Amper 10 maanden na zijn laatste triomftocht doorheen Gent, zal het tweede Europese luik van de ‘Old Ideas World Tour’ halt houden in Antwerpen (Sportpaleis, 23 juni) en Brussel (Vorst Nationaal, 30 juni). Vorig jaar koos Leonard het Sint-Pietersplein uit voor de première-week(!) van zijn huidige wereldtournee. Zijn trouw publiek en de verzamelde wereldpers waren er getuige van de unieke manier waarop Cohen de songs van zijn nieuwe plaat (‘Old Ideas’) combineerde met zijn feilloos gebrachte klassiekers.
De combinatie van Leonard Cohen en België kan de laatste jaren niet meer stuk, getuige de razendsnel uitverkochte concerten. Vorige zomer mocht Cohen in Gent een award in ontvangst nemen omdat hij op 4 jaar tijd meer dan 100.000 concerttickets verkocht. In verhouding tot het aantal inwoners werden er in geen enkel ander land ter wereld meer tickets verkocht dan ons land. Tussen 2008 en 2012 bracht hij op volgende locaties zijn publiek in vervoering: Minnewaterpark, Vorst Nationaal (2x), Sportpaleis en Sint-Pietersplein (8x). Ook de lokale verkoopcijfers van ‘Old Ideas’ is in tijden van dalende platenverkoop spectaculair te noemen.
‘Old Ideas’ kwam in België rechtstreeks op de eerste plaats van de Ultratop 100 albums-lijst binnen. Cohen stootte hierbij Adele van de troon en was meteen de oudste levende artiest die deze lijst ooit aanvoerde. Ook de pers was unaniem lovend, strooide vlot met vijfsterren besprekingen en prees de unieke relativerende toon van zijn teksten. De plaat opent met de one-liner ‘I love to speak with Leonard. He’s a sportsman and a shepherd. He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit’ en bevat tien vakkundig geslepen parels waarin elke noot en lettergreep juist zitten.
Over de emotionele impact van zijn optredens bestaat geen twijfel. Alle aanwezigen zijn het er roerend over eens: de ‘gouden’ stem, het smetteloos pak, de grijze hoed en zijn ontwapenende glimlach zijn –net als zijn klassiekers- intact gebleven. Als Field Commander Cohen beslist om op tour te gaan, dan weet je dat hij er qua werkethiek volledig voor gaat. Hij staat iedere avond minimum drie uur op het podium en zal deze keer naast ‘Ain’t no cure for love’, ‘Bird on a wire’, ‘Who by fire’, ‘Tower of Song’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘I’m your man’, ‘Take this Waltz’, ‘Suzanne’, ‘Chelsea Hotel’, ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, ‘So long, Marianne’, ‘If it be your will’ en ‘I tried to leave you’ ook een selectie uit ‘Old Ideas’ brengen.
Wie de man de laatste jaren aan het werk zag, wil er telkens opnieuw bij zijn. Volledige families –soms bestaande uit drie generaties- lieten zich de laatste vijf jaar ontroeren door de eerlijkheid en de poëzie van de zanger en zijn lied.
Vorig jaar nam Leonard in Gent afscheid met een innemende versie van ‘Save the Last Dance For Me’. In de zomer van 2013 zakken Cohen, zijn band en zijn crew –inclusief de beste geluidstechnici ter wereld- opnieuw naar Antwerpen en Brussel af. En ze zullen er met open armen ontvangen worden.
Op 18 september kan je Leonard Cohen ook in Ahoy Rotterdam aan het werk zien.
Leonard Cohen (Montreal, 21 september 1934) is een Canadese dichter, folksinger-songwriter en schrijver. Hij is vooral bekend door hits als Suzanne, Hallelujah en So long, Marianne.
Cohen werd geboren in een Joods middenklassengezin in Montreal. Als tiener leerde hij gitaar spelen en formeerde een country/folkgroep genaamd the Buckskin Boys. Hij studeerde letteren aan de McGill-universiteit met als doel dichter te worden en debuteerde in 1956 met Let Us Compare Mythologies. Reeds in 1961 was hij in Canadese poëziekringen een bekende naam. Hij krijgt een studiebeurs die hem in staat stelt om zich terug te trekken op het Griekse eiland Hydra, waar hij tevens Marianne Jensen ontmoette (voor wie So Long, Marianne en vele andere van zijn liedjes geschreven werden). Daarna verschijnt de poëziebundel 'Flowers to Hitler' (1964) en zijn twee enige romans 'The Favourite Game' (1963) en 'Beautiful Losers' (1966). Zijn laatste poëziebundel tot nu toe, 'Book of Longing' verscheen in 2006.
Liefde voor folkmuziek brengt hem ertoe zelf de gitaar ter hand te nemen. Na 1966 concentreert hij zich vooral op het schrijven van popsongs. Judy Collins neemt één van zijn songs op en het wordt meteen een hit: Suzanne. In 1967 verhuisde Cohen naar de Verenigde Staten. In datzelfde jaar verschijnt zijn debuutalbum, Songs of Leonard Cohen. Hij vestigt een reputatie als singer-songwriter met nummers als Suzanne (ook in het Nederlands vertaald door Rob Chrispijn en vertolkt door Herman van Veen). Andere bekende werken van Cohen zijn Everybody Knows, The Tower of Song en First We Take Manhattan.
Hoewel hij albums blijft maken, verdwijnt hij eind jaren '70 en tijdens de eerste helft van de jaren '80 wat uit de belangstelling. Vanaf 1986 herleeft de belangstelling, omdat jongere artiesten zoals Nick Cave en de The Sisters of Mercy hem prijzen en nummers van hem opnemen. In 1988 was Cohen volledig terug met het album I'm your man, het bestverkochte Cohen-album sinds jaren. Cohen brengt af en toe tijd door in een Boeddhistisch klooster, en is sinds 1996 officieel ingewijd als Boeddhistisch monnik.
Vlak na zijn 70ste verjaardag blijkt zijn ex-vriendin en zaakwaarneemster Kelley Lynch als zijn pensioengeld verdonkeremaand te hebben. Cohen gaat noodgedwongen, maar met veel succes, weer optreden. Op 12 juli 2008 gaf Cohen voor het eerst in 15 jaar een concert in Nederland in het Amsterdamse Westerpark. Cohen is in 2008 opgenomen in de Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Voorjaar 2012 kondigde Cohen zijn 'Old Ideas Europa Tournee' aan. Hij was 12, 14, 15, 17 en 18 augustus te zien op het Sint-Pietersplein te Gent en 21 en 22 augustus in het Olympisch Stadion te Amsterdam. De concerten van 12 en 14 augustus waren zo snel uitverkocht (in een twintigtal minuten) dat reeds diezelfde avond nog de twee extra concerten van 15 en 17 augustus aangekondigd werden. Toen ook die uitverkocht waren werd bekend dat hij een 5e en laatste concert zou geven de 18e. Hij zou zijn nieuwe album Old Ideas voorstellen en een aantal klassiekers van vorige albums spelen.
Cohen heeft een zoon en een dochter met zijn ex-partner Suzanne Elrod. Hij is nooit getrouwd geweest. Zijn dochter Lorca is de biologische moeder van de dochter van Rufus Wainwright. Zijn zoon Adam treedt in zijn voetsporen door in 1998 zijn debuutalbum uit te brengen.
Op initiatief van Omrop Fryslân zijn de bekendste nummers van Cohen vertaald in het Fries. Het project, waar vele bekende Friese artiesten aan mee deden, heette 'Cohen yn it Frysk' en is op een speciale cd uitgebracht.
Born into a middle-class Jewish family in a Montreal suburb, Leonard Cohen studied English at McGill University and won the McNaughton Prize in creative writing in 1955. After writing several books, Leonard Cohen took to performing and recording in his 30s.
His subsequent poetry books met with critical acclaim and, thanks to a family heritance, he was able to indulge in travel. His novels 'The Favorite Game' and 'Beautiful Losers' were also received well, and it was thanks to folk star, Judy Collins, that he made his debut at the Newport Folk Festival in 1967.
Cohen was signed to Columbia Records and, in 1968, released his first album, 'The Songs of Leonard Cohen', which was well received, but his follow-up albums failed to meet the success of his debut. However, in 1973 his music became the basis for a theatrical production, called 'Sisters of Mercy' which helped keep his music alive.
In 1988, popular American diva, Jennifer Warnes, released a cover album of Cohen tracks, 'Famous Blue Raincoat' and helped remind the public of his music.
In 1991, the covers album 'I'm Your Fan' saw stars such as REM, Nick Cave and Lloyd Cole tackle more of Cohen's songs. Another tribute album, 'Tower of Song', in 1995, featured yet more interpretations of Cohen songs, by more mainstream artists, such as Billy Joel, Sting, Elton John and Bono.
Cohen was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 where he was described as a "poet, in the classical, arts-and-letters sense of the word". Other artists bestowed with this honour are Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Joni Mitchell, although according to the powers that be at the hall of fame, Cohen "heads this elite class".
In his speech at the singer-songwriter's induction, Lou Reed said that Cohen belonged to "the highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".
Cohen experienced something of a resurgence in his career when he launched a comeback tour in 2008 which spanned Europe, Australia, Canada, Israel and the United States and saw him give 246 live performances over a two year period from May 2008 until December 2010. ‘Live in London’ and ‘Songs from the Road’ were the two live albums to come out of the tour, with the DVD of Live in London earning him a Porin Award in Croatia.
In 2010, Cohen was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to music and the same year saw him being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Cohen hit the headlines recently when a former music manager and lawyer of his, Marty Machat, announced that he would be selling never-before-seen footage of the singer. Among the archives is reportedly film of the singer-songwriter as a child.
Cohen is known for being reclusive and rarely speaking about his work. On his travels, he famously spent several years at a Zen Buddhist monastery, where he was able to escape media attention as well as build his reputation as an enigma.
He has said that the time spent in the monastery helped alleviate his depression and his subsequent work has reflected this. 2004's ‘Dear Heather’ was a cheerful collaboration with partner and jazz chanteuse Anjani Thomas.
His music has spanned a wide range of genres, from the stripped down folk of his earlier work to the synth-laden bombast of the albums released in the 1980s. However, throughout the singer has maintained his sense of irony and ability to turn a phrase.
Cohen's legacy was most recently noted in the public sphere when X Factor winner Alexandra Burke covered the songwriter's classic ‘Hallelujah’, which took the coveted Christmas Number One slot.
Vorig jaar werd haar optreden helaas geannuleerd wegens ziekte, maar nu komt de Engelse met Pakistaanse roots en zoetgevooisde stem terug naar het OLT.
Na tien jaar zwoegen omdat niemand, zelfs haar platenfirma niet, in haar geloofde, krijgt RUMER op haar 31e eindelijk de waardering die ze verdient. Met haar gevoelige, zelfs dromerige geluid doet ze denken aan het werk van Carole King of Karen Carpenter en dankzij songs als Slow en Am I Forgiven wordt ze verdiend de nieuwe Norah Jones genoemd. Elton John en Burt Bacharach zijn slechts maar enkele van haar bewonderaars. Sarah Joyce, Rumer's echte naam, ontpopte zich in 2010 tot de Britse revelatie, helaas kon ze in 2011 die rol niet waarmaken in Europa. Nu krijgt ze opnieuw de kans om ook op het vasteland potten te breken als nieuwe vocale sensatie!
Sumer is the professional name of the British female singer-songwriter, Sarah Joyce (born 1979, Islamabad, Pakistan). Her stage name was inspired by the author Rumer Godden. Rumer's voice has been described by The Guardian as being reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. Supported by leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Jools Holland and Elton John, Rumer was nominated for two Brit awards on 13 January 2011.
Rumer was born in 1979 in Pakistan, the youngest of seven children. Her mother's husband was a British engineer on the Tarbela Dam project and the family lived in a self-contained expatriate community near Islamabad. Her mother had a relationship with her cook, who was Pakistani and is Sarah's natural father, although none of her six siblings knew she had a different father and she did not find out until the age of 11, when her parents divorced and the family returned to England. Sarah went to school in Carlisle, which she left at 16 and spent some time studying drama at Dartington College of Arts in Devon before moving to London. She tried her hand in bands and waitressing.
When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer Rumer moved to live in a caravan in the New Forest to be with her and started writing her own songs. Her mother died in 2003 and Sarah had a breakdown. She joined a commune in the south of England for a year before returning to London to pursue her music career.
Under the name of Sarah Prentice, Rumer sang in a moderately successful London-based folk/indie band called La Honda between 2000 and 2001. In 2004, she formed the band Rumer & The Denials and had released an earlier version of "Come To Me High" on 7" in 2007. Their (now closed) myspace page also included an acoustic recording of "Slow", which was included on the compilation album "A Very Magistery Valentine". A collection of solo material, recorded in 2007, "Coffee And Honey", was released under her real name of Sarah Joyce, in South Korea in April 2010.
Her debut album “Seasons of My Soul” was released on 1 November 2010, produced by her mentor, British composer Steve Brown. Her debut single, "Slow", was featured on Smooth FM, and the single "Aretha" on BBC Radio 2 as a Record of the Week, and she is signed to Atlantic Records. She supported American singer Joshua Radin on his 2010 tour and also supported Jools Holland on his UK tour in the Autumn of 2010 which included a performance at the Albert Hall in London.
Burt Bacharach invited her to his home in California so he could hear her sing and has since written a number of songs for her with lyricist Steven Sater. On 13 December 2010, a Christmas EP Rumer Sings Bacharach at Christmas was released. It featured the song "Some Lovers" from the new musical by Bacharach and Sater, Gift of the Magi. A limited edition 7 inch vinyl version was also released with a cover personally designed by Rumer. Rumer also featured on the Boozoo Bajou album Grains, released on !K7 in 2009. She provided vocals on the tracks "Same Sun", "Heavy On Me" and "Messenger".
In the 2011 UK Asian Music Awards she was nominated for Best Alternative Act and Best Newcomer and ended up winning Best Alternative Act. In September 2010, Rumer performed three songs on Later with Jools Holland. She performed with British jazz singer Jamie Cullum in the 2010 Royal Variety Performance. Also in 2010, Elton John invited Rumer to be his special guest at his BBC Electric Proms concert. At the end of 2010, Rumer performed the song "Aretha" on Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny.
On 20 February 2011, Rumer sang "What the World Needs Now is Love" on ITV1's Dancing on Ice, skated by Torvill and Dean.
Fired from Hawkwind after a drugs bust going into Canada, Lemmy Kilmister returned to London. Determined to start his own band to avoid being fired again, he decided it would be called 'Bastard,' but management overuled and 'Motorhead,' a song Lemmy had written as a B-side for Hawkwind, was born. With drummer, Lucas Fox and Pink Fairies guitarist, Larry Wallis, and Lemmy on bass and vocals, Motorhead began gigging and recorded their first album, which their record company refused to release at the time, (it later emerged in 1980 as 'On Parole').
Lucas didn't have the required 'attack' for the drumming required, so a Leeds punk, named Phil Taylor, whom Lemmy had come to know, was invited to a rehearsal. Lemmy and Larry were impressed, and erased Lucas' drumming on the album and replaced it with Phil's.Larry needed a rhythm guitarist to 'bolster the sound' whilst he was taking solos. Phil had met Eddie Clarke on a day-job, so Eddie went to a rehearsal with Lemmy and Phil to find they worked well together as a trio. Larry was late getting there, but when he did so, after playing one song, and considering Motorhead's bad press to date at the time, realised the Pink Fairies would be his best option; and left the band.With no record label and Tony Secunda, their manager now, trying to find them a record deal, Lemmy, Phil and Eddie just kept gigging and refining their sound. In the December, they recorded 'White Line Fever' and 'Leaving Here' as a proposed single for Stiff Records.
Stiff released the two songs across two albums instead of giving Motorhead a break with the single. Disheartened, they decided to quit, but asked Chiswick Records boss, Ted Carroll, to record their final gig. Ted couldn't afford to, but instead gave them 2 days in the studio to record a single, but well-rehearsed as they were, they recorded their complete live set in the time, so Carroll agreed for extra time to make the sessions into a single and album release. The band toured as guests to Hawkwind, then, to co-incide with the Chiswick release of the 'Motorhead' / 'City Kids' single and the 'Motorhead' album, toured again with The Count Bishops, but 4 gigs in, Phil Taylor broke his wrist so their dates were cancelled. With the album to promote, the band continued gigging as soon as Phil's bones had repaired themselves.
Secunda recorded the band Live in the February, and from the tapes the 'What's Words Worth?' album was released 5 years later. But Secunda had fallen out with and lost the band the opportunity of a second album with Chiswick, so again, they had no record company behind them. They also dumped Secunda, so had no management, either, so Motorhead, as such, were in limbo. Lemmy asked Hawkwind manager, Doug Smith, if he would manage them? Reluctant beforehand, he agreed, and won them a 'one single deal' with Bronze Records. 'Louie, Louie' / 'Tear Ya Down' was released, Chiswick re-issued the 'Motorhead' album, and Motorhead headlined a full UK tour. Pleased with 'Louie's' chart placing, Bronze gave the band studio time to record another album.
The resulting 'Overkill' album and single was everything the fans needed and more, and Motorhead took it out on another UK tour with female rockers, Girlschool, as support. Bronze ask for another album, and other than their appearance at The Reading Festival, Motorhead deliver the 'Bomber' album and single in the Autumn, and another UK tour follows, with the breath-taking 'Bomber' lighting rig hanging over the band and going through its manoeuvres during the song of the same name.
