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Already announced for the annual festival are Take That and Mumford and Sons.
Florence + the Machine and Kendrick Lamar are the latest headliners to be announced for next year’s BST Festival in Hyde Park. The two acts will share the bill on Saturday July 2nd, with Florence headlining the night. Also on the line-up are Jamie xx and Blood Orange.
Florence + The Machine are heading to BST Hyde Park.
Florence + the Machine headlined the Friday of this year’s Glastonbury festival after the Foo Fighters were force to pull out. Their latest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful hit the number one spot in the UK earlier this year.
The four-piece are the second act to be confirmed for the Hyde Park festival series next year, after Take That.
Mumford & Sons have added another major engagement to their increasingly busy schedule for 2016, confirmed a headline gig at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park in July.
The four-piece group, who departed from their trademark folk sound to pursue a more traditional indie rock style on their third album Wilder Mind, released back in May this year, will be supported by American retro rock act Alabama Shakes and British indie newcomers Wolf Alice at the massive outdoor event on July 8th, 2016.
Marcus Mumford will be bringing his vein-bulging singing to Hyde Park in 2016 for the British Summer Time Festival
Continue reading: Mumford & Sons Confirmed To Headline British Summer Time Festival 2016
The London band have taken inspiration from Mumford's other projects.
Mumford & Sons have a new album well on the way, and they now unveil a taster in the form of first single 'Believe' - an instant download with all album pre-orders and a significant deviation from the modern 'folk rock' style that made them famous.
Mumford & Sons return with new single 'Believe'
'Believe' is taken from third album 'Wilder Mind' and already gives us some idea that we shouldn't expect material like what we saw in debut album 'Sigh No More' and 2012's number one 'Babel'. This album has been recorded at Air Studios in London and has been produced by James Ford, whose previous work includes that of Arctic Monkeys, HAIM and Florence & The Machine.
Further acts have been announced to perform at this year's Reading & Leeds Festival, as well as a well-desired headliner - Mumford and Sons.
Reading & Leeds Festival goers will be happy to hear the line up for this year has been released, and it is already looking like an incredible weekend for music enthusiasts. The bank holiday weekend of 28th-30th August 2015 will be hosting one of the UK's biggest music festivals. Across the weekend, bands are being plucked up to offer one of the best line-ups for the festival yet. Mumford And Sons will be headlining alongside Metallica this year, four years after their last performance at the festival. They will be joined by Royal Blood, Bastille, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Hannah Wants, Rebel Sound ft. Chase & Status, Rage, David Rodigan and Shy FX, Years & Years, Wolf Alice, and plenty more yet to be announced.
Mumford and Sons are due to perform at 2015's Reading and Leeds festivals
Mumford and Sons are proving to be a great choice for headline act this year. The bands last performance at Reading & Leeds was in 2010, where they played on the NME/ BBC Radio 1 stage. This will be their first live performance in two years, and with their stage upgraded to the Main stage, they are showing themselves to be a very worthy choice for headline act.
Continue reading: Reading & Leeds Festival 2015 Line-Up Add Further Names To Line-up
Mumford and Sons will headline Leeds and Reading.
Mumford And Sons have been announced as the headliners for this year's Leeds and Reading Festivals and will share the Main Stage with U.S rockers Metallica. The British band, who have enjoyed huge success across the Atlantic, previously appeared at the festivals in 2010 when they performed on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage.
Marcus Mumford will be hitting the Leeds & Festival festivals this summer
After a brief hiatus, the shows will be Mumford and Son's first UK performances in over two years though they'll make their live comeback at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee in June alongside Billy Joel and Kendrick Lamar. The group headlined the Glastonbury Festival in 2013.
Continue reading: Twitter Reacts To Mumford And Sons Headlining Leeds And Reading 2015
Mumford & Sons have gone and done it. They've been thrown out of a strip club. Oh, the shame.
It's difficult to call Mumford & Sons "clean-cut" given the amount of facial hair in the band, though they're hardly Led Zeppelin.
All the more surprisingly then was news that the London folk-rockers were thrown out of a strip club in Atlanta on Tuesday night (September 10, 2013) for violating one of the golden rules - no cameras!
According to TMZ.com, the band had just performed at ATL's Centennial Olympic Park and decided to celebrate at the city's famous strip club, the Clermont Lounge. It was karaoke night - sounds fun right?
