It was Nick Lowe's 65th birthday this week, an occasion that had me pottering around the Memory Shed, where I came across the following story, written about a much younger Nick.


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Bruce Springsteen is on the cover of the new Uncut, which also includes features on Van Morrison, Mama Cass, The Stooges, William Burroughs and The Damned.


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You may recently have seen posters advertising an album called Tarka & Friends: Life and wondered rather dopily if it didn’t have something to do with riverbank wildlife, not too many people of your acquaintance called Tarka.


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“There wasn’t a lot of pre-production for What’s The Story. . .If we were at home, the postman would drop off an envelope and in it would be a cassette saying ‘Noel demos’. You’d get a phone call: ‘There’s the next album. Learn it. See you in a week.’ That’s the way Noel worked. Everyone would figure out the chords – there was no point asking him, he didn’t know the name of the fucking things. ‘It’s one of them where your finger’s up there. . .’”


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A lot of old Uncut favourites are featured on Rock'N'Roll With Us, the free CD with this month's issue, including tracks from the new albums by The War On Drugs, Drive-By Truckers, David Crosby, Real Estate, The Hold Steady, Sun Kil Moon, Spain, and Hans Chew.


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“On ‘Sweet Thing’, he asked me to imagine myself as a young, French drummer who was witnessing his first execution,” recalls veteran drummer Tony Newman, recalling the sessions for David Bowie’s 1974 album Diamond Dogs in John Robinson’s cover story for this month’s Uncut, which goes on sale this Friday, February 28.


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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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Editor's Letter

The 31st Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Some logical excitement here this week about the impending Leonard Cohen and Aphex Twin albums; in the event you've missed it these past couple of days, you can hear Cohen's superb "Almost Like The Blues" further down this blog.

Worth noting, though, some strong...