, for instance, he stares out into the crowd and drawls, “This is no Vampire Weekend show, for sure.”


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It’s been a bit quiet on the blog for a while – apologies, but I’ve been embargoed from writing about a couple of films I’ve seen recently. Anyway, one film I have seen, which I am allowed to write about, is Wes Anderson’s latest, Fantastic Mr Fox.


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Traditionally, August is something of a slow news month. Anything, however apparently inappropriate, seems to be used to fill in valuable airtime or column space during the holiday season. You might, for instance, have happened to hear yesterday morning Evan Davies interviewing august cricket commentator Henry Blofeld on the BBC’s flagship radio news programme Today about whether he’d prefer to commentate on the 100 metres at the World Athletics Championships. Today, it seems everyone’s got in a palaver about Avatar, James Cameron’s 3D sci-fi epic of which 15 minutes was shown during a series of screenings rolled out at hundreds of cinemas round the world.


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In issue 3 of the unfortunately short-lived UNCUT DVD, we ran a piece called The Curse Of The Mullets. It was a particularly funny account of the scandalous fall from grace of the Brat Pack actors and the whirl of sex-tapes, alcoholism, drug busts and straight-to-video hell that engulfed them following their mid-Eighties peak. As hilarious as the piece was, it feels somehow emblematic of the way these films, and their stars, have become viewed over the last quarter of a century. Which, sadly, detracts from the importance of those films and the achievements of the man behind them – John Hughes, who has just died at the age of 59.


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Magazine, who I last saw on the opening night of the Secondhand Daylight tour in Brighton, when they played as far as I know for the first time the truly scary “Permafrost”, a song Howard Devoto spent most of the drive down to the south coast describing to me , and I think I’ve got this right all these years on, as an essay in sheer terror.


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To the UNCUT Arena, then, and the Vaselines and St Etienne. Two bands who, although wildly different in sound and execution both, astonishingly, emerged from the same kind of cultural environment.


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I’d been telling anyone who’d listen over the last few weeks and more in the build-up to Latitude that New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem in the right circumstances might be the surprise hit of the festival, especially after headline-grabbing sets at Glastonbury and Hyde Park, where they were joined onstage by Bruce Springsteen, who in turn had Anthem frontman Brian Fallon share the spotlight with him and the E Street Band on “No Surrender”.


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Just got back from Wild Beasts at the Obelisk Arena and it’s started tipping it down. After yesterday’s broadly sunny, hot weather, the heavens have clearly decided enough is enough. Still, without wishing to turn this into a Met Office update, let’s just say that the sun stayed out long enough to let us enjoy Wild Beasts.


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Watching Spiritualized headline the UNCUT Arena at the end of Latitude day two, with an astonishing set of heavy, psychedelic noise, I’m reminded of the first and the last time I saw Jason Pierce play live.


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Anyway, I arrange to meet a friend down at the Obelisk stage to catch Broken Music, who she’s recently seen playing to about four people in Manchester but thinks will be worth having another look at.


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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...