Continue reading: Mumford & Sons Ejected From Strip Club For Using Smartphone Cameras
Watch carefully to see if you can notice anything unusual going on in Mumford & Sons' new music video.
The video begins just like any other Mumford & Sons vid; nothing to suspect here. Rays of sunlight obscure the banjo twanging members as they play in the middle of a country field. There's out of focus striding through long grass and slow motion walking up a dirt track with their folk instruments. There's no reason to believe the band on video could be any other performers than the British folksters themselves.
The Group Let Themselves Be Parodied.
That is, until the sun-streaked dust clears and our suspicions are aroused. Is that really Marcus Mumford? Isn't Ted Dwane's beard looking a bit raggier than usual? Wait a minute - that worn, rustic, wooden instrument isn't really being played. They're fakes!
Are you ready to rock, Scotland? T in the Park ready to kick off a weekend of musical wonderment but not without a heavy police presence to cut drug use.
The sun is shining, the line-up is terrific; T In The Park 2013 is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary with thousands of fans and seven stages. Performers during the three day festival will include Mumford & Sons, Rihanna, The Killers, Ke$ha, Kendrick Lamar, Emeli Sandé, The Proclaimers, and many more massive mainstream names. The recently revived German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk will also be making their festival debut in a hotly anticipated set that is rumoured to include 3D visuals, as well as My Bloody Valentine.
Kraftwerk To Bring Their Machine-Like Electronica To T In The Park.
T must surely rival similarly huge English festivals Glastonbury and Download for the strongest line-up of the year, with Mercury Prize winning Alt-J, New York's Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Frank Ocean, Paloma Faith and Icelandic newcomers Of Monsters and Men also playing across the weekend to celebrate two decades of the Scottish event. Festival director Geoff Ellis said, according to BBC's Newsbeat, "It doesn't feel like 20 years since we started and it's a milestone." The festival, which has been held annually since 1994 has been held at Balado airfield in Kinross-shire since 1997 and now attracts 85,000 fans and 35,000 campers to the second largest greenfield event in the UK.
Continue reading: As Fans Gather For 'T In The Park,' Police Crack Down On Drugs
The Mumford & Sons boys multiply in monochromatic in their new video for 'Babel', shot in black and white.
Mumford & Sons have released the video for the title track of their latest album, Babel. The video is simple in its music hall location and black and white shots yet, cleverly, many Mumfords are shown playing their instruments as the camera pans round the room to reveal the quartet multiplied. The four members of the band are shown playing their instruments with passion as lead singer and guitarist Marcus Mumford sings with vigour "Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride/I stretched/my arms into the sky/I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now/Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down."
Mumford & Sons Release New Video For 'Babel' Track.
It's been a rollercoaster of a few months for the Mumford four - their 2012 album Babel won the Grammy award for 'Album of the year' whilst the band won the BRIT award for 'Best British Group.' They set off on a festival tour of the US only for bassist Ted Dwane to experience a terrifying health scare where a blood clot was found on the surface of his brain, requiring immediate surgery and a string of cancelled tour dates whilst he recuperated.
Continue reading: Mumford & Sons Release Video For Latest 'Babel' Single
Folk band Mumford & Sons are lording over the UK album chart with their 2012 album 'Babel' after a reported 384% increase in sales.
It's been a rollercoaster of a few months for West London's folk rockers, Mumford & Sons. They've headlined Glastonbury in June but had to deal with bassist Ted Dwane's terrifying blood clot health scare that required immediate brain surgery and several cancelled US festival appearances. Dwane rested until Glastonbury Festival when the quartet resolutely took to the stage armed with their banjos, mandolins, guitars, and even a brass section to show the world the Little Lion Men were unstoppable. They played a barn-storming headline slot, blasting their hits with defiance and making the entire Vale of Avalon take notice.
Mumford & Sons Now Back At No.1 After Glastonbury Success.
Such was the success of the Sunday headliners that many in the crowd were converted to Mumford & Sons' distinctive banjo-tickling ways and rushed home to purchase a copy of their most recent album: September 2012's Babel, despite lead single 'I Will Wait' having premiered nearly a year ago. The album has enjoyed 40 weeks in the charts but Mumford's festival success induced a 384% sales increase, propelling the 12-track record up 15 places to the No.1 roost in the week following the festival and beating Michael Bublé's To Be Lovedby just 125 copies, according to The Independent. Their 2009 debut Sigh No More also climbed to the 12th place after their sunny Somerset hoedown.
