I’m not sure what happens on Saturday towards the end of the first night of Bob Dylan’s three shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Suddenly, though, he’s blazing through one of the songs he traditionally reserves for encores, “All Along The Watchtower”, with no break between it and the roaring version of “Ballad Of A Thin Man” that normally you’d have expected to be the show’s climax, the band then taking a well-deserved bow and a quick break before coming back for one, two or three more songs, further lapping up of the crowd’s applause prior to a final wave goodnight, perhaps even a nod from Bob in the general direction of a crowd he otherwise doesn’t go too far out of his way to acknowledge.


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Club Uncut’s final night in Brighton can’t quite match the high of Josh T. Pearson’s performance on Friday, but a strong, diverse bill of female talent doesn’t disappoint.


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“I’m tired,” Josh T. Pearson says. “It’s been a long life. I don’t even know what day of the week it is...” Someone in the crowd tells him the day and the date. “Friday the 13th?” he wryly muses, as if his life has been full of nothing but such days of potential reckoning in the ten long years since his band Lift To Experience released their fearsome album, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, and soon after blew apart. That record imagined humanity making its last stand in Texas during the apocalypse. Pearson’s eventual follow-up Last Of The Country Gentlemen considers a recent relationship in similar terms. There’s the rare sense tonight of every bitter, funny, helpless word mattering, because they’re being pulled up from a harrowing place and being relived on stage.


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Sitting on stage at London’s BFI Southbank, Bruce Springsteen is reflecting on events 33 years ago, when he and the E Street Band entered New York’s Record Plant studios to record the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album.


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What is it about Simone Felice and hushed and sacred places that make your voice drop to a whisper as soon as you walk into them?


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This sounds familiar. It’s a blast of Aaron Copeland’s “Hoedown”, a loud orchestral stirring the faithful many here tonight recognise immediately as the taped introduction to his shows he’s been using now for at least the last 10 years that still never fails to thrill and make you also laugh out loud. The voice of his long-time tour manager, Al Santos, follows, mock-serious.


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When I get to Hop Farm on Saturday still blessed-out on memories of Van Morrison’s set the night before, I find it a very different place.


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Like the many thousands who will eventually be here this evening, I’m still on my way to the Hop Farm when Los Lobos play, which is why when I get there, the band’s David Hidalgo, instrumental star of the last two Bob Dylan albums, is already in the hospitality bar, deep in conversation with a couple of confederates. Things moving to a strict schedule here and people going on surprisingly early means I’ve also missed Dr John and have in fact made it just in time for Blondie, who have just stepped out on the main stage to a great cheer.


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The week’s gone by at such a clip, we’re nearly at the end of it and I still haven’t, I’ve just realised, written about this show, which was frankly too good to let pass without comment, however belated.


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The first thing you would have noticed arriving in Hyde Park last Frday to see Pearl Jam is how many more people there appear to be than were here for last year’s Hard Rock Calling weekend, the size of the crowd, a hint of mob surliness and the press of people at the front of the stage something of a concern later for a visibly worried Eddie Vedder. It’s almost 10 years to the day, after all, since nine Pearl Jam fans were crushed to death during the band’s performance on June 30, 2000, at the Rosskilde festival, over there in Denmark. No wonder at one point he looks so rattled.


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Editor's Letter

The new Uncut revealed! Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young, Kate Bush and Warren Zevon in new issue


Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...