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Friday, 17 November 2017

JORDAN ALLEN are delighted to present their infectious new single ‘R.O.S.I.E’. Coming to @wearethinktank #newcastle

JORDAN ALLEN are delighted
to present their infectious new single

Already known to fans as a firm live favourite, the release has been rapturously received at radio too with plays from BBC Introducing, Virgin Radio, BBC Radio 6Music, not to mention making its way straight on to the Radio X X-Posure Playlist.

Set at a breakneck pace with barely second to catch your breath, R.O.S.I.E. is effervescent new single dedicated to a certain femme fatale with an appetite for the wilder things in life.

Recorded in Manchester and produced by David Rahad-Jones, this new studio recording has all the hallmarks of the original demo that had become a party-starting staple in their live cannon, but reworked with the tempo-upped for an added electric intensity.

Speaking about the track, Jordan says:

“R.O.S.I.E is a song about a posh girl that I met on my course at Uni who I hardly ever saw, because she was always out on mad three-day benders. The first time I saw her she burst in this massive snow leopard coat about 45 minutes late with shades she'd not been to bed. It's about how we eventually became mates and a few of the zany nights we had together.”

Still friends now, the real-life Rosie is set to feature on the single cover, plus a limited range of t-shirts to be sold at the band’s upcoming UK tour - a run of dates set to be the biggest shows of their career so far.

Kicking off in Preston on the 30th November and taking in a total of 16 dates from there on, the band will be also be heading to the likes of Glasgow, Hull, Birmingham, Cambridge, Southampton, London and more. Proceedings wind up in their native north west, with tickets for the Manchester and Liverpool dates selling like hot cakes. Tickets are on sale now and available from: www.jordan-allen.com

Speaking about the upcoming UK tour, Jordan says:

“We can't wait to get out and play these headline shows. To see people buying tickets to see us across the country is such an honour, we're really proud of the set we have put together too. We have plenty of new material to play too and some great stuff recorded for 2018, the momentum is going to be huge.”

Notching up sets at major festivals the likes of Tramlines and Dot To Dot, having a blast on the road with The Sherlocks, not to mention having their track “110 Ways to Make Things Better” voted by the public as the #1 anthem of Virgin Radio’s Freshfest as picked from 1000’s of entries - it’s already been quite the year for Jordan Allen. Making waves early on in 2017 with their triumphant and touching ‘Livin’ La Vida Bolton’ charity EP, the band also played to a 2500 sold out capacity crowd at Manchester Academy in support of northern compadres The Sherlocks, with whom they played a spate of shows together earlier this year. Igniting the tour with a bang, Jordan Allen have also been given the eternal honour of illuminating the Christmas Lights in Bolton on 30th November.

On the Winter tour Jordan Allen will also be joined by friends and local talent, with each night promising a rotating showcase of top flight new artists.  Some of the more regular fixtures for the tour include Devon rockers SEVEN CITIES who are currently putting the finishing touches to their latest EP, plus electrifying and enigmatic Scottish outfit REAL LIFE ENTERTAINMENT fresh from their crowning victory as winners of The Pogues Whiskey: Shot At Discovery’s five month search for the UK’s next big rock band. See dates and details below.


30 Nov - Preston - The Ferret 
01 Dec - Leicester - The Cookie
02 Dec - Plymouth - The Underground @
03 Dec - Brighton - Sticky Mikes @
05 Dec - Hull - Polar Bear
06 Dec - Newcastle - Think Tank *
07 Dec - Glasgow - The Garage *
08 Dec - Leeds - The Chapel
09 Dec - Birmingham - Sunflower Lounge
10 Dec - Cambridge - Portland Arms
11 Dec - Norwich - Waterfront
12 Dec - Bristol  -Crofter’s Rights @
13 Dec -Southampton - Joiners Live @
14 Dec - London - Camden Assembly @
15 Dec - Manchester - Ruby Lounge @
16 Dec - Liverpool Studio 2 @

With support from @TheCoralband @ManicStreetPreachers head to @ArenaNewcastle 23/4/18 #Tickets released 24/11


MANIC STREET PREACHERS announce their return to active duty with details of a new album and massive UK tour.

