The nominations for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, celebrating the best albums the UK has had to offer over the past year have just been announced. As is to be expected it includes a mixture of mainstream, critically acclaimed and slightly obscure artists. The full list consists of: Adele – 21 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys! Everything Everything – Man Alive Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam Gwilym Simcock – Good Days at Schloss Elmau James Blake – James Blake Katy B – On A Mission King Creostoe & John Hopkins – Diamond Mine Metronomy – The English Riviera PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy
Personally, I think James Blake or Metronomy are worth a punt as critically-acclaimed but accessible albums but with the Mercury Prize’s record of rewarding obscurity I wouldn’t rule out a victory for pianist Gwilym Simcock.
The line-up for this year’s Festival Republic Stage at Reading & Leeds has been announced and it’s rather good! The latest announcements include some of the most promising buzz bands/artists of the moment including Tom Vek, Ed Sheeran and Foster The People.
The full line-up is as follows:
Friday 26th August at Reading / Saturday 27th August at Leeds
Foster The People
Dry The River
Saturday 27th at Reading / Sunday 28th at Leeds
The Midnight Beast
And So I Watch You From Afar
Mariarchi El Bronx
Young The Giant
She Keeps Bees
Sunday 28th at Reading / Friday 26th at Leeds
The Twilight Singers
Fight Like Apes
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Having recently headlined the NME Radar tour in the UK, completed a full US tour, played at various European festivals then with Arctic Monkeys at Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl, Anna Calvi has now announced a full UK and Irish tour. The ten date tour which runs this October and November will see her performing at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on November 1st. Anna Calvi is also co-headlining this Thursday night at the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London (with Ron Sexsmith) and is playing at Glastonbury, Latitude, Field Day and Reading & Leeds festivals.
Full Tour Dates:
Sun 30th Oct – Concorde 2, Brighton Mon 31st Oct – Trinity, Bristol Tue 1st Nov – Shepherds Bush Empire, London Fri 4th Nov – Library @ HMV Insitute, Birmingham Sat 5th Nov – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham Mon 14th Nov – Cathedral, Manchester Tue 15th Nov – Oran Mor, Glasgow Wed 16th Nov – Cockpit, Leeds Sat 19th Nov – Vicar Street, Dublin Sun 20th Nov – The Empire, Belfast
This is something different – but trust me it’s amazing! July 11th will see the release of the innovative collaboration between Basement Jaxx & the Netherlands’ Metropole Orkest put together with a helping hand from conductor and arranger Jules Buckley. Based on the tracks below the whole project looks set to be one of the biggest surprises of the year; the sixty-piece orchestra and twenty-voice strong choir have turned incredible dance tracks into dramatic, classy and, at times, gorgeous pieces of music. Personally, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve heard so far this year! Basement Jaxx Vs Metropole Orkest by Atlantic Jaxx Recordings The album is released July 11th
Apparently rock bands are like buses, you wait ages then three come along at once! Following Coldplay’s new single & Kaiser Chiefs’ sneaky new album, Kasabian, never ones to be outdone, have announced the release of their latest album Velociraptor! on September 19th. The band have put Switchblade Smile online as a taster of what can be expected when the full album arrives in the autumn and it is suitably anthemic. Mixing electro & rock it’s huge, innovative and unique in a way that we’ve come to expect from the band. This is not an official single but when the music’s this good who cares?! Make no mistake Kasabian are most definitely back! Switchblade Smiles by kasabian
Wild Beasts have announced the second single to be taken from their critically acclaimed album Smother will be Bed Of Nails. The single, due to be released 11th July, is a slice of ambient pop typical of the sound which has garnered so much praise for the band, punctuated with the dreamy, fluctuating falsetto of Hayden Thorpe. Bed Of Nails will be available in the unique format of a limited edition postcard featuring artwork from photographer Jason Evans and all 500 will be signed by the band with a code to download the track. The postcards will be available exclusively from Domino Mart & Wild Beasts’ online store or pre-order it Here. Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails by DominoRecordCo
James Blake has once again teamed up with Martin De Thurah, the man behind the video for Limit To Your Love, for the video accompanying his latest single Lindisfarne. The track itself is as atmospheric as we’ve come to expect from this master of production, while the video is at once engrossing and disturbing, with it’s dreamy camera shots perfectly complimenting Blake’s creation. Perfect for anyone who has, this year, found themselves enthralled by James Blake’s inventive use of sound.
Fresh from selling out shows on both sides of the Atlantic London quartet Yuck follow up their critically-acclaimed debut EP with double A Side single Shookdown/Milkshake. Shookdown, taken from their self-titled album, is a deliriously gorgeous lovesong fueled by fantastically romantic lyrics. Milkshake, a brand new track, is a more reserved affair, but every bit as exhilarating as has come to be expected from the band.
Shook Down by Yuck Milkshake by Yuck Shookdown/Milkshake is due for release next month & you can catch Yuck on a string of UK tour dates throughout the end of May.
Reading & Leeds Festivals have announced the line-up for the Lock Up Stage. Curated by Radio 1′s Mike Davis the stage will play host to some of the most promising Punk Rock bands 2011 has to offer.
Playing Saturday 27th August at Reading & Sunday 28th at Leeds are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, King Blues, The Bronx, Capdown, Leftover Crack, Comeback Kid, Boysetsfire, Street Dogs, Teenage Bottlerocket, Title Fight & Sharks.
Taking to the stage on Sunday at Reading & Friday 26th at Leeds are Descendents, Flogging Molly, Face To Face, Hot Water Music, Bedouin Soundclash, Off!, The Black Pacific, The Mezingers, Your Demise, Spycatcher & Mouthwash.
Belsonic have announced that this year’s festival will be headlined by Beady Eye & 30 Seconds To Mars. 30 Seconds To Mars will perform Tuesday 16th August, while Beady Eye will be joined by The Vaccines when they play on Saturday 20th. Example has also been confirmed to appear alongside Dizzee Rascal on the Wednesday night. The latest announcements join a line-up consisting of Elbow, The Specials, Primal Scream & Plan B as headliners with Katy B and Wretch 32 confirmed as support for one of Northern Ireland’s biggest outdoor music events.
For full line up information including dates & prices head over to the official website.