Underworld made a phenomenal record with Iggy Pop. We had one shot at an interview. Q were gracious enough to take it, resulting in Underworld‘s first Q cover (possibly Iggy’s too?). Couldn’t be prouder.
Helped the mighty Gruff Rhys out with a recent one-off track recorded specially for the National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 Festival. The Guardian ran a piece by Gruff spelling out why we need to fight to save this most beloved yet beleaguered British institution.
The above headline is from Prog‘s review of the recent 21st anniversary reissue of Mansun‘s incredible debut Attack of the Grey Lantern. Elsewhere, it was the Sunday Times ‘must have reissue of the week’, where it was described as “Absurd, compelling and testament to reckless ambition”. Mansun’s Paul Draper hits the road for an acoustic solo tour later this year.
Gaz Coombes‘ third album World’s Strongest Man was released this month to some pretty heavy praise…
“His best album yet” The Sun 4.5*
“Continuing proof that Gaz Coombes’ best work is happening in the here and now” Mojo 4*
“Each track feels completely different from the next, without ever feeling fractured, or out of sorts…. it’s nothing short of excellent” The Independent 4*
“As has been the case with both Matador and his debut solo album Here Come the Bombs, the magic of World’s Strongest Man lies in its details, the things that don’t reveal themselves until you’re listening to the album loudly for the third, fourth, fifth time. Whether he’s the world’s strongest man or not, Gaz Coombes is still one of Britain’s strongest – and perhaps underrated – songwriters” The Arts Desk 4*
“Olympian” Q 4*
“A timely deconstruction of masculinity for the #metoo era, World’s Strongest Man is a stunning platform for his skills” The Mirror 4*
“A haunted past, slightly nerve-inducing future, easily recognisable fears and hard to fathom, ambigious ones… Coombes can handle it all” Record Collector 4*
“A veritable melting pot of genre-bending songs… an adventurous and exciting record” Loud & Quiet
“Here’s an album by a male songwriter who feels deeply affected by the conversations happening around men and masculinity right now in light of #MeToo, Time’s Up and gender inequality in all its forms. Gaz Coombes isn’t congratulating himself on having these thoughts, he’s just trying to be more like the man he wants himself and other men to be. There’s room for a lot more of those” NME 4*
“Refined… intriguing… fierce… this rooster’s definitely mansize now” Classic Pop 4*
“Bold, brisk, rather beautiful” Uncut 8/10
“This is a dazzling thrill ride worth taking over and over…you’ll want to listen to World’s Strongest Man again and again” Mother Jones
“Welcome to a world in which beans or spaghetti or perhaps even pineapple are sealed in unopened cans like some kooky version of Schrodinger’s cat experiment, but at least the labels clearly state, “May contain beans or spaghetti or perhaps even pineapple”. Welcome to the World of Underworld” Electronic Sound
Underworld talk with Electronic Sound magazine about past, present and shining future and map out the geography of their ongoing, ever-growing World of Underworld project.
Courteeners quest for world domination continues with the 10th anniversary version of their debut album. It’s been fully re-recorded and they’ve announced two massive shows in London and Manchester to support it. St Jude Re:Wired is due for release on 6th April 2018 via Ignition Records. It was produced by Liam and Joe Cross. The tracklisting is:
1. Aftershow (Re:Wired)
2. Cavorting (Re:Wired)
3. Bide Your Time (Re:Wired)
4. What Took You So Long? (Re:Wired)
5. Please Don’t (Re:Wired)
6. If It Wasn’t For Me (Re:Wired)
7. No You Didn’t, No You Don’t (Re:Wired)
8. How Come (Re:Wired)
9. Kings Of The New Road (Re:Wired)
10. Not Nineteen Forever (Re:Wired)
11. Fallowfield Hillbilly (Re:Wired)
12. Yesterday, Today & Probably Tomorrow (Re:Wired)
Liam Fray: “We were looking for a way to mark the 10 year anniversary of the release of St. Jude… we thought it might be worth at least raising a little glass to celebrate the fact that we’re still here. I’d been out on an acoustic tour this autumn, re-working and revisiting tunes from the back catalogue, stripping them back, bigging them up and experimenting with some different interpretations. The string section were incredible and unknowingly nudged me into unlocking something special. I loved revisiting all the old songs and putting a new twist on them. So, the day after the final date of the tour, I gingerly prised myself out of bed, booked a studio, rang the band, brought in some string-players and we ‘re-did’ St. Jude in a few days. And it sounds fucking brilliant.”
Originally released in April 2008, St. Jude charted at no 4 in its first week and went on to win the inaugural Guardian First British Album award, beating albums by Duffy, Adele and Glasvegas. The record saw Courteeners present to the world outside a first set of songs that perfectly soundtracked modern life in the UK. Lead track Not Nineteen Forever has amassed over 20 million streams on Spotify alone.
The band will play two very special St. Jude shows in 2018: a Teenage Cancer Trust show at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall (23rd March) and Manchester Arena (7th April). Tickets are on sale Friday 15th December at 9am.
Courteeners most recent album – Mapping The Rendezvous – was certified silver shortly after release; their most recent Manchester headline was to a sold out 50000 crowd at the Emirates Old Trafford. A headline show at the inaugural Neighbourhood Weekender in Warrington (26thMay) sold out the day it went on sale. The band also play Glasgow’s TRNSMT on Sat 30th June.