The new issue of Uncut will be on sale from Friday. Subscribers, of course, those sensibly organised people who plan ahead and have their lives in probably perfect order, may already have started receiving their copies. Lucky them! We’re actually still waiting for ours, but not yet fretting that they’ve been re-routed, sent via some staging post on a distant tundra where passing yaks may end up feasting upon them, the chomp-chomp-chomp of their distracted munching the only sound in that vast space, the hairy ruminants quite indifferent, of course, to what’s actually in the issue. Which is a lot, and includes in the grand annual tradition of these things, our review of the year, a 30-page special, featuring our Top 75 Albums Of 2012, plus the best reissues and box sets, films, DVDs and books, as voted for by over 40 Uncut contributors.


Read More >>

Hunter Davies, who in 1968 wrote the first authorised biography of The Beatles and now more than 50 years on has compiled and edited The John Lennon Letters, admits in his introduction that he has for the purposes of the book ‘rather expanded the definition of the word letter’, which immediately sounds bit slippery, especially when he also describes some of the material he has unearthed as ‘notes and lists and scraps’. This sounds rather unpromising, as if Davies is preparing the reader for disappointments to come.


Read More >>

You catch us on a pretty busy day, deadlines fast approaching for our last issue of 2012. That’s the one, of course, that traditionally carries our end-of-year lists of best albums, reissues, films, DVDs and books. This means we’ve all been recently asked to nominate our personal Top 20s, from which John has been compiling the definitive countdown, the full list to be published when he’s finished his painstaking calculations in the Uncut that comes out at the end of November.


Read More >>

News from Oliver Gray, who runs The Railway in Winchester, where he has promoted the Uncut Sessions, as a kind of Club Uncut in exile since we quit our original home at London’s Borderline. The Uncut Sessions started a couple of years ago when Oliver booked Richmond Fontaine for two special shows. The first, on what I remember was a rather damp and windswept Saturday afternoon, saw Richmond Fontaine play their brilliant Post To Wire album in its entirety. Their second show, that evening, featured just about every other song the band had ever played, written, recorded, covered or merely just heard, possibly once, blasting out of the radio of a passing car, whistled by a waitress, hummed by a barman or otherwise brought to their passing attention in vague and possibly unremembered ways. The set went on for what people later reckoned was about four hours, although by its end the crowd had in all likelihood have lost all sense of time and the band could have carried on well into the following week without complaint from anyone there.


Read More >>

Did you see that terrific BBC4 Squeeze documentary, Take Me I’m Yours, on Friday night? I was more than a little taken aback by the currently be-whiskered Glenn Tilbrook, but I’m sure there’s a plausible explanation for wanting to look like that and otherwise the programme was a timely reminder of the many great songs he and Chris Difford have written over the years. It also put me in mind of an eventful few days I spent with the band in 1980, when they were rather unhappily touring Australia, where I caught up with them in inhospitable Brisbane before we headed for the sunny beaches of Surfer’s Paradise. Here’s a piece I wrote for my old Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before column in Uncut.


Read More >>

It was National Poetry Day last week, a date I’m sure you found your own ways to celebrate. I was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where John Cooper Clarke was in residence for the evening, headlining a show that also featured appearances by fellow poets Mike Garry and Luke Wright, a couple of sharp young wordsmiths who by the look of them may not have been capable of joined-up writing when Clarke was in his glorious early pomp and may possibly not even have been born then, Wright especially looking like he’s only just stopped being looked after by baby-sitters and cooed over in a crib.


Read More >>

Boxing Day, 1967, and The Beatles’ new film, something called Magical Mystery Tour, is about to be shown for the first time, broadcast by the BBC, fans looking forward to what surely will be a highlight of the Christmas television schedules, a welcome respite to those of a certain age from the usual seasonal fare of old movies and light entertainment, all that stuff that they usually show to keep the old folks happy over the holidays.


Read More >>

The new Uncut’s only been on sale since the end of last week, but there’s already been a fair amount of correspondence about our cover story on The Byrds. Most of it’s been about our Top 20 countdown of The Byrds’s greatest tracks. You were broadly in agreement with what was included, but many of you wondered aloud at certain omissions – “Chestnut Mare” was particularly missed by many, including me it must be said.


Read More >>

Anyway, with the release of Bob Dylan’s Tempest looming, I was thinking the other morning about a time when albums just, you know, came out. What seemed to happen was pretty straightforward. There’d be a story in Melody Maker announcing a new album by one of your favourite bands that usually gave the record a title, track listing and release date. The week the album came out, there’d be a review, maybe an interview and perhaps a full-page ad somewhere in MM, often with tour dates attached.
On the day the album came out, you went to your local record shop – in my case, Derek’s in Water Street in Port Talbot – and you bought it. How simple it all seemed.
Of course, when I actually started working for Melody Maker in 1974, I found there was a bit more to it, although not much more usually than a launch party. This was basically an excuse for the band, their mates and assorted journalists to have a bit of a piss-up and could hardly be described as an integral part of a carefully-plotted promotional campaign, unless you were Led Zeppelin and the party was a debauched affair in Chislehurst Caves involving naked nuns and the like, in which case the event would get a bit of a write-up in the red tops.


Read More >>

Please excuse the wholly shameless plug, but I thought you might like to know that the next in our series of Ultimate Music Guides goes on sale tomorrow (September 6) and this one is dedicated to Paul Weller.


Read More >>

Newsletter


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...