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Discover amazing new music from Rolling Blackouts CF, Luluc and more

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Continuing our mission to alert you to the best new music around, the latest issue of Uncut – on sale now – features an in-depth encounter with rollicking Aussie indie-rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

The Melbourne band explain how they bonded over a love of the “tough pop” of The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Neil Young, as well as a desire to transcend their suburban upbringing. “I think this band has got a lot of escapism in it,” says singer and guitarist Fran Keaney. “A lot of the idea for this band comes from high school, like the sentiment in Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’: ‘We’re gonna get out of here, this is not for us, this is a crap time now, but things are gonna get better.'”

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Also in the issue – and on the accompanying CD – we introduce quietly devastating indie-folk duo Luluc, who reveal how a fortuitous subletting arrangement led to a fruitful musical hook-up with The National; we survey the explosive new UK jazz scene with its figurehead Shabaka Hutchings and his band Sons Of Kemet; and there’s a live review of African supergroup Les Amazones D’Afriques.

Meanwhile, our free 15-track CD features thrilling new music from Juniore, RVG and solo guitar prodigy Gwenifer Raymond alongside new tracks from established names such as Ray Davies, Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Jim James, Dawes and Ty Segall & White Fence. It’s all in the August issue of Uncut, on sale now.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Introducing NME Gold: The Best Of NME 1965 – 1969

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As we gear up for this year’s British Summer Time concerts at Hyde Park, I suspect some of you will cast your minds back to June 7, 1969 – when Blind Faith made their auspicious debut there in front of an expectant crowd of around 120,000. Of course, two members of Blind Faith are sharing a bill at BST this year – Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood (no word, alas, as to whether Ginger Baker will make a cameo).

The run of BST shows this year also includes Roger Waters and Paul Simon – and by strange coincidence, both of those men, along with Clapton and Winwood, appear in the newest of our family of magazines. Welcome, then, to NME Gold: The Best Of NME 1965 – 1969. It goes on sale this Thursday, but you can also buy it now from our online shop.

Here’s John Robinson, Editor of the Ultimate Music Guides, to tell you all about it.

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“Fantastic things were happening,” So says Steve Winwood, writing for us here. And happening is undoubtedly the word for NME Gold: The Best Of NME 1965 – 1969.

This is a trip through rock’s golden age. Through a selection of archive reports, here you’ll observe The Beatles become world superstars, feel the grandeur of imperial phase Rolling Stones, and marvel at the psychedelic wonder of Jimi Hendrix.

You’ll also feel the pulse of the decade through the music of our cover star Eric Clapton who in his work with the Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith helped lead the charge from beat music to psychedelic pop, to rootsy rock.

It’s said that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there. Our chorus of expert eyewitnesses – eagle-eyed reporters and members of the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Pink Floyd, Beach Boys, Byrds, The Who and more – beg to differ, as they look back to bring us fresh perspectives on this magnificent time for music.

Andrew Loog Oldham drops by to offer a word on the mystery of musical greatness. “God taps you on the shoulder,” he says.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

John Coltrane: “No-one could keep up with him”

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June 29 sees the release of John Coltrane’s Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album – the fruits of a 1963 session thought to have been destroyed until a stash of half-inch preview tapes were discovered by the family of Coltrane’s former wife Naima.

The album finds Coltrane breaking exciting new ground with his Classic Quartet, just two years before the release of his masterpiece A Love Supreme. In the latest issue of Uncut – on sale now – we piece together the story of this great lost album, with the help of musicians who were there are the time.

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“This was intense stuff, man,” says Jazz Messengers trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, who played on the 1961 album Olé Coltrane. “He was moving into territory that few of us dared enter.”

Pianist McCoy Tyner, a key member of the Classic Quartet, recalls how the group were much more than just a pick-up band. “We were a very spiritually connected combination… We just seemed to click on a unconscious level. That’s what made the music rise and shift and move and encompass the whole universe. The magnitude of our music was evident to anyone who heard it.”

Nobody is exactly sure why Coltrane shelved the Both Directions At Once sessions, but Coltrane biographer Ashley Kahn ventures that it fell victim to the musician’s relentless onward quest: “Maybe he felt – after releasing Crescent and A Love Supreme – that he’d moved on too much for it to be relevant.” However, Kahn is keen to stress how well it stacks up against his greatest material. “What’s amazing is that this session is arranged like an LP. It works out to around 22 minutes a side. It’s balanced in the way the best Coltrane LPs were at the time – a bit of blues, a couple of standards, some far-out originals. These aren’t out-takes. And it’s a revelation.”

Read much more about John Coltrane and Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album in the latest issue of Uncut, out now.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Steve Albini wins World Series Of Poker prize

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Shellac frontman Steve Albini – no-nonsense producer of Nirvana, Pixies and countless others down the years – is also a decent poker player.

This weekend he enjoyed his biggest win, triumphing over 310 other players in the Seven Card Stud event at the 2018 World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas. He took home $105,629 and a fetching gold bracelet.

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“I am ecstatic that a player as mediocre as me can outlast all of these better players and end up with a bracelet,” said Albini. “There’s still hope for everybody!”

Naturally, Albini did it all while wearing a T-shirt endorsing Belgian punk/noise band Cocaine Piss.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Depeche Mode launch series of 12″ single box sets

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Depeche Mode have announced a series of 12″ box sets, compiling all their 12″ single releases from each era.

The series begins with the release of Speak & Spell: The 12″ Singles and A Broken Frame: The 12″ Singles on August 31.

Each numbered box set contains faithful reproductions of Depeche Mode’s 12″ singles of the era, with audio remastered from the original tapes and cut at Abbey Road Studios. The artwork for the exterior of each of the box sets draws on street art iconography inspired by the original releases.

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“Our 12″ singles have always been incredibly important to the band,” said Depeche Mode in a press release. “It’s great to be able to re-share these songs with old and new fans in the way they were originally intended to be experienced. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.”

Peruse the contents of the first two box sets below:

Speak & Spell: The 12” Singles
Rare flexidisc

“Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead” b/w “King of the Flies” (Fad Gadget track as on the original release)
Dreaming Of Me 12”
Dreaming of Me” b/w “Ice Machine”
New Life 12”
“New Life (Remix)” b/w “Shout! (Rio Mix)”
Just Can’t Get Enough 12”
“Just Can’t Get Enough (Schizo Mix)” b/w “Any Second Now (Altered)”

A Broken Frame: The 12” Singles
See You 12”

“See You (Extended Version)” b/w “Now This Is Fun (Extended Version)”
The Meaning of Love 12”
“The Meaning of Love (Fairly Odd Mix)” b/w “Oberkorn (It’s a Small Town) (Development Mix)”
Leave In Silence 12”
“Leave In Silence (Longer)” b/w “Further Excerpts From: My Secret Garden” and “Leave In Silence (Quieter)”

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Françoise Hardy interviewed: “In my head I’m still very young”

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To Paris, then, for a rare meeting with FRANÇOISE HARDY. There is a splendid new album to discuss, of course – her first for six years. But the pioneering chanteuse also reflects on her remarkable career, recounts run-ins with The Beatles, Dylan and Nick Drake, and shares her own hard-won philosophies. “The truth?” she tells Tom Pinnock. “We will discover it after we die.”

Originally published in Uncut’s June 2018 issue

Follow Tom on Twitter: @thomaspinnock

___________________________

Tucked away on the back cover of 1964’s Another Side Of Bob Dylan is a poem. “For Françoise Hardy,” writes Dylan. “At the Seine’s edge/A giant shadow/Of Notre Dame/Seeks t’ grab my foot…

Hardy has known about Dylan’s untitled poem for the past 54 years, but it was only a few months ago that she really began to understand it.

“Earlier this year, two Americans got in touch with me,” she says. “They had inherited some drafts of the poem that Dylan had left in a café. They sent me these drafts, and I was very moved. This was a young man, a very romantic artist, who had a fixation on somebody only from a picture. You know how very young people are… I realised it had been very important for him.”

It is early spring when Uncut meets Hardy at the chic Hotel De Sers, not far from the Arc De Triomphe. She prefers not to venture out of central Paris if she can help it, so our rendezvous is near Hardy’s home, and just two miles from the ninth arrondissement where the singer grew up. Just turned 74, Hardy is still slim and bright-eyed, quick to laugh and as stylish as ever – today she’s wearing dark skinny jeans, a black top and a fitted blazer, with a bright-red scarf and gold necklace her only accessories.

Bob Dylan’s not the only artist to have been captivated by Hardy and her work, of course – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nick Drake, David Bowie, Richard Thompson and Graham Coxon have all paid tribute to her considerable musical gifts.

“My sister had a Françoise Hardy single,” remembers Richard Thompson. “I think it was ‘Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles’. My sister had other French records of the period – Richard Anthony, Hugues Aufray – so I was used to the intimacy of style. [But] this was sexier! If you put it together with the pictures of Françoise, it was a powerful package.”

Yet Hardy is not just a muse, but a compelling artist in her own right. She first came to prominence in 1962, aged just 18, with a mostly self-penned debut of infectious yé-yé – Europe’s pop take on rock’n’roll – and swiftly scored a massive hit with “Tous Les Garçons…”, which even cracked the UK Top 40.

“It was my first and most important hit,” Hardy says. “Unfortunately, as it’s not my best song!”

The tune was sprightly, but the lyrics were better suited to one of Émile Zola’s more miserable heroines than a young purveyor of Gallic pop: “I go alone through the streets,” Hardy sang. “The soul in pain… I go alone, because nobody loves me.”

“She was the opposite of all the French new artists trying to look and sound American,” explains renowned photographer Jean-Marie Périer, Hardy’s partner for much of the ’60s. “And her melodies were sad, she didn’t try to make them dance the twist.”

Hardy continued mining this seam of melancholy through a run of albums that quietly and tastefully explore styles from Brazilian jazz to English folk-rock. We’re in Paris to discuss these records, along with Hardy’s unexpected new album, Personne D’autre, in which she examines mortality and spirituality; in many ways, the record’s closest cousin may be Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker.

“At my age the lyrics you are singing cannot be the same as the ones you were singing when you were 30 or 40 or even 50,” explains Hardy. “They have much to do with your past, but also with the idea of another life, in another universe.”

The Ciambra

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Writer/director Jonas Carpignano made a splash with his rich, observational debut in 2015 with Mediterranea, a topic drama about the plight of fruit-pickers in southern Italy. One of the characters in Mediterranea was Pio Amato, a shrewd 14 year-old Roma living on the rough edges of a Cambrian town called Gioia Tauro. Carpignano revisits Pio – as well as a few other characters from Mediterranea – for The Ciambra, a coming-of-age study set on the fringes of Italian society where poverty and racial prejudice are rife.

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Carpignano Ciambra follows Pio as he heads towards manhood while simultaneously escalating his life of crime. With his father and elder brother imprisoned for stealing electricity, Pio has by default become the sole family breadwinner. To put food on the table, he resorts to an extensive array of inventive petty criminal tricks. Trouble will come, of course.

The film counts Martin Scorsese among its executive producers and it shows some of his influence as well – particularly masculine codes of loyalty, violence and respect as well as reverence for the family above all else. As with many of the characters in Carpignano’s films, these are nonprofessional actors playing versions of themselves – including 15 members of Amato clan, dominated by Pio’s mother Iolanda. This slight blurring of fact and fiction recalls Robert Bresson, but overall The Ciambra cleaves closest to the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes – masters of European realist cinema who have similarly tackled hot-button issues including illegal immigrants (LA Promesse), teenage poverty (Rosetta) or the black-market trade in adoption (L’Enfant).

The Ciambra – named after the housing block where Pio and his family live – moves at a leisurely, slightly unformed pace but in Pio, Carpignano has found a natural star, a stubborn, wily man-child whose vitality is to be celebrated, even if his moral and ethical standards are somewhat below par.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

U2 announce 2LP vinyl reissues of Achtung Baby and Zooropa

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U2’s vinyl reissue campaign continues with the announcement that Achtung Baby, Zooropa and The Best of 1980-1990 will be re-released in two-disc vinyl form on July 27.

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All albums have been remastered and pressed on 180gsm black vinyl. Artwork is based on the originals, expanded to accommodate the two-disc format.

The tracklistings for the new editions are as follows:

Achtung Baby:
Side 1
Zoo Station
Even Better Than The Real Thing
One

Side 2
Until The End Of The World
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
So Cruel

Side 3
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World

Side 4
Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
Acrobat
Love Is Blindness

Zooropa
Side 1
Zooropa
Baby Face
Numb

Side 2
Lemon
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car

Side 3
Some Days Are Better Than Others
The First Time
Dirty Day
The Wanderer

Side 4
Lemon (The Perfecto Mix)
Numb (Gimme Some More Dignity Mix)

The Best Of 1980–1990
Side 1
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
New Year’s Day
With Or Without You
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Side 2
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bad
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Will Follow

Side 3
The Unforgettable Fire
Sweetest Thing
Desire
When Love Comes To Town

Side 4
Angel Of Harlem
All I Want Is You
One Tree Hill
October

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

In praise of Arcadia – part folk horror and part documentary

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In 2011, the BFI released Here’s A Health To The Barley Mow, a compilation of archival films celebrating the folk customs, songs and dances of Great Britain. Arcadia is its natural companion: a look at the changing relationship the British have with the land around us, as seen through local celebrations and festivals to agricultural practises, village life and lost crafts.

In some respects, Arcadia also falls into a small cluster of films from the late 60s and early 70s knotted around the edgelands of Britain; places saturated in folk memory. Philip Trevelyan’s The Moon And The Sledgehammer documented the extraordinary Page family, living in a wood in Sussex without electricity of running water, while Peter Hall’s Akenfield chronicled the changing character and rhythms of a Suffolk village during a time of agricultural upheaval.

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Arcadia, meanwhile, appears less driven by socio-political agenda. While some Deep Englanders will presumably delight in the footage of sun-dappled village greens, country churches and schoolboys playing cricket – all this soundtracked to “Jerusalem”, of course – it is only to offer a counterpoint to a more visceral and demonstrably real depiction of the British countryside. This is the hard work undertaken by rural communities in order to survive, where the British landscape is a lonely and unforgiving place. In that respect, Arcadia feels close in spirit to The Leveling, God’s Own Country and Dark River – social-realist dramas that focused on bleak portraits of rural life.

There is magic here, too. Director Paul Wright interweaves footage of backbreaking manual labour with shots of May Queen coronations, water diviners at work or girls dressed as fairies skipping round a fountain. Adrian Utley and Will Gregory’s score adds a kind of eerie texture. One further comparison would be Julien Temple – if his films on London have explored the roots of the capital then with Arcadia Wright has achieved a similarly hypnotic and heady equivalent on the British countryside.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

“Prince wasn’t afraid to try anything. He was fearless”

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Prince Rogers Nelson would have been 60 years old this month. To mark the occasion, Warner Bros has announced the release of a previously unheard Prince album, Piano & A Microphone 1983, recorded at his home studio in the midst of his first imperial phase.

You can read our exclusive first-listen preview of the astonishing Piano & A Microphone 1983 in the new issue of Uncut – on sale now – along with an extensive career-spanning feature that tells the story of some of Prince’s greatest albums through the eyes of his closest musical collaborators, including members of his three most significant bands: The Revolution, The New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL.

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“He was on a mission,” says The Revolution drummer Bobby Z, who despite being with Prince since 1977, was still amazed by his boss’s creative energy. “He recorded so fast! Sometimes he’d take the time to teach or slow down to rehearse it, but a lot of times he was moving at 100 miles an hour.”

“I have watched him in a studio play all the parts, each on a first take,” confirms Z’s Revolution bandmate Matt ‘Dr’ Fink. “It went from his mind straight to his fingertips – it was astounding.”

Yet despite having the ability to write and record multi-part albums by himself, Prince increasingly came to rely on his bands as an additional creative resource. Sonny T of The New Power Generation reveals how it was easy to get sucked into Prince’s world: “We rehearsed around the clock at Paisley Park, that’s why that particular configuration of NPG was so tight… I was living there! I never went home. I’d just sleep in Studio B, in the lobby, wherever I could lay down. Rehearsals started at one, then the next thing you know there’s a recording session, and that would go until God knows when. Then the wheel would start all over again.”

Yet despite the long hours, the sheer breadth of Prince’s creative scope meant the band were never allowed to get bored. “Prince wasn’t afraid to try anything,” says NPG keyboardist Morris Hayes. “He was fearless.”

Read much more about Prince from those who knew him best in the August 2018 issue of Uncut, on sale now.

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg

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If you haven’t heard the one about the disgraced car designer, chances are you haven’t heard the ones about the leftist Italian publisher or the explorer seeking the lost Welsh tribe in Patagonia either. Super Furry Animals tended towards the giddily obtuse in their pomp – Paul McCartney notably played “celery and carrot” on 2001’s Rings Around The World. However, frontman Gruff Rhys has headed further into conceptual space since – solo and with his Neon Neon side-project. His music has consistently fizzed with ideas, but the 47-year-old’s desire to explore everything through the prism of something else has been wearing for the unconverted. Eyes may glaze over again at the news that his fifth solo album proper combines millennial angst, a sour assessment of Mel Gibson’s Hamlet and a gigantic orchestra. Reassuringly, though, Babelsberg is neither as big nor as clever as it seems.

Recorded in a one-day session in 2016 a week before producer Ali Chant’s Bristol studio, Toybox, closed down to make way for a new residential development, Babelsberg’s basic tracks went into cold storage for the best part of 18 months while Rhys pondered what to do with them. Eventually, he decided to let composer Stephen McNeff and the National Orchestra of Wales place a wide-screen backdrop behind his unusually small-scale songs of disillusion. In the interim, the world turned upside down. Britain voted for Brexit, the United States voted for Trump, but Babelsberg – its name lifted from a road sign Rhys spotted on tour – lost none of its fizz in the can, and sounds like a record of its moment: absurd, bewildered, and somewhere beyond a joke.

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“I’m just a monument to times gone wrong,” Rhys sings on Lee Hazlewood-fired opener “Frontier Man”, Babelsberg’s journey to the “frontier of delusion” documenting the singer’s advancing years as well as the decline of Western civilisation, the life of the psychedelic troubadour seemingly losing a good deal of its John Wayne swagger beyond the badlands of 40.

The Philly Soul-psychosis of “The Club” maps out the raw humiliation of the fading cool-cat, past his prime and thrown out of “the club I built with my own two hands”, and a similar sense of incipient obsolescence underscores Rhys’ modern-life-is-rubbish assertions elsewhere. There is sympathy for the overheated freelancers in their coffee-shop offices on the Kinks-at-78 mania “Oh Dear!”, while “Take That Call” – a Kevin Ayers approximation of “She’s Leaving Home” – bemoans a touch-screen world scrolling way too fast.

So far, so Grumpy Old Men, but Rhys’s imaginings are more profound at their wildest. The Carpenters-smooth “Limited Edition Heart” sees something more monstrous hiding behind the façade of late capitalism (“I’m keeping my eyes peeled for military takeover at night,” Rhys sings, only half joking), while the sleepy “Drones In The City” recasts symbols of oppression as reassuring background hum, the dreary devil you know.

Babelsberg’s anxiety peaks on the Robert Wyatt-flavoured “Architecture Of Amnesia”, Rhys’ postcard from a fascist future. “And they built a wall, switched on searchlights on the brim, and invented a pariah at which everyone was shouting,” Rhys keens, aping the up-all-night stary-eyes of Pulp’s This Is Hardcore. The stuff of fever delirium in 2016; standard morning headlines two years on.

Such desperate days might seem to demand more radical noise, but Rhys’ limitations suit him here, even though “Same Old Song” bridles at the mundanity of his craft (Rhys tells Uncut he sometimes feels he “should be making ground-breaking abstract electronic music”). Humbler truths have their place, though: “Sing a song of love gone wrong,” he shrugs. “And the accolades unzip their shackles.” The lovin’ bucketful of “Negative Vibes” may well be Babelsberg’s most compelling piece in that regard, Rhys stretching touchingly for the top of his range as seeks a truce with the forces of reaction.

