In today’s Soundbites – our look back at the past week’s news, videos, features and tabloid gossip – Blur perform their own rooftop concert, Coldplay search in vain for some excitable fans, The Stone Roses at Heaton Park is reviewed, Suggs makes Sting playing in Oxfordshire seem exciting, and the week’s most popular video is revealed.
It’s often their Britpop rivals Oasis who are accused of copying The Beatles, but it was Blur who followed in the grand tradition of the Fab Four this week by taking to the rooftop of their London studios to debut the new tracks ‘Under The Westway’ and ‘The Puritan’ live on Twitter. The tracks, especially written for Blur’s upcoming Hyde Park concerts, are available digitally now. Check out the video for ‘Under The Westway’ here.
One of the more taxing jobs in rock was revealed this week with the news that Coldplay are asking their staff to go on a long, undoubtedly fruitless search for ‘excitable’ fans to fill the front rows of arenas during their world tour. Their Roadie #42 blog writer broke the story, writing that: “The band don’t sell the tickets to the front few rows anymore. Instead, various crew members are sent out to scan the highest, furthest seats to find folks who look genuinely excited and giddy to be seeing the band. They’re then given tickets to the front row.” More tales of artificial rock right here.
So are The Strokes recording a new album or what? After Billboard reported the band had been in New York’s Electric Lady studios recently in a bid to quickly consign their messy ‘Angles’ period firmly to the history books, Pitchfork were quick to tell the world of a firm rebuttal by the band’s management. However, Albert Hammond Sr. has flipped the story on its head once more, telling NME that his son: “…says that the stuff they’re doing is incredible. They’re doing it themselves with their friend, engineer and producer. He just says ‘Dad, it’s incredible’.” Pitchfork, looks like the accuracy of that story is only worth a 2.3 out of 10. Or is that too harsh? Let’s make it 2.4 instead.
The Stone Roses‘ Heaton Park gigs last weekend have become some of the most talked-about concerts on UK soil for many years. Live4ever was in attendance on the final night of festivities: “A paisley-bedecked Mani interrupts the adulation with the rolling, rumbling bassline of ‘I Wanna Be Adored‘, there’s no turning back now. Squire’s mellifluous lead guitar lines paint delicate brush-strokes around Mani and Reni’s locked groove and then it kicks in: the field full of 70,000 people sing out that famous riff in unison, almost drowning out the band. Which other band gets their guitar riffs sang back to them? No one, that’s who.” Read the review in full here.
All the usual suspects will clash again later this year as the Official Charts Company and ITV prepare to unveil the UK’s favourite number one single – edition #243. John Lennon‘s ‘Imagine’ and Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – which placed first and second respectively on a Channel 4 rundown back in 2000 – are included once more, as are the likes of The Beatles, Oasis, ABBA and Adele. Full shortlist and link to vote can be found here.
Despite album sales in the UK dropping by nearly 7 million in the first half of this year when compared to the same period during 2011, there has still been a reassuringly long-list of brilliant releases during the course of the first seven months of the year. This week, Live4ever combined some of our own favourites for our latest Essential Listening rundown – when you’ve been through some of our choices, make sure you leave a comment letting us know of your own essential releases of 2012…so far.
Sting performing at the Henley festival in Oxfordshire doesn’t immediately look like an obvious candidate to generate anything remotely interesting, so give thanks to Madness frontman Suggs for injecting a bit of interest into proceedings by interrupting the former Police man’s performance in an apparently less than sober state – even if the locals weren’t impressed: “It was an upmarket black tie event, it was the last place you’d expect to see an ageing rocker drunkenly burst on to the stage,” an ‘onlooker’ was quoted as saying. Well quite. More here.
We’ll say it again: the videos for Noel Gallagher’s run of solo single releases have been a load of old nonsense, and the latest installment, ‘Everybody’s On The Run’, hasn’t let us down. There’s a strong track backing it all, and this one has Mischa Barton prancing around in her nethers, so maybe that’s why the video remains the most popular on Live4ever this week. Visit our Videos section to browse through all the recently added new and classic promos.Just Published: