Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are now comfortably settled as one of the great British bands of the last decade.
In a series of exclusive interviews for the cover story of our new issue (on sale from this Friday, April 27), John Robinson speaks to Alex Turner and bandmates Matt Helders, Nick O’Malley and Jamie Cook, as well various of their collaborators, heroes and admirers, including John Cooper Clarke, Richard Hawley and Alain Johannes, the Queens of the Stone Age guitarist who worked alongside QOTSA’s Josh Homme on the band’s third album, Humbug.
Elsewhere in the issue, there’s a personal update on his forthcoming projects from Neil Young, who’s been on the phone to tell Uncut about his ‘historic art project’, A Letter Home, the re-issue of Time Fades Away, an eventual release for Archives Volume 2 , a follow-up to his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, a “fucking weird” science fiction novel and the launch of his digital music player, the much-touted Pono, which will be available from October.
Meanwhile, as an excited world waits for Kate Bush to make her live comeback in September and October with 22 shows at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, we reach back fully 25 years and discover in the archives of Melody Maker what experts have confidently described as her most revealing interview ever.
“As far as I was concerned, he was one of the great writers of our time,” one of his former managers, Andy Slater, told me in an interview for a piece I’ve written for the new issue on the great American songwriter, Warren Zevon. Warren’s fans included legendary names like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and most of the LA luminaries of the mid-70s, who held him in an esteem not always shared by the public and queued up to appear on his albums.
Friends from what Warren later described as his ‘cowboy years’ recall those demented times when Warren, a notorious alcoholic with an apparently insatiable appetite for drugs, guns and assorted mayhem, balanced twin careers as a full time hell-raiser and author of several albums that some of us regard as among the greatest ever made, the final tragedy of his career that he didn’t live long enough to make more of them, a rare kind of lung cancer claiming him in 2003.
Also among the features in the forthcoming issue, we have a terrific piece on Toumani and Sidiki Diabate , by Andrew Mueller, who visited them in Mali, Graeme Thomson looks back at the incredible career of Stax superstar Isaac Hayes, the self-styled Black Moses, who in his creative heyday took soul music to new heights, The Handsome Family tell Tom Pinnock about the making of “Far From Any Road” and how it ended up as the theme for the recent True Detective TV series, John Sebastian talks us through his greatest albums, and Bob Mould answers your questions in An Audience With..
In the Uncut Review, The Black Keys take pole position in the New Albums section with their new release, Turn Blue, about which Dan Auerbach has plenty to say in an extended Q&A. Among the other new albums reviewed are releases from Roddy Frame, Sharon van Etten, Chuck E Weiss, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires and Swans. Our Reisisue Of the Month is Skylarking by XTC and among other notable reissues are Nightclubbing by Grace Jones, Wreckless Eric and Oasis.
Have a good week. Enjoy the issue and anything you want to take up with us, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org