Motorhead start the New Year with tours through Europe, with 3 albums behind them now, there was no stopping them. A massive Live attraction, tracks are recorded and 4 released as 'The Golden Years EP' and the lead track, 'Leaving Here' rockets it into the Charts. To celebrate the Silver Disc status for the 'Bomber' album, the band headline The Over The Top Heavy Metal Brain Damage Party at Bingley Hall, in Staffordshire in the Summer; then go into the studio again to record the 'Ace Of Spades' album, then take it on tour throughout the UK in the Autumn.
Motorhead tour Europe with Girlschool, then play and record 3 gigs in Leeds and Newcastle for a Live album. Whilst on tour in America with Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Oz, Motorhead are told their live album, titled 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith,' has gone straight to #1 position! They release 'Motorhead' as a live single, then return to the UK to headline The Heavy Metal Holocaust at Port Vale Football Stadium. Motorhead end the year touring Europe and Scandinavia, strengthening their hard-core fan base with the sizzling live album, which until that point had been every fan's wildest dream!
Following a Live album would never be easy, and 'Iron Fist' suffered due to lack of rehearsals, time, but mostly the lack of an independant producer. However, the album and single charted fairly well, and after a Spring UK tour, the band recorded a single with Wendy O Williams and The Plasmatics, started an American tour, then guitarist, Eddie Clarke, left the band. Thin Lizzy axeman, Brian Robertson stepped in to complete the tour. The band made debut UK performances at Wrexham and Hackney stadiums in the Summer, and completed European tour to end off the year.
The 'new' line-up record another album, and 'Another Perfect Day' is taken on tour in May in the UK. The album, and the 'I Got Mine' and 'Shine' singles Chart fairly well. A massive American tour followed, then Europe in the Autumn, but fans were disappointed at Robertson's refusal to play the 'Motorhead Classics' live, and after the November date in Berlin, he is fired.
Lemmy and Phil advertise for a new guitarist, and end up with two! Phil Campbell and Wurzel complete the new 4-man Motorhead line-up. They record 'Ace Of Spades' for the prestigeous 'The Young Ones' UK comedy show, then Phil Taylor quits to join Robertson in forming a new band. Phil Campbell suggests ex-Saxon drummer, Peter Gill, who rehearses and is found to be more than suitable. Bronze Records see the disruptions as suicidal for the band, and start getting a 'Best Of' compilation together. Lemmy intervenes and insists the new line-up record some new tracks for the release. They do so, and 'Killed By Death' is released as a single, and becomes yet another mighty anthem for the band and their fans. The new line-up debut at Hammersmith Odeon, the compilation, titled 'No Remorse' makes the Charts, but the band are not happy with the way Bronze Records are treating them, and look to get out of their deal. Court action follows, Bronze use an injunction to stop Motorhead from recording, so the band tour Australia and just about everywhere else rather than sit back and wait.
Motorhead win the battle with Bronze and manager Doug Smith starts his own record label, GWR. The band have their 10th Anniversary Birthday Party at Hammersmith Odeon in June, and the 'Motorhead' encore sees everyone who has ever played in the band, other than Larry Wallis, who believed filming had been completed the day before, onstage for the song. Motorhead tour Europe and spend the Autumn touring America with Wendy O Williams.
Motorhead record the 'Orgasmatron' album, tour Europe, Scandinavia, and make a large number of radio appearances following the release of the album. In the Autumn they tour the UK, then the States for 2 months with Megadeath, and Germany to end the year. The 'Orgasmatron' track quickly becomes a live classic with Lemmy reciting the ominous words picked out by a lone, green spotlight.
Motorhead tour Europe with Onslaught, then America with Savage Grace, record their second album for GWR with 'Rock 'n' Roll,' then tour the UK with Sword to promote it. Lemmy stars in the 'Eat The Rich' movie, and Motorhead provide the majority of the soundtrack. European and Scandinavian dates follow with King Diamond, and the 'Stuff The Turkey - Eat The Rich' Xmas show sells out at Brixton Academy.
A 2 month tour of America with Alice Cooper kicks off the year, then Europe with Girlschool and Destruction. Motorhead record a new Live album in Finland, released and titled 'No Sleep At All,' they tour America with Overkill and Slayer, then play Xmas shows in the UK and Germany.
A full UK tour for the 'No Sleep At All' album follows in February, then 5 dates in Brazil and the 'Bastards Over Europe' tour. Another German tour follows, along with a month at The Music Farm in Sussex writing new songs. 'The Silent Night' tour of the UK sees out the year.
Relationships with Doug Smith and GWR Records result in another Court Case. Motorhead play short UK and European tours before Lemmy and Phil Taylor migrate to America. Once the Court action is over, Motorhead use The Music Farm songs and new Manager, Phil Carson. to gain a record deal with Sony / Epic. After more European dates, the band record the '1916' album in Los Angeles.
The '1916' album is Nominated for a Grammy. Motorhead play a bigger UK tour with The Almighty, then European dates with The Cycle Sluts From Hell. Japanese and Australian dates preceed The Operation Rock 'n' Roll Tour' with Alice Cooper and Judas Priest. The year ends with dates as 'The Christmas Metal Meeting' with Sepultura.
Motorhead record the 'March Or Die' album and tour America with Ozzy Osbourne and Ugly Kid Joe. Dates with Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica, and more in Argentina and Brazil with Alice In Chains follow. Scandinavian and European gigs, then 'The Bomber's & Eagle's Tour' with Saxon back up the album, which has received mixed reactions.
Along with other band's on the label, Motorhead are dumped after the 'March Or Die' album. They relocate in LA to start recording new songs whilst looking for another label. More dates in Argentina and a full European tour follow, then more recording. 'The Christmas Metal Meeting 1993' tour closes another year.
Motorhead play a huge American tour with Black Sabbath from February through to May. Dates in Argentina and Japan follow, then a European tour, Summer Festival dates and the release of the 'Bastards' album to wide praise and acclaim, and then 'Christmas Metal Meeting' dates in Germany keep the band busy.
The 'Sacrifice' album is recorded and released, with SPV / Steamhammer as Motorhead's new record company. Guitarist, Wurzel, elects to leave the band and they continue as a three-piece. They play the 'Motorious '95' European tour with Grip Inc; and 3 UK dates. Another American tour with Black Sabbath, then an extensive European tour with Skew Siskin preceeds 4 more UK dates in November. South American shows, including Chile and Argentina follow, then in December, Metallica play The Whisky in LA as 'The Lemmy's' to celebrate Lemmy's 50th Birthday.
Motorhead play an extensive American tour with Speedball and Belladonna. In March, rehearsals for another album begin, but are interrupted by the band's Summer Festival appearances across Europe. The 'Overnight Sensation' album is released, and extensive American and European tours follow with Dio.
The 'Overnight Sensation' album is released, he title poking sarcastic fun at the band's longevity. They play The Astoria in London in January, then tour relentlessly through Europe and Scandinavia and end off with 4 dates in Japan. The ill-fated Motorhead / WASP tour rampages through America before Summer Festival appearances in Germany and Hungary. More UK dates follow to promote the album in October, and 5 dates in Russia end the year.
Motorhead tour Europe for the 'Snakebite Love' album, with the Hamburg Docks show being recorded for a future live album. In July they're on The OzzFest through America and in August begin their Summer Festival dates. In October, they tour the UK and follow with an extensive dates through Europe.
The Hamburg show is released in its entirety as the double-live album 'Everything Louder Than Everyone Else' and the band play a US tour through until June. The Summer Festivals follow through Europe, including one in Slovenia. The band begin recording another studio album in Germany, then in October, tour America with Nashville Pussy. In November, Motorhead tour Scandinavia with 'The Monster's of the Millennium' tour, then end the year with 2 shows at London's Astoria.
After completing their album recording in LA, the band shoot their 'God Save The Queen' video in London to accompany the single release. 7 dates in South America follow, then 'We Are Motorhead' is released in May, followed by another 2 month tour through America. A dozen Summer Festival dates through Europe, including 2 in the UK, 4 in Japan and Motorhead's 25th Anniversary Show at Brixton Academy, follow. The band then move on to tour Europe and Scandinavia, with 4 dates in Russia, then one each in Poland and Hungary.
Motorhead play 'The Game,' Triple H's introduction theme, Live at Wrestlemania at The Astrodome; the performance is televised worldwide. They tour the UK in May, then play another 12 Summer Festivals followed by an American tour with Mudhoney. Motorhead receive Gold Discs for 'The Game' and appear on The Drew Carey Show.
Motorhead tour America with Morbid Angel. The 'Hammered' album is released followed by 17 Summer Festival dates and more shows to strengthen their South American fan base. Both UK and European tours follow with Anthrax.
American tours with The Dwarves and Anthrax, then 7 Summer Festival dates prior to an American tour with Dio and Iron Maiden. The 'Hammered' album tour of the UK with The Wildhearts follows, then through Europe with Skew Siskin.
A prestigeous show at London's Royal Opera House in February is a one-off whilst the band are in the studios recording what will become the 'Inferno' album. Motorhead play a handful of South American dates, but some 20 Summer Festivals in the midst of which the 'Inferno' album is released. The UK tour follows with Sepultura and carries on through Europe.
Motorhead win a Grammy for 'Best Metal Performance' for their cover of Metallica's 'Whiplash' track. They tour America with Corrosion of Conformity and North America with Priestess. No less than 20 Festival dates span the Summer, including Motorhead's 30th Anniversary Show on June 16th at Hammersmith Apollo in London. A Scandinavian tour with Mondo Generator and UK dates with Girlschool follow, plus 6 in Australia with Motley Crue.
Four dates with Meldrum in America at The House of Blues venues kick's off the year as a new album is being recorded. Released in August amongst Festival dates, 'Kiss Of Death' is critically acclaimed as the band play Hyde Park in London as special guests to The Foo Fighters. Motorhead tour the UK with Crucified Barbara, then Europe with Meldrum.
'Kiss Of Death' tours in South America and Europe follow, along with the Summer Festival dates. The 30th Anniversary London Show is released as a double album titled 'Better Dead Than Motorhead.' 2 dates in Japan and an Australian tour with Rose Tattoo follow, then more dates in Europe end the year.
Recording a new album before Motorhead's now legendary Summer Festival dates across Europe, including Download in the UK. They play the 'Metal Masters' tour through America as their new album, titled 'Motorizer,' leaves the acclaimed 'Inferno' and 'Kiss Of Death' albums in the dust, then rips up the Charts Worldwide as Motorhead headline an American tour before Autumn dates in the UK and Europe.
Continuing to bring 'Motorizer' to the world with more sold-out global touring, including a headlining performance at the Wacken Festival, core-filming also began on the Lemmy documentary project (dir: Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski), which saw the last frames captured in Moscow during Dec 2009. Also, Motorhead enjoyed a 10-page feature story in Rolling Stone magazine during October, marking the first-time they had been afforded such space in the internationally iconic magazine.
With Spring and Summer seeing road-work in all the usual places, Motorhead sat down to make their latest album 'The World Is Yours' once again with Cameron Webb at the production/mixing and engineering helm in LA. Phil Campbell embarked upon a difficult personal journey when his father fell gravely ill, and he returned to Wales, UK where he recorded the guitar for the album. The resultant album showcases some of the band's best work in years, with richer, thicker guitar tones augmenting the classic Motorsound supremely well. The album will be released during December in Europe via their own Motorhead records label with UDR Records the partners. It will also enjoy a unique type of release in Europe during December, when Classic Rock magazine will publish a special magazine about the band with 'The World Is Yours' cover-mounted ahead of it's full-release, thus heralding a new era in providing the fans with access to new Motormaterial. Currently on another European tour, Motorhead will then return to the US for a full calendar of live activities and much more in 2011.
Sabaton was formed back in 1999 in Falun, Sweden when the members of a band called "Aeon" reformed and rearmed for the upcoming first recording in Moon Music Studio. The founding members of Aeon: Rikard, Pär and Daniel Mullback had joined forces with Oskar and Joakim earlier during the year which had seen a few line-up changes and the guys decided on a fresh start and changed the name of the band to Sabaton. These are the same guys you see on stage today.
In 2001 the band was ready to record more material, and this time they turned to Tommy Tägtgren who were to play a part in the creation of the Sabaton sound, and together they recorded the second half of the bands demo compilation "Fist For Fight" that was released by Underground Symphony later that year.
When 2002 arrived the band returned to Abyss studios and Tommy Tägtgren to record the debut album "Metalizer" that was to be released later that year, but didn't end up in the record stores until 5 years later.
In 2004, after countless hours of rehearsals and dozens of shows the band got tired of waiting for the release of "Metalizer" that never came and decided to take matters into their own hands.
Primo Victoria - The Battle Begins
Without the support of a record label Sabaton returned to Abyss studios and Tommy Tägtgren and recorded the album "Primo Victoria" which loosely translated means: The first victory, or: The beginning of the victory.
A fitting name, considering it represents a new beginning for the band and also marks the start of the typical war themed Sabaton lyrics.
The band signed up with the label Black Lodge later that year and in 2005 "Primo Victoria" was released
In early 2005, just before the album was released, Daniel Myhr was recruited into the band to relieve Joakim of his keyboard duties and the band was now complete.
This year saw the first Sabaton show outside of Sweden and there were many more just around the corner.
In January 2006 the band headed back into the studio for 3 weeks of intensive recording sessions with Tommy Tägtgren and recorded the album "Attero Dominatus" just before heading out on Sabaton's first major European tour as supporting act for Edguy and Dragonforce.
Attero Dominatus - The Battle Rages On
Halfway into 2006 "Attero Dominatus" was released and the band headed out on it's first European headline tour, and even though it wasn't very long, it was so successful that another one was added right after the first leaving only enough time for the band to jump back to Sweden and do 3 shows with Eurovision winners Lordi before getting back on the road again.
The Attero Dominatus tour continued in Sweden, and when 2007 arrived it was followed up with another major European tour. This time Sabaton supported Therion and Grave Digger and the tour reached into territories where Sabaton had never performed before.
Metalizer - Cease-fire
As the band had been touring with Therion and Grave Digger negotiations between Black Lodge and Underground Symphony had been successfully completed and Sabaton's debut album "Metalizer" which does not feature lyrics about war was ready for release, 5 years after it was recorded.
This time Sabaton went on a big European headlining tour called "Metalizing Europe" which didn't go unnoticed and it was followed up by many major festival appearances throughout Europe.
The Art of War - Back in the Trenches
During late 2007 Sabaton performed little, only doing a few shows to stay in shape and 3 appearances on Helloween's European tour to focus on the creation of the next album, "The Art of War".
The album was based on the over 2500 years old writings of Sun Tzu, conveniently named The Art of War and the songs on the album follow the same formula and deal with the same subjects as the corresponding chapters of the text.
In January 2008 the band returned to Abyss studios, once again working with Tommy Tägtgren for the recording sessions but involved his brother Peter for the mixing process.
When the single "Cliffs of Gallipoli" was released it hit the Swedish singles chart hard and reached #1 instantly and some time later later sold gold in Sweden.
The album "The Art of War" was also a great success for the band and it received great reviews from all around the globe, it charted on #5 in Sweden and it was also honoured with a Swedish Grammy nomination.
All the hard work, quality and joy Sabaton had put into the music and the touring was finally being recognized and the band made TV appearances in several countries as well as going on the road with their biggest tour so far.
Between May 2008 and December 2009 Sabaton had: managed to perform over 160 shows in more than 20 countries, received honourable citizenships/titles from the Polish government, toured with Hammerfall and Dragonforce, and been honoured with the opportunity to play a headline show in front of 10.000 fans on the battlefield near Wizna where the battle they sing about in the song 40:1 took place exactly 70 years earlier.
Coat of Arms - Full Frontal Assault
Even though the band had been touring extensively, the creative process never ceased and the band were almost ready for the recording of their next album "Coat of Arms" in the end of 2009.
During the latter part of 2009 the band had reached out to their fans and asked them to send in ideas for battles to sing about and the fans responded with thousands of mails, and while preparing for the new album, (in the middle of a tour of course) the band took the next big step and joined the Nuclear Blast family.
The studio facilities where Sabaton recorded their first self titled demo: Moon Music Studio were abandoned at that time and the the guys in the band decided to built their own studio in the same location, thus coming back to where they started out 10 years earlier.
The final composing and the lyrics were made in December of 2009 and in January 2010 the band headed back to Abyss Studios to track the drums, this time with Peter Tägtgren behind the recording console and then returned to their own studio that by now, in typical Sabaton-esque manner was called "The Eagle's Nest" after a joke made by the bands lightning engineer to record the rest of the album.
In early February 2010 Fredrik Nordström, assisted by Andrew Hayball mixed the album together with Sabaton in Boomtown studios, and when the mastering at Masters of Audio was complete, the final master of "Coat of Arms" was sent to Nuclear Blast.
At this moment, with most of the major European festivals booked, a huge tour announced, and a new label, Sabaton stand ready to once again storm into the fire.
"One thing I could say about Fear Factory is that you can put on a Fear Factory song and know it's Fear Factory. Nowadays, so many bands are copying each other but we've always remained true to our sound." - Dino Cazares
On their third album, Obsolete, Fear Factory continue to explore the battle of man versus machine; organic versus digital. Frontman/lyricist Burton C. Bell explains: "The concept of this record is that man is obsolete. The idea is still man versus machine - man versus the system machine... man versus the government machine. Demanufacture told a story, Remanufacture was another chapter in the story and Obsolete is another part of the Fear Factory concept. We're up to the point in the story where man is obsolete. Man has created these machines to make his life easier but in the long run it made him obsolete. The machines he created are now destroying him. Man is not the primary citizen on Earth."
