Watch a trailer for Nick Cave’s Idiot Prayer


Nick Cave has released a trailer for the upcoming Idiot Prayer, the global streaming event taking place on July 23.

It features Cave performing songs from across his career, alone at the piano in Alexandra Palace’s West Hall. Watch the trailer below:

Idiot Prayer evolved from my ‘Conversations With…’ events, performed over the last year or so,” writes Cave. “I loved playing deconstructed versions of my songs at these shows, distilling them to their essential forms—with an emphasis on the delivery of the words. I felt I was rediscovering the songs all over again, and started to think about going into a studio and recording these reimagined versions at some stage — whenever I could find the time.

“Then, of course, the world went into lockdown. The Bad Seeds’ global 2020 tour was postponed. Studios shut down. Venues shut down. And the world fell into an eerie, self-reflective silence.

“It was within this silence that I began to think about the idea of not only recording the songs, but also filming them – and so we started to assemble a small team, including the great cinematographer, Robbie Ryan, sound man, Dom Monks, and editor, Nick Emerson, with the intention to film as soon as it became feasible to get back to business in some way.

“Meanwhile, I sat at home working out how to play more songs in the ‘Conversations’ format — new songs and songs from the Ghosteen album, Grinderman songs and early Bad Seeds stuff, and everything in between.

“We worked with the team at Alexandra Palace – a venue I have played and love – on securing a date to film just as soon as they were allowed to re-open the building to us. We had an amazing production team and crew, and what they did within this extraordinary situation was a marvel. Surrounded by Covid officers with tape measures and thermometers, masked-up gaffers and camera operators, nervous looking technicians and buckets of hand gel, together we created something very strange and very beautiful that spoke into this uncertain moment, but was in no way bowed by it.

Idiot Prayer serves as the final film in a trilogy — along with 20,000 Days on Earth and One More Time with Feeling — and is its luminous and heartfelt climax. Idiot Prayer is a prayer into the void—alone at Alexander Palace. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”

View timings and buy tickets for the livestream here.

Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble has died, aged 71


Folk singer-songwriter singer Judy Dyble has died, aged 71.

A statement from her publicist read: “It is with great sadness that we announce that English singer-songwriter Judy Dyble passed away on 12th July 2020 following a long illness borne with great courage.”

Dyble was the original singer with Fairport Convention, appearing on the band’s self-titled 1968 debut. After briefly joining Giles, Giles And Fripp (who later evolved into King Crimson), she formed Trader Horne with Them’s Jackie McAuley. The duo’s sole album, 1970’s Morning Way, has since become a cult classic.

Dyble retired from music in 1973, but made a return to writing and recording in the early 2000s, releasing a number of solo albums, collaborating with artists such as Andy Lewis and Darren Hayman, and guesting with Fairport Convention at their Cropredy festival.

A new album Between A Breath And A Breath, a collaboration with David Longdon, is due for release later this year.

Genesis’ Steve Hackett was among those paying tribute on social media, hailing Dyble as “genuinely lovely person with a beautiful voice”.

Bob Harris called Dyble “a musical pioneer of the late 1960’s, helping to create a new blend of folk music and rock”.

“It was such a privilege to work with her,” wrote Darren Hayman. “Heartbroken.”

Introducing the Ultimate Music Guide to Wilco


It’s been 25 years since the first Wilco album, the fiery AM, and it’s an anniversary we felt like marking in only way we know how: by admitting Jeff Tweedy’s band to the pantheon of artists with their own Ultimate Music Guide.

Wilco and Uncut go back a long way. When the magazine first started, the band found a shelter in a publication warmly-disposed to the band’s blend of Stonesy rock and countrified songcraft. As the band’s remit widened to include European rock and noise, this was a place with the open mind to see what they were shooting for, and extend a welcome.

If you’ve heard the band’s excellent recent collaboration with Uncut – the Wilcovered covermount CD from late 2019, in which the band’s songs are re-interpreted by their friends and associates, shortly to be available on vinyl for Record Store Day – then you’ll already know that an empathy continues to exist between our two positions.

