Thursday 31 January 2013

Electric River UK tour (inc. Leicester)

Kent rockers Electric River head out on tour in February:

February 2013
Thu 21     Glasgow Pivo Pivo - with Colt45 & The Hostiles
Fri 22       Edinburgh Wee Red Bar - with Colt45 & The Hostiles
Sat 23     Carlisle The Brickyard - with Colt45 & The Hostiles
Sun 24     Manchester Gullivers - with Colt 45 & The Hostiles
Tue 26     Leeds - Santiago Bar - With Bad Ideas, The Indecisions & All Down But 9
Wed 27   The Railway, Ipswich
Thu 28     Leicester Soundhouse

March 2013
Sat 2      The Rattlesnake Angel (London)
Sun 3      The Beer Cart Arms Canterbury

Ticket details -

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Duke Special UK solo tour (inc. Leicester)

In March 2013 Duke Special will set off on a nine date tour of the north of the UK taking in the following cities.

5th – Musician, Leicester -
6th – Lowry Studio, Salford -
7th – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton -
9th – Civic Centre, Barnsley -
10th – Arches, Glasgow -
11th – Lemon Tree, Aberdeen -
12th – Ironworks, Inverness -
13th – The Sage, Gateshead -
14th – The Venue, Derby -

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Bearded Theory Festival: new artist additions‏


Derbyshire's biggest family friendly festival




Boot Hill All Stars | The Zen Hussies |The Caezars | Tankus The Henge
Andy Faze | Clumsy | Ed Tangent | Liquid Lounge | Lorraine Kickflip
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing feat. Andy Heintz
Pussycat & Dirty Johnsons | Andrew O'Neil | Bootscrape | Police Dog Hogan
The Membranes | Frenzy | Sunday Driver | 18 Nightmares at the Lux
Plus Special Sunday Lunchtime Guests: THE BEARDS

Bearded Theory Festival, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

BEARDED THEORY FESTIVAL have added an extensive number of acts to the line-up of their award winning event. Main Stage Additions include Stiff Little Fingers, New Model Army, The Farm, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Ruts DC and current Mercury Music Prize Nominees, The Hummingbirds. Other notable additions to the festival’s line up include Magical Sounds Dance Stage Headliners The Egg, A Guy Called Gerald and Subgiant.

Friday’s Main Stage now boasts a double headliner line-up, featuring headline performances from both cult rock heroes New Model Army AND Sheffield’s incendiary Reverend and the Makers. Also on the bill are Midlands heroes Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Mercury Music Prize nominees The Hummingbirds, Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart. Derby’s very own indie chart toppers The Beekeepers will also play a rare live set.

Saturday’s billing is topped by the legendary Asian Dub Foundation. Joining them on bill is celebrated folkster Seth Lakeman, reggae legend Macka B, classic rockers Quireboys. A double billing of Ska & Punk from Ruts DC and Citizen Fish, up & coming folk band AHAB. Bearded Theory favourites Zombie Met Girl complete the day’s line up.

Levellers will close the festival in style on the Sunday night and are joined on the bill by legendary Punk Rockers Stiff Little Fingers, Liverpuddlians The Farm (performing a greatest hits set), BT favourites Goldblade, acclaimed folk rock band Ezio, the heavily requested New Groove Formation, and The Lancashire Hotpots. Local success story, The Life & Times Of Brothers Hogg complete the bill.

Tornado Town is Bearded Theory’s 2nd stage, and much of their line up has now been confirmed. Highlights include cult punk band Far Cue, Maroon Town, Buster Shuffle, 18 Nightmares at the Lux, Left Step Band, Port Erin, The Membranes, Boot Hill All Stars, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and adrenaline filled rock n roll band Pusycat & Dirty Johnsons. The now legendary ‘Sunday Lunchtime’ slot features a performance from the acclaimed (and aptly named) Australian comedy-rock band, The Beards.

The Magical Sounds Dance Stage will once again be pumping out the heavy beats and they have produced another stunning line up in their now famous big top, featuring live headline performances from The Egg, A Guy Called Gerald and Subgiant.