Obsolete is ten songs produced by Rhys Fulber, formerly of Front Line Assembly, currently of Delerium, Intermix, and Will. Rhys, who produced the band's 1992 remix EP Fear Is The Mind Killer, also played keyboards on Obsolete (John Bechdel of Prong/Killing Joke/Revolting Cocks/Murder Inc. pedigree will serve as the touring keyboardist). Check out the intense cover art provided by longtime Fear Factory associate Dave McKean.
For 1998, Fear Factory's development as a band is most evident. Guitarist Dino Cazares has never sounded better; his riffs mean and lean. Belgian-born bassist Christian Olde Wolbers is far more predominant in the mixes than in the past, while drummer Raymond Herrera has developed into a phenomenal player, a literal man-machine.
Bell's development and confidence as a singer-boosted by his participation in Geezer Butler's G/Z/R project-is obvious on Obsolete, particularly in his searing vocal performance with the eleven-piece Vancouver Chamber Ensemble, which contributed violins, cellos and violas to the songs "Resurrection" and "Timelessness." Fear Factory's state-of-the-art mindfuck is also evident on the song "Edge Crusher," with cuts and scratches courtesy of San Diego mixmaster DJ Zodak. Obsolete material is also featured in the video game "Messiah" by Shiny Entertainment, which is slated for an October release.
Dino offers the following assessment of Fear Factory: "Fear Factory decided to stick to what we do best and that's play very aggressive music--and then add keyboard and vocal elements. We're dabbling in Hip Hop--Burt's actually rhyming on the record. The beautiful melodies that Burt sings are more apparent on this record and the brutality is definitely more apparent. There's more keyboards on this album than any album we've ever done, but it's definitely not a Techno record. It's along the lines of what we're good at, and that's being heavy and experimental. If we're going to change, we're going to change to something more extreme. We never take a step backwards."
"I have a feeling people are expecting a Techno record and that's where they're wrong," Burt concludes. "We made the mistake of making the Remanunfacture EP album-length; people thought it was a full record. Obsolete has the groove Soul Of A New Machine had, that we lost on Demanufacture. We've not changed, but matured. The songs are written properly and the arrangements are much better. We've found our niche on this record. We've brought it back into Fear Factory so it's ripping riffs and killer grooves. Our fans know to expect something big."
Whitfield Crane and Klaus Eichstadt grew up in Palo Alto, California, a middle-to-upper-class white suburbia where, according to Klaus, everybody complains about a little bit of noise. Klaus and Whit (short for Whitfield) met when Whit’s father mulched the Eichstadt-cat with the lawn mower. Klaus, whose father is a German and whose mother is from Argentina, and Whit became close friends in junior high school. Whit lived with his mother, and because that wasn’t a good thing, he and a friend called James moved to Santa Barbara after high school.
He ended up in a band and recorded a demo, that sounded great. Klaus had also recorded a demo and wanted Whit to sing on it. But Whit only wanted to do that if Klaus came to Santa Barbara and be in Whit’s band. Klaus was pretty set in Palo Alto, where he had a girlfriend and lived with his parents. He delivered Domino’s pizza and worked with his dad, shipping and receiving video-equipment and making simple repairs. But eventually, in February 1990, he moved to Whit’s Victorian house in Isla Vista, a college town near Santa Barbara. The house had view on the ocean, and Whit and Klaus lived there with a bunch of friends. Klaus started playing piano when he was 10, and his dad bought him his first guitar. Later he shined college and spent all his money on equipment. Whit and Klaus both started guitar lessons at the same time, but Whit only made it a few weeks because he was very lazy and couldn’t stand not being as good as Eddy van Halen yet.
Whit decided to be a singer because that was easier.
At the time when Klaus joined Whit, the band was called Overdrive, and the other members were Eric Phillips on guitar, Phil Hildengaertner on bass, and Mark Davis on drums. Mark had replaced John Spaulding who had gone crazy. Soon afterwards, they kicked out Eric Phillips, who had written most of the Overdrive songs, and the band started to go into different direction with Klaus and Whit writing most of the material. At about this time guitarist Roger Lahr joined the band. He was the only member of UKJ who actually went to college.
Bassist Cordell Crockett replaced Phil on April 1st, 1991. Cordell was a roadie for Love/Hate and had sold computer printer ribbons on the phone, worked on cars, tinting windows, installing car stereos and alarms. Cordell’s father was a drummer and his mother plays piano. Cordell himself used to play trombone in high school. He started when he was 10, in fourth grade music class, but picked up the bass two years later, when he was 12. The boyfriend of Cordell’s sister had him playing in clubs, jazz, disco and weddings. He kept playing trombone for a while but eventually the bass took over.
Drummer Mark Davis got his first drum kit from his mom when he was 10. He practiced all day with his friends in his room. After high-school in Santa Barbara, Mark worked as a grocery store clerk wearing a short haired wig for more than a year, after his boss got on his case about being a musician. Remarkable thing by the way, was that every member of UKJ was the youngest in their family.
Soon after Roger had joined the band, they changed their name to Ugly Kid Joe, a parody of LA glam band Pretty Boy Floyd. Both bands were like night and day, there were no similarities whatsoever. UKJ was supposed to do a gig with them in Santa Barbara, but Pretty Boy Floyd cancelled the show. They had it printed that they were going to be Ugly Kid Joe just for that gig, just because they felt that they represented the opposite of Pretty Boy Floyd. And although the gig got cancelled, they decided to keep the name: Ugly Kid Joe.
The band had gone through various managers, including Steve Sahlein, Will Carlin and finally, Dennis Rider. Billy Morgan was UKJ’s tour manager for their entire career.
As Ugly As They Wanna Be
UKJ’s main selling-point was their demo, which was produced by Eric Valentine, a high-school friend of Klaus and Whit. He was the drummer for T-Ride, who later opened for UKJ together with the Electric Love Hogs during the European tour in autumn ’92. Ugly Kid Joe got signed within ten gigs, when they had never even played outside of Santa Barbara. It was Bob Score who signed the band to Stardog Records. They called their first EP As Ugly As They Wanna Be, released in the US in October 1991, and in Europe in May 1992. The title is a takeoff of 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be.
The EP contains five and a half songs, and Whit and Klaus were the main song writers. Opening song Madman is about a psycho killer on the loose with some acid in Disneyland. Whiplash Liquor is a party song detailing the drinking habits of middle-class white teenagers, a subject the band is well acquainted with. Too Bad is about manic depression, on a positive vibe though, and more in particular about old Overdrive drummer John, who was suffering from mental illness. Everything About You is about Whit’s and Klaus’ childhood friend Farrel T Smith, who never wanted to go skiing beacuse it’s too cold, and who never wanted to go to the beach because he’d get sand in his shoes. That’s how Klaus came up with the first line of the song "I hate the rain and sunny weather". Farrel was always into bratty jokes and he’d always say how much he hated things. His attitude was however more tongue-in-cheek than viciousness, as shown by the lyrics "I ain’t wearing no frown". The song later ended up in the movie "
Wayne’s World" and became a huge world-wide hit. Sweet Leaf is a short version of the original Black Sabbath song.
The band was just screwing around at practice and all of a sudden Klaus fell upon the riff from Sweet Leaf, and while the whole band knew what he was doing, Klaus didn’t know. So he played it to that point and asked what they should do up to that. They didn’t want to learn the rest of the song because Klaus didn’t have a tape, so they just learned the song up to there. The band didn’t even know if they played it right, they just decided to make it a segment to Funky Fresh Country Club, a story about the Santa Barbara County Jail. The last song is the 26-second-only instrumental Heavy Metal.
Madman and Sweet Leaf/Funky Fresh Country Club were released as promotional only singles (which means that they were not available in stores), and Everything About was the commercial single. The promotional video, recorded in one day at the beach in front of 6503 Del Playa #6 – the house were they were living – and featuring blow-up dolls, was picked up by MTV, and the single went platinum and ended up on #4 in the Billboard Charts. The band also recorded a promo video for Madman.
The artwork on the album, a cartoony Ugly Kid Joe, was done by Moish Brenman, a high-school friend of Whit.
To support the EP, UKJ went on tour with Scatterbrain and called it "The butt-pickin’, zip poppin’, booger flingin’ across America Tour." Later, in October 1992 when UKJ was on tour in Europe with Electric Love Hogs, they were voted Best New Band by the readers of Metal Edge magazine. During that tour, Whit urinated in an elevator on some record company reps in Paris, France.
America’s Least Wanted
Guitaris Roger Lahr left the band early 1992 due to musical differences. Dave Fortman from Sugartooth (formerly She Died) replaced him in April 1992. While As Ugly As They Wanna Be was recorded in 6 days, the band had 2 months to record their first full-length album America’s Least Wanted. The deadline for the album was the Ozzy Osbourne tour. The band was invited to be support-act on his "No More Tours" tour, which was supposed to be Ozzy’s last tour ever. UKJ wanted to have the album finished before the tour with their all-time hero started. The band had 4 days of pre-production at Mates rehearsal studios. When they entered the studio to start the recordings for the album, they hadn’t even enough songs to record a full album. They had 10 days to write a few more. Therefore, they never had a chance to demo songs like Busy Bee, So Damn Cool or Mr. Recordman. The first time they recorded them was immediately for the record. At the end of the 2 months, they needed 10 days more to finish the album, while t
he tour with Ozzy had already started! Whit had to fly back to LA several times during the first days of the tour.
The cover of the album pictures the band’s mascot (a cartoony Ugly Kid Joe) posing as the Statue Of Liberty, holding a porno magazine in place of the hallowed Declaration. Several large record chains thought that would be too much for America’s conservatives minds, so the album was released with an alternative cover too: it pictures the cartoony UKJ bound, gagged and chained with the offending finger hacked off. Like on the EP, the artwork is done by Moish Brenman.
The album contains 13 songs, 2 of which were also on the EP. Everything About You, obviously, because record company Mercury wanted it, and Madman because Whit wasn’t satisfied with the first version of the song, as it appears on the EP. Whit had to do all the vocals for As Ugly As They Wanna Be in one day. Madman was the last song he sang, and his voiced was trashed. The version on America’s Least Wanted is a complete new vocal track. First song on the album is Neighbor, a funny song about a sloppy dude who moves into a nice suburban area. Whit often joked that he was that neighbor.
Goddamn Devil, written by Klaus, is about Satan. Come Tomorrow is how you always end up right where you started. The story behind Panhandlin’ Prince is that Whit went to New York somewhere in 1988 to visit Mary, a girl he knew. Whit talked to a lot of panhandlers and was surprised how much money they were actually making. They are happy and living their lives, and they’re proud of it. Busy Bee, written by Dave and later featured on the rollerblade movie Airborne, is about how people don’t take the time to really live. (Everything About You and Busy Bee are the only UKJ-songs that are featured in movies. The producers of the movie Dumb & Dumber wanted a song from UKJ as well, but when the band gave them one, they didn’t like it due to content.
However, UKJ were not willing to change it). Don’t Go is a song about Whit’s girlfriend of 1988. Whit wrote So Damn Cool about the people who suddenly liked the band now that they were famous. Same Side is written by Cordell. The Harry Chapin cover Cats In The Cradle was thrown on the album at the last minute. The song is the first song Whit has ever heard in his life. Back in 1993, when the song made it big in the charts all over the world, Whit hadn’t seen his dad in several years. The original writers of Cats In The Cradle were very satisfied with UKJ’s version. Howard Fields, the drummer on the original song, sent a letter to UKJ saying that the song sounded great and that Harry would be smiling if he was still alive. However, it was never supposed to be released as a single, until radio stations got all these requests for it. Mr. Recordman reflects Klaus’ thoughts about getting signed, making records and the music industry. That’s why they let him sing the song. Dave plays lead guitar on it.
A number of guest musicians appear on the album as well. Jennifer Baily from Halfway Home did some background vocals, and the spoken intro on Everything About You is from Pat from Saturday Night Live. A friend of UKJ was in a band in Santa Barbara, and Pat was his cousin. Dean from Infectious Grooves plays wah-wah on Same Side, and Rob Halford from Judas Priest sings background vocals on Goddamn Devil. Producer Mark Dodson had earlier produced the Judas Priest albums Defenders Of The Faith and Sin After Sin, and is friends with Rob. Rob came to say hello in the studio and liked Goddamn Devil. The band asked if he’d wanna sing on it, and so he did. The mumbling words at the end of the album ("You guys are gonna be great...") are from producer Mark Dodson. The band recorded him in his sleep.
UKJ recorded videos for Neighbor, Cats In The Cradle, Busy Bee and So Damn Cool. The video for Neighbor was shot in a suburb of Denver. The video for Cats In The Cradle was shot early 1993, and the video for Busy Bee was recorded in the streets of New York on April 5th, 1993. The band donated the royalties of Panhandlin’ Prince (b-side of Cats In The Cradle) to the Fred Jordan Mission in LA, a shelter for homeless women and children.
To support America’s Least Wanted, UKJ toured with Ozzy Osboune and later on with Def Leppard. In Corpus Christi, TX, during a club tour, Cordell fractured his right ankle on a shaky stage ladder. He had cyberglas cast and at first he sat on a stool to play, but got more mobile once he got a flexible "robocast". On stage, Cordell didn’t use crutches.
Menace To Sobriety
Early 1994, drummer Mark Davis left the band to get married. The band played the Rock In Rio festival in Brazil with sit-in drummer Bob Fernandez from the Electric Love Hogs, and recorded NIB for the Black Sabbath tribute Nativity In Black. The band first wanted to do Faries Wear Boots, but this song had already been taken by another band (it didn’t end up on the album however). NIB was also recorded with Bobby Fernandez. Also, Whit recorded the song Born To Raise Hell with Motorhead and Ice-T for the Airhaeds movie. Bobby Fernandez however didn’t become UKJ’s new drummer. The band auditioned tons of drummers, but wasn’t satisfied with any of them. At a point where Whit was getting kind of frustrated, he went to Colorado to go snowboarding with a friend called Jimmy, who owned a snowboard show in Beaver Creek. At night, they visited a Souls At Zero show in a club and Whit was immediately impressed with the band’s drummer Shannon Larkin.
Whit went on stage to jam on AC/DC's Sin City and immediately knew that Shannon had to be the man. Whit invited him to do audition in Santa Barbara, and the next thing they knew, Shannon Larkin was UKJ’s new drummer. Now, the band could finally start jamming and writing songs for their new, second full-length album, Menace To Sobriety. In the meantime, on April 5, Cordell got married to Karen in Las Vegas. (Note: They are divorced by now, and Cordell has a new girlfriend named Carin!)
Before the band started the recordings for the album, they did a week-and-a-half tour in the US, to test some of the material. The audience had to pay a ticket for only $3 and bring two cans of food. At the end of the tour, UKJ raised 15,000 cans of food. Later, for the Excuse To Go Snowboarding Tour with Dog Eat Dog and Goldfinger (UKJ knew John Feldman, the singer of Goldfinger from the Electric Love Hogs), the ticket price was $5 and all proceeds went to AIDS research.
Menace To Sobriety was recorded at a ranch called Palace Del Rio. Built in 1922 and set on 36 wooded acres in rural Santa Ynez, north of Santa Barbara. The house was once owned by Dean Martin and Jimmy Stewart, and is now run by the Rosedale family, who rent it out to musicians. Every member had his own room in the house, and there were tennis courts, tennis balls, a pool table, dogs walking around and huge parties in the weekend. The band claimed that half of the budget for the album was for beer and alcohol. Whit was especially happy with the fact that they made the studio a stage-environment for him: huge stacks of PA-speakers at the left and right, and a monitor in front of him, just like on-stage.
After recording the drums, the band took a week off when Garth Richardson’s wife had a baby. Garth, who had earlier worked with Rage Against The Machine and L7, produced the album. The reason why UKJ chose him as producer, is the cool drum sound that he had on his previous work. GGGarth stutters when he gets excited or frustrated, and therefore added the three g's to his name.
The recordings in the house ended on December 23rd, 1994. However, Whit still had to do some vocals in LA, while he was the one who had insisted not to do his vocals in LA. The album was finished on February 19th, but wasn’t available in stores until June 6th. In the meantime, Whit and Shannon jammed with Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest) on his solo-album. Whit sang back-up on one song, Shannon played drums on four songs.
None of the songs on the album are left-overs from America’s Least Wanted, they are all new material. The first track of the album is Intro, which is one of the many crazy recordings of guitarist Dave Fortman. He recorded it at home on his eight track with a drum computer. During the recordings of the album, Whit listened to it in his bed, and decided that this was going to be the prelude to the next album. Dave taught Klaus the riff and they started playing.
God, the second song on the album, started as a mouth-riff from Whit. Whit wrote the verse, Klaus wrote the chorus and Dave came up with the intro, middle and solo. Most of the lyrics are also written by Whit. The first version of God was a little too slow and the whole last part of it was different. The band listened back to it about two weeks into making the record and decided that the song wasn’t good enough. Fortunately, they had kept the drums set up, so they could easily redo it. Tomorrow’s World was an old song from Klaus. The riff was originally written when the band was rehearsing for the Brazil shows in 1994. Dave was playing drums and Klaus and Cordell were playing riffs. The lyrics are from Whit, Shannon and Klaus, who were all thinking of different things when they wrote the song. Clover is another mouth-riff from Whit. They jammed on it at rehearsal over and over and tried different parts. They played it till they had a chorus and added riffs.