Closer “Selfies In The Sunset” is lovelier still. A sweet’n’sour duet with model-turned-polymath Lily Cole, it envisions the absurdity of the doomed millions taking one last cameraphone snap at the moment of the apocalypse (“count to three and pout your lips, hit the flash with your fingertips”), but finds a profound beauty as the earth dies beaming. “The backdrop’s blazing red,” purrs Rhys. “And everyone is equal in the valley of the dead.”

Babelsberg, meanwhile, is Rhys’ great leveller, perhaps the first record of his career that doesn’t demand a quadrophonic sound system, a slide show, a detailed explanation or a knowing wink. It’s warm and weird, but suddenly no stranger than the world around it. In surreal times, he finally makes sense.

Q&A
Gruff Rhys
This is a record of quite intimate songs with a huge orchestral backing: can you explain?

My last three records have been biographical records about other people whereas this album is songs about what’s going on in my daily life. I am a fan of a lot of orchestral pop records and it was an experiment for me – I’ve never used a fully symphony orchestra before. There are records where I think it works well: a lot of the Serge Gainsbourg records, Lee Hazlewood productions, even Curtis Mayfield records.

Babelsberg is bleak at times; do you despair of the modern world?
It’s not necessarily critical. It was recorded at a particularly worrying time for everyone, I think – a time of political uncertainty and paranoia. “Selfies In The Sunset” is that idea of taking photos at the time of the apocalypse – they’d probably look quite beautiful with the orange skies – so I think there’s some space left for hope there. Would there be a good song to play just before the apocalypse? Maybe something pathetic like “The Final Countdown” by Europe – maybe you could make a big deal of it with a countdown and some firework displays.

You have three wishes to fix the world: what do you do?
Right now, number one would be waking up – we should all wake up, fully. Number two, have a coffee, then number three, sort everything out.
INTERVIEW: JIM WIRTH

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Exclusive! Hear Graham Nash’s 1968 demo of “Teach Your Children”

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Graham Nash’s new career-spanning compilation Over The Years… is due to be released by Rhino on June 29.

It includes a previously unreleased 1968 demo of his song “Teach Your Children”, eventually recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for their 1970 album Déjà Vu. Hear the demo exclusively below:

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Speaking in the new issue of Uncut, on sale today (June 14), Nash says: “I just thought people might be interested in hearing things like ‘Teach Your Children’ from 1968, with one acoustic guitar, then hearing what it turned into when me and David and Stephen got our hands on it.”

When suggested that he could have easily become a protest folkie in the vein of Phil Ochs, Nash replies: “I know, but then I was with David, Stephen and Neil, and the world changes when you’re with those crazy people.”

Read much more from Graham Nash in the August issue of Uncut, on sale now!

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

Nile Rodgers & Chic unveil first new album in 25 years

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Nile Rodgers & Chic have set a release date for their first new album since 1992’s Chic-ism.

The aptly-titled It’s About Time is due out on September 7 through Virgin EMI.

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It includes the song “Boogie All Night” featuring Nao and Muru Masa, as performed on Later… With Jools Holland last night (June 12):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLjyr2Sc3is

Other guests on the album include Stefflon Don, Craig David, Anderson .Paak and Vic Mensa.

Nile Rodgers & Chic play a number of festival dates this summer, peruse their full itinerary below:

