NEWS: Alanis Morissette Announces November UK Tour

Multi-platinum, Grammy winning artist Alanis Morissette has just released her highly anticipated seventh studio album, HAVOC AND BRIGHT LIGHTS, on 27th August with Columbia UK and will return to the UK this November starting with a huge show at London The O2.

Produced by Guy Sigsworth (Björk, Madonna, Seal) and Joe Chiccarelli (Tori Amos, Elton John, My Morning Jacket, U2) and recorded in Los Angeles, the new album marks the songstress’ first release in four years.  Fans will be able to purchase the album’s first single, “Guardian,” on 26th August.

“This record, as always, is a snapshot of what I currently obsess about, care about, and what strikes me at 4 in the morning in my most introspective moments,” says Morissette. “It is my emotional, psychological, social and philosophical commentary through song. I can’t wait to share it with this fun and funny planet, and to tour, and can’t WAIT to have the lively, engaging and challenging conversations that these songs may invite.”

Following a string of sold out shows in June Alanis will return to the UK this November:

Weds 28th            London                         The O2                                                0844 856 0202
Thurs 29th             Nottingham             Capital FM Arena                         0843 373 3000
Fri 30th             Liverpool             Echo Arena                                     0844 8000 400

Tickets available from 9.00am on Friday 31st August from<http://www.gigsandtours.comand from 24hr CC Hotline: 0844 811 0051

Single of the Week: Civil Twilight ‘Fire Escape’

South African rock troupe Civil Twilight are about to redefine the term stadium rock on their own terms. While there is undoubtedly something a little U2 meets Red Hot Chilli Peppers about their sonic definition, the group’s brewing presence on latest single “Fire Escape” is sure to get your ear’s attention.

The Kaje talks establishing motives to Young Kato

Young Kato are a six-piece from Cheltenham who are set to become the band of their generation. Every so often the music scene needs shaking up, then a band springs up taking the lead from those that went before, but delivering it with their own style and swagger. Young Kato do exactly that. While their influences may be worn on their plush sleeves, they channel their creative spark into a new mould. Though they will be the recipients of comparisons to everyone from The Horrors to The Maccabees, The Arctic Monkeys to Pulp and Foals to The Smiths, we predict that Young Kato will be so big by the turn of 2013, that the need for comparison will fade by the time you finish listening to debut single “Drink, Dance, Play”. Luckily it appears that guitarist Jack Edwards has similar dreams and ambitions..
So we know you are a six piece and you are from Cheltenham, but tell us a little bit more about how Young Kato came to be… How did you settle on the name Young Kato?
We didn’t! 2 of the 6 band members were totally against the name but after a week of brainstorming and only have one or two people liking the names being suggested, 4 out of 6 was quite good! I suppose being such a big band doesnt make it easy when it comes to things like that… So many of us to please!
Who brings what influences to the table?
We are all into bands such as Foals, The Maccabees, Friendly Fires, Dog is Dead, The Vaccines etc but then we all have other influences. For example, Tom (vocals) is into his 80s stuff… the likes of Duran Duran and The Smiths. Harry (keyboard) loves his jazz and often listens to Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman and Hiromi. I’m also into the slightly heavier side of the current Pop/Rock scene – Bands such as Twin Atlantic and Deaf Havana, so we get quite a wide spread of influence that probably comes through in our music.
As with all newcomers your sound is being compared to those that have gone before… What have been the best and worst comparisons you have heard?
The best comparision we’ve heard I think was “They’re like One Direction meets Arctic Monkeys, meets Morrisey”, another being “The Smiths with attitude” which was quite cool. Worst one would have to be “A cheap Two Door Cinema Club”, which was pretty bad.
If you had to draw your own comparisons-who would they be with and why?
I’d probably say The Killers with a hint of Morrisey and U2 because people have described our songs having “massive chorus’, and “lighters in the air” verses similar to that of an arena band sound. People also often comment on Tom’s Vocals saying “he sounds like Morrissey”.
You are about to release your debut EP-you have opted for the self-titled route.. Why?
Simply just an introduction to our music, we feel having the name directly alongside the music gets people knowing what we’re all about – we are Young Kato and this is our music.
Can you tell us a bit more about each of the four tracks…
Without giving too much away…
TRACK 1, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ – A vibrant, youthful track showing off our bands energy. This song has always been the fan favourite with chants and stage invasions.
TRACK 2, ‘Break Out’ – Lyrically this is our strongest song as we co-wrote with Chelt born Ian Dench (EMF). Yet again a song with energy and a song that we connect to, as we sing/shout about breaking away from our daily routines of college/school/work.
TRACK 3, ‘Life’s Good’ – An upbeat love song that simply tells her that life is what you make of it, its time to stop moping around and get on with it.
TRACK, 4 ‘Revolution’ – Predominantly the bands favourtie song, another co-write – this time with Gordon Mills Jnr. A great bloke who works with lots of up and coming bands/artists including Ed Sheeran. The lyrics are strong, surreal and honest and rounds off our EP perfectly as we feel even though we wrote and recorded it in a day we feel we have found our sound.
How did you know which tracks were worthy of being on your introductory EP?
All four of the tracks have a big pop sound which is youthful and upbeat we felt the first release needed to be happy so that everyone can relate to them, not soleum and miserable like many songs around at present.
How did you select “Drink, Dance, Play” as the lead single?
There are so many “indie” guitar bands out there at the moment and we feel “Drink, Dance, Play” play has a completely different vibe to anything else. The combined factor of it’s uniqueness, the joyful vibe and the raw fact we are not ashamed to admit were making pop music the way it should be are the reasons we’ve chosen it as the single.
What hopes do you have for the single?
We’re not hoping to conquer the world for starters (even though that would be nice), after all it is our first release. We just hope it can raise awareness of the band and our name, then hopefully we can go from strength to strength after its release.
With the EP all set to be unleashed, are you looking forward to a life on the road?
Most definitely, the best part of being in a band is playing shows – what could be better than playing shows every night for weeks in a row, going to places
we’ve never been and meeting new people who all have a huge passion for live music? So yeah, really looking forward to it!
Where in the world would you most like to play?
I can’t speak for the whole band, but myself I’d love to play in Japan. I love how music acts as a worldwide language, it doesn’t even need to be literally translated for people to enjoy it or relate to it.
If you could define one ambition that you’d like to achieve by the turn of 2013, what would it be?
Have Album No.1 completed and ready to tour.
Lastly, complete this sentence Young Kato are set to be….
The new era of pop music.
Interview by Jeremy Williams

