I interviewed Steve Diggle of Buzzcocks a couple of years ago, just as their most recent album, The Way, was about to be launched. The interview was originally featured on Louder Than War in October 2014. I think the interview captures the essence of Steve and Buzzcocks very well and is certainly worth another read.
Steve Diggle’s enthusiasm is infectious. He believes that Buzzcocks have just recorded one of their finest albums and is itching to get out on the road and do what he loves best, sharing his music with the people he identifies most with, the audience. Speaking to Louder Than War during a brief rest between completing a US tour and starting the UK leg, Steve’s passion for The Way was tangible.
An amorous and exhilarating blend of colour, intrigue and passion
‘The Rover’, The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Directed by Loveday Ingram
The Swan Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon until February 11th 2017
Photo Credit – Ellie Kurttz
Perhaps one of the greatest triumphs of this outstanding Loveday Ingram production is that it has drawn more widespread appreciation for the writer Aphra Behn. Secret agent, proto- feminist, novelist, translator and propagandist among other things, Behn was the first professional female writer in England and Virginia Woolf said that “it was she who earned (women) the right to speak their minds”.
Loveday Ingram discovered The Rover on a shelf in the RSC and was instantly struck by the possibilities of the exotic and amorous story. It’s easy to see the resonance in late 2016 of a group of dashing and romantic fun-lovers escaping the increasingly puritanical and small-minded shores of England to a life of hedonism and excitement in Spain. While the cavaliers of Behn’s original story, who were fleeing Cromwell’s England after the execution of King Charles 1st, found love and adventure in Southern Europe, Ingram has cleverly relocated the story to South America during Carnival. This setting, coupled with Lez Brotherston’s stunning design, allows the intertwining tales of those seeking love, adventure or freedom to coalesce into a visually stunning spectacle.
I interviewed Mike Cooley of Drive By Truckers earlier this year for Americana UK. We discussed a range of issues related to their new album American Band. The album has sold very well and features highly in a number of ‘Album of the Year’ lists, including being Number 1 in the Bitter Southerner 2016 list.
The interview is even more valuable now in light of recent developments with Mike pulling no punches. Read it and hopefully enjoy Drive By Truckers when they tour here in March.
I interviewed Wilko in June 2012 as the book ‘Looking Back at Me’ with Zoe Howe was launched.
The last four years have certainly been a challenge for Wilko as he battled cancer. I met him again in August 2013 just before what many felt could have been his final performance at Bingley. His spirit was unbreakable and his performance was almost spiritual.
The interview originally featured in Wrexham Leader, Wrexham.com and Louder than War but it’s still one of my favourites so it’s worth another read.
In the land of the bland, the guitar riff will be King and Slade always had those to burn.
Slade, who play The William Aston Hall on Sunday, are a band who have certainly played a big role in the story of British popular music.
Watch the superb new 360 degree video from The Roseville Band of their latest single Blood, the title track from their new album, which is set for release in early February 2017 on Young Rebel Records. Fans who pre-order the new album can get Blood as a free download.
The video is filmed using 360° filming technology, and is created by the Wrexham based filmcafe.
The band will be touring throughout Europe in February before hitting the UK in March.
For more info go to www.facebook.com/therosevilleband
An evening of power, passion and inspiration
Of all the literature written about the golden years of Punk, possibly the finest is Barry Cain’s ’77 Sulphate Strip’. It is an essential, eye-witness account from the journalist who seemed to be present at every pivotal moment but also draws a fascinating conclusion – there were only ever five Punk bands. They were; The Damned, The Stranglers, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Jam. Yes, The Jam! One of the most successful bands of the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, placed right at the centre of the Punk phenomenon.
Punk pioneers pull another rabbit from a hat
Pick a band from the ‘Punk’ era whose vitality, energy and frantic brilliance captured the essence of the whole movement on one bone-shaking, guitar-charged, adrenalin rush of an album. Now pick a band who manage to distil a range of influences from Rimsky Korsakov, through ‘50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, ‘60’s psychedelia, Prog, and Glam with always the finest ear for a melody.
Never Be Defeated – Joe Solo talks about the research and recording of his album about Hatfield Main Colliery during the Miners’ Strike.