As Jeff Tweedy tells us in his bespoke introduction to the magazine, Wilco’s has sometimes been a rocky road, in which musical differences, personnel changes, medical conditions and addiction issues have all played a part. As Jeff puts it, “The band got more stable as I became more stable” – but that has never been at the expense of the band’s music, which has continued to explore not just the wry, but tender district of Tweedy’s emotional hinterland, but also to interrogate what it might mean to be maintain a career as an interesting rock band for three decades.

When Jeff looks back on how Uncle Tupelo, his first major band transformed into Wilco, it’s hard not to be struck how while much has changed for him in the 30 years since, much has stayed the same. “Any time you make anything and people are still talking about it thirty years later, you should be somewhat proud of yourself,” he says. “I’m pretty thrilled that it’s meaningful to somebody – it was meaningful for us.”

The mag is in shops now or available to order online – with free UK P&P – by clicking here.


John Robinson, Editor, Ultimate Music Guide

Wilco – The Ultimate Music Guide

Bravo! As they celebrate 25 years of recording, we present the Ultimate Music Guide to one of the world’s most adventurous and self-examining bands: Wilco. From the ramshackle dramas of Uncle Tupelo to the eclectic, Grammy-winning rock of A Ghost Is Born… and beyond. Featuring an exclusive introduction by Jeff Tweedy.

To purchase a copy online, click here.

The National – High Violet 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition


They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that The National opened up a studio in the two-car garage behind Aaron Dessner’s Brooklyn home to begin work on High Violet. The album marked a turning point for the band. Across their previous four LPs, acclaim around them had grown exponentially.

Midwesterners by birth, they first appeared on the peripheries of the downtown New York rock scene of the early 2000s; by the time of their third album, 2007’s Boxer, they had a shelf full of awards, their songs had appeared in TV shows and Barack Obama was a fan; but the band were burned out by incessant touring. As a consequence, Dessner’s garage proved to be essential in easing The National into the next stage of their career. Able to work privately, at their own pace, in a conducive environment designed to their own specifications, The National had time to take stock of who they were – and where they wanted to go next.

Each previous album had been a stepping stone. On 2005’s Alligator, they unlocked the visionary and inventive powers of Bryan Devendorf’s drumming and made the leap to a bigger label: Beggars Banquet, and subsequently 4AD, where they have remained since. On Boxer, Matt Berninger worked out how to use his heady baritone in artful and elegant ways. High Violet is when The National became sleek instead of raggedy; projecting their fretful, personal songs onto wider screens. Accordingly, it’s also the moment when The National went stratospheric.

The album opens with “Terrible Love”: a thick, knotty thrum that finds Berninger “walking with spiders” as he attempts to navigate an ailing love affair. Berninger has always written cleverly about the anxieties at work in human relationships. Here he balances prosaic observations – “I can’t fall asleep/Without a little help” – with more cryptic notes: “I won’t follow you/Into the rabbit hole/I said I would but then I saw/Your shivered bones.”

If Berninger can occasionally seem to spend too long commiserating with himself – “I don’t want to get over you,” he sings on “Sorrow” – High Violet is a dark record, even for a band with The National’s reputation. The characters Berninger has written can often be found experiencing defeat: “I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it,” sighs the narrator on “Anyone’s Ghost”. “Told my friends not to worry.” But while, on other National albums, his characters are shot through with a kind of elegantly wasted charm that helps distance them from their travails, on High Violet they often appear without such filters. On “Afraid Of Everyone”, the narrator mourns, “All the very best of us/String ourselves up for love,” while on “Lemonworld” even Berninger’s most abstract lines come freighted with grim pathologies: “Lay me on the table, put flowers in my mouth/And we can say that we invented a summer lovin’ torture party.”