All in all it took while because they had to put the pieces together. C.U.S.T., the fifth song on the album, is short for Can’t You See Them? Dave wrote the music and Whit and Klaus the lyrics. Lyrically, the band called it a flashback to Whiplash Liquor from the EP. Milkman's Son, the first single of the album, is written by Dave Fortman, about missing his girlfriend. Literally, the titular expression refers to a child whose differentness causes speculation that the milkman fathered him. Suckerpath was conceived in an Australian hotel room. Cordell started playing a bass-riff, recorded it on his four track and gave the tape to Klaus, who added some guitar over it. Whit and the rest of the band filled the holes. They made the song in different rooms! The lyrics were mainly Whit, but also Klaus. Dave wrote Cloudy Skies and Jesus Rode A Harley too.
Jesus Rode A Harley deals with heaven. Heaven is supposed to be all pearly and white but in Dave’s vision it’s all red light district and bars. 10/10 is another mouth-riff from Whit. Dave used to play it in an old band, but much faster. 10/10, short for "ten out of ten (die)", means that in the end, nothing really matters. We’re all gonna die, so don’t stress on every little thing. V.I.P. started with a riff from Klaus, and because Whit has no idea what to sing over it, Shannon came up with the lyrics, about the bad people in the music business. People who say they love your band and turn around and drop you. Oompa started with a bass line from Cordell, and a mouth riff from Whit. The song is a total joke, the band played it at every rehearsal. When they did the recordings for the album, every member got one shot because they didn’t want it to sound too uptight. Candle Song is another song written by Dave. Slower Than Nowhere only appeared on the European and Japanese pressing of the CD.
As on the previous albums, Jennifer Baily did some background vocals, and at the beginning of Suckerpath the band used a Nicholas Cage-sample from the 1986-movie Peggy Sue Got Married. Because of the connection with Shannon, Whit was very excited that Brad from Souls At Zero did backup vocals on the album. Whit called it "full circle". The band recorded videos for Milkman’s Son, Tomorrow’s World (directed by Josh Taft) and Cloudy Skies.
Cordell came up with the title Menace To Sobriety. The cover of the album is a picture of a post-card that Klaus’ dad sent him during the recordings of the album. He said it reminded him of Klaus when he was a kid! At the inside of the text book there is a cleaning bill that the lady who rented the band the house had sent them. She kept very good track of any destruction the band made during the recording of the album. At the back of the album there is a picture of a very drunk Farrel T Smith, taken right after the soccer world cup match USA-Brazil in 1994.
In order to support the album, UKJ did the Snowboard tour, the European club tour, and the big stadium tour with Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Many times, the band skipped their hit Everything About You from the setlist, because they wanted to make sure they were standing tall on the new material. At the Wembley stadium in London, UKJ played the Sabbath cover NIB with Ozzy’s son Jack on vocals together with Whit. On the US tour in August and September, the tip of Cordell’s right index finger was caught off by the bus door.
After the US and Canadian tour in 1995, record company Mercury dropped the band. That is, UKJ’s contract had ended and it was not prolonged. The band didn’t want to stay at Mercury anyway, because the company wasn’t a family anymore. Everybody who had worked at Mercury when UKJ got signed, had left or was fired, and there had always been small problems with censorship, videos, etc. The band started writing and recording songs for their new album in Klaus’ studio, that was built in his own garage. The band started their own label Evolution Records, and when half of the new album had already been recorded, they signed the distribution deal with Castle Records. It took the band 3 months to get the songs on tape. They did all the production themselves, because they felt that the recording techniques were just a matter of trying and getting it right. Therefore, Motel California only cost $60,000 to record, while Menace cost $600,000!
Motel California, Klaus came up with the title, contains 12 and a half song. Most of the lyrics are written by Whit, but everybody contributed to the songs. Sandwich came out of a group-jam in less than 20 minutes. Dialogue was completely written by Shannon, Undertow is the first song that Whit ever wrote on guitar, and Little Red Man features background vocals from Lemmy from Motorhead. The band knew Lemmy from previous tours, and when he walked into the studio, he grabbed a microphone and yelled ‘little red man!’ Would You Like To Be There is written by Dave Fortman. The song was originally called Alien Song because the third verse is about outer space. Rage Against The Answering Machine, a heavy metal song with the band’s answering machine as vocals, was originally called Message Saved.
Sandwich was the only commercial CD-single and video, although a video for Bicycle Wheels had been recorded in Amsterdam, but has never been released.
After the European tour in December 1996, the band came home to Santa Barbara and started demoing songs for the new album. Their manager Dennis Rider said that they had offers from a couple of record companies. Klaus felt however that something was wrong and had a long conversation with Whit, who was in India at the time. Klaus also asked the others guys, and their reaction didn't surprise him. Everybody wanted to do something else or go into another direction. Finally they agreed to disband UKJ. It was a very amicable split-up.
Trixie Whitley, publiekslieveling van de Gentse muziekscene en daarbuiten, is praktisch geboren in de studio. Ze heeft ontegensprekelijk het muzikale talent van haar vader Chris Whitley geërfd. Na een grondige verkenning van dj-land en een eerste hartstochtige liefde voor haar drumstel ging ze zich concentreren op eigen songs en piano. In 2010 werkte ze intens samen met zwaargewichten Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade en Daryl Johnson aan ‘Black Dub' en sindsdien maakte ook de rest van de wereld kennis met Trixie. Een straffe madam met veel power en soul en een scherpe, warme stem. Momenteel werkt ze aan haar eerste soloplaat, die in de herfst zal verschijnen.
Ze is de dochter van wijlen Chris Whitley. Toen ze 1 jaar oud was verhuisde ze vanuit Gent, België naar New York. Na de scheiding van haar ouders keerde ze op 11-jarige leeftijd samen met haar moeder terug naar Gent en leerde ze drums spelen. Op 17-jarige leeftijd keerde ze op haar eentje terug naar New York waar ze 2 jaar werkte als serveerster in Brooklyn en Queens. Ondertussen leerde ze piano spelen en begon ze met eigen liedjes op te treden. In 2005 kwam ze na het overlijden van haar vader voor een korte periode terug naar Gent. In 2008 ging ze terug naar New York om een ep, gecoproduceerd door Meshell Ndegeocello, op te nemen. In 2011 is Whitley begonnen met de opnames van haar eerste album.
Momenteel is Whitley zangeres in de supergroep Black Dub, die in oktober 2009 werd opgericht door producer en muzikant Daniel Lanois, in samenwerking met Brian Blade & Daryl Johnson. In 2010 brachten ze hun eerste album uit onder de gelijknamige titel Black Dub.
Met hits als ‘Twee meisjes’, ‘Je veux de l’amour’ en ‘Jouw liefde’ heeft hij eigenlijk geen introductie meer nodig. Raymond van het Groenewoud een zanger noemen zou te gemakkelijk zijn. Hij is tekstdichter, filosoof en clown, drie eigenschappen die hij graag live toont aan zijn publiek. Bijgestaan door drummer Cesar Janssens, bassist Mich Verbelen, Pieter Van Bogaert op orgel en accordeon en Leander van het Groenewoud (veelzijdig zoon van de vader en helemaal ingespeeld als jongste lid) bewijst Raymond dat leeftijd slechts een getal is.
Raymond van het Groenewoud weet als geen ander jong en oud te bekoren met zijn repertoire. Hij ontroert en beroert, amuseert en attaqueert. Of zoals De Morgen het zo mooi verwoordde: Ontroeren is een kunst, en Raymond beheerst ze tot in de kleinste details”. En daar is geen letter van gelogen.
Raymond heeft met De Laatste Rit zijn mooiste plaat uit zijn carrière gemaakt. Een straffe, persoonlijke plaat met nummers die vrolijk maken en ontroeren, die doen wegdromen en dansen. Van Aan De Meet met Jouw Liefde over Goeiemorgen Ouwe Rotkop en Kind Van Het Weekend tot Maanlicht. Meeslepend mooie nummers over de weemoed, de blues en de liefde. Ondertussen heeft Raymond een gouden plaat en een MIA-award voor beste auteur/componist op zak. Straffe rocker, die mijnheer Raymond!
Ouders zijn geboren en getogen Amsterdammers. Om aan de legerdienst en de politionele acties in Indië te ontsnappen, vlucht vader, de muzikant Nico Gomez, in 1947 naar Brussel. Eerst wonen ze in de Hoogstraat, later verhuizen ze naar Schaarbeek. Daar is Raymond geboren op 14 februari 1950. Vijf jaar later gaan zijn ouders uit elkaar. Raymond groeit op onder de hoede van zijn moeder.
Amsterdamse jaren. Volgt les op de Montessorischool.
Hij is een voetballend schooljongetje dat een Playboy uit de kiosk jat. The Beatles openbaren zich aan hem.
Zijn eerste groep, The AB's (Antwerp Boys), met wie hij één optreden speelt: het verjaardagsfeest van de grootmoeder van een van de bandleden.
Woont in Deurne-Zuid, bij Antwerpen. Schoolcarrière strandt in het Atheneum van Berchem. Zijn tweede groep, Why Not, houdt na twee optredens op te bestaan. Komt onder de vleugels van zijn vader terecht. Nico Gomez maakt in die jaren onder meer om den brode muzakversies van eigentijdse hits. Raymond helpt mee en speelt bas in het balorkest van zijn vader.
Wordt door Will Tura (die hem in de studio bezig ziet) bij Johan Verminnen aanbevolen en gaat bij de laatste als pianist/gitarist/arrangeur aan de slag.
Mag van zijn vader als verjaardagscadeau twee songs opnemen. Eén ervan is "Will drama". Zij zullen nooit op plaat verschijnen. Schrijft een vijftigtal melodieën voor het brt-radioprogramma Dagboek.
Oprichting van Louisette (met onder andere Erik Van Neygen) en, opnieuw als verjaardagcadeau, opnames. Deze keer wel ernstig.
Eerste single: "Maria, Maria, ik hou van jou / Je kunt beter gaan".
Begint, bij gebrek aan "beter werk", bals te spelen.
Lp.mc Je moest eens weten hoe gelukkig ik was...
Oprichting van Bien Servi (met Mich Verbelen, Stoy Stoffelen en Jean-Marie Aerts).
In Bien Servi wordt Jean-Marie Aerts vervangen door Jean Blaute. De nieuwe groepsnaam: The Millionaires.
Lp.mc Ik doe niet mee
Produceert titelloze debuutelpee van Erik Van Neygen.
Lp.mc Nooit meer drinken
Op het Humorfestival te Heist brengen Raymond en The Millionaires het gelegenheidsprogramma Omdat ik Vlaming ben. Kort nadien veranderen The Millionaires hun naam in The Centimeters. Raymond speelt de hoofdrol in Verschrikkelijk Verstandig, een theaterstuk in regie van Marc Didden. Speelt op Rock Torhout Festival. Neemt "Mama moet komen" op voor een kinderplaat van platenlabel Sofa.
Lp.mc Kamiel in België
Geboorte van Harnanas ("zeer nieuw Vlaams literair tijdschrift"), fanzine van RvhG & The Centimeters. "Raymond Groenewoud & Die Centimeters" brengen hun eerste en tevens laatste Duitstalige elpee uit.
Lp.mc Ethisch reveil
Optreden tijdens Pinkpop Geleen met wereldpremière van "Je veux de l"amour". Verschijnen van songboek Leven en werken. Cameo-optreden in De Witte van Sichem, een film van Robbe De Hert.
Live-optredens beu geworden, trekt hij zich geleidelijk uit de spotlichten terug. Het feitelijke einde van The Centimeters als begeleidingsband van RvhG.
Lp.mc Leven en liefdes
Producer van Waar de lampen in de klinken blinken!, de debuutplaat van Kamagurka en de Vlaamse Primitieven.
Hoofdrol in Na de liefde, een film van Jaak Boon. Produceert de single "Play with fire. Rich and famous" voor The Employees. Schrijft en zingt "Hoogste tijd" en "Willoos" voor de elpee Nachtjournaal van Harry Sacksioni. Geeft enkele concerten met de Nederlandse gitarist.
Wordt vader van Jasper. Neemt twee eigen liedjes op ("Een slechte film" en "In de gracht") voor een elpee van het toenmalige kinderprogramma Er komt geluid uit het behang van Omroep Brabant. Maakt soundtrack voor de debuutfilm Brussels by Night van Marc Didden.
Lp.mc Brussels by Night
Produceert de single I don't want you no more / Jan voor de groep Perro.
Blijft vader worden, deze keer van Leander.
Schrijft en produceert voor Crazy Love, een film van Dominique Deruddere. Maakt benefietsingle voor het Rode Kruis.
Werkt mee aan het Jacques Brel-project De brand in Brel (met Jan Decleir en Bea Van der Maat), dat enkele Vlaamse en één Amsterdamse voorstelling kent. Is coach van de West-Vlaamse ploeg in Baccarabeker. Zijn vaste begeleidingsgroep (Rik Aerts, Walter Mets, Kries Roose en Hans De Backer) krijgt eindelijk een naam: de Vlaamse Mustafa's.
Intimistische solotournee. Soundtrack voor Sailors don't cry, de derde film van Marc Didden. Voor het titelnummer schrijft Els Helewaut de tekst, ze neemt tevens de vocalen voor haar rekening.
Werkt mee aan het "cover-project" van het brt-radioprogramma Neem je tijd en neemt voor de gelijknamige cd "I want you" van Elvis Costello ("Ik wil je") en "Ces gens là" van Jacques Brel ("Dat slag volk") onder handen. Speelt mee op de platen The last tribe en A hole in my soul van Roland.
Lp.mc.cd Meisjes (Het beste van)
Werkt een gigantische reeks live-concerten af. "Liefde voor muziek" haalt niet alleen in België nr. 1. Ook Nederland volgt (drie weken nr. 1). Van Meisjes worden 75 000 exemplaren verkocht in België. En ook hier volgt Nederland met goud. Raymond speelt mee op de live-plaat Vriend en Vijand van Bram Vermeulen. "Ontevreden" en "Ik doe niet mee" verschijnen voor het eerst op cd.
Nog meer live-concerten en de geboorte van een nieuwe studio-elpee. Schenkt "Vanavond ga ik uit" en "Verlangen" aan Clouseau, die het prompt opnemen voor hun elpee Doorgaan. "Nooit meer drinken", "Kamiel in België", "Ethisch reveil" en "Habba!" overleven de transformatie naar het digitale tijdperk.
Verkent samen met Frank Boeijen en Harry Sacksioni de lage landen. Treedt enkele malen solo met strijkers op (bewijst aan de hand van zijn arrangementen dat de combinatie rock en klassieke muziek niet vervelend hoeft te zijn) en vormt een monsterverbond met Noordkaap. Te Wuustwezel scheiden Raymond en zijn Vlaamse Mustafa's met onderlinge toestemming.
Emi schenkt de wereld een heuse RvhG-box. Een verzameling van negen eerder verschenen cd's van Raymond, aangevuld met De rug van het doosje. Op 12 november start de langverwachte theatertour. Meer dan vijftig prachtige concerten van De Minister van Ruimtelijke Ordening volgen. Veel enthousiasme bij uitvoerders en publiek. Laat zich begeleiden door Cesar Janssens op drums, Vincent Pierins op bas, Bertus Borgers op sax en Tom Daniels op synthesizer.
Een tweede reeks concerten van De Minister van Ruimtelijke Ordening lag voor de hand. Ook Nederland komt aan de beurt. Van de tour verschijnt een live-cd: De Minister van Ruimtelijke Ordening. Naast de theaterconcerten zijn opnieuw de rockconcerten met een nieuwe groep: De Straffe Mannen, Cesar Janssens, drums; Vincent Pierins, bas; Bertus Borgers, sax; Tom Daniels, synthesizer; Rik Aerts, gitaar.
Componeert muziek voor de films Walhalla, waarvan een soundtrack verschijnt, en Laagland, waarvoor Raymond de score schrijft met daarin het filmthema: "Twee meisjes".
Duikt opnieuw de theaters in: verandert van kabinet en ruilt Ruimtelijke Ordening voor Landsverdediging. Op 20 oktober start de nieuwe tour: De Minister van Landsverdediging.
Ontvangt een Gouden Prosper van het Vlaamse weekblad Panorama voor z'n lifetime. Op 8 februari wordt de cd Ik ben God niet voorgesteld aan de wereldpers.
De minister blijft het land verdedigen tot eind mei.
Levert ook liedjes voor projecten van Kazzen en Bob Savenberg.
Van oktober tot eind van het jaar ploegt de minister zich een weg door het theatercircuit.
De Minister van Landsverdediging trekt door Vlaanderen en Nederland.
In oktober en november speelt Raymond een tiental mooie concerten met Fernando Lameirinhas: "Vlaamse soul & eigentijdse fado".
De verzamel-cd Liefde voor muziek verschijnt.
Sporadische samenwerking met het Steylaerts-kwartet mondt uit in een heuse theatertournee: De Minister van Cultuur. Raymond schrijft zelf alle strijkersarrangementen.
Tijdens de Nekka-nacht in het Antwerpse sportpaleis is Raymond de centrale gast. Boudewijn de Groot, Johan Verminnen, Willem Vermandere en Clement Peerens coveren zijn nummers.
Cd Tot morgen
De Straffe Mannen, versterkt met Jean Blaute op keyboards en Thomas Vanelslander op gitaar, geven tal van zomerconcerten.
Op 15 oktober start de Tot Morgen-theatertournee.
