2019 News Round Up, Part 2: Glastonbury, Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Coldplay and more

Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2019 (Richard Bowes for Live4ever)

Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2019 (Richard Bowes 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 – in the second part of our year retrospective, we look back at some of the biggest headlines in British music we featured between July and December…

July:

The start of the summer saw the end of Glastonbury 2019, as The Cure brought the curtain down on the Pyramid Stage after standout performances since the Friday morning from the likes of Idles, Slowthai, Johnny Marr and Christine & The Queens, while Kylie Minogue and the Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot once again delivered one of the festival’s biggest crowds.

Stormzy would be remembered as defining this year’s event; co-organiser Emily Eavis revealing how his performance had left her ‘speechless’ and contributed to what she believes was ‘the best Glastonbury ever’.

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July also brought the year’s Mercury Prize shortlist, with Idles, Fontaines D.C., Anna Calvi and black midi some of the artists to have received nominations.

The shortlist was put forward to this year’s judging panel – which consisted of Stormzy, Annie Mac, Clara Amfo, Jamie Cullum, Gaz Coombes, Jorja Smith, Danielle Perry, Jeff Smith, Mike Walsh, Phil Alexander, Tshepo Mokoena and Will Hodgkinson – ahead of the winner being announced at the Eventim Apollo in London on September 19th.

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Working Men’s Club delivered what would prove to be Live4ever’s top track of 2019 after signing to Heavenly Recordings and unveiling their new single Teeth.

Part of our Presents series earlier in the year, the band also detailed their maiden headline tour of the UK after an August stint supporting Bodega. “It is a metaphor,” Sydney Minsky-Sargeant said of Teeth.

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Kano announced an October UK tour to support his new album Hoodies All Summer.

Kano’s sixth studio album was out on August 30th as the follow-up to 2016’s Mercury-nominated Made In The Manor. Produced by Blue May and Jodi Milliner, the record featured appearances from Kojo Funds, Popcaan, Lil Silva, D Double E and Ghetts and had already been previewed with the 17-minute double video Trouble directed by Aneil Karia.

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Haim (Photo: Andy Crossland for Live4ever Media)

Haim (Photo: Andy Crossland for Live4ever Media)

August:

HAIM returned in August with a new single entitled Summer Girl co-produced by Rostam Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid.

The track, premiered in the UK on BBC Radio 1 as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World, was first played live during a gig in Los Angeles the previous month, and had a video directed by HAIM’s longtime collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson.

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The 1975 confirmed their fourth studio album Notes On A Conditional Form for release early next year. Out on February 21st 2020, People was picked as its first single.

The band had European festival appearances in the UK, Italy and Ireland coming up during the next couple of weeks before Asian and North American tours took them into December.

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Stereophonics set a new album entitled Kind for release on October 25th.

With summer touring and solo dates for Kelly Jones, the album was announced during a busy time for the band – even if Jones wasn’t expecting it to be after the end of their last campaign. “Our last gig of the world tour was September 2018, in Brooklyn – I was done, had written no songs, nothing new, I thought I felt like quitting for a while,” he’s said.

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And the fate of Woodstock 50 was finally sealed. After suffering a series of issues since the line-up was announced to much fanfare by co-founder Michael Lang back in March with a promise that it would be ‘the only authorized commemoration of the iconic 1969 festival’, the inevitable was confirmed.

“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great lineup we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” he said in a statement.

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Billie Eilish playing Leeds Festival 2019 (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

Billie Eilish playing Leeds Festival 2019 (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

September:

Nearly ten years after Supergrass declared their intention to part ways, saying. “We still love each other but, cliché notwithstanding, musical differences have led to us moving on and of course we all wish each other well in the future,” they were back 25 years on from the release of their debut album I Should Coco

“Everything aligned for us to make this happen for 2020,” Danny Goffey said.

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Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars, died this month at the age of 75.

Together with Benjamin Orr, Ocasek formed The Cars in the mid-seventies and would go on to have consistent success with the band throughout the following decade. After their split in 1988, he forged a new path as a much sought after producer, working on albums with the likes of Weezer and Guided By Voices.

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Billie Eilish will be in the UK next summer for some arena dates as part of the world tour behind her hit debut album When We All Sleep, Where Do We Go?.

There’s two nights apiece at the Manchester Arena and O2 in London starting on July 21st 2020, with a date at the Birmingham Arena also booked for July 24th. Eilish was at Austin City Limits the weekend after this tour was announced, while October North American gigs were also booked in Tulsa, OK; Dallas, TX and Houston, TX.

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Dave picked up the 2019 Mercury Prize at the Eventim Apollo in London for his debut album Psychodrama.