Musically, meanwhile, the band continue to make bold creative strides. Bryan Devendorf’s drumming is outstanding: from the almost unaccompanied 20-second intro of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” to the sustained tension he brings to “Conversation 16”. The Dessners’ guitar playing, meanwhile, is combative and playful – much as you’d expect from twins – full of rich texture and nuance. “Lemonworld”, in particular, is central to the band’s mythology; the song was rewritten 80 times before they settled on the original version, its tortuous creative history emblematic of the band’s hyper-scrutiny of their own processes.

This version of High Violet collects together, for the first time on vinyl, tracks that appeared on the original 2010 Expanded Edition. There’s a clearer-sounding alternative version of “Terrible Love”, whose strings foreground the song’s natural drama, several live cuts that capture the band’s energy and passion. The highlight, though, is “You Were A Kindness” – originally a B-side, this piano-led piece introduces a fragility that’s otherwise missing from High Violet. “You made a slow disaster out of me,” Berninger sings, kicking over the ashes of another failed romance. Anxiety has rarely sounded so good.

Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time

One overcast morning in March 1969, Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell descended from Laurel Canyon down into Los Angeles to eat breakfast and run some errands. Along the way the two lovers stopped by an antique store, where Mitchell bought a small, blue vase – nothing extravagant, but beautiful in its modesty. When they returned to her home, Nash suggested she stroll through the woods to pick flowers for that vase. Rather than build the fire he promised, he sat down at her piano and began writing a song about their shared domestic bliss: “I’ll light the fire, you put the flowers in the vase that you bought today.” By the time “Our House” was released on Crosby Stills Nash & Young’s 1970 album Déjà Vu, the couple had parted ways, but the song remains one of that band’s most popular and most durable hits.

That story has been told countless times, and it’s recounted again in the new Epix documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time. Nash narrates it in voiceover – and in much the same way he told the story in his 2013 memoir Wild Tales, rehashing the same details one more time. As he does, director Alison Ellwood shows vintage footage of the couple at their house, both Super 8 home movies and still photos. Those images, even more than Nash’s weathered voice or the song playing softly in the background, breathe some fresh life into the story and emphasise the tenderness of the gestures and the human scale of the happiness chronicled in the song.

Laurel Canyon doesn’t cover a lot of new ground, but Ellwood manages to liven up very familiar stories with vivid archival footage and stills, many courtesy of photographers Henry Diltz and Nurit Wilde. Fittingly, those two shutterbugs are the only talking heads in the two-part documentary; everyone else is heard in voiceover. While that does make it a little dizzying keeping up with who is talking at any given moment, it does mean that these familiar faces – from Arthur Lee to Jim Morrison to every member of The Byrds and on up through the Eagles – get to stay young and vital. We’re not constantly comparing them to their older selves. As a result, Laurel Canyon feels constantly present-tense and therefore more immediate, as though Ellwood is taking us back to that time and that place.

Ellwood, who has directed documentaries on Ken Kesey, the Eagles and The Go-Go’s, presents Laurel Canyon as an intriguing contradiction. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was a rural enclave within one of the largest urban areas in the world, a remote community that was nevertheless right in the middle of the music industry. Its long-haired hippie denizens could hear coyotes howling late into a quiet evening or stray notes from a guitar, but they could also drive – or hitchhike – into town to play shows at the Whiskey A Go Go, the Troubadour or Pandora’s Box.

Home to pretty much every counterculture musician of the era, the setting allowed them all to mingle freely, to trade ideas, develop new variations on folk and rock music. They could live almost communally, leaving their houses unlocked while on tour so that their friends could stop by, get stoned, or just hang out. Of course, that openness soured after the Tate/LaBianca murders in August 1969, which made these musicians intensely paranoid and suspicious of strangers. Love’s Johnny Echols recounts coming home from a tour and finding Bobby Beausoleil squatting in his house and rambling about his friend named Charles Manson.

Most histories of Laurel Canyon must necessarily stray from that bucolic setting and venture into Los Angeles and beyond. Ellwood’s documentary is no different; in the first episode she follows The Byrds to the Troubadour and Crosby Stills & Nash all the way to Woodstock, but in the second episode, she’s hardly ever there. She spends so much time with Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, and The Doors. After a while Laurel Canyon becomes incidental to this larger story of West Coast rock in the 1970s.