Continue reading: Mumford & Sons Are Kings Of The Charts After Glasto Success
The 2013 sales landscape isn't as bleak as last year.
Well, it’s the middle of the year and about time to recap the big events in music in 2013 – particularly, the best and worst sales numbers of the year. the It turns out, not so surprisingly, that French electronic duo Daft Punk have broken records both for album and single sales this year. However, it’s not just Daft Punk, who are getting a hefty chunk from the retail pie – sales of both singles and albums are up from this time in 2012 – with singles experiencing a 2.5 percent increase, while compilation sales are un 9% (according to the Telegraph). It seems that the music business has didital sales to thank for whatever increase there is in the overall numbers, seeing as how 99% of all UK sales this year have fallen into the digital category.
Unless lightning strikes twice, Daft Punk are set to come out as this year's clear winners.
In terms of singles, it is no secret that Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, featuring Pharrell Williams and Chic's Nile Rodgers easily takes the top spot for sales. Since its release ten weeks ago, the summer hit has passed one million individual sales in the UK. Not only that, but the record has also broken records for number of plays on streaming service Spotify – and it managed to do it in just 24 hours after its release. Clearly, the Frenchmen are on a roll this year, since the full album – Random Access Memories, also broke the Spotify streaming record on its release shortly after. The second single, not so unexpectedly, is Robin Thicke’s single Blurred Lines – also a collaboration with Pharell Williams – with 828 000 copies sold to date.
'The Rolling Stones' executed a brilliant performance at Glastonbury but most of the viewers preferred to watch 'Die Hard'.
The Rolling Stones headlined at Glastonbury on Saturday (29th June) but the viewing public were more interested in watching Bruce Willis' 1988 classic action film, Die Hard, according to The Daily Mail. 2.54 million tuned into the BBC to watch The Rolling Stones' performance whilst 2.78 million watched Bruce Willis punch, kick and shoot in Die Hard.
The BBC sent over 300 staff members to the Glastonbury Festival, at the cost of £2 million, but more people tuned into watch Bruce Willis' Die Hard than Saturday's (29th June 2013) coverage.
Continue reading: The Rolling Stones At Glastonbury VS. Die Hard- And The Winner Is...?
Keyboardist Ben Lovett confirmed that the band will definitely be headlining the Pyramid Stage on Sunday earlier this week,
Mumford And Sons will definitely be headlining Glastonbury Festival this Sunday, with the mega-popular folk popsters putting to rest any concern that they might not be able to appear as the final act of the festival following bassist Ted Dwane's recent blood clot. The band had already been forced to pull out of their Bonnaroo set last weekend and it was thought they may have to do the same with Glasto, but alas the group will go on as planned.
The band recently announced that they were re-scheduling a number of shows due to take place this August, when the band were initially due to begin their tour of North America, by moving them instead to the end of September. This had caused doubts to arise around their Glastonbury performance, due to take place in Somerset on June 30, but keyboard player Ben Lovett was quick to dispel any potential rumours when he told the Radio Times on Monday (June 24); "All we feel is incredibly grateful and happy that he's going to be OK, and that we're going to get back out on that stage at Glastonbury as four brothers and do what we do."
Dwane suffered a brain clot in his brain and was rushed to hospital to undergo emergency treatment earlier this month. The band had a number of festival appearances and live, solo shows due to take place between then and now and were forced to pull out when he was taken into surgery. Fortunately the bassist has so far made a full recovery and as we will see on Sunday when the band headline the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm with Dwane in tow.
The band are ready to rock Glasto after a Dwayne's hospital visit
Thank the lord of folk; Ted Dwayne – the bassist from Mumford And Sons who recently suffered a blood clot in his brain – is safe, sound and out of hospital recovering well.
With a freshly shaved head – you didn’t expect the doctors to work through that thick mane of hair did you? – Dwayne posted a picture of himself after being discharged from hospital on the official Mumford wesite. Alongside the snap was a message that read: "Bear with a sore head!" it reads. "Thanks so much for all the well wishing, it seems to be working! I’m home."
Mumford and Sons were forced to cancel some tour dates due to their bassists ailment, but are still nailed on to headline Glastonbury having confirmed that there are "no plans to cancel or postpone any other appearances along this current tour".
Ted Dwayne, bassist with folk band Mumford & Sons, is on the mend after he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from the surface of his brain.