Bearded Theory has also confirmed details of a number of exciting changes for 2013. These include a new late night Cabaret Tent located in the expanded Camping area, a new location and PA for The Waters Edge acoustic stage, which has been re-christened The Lock Inn, First acts announced include Will Kaufman’s innovative “live documentary” Woody Guthrie: Hard Times And Hard Travelin' and seven-piece bluegrass band Police Dog Hogan.

Of course, as an award winning Family Friendly Festival, the huge Angel Gardens Children’s Area will once again return, bigger and better than ever before. They will also be an even better family camping zone (with picnic tables for family evening meals), alongside a major investment in site art and the festival’s green spaces.

After hugely successful debut in 2013, Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell, (located just 20 miles from the festival), will once again be run the on-site bars, bringing with them a wide selection of Ale’s and Ciders

Michael Eccleshall, spokesperson for Bearded Theory Festival says, “We are once again proud to announce a fabulous line up for Bearded Theory – we believe it is our best ever!
We know how important it is in the current financial climate for Festival to provide both excellent value and a high quality event, and by keeping the cost of a full adult weekend ticket down to just £79, and actually reducing the price of Kids tickets from last year, you can join us and spend 3 magical days watching over 100 high quality bands for little more than the price of a major gig or sports event ticket. All of us at Bearded Theory HQ look forward to welcoming you all to Bearded Theory 6 next May”

Tickets are priced at £79 (Adults), £40 (Under 16's), £10 (Under 12's). Under 5`s are free (ticket required).

A Family Ticket for 2 Adults & 2 Children is £220. Booking fees apply.

Additional tickets options available include Thursday camping.

Tickets are available from, or by calling 08432 081 835.

All include 3 nights of camping and access to all music and on-site events.

No day tickets will be sold for Bearded Theory 2013.

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Alan Bonner UK Tour‏ (inc. Leicester)

Alan Bonner, one of the UK’s most exciting singer songwriters, is about to embark on a UK tour in support of his new album Balladeer, which is set for release March 4th.  Equipped with a glorious anthology of poignant yet truly beautiful ballads, his live shows promises to be emotionally charged and will leave his audiences stunned.  Alan prides himself on not only the intensity of his performances and quality of his voice, but by the honesty and confessional nature of his songs too, delivering a fantastic performance every single time.

If you’re searching for a sensational gig, which promises to linger with you after you get home and for days after, then make sure you get yourself over to one of Alan’s shows below:

February 5th // The Troubadour, London
March 7th // West St Live, Sheffield
March 12th // The Shed, Leicester
March 18th // Mr Wolf’s, Bristol
March 21st // The Brunswick, Hove
27th March // The Underbelly, Hoxton London 8.30pm

Having been compared by critics to the likes of Rufus Wainwright and David Bowie, finishing touches are being made to Alan Bonner’s second album Balladeer is out  Monday March 4th 2013. Having toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe in 2012, Bonner will be embarking on a UK tour in March 2013 before crossing the atlantic for his first US Tour in May to support the release of Balladeer, a set of beautifully crafted songs of love, loss, hope and redemption from a 21st-century Troubadour with folk leanings and a pop sensibility. With gentle orchestration by cello, piano, ukulele, accordion and guitar, Balladeer is a much more stripped-back affair than its 2008 predecessor.

You’ll hear Alan’s own unique take on the romantic and the political, the heart-breaking and the uplifting. There’s “Talia,” the heart-warming ode to a best friend, and “Rainbow Man,” a vitriolic protest song inspired by the infamous hate-killing of Matthew Shepherd. The nostalgic “Autumn” is a lonely reflection on a love long-since lost, the hopeful “Ocean” urges the listener to ‘love like you’ve never been hurt and just dive in’, and a happy-clappy dose of perfect folk-pop comes in the form of “Lighthouse Song.”

