“It’s not so much that they don’t make them like this any more, it’s more that they never really did at the time”

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.

World’s Strongest Reviews

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

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Introducing the World of Underworld

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 UnderworldElectronic 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.

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“An eternal outsider at the pop party…”

The ever brilliant Q magazine featured Steven Wilson for the first time ever a few months back in a 6 page Maverick feature which marked the end of the To The Bone campaign in the UK. Steven’s UK tour dates received rave reviews everywhere from Prog to the Sun.

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“Everything from day one was against us. I’m proud of what we’ve done.”

Q marked the 10th anniversary of the release of CourteenersSt Jude with a feature that took the band back to their original stomping grounds in Manchester. Turner Hall takes no responsibility for the state that the journalist got into after the interview.

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“A bit of mad scientist stuff.”

The overdue return of the mighty Gaz Coombes. New album this year. It’s staggeringly good, take our word.

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St Jude Re:Wired

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.

Paul Draper hits the road… this week and next year…

Paul Draper – former frontman of Mansun, one of the most iconic bands of the late ’90s – is about to hit the road for a UK tour. The gigs will be his first ever live solo shows – they all sold out months ago, prior to the release of his debut solo album Spooky Action. A new tour goes on sale this Friday. Expect gigs to sell out fast.

Reviews of Spooky Action:

Draper is an unceasingly self-lacerating lyricist unafraid to deal with his past‘ Q
Record Collector 5* / Uncut 8/10 / Mojo 4* / Louder than War 8/10
Full of howling at the gods emotional catharsis’ Prog

Gruff Rhys: The History of Nails

Gruff Rhys recently made a film about last year’s trip to Siberia for the British Council. The History of Nails explores the long gone possibility of a communist utopia on the far east side of Russia. It’s a truly fantastic piece of work. The film was recently premiered on Nowness.

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Liam Fray – UK Acoustic Tour, All Sold Out

Liam Fray
, the talismanic frontman and mouthpiece of Courteeners – one of the UK’s biggest homegrown success stories – is heading across the UK on a solo tour next month. The whole tour sold out in a day.

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