Laurel Canyon is most compelling when it stays at home. It’s best when Ellwood uses these old films and stills to let us wander in and out of these musicians’ houses, when we can hang out with them and see how they were playing together, and when we can hear how this inviting place informed the music that remains incredibly popular even after real estate has priced out all but the most established artists.

Watch Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time via Epix

Hear Toots & The Maytals’ new single, “Warning Warning”


Toots & The Maytals will release their first album in a decade, Got To Be Tough, via Trojan Jamaica/BMG on August 28.

Hear the latest single from it, “Warning Warning”, below:

Says Toots Hibbert: “I want to ask everyone to keep their focus in this time of wonders. Make such focus be of good faith, love each other, take it as a warning and exercise brotherly and sisterly care for each other of all race, religion and creed.”

You can read an in-depth interview with Toots in the new issue of Uncut, out next week. Look out for the full issue reveal on Tuesday.

Hear Elvis Costello’s new single, “Hetty O’Hara Confidential”


Elvis Costello has today released a new single called “Hetty O’Hara Confidential”.

Described as “the tale of a tattler who outlives her time”, it was recorded at Suomenlinnan Studio in Helsinki, Finland, during the same sessions as previous single “No Flag”. Costello is credited with mouth, Hammond organ, Fender Jazzmaster, upright piano, Rhythm Ace and all other noises.

Listen below:

Another new Elvis Costello song is expected on August 14.

Hear Throwing Muses’ new single, “Bo Diddley Bridge”


Throwing Muses will release their first album in seven years, Sun Racket, on September 4 through Fire Records.

Listen to the latest single from it, “Bo Diddley Bridge”, below:

Says Kristin Hersh: “My little boy, Bo, used to fish off Bo Diddley Bridge down the street before it collapsed, around the time our life collapsed. But we lived; we swam in a life sunshine somehow. And both bridges – the Bo Diddley one and the life one – were rebuilt around us.”

Pre-order Sun Racket here.

Hear unreleased 1973 Rolling Stones song, “Criss Cross”


The Rolling Stones will reissue their 1973 album Goats Head Soup in multiple configurations on September 4.

The box set and deluxe CD and vinyl editions will all feature ten bonus tracks, which include alternate versions, outtakes and three previously unheard tracks. Watch a video for one of those, “Criss Cross”, below:

The other previously unheard tracks are “Scarlet” – featuring guitar by Jimmy Page and bass by Rick Grech of Blind Faith – and “All The Rage”.

The box set editions of Goats Head Soup will also include Brussels Affair, the 15-track live album recorded in Belgium on the band’s autumn 1973 tour. This album was previously available only in the Rolling Stones’ “official bootleg” series of live recordings in 2012.

Goats Head Soup will be available as a single CD, double CD with bonus tracks, single LP, double LP, limited transparent vinyl, cassette, 4xCD box set and 4xLP box set. Check out the tracklisting for the 4xLP box set below and pre-order here.

2020 Stereo Mix


1. Dancing With Mr D
2. 100 Years Ago
3. Coming Down Again
4. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
5. Angie


6. Silver Train
7. Hide Your Love
8. Winter
9. Can You Hear The Music
10. Star Star

Rarities & Alternative Mixes


1. Scarlet
2. All The Rage
3. Criss Cross
4. 100 Years Ago (Piano Demo)
5. Dancing With Mr D (Instrumental)


6. Heartbreaker (Instrumental)
7. Hide Your Love (Alternative Mix)
8. Dancing With Mr D (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix)
9. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) – (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix)
10. Silver Train (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix)

Brussels Affair – Live 1973


1. Brown Sugar
2. Gimme Shelter
3. Happy
4. Tumbling Dice


5. Star Star
6. Dancing With Mr D
7. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
8. Angie


9. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
10. Midnight Rambler


11. Honky Tonk Women
12. All Down The Line
13. Rip This Joint
14. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
15. Street Fighting Man

Watch Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday livestream


Yesterday was Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday, and he celebrated with an hour-long charity livestream raising money for Water Aid, Black Lives Matter, MusiCares and the David Lynch Foundation.