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Review: Allison Shapira – Coming Home

Allison Shapira – Coming Home (Independent)
Describing herself as a recovering opera singer, in 2012 Allison Shapira decamped from Harvard, and what reads like a particularly highflying career in communications and the diplomatic corps, to play the European coffee house circuit, with nothing but her new songs and an acoustic guitar for company. Remarkably, she’d only begun playing and writing lyrics the previous year.

She seems to have taken to the instrument quite naturally, eliciting a warm, unfussy tone from the strings, and what she lacks in technical know-how, she more than compensates with a voice that’s simultaneously rich, honeyed, dense and altogether quite beautiful. Set alongside her delicately picked guitar, it’s the groundbreaking early works of Joan Baez that come most readily to mind, though Shapira concentrates far more on her own material, rather than the traditional oeuvre. Interestingly, the one cover on “Coming Home” is Baez’s mid-‘70s calling card “Diamonds and Rust”.

The album begins with an absolute gem; “Man Walks By” is a love song of sorts, but with all the ambiguity and maturity of a classic Carole King or Carly Simon number. “All Along” recounts the tale of that initial trip to Europe, though not the adventure, but rather the heartbreak of leaving someone special behind. Known by her growing fan base as ‘Allison from Boston’, perhaps it’s her “Song for Boston” that best defines her. It’s another love song, but this time it’s for a city, and much like the rest of the record, it’s heartfelt and sincere.
Tony S.

Allison Shapira: Coming Home

Oscar academy given movie posters

More than 1,000 original movie posters from the golden age of Hollywood have been donated to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The posters document the era of "B-Movie" film-making in the first half of the 20th Century, covering genres such as westerns, war films and musicals.

They were donated by Dwight M Cleveland, a private Chicago collector.

The Academy said the posters filled "significant gaps" in its collection and were "a dream to receive".

All 1,088 posters will be housed in the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills.

"B-movies tap into the public consciousness and provide rich fodder for better understanding the times," said library director Linda Mehr.

'Set an example'

Mr Cleveland has been collecting since 1977, amassing what has been described as one of the world's largest and most historically significant movie poster collections.

"Film posters are one of the very few truly indigenous art forms of our country," the property developer said.

"By making these gifts, I hope to excite an appreciation for the works themselves among members of the general public and also set a good example for other collectors."

Posters in the library's collections are stored in climate-controlled vaults and can be accessed by film-makers, historians, journalists and students, as well as the general public.

They are frequently shown at the Academy's own exhibitions and loaned to cultural institutions worldwide.

Source: BBC

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BBC 6 Music leads digital stations in Rajar report

BBC 6 Music has overtaken Radio 4 Extra to become the leading digital-only station, Rajar audience figures show.

The music station now has 1.9 million listeners a week - up 31% on last year.

Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show added just under 1m listeners in a year, bringing its total early morning audience to 9.5m.

Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw, who replaced Chris Moyles in September, failed to reverse the downward trend of listeners to the station's breakfast show.

Figures show "Grimmy" pulled in 6.69m listeners in the three months up to 16 December - down from 6.73m in the previous quarter.

Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said the figures "exceeded [his] expectation" for a brand new breakfast show.

"This has been the biggest schedule change in a generation, which has resulted in the station's audience getting younger," he said.

Boost for Radio 2

Overall Radio 1 suffered a drop in listeners to 11.09m a week, compared with 11.19m in the previous quarter and 11.66m in the last three months of 2011.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show helped Radio 2 boost its weekly audience to 15.1m. The station added 1.2m listeners between October and December and 842,000 on the same period in 2011 - a 5.9% increase.

Just over 7m people tuned into Radio 4's breakfast programme, Today, representing a rise of 113,000 on the previous quarter.

But the station's weekly audience fell to 10.75m, compared with 10.84m in the previous quarter and 10.83m in the last three months of the previous year.

Meanwhile Radio 5 Live, the BBC's home of sport, added 26,000 to bring its weekly audience figures to 6.12m - down on last year's 6.22m.

Digital radio now accounts for a third of all listening. Figures are up 14% on last year, helped by better access to DAB receivers.

All digital stations have increased their weekly audiences year-on-year, though several stations lost listeners in the last three months of 2012.

