NEWS: Mike Oldfield Announces Re-Release Of “Platinum” and “QE2”

Universal’s Mike Oldfield reissues continue with albums five and six…
The music of Mike Oldfield is some of the most spiritual, ethereal, reflective and sensual in rock – and above all, incomparable.
Since the release of his seminal album ‘Tubular Bells’ the award-winning producer/musician has continued to break new ground with each fresh body of work. Moreover, Oldfield is one of those rare breeds of composer whose music continues to be re-evaluated and re-appreciated to this very day, which is one of the reasons why his re-issues are so warmly welcomed with open arms by fans, both old and new.
Now the fifth and sixth instalment of his catalogue reissues – ‘Platinum’ and ‘QE2’ – is to be released on Universal Music Catalogue/Mercury Records on July 23rd 2012.
Since Oldfield’s Virgin catalogue moved to Mercury in 2008, he has worked tirelessly with its new stable to ensure the highest standards are maintained when revisiting his masterworks, and this enterprise no different. As with the previous reissues in this series, Oldfield has been closely involved in their assemblage, selecting material, approving masters and adding material from his archive to make the packages definitive editions. The CD and digital releases are complimented by limited edition collectors’ coloured vinyl versions of both albums.
Album 5: ‘Platinum’
Recorded in part at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the mood of Oldfield’s fifth album especially reflects the bustling dynamic of the city in the late Seventies. It was Oldfield’s first album to feature shorter songs, including a beautiful version of George Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’ and a new arrangement of ‘North Star’ by Philip Glass.
The 2012 remastered edition contains three bonus tracks – a live studio session of ‘Platinum’, a 2012 mix of ‘North Star’ by Oldfield and the single A-side, ‘Blue Peter’. The second disc of the Deluxe edition – which features an interview with Oldfield in its 16-page booklet – contains nine previously unreleased tracks recorded during the ‘Platinum’ tour at Wembley Arena in May 1980.
Album 6: ‘QE2’
Taking its name from one of the last great Transatlantic ocean liners, Mike Oldfield’s sixth album was a beautiful blend of instrumentals and songs that reflected the shifting musical landscape which heralded a new decade. Released in October 1980, it features two of his most loved instrumentals, ‘QE2’ and ‘Taurus’, as well as cover versions of ‘Wonderful Land’ by The Shadows and, surprisingly perhaps for the time, ‘Arrival’ by Abba.
The 2012 remastered edition contains three bonus tracks, the single edit of ‘Wonderful Land’, the live B-side ‘Polka’, and a 2012 reworking by Mike of Sheba, entitled ‘Shiva’. The second disc of the Deluxe edition, which contains an interview with Mike in its 16-page booklet, features nine previously unreleased tracks recorded on the ‘QE2’ tour in Essen, Germany in April 1981.

ALBUM REVIEW:Amanda Mair “Amanda Mair”

Amanda Mair has an unfair advantage. She is a teenage popstar from Sweden, two distinct advantages that set her apart from the crowd. Sweden has produced everyone from ABBA through to the A*Teens, Robyn through to Loreen – all acts who have used pop to conquer the world and it’s dancefloors. Throw into the mix her tender years and popstar good looks, qualities which saw Tiffany, JT, Britney and Christina to the top, and initial success is  inevitable. However, Amanda Mair manages to supersede both these advantages in one foul swoop on her eponymous debut.

Amanda Mair may be Swedish and a teenager but her album is much more aligned to the work of Kate Bush than it is to Louise. Mair boasts a vocal that fuses Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush in one effortless breath, which lifts her well constructed, radio friendly ditties into a divine territory.

Kicking off proceedings with the Orient inspired “Said And Done” is an inspired move. Sweeping instrumentation compliments Mair’s delicate vocal and “Said And Done” sets the bar high, a bar which Mair constantly surpasses. Single “Doubt” follows, perhaps encompassing exactly what the album stands for. A haunting display of pretty vocals and no punches pulled instrumentation makes Mair a hypnotic affair.

With no skip ahead moment, it could be said that Mair’s debut is the epitome of the pop record. With a diversity in her sonic approach, each song feels like it would suffer without her presence. While there are no lowlights, there are certainly highlights. The piano-centric “House” gets the spine tingling, while the poppier “Sense” oozes the innocent charm of Eurovision winner Lena-which is no bad thing. However it is the stripped back “Skinnarviksberget” really showcases Mair’s vocal capabilities, and can only be described as lush.

Amanda Mair is so much more than a pop puppet. She is the epitome of what pop can be. Her is an honest, open affair that uses no trickery or foolery to enhance the experience. If there is any justice in the world, Amanda Mair will be rewarded for her refreshing approach.

Rating 5/5
Reviewer:Jeremy Williams

ALBUM REVIEW: The Skints “Part & Parcel”

While it would be unfair to say that vocalist Jamie Kyriakides is the star shining brightest on London based reggae quartet The Skints fan-funded second studio album “Part & Parcel”, but there is something about his textured tone that really draw you in to The Skints latest effort. Seemingly effortless, Kyriakides exudes enticement, teasing with his lyrical twists enhancing the socio-political observations of his group into the mainstream.

