The musicianship of all four members of Queen is phenomenal. Roger, an extraordinarily multi talented man whom I've known for many years and always admired. John Deacon's original bass part with its lyrical fluidity that made it easy for me to know where to put the odd reinforcement. Freddy's original piano carried most of the song's musical DNA...
Weather, food, wine, beer and scenery aside, the things that keep us happily heading back to the big hexagon are the loveliness of the audiences and the quality of the French rock clubs. The owners, staff and often volunteers who work on gig evenings at theses places take such immense pride in their venues...
It is one of the UK's biggest entertainment industries, one that generates both money and memories quite unlike any other. So, it's only right & proper that we celebrate the UK's hard-working festival industry!
If I'm honest, the idea of making this album was an afterthought. I spent eight months working on Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Mandela was really into his music and part of my research was to understand what he liked. What I probably didn't realise at the time was just how much there was to discover. In the course of that journey, I felt like I discovered the roots of South African music. And there was so much to discover! South Africa has over 60 different tribes, and each has its own style of musical expression and its own unique style.
Swiss cellist Chiara Enderle has already gained an international reputation through numerous solo performances with orchestras including Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Her latest success is the Pierre Fournier Award for exceptional young cellists, awarded in July 2013.
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.