Bert Embrechts neemt de bas over van Vincent Pierins en Jean Blaute verlaat de groep om meer tijd te besteden aan zijn platenlabel "Needrecords". Raymond en de Straffe mannen spelen aldus verder als viermansformatie.
In april wordt Raymond uitgenodigd om met z'n groep in Oudtschoorn (Zuid-Afrika) op het Nationale Kunstefees te spelen.
De nieuwe cd "Een jongen uit Schaarbeek" wordt opgenomen in Biarritz en levert het materiaal voor de gelijknamige nieuwe theatertournee, die loopt tot en met 2003.
Wordt papa van z'n derde zoon: Luca.
Verdere verkenning van het buitenland: Maleisië, Thailand en Singapore.
Trekt de studio in met producer Peter Vermeersch en neemt er "Zoals gewoonlijk" op, zijn persoonlijke versie van "Comme d'habitude" van Claude François. "Zoals gewoonlijk" wordt samen met zijn mooiste liefdesliedjes verzameld op de cd "Ballades". Het uitmuntende optreden in de Antwerpse Arenberg wordt samen met een uniek portret op zijn eerste DVD "Schweinhund (Live in Antwerpen)" uitgebracht.
Raymond vertrekt terug op zijn Schweinhund tournee doorheen Vlaanderen.
Schweinhund loopt door tot in het najaar.
De tekst van de single "Weg met Amerika" lokt veel reactie uit.
Opnieuw in de studio voor "Mr. Raymond" met Peter Vermeersch als producer. De blazerssectie van de opnames versterkt de groep bij een reeks clubconcerten.
Cd Mr. Raymond (twee versies: in enkele en dubbel-cd).
De theatervoorstelling "Café Weemoed", in trio met Steven van Gool op contrabas en Bertus Borgers op saxen, laat een intiemere kant van Raymond zien.
Ter ere van vijf jaar Poppunt wordt het programma Raymond en zijn jonge helden geconcipieerd: aanstormende talenten bewerken elk één van zijn nummers. Canvas zendt het gelijknamige Leuvense concert uit.
In het spoor van de CD "Mr. Raymond" volgt een gelijknamige zomertour met "De Straffe Mannen" en een uitmuntende blazerssectie.
Schrijft muziek voor de succesvolle film Firmin van Dominique Deruddere.
Café Weemoed loopt tot eind maart.
Roept De Straffe Mannen weer bijeen en speelt in de zomer met extra blazerssectie op de festivals, o.a. op Pinkpop Classic.
Nieuwe tournee langs de theaters: Mr. Raymond viert Feest.
Single "Komaan met dat lijf" zet aan tot dansen.
Krijgt samen met Will Tura, Dirk Brossé en Tom Barman de Erepenning van het Vlaamse Parlement.
Speelt tijdens de Nekkanacht van Bart Peeters in het Sportpaleis Antwerpen met De Straffe Mannen.
De krant De Morgen brengt live-cd uit van de theatertournee.
Release live CD "Feest".
De legendarische Britse band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, kortweg OMD, is een van de grootste bands van de jaren ‘80. Hun typische sound inspireerden tal van artiesten; LCD Soundsystem, Hurts en The Killers, allen zijn schatplichtig aan OMD. De band uit Liverpool werd eind jaren zeventig opgericht door Andy McCluskey en Paul Humphreys. Geïnspireerd door de elektronische muziek van onder andere Kraftwerk en Tangerine Dream, creëerden zij de sound van OMD die een intrigerende combinatie van synthpop, klassiek, elektro en new wave is. Klassiekers als Enola Gay en Maid Of Orleans zitten in het collectieve geheugen gebrand. Live klinkt OMD fris en sprankelend alsof de 80's pas vorige week zijn afgelopen!
Liverpool's music scene in the late 1970's was an exciting and dynamic place to be. Everyone was either in a band, in-between bands or were forming a band. In the midst of all this activity was Eric's Club - a small discreet venue that was a favoured haunt for the people who would later form bands such as The Teardrop Explodes, Echo & The Bunnymen and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. So it was quite apt that Eric's was the venue of choice for the debut performance of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in October 1978.
Founder members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys had originally been inspired by the experimental electronic music of German bands such as Kraftwerk and Neu. Working with radio sets and home made synthesisers, Humphreys and McCluskey christened themselves VCLXI (after a valve diagram on the sleeve of Kraftwerk's Radioactivity album) and began their own musical experiments. This, however, was still a side project the pair indulged in on odd weekends while they were active in local bands such as Equinox, Pegasus and The Id. However, although they had gained a lot of experience from working in a traditional band environment, it was never quite the creative platform they were looking for. It was time for a new approach.
Naming themselves after an obscure VCLXI song, Humphreys and McCluskey launched their own unique style of catchy electronic melodies that helped form OMD's reputation for intelligent pop. Back then, to burden your band with such an unwieldy name as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark might have seemed somewhat unwise, but the obvious commercial appeal of their music provoked enough interest that it eventually led to Factory Record's supremo Tony Wilson offering them the chance to cut their debut single 'Electricity' on the Factory label.
'Electricity' (and its flip side 'Almost') perfectly captured OMD's infectious blend of melody and melancholia. 'Electricity', with its frenetic dance rhythm, rapidly became OMD's theme song and maintained its status as a live favourite right into the 1990's. Attracting the interest of Virgin, OMD signed to their subsidiary label Din Disc in 1979. An advance from Din Disc enabled the band to plough the money into building their own studio (situated close to Eric's Club) where they could continue writing and recording new material. This included their self-titled debut album which was released the same year.
After a brief period of touring, notably as support for Gary Numan, OMD quickly established themselves with a number of classic singles. 'Messages', with its simple but infectious melody, managed to get OMD into the public eye in 1980 by reaching No. 13 in the UK charts. Later the same year they made No. 8 and scored their first international hit with the dance pop of 'Enola Gay' - an up tempo number inspired by the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This bizarre style of wrapping pop songs around unusual ideas was something that OMD were to prove to be quite adept at throughout the band's career.
The success in 1980 helped OMD to rapidly become one of the UK's premier pop acts. Their initial use of extra personnel for live performances led to Humphreys and McCluskey recruiting people in the studio as well. After some initial line-up shuffles, the band soon established itself as a four piece outfit with the assistance of Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxophone) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) who were both friends from pre-OMD days.
OMD's third album, the ethereal 'Architecture and Morality' proved to be one of their finest moments. Blending choral effects and wistful melody the album produced three classic singles: 'Souvenir' with its bittersweet Humphreys vocal, the religiously inspired 'Joan Of Arc' and its epic follow-up 'Maid Of Orleans'. All three singles secured a top 5 chart position and by 1982 had turned OMD into household names and cover stars for Smash Hits.
With 3 hit albums and a string of million selling singles it seemed that the band had a Midas touch. It was about to desert them with the release of their most radical album to date.
The 1983 album 'Dazzle Ships' described a fractured futurist soundscape of ideas that drew on everything from East European radio broadcasts to industrial robots for influences. Although the album concealed some fine pop songs, its lack of critical and commercial success was perhaps responsible for OMD taking a more conservative approach in the future.
The album 'Junk Culture' from 1984 saw the band steering closer to a more traditional band approach. The instant pop of 'Tesla Girls', percussive dance flavour of 'Locomotion' and pastoral, dreamlike quality of Talking Loud And Clear proved that they could still deliver classic 3 minute pop songs, while retaining a flavour for the unusual.
Producer Stephen Hague was drafted in for the 1985 album 'Crush' and the subsequent 1986 album 'The Pacific Age'. Hague managed to give the songs on both albums a polished edge, while retaining an essential energy that was vital to the songs. Singles such as 'So In Love' and '(Forever) Live & Die' drew on OMD's flair for writing engaging melodies, while demonstrating that they were taking much more of a traditionalist approach to song production.
This period also saw the band touring extensively in North America and finally achieving the chart success that had eluded them for so long in the USA. 'If You Leave', specifically written for the John Hughes movie 'Pretty In Pink', was a huge success globally (although strangely not in the UK). However, the consistent schedule of touring took a toll on the band both professionally as well as personally and 'Dreaming', released in 1988, was to be the last single written by Humphreys and McCluskey.
OMD ended an era in 1989 with the departure of Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper leaving Andy McCluskey to forge ahead under the OMD banner. Teaming up with local Liverpool musicians Stuart Kershaw and Lloyd Massett, Andy continued writing and recording before releasing a new album Sugar Tax in 1991. It was a brash and dynamic approach that fused the classic OMD sound with a more mainstream 90's dance approach. 'Sugar Tax' managed to win over a lot of new converts, as well as the die-hard OMD enthusiast, with singles such as the spectacular 'Sailing On The Seven Seas' and the dance pop of 'Call My Name' and 'Pandora's Box' (a paean to silent movie star Louise Brooks). OMD capitalised on the success of 'Sugar Tax' with its 1993 follow-up 'Liberator'. This album saw OMD broadening their field of influences with the Barry White inspired 'Dream Of Me'.
Following the 'Liberator' tour, Andy McCluskey took some extended time off to reflect and consider OMD's future. Suitably refreshed, he begin writing again - taking a unique musical direction. The result of this work was premiered in 1996 with the release of a new single - the subtle and rhythmic 'Walking On The Milky Way' and the follow-up album 'Universal'. With its mix of ethereal ambience and epic production 'Universal' captured a sense of wistful mood that hinted at early OMD, yet still had a unique style and character that was very much its own.
From the beginning, OMD have managed to occupy that rare space between the alternative and the commercial, writing songs about such diverse subjects as airplanes, oil refineries, religious icons and movie stars. These songs capture perfectly the balance between energy and emotion; a pop melancholia that echoed around the walls of Eric's Club over twenty years ago and that still sounds fresh and exciting today.
Nadat C.W. Stoneking tweemaal de Arenberg heeft omvergeblazen, is het nu de beurt aan het OLT. De blanke Australiër speelt de blues alsof hij honderd jaar geleden geboren was. Met een stem die haast doet denken aan het schuurpapier van Tom Waits. Zijn kompanen van Primitive Horn Orchestra lijken afkomstig van de moerassen van New Orleans. Samen spelen ze wereldwijd in drukbezochte plekken die ze moeiteloos omtoveren tot swingende nachtclubs uit de jaren '30. C.W. Stoneking trakteert je op de meest authentieke voodoo-jazz-blues-delta-dixie ervaring van de 21ste eeuw!
Neo-blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist (he also plays Dobro and tenor banjo) C.W. Stoneking (Chris to his close friends) was born in 1974 in Katherine, Australia, to American parents who split up shortly after he was born. Spending most of his time with his father, who taught in the back country settlements, Stoneking was raised in the Aboriginal community of Papunya until he was nine years old, after which he relocated with his father to Sydney.
He began playing guitar at 11 years old and began playing with local bands by the time he was 13, including a stint in the Woodford Cajun-Zydeco Hot Tamale Band led by Peter Lucas. While a student at Balmain High School in Sydney, Stoneking stumbled across some of his father's country blues tapes and was soon well under the spell of 1920s and 1930s blues artists like Blind Willie McTell, Memphis Minnie, Leroy Carr, Big Bill Broonzy, and others, a genre and era that were to form the backbone of his consequent creative vision. Moving to Melbourne in 1997, Stoneking began playing as a solo blues artist, privately releasing an album of covers entitled C.W. Stoneking a year later in 1998. He also formed a band, C.W. Stoneking & the Blue Tits, that same year, only to disband it a year and a half later after the death of mandolin player Charlie Bostock. (A bootleg album of the group, usually entitled C.W. Stoneking & the Blue Tits and drawn from a live radio performance at Melbourne's 3CR radio station, has been in loose circulation since 1999.)
Stoneking returned to playing solo, performing original compositions that echoed the 1920s and 1930s blues, ragtime, calypso, jazz, and hillbilly recordings he so treasured. He recorded an album of his own songs performed in his adopted style, King Hokum, in 2005, which garnered tremendous critical praise when it was released in Australia in 2006. The Swiss label Voodoo Rhythm picked up the album for European release a year later in 2007. An utterly fascinating and unique musician, Stoneking began touring with a new band, the Primitive Horn Orchestra, which included Kirsty Fraser on additional vocals, Ros Jones on tuba, Ed Farlie on trumpet, and Kynan Robinson on trombone.
As the title of James Morrison’s third and by far best album suggests, The Awakening is the sound of an artist coming of age. In his personal life, Morrison has become a father, while losing his own father after the latter’s long battle with alcoholism and depression. At the same time, Morrison, 26, has matured as a singer, songwriter and musician, enabling him to channel all of that emotion into his most accomplished collection of songs yet. “My first two albums felt like practice shots,” he says, “and now I’ve graduated. In many ways this feels like my first proper album.”
Practice shots they may have been, but those first two albums – Undiscovered (2006) and Songs for You, Truths for Me (2008) – have sold a combined total of 4.5m copies and yielded an astonishing ten singles, including You Give Me Something, Wonderful World, The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore and the global smash Broken Strings, featuring Nelly Furtado. Those practice shots turned Morrison into an international star.
He has sold out arena tours, gigged coast-to-coast in America as well as in Australia, Japan and across Europe; he has performed on Jimmy Kimmel’s and Jay Leno’s TV shows in the States; sung in front of tens of thousands at London’s Hyde Park supporting both Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder; appeared on Herbie Hancock’s Grammy-winning album The Imagination Project – singing a widely acclaimed cover of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come; he has been voted Best Male at the 2007 Brit Awards; and – at just 21 – was the biggest-selling British male solo artist the year his debut album, Undiscovered, came out.
Everything was new then – co-writing songs, recording professionally, adjusting to being in the public eye. “It was an amazing opportunity, obviously, but at the same time I found it hard living up to being the person that people thought I was. I kept getting: ‘Ahh, James Morrison – he’s so romantic.’ And I didn’t think I was that kind of guy. I wasn’t trying to write songs to get the girls. That’s not me at all! But I loved touring, playing live – that was the side that really made me believe in what I was doing.”
When the time came to record his second album, “I was trying too hard to reconfirm why I was there and why people liked me. And that I could do it again”. And he did do it again: the album’s first single, Broken Strings, has been Morrison’s biggest-selling to date to the tune of 1.5m copies – but he struggled to embrace the experience the way he had two years earlier. Looking back, he feels his second album was too pop, too “lukewarm”, a step in the wrong direction. “I thought, if I can’t get it right next time, then I ain’t doing this any more. I’m losing myself, and I don’t want to do that.”
Fortunately, The Awakening has turned out to be the album that James Morrison always had the potential to make – at last a worthy platform for his extraordinary singing voice. “This time I wasn’t worrying about success at all, and that’s why it was really enjoyable. I didn’t feel I had to go for the big, loud notes all the time – I just sat back and sang how I felt and it all just came flooding out.”
The Awakening is a warm, live-sounding collection of classic but contemporary folk-soul songs. There are musical similarities with Morrison’s debut, but with added panache and self-belief. There are soaring strings, uplifting harmonies, soulful ballads and, in Slave to the Music, a hand-clapping dancefloor groover – a new string to his bow. There are nods to Motown, gospel, country and a hint of Latin. Technically, Morrison remains one of the finest white soul singers, equal parts Stevie Wonder and Paul Young. But he is more than just a Big Voice – he sings from the heart. “To me, pop music is just great music that lasts for years,” he says. “Though there is the other side of pop, which is where you have a hit, but then, after it comes out, it never gets heard again. I never wanted to make that sort of music.”
Three years in the making, the new album is Morrison’s first for Island Records, after moving from Polydor. He has retained the services of regular co-writers including Steve Robson, the man behind Take That’s Shine, Eg White (Duffy), Dan Wilson (Adele); as well as Toby Gad, best known for Beyonce’s If I Were a Boy. Ten of the 12 songs are produced by Bernard Butler – the acclaimed former guitarist in Suede. Butler, who also played guitar on The Awakening and is hailed by Morrison as “the director of the album”, has forged an impressive studio-based career, producing the likes of The Libertines, Tricky and Duffy .
“I was a bit nervous to meet him – his musical background is so different to mine,” Morrison says. “And that created a bit of tension in me to want to please him. So every time I sang I was really going for it, and he kept saying, ‘Chill out – you’re singing too much. Sing it softer.’ But it clicked on the second day, and from then on I knew it was going to be epic ; I was so excited.
“Bernard was really good at keeping the space in the songs and not letting them get too cluttered with production. You can hear everything clearly. Yet he made it sound like a proper record without it being too polished. It was exactly what it needed.
“It was quite a full production, but at its core there were only four of us in the room – drums, bass, Bernard on guitar and me singing. We did seven or eight live takes of each song, picked the best and worked around that. We just made sure the vibe was good, and then whatever you put on top is going to sound great.”
The song Up is another duet with “hit” written all over it. It is one of two songs produced by Mark Taylor, who helmed Broken Strings. Morrison’s vocal partner this time seems an incongruous choice – the potty-mouthed new queen of urban music, Jessie J. Jessie was suggested by his longstanding A&R, Colin Barlow. “Not that I was doubting Jessie’s ability in any way,” Morrison says, “But I was worried whether she was the right character for the song. She got in the booth and did all this stuff that was amazing – she is a ridiculously good singer, so in tune she’s like Autotune . I wanted to tap into the side of her character that is just a normal girl. I was like, you’re a Ferrari, Jessie, you’re in fifth gear – take it down to third. In the end it worked amazingly: she sang the chorus the way I should’ve sung it!”