It featured brand new isolation performances from Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow and Dave Grohl with Ben Harper, as well as a number of recent pre-lockdown live clips, including Ringo playing Helter Skelter with Paul McCartney.

Watch below and visit Ringo Starr’s official website to donate to the various causes:

Ringo Starr features on the cover of the new issue of Uncut, alongside the rest of The Beatles – inside, he and Paul McCartney talk about Let It Be and the forthcoming Get Back film. Buy a copy here!

White Denim – World As A Waiting Room


So here it is, then: the first great album of the coronavirus pandemic. Back in early March, White Denim suddenly found themselves at a loose end following the cancellation of hometown festival South By Southwest and their subsequent US tour. Needing to “keep busy”, the band hit upon the idea of writing, recording, mixing and manufacturing a brand new album in just 30 days. This being Austin, there’s now a vinyl pressing plant down the road from their Radio Milk studio, making the whole caper tantalisingly feasible.

What they didn’t account for was the tightening of lockdown conditions 10 days into recording. Suddenly, the whole tenor of the album was forced to change, from a back-to-basics garage-rock record played by four guys in a room, to a remote, crowd-sourced effort. Yet these restrictions have only spurred on White Denim to make a richer, more meaningful album than they might originally have imagined. To colour in their sketches, bandleader James Petralli took the opportunity to reach out to a number of musicians from the band’s wider circle, including fellow White Denim founder Josh Block. The two former best friends had fallen out after Block quit White Denim in 2015 to play drums for Leon Bridges. But hatchets have been buried and Block’s presence on three songs encapsulates the album’s unexpected themes of unity and all-in-this-togetherness.

Thankfully, though, World As A Waiting Room wears its righteousness lightly. As much as it’s an album for the times, it’s also a reaction to the temporarily adjourned “heady prog” album the band spent the previous year recording. World As A Waiting Room is full of the gleeful clever-dumb posturing and breakneck riffage that lit up previous White Denim albums like Fits and Stiff, combined with the unburdened pop smarts of Last Day Of Summer and Petralli’s solo Constant Bop.

Barrelling opener “I Don’t Understand Rock And Roll” is a classic White Denim manoeuvre, simultaneously satirising and celebrating their chosen metier. The overdriven two-chord riff could be Thin Lizzy, the terrace stomp rhythm could be Slade. But of course White Denim add a galactic fanfare intro and a brilliant Cars-style solo, while also slyly removing a beat from the bar somewhere so it feels as if the song is constantly racing off ahead of you down the street, uncatchable.

“Matter Of Matter” and “DVD” are even faster, making the seat-of-the-pants solos doubly impressive. Not for the first time, the thick harmonies, frenetic pace and sheer impish joy of the whole affair put you in mind of Supergrass, with a flicker of more acerbic intent à la Queens Of The Stone Age. More is usually more as far as White Denim are concerned, and by inviting all their mates to pile in, each song bursts with ideas, every overdub trying to outdo the last. There are playful musical references aplenty: is that a backwards Beatles riff? Can that really be the bridge from “Everybody Hurts” inserted into the frantic rockabilly of “Eagle Wings”? Deliberate or subconscious, it all adds to the fun.

“Slow Death” – not the Flamin’ Groovies song, but they surely know it – starts with 15 seconds of screeching dentist’s drills before locking into a brisk, bass-driven psych groove splattered with laser-gun noises and a ridiculous overabundance of vocal echo. “At a standstill, won’t stop running,” wails Petralli, “My mind, a refrigerator humming.” Yet even this depiction of anxiety and insomnia is fantastically moreish.

