Joe Strummer

Norah Jones will release her fourth studio album

Norah JonesMultiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Norah Jones will release her fourth studio album on Parlophone / Blue Note Records this November. Jones wrote nearly all of the songs in the past two years since completing tours in support of her 2007 global chart-topping, U.S. double-platinum album Not Too Late. Beloved by fans for her sultry vocals and jazz-informed, piano-driven pop songwriting, Jones has taken a new direction on the as-yet-untitled album, seeing it as a chance to experiment with different sounds and an opportunity to work with a new set of Continue reading →

The Kooks to perform for Strummerville

The KooksThe Kooks will perform a one-off benefit gig for Strummerville on Friday August 21st in a special location under the West Way in West London. The gig will mark the closing of Mick Jones’ Rock & Roll Public library, which runs until August 25th
All proceeds from the event will go to Strummerville – The Joe Strummer New Music Foundation – with the event also being held on the same date as Joe Strummer’s Birthday. The limited 500 capacity location is held in special urban space, directly Continue reading →

Scott Matthews to release second album ‘Elsewhere’

scott-matthewsBlazing a trail for the Black Country’s music scene, Wolverhampton wonder-boy Scott Matthews provided us with a truly spell-binding session.  Scott Matthews is a music fan. Raised on a stout diet of classics: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, he tried his hand at the punk-funk route (for a while he says he thought he was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante), as well as soul and indie. A few years ago he turned to solo singer/songwriting and found his groove.  His creative incarnation may have changed, but Matthews still looks to the inventive, classic songwriters for his inspiration, namechecking Ryan Adams, Badly Drawn Boy, Beck and Tom Waits as his current favourites.  All these artists point to the kind of things to expect from Scott, although it’s probably Jeff Buckley to whom he’s been most compared, in part because of his fragile yet powerful falsetto vocals, but also for his musicality and rich, atmospheric songs.   Matthews is fond of experimenting with soundscapes and instrumentation, and for his debut record, Passing Stranger, used legendary tabla player Sukvinder Singh Namdhari, (who has played with Ry Cooder and Ravi Shankar) along with guitars and strings to add texture.  In front of about 100 reverent fans, Scott and his band played his famous haunting single Elusive, along with Dream Song and Passing Stranger to a hushed, captive audience. Proving he’s not let stardom go to his head, Scott spent some time after the session was over, chatting to the fans and signing autographs outside. You can also watch an exclusive behind the scenes feature filmed on the day
scott-matthews2Scott Matthews will release his second album ‘Elsewhere’ on May 18th ’09 on the San Remo label through Island Records. Featuring 11 new Scott Matthews compositions it is produced by Scott and Gavin Monaghan (Mercury Rev, The Smiths, Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello). Scott is joined on the album by his regular touring group Danny Keane (cello), Craig Johnson (bass) and Sam Martin (drums) while a string section was drafted in for gorgeous album opener ‘Underlying Lies’ and a horn section for cast iron heartbreaker ‘Suddenly You Figure Out’, while Scott’s brother Darren plays piano on three songs including the first single ‘Fractured’, an atmospheric minor key rocker, which is about needing to help someone once in a while. Check out the video here. The song ’12 Harps’ features vocal contributions from fellow Wolverhamptonian Robert Plant.  Says Scott: ”Elsewhere’ comes from the feelings and emotions that so often dictate my state of mind. It captures my thoughts, frustrations and memories and I also look back on a difficult time emotionally, where the music reveals its healing properties. Hopefully you’ll see ‘Elsewhere’ as a place you can go visit once in a while to get lost in that moment and forget anything you feel needs to be forgotten.’