After being hospitalised with a blood clot on his brain that required immediate surgery, bassist Ted Dwayne posted a message on the band's website on Monday (17th June), reassuring fans and thanking them for their support under the headline 'A Message From Ted', reading "Bear with a sore head! Thanks so much for all the well wishing, it seems to be working! I'm home. Ted xx"
Mumford & Sons have been forced to cancel several US performances as a result of Ted's condition: "It is with sadness that we have to announce the cancellation of our scheduled performances at both Bonnaroo and Telluride Festivals, and our show at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS.", due to medical advice stating that Ted needs time to recover before the quartet hit the road again.
US acoustic singer, Jack Johnson had stepped in to take their place at Tennessee's Bonnaroo festival.
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
Recommended Albums... New York garage-rock new-wavers The Strokes are on album number five and Comedown Machine marks a return to form for Julian Casablancas & co. Whilst they may not be trying to replicate the pared down sound of their now-iconic debut This Is It, they have at least re-captured some of that raw energy. With a sound now owing as much to 80s synth bands such as A-Ha and Human League as it does to their beloved garage rock idols.
As a result, The Strokes, circa 2013 finds the band fully rejuvenated and seemingly enjoying themselves. They may struggle to regain the popularity that they enjoyed when the band first emerged but they have at least done themselves proud with Comedown Machine.
The boyband's new cover song 'One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)' has become the fastest selling single of 2013 yet selling a massive 113,000 copies just in its opening week. It now serves as the pop group's third number one chart hit following 2011's 'What Makes You Beautiful' and 2012's 'Little Things'. It is also their sixth top 10 single in 18 months with the boys selling over 14 million singles in their short career and 8 million albums; the second of which, 'Take Me Home' was a worldwide number one hit.
1D performed the new track at the BRIT Awards this year where they also received the Global Success award. They didn't win the award for Best British Band, however; that went to indie folk group Mumford & Sons who, despite their coveted accolade, felt the need to snub their pop counterparts backstage for winning in another category. 'Mumford's reaction was disappointing', Louis Tomlinson told The Mirror. 'We're really big fans and wanted to congratulate them. It was a shame.'
But everyone else is dressed down for the informal awards ceremony
It might be the Brit Awards 2013 tonight, but as far as the press were concerned, it was a star from the US who captivated them as the stars arrived for the UK's musical industry awards showcase this evening in London (February 20, 2013). Much has been made of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles both being at the event tonight, and it's believed that they're to keep kept apart; that's just as well because if he gets a sight of Taylor tonight we reckon he'll be itching to get back together with her.
Lineup announced for this year's Bonnaroo Festival, 2013: featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons and Sir Paul McCartney
This year’s Bonnaroo Festival takes place in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 13-16 and the lineup is boasting some pretty heavyweight talent, with the likes of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons and Sir Paul McCartney stealing the headline slots. Beyond the draw of the top billing, though – who should you go and see if you manage to bag a ticket to Bonnaroo 2013? Here’s our Top 5 Bonnaroo Bets.
1. Bjork – We can’t remember the last time there was an opportunity to see Bjork in such a superb festival setting (okay, we probably could, if we cast our minds back a little but it’s far from a frequent occurrence). The eccentric Icelandic songstress always puts on a fabulous show, both visually and sonically, setting fire to all of your senses, whether you are a hardened Bjork fan or simply wandering past the stage, wondering what the hell might be going on.
2. Cat Power – OK. This one comes with a warning. When she’s on form, Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) will provide you with one of the most emotionally charged, cathartic live music experiences that you’re likely to experience. On a bad day, though, it can be torturous to witness. All part of the Cat Power charm, of course, but a gamble, nonetheless.
The details of this year's Brit Awards goody bag has been revealed. It includes a Treehouse holiday.
Adele, Mumford & Sons, Emeli Sande, blah, blah, blah: nobody really cares who walks away with the Brit Awards right? Lets face it, we tune in every year in the hope of some clunky presenting, a stiletto heel break, or a wardrobe malfunction. However, something else that appears to be of interest before every Brit Awards ceremony is the shadowy goody bags that each nominee and performer gets to take home. The Academy Awards put the stoppers on their Oscars gift bags years ago, owing totax concerns, but the British don't care about that. The Brit Awards goody bags and back - but what's in them this year?
