One of Europe's best rock and metal festivals returned to its home at Donnington Park last weekend and it's safe to say, once again, that Download smashed it. With a range of bands from Kiss, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, We Are Harlot and more all booked to play, there was something for everyone at the festival, and that was one of the most noticeable highlights.
Despite the torrential rain pouring down during Slipknot's set, they pulled off one of the best shows to date on Friday and set an extremely high standard for the rest of the headliners. Playing hits like 'Psychosocial', 'Devil In I', 'Spit It Out' and 'Custer', and attempting to break the Download record for the most amount of people all jumping up at the same time they certainly went all out.
Muse were considered to be a controversial band to have booked, but all concerns were quickly dashed as soon as they hit the stage on Saturday. Matt Bellamy's vocal abilities were on top form as the band belted out tracks from their newly released album 'Drones' as well as well-known hits like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Plug In Baby'. Even those who were indifferent or somewhat disliked Muse couldn't deny that they put on the show of a lifetime complete with dancing lights, pyrotechnics, confetti and inflatable balls.
Continue reading: Download Festival - 2015 Live Review
We preview some of the top acts on the bill this year.
Summer festival season kicks into high gear this weekend with the first big event of the calendar taking place on the south coast. Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for a bill, which is top heavy on heritage acts that bring with them a sense of nostalgia. While recent years have welcomed the likes of Jay-Z, Calvin Harris and Kings Of Leon to headline, this time round it seems big names with an even bigger back catalogue are being used as the main attraction.
However, many of the headline acts seem to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts. For example, Blur, whose new album 'The Magic Whip', their first since 2003, has won critical acclaim. The former Britpop poster boys will take to the Main Stage on Saturday night in the knowledge that this is one of the first times that UK crowds will get to see this new material given the live treatment. You can expect a set heavy on those new songs, but peppered with all the classic singles, certainly a formula for a memorable festival appearance. It's a similar story for The Prodigy who'll headline the Main Stage on Friday after The Black Keys. Both acts have played the festival in recent years and here they're repeating the joint top billing that was given to Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris last year. As with Blur, The Prodigy's new album, 'The Day Is My Enemy', has revived interest in the band following an extended period out of the spotlight. Elsewhere, Fleetwood Mac will bring proceedings to a close on Sunday, bolstered by the return of Christine McVie to the band, a set covering Rumours era gems like 'Don't Stop' and 'Songbird' is a strong possibility.
Elton John and Mumford And Sons are leading the line-up.
Outside Lands organisers have finally unveiled the spectacular 2015 line-up for their eighth year, featuring headliners Elton John and Mumford And Sons. The event is set to bring its usual combination of music and munchies to San Francisco this August.
Joining Elton and Mumford are a range of equally exciting acts, both of the veteran and the up-and-coming variety. Man of the moment Sam Smith - whose already bagged a total of six awards this year, including four Grammys - will bring his pop genius to the stage, alongside The Black Keys who released their first chart-topping album last year, and Kendrick Lamar whose highly anticipated third album 'To Pimp A Butterfly' sailed to number one in both the US and the UK last week.
Steve Stevens & Josie Stevens - Billy Idol's guitarist Steve Stevens and his Playboy Playmate wife Josie Stevens return to the Morrisson Hotel after Steve performed at Vicar Street - Dublin, Ireland - Saturday 8th November 2014
Billy Idol celebrates his comeback album and autobiography with world tour dates.
Remember, remember the fifth of November because that's when Billy Idol hit the O2 Academy Birmingham to kick off his UK tour! And with all the energy and style that we've become used to from this epic punk rock star.
Billy Idol unveiled his comeback album this year
The 'Dancing With Myself' hitmaker made a spectacular comeback in October 2014, with the release of his seventh studio album 'Kings & Queens of the Underground'; his first new material in nearly 10 years aside from the handful of new tracks that appeared on his 2008 compilation album 'The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself', such as 'John Wayne' and 'New Future Weapon'.
