The music world is always abuzz with talk surrounding one topic or another. The latest talking point just recently revolves around bands and venues sharing set times for gigs. It seems such an innocuous thing to end up becoming a divisive topic and prompting arguments, but even so that seems to have become the case. While I can understand the reasoning from both sides, I’m of the mind that sharing set times does far more help than it does harm. Continue reading
A month ago I found myself meeting the artists behind some of my favourite music that I’ve written about over the past couple of years. When I was writing about their music it never really registered that my words might actually make a difference. Even when writing about music that you love and feel a deep connection to there’s still a real disconnect at work. So to have artists tell you in person how much your comments mean to them, and even quote them back to you word for word, was such a moving and gratifying encounter. It’s one of the many reasons that night was the highlight of my year. However, to then sink back into the daily grind, I found myself dwelling on the ordinary, everyday struggles. Continue reading
While not every song that graces the charts is worthy of derision, it’s no secret that the charts do very little to properly represent both music and the music industry as a whole. Songs that are just products of lazy corporate entities designed to make profits, that constantly clog up the single charts, do nothing to alleviate the age-old mentality of “modern music is rubbish, music was better back in my day!“. But why are the charts so broken and can they be fixed? Continue reading
For years I had the same routine every Saturday. I would head into town for a spot of lunch, look around HMV and the record stalls in the market, buy the latest copy of NME and chill for an hour or so in my favourite cafe. Over the course of a very large pot of loose leaf tea I would read every last article and feature. That seems like an age ago now. Pardon the nostalgia, but with the announcement that Britain’s most iconic music publication will cease printing by the end of the week after 66 years in circulation, I’d rather remember it as it used to be rather than what it became. Continue reading
Jack White’s latest tour has been making headlines with it’s no phone policy in order to promote a more “human” experience. This is nothing new, as his previous tours included a message asking fans to put their phones away and rely on the professional pics from the tour photographer to satisfy their social media needs. The difference this time around is the fact that a humble request has escalated to actually enforcing a venue-wide ban, which has been seen as a very heavy-handed move and prompted others to question the problem surrounding the use of mobile phones at gigs. Continue reading
If current music musings on social media are any indication, the “sound of 2018” will be that of petty squabbling and pretentious ramblings. As the year draws to a close and the industry slowly shuts down ready to hibernate over Christmas, there comes the customary last hurrah of end-of-year lists and ones-to-watch for the year ahead. There’s always an element of one-upmanship in these proceedings every year, but this year in particular has been notable for the amount of unnecessary vitriol being thrown around. I’m hoping this year will be the straw that broke the camel’s back, rather than a sign of further pointless bickering to come. Continue reading
I will admit, I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to live music. I didn’t attend my first proper gig until I was in university and it wasn’t until many many more down the line that I discovered that there is a stigma attached to going to concerts on your own. A great many more concerts later, both solo and with friends, and I still must profess that I don’t understand what the problem is. I think it’s high time people grow up and embrace the idea of going solo to live music events. Continue reading
In a shock result London grime MC Skepta has won this year’s Mercury Music Prize for his album Konnichiwa. The rapper has unfortunately beaten bookies (and public) favourite Blackstar by the late David Bowie. The final shortlist also included deserving finalists: Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room, Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate and A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead, who are still yet to win despite being the most nominated act in the prize’s history. Despite thoroughly disagreeing with the final result we can take solace in the fact that this year’s shortlist contained a varied and plentiful wealth of British talent… and y’know, at least it didn’t go to The 1975!
Modern music media is quick to write off albums as a thing of the past, pointing at dwindling sales figures as a sign that the end is nigh. Industry moguls can often be found lamenting over the apparently fickle nature of modern consumers and the fact that people these days simply can’t be bothered to sit through an entire album. To paraphrase Mark Twain: the reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated, and I for one am fed up of this bleak and out of touch outlook. The truth is albums have more power now than they have done in a long time, you just need to know where to look. Continue reading
Back making headlines the claim that Led Zeppelin’s magnum opus ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was stolen from the track ‘Taurus’ by Spirit, has been taken to court. A trial is scheduled for 10th May for supposed copyright infringement. The whole debacle is an absolute farce; the family of the deceased Spirit guitarist Randy California have decided to sue over 40 years since the song’s release, despite the fact that Randy himself never sought legal action. The two songs have nothing in common besides a very basic chord progression at the very beginning, something that occurs in innumerable songs. Any court with any sense should realise that the claim is a load of rubbish.