Well, according to ceremony organizers, the biggest names in pop music will be taking home a Lucky Voice Karaoke Kit, in order to practise at home, we assume. For the girls, there's also a Jack French London Primrose Bag, while for the boys, it's a Twenty8 signature bag from The London Collection. Elsewhere, there's a Paperblanks journal ensuring telephone numbers can by duly scribbled down at the after-party, and there's also some Highland Angel cufflinks and Ti Senti Milani jewellery. Fancy.
Hey, there's also a scarf (for the cold weather) and some bamboo sunglasses (for the hot weather), as well as JBL headphones and a JBL 'flip' portable wireless stereo system. Should - heaven forbid - any of the celebrities forget to shower themselves in perfume and aftershave, the goody bag contains a Hugo Boss fragrance for the guys, and a Boss Nuit perfume for the ladies.
Continue reading: Forget The Gongs, What's In This Year's BRIT Awards Goody Bag?
The Bonnaroo festival line-up has been released and it's something to get yourself excited about. Not got a ticket? You'll definitely want to get yourself one once you see who'll be performing.
The Bonnaroo festival info page is a veritable delight of explaining Out There and In Here. Out There is out here, where we are now, beyond the limits temporally or spatially of the festival itself, but In There, in the festival, the festival organisers want it to be a haven of positivity, safety and, above all, supreme amounts of fun. They describe it as "4 of the best days ever" and "an escape into Excitement. Music. Art. Discoveries. Trees. Fresh Air. Green Grass... Friends (Old / New). Adventure. Overwhelming happiness. Hugging a stranger by accident. Sharing and Generosity. Bonnaroovian Dancing. Hyperbolic verbiage..." and the list goes on. Sounds good, right? Well, the line-up is even better, and suitable for all genres you may find yourself remotely interested in.
Here's the best of the list, from the headliners down to the early stars: Paul McCartney, Grammy winners Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bjork, R Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan, The National, The Lumineers, David Byrne, St Vincent, Passion Pit, The XX, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Of Monsters and Men, Nas, ZZ Top, Beach House, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, A$AP Rocky, Tame Impala, Gaslight Anthem, Billy Idol, Foals, Local Natives, Alt-J, The Tallest Man on Earth, Earl Sweatshirt, The Vaccines, Frank Turner, Purity Ring... and once again, the list goes on. Check out the website to see the rest.
It wasn’t only Justin Bieber that the Black Keys had in tears on the evening of the Grammys, it would appear. Mumford & Sons’ bass player Ted Dwayne found himself in tears that night too. Not because either of the Black Keys had been nasty to him but because he’s been a die-hard fan of the band for so long that being sat next to them was a little overwhelming. Not to mention beating his idols to the Album of the Year Grammy.
Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine after their triumph, Dawyne revealed “I remember seeing the Black Keys at a venue twice the size of this dressing room” and added “I was a die-hard fan. It's just so weird being in a category with them. Sitting next to them, these people I've had posters of. I was in tears.” Of course, it wasn’t just the Black Keys that had the British folk band in awe that night. Marcus Mumford told the magazine’s reporter that he was surprised that Jack White was as friendly as he was. And banjo player Winston Marshall was over the moon to meet Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello. “I loved Tom Morello. To have him liking our music – apparently he'd been to our gigs – for me was just f***ing surreal. We talk to these people, and whether it's f***ing Jack White or Elton John, they're just lovely people who love music as much as you do."
Mumford And Sons won the Album of the Year Grammy for Babel, their sophomore release.
Continue reading: Why Did The Black Keys Make Mumford And Sons Cry At The Grammys?
A Week in Videos...The popularity of Unknown Mortal Orchestra has been on a slow burning rise for some months now. Taken from their forthcoming second album, helpfully entitled II, ‘So Good At Being In Trouble’ sees the band in a particularly catchy mode, a lilting melody lifting the trademark stoner vibe. The video features the actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse (you’ll know him as McLovin’ from the movie Superbad) causing a scene and trying to snatch a hippy from a scene that could well be set in a 1960s era Venice Beach.
In this video, Nina Simone talks about freedom and love, before the film cuts to a grainy performance of her performing ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.’ One of music’s legendary performers, Simone’s rendition of the song showcases her warm and passionate vocal. On the subject of freedom, Simone insists that she couldn’t possibly describe how it feels to be free, just as much as its impossible to describe the feeling of being in love. To hear her perform the track, though, you get just a glimpse of what freedom might feel like.