'Resistance Is Futile', the band’s 13th studio album, is due for release on 6th April 2018 on Columbia/Sony (the album is the band’s 13th consecutive release for the label). Of their first new recordings in four years, the band said: “The main themes of ‘Resistance is Futile’ are memory and loss; forgotten history; confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration. It’s obsessively melodic - in many ways referencing both the naive energy of ‘Generation Terrorists’ and the orchestral sweep of ‘Everything Must Go’.  After delay and difficulties getting started, the record has come together really quickly over the last few months through a surge of creativity and some old school hard work.”

Following the twin musical departures of 2013’s largely acoustic ‘Rewind the Film’ and the glacial electronics of 2014’s ‘Futurology’, 'Resistance Is Futile' heralds a return to a classic Manics sound described by the band as “widescreen melancholia”. The songs on the album are the first recorded in the band’s new Door to the River studio (near Newport).

To coincide with the release of 'Resistance Is Futile', the band have announced their biggest series of UK live shows in over a decade. Support on all dates comes from very special guests The Coral. 

Manic Street Preachers recently received the Inspiration Award at the Q Awards at the Roundhouse in London. Previous winners include U2, David Bowie and Patti Smith. The band performed a greatest hits set on the night with support from Sleaford Mods.

Tickets will go on sale 9.30am Friday 24th November and are available online, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office (best way to avoid paying any fees is pay cash at box office in person). Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply when buting online or by phone.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Coming to @ArenaNewcastle in 2018, the one and only @JeffLynnesELO #Tickets #preview




Following triumphant shows at Wembley Stadium, Hull KCOM Stadium, Sheffield Arena and Glasgow SSE Hydro earlier this summer, Jeff Lynne’s ELO announce 8 arena shows for autumn 2018 including a show at the Metro Radio Arena Newcastle on Tuesday 9th October 2018.

Looking ahead to the new shows, Jeff said; “Our audiences are amazing. It’s like they’re in the group. We can’t wait to play for them again.”

More popular than ever, Jeff Lynne’s ELO have always been known for their epic live shows and with a distinct style that seamlessly and innovatively blends rock, pop and classical, ELO has had twenty six UK Top 40 singles, making Lynne's sweeping productions some of the most recognisable music of the last forty years and helping sell over 50 million records worldwide. 

June’s stunning Wembley Stadium gig is being immortalised in the live DVD ‘Wembley Or Bust’ out November 17th. In ‘Wembley or Bust’, we see Jeff and his remarkable musical ensemble filling Wembley Stadium with one of the greatest rock & roll spectacles of all time, complete with bells, whistles and spaceships in front of a 60,000 capacity crowd. 

Widely agreed upon as one of the greatest record producers in music history, Lynne was a co-founder and member of The Travelling Wilburys together with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Tom Petty as well as a producer and collaborator with some of the biggest names in music including The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and most recently, Bryan Adams.

Tickets will go on sale 9.00am Friday 17th November: TICKET LINK

Sunday, 12 November 2017






Folk Punk heroes, Skinny Lister have wrapped up an extra special present for their fans and listeners everywhere this year ahead of their imminent Double Trouble Tour with Beans on Toast. ‘Christmas Calls’ is an epic new Christmas anthem which harks back to The Pogues all time classic, ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ while retaining an authentic Skinny Lister vibe. ‘Christmas Calls’ is arguably the most epic sounding record the band have produced to date.

While on tour with Dropkick Murphy’s earlier in 2017, the band shot and self-directed the accompanying video to Christmas Call’s which sees them trek across the scenic snow dusted hills of Austria and Germany. Shot on 1970’s Super 8 film and featuring behind the scenes tour action, the video is a Christmas postcard in itself. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/N9h3MzHTzTE

Speaking about the track Daniel Heptinstall says:
 “I wrote this song in the lead up to last Christmas so I was in full festive spirit! I didn't actually make a conscious decision to write a Christmas song, it wasn't contrived in any way, it just arrived when I picked up the guitar one day. I am a big fan of a good Christmas track and that warm nostalgic feeling they can evoke. I’ve always had soft spot for a bit of Chris Rea when driving up North to see the family for Christmas, or the festive rush of nostalgia I get from those opening bars of The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'. I'm more than happy to throw a Skinny Lister one into the mix.”

Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales (where the band also recorded their previous album 'Down On Deptford Broadway’), the track was produced by Tristan Ivemy, a kindred spirit also behind production on their acclaimed third LP 'The Devil, The Heart & The Fight’.

Available to download and stream now, ‘Christmas Calls’ also features on the band’s recently released 2-disc Deluxe Edition of ‘The Devil, The Heart, The Fight’ (out now on Xtra Mile Recordings). New songs 'Thing Like That' and 'Christmas Calls' lead the second CD of the new package before treating the listener to the frenetic energy of their live performances from the band's biggest sold out London show to date at the Scala, and from the Roundhouse during Frank Turner's Lost Evenings Festival both in May 2017.

You can also check out the band playing ‘Hamburg Drunk’ from the Roundhouse here with on the road footage taken from the weekend they performed at Hurricane, Southside and Glastonbury Festivals.

The bonus disc also features acoustic sessions from Paste in New York and the Xtra Mile Outside Broadcast truck which showcase the musical talents of a band that can not only give a full throttle performance on stage but are also able to strip it all back for more intimate renditions. The disc also features 4 tracks of live band banter, and ends with a lo-fi version of new track ‘Boy Ashore’ which offers an intriguing insight into a more raw and folkier side of Skinny Lister.

Skinny Lister are currently touring with the release across Europe, before heading for home to for the Double Trouble Tour Dates with Xtra Mile Label-mate Beans on Toast. Remaining dates as follows:

07 Munich, Germany – Hansa 39 Feierwerk
08 Vienna, Austria – U4 Vienna
09 Linz, Austria – Stwst Stadtwerkstatt
10 Z├╝rich, Switzerland – Dynamo
11 Stuttgart, Germany – Club-CANN
21 Leeds, UK – Stylus
22 Manchester, UK – O2 The Ritz
23 Glasgow, UK – Oran Mor
24 Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK – Newcastle University
25 Sheffield, UK – The Leadmill
28 Birmingham, UK – Glee Club
29 Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
30 Norwich, UK – Waterfront

01 Cambridge, UK – Junction
02 Leicester, UK – Dryden Street Social
06 Cardiff, UK – The Globe
07 Southampton, UK – 1865
08 Exeter, UK – The Phoenix
09 Bristol, UK – SWX Bristol
10 London, UK – Koko

The full tracklisting is: 

CD 1
Geordie Lad
Tragedy in A Minor
Devil In Me
Beat It From the Chest
Hamburg Drunk
Fair Winds & Following Seas
Live Intro
Thing Like That (new song)
Christmas Calls (new song)
Band Chat - Roundhouse
Wanted (Live at London Roundhouse)
Hamburg Drunk (Live at London Roundhouse)
This Is War (Live at London Roundhouse)
Band Chat – Sessions
Injuries (Paste Session)
Tragedy In A Minor (Paste Session)
Geordie Lad (XMROB1 Truck Session)
Band Chat – Bootlegs

John Kanaka (London Scala Bootleg)
Cathy (London Scala Bootleg)
Bold As Brass (London Scala Bootleg)
Band chat – Boy Ashore
Boy Ashore (new song)

Order links for The Devil, The Heart & The Fight Deluxe Edition
Xtra Mile Recordings - smarturl.it/DHFdeluxe-xmr
iTunes - smarturl.it/DHFdeluxe-itunes
Amazon - smarturl.it/DHFDeluxe-AMAZON