BBC Radio 4 Extra's weekly audience dropped from 1.69m to 1.68m, while Radio 1's sister station 1Xtra showed a loss of 70,000 listeners over the quarter.

BBC Asian Network also suffered a loss from 584,000 between July and September to 453,000 between October and December.

The largest commercial digital station was Smash Hits with almost 1 million listeners, while Smooth 70s performed well by reaching more than 700,000 listeners.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said he was "delighted" with the results.

"Digital radio continues to transform the way people listen to the radio and one third of all listening to digital platforms represents an important milestone," he said.

Local radio

Figures for BBC local radio in England showed an increase of 209,000 listeners a week to 6.9m. However, this was a reduction on last year's 7.3m.

David Holdsworth, controller of English Regions, said: "It's good to see listeners continue to value the journalism, debate and interaction with local life offered by BBC Local Radio."

Heart is the UK's most popular commercial station with 7.36m listeners - up 23,000 on the previous quarter but down 1m on last year.

Among London listeners, Capital FM's breakfast show - hosted by Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon - remains the most popular early morning programme on commercial radio with 1.08 listeners.

In the last three months of 2012, however, it saw its weekly audience drop by 80,000 to 1.08m.

In the last three months of 2011 the programme had 1.31m listeners.

Source: BBC

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Review: Jupiter Vinyl – Lazy Ash Tree

Jupiter Vinyl – Lazy Ash Tree (Liquid Evergreen Productions)
Pittsburgh two-piece Jupiter Vinyl (Corinne Bohjanen on vocals and bass, Ed Horey on acoustic guitar and vocals) keep things relatively simple on their debut LP. Musically they keep to the guitar / bass template, with both performers taking both lead and backing vocals, though Bohjanen takes the majority of leads – which is fitting, as she writes the words. Their sound, a blend of upbeat folk and sunshine infused indie pop is never less than utterly charming, and is almost guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of the most cynical of music fans.

On stage they play a variety of cover material, from Johnny Cash to Radiohead, but for their debut they present only one non-original song, Maya Debski’s “Dreams from Clouds”. It’s not a name I’m familiar with, and have no original version to compare with, but in the hands of Bohjanen and Horey it becomes something quite beautiful and serene. Before that they open proceedings with “Magic Soap”, propelled by Horey’s fierce strum, it’s an irresistible cry for freedom, artistic or otherwise, and wrapped up in just over two exhilarating minutes. Just as good and twice as delightful is “Wabash”, a summer paean to driving south with the windows down. I can’t hear it without kicking off my shoes and cracking a cold one.

Before I sign off, I should mention the presentation, and available formats. Artist David Wadsworth has painted a picture in oils to accompany each song, and they can be seen with the CD edition, which comes in a 100% recycled eco-wallet case, with a 12-page booklet. Additionally, there’s a vinyl edition, which also includes artwork by Wadsworth. Needless to say, downloads are available, too.
Simon M.

Jupiter Vinyl: Lazy Ash Tree

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, What the Brothers Sang: album out 18th Feb. on Domino

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, What the Brothers Sang
Album out 18 February 2013 on Domino

As children, the music of The Everly Brothers touched Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy; it touches Dawn's children and the little 'prince' within Bonny today, and makes them dance and sing. The Brothers' harmonies make the hairs stand up - they enervate and inspire. Beyond the visceral impact of any one song, any "So Sad" or "Devoted to You" that rings out from the radio on any given day, there are also the tracks that the Brothers trod over the course of several decades of singing together and making records. They didn't stand still and neither did their songs. And so, What the Brothers Sang is no mere gesture of nostalgia; these new versions rethink The Everly Brothers for the audience of listeners today, people who naturally might have no knowledge or experience with those songs. Why should they? It's not everyone who trawls through the dust of the past for their pleasures. Most of us live today - and so, for today, these songs are made.    