FORGOTTEN GEM: The Go-Betweens “16 Lovers Lane”

The Go-Betweens are one of those bands who never quite got the attention they deserved. Of the nine studio albums they made, their sixth, “16 Lovers Lane”, stands out as the most beautiful and influential.

As singers, writers and guitarists, Grant McLennan and Robert Forster were not only the heart of the Go-Betweens but also one of the best songwriting duos in pop-rock history. Arguably the best Australian group of all time, the Go-Betweens released their defining album in 1988. Arguably “16 Lovers Lane” is one of the best albums ever made.

Having started the band in 1978 in Brisbane, Australia, McLennan and Forster moved to London and got on with recording a succession of critically acclaimed but commercially under-performing albums including “Tallulah”, “Spring Hill Fair” and “Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express”.

“As dramatic as it is understated”

Opening with ‘Love Goes On’ and the immortal line ‘There’s a cat in the alleyway dreaming of birds that are blue. Sometimes girl when I’m lonely this is how I think about you’, the tone as indicated by the title”16 Lovers Lane” is clearly set – an album of songs about the trials and tribulations of love. And like all the best love songs, they will break your heart every time you hear them.

With the introduction of ‘Quiet Heart’ openly inspired by U2’s ‘With Or Without You’, the album evolves delicately with this gently lullaby to lost love and lines like ‘I tried to tell you, I can only say it when we’re apart about this storm inside of me and how I miss your quiet heart’.

And yet although, “16 Lovers Lane” does have its many heartbreaking moments, the shimmering elegant acoustic pop of songs like the hugely infectious, sunshine pop gem that is ‘Streets Of Your Town’ and ‘Love Goes On’ more than express the beauty and commercial potential of which they were always capable. “16 Lovers Lane” is one of those albums where everything from the songwriting, production, lyrics, instrumentation and the vocals all come together to make something as dramatic as it is understated and moving.

The two mainstays always shared songwriting and vocal responsibilities and on their albums with McLennan’s more gentle, natural and accessible vocals and melodies contrasting with and complementing Forster’s rather spiky, artful songs. Forster never really sang, but spoke melodically in a slightly clipped way.