Friday, 10 November 2017






Hot on the heels of their rammed and raucous Autumn tour, Northern psychedelic punks The Lovely Eggs announce their next series of live dates for February ahead of their forthcoming album This Is Eggland (out 23 February on Egg Records). The Lovely Eggs are one of the most unique, innovative and genuine bands on the British Underground music scene. Setting themselves apart from the mainstream, they've built up a cult following which is due to blow wide open with their mild-melting new album,produced by  Flaming Lips/ Mercury Rev producer, Dave Fridmann. You can sample what's in store with their brand new single, I Shouldn't Have Said That, which is out now. They will be supported by comedian Phill Jupitus (in his guise as Porky the Poet) on all dates.

This Is Eggland is heavier and more in-your-face than anything they’ve done previously. Married couple Holly Ross (guitar/vocals) and David Blackwell (drums) bring together a fierce DIY ethos, surreal sense of humour and kitchen-sink realism. Dave Fridmann lends his magic dust to bring out the best of The Lovely Eggs’ explosive blend of motoric krautrock, 60s psychedelia and punk rock attitude, all flipped over and egged up.

The album title This is Eggland is a cheeky nod to Shane Meadows’ series, This Is England. It is a  comment on the current state of the country, with The Lovely Eggs encouraging people to build their own worlds and create their own reality in these troubled times. The album is about being an outsider and doing things differently, eschewing society’s conventions as they have done.

The album was self-recorded at Lancaster Musician's Co-op (a non profit making recording studio and rehearsal rooms, where the pair met and David works) and the Eggs’ own house in Lancaster, while their three year old son was in bed. Dave Fridmann then produced it remotely with the band sending demos and working progress back and forth. The result is a gratifyingly rich sounding record, which still retains the raw energy of the band’s sound but harnesses a real power and dynamism. It’s much heavier than anything they’ve done before. As Holly says: “It's pretty relentless. It kind of sounds like a chip shop on fire. We still write about everyday life and the stuff that goes on in our world, it's just the new album is more fierce and really tells it like it is.”

February Tour Dates

With support from Phill Jupitus (Porky The Poet) on all dates:

Thurs 8: The Yorkshire House, Lancaster

Fri 9: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Sun 11: The Mash House, Edinburgh

Mon 12: Stereo, Glasgow

Tue 13: The Adelphi, Hull

Wed 14: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Thur 15: The Cellar, Oxford

Fri 16: The 100 Club, London

Sat 17: Band on the Wall, Manchester

The single "I Shouldn't Have Said That" is out now:

Digital: http://smarturl.it/TLEIShouldntHaveSaid

7": http://www.thelovelyeggs.co.uk/Said-That-Single.php


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

BRIX AND THE EXTRICATED @brixextricated #ontour with #newalbum




“rollicking debut album” – Q Magazine
“Get a fistful of the latest crashing single from this powerhouse band” – Nowness
“Featuring crashing percussion and fierce AF vocals, the debut single is an explosive and triumphant return. In-your-face and invigorating, it’s a no-holds-barred rock song that is bold and breath taking” – Wonderland
 “Damned for Eternity is a two minute and 15 second punch to the gut of filthy garage power, unrelenting, to the point, and highly infectious. Brix vehemently spits out her lyrics over savage sliding power chords and a rumbling bass.” – Louder Than War

BRIX & THE EXTRICATED will release the highly anticipated album Part 2 on 22nd September 2017 on Blang Records. Availabl on Amazon now:

amazon link

The band has – in the words of an old Fall lyric – something of a “track record”. Brix Smith-Start is one of the few true female rock icons of the indie and alternative era, an inspiration for generations of women, not just those who play music. Her best-selling 2016 autobiography, The Rise, The Fall And The Rise, detailed a hugely eventful life including the years in which she was married to Fall singer Mark E. Smith and wrote songs and played guitar in the group. Steve Hanley’s own acclaimed memoir, 2014’s The Big Week, revealed what it was really like to spend 18 years in the Fall, the longest spell of any member of the iconic and influential Salford group.