What the Brothers Sang is made with deep respect for, is inspired by The Everly Brothers, but it pays tribute by being a record that only Dawn and Bonnie could make, and only in the room with the players that had come to join them. Their duets are a sensuous display of give and take that includes everything that's resonating in the room, every surface that's being pressed or rubbed or hit is a part of the action. Their harmonies are in the tradition, but they are their own, not cutting-on-the-dotted-line of Everly’s magic. These songs make Dawn and Bonnie more themselves. They have their own natural way, and it is infused in every deep moment of every song here.

What the Brothers Sang extols another chapter of The Great American Songbook - for as sure as the tuxedo-clad songs of Broadway and Hollywood were the fodder for several generations' worth of standards, so too were the songs that were written in Kentucky and Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, California and the rest; wherever the songs were written, if they resonated hard enough, they were sung by many. These too are songs for the American Songbook - they inform everything Americans sing today, and at the same time, they are becoming something different; something that will only get stranger as the slow traffic of time pulls away from the days of milk trains, clocks that chime and the rest of the world that The Everly Brothers and all of us came from.

With a great spirit of collaboration, support and exaltation, What the Brothers Sang was recorded and mixed by David Ferguson. The songs were played by Emmett Kelley, Dave Roe and Kenny Malone, with featured players Billy Contreras, John Mock, Dan Dugmore, Matt Sweeney, Pete Townsend, John Catchings, Bobby Wood, Joey Miskalin, Nils Frykdahl, Ian McAllister, Joey Baron, Dr. Chris Vivio, and Noah Tag. This is as fine a bunch of musicians as can be assembled, and their combined session credits include hundreds and hundreds of records - and a stack of number one singles - all of which informed their playing of the great Everly Brothers songs included on What the Brothers Sang.

What the Brothers Sang is available on CD (WIGCD300), vinyl (WIGLP300) and digitally (WIG300D).  Pre-order What the Brothers Sang HERE.  The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1.     Breakdown
2.     Empty Boxes
3.     Milk Train
4.     What Am I Living For
5.     My Little Yellow Bird
6.     Devoted To You
7.     Somebody To Help Me
8.     So Sad
9.     Omaha
10.  It’s All Over
11.  Poems, Prayers & Promises
12.  Just What I Was Looking For
13.  Kentucky

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Hilary Mantel wins Costa Book Award

Hilary Mantel has won the Costa Book Award for her novel, Bring Up the Bodies.

The Booker Prize-winning novel about Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell beat four other books to win the prestigious prize, worth £30,000.

The judges said it was "head and shoulders" above the other contenders and was "quite simply the best book".

Dame Jenni Murray, who chaired the panel, said the judges had made a unanimous decision.

Responding to criticism about her book winning too many awards and stifling other talent, Mantel said she was "not going to apologise".

"I'm not sorry, I'm happy and I shall make it my business to try to write more books that will be worth more prizes," she said on stage.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, she said: "I was writing for many years and I was not among the prizes at all or I was the perpetual runner-up.

"Things have changed in a big way, I feel my luck has changed but of course that's not true.

"What's changed is what I'm working on, possibly a project that's played to my strengths and a project that came along just when I was ready for it".

Dame Jenni said the prize had been "very difficult" to judge because the shortlisted books spanned five very different categories - poetry, children's, biography, first novel and novel.

The judges' discussion, which lasted around an hour, had considered that Mantel had already won the Booker but ultimately disregarded it.

"We couldn't allow the number of times it has already been lauded to affect our decision," she said. "It was quite simply the best book.

"[Mantel's] prose is so poetic, it's so beautiful, it's so set in its time, so you know exactly where you are and who you are with.

"But it's also incredibly modern, her analysis of the politics is so modern and everybody found there were things that just stuck in their minds that they would think about for a very long time."

A comic-style graphic memoir about James Joyce's daughter by Mary and Bryan Talbot and Francesca Segal's debut novel The Innocents were also in the running.

Kathleen Jamie's poetry collection The Overhaul and children's book Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner completed the shortlist.

All five shortlisted writers received £5,000 each.

The judging panel included actress Jenny Agutter, broadcaster Katie Derham, author Wendy Holden and writer DJ Taylor.

Source: BBC

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