British folk types Mumford & Sons have caused a minor surprise at the 2013 Grammy Awards to beat off strong competition and take home the much-coveted Album Of The Year for Babel.
The banjo-playing, farm-loving Mumfords beat out the likes of Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, Jack White and Fun. to take the top prize at the glossy awards show, and were presented their gong by last year’s Stateside-breaking Brit, Adele. Up for six awards, the folk group were never likely to match Adele’s winning total of the same number last year, but nevertheless their achievement is an impressive one, and also indicative that their brand of nu-folk – prominent for a couple of years in their native UK now – is catching on in a big way Stateside.
Sting, Alabama Shakes, Neil Young, Elton John Mumford & Sons and John Legend all paid tribute to Bruce Springsteen as he was named Musicares Person of the Year for 2013 at last night's pre-Grammy award show.
The event recognises a star's philanthropic work as well as their efforts as an artist, something that "The Boss" - as Springsteen has become known - can't separate. "Whatever philanthropy I've ever done usually involved playing the guitar," he said. "I was going to play the guitar anyway." In attendance were some previous honourees: Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett and Bonnie Raitt. Springsteen is a deserving honoree "because he lives his life in such an exemplary way," Raitt said before the gala. "He's committed to his art. He's a good family man. He's a real inspiration for how to give back. I couldn't fault him in any aspect of his life."
Springsteen said of receiving the award, "It's kind of a freaky experience. This is the huge Italian wedding Patti and I never had. I had one of the loveliest nights of my life ...John Legend made me sound like Gershwin. Neil Young made me sound like the Sex Pistols. What a night." He also talked about the power and magic of music, adding, "The Taliban will never win, not now or ever, by banning music and dancing. The minute you do that, you label yourself a tyrant and your cruel days are numbered."
Annually, the Grammys is one of the biggest events for music across America and in Europe. In fact, it has dubbed itself 'music's biggest night'. Celebrating the best in pop, hiphop, soul, R&B and much of what comes in between, it never fails to be a veritable who's who from the Spotify playlists of the masses. And this year will be no different. Not only are the nominees ones to look out for, absences are worthy of note, as are this year's presenters and some very special performances.
In terms of performances to look forward to, this year we have some unusual and largely unexpected pair ups. Elton John and Ed Sheeran will take to the stage together. An unusual pairing, they're both Brits with unusual song writing talent. While John is a true showman and is well known for his intereSting outfits and outrageous glasses, Sheeran is distinctly more low key. We're not sure how this is going to work, but we're guessing it'll be great. Bruno Mars, Sting and Rihanna will all also perform together, as will Alicia Keys and Maroon 5, and Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert.
Continue reading: 55th Grammys Preview: 'Music's Biggest Night' Wont Fail To Impress
Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J have been given their first BRIT Award nods, after being nominated for three awards: Best British Group, Best British Album and British Breakthrough.. Still, despite earlier success the band have admitted that they were still taken by surprise with the announcement of their recognition.
Speaking to NME, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton described the news as "incredible," but admitted that he and the rest of the band were taken by surprise by the announcement, saying: "thought this this wouldn't be for the likes of us."
Last year the group's debut album, An Awesome Wave, received wide-spread acclaim and was awarded the title of BBC Radio 6's Album of 2012 as well as the Mercury Award and with the BRITs constantly vying to remain relevant and 'cool' it looks like the group might also be in contention to take away at least one gong at February's awards show, regardless of what the modest group members may think of their chances.
Continue reading: Alt-J Taken By Surprise By BRIT Nominations
This year’s Brit Awards nominations look as though they were concocted by a group of strangers, with wildly different cultural backgrounds, on a drunken night out. Is this a sign that the mainstream music world is finally starting to accept that it’s becoming more and more acceptable to have diverse musical tastes? Or are the organisers of the BRITS simply trying to spark controversy? have they lost the plot? Or is this an honest reflection of the mindset of a 2013 British music buying public? Let’s take a look at the evidence, and scrutinise some of the more baffling categories…
British Female Solo Artist Nominees – One of the more sensitive and contentious issues, here, in the British female solo artist category. Of the five nominees, only four of them were alive this year. We understand that Amy Winehouse has a lasting legacy in British pop music. We understand that she was – and, in many ways remains - a tour de force. But, for the sake of the awards, we simply have to ask, at the risk of sounding flippant, what has Amy Winehouse done for British music in the last 12 months? Sadly, nothing. Her posthumous album (released in December 2011, we should add), Lioness: Hidden Treasures was politely and quietly denounced for being little more than cuttings from the studio floor. We simply can’t get our heads around her inclusion on this list. With Bat For Lashes throw in as the ‘alternative’ wild card, to lend a touch of outsider cool to the category, it’s between Emeli Sande, Paloma Faith and Jessie Ware to catch this one, we reckon.