If Hanley’s elastic bass lines defined the Fall sound, Brix’s arrival in the 80s and two spells in the group redefined that sound and took it chartward (and brought a touch of LA glamour to the band’s Salford mean streets look). Together, with Steve’s brother Paul, guitarist Steve Trafford (both also Fall refugees) and Irish guitarist Jason Brown, they are now Brix & the Extricated, but while the Fall have given them a foundation, a history and a pedigree, this is a new group with new songs and a new sound, who are writing their own history now. Yes, in their terrific debut album, Part 2 (a title suggested by Alan McGee, because it’s exactly that) there are elements of vintage Fall, such as strange sonic textures and off-kilter found sounds, but Brix & the Extricated also bring the raw power of the Stooges, the pop sensibility of prime Blondie, walls of big glam rock guitars and dollops of psychedelia. 
“It’s not as polarizing as the Fall,” says Brix. “Yes, there are dark, hypnotic grooves, but there are rays of sunshine. I realized that a piece of my soul was missing, so I had to do this and I’ve given up everything to do it. I never thought I’d touch an instrument again, so to pick up a guitar and have it all come back racing through me because of the connection between us was a gift from God.”

As the best things often do, Brix & the Extricated came about almost by complete accident. Until three years ago, both Brix and Steve felt their musical careers were long since over. Steve’s memoir opened up opportunities in writing and public speaking. Brix had been so “broken” by the end of her Fall experience – never an easy band to be in, never mind being married to and then divorced from the singer – that she didn’t pick up a guitar for 15 years. 
“I felt my connection to creativity had been severed,” she explains. Thus, she went from being one of the true female icons of the UK alternative scene to a household name as presenter of TV’s Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix and helped run her husband Philip Start’s fashion empire. However, when Steve put together a makeshift band to play Fall songs for his book’s launch in July 2014, Brix was in the audience, and something happened.
 “Something went through my body like a lightning bolt and made me just want to get up and grab the guitar,” she says. “I hadn’t felt that fire for 25 years. Afterwards I went over to Steve and asked why he didn’t ask me to play and he said, ‘We never thought you’d do it.’”

In fact, Brix had been “secretly” playing again, admittedly only to her dogs Pixie and Gladys. On hearing this, Steve suggested:
 “Why don’t we get together and do something, write songs, just for fun?” This germ of an idea became something much more the moment they plugged in, initially jamming through Fall classic US 80s 90s (which, importantly they’d both been involved in writing). “I just had goosebumps,” says Brix. “I said, ‘Oh my God, there’s something there’.” 

Before they knew it, they were putting together a full-line up, which wasn’t easy. Brix wanted to feel how she felt in the peak Fall – “like standing in front of a freight train!” as she puts it), so the Extricated had to be a rhythmic and melodic powerhouse. Up stepped Steve’s drummer brother Paul, who played on no less than seven classic Fall albums. “Having the Hanley brothers as your rhythm section is amazing, because as brothers they play together intuitively,” grins Brix. Steve had got to know guitarist and songwriter Steve Trafford, who did such sterling work on 2005’s Fall Heads Roll, one of the greater later Fall albums. Irish guitarist Jason Brown had done such a good job with Brix’s guitar parts at the book launch gig that she realised he would be the perfect foil to allow her to concentrate on vocals.
However, the thought of playing classic songs long discarded from the live set by the Fall  – never mind singing the lyrics once sung by her redoubtable ex-husband – was daunting. However, she acquired a mantra – “I always say, ‘Right guys, let’s scorch the earth and poison the wells. Because we’re gonna take no prisoners and no one’s gonna come after us’” and at the early gigs, fans were weeping. “They said, ‘We never thought we’d hear those songs played live again,’” says Brix of songs that they will only play if they were part of their creation. “We wanted to take things we were really proud of and bring them back… in some cases for me to do them the justice that wasn’t done before.”