If you start looking for them, there are plenty of lyrical clues as to the strange conditions under which these songs were created. However, in terms of specific references to the pandemic, White Denim have crammed most of them into one song, the majestic “Queen Of The Quarantine” – music by Marc Bolan, lyrics by Randy Newman (“You don’t know what you got ’til the day that it gets tested”).

As with the whole idea of making an album from scratch in 30 days, in lesser hands this kind of thing could come off as a throwaway lark. But as we know by now, White Denim are congenitally unable to produce anything slapdash or rote. World As A Waiting Room hits the spot as a peppy new-wave blowout, but it’s also testament to how people can pull together under difficult circumstances to create something joyous and inspiring. A solo acoustic livestream is one thing, but this is the lockdown pick-me-up you really need.

The 7th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2020

It’s been far too long since we’ve done one of these, so here’s a bumper playlist of exciting new music for your delectation – a mix of returning favourites, fresh faces and intriguing diversions.

Sufjan Stevens is back with something approaching a protest song, epic and distraught. The reliably wry Bill Callahan makes a swift return, Ride’s Andy Bell flies solo, David Gilmour goes to Greece and A Certain Ratio go pop. Ambient titans William Basinski (as Sparkle Division) and Sarah Davachi trail new albums, plus there are the first transmissions in many a year from American cosmic outliers Beverly Glenn-Copeland and Sun Ra Arkestra.

Truly, something for everyone. Although, as we prefer to think, everything for anyone. Whatever else is going on in the world right now, this steady stream of inspiring new music remains a great consolation. Thanks to all the artists and labels out there – please continue to support them by buying their music.

(Asthmatic Kitty)

“Another Song”
(Drag City)

(World Circuit)

“Self Design”

“I Could Use A Miracle”

“Always In Love”

“Like Hell Broke Away”

“Yes, I Have Ghosts”

“Forever Green”
(Tin Angel)

“Like So Much Desire”
(Sub Pop)

“Seductive Fantasy”

“Viajando Por Aí”
(Jazz Is Dead)

“Oh Henry!”
(Temporary Residence)

(Daydream Library Series)

“The Commune”
(Sonic Cathedral)

(Bella Union)

“Green Rocky Road”

“Corridor Country”
(Paradise Of Bachelors)

“Sky Breaking, Clouds Falling”
(Tompkins Square)

“River Dreams”

“Stations II”
(Late Music)

Send us your questions for Dan Penn


“The Dark End Of The Street”, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”, “I’m Your Puppet”, “It Tears Me Up”… just a few of the indelible classics co-written by Dan Penn.

Penn was a pivotal figure in the development of ’60s southern rock and soul as a writer, performer and producer, first at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, then at American Studios in Memphis, making hits with the likes of Spooner Oldham and Chips Moman. He also helped launch Alex Chilton’s career, co-writing and producing much of The Box Tops’ output.

Although often preferring to write for others, Penn has released several acclaimed albums under his own name, and he’s currently readying a new one – his first full studio effort in 26 years – called Living On Mercy, due for release on August 28 (you can listen to a taster from it here).

So, what do you want to ask a soul survivor and legend of the songwriting game? Send your questions to by Thursday July 9, and Dan will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut.

Ennio Morricone has died, aged 91


Ennio Morricone, one of the most prolific and important film composers of all-time, has died aged 91. He suffered from complications after breaking his leg ten days ago, passing away overnight in a clinic in Rome.

A statement from Morricone’s lawyer Giorgio Assumma said that, “He preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity… He gave a touching remembrance to his audience, whose affectionate support always enabled him to draw strength for his creativity.”

Morricone was most famous for soundtracking The Good, The Bad & The Ugly along with Sergio Leone’s other spaghetti westerns, although he wrote over 400 film and television scores in his lifetime. These included Cinema Paradiso, Days Of Heaven, The Untouchables, The Thing and Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, for which he finally won a competitive Oscar in 2016 (he received an honorary award in 2007).

During the 1960s, Morricone wrote several pop hits for Italian and European artists, and in later years collaborated with admirers such as Pet Shop Boys.

