Search Still Got The Fever

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Staves : UK Winter tour dates announced

The Staves have announced a long-awaited UK winter tour.

The band head out on a seven-date tour in late October and November, which includes their previously announced London show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on November 4.

The tour commences at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on October 30, and concludes at The Waterfront in Norwich on November 6.

Tickets for all regional shows go on sale through at 9am on Friday July 26. Tickets are priced £12.50 (except London/Manchester £14 and Brighton £13).

Following a trio of appearances at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, The Staves continue their summer of shows at Secret Garden Party and the Cambridge Folk Festival in July, ahead of a string of European festival dates.

The band return to the UK to play Beautiful Days Festival, Snape Proms, Summer Camp Festival, Bangor Abbey, Moseley Folk Festival, End of the Road, and Festival No. 6 to round off the summer.

A repackaged version of The Staves’ acclaimed debut album, Dead & Born & Grown & Live, is out now, featuring the original album and a bonus 5-track live CD of recordings taken from the band’s sold-out London Scala shows earlier this year.

Here are the tour dates

26th July                              Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire

28th July                              Cambridge Folk Festival

17th August                        Beautiful Days Festival, Devon

23rd August                        Snape Proms, Suffolk

24th August                        Summer Camp Festival, Liverpool

30th August                        Bangor Abbey, Belfast

31st August                        Moseley Folk Festival

1st September                  End of the Road Festival, Dorset

15th September               Festival No. 6, Portmeirion


6th September                 Trades Club, Hebden Bridge

7th September                 Oran Mor, Glasgow

9th September                 Roisin Dubh, Galway

11th September               The Set Theatre, Kilkenny

12th September               Pepper Canister, Dublin

13th September               Pepper Canister, Dublin

30th October                     The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

31st October                      The Glee Club, Nottingham

1st November                   The Trinity Centre, Bristol

2nd November                 RNCM, Manchester

4th November                  Shepherds Bush Empire, London

5th November                  St. George’s Hall, Brighton

6th November                  The Waterfront, Norwich

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pussy Riot : Springsteen, Adele, U2 and Paul McCartney join prison protest

More than 100 internationally-renowned musicians have joined a worldwide call for the release of the two jailed members of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot ahead of their parole appeal hearings this week.

The full list of artists is:

Bryan Adams, Adele, Alt-J, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Anti-Flag, Arcade Fire, Arch Enemy, Archive, Joan Armatrading

Joan Baez, Beardyman, Jeff Beck, Yasiin Bey, Björk, Rubén Blades, Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Peter Buck

Tracy Chapman, Chase & Status, The Chemical Brothers, Neneh Cherry, The Clash, Coldplay, Lily Rose Cooper

Dido, Django Django

Melissa Etheridge

Siobhan Fahey, Paloma Faith, First Aid Kit, Franz Ferdinand, Foster The People, fun.

Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof, Kim Gordon

Debbie Harry, PJ Harvey, Don Henley, The Hidden Cameras, Niall Horan

Billy Joel, Sir Elton John

Ke$ha, Angelique Kidjo, The Knife, Mark Knopfler

Tom Lehrer, Sean Lennon, Annie Lennox, Lykke Li

Sir Paul McCartney, Romy Madley-Croft, Madonna, Zayn Malik, Stephen Malkmus, Marina & The Diamonds, Johnny Marr, Massive Attack, Mike Mills, Moby, Thurston Moor e, Tom Morello, Alanis Morissette, James Morrison

Graham Nash, Kate Nash, Youssou N’Dour

Karen O, Yoko Ono, Clock Opera, Ozzy Osbourne

Liam Payne, Peaches, Joe Perry, Phoenix, Rain Phoenix, Portishead, Portugal. The Man, Cat Power

Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt, Rise Against

Patti Scialfa, Scissor Sisters, Paul Simon, Sleigh Bells, Patti Smith, Esperanza Spalding, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Stewart, Sting, Michael Stipe, Harry Styles

Neil Tennant, Louis Tomlinson, Pete Townshend, K T Tunstall


Eddie Vedder

In an open letter, coordinated by Amnesty International as part of its ongoing campaign to free 25-year-old Maria Alekhina and 23-year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the artists pledge their support and state that the impact of Pussy Riot’s “shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide, especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world.”

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Zervas & Pepper : Lifebringer review

Summer’s here so pop the album in the car player, wind down the window and bask in that Laurel Canyon sunshine. Yes, even in 2013.

Because Welsh duo Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper have captured the sound and the spirit of the Woodstock generation on an album that shamelessly takes cues from late 1960s California.

Bookended by CSNY clones Buffalo Crow and All The World Has Changed, it’s a set infused with warm harmonies, pedal steel and soft summery rock and roll.

