Peter Hook visited a small gig venue in São Paulo today just to meet fans up close and to answer their questions. My wife and I had arranged the visit for the British Consulate who plastered the venue with their 'Music is GREAT' branding - and of course when you are talking about British music, it really is!
If you lived through the sixties, chances are you were either a Beatle or a Stone. If rock 'n' roll wasn't your thing then you would have been forced to choose between Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
Unusually we do actually have a fair split of male and female employees, something I don't often see within equivalent sized indie labels. It definitely wasn't like this in the beginning and I clearly remember multiple assumptions that I was the director's personal assistant in early meetings rather than the label manager.
Sharkey's massive solo smash A Good Heart was written by Maria McKee... about Benmont Tench... Then Sharkey's follow-up hit, You Little Thief was written by Tench in response to McKee, so Sharkey turned into smash hits these two songs that are actually a conversation. I love that anecdote...
The process is so powerful and motivating (and not only because of the time constraints; deadlines can be marvellous things). Such strong imagery can provide direction to writing that you just don't get by sitting down in front of a blank page every morning. The images, from the culture of a by-gone age, are wonderful, and a natural inspiration for song.
The coming of the age of austerity means that the big corporates that used to throw extravagant parties/conferences etc either simply can't afford to do so anymore or have decided that ostentatious displays of decadence and largesse are inappropriate in these straightened times.
While celebs like Robbie undoubtedly use the vids for some serious self-promotion, for the rest of us it's an amazing chance to document the experience from start to finish and - in some cases - to share with the world.
I was shocked last week to see a real chimpanzee in One Direction's new music video for Steal My Girl- shocked not only because the animal who was seen lovingly played with by band members Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik is known to have come from an entertainment-industry animal supplier with numerous citations to his name...
Over recent years we've seen a move away from purchasing music to having access to an always-on supply of all our favourite tracks. Ten years ago we would have bought a CD and shared it between us. Up until now, digital and streamed music has been aimed at the individual and it has been difficult to share it, even with those under the same roof.
Greats Cynics, purveyors of life affirming punk, are about to head out on tour with Joyce Manor and Cheap Girls. To celebrate this trip across the UK and Europe, they're releasing a tour tape with two new tracks. Released on Jen Long's label Kissability, you can listen to an exclusive stream of their track 'Lost & Found' below.
Last year over quarter of a million pounds was raised from 60 plus regional Takeovers throughout the UK and this year the target is £400,000. Since 2006, Oxjam has raised more than £2.3million for Oxfam.
It's against that backdrop that the former Gordon Sumner delivers a Broadway musical, The Last Ship, which opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theater.
I get the lowdown from on the UK's hottest new talents, John J. Presley to discuss the blues and the current state of the UK scene. Ask any rock fan ...
Returning to Britain, I joined another band and hey presto, two of the members were Swedish. Perplexingly we never got round to playing a gig in their home country, but we did manage to all go to a wedding in Stockholm which is the first and only time I've ever seen a wedding cake being thrown across a dancefloor. It ended up, quite literally, in the best man's face.
Drawing on musical influences from all genres, hip-hop to soul to punk, it's this fusion, energy and drive that makes watching Sanchez vs. Fighter Pilot live such a joy. It's undeniable that these guys are talented musicians, but for Markie when writing the songs, it's always about how it feels over technical ability.
The four women who comprise Warpaint certainly work hard. After 10 years as an entity, this Los Angeles-based collective certainly seems to have a telepathic connection on stage.