On a chilly November evening, a joyous Stan Lane - brother of the late, great Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame singer, songwriter, bassist, founding member and heart and soul of the Small Faces and The Faces - is holding court at the hallowed Half Moon in Putney.
I should be more excited but the tiredness is keeping my emotions at bay. It's probably a good thing. As Sunday draws closer and we buy final bits and pieces to add to the ever expanding kit the challenge we have set ourself is clear. We are about to embark on one of the toughest, most exhilarating moments of our lives.
Jay has just completed a UK schools tour encouraging young people to follow their dreams. He's a great example of tenacity after having bad experiences with his past record labels Relentless and Virgin.
Laurel has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NME, Q Magazine and many other publications. She's had support from Zane Lowe and Huw Stevens amongst others, and charted in Billboard.com's Top 40 Emerging Artists.
Before my dad passed away, I had the chance to show him the film and explain that he was the biggest influence in the moulding of the older Mandela. I moulded how Mandela moved on my old man, they have very similar traits. Tree is the most personal song on this album for me. After spending three weeks in the studio, I knew it was time to write a song that addressed his passing. The perspective is like, "He's gone, man. I wish I could say this to him." And that's how the first lyric came; it was really sort of a love letter to him.
I had the pleasure of working on an exciting project with U2 called Films Of Innocence. It featured the work of 11 different artists making visuals from U2's Songs Of Innocence album. Artist include: Oliver Jeffers, Robin Rhode, D*Face, Mode 2, Chloe Early, Ganzeer, Vhils, Maser, ROA, DALeast, and Todd James.
certainly admit that celebrity activists and good-natured donators alike are doing more to help the impoverished and diseased in the short-term than are cynical philosophers. Yet the maverick in me cannot help but condemn the whole affair.
For two of the most visceral, invigorating, and progressive bands in the country - both based in the supposed creative capital that is east London - to be taking inspiration from a movement started a century ago, is perhaps a little jarring.
This month saw the release of two full-length concert films with accompanying CDs and vinyl, from the 1975 Tour of the Americas and the Tattoo You trek of 1981. The Tour of the Americas was Ronnie Wood's first tour of duty, busy and fleet fingered around Keef's frankly brutalist, angular riffing at its crushing, decadent, sloppy best.
UK Music is launching an Internship Code of Practice because we are committed to helping skilled and dedicated young people find a job in a music business. We also want to ensure a fairer workplace for budding music industry professionals. Offering paid internships is one way to ensure those entering the industry have an equal chance of developing their skills irrespective of their circumstance.
Adele was brought up by a single mum who struggled for money but provided her daughter with a stable and loving home. That Adele is now wanting to do the same should be supported and applauded, not attacked as a sign of selfishness. It is the egotistical rock star who wants to play God that is selfish.
So after revisiting Fatima I gave the other Elgo Records musicians a listen while browsing artwork by the visual artists signed to the label. Let me show you what I found.
It's time for a break, an adventure. Time to trek up a mountain and feel tiny and insignificant. Time to lay under the stars and watch the sun set and rise. The everyday beautiful things that we take for granted because we're eyes down, focused on career, money and the next big opportunity. Time to refresh the brain and get some fresh perspective.
Band Aid reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa and Africans. It reflects a colonial mindset that is so deeply entrenched in Western culture that we aren't even aware it exists. The sight of a bunch of rich pop stars parading themselves as paragons of virtue and heroes is crass and eminently offensive. While it may allow them to wallow in self congratulation and positive PR, it is paternalism of the most grievous kind.... Ultimately, it is not Africa that needs to be saved, it is us. Only when we are saved from the greed and paternalism that distorts our understanding will Africa and the rest of the developing world finally begin to emerge from under the iron heel of Western hegemony.
John discovered that his first album had an incipient following in 2002 when a journalist, Mark Luffman, emailed him from Australia after finding the LP in a car-boot sale. "He raved about it. No one had ever said such nice things," says John. "It was considered a complete failure by my record company and management - they saw it as an experience best forgotten".
In the week that Alfie Boe's new album Serenata is released I caught up with James Morgan, conductor and producer (with Juliette Pochin) of Serenata for this exclusive interview.