Countdown to Latitude: Seasick Steve



Seasick Steve, the good time bluesman and one-time railcar hobo, returns to Latitude with his Mississippi grooves on Saturday. One of the highlights of last year’s festival, Seasick Steve packed out the Uncut Arena on a sunny afternoon and this year he’s been bumped up the bill to the Obelisk stage...


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Michael Nyman



A fascinating one, this. For some of us, Michael Nyman provided a sort of entry point into the world of modern classical music, thanks to his scores for those inscrutable Peter Greenaway films through the ‘80s and early ‘90s.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Wild Beasts



Looking through the extensive musical bill for Latitude, there aren't many artists making a return from last year's line-up. But on Saturday on the Uncut Stage, Kendal's extraordinary Wild Beasts will be making a much-deserved second visit to Henham Park.


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John Mulvey

Inara George With Van Dyke Parks: "An Invitation"



An exciting, slightly confusing package arrived for me last week, addressed to John Mulvey at Melody Maker; a magazine which hasn’t existed for, what, eight years, and which, in any case, I never worked for. Beneath the address, though, was a tantalising tagline: “Compliments of Van Dyke Parks”.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Elbow



A couple of regular Uncut.co.uk readers posted messages on our Wild Mercury Sound blog this week to sing the praises of Elbow’s Meltdown gig at the Royal Festival Hall. According to this review on the Observer blog, the show featured a giant organ, a choir of Guy Garvey lookalikes and children with trumpets.


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John Mulvey

The 24th Uncut Playlist Of 2008



I was just settling down to watch the football last night, when the phone rang. I picked up the receiver, but it was one of those – usually incredibly annoying – calls from a gig, where you can just hear a song reverberating around the venue. After a few seconds I could make out a baritone invocation, some ethereal harmonies in the far distance, and a generally spectral air that was uncannily enhanced by the phoneline. Leonard Cohen, singing “Who By Fire” in Manchester, at his first British date for some 15 years.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Julian Cope



It’s hard to remember the last time the venerable Archdrude played a major British festival – I have a faint memory of some brilliant, mildly alarming show one Reading afternoon in the mid ‘90s. But it’s testimony to Latitude’s cultured charms that Julian Cope – author, ancient historian, Gnostic adventurer and, lest we forget, a tremendous rock star – will be playing the Uncut Arena on Friday July 17.


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John Mulvey

Fleet Foxes Live At The Royal Festival Hall



Strange to relate, but not long ago, plenty of people were tipping Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong as the next big thing. I was looking at the BBC Sound Of 2008 list a few minutes ago, to check up on the progress of their tips, and the Music Hack Hivemind appears to have managed a pretty good strikerate thus far this year.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Joanna Newsom



Round these parts there’s a feeling (generated mostly, it must be admitted, from my desk) that Joanna Newsom’s second album, “Ys”, is one of the very best albums released this decade. It was with immense pleasure, then, that we discovered Newsom would be playing a special Sunday lunchtime set at Latitude.


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John Mulvey

The Heads: "Dead In The Water"



An interesting post on the Endless Boogie blog over the weekend. “[Endless Boogie] Sounds like a more psyched up Stackwaddy or Edgar Broughton Band Wasa Wasa (which is a good thing),” writes Dave C, “but IMHO if you want real brain crushing psych rock you NEED to get ‘Dead In The Water’ by The Heads, easily the best thing I’ve heard all year.”


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Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...