Continue reading: BRIT Awards 2013 Nominees Announced: Diverse? Or Just Weird?
All eyes will be on Bruce Springsteen during Grammy’s week, as the New Jersey rocker will be the recipient of the MusiCares Person of the Year award. To celebrate the honour, a Bruce Springsteen tribute concert will take place in Los Angeles on February 8, 2013, featuring some of the biggest names in rock and pop and hosted by Jon Stewart.
The event, which is already sold out, will feature musical highlights such as Elton John, Kenny Chesney and Mumford And Sons. A whole host of musicians of varying genres and eras have been included in the line-up. Patti Smith, with whom Bruce co-wrote the hit ‘Because The Night’ will be there, as will Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, as well as Alabama Shakes, Eddie Vedder and Neil Young. Proceeds for the concert will go to MusiCares, an organisation set up to provide support for struggling musicians in financial, medical and personal need.
The annual MusiCares Person of the Year award is attributed to a star whose artistic accomplishments are as worthy of merit as their philanthropic work. Previous winners of the award include Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and Bono.
Taylor Swift’s latest album Red has remained steadfast at the top of the Billboard albums chart for a second week. Swift’s popularity appears to know no bounds, as she has made a successful and seamless transition from her country roots into the pop arena. She seems equally at home at the Grand Ole Opry as she does wooing a crowd of teenagers at an MTV Awards event. This dual appeal has translated nicely into CD sales for Swift, who shifted 344,000 copies of Red in the last week in the United States.
The rapper Meek Mill made a seriously impressive dent in the chars with his major label debut, Dreams and Nightmares, and sold approximately 165,000, according to MTV News (sourced from Nielsen Soundscan). It may be a long way off Swift’s total, but it still landed him the number two slot, in a week where sales were affected by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast of America. The previous week, it had been another rapper snapping at Taylor’s heels (albeit from a distance!). This week, Kendrick Lamar has slipped down to number five with good kid, m.A.A.d. City, making room for Rod Stewart’s Christmas album Merry Christmas Baby.
Mumford & Sons, who impressed with their initial ascent to the top of the US charts with Babel, have dropped to number seven with sales of 44,000. We’re predicting a third week at the top for Taylor; this week’s releases seem to contain little in the way of a threat to the 23 year-old global star.
Both Idris Elba and Mumford & Sons are absolutely at the top of their game, so their collaboration in a music video for the band, though somewhat unexpected, is a really good idea on paper. The surprise pairing reflects the equally surprising role that Elba is in in the partnership as he took up the non-standard role of director.
Being a Golden Globe winning actor for his role in Luther, Elba's appearance in the video is genuinely affecting. Nevertheless, despite stunning cinematography, an interesting concept and the absolutely beautiful surroundings of Pembrokeshire, where it was filmed, there is a distinct disconnect between the video and the song. Unlike some of the most iconic music videos in history, such as Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' or the lesser known, but captivating video for Mars Volta's 'Televators', in which both the video and the song come together as one and truly compliment one another, Elba's offering gives very little to the Mumford song. Nevertheless, both are absolutely excellent examples of what they are alone- film making, and music.
Quoted in the Sun, Mumford said "We are huge fans of Idris's work, as he's the most badass British actor since RICHARD BRIERS. So we trusted him... We've been fortunate to work with some great directors but we've never really enjoyed being in videos... making a video that we're not in made it a lot more fun. What [Elba and writer Dan Cady] directed we are proud to present."
It’s a mixed bag for UK albums, as the release schedule starts to slow in preparation for the big race for the Christmas sales market. This week, Jake Bugg toppled Mumford & Sons from what looked to be a pretty comfortable reign at the top of the albums chart. But can he stay there for a second week or do any of this week’s releases have what to takes to shift him?
The strongest competition for Jake will be coming from across the pond, in the shape of the fourth studio album from Taylor Swift entitled Red.