On a night of stellar performances from many of the leading contenders – particularly Anna Calvi, black midi, Slowthai and Idles – Dave’s own powerful, mesmerising version of Pyschomight just have been enough to tip the balance in his favour as he claimed the £25,000 winner’s cheque on what may well be looked back on as a vintage year for the prize.

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Coldplay performing in NYC (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever)

Coldplay performing in NYC (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever)

October:

Sadly there were more notable deaths in the UK music world this month, including that of Ginger Baker at the age of 80.

Fiery, argumentative, talented, influential – Baker was all these things and more, a part of a golden age for British rock drumming with one of the first supergroups, Cream, along side Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. A statement from his family released the previous month had revealed he was critically ill in hospital, and on Twitter they confirmed the news of his passing.

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Kate Tempest uploaded a video for People’s Faces, a subsequent Live4ever track of the year and taken from her Book Of Traps & Lessons album which came out earlier in the year.

It was released with UK tour dates about to start at the Oxford Academy which lead into European concerts through to the end of August. There was shows in November too, including more UK and Ireland ones in Norwich, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Newcastle.

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Coldplay confirmed the release of a double album entitled Everyday Life on November 22nd.

Split into two parts, Sunrise and Sunset, the album was rubber-stamped by the band on social media with a picture of the letter which had first alerted fans to the potential release earlier in the month. “For the last 100 years or thereabouts we have been working on a thing called Everyday Life,” it read.

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Kanye West, for the third time, set a release date for his new album Jesus Is King.

Originally slated for September 27th, it was then delayed for a couple of days and hadn’t been heard from since. Then, Kanye tweeted it’ll be released on Friday, October 25th, which made sense given it was also the date on which his documentary of the same name was set to premiere at select IMAX theaters.

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Paul McCartney in concert (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever Media)

Paul McCartney in concert (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever Media)

November:

The Killers revealed they will support the release of their sixth studio album with UK stadium shows next year.

Imploding The Mirage was primed for the spring of 2020, when outdoor gigs in Falkirk, Manchester, Norwich, Southampton, London, Bristol, Coventry and Middlesbrough will amount to a huge couple of weeks for the band. Following those is an appearance at Malahide Castle in Dublin on June 16th.

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Paul McCartney was unveiled as the first Pyramid Stage headliner for Glastonbury 2020.

Returning to Worthy Farm for the first time since 2004, McCartney said he was ‘excited to be part of’ Glastonbury’s ‘anniversary celebrations’, while co-organiser Emily Eavis in turn said the Beatles icon was their first choice to join the festival’s 50th birthday party.

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Madonna cancelled her Madame X tour dates in Boston on doctor’s orders.

In a statement on social media, the pop icon has said she was in ‘overwhelming pain’ and was thus taking a break with the aim of returning ‘stronger and better’. “Please forgive this unexpected turn of events,” it read.

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Stormzy confirmed his second album Heavy Is The Head would be released on December 13th.

Containing recent singles such as Wiley Flow and collaborations with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Headie One and YEBBA, it was set to follow the huge breakthrough of his 2017 debut Gang Signs & Prayer and round off a year which saw him headline Glastonbury.

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Josh Klinghoffer with Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final day of Leeds Festival 2016 (Photo: Gary Mather for Live4ever)

Josh Klinghoffer with Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final day of Leeds Festival 2016 (Photo: Gary Mather for Live4ever)

December:

Drake and Chance The Rapper lead the tributes to Juice WRLD who died this month at the age of 21.

According to reports Juice WRLD, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure shortly after arriving by plane in Chicago. Writing on Instagram, Drake said he would ‘like to see all the younger talent live longer’ and he hates ‘waking up hearing another story filled with blessings was cut short’.

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Taylor Swift was the latest headliner to be confirmed for next year’s British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park in London.

Swift will take to the helm on July 11th, adding to the European festivals already confirmed for next year which include Mad Cool and Roskilde. The rumours proved correct too when she added Glastonbury to the list not long after.

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers significantly cushioned the blow of Josh Klinghoffer‘s departure by announcing his replacement would be John Frusciante.

Klinghoffer spent a decade as part of the Chili Peppers after Frusciante’s most recent spell with the band ended in 2009, and the two guitarists swapped roles again, as announced on social media.

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Coinciding with Norman F***ing Rockwell! getting top positions on many publications’ end of year lists, Lana Del Rey revealed she will release a spoken word album next year.

“In doing my own work in connecting to my family lineage, I was encouraged to also try and connect with the country’s lineage — this was a while ago — and it kind of informed the next album that I’ve been working on,” she said in a video posted on social media.

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