2019 News Round Up, Part 1: Vampire Weekend, Woodstock, Fontaines D.C., Florence & The Machine and more

Vampire Weekend playing the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester (Gary Mather for LIve4ever)

Vampire Weekend playing the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester (Gary Mather for LIve4ever)

During the course of 2019, Live4ever’s News Round-Up has each week been bringing seven days of top news stories to our readers – here we look back at some of the biggest headlines we featured between January and June…

January:

The return of Vampire Weekend which would go on to deliver one of our albums of the year began in January with the premiere of two new songs.

Ezra Koenig gave his Instagram followers a lengthy update, revealing the album’s initials are FOTB and that it would be an 18-song affair. “Is it a double album,” he wrote. “The vinyl will be double so…yes? It’s about 59 minutes long. We can talk more about that later – if u care. To me, it’s just FOTB.⁣ Anyway, we’re gonna start releasing music next week. After all that waiting, you should have the general schedule.”

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One of 2019’s longest running sagas began in January with Michael Lang, co-founder of Woodstock, announcing he would stage his own tribute concert on the 50th anniversary of the legendary festival.

Lang claimed his event, earmarked for Watkins Glen International speedway in New York in partnership with the original Woodstock producers, would be the ‘only authorized commemoration of the iconic 1969 festival’. We’re sure it’ll go swimmingly.

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Foals started preparing the ground for two studio albums to be released this year.

After carefully starting their return late in 2018 with the confirmation of some live appearances, the band were counting down to something big on social media, sharing a 30-second clip on Twitter which asked us to look out for two parts to ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’.

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Biffy Clyro and George Ezra were revealed as the headliners for this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival.

“It’s been less than 18 months since I was last at The Isle of Wight Festival, but it already seems like a world away,” Ezra said. “In the time since, my second album Staying At Tamara’s has been released and I’ve taken these songs around the world and back.”

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Fontaines D.C. supporting Idles at Brooklyn Steel on May 10th, 2019 (Paul Bachmann / Live4ever)

Fontaines D.C. supporting Idles at Brooklyn Steel on May 10th, 2019 (Paul Bachmann / Live4ever)

February:

Roskilde secured Bob Dylan for 2019.

The songwriting legend would be making his first appearance at the Danish festival when it was held this year between June 29th-July 6th, joining previously confirmed acts such as The Cure, Robyn, Christine And The Queens and Parquet Courts.

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The death of Mark Hollis, lead singer of Talk Talk, was confirmed this month by his former manager Keith Aspden.

The BBC quoted Aspden as saying that the news was ‘sadly true’, and that Hollis passed away at the age of 64 ‘after a short illness from which he never recovered’.

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Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen and George Ezra were revealed as the headliners for TRNSMT Festival 2019.

Gerry Cinnamon, Years And Years, Richard Ashcroft, Sam Fender, Steve Mason, Jade Bird, Jess Glynne, Tom Grennan and The Amazons were some more names confirmed for Glasgow Green between July 12th-14th.

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Fontaines D.C. gave BBC 6Music the first play of their new track Big.

It was set as the opening track to the band’s debut album Dogrel, which had a release date of April 12th, containing previous singles Too Real, Boys In The Better Land, Chequeless Reckless, Liberty Belle and Hurricane Laughter, and which prove to be Live4ever’s #1 of 2019.

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Photo: Paul Bachmann

Photo: Paul Bachmann

March:

March sadly brought a spate of deaths in the music world, most shockingly when both members of the Liverpool band Her’s and their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson were killed in a road collision in the US.

Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading had been on tour in the States and were travelling to a gig in California on Wednesday when the incident happened, according to their record label Heist Or Hit.

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There was the passing too of Scott Walker, whose baritone timbre brought a touch of the baroque to sixties pop, at the age of 76.

His initial commercial success with The Walker Brothers made him one of the most distinctive voices of the sixties, but his influence stretched on much further, especially through the Scott I-Scott IV solo albums as he combined an ever-growing enigmatic approach to the music industry with increasing experimentation and widening of sonic horizons.

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Another was Dick Dale, a pioneer of the surf-rock craze whose track Misirlou found a whole new audience as the soundtrack to the opening titles of Pulp Fiction and thus became a staple of nineties culture, at the age of 81.

Guitarists were hailing Dale as a true inspiration; Brian May one who left a particularly long tribute on social media in which the Queen man said ‘we all owe you’.

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And Michael Lang, co-founder of Woodstock, announced Jay Z, Miley Cyrus and Chance The Rapper would be some of the big current starts to be playing his 50th anniversary concert, while Robert Plant, Santana, David Crosby and John Fogerty were some of the sixties veterans who’ll be there. It should be great.