She performed on the X Factor results show here last weekend and her last album, 2010’s Speak Now reached number six. Her profile has increased considerably since then, though – thanks in no small part to her contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack. If anyone can shift Bugg from the top spot, we reckon it’s Taylor.
Mumford and Son’s second album, Babel is the fastest selling album of the year, in the UK and the US. A report from The Guardian today reveals that Babel sold 159,000 copies in its first week on sale in the UK and landed itself at the top of the UK albums chart in the process. In the US, they sold a staggering 600,000 copies and also topped the Billboard album chart in the States as well.
As if that wasn't enough success for Mumford And Sons to achieve in one week, the band have also beaten Spotify’s record for the number of streams from an album in a single week. Spotify users reportedly streamed “around eight million listens” from the record in its first week of release, beating the previous record by ‘a factor of three.’ Spotify’s chief content officer, Ken Parks told Billboard that one in every 10 Spotify users in the United States streamed a track from Babel last week. These results have somewhat quashed the popular theory that streaming services have a detrimental effect on CD sales.
Some major bands, such as Coldplay, have withheld their album releases from Spotify during the first week of release, fearing that it will impact negatively on people purchasing the album. Daniel Glass of the Mumford and Sons’ US label Glassnote commented “Spotify is a huge form of exposure, and they're not stealing…It's retraining people to buy music through streaming services. Could we be getting better compensation? Yes, but I'm not going to hold it back from them. That's old thinking.”
Albums of Note...After writing one of the official tracks for the London 2012 Olympics, Muse release their latest album, Supremacy. Our reviewer finds something lacking in the band's latest full-length offering, remaking that it sounds more like a soundtrack or a rock opera than a conventional album. Listeners will already be aware of the album's most contentious track, 'Unsustainable,' with its controversial dubstep elements but aside from such avenues of experimentation, Muse are still lacking a big hit from 2nd Law, such as they had with 'Plug In Baby.' There's potential for these songs to sound huge in the live arena but on record, this particularly collection of tracks is unfulfilling."Sprawling, bombastic and overflowing with ideas, yet somehow lacking something that's impossible to place."
Mumford & Sons return with a highly anticipated second album. Their debut release, Sigh No More saw the band's momentum grow at alarming speed and they have become a cornerstone for the nu-folk movement of British artists. Their second release, Babel is pretty much more of what you'd expect from Mumford & Sons. They've gone for the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' approach to songwriting and stuck to their distinctive sound that has stood them in such good stead up until now."Many of the songs here build to barnstorming choruses, and while Mumford has flashes of anger to vent ('Broken Crown'), his vocal delivery has a warmth and tenderness that seeps into every crevice of the record. With no shortage of memorable songs, catchy melodies, and reasons to buy a banjo, Babel succeeds on pretty much every level." We also have a new video from Mumford & Sons: 'I Will Wait' shows the band performing in front of a huge crowd As the crowd hold lighters in the air whilst the band play on, it's an atmospheric and moving representation of their live shows.
It would be understandable if Marcus Mumford had approached the prospect of Mumford & Sons' second album with some trepidation. Many bands which have experienced a similar meteoric rise into the public consciousness over a short period of time have faltered with their sophomore effort. Babel almost sidesteps this issue by re-treading old ground and, in the process, cements the band's sound and status. In short, no one else sounds quite like Mumford & Sons, and Babel is a celebration of that fact.
Admittedly, one of the traps the band has avoided is having to craft a new set of songs at short notice. Much of Babel is based on material that's been road-tested over the last 18 months; some of it even dates back to the creation of multi-platinum selling debut Sigh No More. So, in the knowledge that the songs had some kind of pedigree, the band entered the studio and has produced an album that refines their sound. It maintains the elements that made them figureheads of a media-fuelled folk rock movement, while (as the title suggests) infusing an undercurrent of biblical imagery into their repertoire.
It's that thematic subtlety that really does make the album a rewarding experience. Whether it's the almost hymn-like mid section of first single 'I Will Wait' which builds to a joyous crescendo of brass, guitars and banjo, or the accompanying lyrics ('Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold'), there's a sense that the decadence and biblical wrath implied by the title are lurking somewhere close by on most tracks. 'Holland Road', meanwhile, mines a deep vein of despair ('And I will not tell, the thoughts of hell, that carry me home, from the Holland Road'), while an almost funereal drumbeat provides a sombre undertone.
Continue reading: Mumford And Sons - Babel Album Review
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