Words by Ben Bowman.
Is 2016 possibly the worst year to date? We’ve lost Bowie, Cohen, Prince, Vine and now America too. Donald Trump is now The President of the United States. What has this world come to? If there was any way to trade Trump, Hopkins and Farage for Bowie, Prince and Obama we all know what would happen. Oh, can we have Obama back too? We live in strange times but hopefully this week’s look back at everything music related on the internet will do something to numb the pain that this year has caused.
Starting off on a continued sombre note, we woke up to the news this morning that we have once again lost a musical icon. First it was Bowie, then Prince and now Leonard Cohen has passed away at the age of 82. How many more are we going to lose before the year is out? It is reported that he passed away at the start of the week and has already been buried. In an interview a few weeks ago, around the time he released his fourteenth and final album ‘You Want It Darker’, the legendary songwriter said “I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.” An eerie reminder to show how the weird way in which this world works. A few days before the death of David Bowie, pictures of him were released looking the happiest he had for a long time. Both were taken from us too soon, two of the greatest songwriters of all time. However, with what’s going on in America at the moment, it looks as if Cohen got out just in time.
On a more lighter note, it seems as if we have a reason to keep faith with humanity after all. On the 5th of December, members of Wolf Alice, Slaves, Peace, Black Honey and many more will be playing a night of covers in order to aid the current refugee crisis we find ourselves living in. The event is titled Bands 4 Refugees and all profits from the event will go to the ‘HelpRefugees’ organisation. They promise that there will be “certified bangers”, and not only is it for a great cause, but it will be a great night as well. Given the time of year, it will be surprising if the bands don’t delve into the christmas cover tracks and with Peace and Slaves both giving us cracking renditions of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, hopefully we could see some sort of interesting fusion between the two. All ticket details can be found here.
Blossoms are seemingly untouchable at the moment and this week they released a fresh set out tour dates for March 2017, which I was lucky enough to get tickets for so see you at The Roundhouse guys. Cabbage will be once again supporting the band and have seem to have grown themselves since their tour with the Stockport band this Autumn. Alongside the tour, Blossoms announced that they will be releasing an extended version of their number one debut album, which is available to download today. The album features ten extra tracks, compiled of all the songs from their EPs released prior to the album. With some great tracks on there, such as Smoke, Wretched Fate and Across the Moor; we will hopefully now see more of these embedded into the band’s setlist. Many of these tracks have been floating around on iTunes and Spotify for a while, but the songs from the ‘At Most a Kiss’ EP were removed from both formats, which led to some confusion, but they make a triumphant return on this new album. Grab the remaining few tickets for their Spring 2017 tour here.
Now, we know that The Last Shadow Puppets have provided tributes to both David Bowie and the late Leonard Cohen in the form of great covers. A video surfaced online over the summer of the band providing a tribute of sorts to Tame Impala at Open’er Festival, and Kevin Parker has finally responded to it. I suppose the moment in which the BBC cameras caught Turner and Kane dancing to Tame Impala at Glastonbury was a tribute in itself, but the band have gone one further with this jam. Unfortunately, he didn’t respond in the same way that TLSP paid tribute to them, we’re still waiting on that but he has had his say on what was a surreal moment for him. The song has been entitled ‘There’s a storm brewing’ by fans of both bands, with the lyrics to the song consisting largely of the words ‘There’s a storm brewing, in the form of Tame Impala’. As you can see in the video below, the way in which the sky was forming, did foreshadow the possibility of the storm, but Kevin Parker was almost unable to play their slot after the Shadow Puppets that night. Speaking to DIY Magazine, the frontman of the Australian band described being “extremely sick” and thought about the possibility of not performing that night. ‘It was the one night where I just wanted to get through it’, but he did say that the song was ‘sweet of them’ and that it actually probably helped him, despite saying he didn’t want anyone to hype it up.
Listeners of Radio 1 were treated last night to a special live performance from The xx. Many rumours have been floating around over the last few weeks about the band’s return and they have now announced that they will be releasing a new album in January entitled ‘I see you’. It is the follow up to their critically acclaimed second album ‘Coexist’ which was released way back in 2012. Produced by Jamie Smith, known as Jamie xx, the album will consist of ten tracks and they have hinted that the record will not necessarily follow the same theme as the previous. The live lounge from The xx can be heard here.
The Libertines have also been making noises about a new album and Carl Barat has hinted that the band could have new material out next year. Barat told NME that they want to make a ‘classic’ Libertines record and are currently looking for their own HQ to work on it. It has been over a year since ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ which didn’t necessarily live up to the legacy of the first two albums from the band, but when they were that etched in history and culture, it was always going to be hard.
Finally, it looks as if we already know one of the headliners for Reading and Leeds 2017. Kasabian have been tipped to headline the festival and with a new album in the pipeline for next year, you can see why many people following that idea. Kasabian are no strangers to headline slots, headlining T in the Park and Glastonbury before and if true, it will be the second time they have headlined Reading and Leeds. We already know that Radiohead will be one of the headliners for Glastonbury next year, but piecing the rest of the line-up together isn’t becoming easier. There was a rumour that The Kinks could be making a sensational return for the festival but that has been dismissed. Daft Punk are many people’s favourites alongside the Stone Roses. 2017 looks to be a massive year for festivals and we will have to wait and see who fills these slots in the coming months.
Who do you want to see headline Glastonbury and Reading + Leeds? Leave a comment!
Written by Ben Bowman, you can follow Ben on twitter here.