On Part 2, an example of that process is the spellbinding, psychedelic pop treatment given to 1983’s Hotel Blodel or new, anthemic focus brought to Feeling Numb. However, Brix & the Extricated were always intended to be more than a vehicle to remodel Fall songs. Almost from the off, they started writing songs. Something To Lose was the first, boasting Brix’s killer opening couplet “Today I am clean, but tomorrow I will be filthy” and a tune reminiscent of classic Stooges. For Pneumatic Violet, Brix was surprised by the reappearance of some very long buried vitriol.

 “It’s a song about revenge, specifically someone who Single White Femaled me.” Valentino is about “the greatest lover I never had, love and sex and about sitting next to someone that you really fancy and your hair is standing and your whole body is throbbing. It’s that!” The exquisite Moonrise Kingdom is testament to the unheralded songwriting prowess of Steve Trafford, who felt that his song Midnight In Aspen hadn’t been properly treated by the Fall. “Steve Trafford said, ‘This is the best song I’ve ever written and I don’t want it to go to waste,’” explains Brix. Thus, under Steve’s instructions, Brix completely reworked the song with new lyrics and a melody and the result is one of Part 2’s strongest songs. A classic Hanley bassline propels the defiant Teflon. Album closer Hollywood – which forms a formidable closing segue with 1985 Fall song LA – was penned by none other than the younger Hanley, who clearly has much more in his locker than trademark powerhouse drum beats.

The two bands will always have a connection. Brix learned much about editing lyrics and using strange sounds from Mark E. Smith. Since writing The Big Midweek, Steve has realised that people acknowledge that he was far more than “some idiot that stood behind Mark Smith”. However, Brix & the Extricated are not in competition with the Fall.
 “We wish them well, but they are a completely different beast,” says Brix. “Coming back, I feel like we’re the underdogs. A woman in her fifties taking it on – there aren’t many of us – but in a cool way. Neither myself or Steve got the credit we deserved, but Steve is one of my five favourite bass players in the world. I can look back now and appreciate what we did, but this is…. Well, Part 2.” 

And that telling band name? “Steve suggested it,” smiles Brix. 
“Of course, Extricated is a 1990 Fall album but also we’re all extricated from the Fall. Extricate is another word for freedom. So we say to audiences every night, “Sheffield – or wherever – prepare to be Extricated!”
Now it’s the turn of the much wider world. Planet Earth, prepare to be Extricated!

Live Dates

1st Sept End Of The Road Festival Dorset
8th Sept Trades Club         Hebden Bridge
22nd Sept Rough Trade Nottingham In Store Nottingham 
23rd Sept Rough Trade East In Store London
14th Oct                                      Georgian Theatre          Stockton on Tees  
2nd Nov Sticky Mikes         Brighton 
3rd Nov Oslo                 London
4th Nov Cellar         Oxford
8th Nov Newhampton Arts Centre Wolverhampton 
9th Nov Thekla         Bristol 
10th Nov                                   Bodega         Nottingham
11th Nov                                   The V+Cookie         Leicester 
17th Nov                                   Cluny         Newcastle
18th Nov                                   Unity Works         Wakefield
24th Nov                                   Stereo         Glasgow
25th Nov                                    Beat Generator Dundee

Stephen Hanley (The Big Midweek – Route Pubs) and Brix Smith Start (The Rise, The Fall, And The Rise – Faber & Faber) have both written critically acclaimed, best selling memoirs, about their lives as musicians and their years in The Fall, which are widely available. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

#livereview @MarcAlmond at the @TyneOperaHouse #Newcastle : "a wonderful night with a gentleman who still has star quality"

Marc Almond

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Saturday 4th November 2017  

39 years after forming the seminal electronic 80s band Soft Cell, Marc Almond pays his first visit to the Opera House armed with a large talented collection of musicians and backing singers. With a set centred around his new album Shadows And Reflections he is able to deliver the 60s fused big band sound before ending the set with Northern Soul gold.

