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Vote ACR for Brazil 2014!

Vote ACR for Brazil 2014!

In these days of global warming, political and economic turmoil, Orwellian government surveillance and the very real threat of a new Coldplay album, there’s one issue that has crept onto my radar today, and which stands head and shoulders above all else in terms of importance. Let me explain… The World Cup is drawing closer. […]

The only band that really counts

The only band that really counts

It was 50 years ago today. The world changed. Just as Kubrick represented the evolution of man in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I can only assume that a black monolith was present in Liverpool at the dawn of our new musical age, with four lads caressing its veneer; four lads who would change simply everything. […]

London Grammar, striking a blow for the youth of today

London Grammar, striking a blow for the youth of today

I can’t bear arrogance on stage. It puts me right off even the most over-achieving band. Clearly, there are some exceptions, where the arrogance is so utterly deserved that you’d happily sit through an hour of self-indulgent introspection because the artist is so bloody good. Step forward, Prince. But, at the other end of the […]

New Order - bridging NYC and MCR

New Order – bridging NYC and MCR

Walk down any street in Williamsburg, and your odds of passing somebody wearing a Joy Division T-shirt are pretty high. Admittedly, I’ve done my time in helping this cause – but it does sometimes feel that Joy Division are the unofficial mascots for Williamsburg. I frequently make the point that New York and Manchester have […]

Latitude 2013: posh teenagers and amazing drummers

Latitude 2013: posh teenagers and amazing drummers

I worry about the youth of today. Gig etiquette is simply not something that they understand. A case in point: as James Blake took to the stage for his Sunday afternoon slot at Latitude, it was almost as though anyone under the age of 20 had been ‘activated’, and their gormless trudge to the stage […]

From Gil Scott-Heron to Innervisions

From Gil Scott-Heron to Innervisions

Every word was savoured. I started the book, read the first hundred pages, and had to start again – just so that I could drink in the words again. In my mind, The Narrator’s distinctive growl enunciated each word with absolute clarity and authority. I’ve taken months to complete the book, despite it being barely […]

Weller in Brooklyn

Weller in Brooklyn

When Paul Weller rolls into town, I take notice. He’s probably the person I’ve seen perform live more than any other artist – I can honestly say that I’ve lost count. So, while I never had the pleasure of seeing either The Jam (in fairness, I was seven years-old when they split – so I […]

Sónar. Possibly the best festival in the world?

Sónar. Possibly the best festival in the world?

Held in central Barcelona every June and officially referred to as the ‘International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art’, Sónar is no ordinary music festival. Featuring some of the best established and up & coming electronic music artists in the world you can’t fail to be impressed by what you see and hear. […]

Someone else may have put the 'M' in Manchester

Someone else may have put the ‘M’ in Manchester

Last week, there was an article in The Guardian which made reference to Williamsburg as being ‘The World’s Hippest Neighbourhood’. It was fortuitous timing, for on Friday night the claim on this title could not have been any clearer. The substantiation of the claim wasn’t based on the creatively hirsute twenty-somethings, or the skate-boarding dads. […]

That'll be Daughter. They're not like Macklemore.

That’ll be Daughter. They’re not like Macklemore.

One of the more surprising bits of feedback I’ve received regarding the freethinking movement came from a colleague of mine a couple of years ago. She attended one of the early freethinking nyc nights, and ended up becoming a regular ‘freethinker’. She came straight out with the feedback: ‘I now know the real James’. The […]

Radio 2 Listeners: I'm revoking your license to have an opinion

Radio 2 Listeners: I’m revoking your license to have an opinion

Now this is a tough one. The spirit of the freethinking movement is to encourage conversation about music, to encourage opening your mind to new sounds. To encourage an opinion. The problem is, sometimes the opinion seems so totally at odds with ‘what’s right’ that I have to hold my hand up. Here goes… Over […]

The Return of The Man Who Fell To Earth

The Return of The Man Who Fell To Earth

Welcome back, Dave. In a year with some pretty great releases in the first quarter alone, it’s perhaps to be expected that the lead singer out of Tin Machine would more than hold his own. Let’s strip back, past the hullaballoo (I’ve never used that word before, but it feels completely justified), past the column […]