James’s strained relationship with his father, who died last year from heart failure after a protracted and painful battle with alcoholism, inspired the lyrics for Up – and several other songs on The Awakening. “It’s such a personal song: ‘How can I find you when you’re always hiding from yourself/Playing hide and seek with me until it gets too dark inside your shell/Why do I even try when you take yourself for granted – I should know better by now/And when you call, I can already hear that crashing sound as it all falls down.’
“It was basically me saying to him: ‘I’m not going to put up with your shit, but I want you to know you have got the strength to turn it around for yourself.’ I didn’t explain any of that to Jessie, though – I’d only just met her. We just focused on her delivering a shit-hot vocal.”
Another song, The Person I Should Have Been, evolved out of a poem Morrison wrote after a conversation with his dying father. “He wasn’t very well before he died, and we were talking about things he should have done, or things I should have done. It span me out, and I was like, I need to write about this because I’m going crazy.”
Most raw of all is In My Dreams. “I can hardly hear it because it affects me that much – I don’t know how I’m going to perform it. I was writing with Dan Wilson, and he asked me what I was feeling at the time. I told him that my dad had recently died and I was hoping he would come into my dreams, but he still hadn’t.’ And Dan said, ‘I think you should tap into that,’ and as soon as we had the title In My Dreams I just got a guitar and it all came out. Musically I wanted it to sound like “up”, like Curtis Mayfield or Stevie Wonder. I wanted it to feel like you’re in a dream when you’re hearing it.”
Elsewhere, on the album’s title track, Morrison drew on his own experience of fatherhood. His daughter, Elsie, is now three. “It’s like I’ve just woken up to myself and to what I have to do. I used to say ‘oh, I don’t want kids’ – and then when it happened it was the best thing ever. So I wanted to catch that”. And on the stunning I Won’t Let You Go, on which Morrison’s voice really lets fly, his muse is his long-term girlfriend Gill – about whom he had previously penned songs such as You Give Me Something and, during a rocky patch, The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore.
The Awakening is full of raw emotion, but these are not “downer songs”, says Morrison. “Yes, some of it’s about dealing with shit – but it’s also about looking at yourself and what you’ve got around you, and weighing stuff up to keep yourself thinking positively. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that, because that’s what life’s like, what relationships are like.”
That is an outlook that Morrison did his best to adhere to during a childhood that was tougher than many. He was born in Rugby, the middle child of three. After his father left when the children were young, the family moved around the country, bedeviled by debts and the frequent threat of eviction, finally settling the Cornish beach town of Porth when Morrison was 15. He taught himself guitar and learnt to perform live by busking locally – although he failed music A-level at school. “I could hear a note and play it on the piano and get it right every time – but I was crap at the technical side.”
A few years of dead-end jobs followed, reaching a nadir during a spell living in Derby when he was employed as a van washer (“I was 19 and living the life of a 40-year-old.”). But he kept his chin up, and it was while living there and performing at open-mic nights that he took the first steps towards landing the record deal with Polydor that turned his life around.
Those formative years perhaps explain Morrison’s unusual reaction to his own celebrity. “I make a point of going to that extra level in my life to remind myself that I’m normal. Like, I went camping to a Haven holiday park – and I didn’t really want to go, but I thought that if I don’t, it’d be like I was saying I’m too good for that. Like I don’t go to Haven holiday parks, I only go to Hawaii or whatever.”
Inevitably, he got mobbed – while eating sausage and mash with his daughter. “I tried to explain that this was private, family time, but in the end I had to get escorted out by a mate. I ended up sitting on my own in the tent for hours, just so I could finish my dinner! I know I shouldn’t do things like that because I’ll get shit I don’t want – but then if I don’t do it I’m creating a barrier, and I don’t want that either. So I have to keep taking the opportunity to knock it down.”
The bad news for James Morrison is that any future camping trips are likely to result in more undignified scrambles – The Awakening has the potential to send him supernova.
“Yeah, it feels like it’s exactly the right thing at the right time,” he concedes. “I’ve only had a couple of moments like that in my life, but I’ve learnt to recognise them when they come along. And it feels like that’s what’s happening now.”http://www.jamesmorrisonmusic.com
Kaiser Chiefs are a four piece from Leeds in the UK.
In 2013, Kaiser Chiefs are one of the best festival bands in Britain - in 2004 they exploded out of the radio with their first single “Oh My God”.
The following February they played the opening slot on the NME Awards Tour and in March 2005, Kaiser Chiefs debut album “Employment” entered the UK Album Chart at number 3 (later peaking at #2). Produced by Stephen Street, and written by the band over 2003/2004, “Employment” would deliver a further four singles including the “I Predict A Riot” and “Every Day I Love You Less and Less”.
“Employment” went on to win Album of the Year prizes at the Ivor Novello and NME Awards as well as being nominated for the coveted Mercury Music Prize. In 2006 the band won three Brit Awards and Kaiser Chiefs reputation as a live band was cemented with tours around the world.
“Yours Truly, Angry Mob” was released in 2007 and would bring even greater success. “Ruby” became the biggest UK & European radio hit of 2007 and helped break the band in South America and Australia. “Ruby” was a Top 5 AAA Airplay hit in North America and buoyed by Lily Allen’s cover of “Oh My God”, the sound of the Kaiser Chiefs was instantly recognizable.
The Mark Ronson produced “Off With Their Heads” followed in 2008 lead by another massive radio hit “Never Miss A Beat”. The band’s live star continued its rise, after performing at 2008’s Brit Awards, a triumphant Kaiser Chiefs returned to Elland Road Stadium in Leeds to play their biggest show to date in front of a 45,000 strong crowd, and went on to take home the Q Award for Best Live Act later that year.
In 2010 Kaiser Chiefs took stock, drummer Nick Hodgson took time to build a studio in East London and he set about writing the band’s fourth studio album “The Future Is Medieval” (2011). The album was accompanied a bespoke ‘build-your-own’ album for which the band won two coveted Yellow Pencil Awards at the D&AD in Cannes, and the Q Award for Innovation 2011.
“The Future Is Medieval” would be Hodgson’s final recording with the Kaiser Chiefs, as he wanted to focus on songwriting and production. “He doesn’t want to be in a rock band anymore, and I understand that” said singer Ricky Wilson. In 2012 Kaiser Chiefs played Coachella, the Olympic Closing Ceremony (performing a cover of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard”) ahead of Nick’s final show which was a storming set at the Reading Festival. Hodgson also oversaw the release of the band’s first singles collection “Souvenir: The Singles 2004-2012” which was released in July 2012.
2013 is a new dawn for Kaiser Chiefs and set to be a big year - with a headline UK tour in February, Lollapalloza Festival in Brazil and Chile, Benicassim in Spain before a stadium tour with Green Day in the summer and a giant homecoming gig to open Leeds Arena in September.
And along the road Kaiser Chiefs are writing and recording what singer Ricky Wilson calls their “first record for the second time”.
Kaiser Chiefs are: Peanut Baines, Simon Rix, Ricky Wilson, Andrew White.http://www.kaiserchiefs.com
Born 2 October 1951, in Wallsend, north-east England, Gordon Sumner's life started to change the evening a fellow musician in the Phoenix Jazzmen caught sight of his black and yellow striped sweater and decided to re-christen him Sting. Sting paid his early dues playing bass with local outfits The Newcastle Big Band, The Phoenix Jazzmen, Earthrise and Last Exit, the latter of which featured his first efforts at song writing. Last Exit were big in the North East, but their jazz fusion was doomed to fail when punk rock exploded onto the music scene in 1976. Stewart Copeland, drummer with Curved Air, saw Last Exit on a visit to Newcastle and while the music did nothing for him he did recognise the potential and charisma of the bass player. The two hooked up shortly afterwards and within months, Sting had left his teaching job and moved to London.
Seeing punk as flag of convenience, Copeland and Sting - together with Corsican guitarist Henri Padovani - started rehearsing and looking for gigs. Ever the businessman, Copeland took the name The Police figuring it would be good publicity, and the three started gigging round landmark punk venues like The Roxy, Marquee, Vortex and Nashville in London. Replacing Padovani with the virtuoso talents of Andy Summers the band also enrolled Stewart's elder brother Miles as manager, wowing him with a Sting song called 'Roxanne'. Within days Copeland Senior had them a record deal. But the hip London music press saw through The Police's punk camouflage and did little to disguise their contempt, and the band's early releases had no chart success. So The Police did the unthinkable - they went to America.
The early tours are the stuff of legend - bargain flights to the USA courtesy of Freddie Laker's pioneering Skytrain; driving their own van and humping their own equipment from gig to gig; and playing to miniscule audiences at the likes of CBGB's in New York and The Rat Club in Boston. Their tenacity paid off though as they slowly built a loyal following, got some all important air-play, and won over their audiences with a combination of new wave toughness and reggae rhythms.
They certainly made an odd trio: guitarist Summers had a career dating back to the mid-60s, the hyper-kinetic Copeland was a former prog-rocker, and Sting's background was in trad jazz and fusion. The sound the trio made was unique though, and Sting's pin-up looks did them no harm at all. The band returned to the UK to find the reissued 'Roxanne' single charting, and played a sell-out tour of mid-size venues. The momentum had started. The debut album 'Outlandos d'Amour' (Oct 78) delivered three sizeable hits with 'Roxanne', 'Can't Stand Losing You' and 'So Lonely' which in turn led to a headlining slot at the '79 Reading Festival which won the band some fine reviews, but it was with 'Reggatta de Blanc' (Oct 79) that the band stepped up a gear.
Reggatta's first single, 'Message In A Bottle', streaked to number one and the album's success was consolidated further when 'Walking On The Moon' also hit the top slot. The band was big, but about to get even bigger. 1980 saw them undertake a world tour with stops on all continents - including the first rock concerts in Bombay - and the band eventually returned to the UK exhausted, for two final shows in Sting's hometown of Newcastle. Much of this groundbreaking tour was captured on the 'Police Around The World' video and a BBC documentary entitled 'The Police in the East'
Within weeks, the band were in a Dutch studio recording new material but Sting's stock of pre-Police songs and ideas were wearing out. When 'Zenyatta Mondatta' was released (Oct 80) although it sold well and produced another number one single in 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and a top five hit with 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' a rethink was required. Sting later admitted that he felt 'Zenyatta' was the band's weakest album but by the end of 1980 the band were undoubtedly the biggest-selling band in the country selling out two shows in a huge marquee on Tooting Bec Common in London.
Changes materialised on 1981's 'Ghost In The Machine', a rich, multilayered album which was augmented not only by Jean Roussel's keyboards and Sting's self taught saxophone playing, but by particularly strong writing contributions from both Copeland and Summers. The album still had the now expected clutch of hit singles with 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' making number one, the bleak 'Invisible Sun' reaching number two (despite a BBC ban being slapped on its video) and 'Spirits In The Material World' also charting, but it was a much darker and complex album than its predecessors and, to many, more satisfying.
During this period Sting took the lead role in Richard Loncraine's big-screen version of Dennis Potter's controversial play "Brimstone and Treacle" as well as in the BBC production "Artemis '81". In the late 70's he had appeared in a couple of movies - a minor part in Chris Petit's "Radio On" and an excellent cameo in Franc Roddam's "Quadrophenia" but "Brimstone and Treacle" was a major role and Sting took up a good deal of screen time opposite Joan Plowright and Denholm Elliot. The Police also contributed music to the movie's soundtrack and indeed Sting had a surprise solo hit with the track 'Spread A Little Happiness'. Also during this period he made his first solo appearances at 'The Secret Policeman Ball' benefits in aid of Amnesty International demonstrating a burgeoning interest in humanitarian causes.
Sting and The Police decamped to Air Studios in Montserrat to begin recording what would be their final studio album, 'Synchronicity', at the turn of 1983. The album was preceded by the release of a new single 'Every Breath You Take' (May 83) which immediately went to number one on both sides of the Atlantic and simply stayed there. Dressed up as a love song, the song was anything but - its sinister theme being one of obsession and surveillance. More than twenty years later, the song is one of the most played records on American radio having clocked more than seven million plays. With such a stand-out track the album couldn't fail and it duly took its rightful place at the top of the world's charts as the band started a spectacular stadium tour of the States, the high spot of which was a sell-out show in New York's Shea Stadium. Further hit singles in the shape of 'Wrapped Around Your Finger', 'King of Pain' and 'Synchronicity II' helped maintain the album's success, but despite the album collecting three Grammies awards, the writing was on the wall for The Police.
The band's tense relationship was slowly breaking down and after the Shea Stadium show Sting told the others that it was time to take a break. The 'Synchronicity' tour finished in March 1984 and the three went their separate ways. Copeland to movie scoring, Summers to guitar duets and jazz, and Sting initially to acting. A lead role in "The Bride" and supporting parts in "Plenty" and "Julia and Julia" followed before Sting picked up a guitar again. And when he did, it was not a bass.
In June 1985, Sting released his first solo album 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles' and it was a revelation. Featuring the cream of America's young, black jazz musicians - Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, Omar Hakim and Darryl Jones - the album showed that Sting had lost none of his songwriting ability by being outside of the Police camp. The new material had a more political stance - 'We Work The Black Seam' dealt with the miner's strike, 'Children's Crusade' with drugs, and 'Russians' with the West's demonisation of communism. He even wrote what he termed "an antidote song" to 'Every Breath You Take' in the shape of 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'. The album was premiered in a series of shows at Paris's Mogador Theatre - a period captured in Michael Apted's rockumentary "Bring On The Night" - and the band were magnificent. The success of the album, a solo appearance at Live Aid, and a well received world tour were proof that Sting had no need for the safety net of The Police - he had not only a retained a fan base he had started to build another one.
'...Nothing Like The Sun' (Oct 1987) was another strong collection of songs, containing perennial favourites 'Englishman In New York' and 'Fragile'. Sting even got himself banned from Chilean radio thanks to 'They Dance Alone', a haunting song that resulted from his meeting with some of South America's "Mothers of the Disappeared". Released shortly afterwards was a mini-album 'Nada Como El Sol' which featured several of the album's songs in Spanish and Portuguese, and which strengthened his popularity further in Latin America. His new band included Kirkland and Marsalis, Delmar Brown, Jeff Campbell and Tracey Wormworth, with Sting content to sing, dance and play occasional guitar. In mid tour, Sting joined the Amnesty International "Human Rights Now!" tour alongside Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel for several huge fundraising concerts.
Ever busy, when the tour finished Sting was looking for a new project, and found it with a starring spot on Broadway during 1989 in Brecht's "3 Penny Opera" in the role of Macheath. The shows proved popular and the show completed a three month run ending on new year's eve. Earlier visits to the Amazonian rainforest in 1987 also led to both he and Trudie Styler establish a charity, The Rainforest Foundation, aimed at protecting both the environment and indigenous peoples. This has proved to be not just a passing interest, with an annual all-star benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall helping to raise funds to maintain the charity's work in supporting indigenous and traditional people of the world's rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment.
Recovering from a spell of writer's block, Sting returned to his childhood memories for inspiration and released 'The Soul Cages' (Jan 1991). Jokingly referred to by Sting as a record for the "recently bereaved", 'The Soul Cages' was often bleak but always compelling. Depending on your point of view it is either impenetrably dense or his strongest work - only the listener can decide. The first single, 'All This Time', was deceptively poppy and 'Mad About You' was also a minor hit, but the rest of the album was not so radio friendly. Nevertheless the album sold well, the title track collected a Grammy for Best Rock Song, and the live shows saw a stripped down rock band comprising of Dominic Miller (guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and David Sancious (keyboards) with Sting returning to the bass. During the tour a very popular MTV unplugged session was recorded in New York and this was followed by a small acoustic gig at a Wallsend Arts Centre, from which some songs were released on the 'Acoustic Live In Newcastle' (Nov 1991) mini-album.
Sting and Trudie married in 1992, and bought Lake House in Wiltshire where the writing and recording of 'Ten Summoner's Tales' took place (Mar 1993). As upbeat as 'The Soul Cages' was downbeat, it was a remarkable album, and won universal praise from the critics. The album contained instantly likeable tracks such as 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You', 'Fields Of Gold', 'Seven Days' and 'Shape of My Heart'. It also hinted at what was to come on later albums with its mix of musical genres and styles. During the inevitable world tour he found time to record a Stateside number one by performing with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart on 'All For Love' from the "The Three Musketeers" soundtrack and to add another three Grammies to his awards collection. The following year saw the release of the retrospective 'Fields Of Gold - The Very Best of Sting 1984-1994' which included two new tracks 'This Cowboy Song' and 'When We Dance'.
During 1995 Sting was writing and recording songs for a new album, 'Mercury Falling' (Mar 1996) a release which showed an increasing tendency for him to risk commercial success by writing primarily to please himself and his band. Foregoing standard pop and rock fare, he was now writing country tunes such as 'I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying', bossa nova such as 'La Belle Dame Sans Regrets', gospel tinged material such as 'Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot' and songs in devilishly difficult time signatures like 'I Hung My Head'.
He was also becoming more involved in contributing songs to movie soundtracks - there had always been a demand for Police songs, but in 1993 he had been approached to write the theme song for "Lethal Weapon 3", and together with Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen he duly complied with 'It's Probably Me'. A reworking of The Police's 'Demolition Man' followed for the film of the same name, as did the recording of several jazz standards for the "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Sabrina" soundtracks. 'Mercury Falling' continued this trend with 'Valparaiso', which was used in the movie "White Squall". Puff Daddy's reworking of 'Every Breath You Take' (in the shape of 'I'll Be Missing You') brought Sting's earlier work to the notice of a new generation, and he and Pras from the Fugees reworked 'Roxanne' in 1997. Further soundtrack contributions to "The Mighty" and the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" followed, as did a cameo acting role in the biggest British movie of 1998, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". During this time he was also writing songs for Disney for the soundtrack to the 'The Emperor's New Groove' movie which was released in 2000.