Galia Arad originally comes from Indiana, USA but has recently worked as a PA in a hedge fund in New York. This has given her the opportunity to record with Elvis Costello’s band and to now come across to the UK in order to support Marc. Armed with just a guitar she quickly gets the Tyne Theatre crowd on side with the humour that proliferates her tracks. She tells the tale of a so called friend that sends her an email purporting to be from Elvis Costello himself.  Her initial happiness was quickly quashed when she realised and this resulted in her penning the Elvis Costello song.

Galia chooses to cover Brtney Spear’s Toxic and to turn it into a beautiful, breathless acoustic number. Her short set then finishes with a song about falling in love with an Irishman that she met. 

Galia’s warmth and enthusiasm is matched by the quality of her songwriting and performance. She comes across well and deserves to do well in the future. Galia was a very effective warm up act for Marc.   

All but three tracks were played from the new album which is made up of covers of, as Almond admitted tonight, less well known and generally sad songs by his musical heroes like Dusty Springfield and Bobby Darin. His set opens up with Overture - not on a tape but performed live making full use of a large backing band with a brass and string section plus 4 backing singers. As he launched into his opener, the title track off his new album, Shadows and Reflections, it is clear he intends to make full use of the wonderful acoustics of the Opera House. Clever lighting ensures that there are literally shadows of the band on the backdrop.  The big sound also filled the room as he covered Billy Fury’s 1965 hit I’m Lost Without You.

There is a real warmth from Marc to the audience as he explains the reasoning for each track choice. It clearly has been a personal journey rather than a selection of songs given to him by an A & R person at the record company. Take the next track, an obscure top 10 hit in the US by The Rascals. Whilst it was covered by Dusty Springfield, Marc recalls sneaking into his sister’s bedroom in order to play the David Cassidy version of How Can I Be Sure? Marc calls his new collection ‘catchy miserable songs’ as he covers Bobby Darin’s Not For Me.

Amongst the new covers came one the fans recognised as Marc had reached number 4 in 1992 with The Days of Pearly Spencer. This hit worked really well with the live band and took advantage of his live string section. MD Tom Curran did a fantastic job keeping each section of the band tight as they headed into Burt Bacharach’s Blue On Blue. It is interesting to note the Marc is changing the set each evening. A look online shows his has made changes with the set as the tour progressed and this must help keep the show fresh.

As a man who made his name in the singles chart it must be strange to adjust with the download society that we are currently in. He plans to release Embers as his next single. This number which he co-wrote with  Chris Braide sounded fabulous and will be well worth adding to the collection if you don’t already have it on the new album. No One To Say Good Night To is another original on the new album and it wouldn’t be out of place as the theme to a Gerry Anderson animation.

It was 13 songs into a 27 number set that we reached the number one duet that he had with Gene Pitney and Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart fitted in well with the 60s themed set.

Marc is very gracious about the support that he got from the band and he gives the backing singers their due credit as they sing Scar from his album The Velvet Trail acapella. The English version of the Russian ballad The Sun Will Rise went down really well with the Newcastle crowd. Marc showed that he still has a magnificent set of pipes as he effortlessly held the extended final note. Winter Sun involved backing singer Simon King double tracking the lead vocals and the voices complemented each other well. Child Star was an opportunity to use the venues huge glitter ball to good effect.

The covers continued with a superb cover of Dusty Springfield’s I Close My Eyes. The big band and Marc’s vocals filled the room with a sublime sound before Marc went into Soft Cell territory with Torch which had the stalls back on their feet. Jacky had a Spanish feel before he finished his main set with Hand Over My Heart.

The encore went into Northern Soul overdrive with a cover of the Vel-Vets I’ve Gotta Find Me Somebody with all of the backing singers having a solo spot before it segued into Tainted Love. This was a version much closer to the original Gloria Jones original than 1981 hit which topped the chart in 17 countries. The audience were on the feet dancing and singing. The set then closed with Say Hello Wave Goodbye which had the crowd in good voice as they took over the vocal duties as Marc captured the moment on his phone.  