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Courtney Barnett live at Manchester Ritz (Photo: Gary Mather for Live4ever Media)

Courtney Barnett live at Manchester Ritz (Photo: Gary Mather for Live4ever Media)

April:

Records which would go on to play their part in Live4ever’s Best Of 2019 series came along thick and fast during this month, these including Courtney Barnett‘s Everybody Here Hates You which, after its vinyl release for Record Store Day, had its promo premiered.

The track, recorded during some time off in the midst of her Tell Me How You Really Feel world tour last year, had a performance video directed by Danny Cohen.

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Among the others were Hot Chip, who confirmed the release of their seventh album on June 21st.

A Bath Full Of Ecstasy was recorded in Paris and London, and saw the group opening their arms to welcome outside producers for the first time; namely Philippe Zdar and Rodaidh McDonald.

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Mick Jagger was to undergo heart valve replacement surgery in New York this month.

The Rolling Stones were forced to postpone their tour of North America which was due to start later in April. “Unfortunately today the Rolling Stones have had to announce the postponement of their upcoming US / Canada tour dates – we apologise for any inconvenience this causes those who have tickets to shows but wish to reassure fans to hold onto these existing tickets, as they will be valid for the rescheduled dates, which will be announced shortly,” a statement read.

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The Black Keys didn’t spend much time on the line-up for Woodstock 50.

Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach pulled out of the event citing a ‘scheduling conflict’, leaving a pretty sizable hole in the bill for Saturday, August 17th whose main acts also include Chance The Rapper and Sturgill Simpson. Sure all will be fine.

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Liam Gallagher live at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

Liam Gallagher live at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

May:

Liam Gallagher confirmed Shockwave would be the first single from his second solo album, one which he revealed on Twitter earlier in the month was to be called Why Me? Why Not – another nod to his hero John Lennon.

Shockwave was the first new material from Gallagher since his 2017 solo debut As You Were firmly cemented a return to the top table of British music for the Oasis frontman.

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Florence & The Machine and Christine & The Queens shared a playlist ‘honoring strong, inspiring women’ as Héloïse Letissier joined Florence Welch on select dates of the North American leg of her High As Hope tour.

The two acts paired up for the first time at the Pavilion in Concord, CA and would play Las Vegas on May 17th and Red Rocks on the 20th before Blood Orange and later Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats later joined the fun.

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Nile Rodgers revealed the first acts for this year’s Meltdown Festival, which was returning to the Southbank Centre in London between August 3rd-11th.

As the event’s latest annual curator, Rodgers said it was ‘an honour for me to step into the shoes of David Bowie, Patti Smith, Ornette Coleman, Robert Smith and so many more’, and asked Thundercat, Kokoroko, Anitta, Durand Jones and The Indications, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein (performing the music of Stranger Things), Alfa Mist, Despacio, Sophie and Songhoy Blues to join himself and Chic as performers.

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds released a new single entitled Black Star Dancing.

During the press rounds, Gallagher revealed this EP would be the first of three he was planning to release this year. They were recorded at Abbey Road when Gallagher was joined in the studio for the first time by the members of the High Flying Birds live band which was assembled for the touring in support of 2017’s Who Built The Moon?.

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Thom Yorke with Radiohead headlining the first day of TRNSMT 2017 (Gary Mather / Live4ever

Thom Yorke with Radiohead headlining the first day of TRNSMT 2017 (Gary Mather / Live4ever)

June:

Marika Hackman released The One as the latest single from her new album Any Human Friend.

The LP was due on on August 9th and was unveiled the previous month when Hackman said the ‘whole record is me diving into myself and peeling back the skin further and further, exposing myself in quite a big way’.

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Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard announced her debut solo album Jaime.

Out on September 20th via Columbia Records, it was named after Howard’s sister who died of cancer when they were teenagers. “The title is in memoriam, and she definitely did shape me as a human being,” she said.

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Thom Yorke had been giving some hints to Londoners with any interest that something was afoot this month, and he subsequently confirmed a new album entitled ANIMA.

Produced, of course, by Nigel Godrich, it contained nine tracks and was out digitally on June 27th ahead of a physical release on July 19th. A Netflix special dubbed a ‘one-reeler’, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and soundtracked by three songs from the record, was announced as a promotional tool, available to watch from the date of the digital release.

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And organisers of the increasingly beleaguered looking Woodstock 50 said they would look to secure a new location for the event this month after owners of the Watkins Glen International racetrack said they had ‘terminated the site license’ due to ‘provisions of the contract’.

Hopefully it all works out.

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