The highly anticipated 'Brand New Day' album (Sep 1999) proved to be Sting's most popular album in terms of sales - in excess of eight million copies world-wide. If 'Mercury Falling' mixed genres, 'Brand New Day' took it a step further - the title track was full of optimism and renewal, a true millennium message. The remarkable, arabesque 'Desert Rose' featured the prince of rai music, Cheb Mami, and brought arabic flavoured music to traditionally conservative US radio. 'Fill Her Up' crossed country with gospel, 'Perfect Love...Gone Wrong' included French rap, and 'Big Lie Small World' was gentle bossa nova. This was undoubtedly one of Sting's finest albums.
The subsequent tour was a staggering success with Sting playing his longest ever tour - close to 300 shows in 45 countries to just under 3 million people. As the tour finished in July with two celebratory show at London's Hyde Park, Sting was already planning his next project. He would take the 'Brand New Day' songs back to their birthplace - Italy - where he would record a live album in front of an audience of fan club members and friends that would see the material reworked and remodelled. Plans for a simultaneous webcast of the concert on September 11 were postponed as a mark of respect for the victims of the heinous terrorist acts in the USA, but the show went ahead and the results can be heard on the compelling 'All This Time' album/DVD. The powerful emotions of that evening can be heard throughout the performance from band and audience alike. Sting not only kept his promise to rework the songs from the 'Brand New Day' album but he also delved deep into his back catalogue producing magical versions of solo favourites like 'All This Time' and 'When We Dance', as well as reworkings of Police classics like 'Roxanne' and 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'.
After the end of the mammoth 'Brand New Day' world tour Sting contributed further songs to a number of movie soundtracks including 'Until...' (from Kate & Leopold) and 'You Will Be My Ain True Love' (from Cold Mountain), with both songs receiving nominations for Golden Globe and Oscar recognition. He also took time out to write a critically acclaimed memoir entitled "Broken Music", which was a fascinating and revealing account of his life from childhood to the first flushes of fame with The Police.
'Sacred Love' (Sep 2003) was accompanied by a sumptuous DVD companion piece recorded in Los Angeles. The subsequent tour which started in January 2004 was a lavish production with backscreens and video incorporated into the show. A tour of small theatres in the USA was followed by a visit to Europe before a return to the US for a summer amphitheatre tour headlining with Annie Lennox. A further visit to Europe was followed by Australasian dates including two shows in India and a Tsunami Benefit concert in Australia which raised an estimated Â£1.6m. 2004 also saw Sting recognised as MusicaresÂ® Person of the Year, made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, and at an emotional event back home in Newcastle he was honoured by the Variety Club of Great Britain. He and Mary J. Blige also collected a further Grammy award for 'Whenever I Say Your Name'.
With only a matter of weeks passing since the finish of the 'Sacred Love' tour, Sting was ready for a change. With a new stripped down, rockier sounding four piece band comprising bass, two guitars (Dominic Miller and Shane Fontayne) and drums (Josh Freese) he undertook a six week tour billed as 'Broken Music' playing a career spanning mix of tunes across the US in mainly college venues and cities he has not previously played. Sting also took the opportunity on this tour to visit many colleges as a guest lecturer where he spoke to English classes about the process of writing his memoir and to music classes about songwriting and the music business.
Spring 2006 saw Sting return to his home town where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music by Newcastle University, and the summer months saw him take the 'Broken Music' tour to Europe where he played in 27 countries in two months with a slightly revised line up of Dominic Miller and Lyle Workman on guitars and Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums. These shows proved as successful with fans and critics alike as the previous Spring's jaunt around the States had done.
As unpredictable as ever, October 2006 saw Sting turn his attentions to a long-standing interest in the work of acclaimed Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland, with the release of 'Songs From The Labyrinth', an album featuring the talents of virtuoso Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov. Sting explained, "I'm not a trained singer for this repertoire, but I'm hoping that I can bring some freshness to these songs that perhaps a more experienced singer wouldn't give. For me they are pop songs written around 1600 and I relate to them in that way; beautiful melodies, fantastic lyrics, and great accompaniments." The album was a critical and commercial success topping classical charts across the world with the album outselling all previous Dowland releases in its first week of release. Indeed, despite its release late in the year, the album was the best selling classical album of both 2006 and 2007 on the Billboard end of year chart.
In February 2007, Sting stunned everyone when together with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers The Police reformed for a performance at the annual Grammy awards, where he announced, "We're The Police and we're back!" At a press conference in Los Angeles' Whisky A Go-Go club the following day the band performed again and confirmed what was now the world's worst kept secret: that they would be starting a world tour. After rehearsals in Italy and Canada the band opened their tour with a final rehearsal performance for fan club members and two further shows at Vancouver's GM Place in May 2007. A heady combination of nostalgia from older fans who saw the band first time round and intrigue from younger ones who only knew the band from their recordings was supported by ecstatic press reviews and shows sold out around the world in record time as more than 2.5 million tickets were sold.
The reformed band proved even more popular than on their 'Synchronicity' tour with sold out shows at many of the most historic and renowned stadiums around the world including: Fenway Park (Boston); Wrigley Field (Chicago); Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles); Twickenham Stadium (London); Stade de France (Paris); Croke Park (Dublin) and River Plate Stadium (Buenos Aires). The Dublin show alone saw the band play to more than 81,000 fans - their largest ever audience. Among the accolades garnered by the tour were "Major Tour of The Year" (Pollstar), as well as "Tour of the Year" and "Top Selling Tour of 2007" (Billboard Magazine). In February 2008 the band announced a third tour swing through North America supported by Elvis Costello and the Imposters, which in addition to their summer tour of festivals and stadiums in Europe would see the band on the road until August 2008.
A handful of concert appearances in mid 2009 disguised the fact that Sting was also recording a new solo album, and naturally, it was not what was expected. Taking the winter as it's over-arching theme, Sting instead recorded a selection of ancient hymns, carols, folk songs and re-recorded a small selection of his own songs with a hugely talented group of musicians including Dominic Miller and Kathryn Tickell. The resulting album 'If On A Winter's Night...' was release in Autumn 2009, and the songs on the album received a world premiere in the magnificent setting of Durham cathedral, in Sting's native northeast England where the two performances were also filmed for a feature length DVD/TV programme. Further shows in New York, Paris and Baden Baden followed before Christmas 2009.
2010 found Sting performing occasional live shows in places like Dubai, Venezuela and Colombia with a core band of Dominic Miller and David Sancious and one of a selection of drummers - Vinnie Colauita, Abe Laboriel Jr and Josh Freese - depending on their respective availability. The main live activity of the year though was the 'Symphonicity' tour with the Royal Philaharmonic Concert Orchestra and a quintet consisting of Dominic Miller, David Cossin, Jo Lawry, Rhai Krija and Ira Coleman. The tour found him performing his most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement, conducted by Steven Mercurio (Pavarotti, Bocelli). The tour played across North America in June and July, arriving in Europe in the autumn and continues in Australasia in 2011. An album of studio recorded tracks, 'Symphonicities', was released in July 2010 with a live CD/DVD recorded at Berlin's O2 World released in late November before the tour headed back to Europe in the summer of 2011 with dates conducted by Sarah Hicks.
The autumn of 2011 saw Sting celebrate his 60th birthday with a star studded concert at New York's Beacon Theatre where artists including Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga all performed. An innovative iPad app also accompanied a lavish boxed set retrospective collection entitled 'Sting: 25 Years'. In October 2012 Sting was on tour once again, this time in a stripped down format under the banner of 'Back To Bass'. This string of North American dates were performed with Dominic Miller, his son Rufus Miller, Vinnie Colaiuta, violinist Peter Tickell and vocalist Jo Lawry. In early 2012, Sting held some development performances of his work-in-progress, the musicial play 'The Last Ship' in Newcastle. These were read throughs with local actors and new material was played publicily for the first time. The Back To Bass tour then continued throughout 2012 across Europe and parts of Asia with the addition of keyboardist David Sancious.
As ever, Sting continues to intrigue and surprise... http://www.sting.com
Nog meer namen die een stop zullen houden op Suikerrock dit jaar
Aanvullend op 28 juli zijn:
Het leven is de voorbije vijf jaar niet mals geweest voor Natalia. Veel vaker dan haar lief was, keek ze de dood recht in de ogen. Eerst haar meter. Daarna haar vader. En dan ook nog totaal onverwacht een goeie jeugdvriend. Gewoon weg. Gone for good. Afscheid nemen kan je niet leren. Wennen doet het nooit. Zelfs een franke teut en een brede rug zijn niet bestand tegen zo’n zuivere hattrick van Magere Hein. In de dying seconds van een wedstrijd die alleen maar verliezers kent, nam die smeerlap trouwens ook nog gauw haar hond mee. Toch is wankelen niks voor haar. Hoogstens even deinen en dan weer doorgaan. Reculer pour mieux sauter. Met haar vijfde studioalbum Overdrive slaat Natalia harder terug dan ooit. Welgeteld dertien – haar lievelingsgetal – meedogenloze mokers met bezwerende beats en beklijvende teksten. Zonder zwaarmoedig te worden evenwel. Of zoals ze het zelf zingt in de titelsong: I’m going overdrive. I’m kicking the floor and knocking down all of the doors. Now it’s quiet on the other side…
En niets is sterker dan de stilte. Tenzij je Natalia heet. Dan is dat voorrecht je niet gegund. Of toch nauwelijks. Haar meter overlijdt middenin de razend ambitieuze SingStar Glamorous Tour. Even later neemt Natalia met Wise Girl haar vierde studioalbum op. All or Nothing, de eerste single van dat album, is meteen ook de titeltrack van de film Spion van Oranje waarin ze tevens een rolletje vertolkt. Op The Wise Girl Summer Tour volgt al snel de intimistische concertreeks Natalia Acoustelicious. De release van het nummer Burning Star luidt vervolgens de overrompelende Natalia Meets Anastacia-optredens in. Aan het vervolg op Natalia Meets The Pointer Sisters en En Vogue feat. Shaggy houdt ze een hartsvriendin voor het leven over. En daar vóór ook al een Best Of-cd die gepaard gaat met de Summertour 2010. Een nieuwe lokroep van het witte doek resulteert in de song 1 Minute, de titeltrack van de film Groenten Uit Balen waarin Natalia – net als met I’ve Only Begun To Fight in Team Spirit II destijds – weer een fel gesmaakte cameo ten beste geeft. Cassante kassierster, een rol die haar duidelijk ligt. Als jurylid van The Voice Van Vlaanderen I verkast ze ten slotte een paar maanden naar het kleine scherm.
Midden maart 2012 kan, nee, moet de riem er eindelijk even af. Sinds de dood van haar vader heeft Natalia nog geen moment rust gekend. En van zo’n groot verdriet kan een mens tenslotte niet ongestraft blijven weglopen. Ook een keiharde Kempendochter kan wel eens een paar balen hooi te veel op haar vork nemen. Tot ze onverdroten ‘Kust allemaal mijn kl****’ zegt. Wat volgt is een maandenlange aaneenschakeling van reizen. Van hot naar haar. Van Spanje over Thailand tot de Verenigde Staten. En terug. Gaan, gaan, gaan! En ook wel: uitgaan, uitgaan, uitgaan! Plankgas genieten. Deugddoend. De decompressiemeter voortdurend in het rood. In Overdrive, kortom. In alles. Zoals in ‘alles en iedereen de palmboom in’. Tot Lionel Richie plots belt. Hello, is it me you’re looking for? Ja dus. Angel, een duet om in te kaderen. En vervolgens een vreugdedansje on the ceiling, want Natalia Meets The Jacksons in de Lotto Arena. Intussen is het schrijfproces voor een nieuwe plaat in volle hevigheid losgebarsten. Opnieuw in Overdrive. Voor het eerst in tien jaar werkt Natalia niet met één, maar met verschillende producers en heeft ze een hand in heel wat nieuwe nummers: Overdrive, Alive, Make You Love Me, Paralyzed, Vegas To The Moon en Love Is War. Bijna de helft, maar toch geslaagd. Met grote onderscheiding zelfs. En felicitaties van de jury van The Voice Van Vlaanderen II. Geen toegevingen dit keer. Behalve eentje dan. Het schrappen van een Engels scheldwoord dat rijmt op moeders fruitplukker. Ach, moet kunnen. Zeker live.
Natalia raakt dus stilaan weer op toerental. Popelend van ongeduld. Snakkend naar het podium. Als een raket met nukkige neigingen tot ongeleid projectiel. Wachtend op lancering. Scherper dan ooit. Twaalf kilometer lopen in iets meer dan een uur. Keihard in vorm. Good Shape, maar dan met ballen. Tegenwoordig doet ze niet meer in tweede plaatsen zoals in Idool destijds. Hell no! The sky is the limit. Met Overdrive reiken haar ambities veel verder dan de eigen landsgrenzen. Volkomen terecht. Don’t fake me for a sucker, I’m joy-licious, damn ambitious klinkt het in Vegas To The Moon. What you see, is what you get. Take it or leave it. Her way or the highway. En dat zal iedereen geweten hebben… Zonder overdrijven.
Gabrielle Aplin is een singer-songwriter uit Bath, Somerset, Engeland. Ze heeft drie ep's (Acoustic, 2010; Never Fade, 2011; Home, 2012) en een single (The Power Of Love, 2012) uitgebracht. Haar debuutalbum English Rain komt uit op 29 april 2013 en de bijbehorende single Please Don't Say You Love Me op 10 februari 2013.
Aplin dankt haar bekendheid aan een filmpje dat ze op YouTube plaatste op jonge leeftijd en recenter aan haar cover van The Power of Love van Frankie Goes to Hollywood, die werd gebruikt in de kerstreclame van het Britse warenhuis John Lewis en op nummer 1 in de Britse hitparade stond.
Brahim werd bekend toen hij meedeed aan Idool 2003. Daar eindigde hij op de 4e plaats en kreeg hij een platencontract, dat hij echter snel terug kwijtraakte.
Hij schreef zich in voor Eurosong 2006 met het lied P.O.W.E.R. In de eerste voorronde werd hij 2e na Katerine. In de halve finale had hij het lied wat veranderd, in plaats van een intro begon hij direct met het refrein en dat werd gewaardeerd door het publiek. De vakjury was erg lovend en gaf hem een 2e plaats, de kijkers gaven hem een 3e plaats maar door de andere jury's werd hij minder gewaardeerd, waardoor hij vierde was en niet rechtstreeks naar de finale mocht. De vakjury had echter nog een wildcard en gaf die aan Brahim. In de finale gaf de vakjury zelfs de volle pot aan Brahim maar ook nu speelden de andere jury's hem parten, waardoor hij opnieuw op de 4e plaats strandde.
Met Turn the music up en Didi had Brahim zelfs hits in Marokko.
In 2007 was hij het boegbeeld van de Damiaanactie waarvoor hij de song Lamuka (Wake Up) schreef. In de zomer van 2007 nam hij een nieuw nummer op So into you.
In 2008 nam hij opnieuw deel aan Eurosong met het nummer 'What I like about you'. Hij werd tweede in de eerste voorronde, bleef steken in de halve finale, maar de jury had nog een wildcard uit te delen en gaf die aan Brahim. Hiermee ging hij door naar de finale, waar hij uiteindelijk vierde werd.
In maart 2011 begint hij het programma I-CLiPS te presenteren op VRT-jeugdzender Ketnet. In 2011 zet hij ook zijn eerste stapjes in de radiowereld, met de MNM Dance 50 op VRT-radiozender MNM, elke vrijdag van 19.00 u. tot 21.00 u.
In 2012 presenteerde hij, opnieuw bij Ketnet, I-fan, en was er peter van de campagne tegen pesten. Het liedje Move tegen pesten dat hij hiervoor samen met wrapster Charlotte Leysen zong, kreeg tijdens Radio 2 Zomerhit 2012 de prijs voor beste kidspop.
In het najaar van 2012 presenteert Brahim op Eén het nieuw muziekprogramma In de mix, waarin een gevestigde Vlaamse artiest en een jonge collega een grote hit van elkaar bewerken in hun eigen stijl. Het is gebaseerd op het Nederlandse programma Ali B op volle toeren. Sinds het najaar van 2012 presenteert Brahim op MNM niet langer de Dance 50, maar de Urban 50 op zaterdag.
Brahim is sinds 2009 getrouwd.
Joe Cocker werd wereldberoemd dankzij zijn unieke rauwe stem en zijn hartstochtelijke muziek. Sinds zijn doorbraak, de Beatles cover 'With a little help from my friends' in 1969, is hij één van de meest succesvolle en populaire artiesten ter wereld. In zijn lange prachtige carrière mocht hij reeds verschillende platina platen, Grammy Awards, Golden Globes, Academy Awards en een OBE in ontvangst nemen. Kortom, Joe Cocker is een legende!
Na het grote succes met platina album ‘Hard Knocks’, dook Joe Cocker meteen opnieuw de studio in. Dat levert ‘Fire It Up’ op, een waardige opvolger met klassieke soulnummers, big power ballades en erg energetische songs. Hij kondigt meteen ook aan dat hij een Europese tour plant om het nieuwe werk aan zijn fans voor te stellen. Naast nieuwe nummers brengt de wereldster ook zijn grootste klassiekers als 'You Can Leave Your Hat On', 'Unchain My Heart' en 'Up Where We Belong'. De ‘Fire It Up’ zomer tournee zal op 28 juli 2013 halt houden in Tienen, en vormt een prachtig slotakkoord van Win for Life Suikerrock 2013!
