Allan Jones

Babyshambles, again. . .



We arrive what we think is early at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night for Babyshambles’ biggest headline show of their career, but are anyway still too late to see opening act Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, who are ending their set with a petulant burst of feedback when we get there.


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John Mulvey

The Wu-Tang Clan and Ghostface Killah



So I arrived at work this morning with the plan to write about the pretty fine new Wu-Tang Clan album. I’ve been momentarily distracted, though, by the discovery that Def Jam are streaming the entire new Ghostface Killah album on their website.


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John Mulvey

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: "Ask Forgiveness"



I guess it’s still fairly early in the morning, but I’m struggling right now to think of many players around at the moment who are as slippery and compelling as Will Oldham. He’s had, by his standards, a relatively quiet year. But the other day, a new mini-album turned up unexpectedly, a few days after it had actually arrived in the shops. Like a big American urban star or Radiohead, clearly Oldham has abandoned the niceties of advance releases for hacks. Which is fair enough, if a bit frustrating.


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John Mulvey

Howlin Rain, Damon & Naomi, Sunburned Hand Of The Man live!



There is a man in a flat cap standing in the middle of the stage, looking pensively at some large twigs while his bandmates work up ten minutes of bleary musique concrete. Eventually he picks up a bass and the six of them lumber into a passage of magisterial, martial psych. It mutates into waterlogged beatnik blues, then a kind of splenetic krautpunk. One of the guitarists, incidentally, now has a cardboard box on his head. There’s a mannequin’s head on top of the box. After a while, he conscientiously ties a scarf round its neck.


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Allan Jones

Josh Ritter conquers London



It must have been an unusually quiet day, because we are not usually out and about when we should be working, nose to grindstone, shackled to the pleasurable daily graft of putting together Uncut.


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Allan Jones

Josh Ritter conquers London



It must have been an unusually quiet day, because we are not usually out and about when we should be working, nose to grindstone, shackled to the pleasurable daily graft of putting together Uncut.


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John Mulvey

Magnetic Fields: "Distortion"



Rare candour from a musician in a press release today. This is Stephin Merritt talking about the Magnetic Fields album, “Distortion”. The goal, he says, was “to sound more like Jesus And Mary Chain than Jesus And Mary Chain.”


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Michael Bonner

When Ronnie Wood Met Keith Richards



The stories, of course, are pretty familiar by now. In 1974, tensions within the Faces were, as they say, running high, Rod Stewart’s increasing solo success causing much friction apparently. The situation doubtless exacerbated by the band’s predilection for “relentless, boozy madness”, as Ronnie Wood described it in UNCUT last year.

Anyway, so what does Ronnie do? He gathers together some of his famous pals, records his own album and goes out on tour as The First Barbarians.


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John Mulvey

Total Music Day, Bon Iver and your playlists. . .



Some thought-provoking responses to my No Music Day blog yesterday; scroll down to the bottom of my waffle and have a look. I particularly like Nigel's idea of Total Music Day, where we concentrate utterly on records without any distractions. Though realistically - as he acknowledges - that'd be as tough to pull off as No Music Day.


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John Mulvey

No Music Day



I had a big plan this morning to try and observe Bill Drummond's No Music Day for as long as we could stick it out. But I got here a bit late and Rufus Wainwright doing his Judy Garland turn was already on the stereo.


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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...