Morricone also composed numerous classical works and from 1964 to 1980 was a member of influential Italian improv collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza.

“I saw with great sadness that one of my musical heroes, Ennio Morricone has passed away today,” wrote New Order’s Bernard Sumner. “His music introduced me to albums and the first album I ever bought was one of his. He made beautiful emotional music and was the master of melody.”

Nitin Sawhney tweeted that “Morricone’s melodies and themes were woven into the fabric of humanity.”

Film director Edgar Wright wrote that “He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend.”

Geoff Barrow of Portishead and Beak> simply hailed him as “The greatest ever film composer”.

Paul Weller – On Sunset


When Paul Weller released the nostalgic ruminations of True Meanings in 2018, it might have suggested that having reached 60, the songwriter was ready to give up the sense of adventure that had informed his work since 22 Dreams. Perhaps he was going to ditch the krautrock and electronica for more albums crammed with string arrangements? Maybe he was about to knock out a big-band covers LP of American Songbook classics?

The release of “In Another Room” this January scuppered that idea. This limited-edition EP of sound collages and sonic experiments came out on Ghost Box, the label that pioneered the concept of hauntology in music – atmospheric, often avant-garde electronic sounds that evoke buried shared cultural memories. Weller’s contribution to the genre was in keeping with the aesthetic and typically accomplished.

This experience has found its way into On Sunset, Weller’s 15th album and first for Polydor since The Style Council. The album swings back and forth between now and nostalgia, as Weller tries to reconcile the desire to look back with his constant fear of stagnation. There are several songs that could have been on Style Council albums – solid, sometimes superb, soul anthems like “Baptiste”, “Village”, “Walkin’” – all of which happen to feature contributions from Mick Talbot. But there’s also “Mirror Ball” and “Earth Beat”, both of which carry the influence of Ghost Box.

On the former, it’s the subtle sense of nostalgia that infects the glistening atmosphere, as Weller croons a paean to clubs and dancing. The song – a True Meanings holdover originally considered as a B-side but eventually upgraded to album mood-setter – starts with a gentle waft of strings that gives a whiff of last waltz at the Woking youth club before the lights go up. It then moves gradually through disco, soul and funk as it explores and celebrates the way a physical space such as a disco can maintain meaning through different eras for successive generations.

This theme is covered by two other songs: “Baptiste” is a straight-up celebration of Weller’s love of soul, while “On Sunset” is a more personal take on the same notion. It starts a little like “That’s Entertainment” with a gentle strum of acoustic guitar as Weller reflects on his own experiences with The Jam in LA, before expanding into a more complex piece of freaky soul. Further echoes of the musical past can be heard on closing track “Rockets”, which has the suppressed drama of a Bowie ballad circa Hunky Dory and a free-wheeling lyric that sees Weller attacking institutions, hidden wealth and social mobility like the man who wrote “Eton Rifles”, “Mr Clean” and “Walls Come Tumbling Down!”, albeit with a resignation born of bitter experience.

“Earth Beat”’s debt to Ghost Box is more blatant and less successful than “Mirror Ball”. The label co-founder Jim Jupp gets a co-writing credit and has described it as a reworking of “The Willows”, a track Jupp wrote and recorded in 2004 as Belbury Poly. Featuring a vocal contribution from singer Col3trane (who happens to be dating Weller’s daughter), the song starts with a refreshing rush of electronica and R&B rhythms, but never follows up on that promise, lacking the space and strangeness of the original.

Equally odd in its own way is “Equanimity”. This marital anthem geezers in like a Kinks middle eight and features a smashing violin solo from Slade’s Jim Lea. It’s an unusually quirky approach from Weller, who for all his love of The Beatles and Small Faces, isn’t naturally disposed to that sort of music-hall whimsy. Sitting somewhere in the middle is the deliciously poised “More”. This song about pointless consumption boasts a French co-vocalist – Julie Gros of Le SuperHomard – and a beautiful drifting melody. But the real highlight
is the extended outro that brings a blizzard of mellow musical flourishes, including strings, Hammond, handclaps, soul brass, guitar (from Josh McClorey of The Strypes) and jazz flute. There’s a lot going on, but the way it is all held in balance is magnificent.