He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice - in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.
“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.
The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”
The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.
Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”
Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level shit”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.
Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”
In 2003 maakt de wereld kennis met de zachte en sixties getinte stem van een jonge Katie Melua. Op haar achtste verhuisde ze van Georgië naar London waar ze school liep aan de befaamde BRIT School for the Performing Arts & Technology, de kweekvijver van heel wat muzieksterren. Haar fascinatie voor artiesten als Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, Paul Simon en Bob Dylan schemert door op haar eerste album 'Call of the Search', dat wereldwijd miljoenen luisteraars weet te raken.
Met het tweede album 'Piece by Piece' (2005) volgt de grote doorbraak. De single 'Nine Million Bicycles' wordt een wereldhit van formaat. Melua wint aan vertrouwen en haar succes overtreft alle verwachtingen. De gouden en platina albums blijven elkaar opvolgen. In 2008 weet Katie Melua Vorst Nationaal twee keer tot de nok te vullen, en ook in 2011 en 2012 weet ze het Belgische publiek te overdonderen in deze uit de kluiten gewassen zaal.
Katie Melua is ook houder van een bizar wereldrecord: Op 2 oktober 2006 gaf ze het diepste onderwaterconcert ooit (303 meter!) in één van de steunpilaren van het gasplatform Troll A in de Noordzee.
Een nieuw album is dit najaar voorzien is, maar eerst tourt ze deze zomer nog door Europa. Op zondag 28 juli staat Katie Melua op Win for Life Suikerrock 2013 voor haar eerste festivaloptreden op Belgische bodem!
• TRIXIE WHITLEY b/us • vrijdag 6 juli
Toen Trixie in 2005 haar vader Chris verloor, was ze net bezig zelf naam te maken als singer-songwriter. Gelukkig worden kleine meisjes groot en is Trixie ondertussen een volwaardig muzikaal begrip geworden. Niet alleen in Gent en New York, de twee steden waartussen ze vakkundig schippert, maar sinds het Black Dub-project van Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade en Daryl Johnson kan ook de rest van de wereld nog moeilijk om haar soulvolle stem heen. Als Trixie haar keel opentrekt, dan trekt zelfs de Sint-Petersklok in de Dom van Keulen (24.000 kilo zwaar) witjes weg. Haar songs klinken bluesy, boos en bevlogen en zingen doet ze net als pakweg Janis Joplin en Etta James met haar ziel open en bloot. Momenteel zit Trixie in de studio voor de opnames van haar eerste soloalbum!www.trixiewhitley.com
• SHANTEL & BUCOVINA CLUB ORKESTAR d • vrijdag 6 juli
Deze balkan boy werkt ongetwijfeld op uw heupen! Samen met Robert Soko - dé godfather van de Balkan Beats - voert Shantel het Balkanpeloton aan dat epogewijs ons muziekmilieu infecteert. Gogol Bordello, Balkan Beat Box, Beirut, Mahala Raï Banda, Fanfara Ciocãrlia .... allemaal bastaardtelgen die dealen in zigeunerbeats.
S(tefan) Hantel begon zijn offensief met downtempo elektronica op zijn eigen label Essay Recordings, maar schakelde wijselijk over op heftiger spul. Met Bucovina Club (de regio tussen Oekraïne en Roemenië waar zijn Romaroots liggen) als dekmantel vulde hij de underground van Frankfurt met opzwepende gypsyritmes. Op vraag van het Belgische Crammed-label plakte hij de traditionele geluiden van Taraf De Haïdouks, Boban Markovic, Fanfara Ciocãrlia en Goran Bregovic aan zijn eigen elektronische beats voor de compilatie 'Electric Gypsyland'. Zigeunerdisco! Speciaal voor Cactusfestival laat hij opnieuw het Bucovina Club Orkestar aanrukken, een compleet extatisch zigeunerorkest.www.shantel.dewww.bucovina.de
• BLACK BOX REVELATION b • zaterdag 7 juli
Wanneer een boer uit Dilbeek deze zwarte doos op zijn veld vindt, dan zal de wereld weten dat rock 'n' roll ten tijde van Black Box Revelation nog lang niet dood was. In Jan Paternoster en Dries Van Dijck zag Humo's meedogenloze jury in 2006 'de beste drummer en gitarist van de vijftiende editie. Piepjong maar met de ingesteldheid van een stel goed geoliede bluesnegers.' Een vuile mix van garagerock, sexy gestripte blues aaneengeplakt met übermelodieuze gitaarriffs en Iggy-gewijze schreeuwen om liefde. BBR lanceerde met 'Never Alone, Always Together' een nieuw lijflied voor Siamese tweelingen en trekt momenteel door de US of A, ter promotie van hun laatste album 'My Perception'. Ondertussen al iets minder groen, maar na een paar weken tourbus des te vuiler!www.myspace.com/theblackboxrevelation
• ALOE BLACC us • zondag 8 juli
De dollar van Aloe Blacc ziet er ondertussen goed grijs uit, maar Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III himself schittert nog steeds als bladgoud! Zijn muzikale carrière startte Aloe Blacc als MC bij de band Emanon, maar pas met zijn soloalbum 'Good Things' uit 2010 kreeg hij eindelijk de erkenning die hij verdiende. Een album dat knipoogt naar James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, blinkt van de retro soul, funk, gospel en hiphop én zalft als, euhm, aloë vera.www.aloeblacc.com
• WOVEN HAND us • zondag 8 juli
In de muziek van David Eugene Edwards zijn Gods wegen ondoorgrondelijk. Bezieler van 16 Horsepower met charisma op overschot. Toen 16HP in 2001 een jaar op sabbat ging, kwam Edwards met een soloproject op de proppen. 16HP kwam nooit meer terug, maar gelukkig is Woven Hand een waardig alternatief dat de kracht van 16 Horsepower balt in een akoestisch kwartet: donker, broeierig en bezwerend, met een folkie ondertoon. Een subtiele stoofpot van slide gitaar, banjo, bas, orgel, percussie en de immer gedreven vocale voordracht van Edwards. David Eugene zweert bij god en de bijbel en in zijn songs zijn schuld en boete nooit veraf, maar zelfs de meest overtuigde atheïst laat zich in het geval van Woven Hand welwillig bekeren. In ruil uiteraard voor kippenvel en onvervalste emotie!www.wovenhandmosaic.com
• CW STONEKING & PRIMITIVE HORN ORCHESTRA aus • zaterdag 7 juli
CW Stoneking, katapulteert je met 'Jungle Blues' terug naar een tijd van vooroorlogse blues, zeepkisten en dolle zeemansliederen. Stoneking bracht een deel van zijn jeugd door bij de Aboriginals, Down Under, en werd via de platen van zijn vader al vroeg ingepakt door de magie van stokoude blues. Hij deed er zijn voordeel mee en omgeeft zich sindsdien met een authentieke zweem van de jaren '30. Met een merkwaardige stem (die ons hardop aan Tom Waits doet denken), banjo, gitaar, koperblazers en een geheel unieke vertelstijl weet hij een heuse blues revival te ontketenen. Van onbeschaamd melancholisch tot even onbeschaamd uitbundig, CW Stoneking en zijn Primitive Horn Orchestra verwerken blues, ragtime, vaudeville, hillbilly, jazz en calypso tot een succulent feestmaal.www.cwstoneking.com
• KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS us • zaterdag 7 juli
Als we 'Vile' door ons online woordenboek halen, dan stoten we op 'laaghartig, sluw en achterbaks'. Gelukkig piept onze cd-speler anders: Kurt Vile is een eersteklassedealer in melancholia en andere hartverwarmende middelen. Drie albums lang wist hij buiten de radar van de Europese muziekpers te blijven, maar met 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' was er geen ontkomen aan de superlatieven en verwijzingen naar Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty en Dinosaur Jr. Voor dit album dook Vile voor het eerst ook echt de studio in, samen met zijn live band The Violators. Het album staat stijf van songs over besluiteloosheid, verveling en twijfel, maar muzikaal klinken ze vastberaden en onwankelbaar. Vile en zijn Violators bouwen in ons park een intiem feestje met folk, Americana, gruizige rock en sporen van psychedelica.www.kurtvile.com
• JOHN HIATT & THE COMBO us • zaterdag 7 juli
'Riding With The King', Cry Love', 'Have A Little Faith In Me', 'Thing Called Love', 'Perfectly Good Guitar' ... John Hiatt is met zijn dertigjarige carrière persoonlijk aansprakelijk voor een ferm fragment van ons collectief muziekgeheugen. Ook in de versies van Bonnie Raitt ('Thing Called Love'), Willie Nelson ('The Most Unoriginal Sin'), Bob Dylan ('The Usual') en Iggy Pop ('Something Wild') kregen zijn songs wereldwijde aandacht. Hiatts ijzersterke stem is acuut herkenbaar, zijn schrijfstijl tijdloos en zijn rootsy fusion van rock 'n' roll, country, blues en folk zit diepgeworteld in de Amerikaanse rockgeschiedenis. Ook met Little Village, de supergroep die hij samen met Nick Lowe, Ry Cooder en Jim Keltner vormde, liet hij navenant van zich spreken. Vorig jaar leverde Hiatt met 'Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns' zijn twintigste (!) studioalbum af. Een grote meneer!www.johnhiatt.com
• PAOLO NUTINI uk • vrijdag 6 juli
Een gewaarschuwd man is er twee waard. En een vrouw zelfs drie! Verwacht op ons podium niet de doorleefde en lichtjes gammele verschijning die deze eeuwenoude stem op het eerste gehoor doet vermoeden, maar een appetijtelijke knaap van amper een kwart eeuw oud. Nutini wist met zijn debuut 'These Streets' (2006) meer dan een miljoen platen de toonbank over te jagen, niet in het minst door zijn aanstekelijke en onbewolkte maar diepgewortelde mix van soul, ska en folk. Een frisse popster horen dwepen met het geluid van Cab Calloway, Wynonie Harris, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke en Louis Armstrong mag dan een anachronisme lijken, zolang het heerlijke hits oplevert als 'Coming Up Easy', 'Candy' en 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' hoor je ons niet klagen. Nutini heeft zijn stem vol raspende soul, een ontwapenende persoonlijkheid én een kofferbak vol hartverscheurende ballads en uitbundige rockers klaarstaan voor een openhartig concert op Cactusfestival!www.paolonutini.com
• RAZORLIGHT uk • vrijdag 6 juli
'Arrogant' lijkt wel het vaste adjectief geworden van 'Britpop', maar de grote bek van frontman Johnny Burrell legde Razorlight alvast geen windeieren. Burrell vergeleek zich nog voor hij ook maar één song geschreven had met Dylan, noemde zichzelf de grootste tekstschrijver van zijn generatie en verwees naar Arctic Monkeys en The Kooks als 'klungelende mietjes'. Uitspraken die de muziekwereld verdeelden in 'lovers' en 'haters'. Maar zelfs die 'haters' moesten, na wetenschappelijke analyse van het debuut 'Up All Night' en volgeling 'Razorlight', schoorvoetend toegeven dat 90% van hun songmateriaal bestaat uit griezelig perfecte pop: instant aanstekelijk, kort, krachtig én meebrulbaar. 'Wire To Wire', 'America' en 'In The Morning' knipogen gretig naar The Kinks, The Who en The Clash, maar who cares bij 't horen van zo'n eersteklas eerbetoon?www.razorlight.co.uk
• CHRIS CORNELL us • zondag 8 juli
Soundgarden-frontman unplugged, up close & personal op Cactusfestival! Vanuit grungy Seattle trok Soundgarden-frontman Chris Cornell samen met Pearl Jam, The Melvins en Nirvana de grungebeweging op gang. Soundgardens donkere, wilde en eigenzinnige soundscapes en Chris Cornells bijtende lyrics en roofzuchtige gegrom (subliem samengebald in o.a. 'Black Hole Sun' en 'Spoonman'), verleidden een hele generatie. Vijf albums lang schaafden ze aan hun sound tot de band in 1997 uiteen ging.
Cornell probeerde het eerst solo. Maar toen Zack de la Rocha Rage Against The Machine verliet, vormde hij met de overgebleven leden Audioslave. Ondertussen is Soundgarden weer bijeen, maar Chris Cornell staat ook solo sterker dan ooit. Met 'Songbook' bracht hij zonet een akoestisch overzicht van zijn carrière uit. Op Cactusfestival bewijst hij zich als zanger én songschrijver, met uitgeklede versies van zijn en Soundgardens songs!www.chriscornell.com
• YEASAYER us • zaterdag 7 juli
Toekomstmuziek! Yeasayer bestaat uit drie stuks visionaire en allesverterende vrije geesten die de meest onmogelijke invloeden in zich opzuigen, die, zoals het echte herkauwers betaamt, door vier magen sturen en vervolgens neerpoten als véél meer dan de som der oorspronkelijke delen. Klinkt als pure zooi? Een beetje misschien, maar Yeasayer is vooral pure pop. Met genoeg afwijkend gedrag welteverstaan. Bovendien stuurt de band zo'n onweerstaanbare en dromerige groove door je lijf dat hun concerten eerder aanvoelen als een sonische trip dan als afzonderlijke songs.
Toen eersteling 'All Hour Cymbal' verscheen waren alle muziekhokjes meteen te klein. Yeasayer hielp de muziekpers dus een handje en plakte het verhelderende 'middle eastern psych snap gospel' op hun debuut. Op het nieuwere 'Odd Blood' werden naast oosterse ook Afrikaanse geluiden aangevoerd, samen met exotische synths en percussie om het album een typische worldbeat te geven. Opzet geslaagd en daarmee parkeerde de band zich behendig tussen MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah en TV On The Radio. Nog een laatste woordje van Yeasayer? 'Wait For The Summer'. Precies wat wij van plan zijn!www.myspace.com/yeasayer
• GRANT LEE BUFFALO us • zaterdag 7 juli
'Fuzzy'! 'Mighty Joe Moon'! In 1999 kwam er een open eind aan zoveel moois en ging Grant-Lee, de smoel en stem van de band, zijn eigen weg. In 2011 kwam de band terug bijeen voor een reeks memorable concerten die het dak van de USA bliezen. Met de Amerikaanse hypotheekcrisis heeft de band evenwel niets te maken. Nog steeds weet Phillips ons met één riff op zijn twaalfsnarige akoestische gitaar dieper te ontroeren dan een volledig symfonisch orkest. Zeker in combinatie met zijn stem, een uniek vocaal exemplaar zonder hoogtevrees. Deze zomer verkent Grant Lee Buffalo met vrolijke weemoed opnieuw elke vierkante centimeter van het rock, folk- en countryspectrum, op Cactusfestival!www.grantleebuffalo.com
• EMILIANA TORRINI is • vrijdag 6 juli
Rakatung ketung ketuketuke tungtung! Even vreesden we dat het hart van de frêle IiSlandse onder het immense succes van haar 'Jungle Drum' zou bezwijken. Maar zie daar, Emiliana Torrini DavidsdÒttir schoot pijlrecht omhoog, naar duizelingwekkende hoogtes in de wereldwijde charts.
Haar derde album 'Me And Armini' werd een speelse mix van stuk voor stuk trefzekere en ontwapenende songs, het soort dat het Syrische regeringsleger zo in z'n blootje zet. Ook haar eigen songs kleedt ze graag uit, met een sobere instrumentatie. Een keuze die haar stem trouwens alle eer aandoet. Torrini klinkt af en toe schuchter en fluisterend, maar even later alweer uitdagend en uitgelaten. Een elfje dat graag vertoeft in het klanklandschap van Nick Drake, Feist, Lamb en Björk én bijzonder sterk uit de hoek durft te komen. Zo schreef ze op vraag van Peter Jackson 'Gollum's Song' voor 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers' én schonk ze Kylie Minogue de hit van haar leven met 'Slow'.www.emilianatorrini.com
• EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY us • zondag 8 juli
Explosions In The Sky bestaat naast vier zachtmoedige Texanen op bas, gitaar en drums, volledig uit meeslepend mooie noise en breed uitgesponnen melancholie. Ongerepte schoonheid in het nauw gedreven door verknipte akkoorden, stuiterende noise en gulpen feedback. Hun niet geheel onschadelijke instrumentale uitstoot maakt optimaal gebruik van het geluidsspectrum en strompelt van total silence naar total violence. Een viertal met een fijn gevoel voor labyrintische luisterervaringen dat met het nieuwe 'Take Care, Take Care, Take Care' opnieuw bewijst dat postrock nog lang niet dood is. Láng niet.www.explosionsinthesky.com
• LOW us • zaterdag 7 juli
Low, the slowest of slowcore bands, begon in 1993 als een experimentele reactie op de nogal dominant aanwezige grungegolf. Delicate en hypnotiserende soundscapes met een duizelingwekkende vocale harmonie tussen Alan Sparhawk en zijn Mimi Parker. Een band die spanning verstopt in stiltes en niet terugdeinst voor tergend trage gitaarmuziek. Sinds kort durft Low ook hogere volumes en snellere songstructuren aan met hier en daar een geluidsuitbarsting, maar ze blijven hartverscheurend melancholiek. Ssshht!www.chairkickers.com
Ook de laatste zes, nog ontbrekende namen krijg je binnenkort via deze weg van ons te horen!
De voorverkoop van het 31e Cactusfestival start op vrijdag 30 maart.