News from Oliver Gray, who runs The Railway in Winchester, where he has promoted the Uncut Sessions, as a kind of Club Uncut in exile since we quit our original home at London’s Borderline. The Uncut Sessions started a couple of years ago when Oliver booked Richmond Fontaine for two special shows. The first, on what I remember was a rather damp and windswept Saturday afternoon, saw Richmond Fontaine play their brilliant Post To Wire album in its entirety. Their second show, that evening, featured just about every other song the band had ever played, written, recorded, covered or merely just heard, possibly once, blasting out of the radio of a passing car, whistled by a waitress, hummed by a barman or otherwise brought to their passing attention in vague and possibly unremembered ways. The set went on for what people later reckoned was about four hours, although by its end the crowd had in all likelihood have lost all sense of time and the band could have carried on well into the following week without complaint from anyone there.
Anyway, not for the first time, I digress. Oliver actually wrote with what I presume they still call somewhere a ‘heads-up’ about a couple of forthcoming Railway shows, neither of which if you are within reasonable travelling distance of Winchester you won’t want to miss.
The first is coming up pretty soon, on November 4, actually, and features long time Uncut favourites, Baltimore’s Arbouretum, whose new album, Coming Out Of The Fog, has been getting a lot of airplay in the office here ahead of its January 2013 release on Thrill Jockey.
The second show, in the New Year, is a rare UK show by the amazing John Murry (above), exciting news for anyone as thrilled as I was by his recent album, The Graceless Age, a record high on my list of the best albums of 2013, a personal favourite of the last 12 months, second only to Bob Dylan’s Tempest. Murry plays The Railway on January 30. For more details, go to http://www.railwaylive.co.uk.
As you’ll have seen from the new issue, I’ve recently been nose deep in new autobiographies by Neil Young, Pete Townshend and Rod Stewart, and I’m currently just finishing a new Mick Jagger biography by Philip Norman, who’s previously written at length about Mick and the Stones. There’s not much in the book Stones’ fans will be unfamiliar with, but, by God, it’s still an amazing story, despite Norman’s oddly condescending tone and the many instances in which Mick’s behaviour is truly appalling. I’m also working my way through The John Lennon Letters, a hefty collection of Lennon’s correspondence, including hand-drawn postcards, apparently drunken rants, acrimonious screeds, various fragments and scraps and even shopping lists, edited by Hunter Davies, who published the first biography of The Beatles, authorised by the band themselves, in 1968. There’ll be more on both in next month’s Uncut.
Have a good week.