The Skints boast a distinct presence. Having supported an impressive roster of distinctive acts – from Gogol Bordello to Bedouin Soundclash, Gym Class Heroes to The King Blues – the London based quartet (Kyriakides is joined by Marcia Richards, Joshua Waters Rudge and Jonathan Doyle) have refined the ability to capture their compelling live set within an eleven track studio album-which is no easy challenge.

The Kyriakides led “Just Can’t Take No More” really hits the nail head on. Kyriakides’ rich yet louche timbre is pitched perfectly to bring the subtle beauty of the charged composition to the fore. The Kyriakides led stripped back, soulfully charged ballad “You Better” closes off proceedings with elegance and class, leaving you hungry for more.

Equally notable are “Rubadub – Done Now”, with its playful and evenly distributed vocal duties induces incessant shoulder shaking and the irrepressible energy of the Richards and Waters Rudge’ led “Rat-at-at”.

The Lily Allen meets Abba-esque “Ring Ring” offers the album’s only flaw. While the track certainly has a spring in its step, it seems to lose The Skints bite and flutters into the distance rather unforgettably.

Boasting a ten track sophomore (let’s just pretend the skip button knows the work its magic on “Ring Ring”) that is distinctly addictive, The Skints have done their fans proud. While the record induces a spring in your step as we head towards summer, it is an album that should be celebrated year in year out. The Skints are only at the start of their recording career and if this is just a taster of what is to come, then here at The Kaje we are struggling to stop salivating over the prospect of album number 3. Add this to your record collection NOW!

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams 

The Kaje talks break-ups to Mark Hole

A few weeks ago we received an email about a singer/songwriter called Mark Hole. We knew nothing of the name, nor did we have high expectations for his oddly titled single ‘Torture Garden’. But within moments of clicking the link contained within the promotional email we had fallen in love with his ode to the break up. Far from angry or resentful, without the need to wax lyrical about his former flame, Hole’s offering was honest, meaningful and moving. It left us wanting more. Thankfully he fulfilled our initial craving with his rendition of “Stupid Love” for The Kaje Sessions and has since taken time out of his schedule to tell us a little more about both himself and the tender ‘Torture Garden’…

Your current single is ‘Torture Garden’ – can you tell us a little about the track…

Yeah sure, ‘Torture Garden’ is a break up song, yet it celebrates love. It doesn’t stem from hate or negativity like many of these songs do. It merely speaks the truth that she is wonderful but isn’t right for me and vice versa. I’m all about the love!

‘Torture Garden’ is a very open response to a break up – is songwriting a form of emotional release for you?

Indeed it is. When the break up happened I was consumed by everything I had done wrong and all that I could have done better. This was my way of putting things right. After I’d finished writing I could sleep again.

Do you feel vulnerable when releasing such an honest track for public consumption?

No and a little bit yes. I do feel something, and from time to time think “God, this is a bit heavy isn’t it?! There was no need for that!” I mean do I really need to do this? I think, yes… These things need to be heard.

For those who have not heard your work before, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

Just think of me as a singer song writer called Mark Hole, who’s a little emotional but likes to entertain more than he likes to cry. Just listen, buy my records and get yourself to a gig. I won’t let you down.

What has been the most memorable description of your work to date?

Playing to 3 and half thousand people at the Royal Albert Hall.

Who would you say have been your main influences?

This is always a strange question to me as the people I sound like I’ve never heard of. It’s only from playing my music that people say I sound similar to Rufus Wainwright, Randy Newman Jeff Buckley, who I am all now addicted to. I did listen to a lot of music with my mum like Queen, Abba and Elton John… I love them all just like I love my mum! Oh and I think Ben Folds Five must have influenced me. But then again everything influences our taste, does it not?

What would you say is your ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal is to live and breathe music to infinity and beyond, but to headline Glastonbury would make my life.

With that in mind-what can we expect next from you?

My new album “Always Follow Your Heart”

More information can be found at

Interview by Jeremy Williams

Single of the Week: Mark Hole ‘Torture Garden’

Heartbreak is far from new terrain for the songwriter. Many of the greatest songs ever have been born out of a broken heart. From ABBA’s sing along “The Winner Takes It All” through to The Clash questioning “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”, the lament takes on various forms. However, here at The Kaje we have always had a real soft spot the singer/songwriter with their heart on their sleeve… Therefore we thrust Mark Hole centre-stage as he sends tingles down our spine with the truly magnificent “Torture Garden”.

  • Latest Issue

    ISSUE 6: OUT NOW Email if you want it direct to your inbox for free!!

  • Blog Archive

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to us and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 41 other followers

  • Follow TheKajeBlog on Twitter
  • Follow The Kaje Sessions