Jun 14 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Blenheim Palace, UK
Jun 15 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Belsonic Belfast, IR
Jun 16 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Malahide Castle Dublin, IR
Jun 17 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Cork Live at the Marquee Cork, IR
Jun 22 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight, UK
Jun 24 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Scarborough Open Air Theatre Scarborough, UK
Jun 27 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Castlefield Bowl Manchester, UK
Jun 30 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Fiesta x FOLD 2018 Glasgow, UK
Jul 1 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Fiesta x FOLD 2018 Glasgow, UK
Jul 4 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Salle Pleyel Paris, FR
Jul 6 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Greenwich Music Time Greenwich, UK
Jul 11 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Alnwick Castle Northumberland, UK
Jul 13 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Henley Festival 2018 Henley, UK
Jul 14 Nile Rodgers & CHIC North Sea Jazz Festival 2018 Rotterdam, NL
Jul 16 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Juan Les Pins Festival Juan Les Pins, FR
Jul 19 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Belvoir Castle Grantham, UK
Jul 21 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Lytham Festival 2018 Lancashire, UK
Aug 4 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Wilderness Festival Cornbury Park, UK
Aug 5 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Brighton Pride presents LoveBN1 Fest Brighton, UK
Aug 9 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Sandown Live Esher, UK
Aug 10 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Live at Newmarket Nights Newmarket, UK
Aug 16 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Tempodrom Berlin, DE
Aug 19 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Ancienne Belgique Brussels, BEL
Sep 9 Nile Rodgers & CHIC Octfest New York, NY

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The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.

Watch a video for Cowboy Junkies’ new song, “The Things We Do To Each Other”

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Cowboy Junkies have released another song from their new album All That Reckoning, set for release on July 13.

Watch a powerful video for “The Things We Do To Each Other” below:

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Speaking about the album in the new issue of Uncut – on sale tomorrow (June 14) – Cowboy Junkies singer Margo Timmins says: “The situation in the world right now is forcing us all to be a little more political and forceful, and to have a voice and take action. It doesn’t surprise me that Mike [Timmins] is writing from that point of view, because we’re all being shifted to that place.”

The interview is part of an extensive Cowboy Junkies profile in the August issue of Uncut, which also features articles on Prince, John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Hawkwind and many more.

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The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.

Watch videos for three songs from Low’s new album, Double Negative

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Low have announced that their new album Double Negative will be released via Sub Pop on September 14.

Watch a ‘video triptych’ for the tracks “Quorum”, “Dancing And Blood” and “Fly”, below:

As with 2015’s Ones And Sixes, Double Negative was produced by BJ Burton at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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Low visit the UK next week for shows in Leeds and London, before returning for more dates in October:

Jun. 19 – Leeds, United Kingdom – Brudenell Social
Jun. 20 – London, United Kingdom – Queen Elizabeth Hall (Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival)
Oct. 15 – Bristol, UK – Trinity
Oct. 16 – Manchester, UK – Manchester Cathedral
Oct. 17 – Dublin, IE – Vicar Street

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The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.

Hear a new song by Sons Of Bill

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Sons Of Bill have released another song from their upcoming album Oh God Ma’am, set for release via Loose on June 29.

Hear “Firebird ’85” below:

“We spent a lot of time searching for the right sounds to convey the feeling of this one – the drum groove, guitar hooks, synth patterns – but when it all came together it felt pretty special and natural… it just feels like us,” says singer James Wilson. “I guess the song is technically ‘about’ a construction worker having a strange redemptive daydream about getting off work, but I thinks it’s the overall soundscape of the band that captures something unique. I like the idea of ordinary people, living out their ordinary lives, lost in some grand, cosmic drama inside their own head. It’s how all of our lives are.”

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You can preorder Oh God Ma’am here. Sons Of Bill tour the UK and Europe in August, full itinerary below:

Mon 13th – The Hope, Brighton (UK)
Tues 14th – Omeara, London (UK)
Weds 15th – Tunnels, Bristol (UK)
Thurs 16th – Brudenell, Leeds (UK)
Fri 17th – Broadcast, Glasgow (UK)
Sat 18th – Soup Kitchen, Manchester (UK)
Sun 19th – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (UK)
Tues 21 Aug – Blue Shell, Cologne (DE)
Weds 22 Aug – Milia Club, Munich (DE)
Thurs 23 Aug – Musik & Frieden, Berlin (DE)
Fri 24 Aug – Stage Club, Hamburg (DE)
Sat 25 Aug – Once In a Blue Moon Festival, Amsterdam (NL)

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The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason announces solo box set

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Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason has announced that his three solo albums from the 1980s will be reissued in box set form on August 31.

