A morning for gentle music, this, after last night's Uncut birthday party where The Hold Steady played in our striking rooftop canteen. They were great, as you might imagine, barrelling through 30 minutes of songs (a fraught, euphoric "Stuck Between Stations" was my highlight) with all the gusto that, apparently, sent Glastonbury mad.
One of the first festivals I covered not long after joining Melody Maker in 1974 was in Buxton, a bleak outpost on the Yorkshire Moors, headlined by Rod Stewart and The Faces, as they were increasingly billed after the departure of Ronnie Lane and not long before Rod himself legged it to LA and a subsequent solo career of great success if variable artistic merit.
Christian rock may sound distinctly unpalatable, but Californian quartet Cold War Kids have achieved both critical credibility and a massive fan base while singing (obliquely) about such subjects as sexual abstinence, teetotalism and original sin.
I’ve mentioned here previously the time in 1979 I went to see Lou Reed at what was then still known as the Hammersmith Odeon when he reacted testily to requests from the crowd to play their favourite numbers by announcing that he would under no circumstances be playing anything else that night apart from his new album, The Bells, so there would, he repeated emphatically, no “Heroin”, “Sweet Jane”, “Walk On The Wild Side” or any of the other numbers so many people had obviously come to hear him perform.
Unlike some music journalists, I'm not hugely sentimental about where I come from. I've worked with people who've been pathologically loyal to the music that comes out of their hometowns, in a way which seemed to contradict their actual taste. Of course, the fact that the musical riches of North Nottinghamshire are pretty skimpy might have something to do with it.
Brighton belle Natasha Khan is “Bat” and any possible doubts about the fairy wings and floral hair decorations she and her three musicians often favour will be dispelled as soon as they begin their set in the Obelisk Arena at Latitude on Saturday.
OK, I know this looks a bit pathetic, but Michael and Allan are off today and I've been too busy to put together a proper blog. So instead, here are the records that we've played in the Uncut office today: -