There are switches from major to minor chords, the occasional sound of a flute, just enough grumbling guitar to stop it from feeling at all twee.

Standout track Jerome, the tale of a father warning his son to leave the small town of his birth for the bright lights of the big city, adds sweet strings.

Lookout Mountain continues that Laurel Canyon vibe, even name-checking the laidback locale famous for its music and arts crowd back in the day.

One Man Show fast forwards further, recalling Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac. Ghost Dancer crosses the Atlantic with a feel familiar to anyone who ever bought a Matthews Southern Comfort album.

At the close the aforesaid All The World Has Changed opens up into the mantra “And when you wake, you will remember” but it ends all too quickly after three or four refrains.

In live concert it’ll doubtless extend in the same way as Hey Jude.

Check the watch and you’ll find that the set’s only lasted 39 minutes – but it may just be the best half-hour or so you’ll hear this year.

It is the duo’s second album, following on from Somewhere In The City which they recorded back in 2011.

The pair first met in the Toucan Club, Cardiff and decided to write and perform their own original songs as a duo – shades of The Civil Wars.

“That was a very exciting time for us,” says Zervas. “We were still finding our feet as songwriters, pushing each other and digging ever deeper musically, determined not to be constrained by current trends in musical style.

“We realised we’d found our ultimate soulmates in each other. As our romance blossomed, the harmony in our music increasingly reflected the harmony in our lives – at times it felt almost otherworldly to us.

“And our audiences picked up on that.”

With the help of Welsh producer Kriss Jenkins, Zervas & Pepper released an EP in 2008 and started selling out local live shows. BBC Radio Wales soon picked up on them.

By 2011 the duo had a significant following and their first album was released to great acclaim and much radio airplay. 6 Music’s Radcliife & Maconie, Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq were all enthusiastic.

More recently Tom Robinson, Janice Long and, er, Terry Wogan have heaped praise on the pair too.

Brit Awards beckon.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Robert Plant signed guitar up for cancer charity auction

A guitar signed by Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant is being auctioned for charity.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Macmillan Cancer support and Neonatal Unit New Cross Hospital in  Wolverhampton.

Plant signed the guitar after a chance meeting with fundriaser Tony Meeham at a gig by Terry Reid at the Robin 2 club in Bilston on May 22.

It’s an Ibanez bearing the Zeppelin frontman’s signature.

Says Meehan: “Following our meeting, I was absolutely blown away that, on the spot Robert agreed to donate the signed Ibanez Guitar.

“What a thoughtful and kind gesture by such a legend! An amazing opportunity to own a guitar from such a great man, surely not to be missed.”

Meehan has raised to date £85,000 for local charities thanks to the generosity of local people

Bids for the guitar are invited by email to

In the meantime Plant has announced a homecoming gig for the Black Country on an intimate UK tour.

The singer, who was born in West Bromwich and is vice-president of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, will be performing at Wolverhampton Civic Hall with his Sensational Space Shifters on September 2.

Travis announce October UK tour dates

After sealing their comeback with a sold out performance at Islington Assembly Hall – their first London show in five years – Travis will hit the road in October.
Kicking off in Bristol on Saturday October 19, they make a London stop at The Roundhouse on Thursday October 24 before finishing up at Leeds Academy on Monday October 28.

The full tour dates are:
Saturday October 19 : BRISTOL, Academy
Monday October 21 : DUBLIN, Olympia
Wednesday October 23 : GATESHEAD, Sage
Thursday October 24 :  LONDON, The Roundhouse
Saturday October 26 : BIRMINGHAM, Institute 
Sunday October 27 : MANCHESTER, The Ritz
Monsay October 28 : LEEDS, Academy

Tickets go on general sale at 9am this Friday July 12 via, for Gateshead and for Dublin.

Travis release their long-awaited seventh album, Where You Stand on August 19 on their own re-launched label Red Telephone Box via Kobalt Label Services.

Primal Scream announce UK tour dates for 2013

Fresh from their Glastonbury triumph, Primal Scream have announced UK tour dates.

But blink and you’ll miss them – because there are only three.

Bobby Gillespie & Co garnered a five-star Guardian review for their Glasto spot, and their critically acclaimed album More Light album could light up the charts again as a result.

You’ll be able to see the band at:
Wednesday December 11 : LONDON, Brixton Academy

Saturday December 14 : GLASGOW, SECC

Sunday December 15 :  MANCHESTER, Academy 1

Tickets go on sale this Friday July 12 at 9am and are available from or by calling 0844 811 0051 .
More dates are to be announced soon, so they could be coming here to the Midlands as well.
In the meantime, Primal Scream release next single Invisible City on August 5 on their own First International label through Ignition Records.

The Quireboys : Beautiful Curse review

Frontman Spike must have been rubbing his hands in glee as Mick Jagger capered about the Glastonbury stage, fuelling a new generation’s appetite for rock and roll.