Yet for all this, the most surprising song on the album isn’t “Mirror Ball”, “Equanimity” or “Earth Beat”. Instead it’s “Village”, a beautiful soul number of the type Weller writes so well and which sees him singing of his satisfaction with his lot in life. “Lot of things, I’ve never been/I’ve never seen/I don’t care much,” he muses contentedly. “I might settle for what I am.” It’s an unusual sentiment to hear from the permanently restless Weller, especially as On Sunset demonstrates that complacency remains his greatest fear and most powerful muse.

Uncut’s Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Paul Weller is on sale now, featuring a wealth of spiky archive features and in-depth reviews of every album, from The Jam to The Style Council – plus an exclusive new interview. Click here to buy!

Nick Cave announces livestream of solo piano performance


Nick Cave has announced the ticketed live-streaming of a solo piano performance, filmed at Alexandra Palace’s West Hall in June.

Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace will be streamed as live on July 23, and will not be available to watch after the event, nor can it be paused or rewound.

The performance was filmed by cinematographer Robbie Ryan (The Favourite, Marriage Story, American Honey) and edited by Nick Emerson (Lady Macbeth, Emma, Greta). According to a press release, it includes songs from across the breadth of Cave’s career, including early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, right through to Ghosteen, as well as “rare tracks that most fans will be hearing for the first time”.

There are different timings for the live stream, depending on where you are in the world:

Australia & Asia: 8pm AEST
UK & Europe: 8pm BST / 9pm CEST
North & South America: 7pm PDT / 10pm EDT

For tickets (and more details on local timings) go here.

Watch Neil Young play “The Times They Are A-Changin'”


Neil Young has uploaded the latest of his Fireside Sessions, entitled Porch Episode (given that he films most of it outside).

His politically charged selection includes “Alabama”, “Campaigner”, “Ohio” and “Southern Man”.

Young ducks inside a teepee to play Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and also rewrites the lyrics to 2006’s “Lookin’ For A Leader” (originally written under the presidency of George W Bush) to censure Donald Trump and to hope that Joe Biden can unite America.

Young finishes with “Little Wing”, from the current UK Number 2 album Homegrown. He also asks for donations for the Navajo Water Project.

Watch the Porch Episode here, although you need to be signed up to Neil Young Archives or have the app downloaded first.

You can read Uncut’s thoughts on Neil Young’s Homegrown here.

Win a limited gold vinyl edition of Bob Dylan’s Rough And Rowdy Ways


Last week, Rough And Rowdy Ways became Bob Dylan’s ninth album to reach No 1 in the UK (keeping Neil Young’s Homegrown off the top spot).

Now we have 5 limited-edition gold vinyl copies of the album to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy, answer the below question correctly.

Which action film hero does Bob Dylan compare himself to on “I Contain Multitudes“?

Is it:

a) Han Solo
b) Indiana Jones
c) Rick Deckard

Email your answer along with your postal address to by Monday, July 6. A winner will be chosen by the Uncut team from the correct entries. The editor’s decision is final.

You can buy Rough And Rowdy Ways on CD and download here. Why not listen along while reading Richard Williams’ definitive, six-page review in the current issue of Uncut – in shops now or available online by clicking here.

Hear Roger and Brian Eno’s new track, “Manganese”


Following their recent album Mixing Colours, Roger and Brian Eno will release a companion EP called Luminous via Deutsche Grammophon on August 14.

It features six new pieces, along with “Pewter” which was previously only issued as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of Mixing Colours. Hear one of those new pieces, “Manganese”, below:

Pre-order Luminous here. A special version of the EP on sun yellow vinyl with a different version of the cover artwork will be on sale at smaller retailers.

The seven tracks on Luminous will also be available as part of Mixing Colours Expanded, released digitally on July 17, with a deluxe 2xCD version to follow on October 23.