Unattended Luggage compiles 1981’s Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, written with Carla Bley and sung mostly by Robert Wyatt; 1985’s Profiles, a largely instrumental collaboration with 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn, also featuring David Gilmour on one track; and 1987’s White Of The Eye, the soundtrack for the British thriller movie of the same name, another collaboration with Rick Fenn. The latter album has been out of print for 20 years and never before released on CD.

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“These recordings hold a very special place for me in my musical life,” says Mason. “Listening back after 30 odd years, I’m delighted they are getting the reissue treatment. I’m rather hoping that sales will be sufficient to damage the market in the original rare vinyl versions!”

Unattended Luggage will be available in both CD and vinyl three-disc box sets, as well as digitally. You can pre-order it here.

Nick Mason will head out on tour with his early Pink Floyd band Saucerful Of Secrets from September – full details here. And it’s not too late to ask him a question for our Audience With feature in an upcoming issue of Uncut.

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The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.

August 2018

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Prince, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever all feature in the new issue of Uncut, dated August 2018 and out on June 14.

The Purple One is on the cover, and inside, his closest collaborators and confidants explain how he made his greatest albums – from the storied run of ’80s classics, through the troubled ’90s testimonials up to his often-neglected later releases. “We were in the full throes of constant creativity,” one insider tells us.

We also preview the upcoming archival album, Piano & A Microphone 1983, set to be released in September.

With a new solo compilation and tour, a recharged Graham Nash talks to Rob Hughes about breakfasting with Neil Young, a recent visit to Joni Mitchell and the mythic dynamic of his former bandmates in CSNY: “I don’t think we needed friction,” he says. “It was just there…”

Cowboy Junkies welcome us to Toronto as they reflect on their career so far, and their splendid new LP, All That Reckoning – “There’ve been times when we were done with the industry,” they tell us, “or done with this style of doing things, or done with a manager – but never done with outselves.”

Uncut goes on the road with Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, literate indie-rockers taking Europe by storm. Up for discussion: remote iron-ore mines, overpriced coffee bars and the mysteries of the songwriting process: “It’s like The Simpsons!”

Elsewhere, Teenage Fanclub take us through their fruitful career, album by album, while Jennifer Warnes reveals how she recorded her cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Famous Blue Raincoat”.

As a lost 1963 album by John Coltrane nears release, the survivors of Trane’s great journey tell all: “No-one could keep up with him,” we learn.

Wilko Johnson outlines the records that shaped his life and work, from Bob Dylan to John Lee Hooker, while Dave Brock answers your questions on Hawkwind and the dangers of overindulgence: “Don’t take acid constantly. You’ll go nutty…”

We feature astonishing new photos of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Cream playing a tulip shed in Lincolnshire; David Sylvian recalls his fruitful team-up with Can‘s Holger Czukay; and we talk to Run DMC and Sons Of Kemet.

Our extensive reviews section features new releases from Luluc, Ray Davies, Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Buddy Guy and more, and archival treats from Buffalo Springfield, Judee Sill, The Flaming Lips, Ornette Coleman and Grateful Dead. We also review All Points East festival, books on the likes of Jeff Buckley, and films and DVDs including Yellow Submarine, The Passenger and Fess Up.

Our free CD, Sounds Of The Times, includes 15 tracks of the best new music, including songs by Ty Segall & White Fence, Dirty Projectors, Olivia Chaney, Israel Nash, Ray Davies, Jim James, Dawes and more.

The new Uncut, dated August 2018, is out on June 14.

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Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide: Nick Cave

The latest edition of the ULTIMATE MUSIC GUIDE is a deluxe, remastered edition of our in-depth look at the work of NICK CAVE.

Fully updated since our original edition in 2013, this 148 page special features archive interviews and reviews of every Cave work: the albums, the books and the films. Now updated to include the past five years of activity by this compelling artist, including his most recent album Skeleton Tree, his new book and films.

It’s the complete Cave story so far: from the Boys Next Door through the Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds, 2018. The magazine features an introductory interview with Cave and a new afterword by Warren Ellis.

Order a copy