Because The Quireboys, approaching 30 years on the road, owe much to the Stones and The Faces.

They work hard at sounding sloppy and spontaneous, their rag-tag gypsy riffs a joyous celebration of old school.

Too Much Of A Good Thing and For Crying Out Loud are rolling clones, Talk Of The Town and King Of Fools nods to Rod the Mod.

Pop it in the car player, crank it up loud and enjoy the summer.

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo : Dear River review

Her first three albums were self-financed – but now the Aussie songbird who calls Britain home returns on a big label, her folk roots showing through newly- polished pop production.

The title track – her love letter to the Blackwood River by which she grew up – rolls along like a Creedence steamboat, while the folky Tuesday is an edgy shuffle about the plight of refugees.

At the close she returns to Blackwood with an unexpected country acapella vocal. This is, quite simply, a delightful album.

Better than KT Tunstall and Amy MacDonald. Guaranteed.

Tom Russell : Aztec Jazz review

The godfather of Americana has never been shy of re-invention.

He’s played Tex-Mex, walked dusty roads, taught criminology in Africa and now revisits signature songs live with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble.

It’s a gorgeous set opening with Love Abides, a prayer for those who need reassurance, and taking in tear-stained Goodnight Juarez, a song of the Mexico lost to the drug cartels.

Highlights include the autobiographical East Of Woodstock West Of Vietnam and Nina Simone, a song simply about loving music.

Thad Beckman provides sublime guitar thoroughout, on what will surely end up one of the albums of the year.

Tom Robinson Band : Anthology 1977-1979 Review

They filled drunken student dancefloors with 2-4-6-8 Motorway, then released just two albums in a fleeting career that lasted as many years.

But 35 years ago TRB came up with Power In The Darkness, a combination of politics and rock and roll that was among the best of its era.

It’s here in its entirety as part of a triple-CD and DVD boxset, along with countless rarities and live tracks.

Essentials are Up Against The Wall, Ain’t Gonna Take It and The Winter of ‘79.

There are live versions, too, of (Sing If You’re) Glad To Be Gay, the song which became the unofficial anthem of the equality movement.

But Grey Cortina and Gordon still raise a wry smile amid the social commentary.

The DVD includes a Granada TV documentary on the band plus a couple of TV appearances and official promotional videos, too.

Look out, listen, can you hear it? There’s panic in County Hall all over again.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Lucinda Williams : Birmingham Town Hall June 26 2013 setlist and review

I have a confession to make.

I’m in love.

With Lucinda Williams.

I got hooked by Essence back in 2001, hit ebay to snap up all the back catalogue, and so began a love affair.

Because Lucinda Williams has the voice of a fallen angel.

A fallen angel who’s lived rock and roll – and how.

Her Louisiana drawl is as lived in as Marianne Faithfull’s broken English.

Her songs are fuelled by country heartbreak, of lives lived fast and lost ahead of their time, of the plight of the working man in a world ravaged by recession.

Little wonder Bruce Springsteen is in love with her, too, and sat in on her set in London.

Lucinda’s intimate Birmingham Town Hall gig took things back to basics. Reunited with guitar virtuoso Doug Pettibone and bassist Dave Sutton, she delivered a career-spanning set.

Just the three of them in the middle of that big empty stage, the most basic of lighting, the emphasis was on the songs. And the voice.

Don’t forget the voice.

From Passionate Kisses – a song she wrote for good friend Mary Chapin Carpenter – to a rousing finalé of Get Right With God, this was simply spellbinding.

These were songs populated by beautiful losers, suicides, bleeding fingers and broken guitar strings.

Drunken Angel – the most requested song on the tour – was written for the late country hellraiser Blaze Foley, but Lucinda says it could just as well be about Gram Parsons or Kurt Cobain.

She has, she admits, lightened up of late.  New song When I Look At The World may list dark places to be but offers light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s my glass half-full song,” she drawls.

And another newcomer, Everything But The Truth, written and recorded for Jonny Depp’s upcoming remake of The Lone Ranger is a great song.

But it’s a run of rock and roll songs, for which she shifts to electric guitar, that steals the show.

Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings is followed by the sultry, claustrophobic Essence.

Essence is followed by Joy; Joy by Honey Bee.

It’s not just the guitar that’s electric as the set proper comes to a close.

The encores include a brooding version of Springsteen’s Factory, worth the price of admission alone.

I listened to all the albums again. That’s love for you.

Passionate Kisses
Metal Firecracker
Lake Charles
When I Look At The World
Jailhouse Tears
I Lost It
Drunken Angel
Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Those Three Days
Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings
Honey Bee
Side Of The Road
Everything But The Truth
Get Right With God