Freddie Matthews writes from London: The early 60s British rock band, The Troggs, famous for Wild Thing and Love Is All Around, lost their frontman Reg Presley to lung cancer last week. Reg was 71 and died surrounded by his family at his home in Hampshire. Love Is All Around was The Troggs most successful hit but only when covered by Wet Wet Wet. The original was released in 1967 and some 27 years later with Wet Wet Wet together it stayed at the UK No.1 position for 15 weeks.
Ahead of the BRIT Awards in London the week after next, album producer Paul Epworth was awarded a BRIT Award for Best Producer at the MPG Awards 2013 last week. The MPG, or Music Producers Guild Awards, recognise the best music producers the industry has to offer and in this case Paul Epworth nailed it for his work on the Florence + The Machine album, Ceremonials. Having also worked on the debut album ‘Lungs’, Florence Welsh, the driving force behind the band, Paul’s innovation and passion are constantly inspiring and he surpassed himself on Ceremonials. With Tom Odell also winning The Critics’ Choice BRIT, we already know of 2 winners and the BRITS aren’t on for over 10 days yet.
Manchester’s The Courteeners are back on the music scene some 3 years since their last release called Falcon, with album number 3, Anna. The brand new album was leading the midweek sales by over 2,500 units, which to be honest isn’t that many. However even if it’s not the UK No.1 album it may still end up higher than their best position at No.4, from the debut album St. Jude.
If you’re a new music fan you may have seen a showcase or 10 at the Kentish Town, London, venue the Bull & Gate. It’s not exactly the coolest place in town but has been providing up and coming artists with a great sticky floor and slightly smelly venue for over 33 years. Early in their career artists who played the venue include Nirvana, Blur and Coldplay as well as over 1,000 others in the 680 showcase nights the venue has held over the years. £2.7 million was enough to end its reign and from 4 May the establishment is to re-open as a Youngs pub/restaurant. It’s a total shame in my opinion, then again it’s better than being turned into housing, I suppose.
A week ago today Scottish band Biffy Clyro topped the Official UK Album chart for the first time with their album Opposites (reviewed last week). The Ayrshire band have also been confirmed to headline the main stage at Reading and Leeds festivals this coming summer. Now that will be loud. It’s also the band’s UK festival exclusive. Other bands on the bill include Fall Out Boy, Eminem, Jake Bugg, Bring Me The Horizon, alt-J and that’s just a few of the many names playing on the weekend. Biffy Clyro are now the first Scottish band in almost 6 years to have a UK No.1 album since The View’s Hats Off To The Buskers, back in 2007.
How did Katy Perry ever put up with Russell Brand for as long as she did – well 14 months to be precise. He’s been joking that he would rather shoot himself than marry her again. Does anyone have a spare loaded shotgun going spare? I suppose if we were in the USA that wouldn’t be such a strange thing to say eh? But no, I think you’ll find that here in the Queen’s Great Britain, at least, we don’t have to endure those crazy laws!
Haha, speaking of queens, did you hear the one about Elton John guest starring on the next Queens of The Stone Age album? No, it’s not a ‘Knock Knock’ joke! According to QOTSA drummer, and Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl, it’s completely true. To quote Elton, “The juxtaposition was a bit of a mindf*ck!” And quite frankly, no wonder!
For quite possibly the weirdest duet on earth, Ed Sheeran has spoken about being approached to work with Justin Bieber. Sheeran’s The A Team is a possible winner at this year’s Grammy Awards but Ed says that doesn’t mean he’ll work with just anyone. Quite rightly he thinks collaborations should be done with people who actually click and not just for the sake of it with someone he knows absolutely nothing about. He obviously doesn’t need the money then. Sheeran also said that the two male singers thing doesn’t help either and that despite writing for Taylor Swift’s Red album recently, he won’t just do it for anyone. Shouldn’t that go on to say, “Unless that is, that they’re young, fit, blonde, attractive AND female?!”
That was another week on the British music scene.