Other songs on the album include the sweet and brief ‘Devils Eye’ and the gentle, romantic harmonies of ‘Clouds’, which remind you of how it feels to be with the person you were always destined to be with and that being together forever can be a wonderful thing. But it’s not all sweetness and light as in the spiky and aggressive end of a relationship fable on ‘Was There Anything I Could Do?’

Although “16 Lovers Lane” is the Forgotten Gem here, I would argue that Go-Betweens themselves are the true Forgotten Gem. as one of the most under-rated bands and writing partnerships of all time. Lennon & McCartney and Jagger & Richards were undoubtedly hugely creative and successful partnerships but for me, Grant McLennan and Robert Forster have written some of the most beautiful songs of all time. “16 Lovers Lane” just shows them at their creative peak.

After “16 Lovers Lane”, McLennan and Forster decided to take a break from the Go-Betweens and work on solo albums, which they did for 12 years until they were asked to perform at a 10th anniversary party for renowned French music magazine ‘Les Inrockuptibles’. They did and it went so well that they recorded three more critically acclaimed albums over the next six years, although mainstream commercial success still somehow eluded them.

“Deep down I’m lonely and I miss my friend”

Sadly, Grant McLennan died of a heart attack in 2006. So there will be no more Go-Betweens albums, although Robert Forster has since released a solo album “The Evangelist”. On ‘Dive For Your Memory’ from 16 Lovers Lane’, Forster sings ‘Deep down I’m lonely and I miss my friend’ and although it was initially written about a relationship break-up, eighteen years later and with McLennan’s sad passing away, this song seems more poignant than ever.

A huge influence on bands like REM, Belle & Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand, the Go-Betweens’s catalogue of albums are full of openly romantic and  idealistic lyrics with a gentle undertow of occasionally spiky and naturally melancholy optimism.

Perhaps the Go-Betweens were never destined to be loved by the masses (not necessarily a bad thing) but if you have not yet listened to “16 Lovers Lane”, listen to it now. It’s graceful, sublime and truly magnificent. And in your darkest days,  it will give you the hug you need when you need it most. And that can only be a good thing.

Words: Jason Newton


NEWS: A-Ha Say Farewell…

Multi-million selling Norwegian trio A-Ha have announced that they will perform together for the very last time in the UK on their Farewell Tour in November.

Following a fantastic international career spanning 25 years, in excess of 35 million album sales and 15 top 10 singles in the UK alone, A-Ha’s Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy announce that they will perform their final shows together in 2010, the anniversary year of the release of debut album ‘Hunting High & Low’. Riding high on the success of their critically acclaimed current album ‘Foot Of The Mountain’, A-Ha have decided to call it a day and as a consequence will not release any future albums.

The band would like to thank their fans and everyone who has contributed to their amazing journey and say, “We’ve literally lived the ultimate boy’s adventure tale, through a longer, more rewarding career than anyone could hope for. Doing this now will give us a chance to get more involved in other meaningful aspects of life, be it humanitarian work, politics, or whatever else – and of course through new constellations in the field of art and music. We are retiring as a band, not as individuals. Change is always difficult and it is easy to get set in one’s ways. Now it is time to move on.”

A-Ha released 9 studio albums, most recently returning to the UK top 5 with the album ‘Foot Of The Mountain’.  They toured the world, including the legendary show at Maracana Stadium, Rio De Janeiro in 1991 which earned a Guinness World Record for the largest-ever audience attendance at a paid concert – 196,000 people, recorded a James Bond theme song and produced an unforgettable groundbreaking video.

In the mid 80’s the Norwegian trio created teenage hysteria and general pandemonium wherever they went. In recent years the focus has shifted to the musical legacy they will leave behind, inspiring a whole generation of artists such as Coldplay and Keane to Kanye West, Oasis, The Strokes, Robbie Williams and U2.

In 2006 the band received the ‘Q Inspiration Award’ in honour of their lasting musical influence. 2010 marks the 25th Anniversary of A-Ha’s multi-platinum debut album ‘Hunting High & Low’ and debut single ‘Take On Me’ which reached number 1 in 27 countries including the USA.

To see A-Ha on their Farewell Tour 2010:


MON 15 BRIGHTON CENTRE 0844 847 1515
FRI 19 BIRMINGHAM LG ARENA 0844 338 8000
TUE 23 SHEFFIELD ARENA 0114 256 5656



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