The full tracklisting for ‘Elsewhere’ is:

1. Underlying Lies
2. Jagged Melody
3. Suddenly You Figure Out
4. Fractured
5. 12 Harps
6. Speeding Slowly
7. Into The Firing Line
8. Up On The Hill
9. Elsewhere
10. Fades In Vain
11. Nothing’s Quite Right Here

The full list of 2009 shows is as follows:

19 – Birmingham, Glee
21 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
23 – Oxford, Academy
24 – Cardiff, Glee Club
25 – Manchester, Ruby Lounge
26 – Bristol, Fleece
28 – Dublin, Whelans
29 – Liverpool, Academy 2
30 – Glasgow, Oran Mor
31 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
3 – London, Bloomsbury Theatre

Scott Matthews released his debut album ‘Passing Stranger’ on Island Records to widespread acclaim in Oct. ’06. His singles ‘Elusive’ (for which Scott bagged an Ivor Novello Award for best song), ‘Dream Song’ and title track ‘Passing Stranger’ were on high rotation on the radio through ’07 and the album went on to sell over 80,000 copies. He spent a lot of ’06/’07/’08 on the road, highlights being a special guest at a Foo Fighters secret show, a support slot with one of his heroes Bert Jansch, a UK tour with Rufus Wainwright and supporting Robert Plant & Alison Krauss on the UK leg of their ‘Raising Sand’ world tour. Album ‘ELSEWHERE’ release date: MAY 18th ’09; ‘ FRACTURED’ EP release date: MAY 11th 2009.

Island Records 50th anniversary book

chris-blackwell2009 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Island Records, arguably the most prestigious record label in the history of British music. To mark this milestone the label is entering into the world of book publishing.  May 21st ’09 will see the publication of ‘KEEP ON RUNNING – THE STORY OF ISLAND RECORDS’ edited by Chris Salewicz (acclaimed author of recent best-selling Joe Strummer biog ‘Redemption Song’ as well as books on The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and many others) and produced by Universal Island Ltd. and The Island Trading Company Ltd.

‘KEEP ON RUNNING’ is a 226-page full-colour hard-cover commemoration of Island Records, started by Jamaican Chris Blackwell in 1959, the most illustrious record label that the British music business has ever known. Illustrated by copious rare images, including original artwork and photographs from the Island Records archives, ‘KEEP ON RUNNING’ will tell the story of this extraordinary label, its art and its artists, in a series of twelve essays by celebrated writers such as Paul Morley, Jon Savage, Sean O’Hagan, Vivien Goldman, Lloyd Bradley, David Katz, Robin Denselow, Sylvia Patterson, Richard Williams and Joe Boyd. Chapter headings include Out of Jamaica, The Pink Label, Season of the Witch, Glitterball, Roots-Rock Reggae, Singular Voices, The Tuff Gong, Globalisation, From Africa & Beyond, Re-birth Of The Cool and The New Millennium. Photographers include Anton Corbijn, Adrian Boot, Gered Mankowitz, Keith Morris, Andy Earl, Lawrence Watson, Maria Mochnacz, Jean-Paul Goude and Neville Garrick.

The book will be published to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Island Records in May ’09: these include a large-scale, month-long exhibition of Island artwork and memorabilia in London’s Soho; a week of concerts by key artists at Shepherds Bush Empire; a 90 minute TV documentary about the label; a Radio 2 documentary; and deluxe re-releases of many iconic Island albums, which will continue throughout 2009.

Chris Blackwell founded the Island label in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959 with capital of just £1000. Relocating to London in the early 60s Blackwell built the most diverse and enviable back catalogue of any independent record label in history. From Island’s early Jamaican roots in ska and rock-steady, through the label’s expansion to become the cutting edge of progressive rock in the late 60s, and then on to the signing of such international superstars as Bob Marley and U2, Blackwell brought to Island a unique vision and passion which still informs the label’s approach to this day.

The Island label has been responsible for the careers of some of the biggest stars in music including U2, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Traffic, Free, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Toots & The Maytals, John Martyn, Marianne Faithfull, Aswad, Tom Waits, King Sunny Ade, Third World, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, the B52s, Sly & Robbie, Melissa Etheridge, The Slits, Steel Pulse, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Pulp, Baaba Maal, Tricky, Talvin Singh, and latterly Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, DJ Shadow, Sugababes, Keane, The Fratellis, Scott Matthews, Paul Weller, The Feeling, Portishead and Florence & The Machine.

Last minute news