Billy Idol made an appearance at Barns and Nobel in New York City in order to sign his new book, 'Dancing With Myself'. The book documents Idol's rise from a young schoolboy in England to a mainstream pop star in the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll throughout the 1980s.
Mumford and Sons were forced to pull out of the Bonnaroo Festival following concern for bassist Ted Dwane's health. Dwane has recently undergone surgery to remove a blood clot. Jack Johnson stepped in to fill their two hour slot at the Tennessee festival.
Jack Johnson stepped in at the last minute to cover Mumford and Son's slot. Not only did the singer have to find a band, learn a whole host of new and old and quickly practise, he also made the time to compose a short acoustic song about the festival.
The four day festival which takes place in Manchester, Tennessee was first held in 2002 and has been hugely popular and influential. Johnson has a history with the festival, having performed at the first one and headlined in 2008. Johnson was, conveniently, already at the Bonaroo Festival when he received a call on Thursday (13th June 2013) as he was appearing as a special guest, performing alongside Animal Liberation Orchestra.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer said he was expecting 'a train wreck' owing to the short time he had in which to prepare. Johnson has recently been out of the limelight, working on his new album entitled 'From Here To Now To You', due to be released on 17th September. The singer paid homage to the British folk band, singing his version of 'The Cave' which was greeted with vast audience participation and applause.
Continue reading: Jack Johnson Replaces Mumford and Sons At Bonnaroo Festival
Err, Miley Cyrus celebrated her 20th birthday party in pretty unconventional style last month. Though we heard little about the bash at the time, TMZ.com has since obtained photographs of the party that show the former Hannah Montana star's true wild side.
In one of the shots, Cyrus is seen with her freshly cropped hairstyle grasping the exposed butt-cheeks of a stripper! It's certainly a far cry from Miley's squeaky clean Disney days, though it's pretty unsurprising these days. During Sunday's VH1 Divas concert, Cyrus kept grabbing her crotch while performing a cover of Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. That performance came eight days after she performed at the Christmas Creampies concert in Hollywood wearing a cleavage-revealing top and sharing the stage with a topless exotic dancer. She recently made a sultry guest appearance on Two and Half Men, and chopped her hair off before bleaching it blonde. All this appears tame compared to the party she threw for Liam Hemsworth in January, posing provocatively with a phallic shaped celebration cake.
Before her party last month, she tweeted, ""If I don't get at least one big booty hoe my friends are officially not my friends anymore."
Do YOU want Billy Idol to play at your birthday party? You do? Excellent! Well, all you need to do to make it happen, it would seem, is to have a little chat with your work colleagues about it, set up a website and spend a couple of years tirelessly campaign to get Billy’s attention and finally get him to agree to flying across the world to play your birthday party. You’ll need a few B-list celebrity contacts, of course and an unhealthy interest in the life and times of Billy Idol and 80’s culture in general. But we’re sure it’ll be worth it.
Michael Henrichsen certainly seems pleased that he went to all the trouble of doing it because now, finally, after two years of campaigning, he’s had word from Idol’s people (in the form of a video starring Billy himself), that the ‘Rebel Yell’ singer will indeed be coming to perform at his birthday party in Seattle this Friday (October 26, 2012). In a video hosted by Washington Post, we see the ageing rocker’s message to his fan, revealing how he was finally coerced into performing at Michael’s birthday bash.
“It all started with a man and a dream,” says Billy in the video, gesticulating at the camera with his finger. “And that man is Michael Henrichsen, your host tonight. His dream is for me, Billy idol, to come to your beautiful city of Seattle, Washington, to perform at his birthday party… I started getting messages from fans of mine from across the globe, athletes, musicians, all telling me, ‘Billy, you’ve got to get to Seattle and play Michael’s birthday party.’” As we see Michael watching the video back on his laptop, he chuckles to himself and says “it never gets old.” We reckon he’ll be dining out on this story for quite a few birthdays to come.
Date of birth
30th November, 1955