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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. […]

freethinking bklyn 140201

freethinking bklyn 140201

There have been a few phases for freethinking nights. I think it’s fair to say that freethinking bklyn is finding a groove. It’s a place where the classic soul of Aretha Franklin sits alongside Chaka Khan’s disco anthems. Where the Northern Soul of Dobie Gray is matched with an entirely different type of northern soul […]

The Police: a perfect fit for freethinking

The Police: a perfect fit for freethinking

I was born in 1975. This puts me at 11 years old when just about the most exciting news came my way. When the music video for a track that I didn’t know was incoming burst onto my TV set, I was jumping for joy, and reaching for the [record] button on my VCR. Looking […]

The return of Matt Deighton and Michael Head

The return of Matt Deighton and Michael Head

2013 is littered with unfinished business. There’s much for me to write about that I have just not had the time to share. Like seeing the Pixies tear through an awesome set at Music Hall of Williamsburg (with a highlight as staggering as it was surprising: ‘Bagboy’). Or Janelle Monae lighting up the Apollo as […]

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 […]

2013: Top ten albums

2013: Top ten albums

In any other year, the 2013 releases from Laura Mvula, Disclosure or Unknown Mortal Orchestra may have made the cut for the ‘best ten’. But, 2013 was about as solid a year for music as you can hope for. Even a rejuvenated and frankly otherworldly David Bowie didn’t make the list this year. And, I […]

freethinking bklyn 130927

freethinking bklyn 130927

Williamsburg may be a ‘hood with a reputation for the ‘quirky’. People don’t appear to bat an eyelid when a besuited bloke walks down the street playing a ukelele and singing to himself, or when a guy uses the bike lane for his unicycle. And so, in this ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ time of […]

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. […]