This was a wonderful night with a gentleman who still has star quality. His voice is still golden and there was a clear connection with his fans. The Tyne Theatre & Opera House, with it’s character and high quality acoustics, continues to be a great place to hear your heroes sing.

Marc mentioned at the end that 2018 is the 40th anniversary of Soft Cell. Could this be a hint of a reunion with David Ball? One hopes so!

Review by Stephen Oliver

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

@liefvollebekk on tour @thehopeandruin @louisianbris @Sunflowerlounge @Gulliversmcr @Garageglasgow #TwinSolitude


Leif Vollebekk has unveiled a brand new song Tallahassee is a powerful piano ballad coming from the Twin Solitude recording sessions. "This is one of those songs that got away from me. All of the other songs on the album happened so fast. But not this one. I was sure Tallahassee was going to hold the whole album together. But it wanted nothing to do with it. This one went elsewhere. It wanted to be under its own constellation. In fact, this song wandered so far away I didn't even know where it went", explains Leif on his creative process behind the final tracklisting of the record and this beautiful outtake.


Leif Vollebekk is on the last stretch of touring in support of his Polaris Music Prize short-listed album Twin Solitude. The tour will begin next week on October 31st in Paris where he is playing the Pitchfork Festival and includes 30 dates in cities such as Berlin, Oslo, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. The tour will conclude in Philadelphia on December 16. Concerts in London, UK and Amsterdam, NL are already sold-out, see below for all dates.

Twin Solitude has been met with praises from critics all over the world including NPR, The Fader, Uncut, Paste Magazine, Rolling Stone France, The Sunday Times Culture, Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail and more. The record has been nominated on the Polaris Music Prize short list, the Canadian Folk Music Awards, l’ADISQ and the GAMIQ, while racking up over 7 million streams across platforms.

"A friend told me it was Saturn returns and that may be true. I was about to turn thirty and I knew that if I didn’t change direction I was going to end up exactly where I was headed." It was time, Leif understood, to make a record with his soul laid out flat - a dark blue and purple album of locked groove and slow pulse. The songs came quickly: fully formed, impossible. "Vancouver Time" took 15 minutes; "Telluride" took less. It was as if the songs were waiting for him. Listen to them in a rental car in cold weather, with the windows all rolled up. Listen to it laying by an open window. Listen to it all the way through, alone. "By the time the last notes die away, all that's left should be you," Leif explains, "And I’ll be somewhere else. And that’s Twin Solitude." 


"Devastatingly beautiful" - NPR Songs We Love

"It's an invitation to travel - to the cobblestones of old Montreal on a bicycle, to the expanse of Montana in the back of a family car, to the Pacific coast in Vancouver, to Iceland, to Paris - and to the darkest corners of your heart." - World Cafe

"The album exudes a meditative joy."  - The Village Voice

"It’s his best work yet. Take a look at him now." - The Globe and Mail

"A collection of gorgeous, spacious, piano-led melancholia." - The Boston Globe 

“Vollebekk has eagerly take up [Ryan Adams] mantle. 7/10” - Uncut

"Passionate Broken Social Scene-adjacent melodies wrapped in a casual, jammy atmosphere." – The Fader

"Lovely, soulful and spare." - Brooklyn Vegan

“The Canadian’s new track channels Blue Nile and Anohni to beautiful effect.” - Sunday Times Culture

“Rarely simple, Twin Solitude is a striking display of Leif Vollebekk's talent and heart. 8/10” - Exclaim!

4 stars - Le Droit

Listen/Buy “Tallahassee” online here >>

Listen/Buy “Twin Solitude” online here >>

Watch the “Elegy”,“All Night Sedans” and “Vancouver Time” videos here >>

Tour Dates:

11/18/17 - Brighton, UK @ The Hope and Ruin

11/19/17 - Bristol, UK @ Louisiana

11/21/17 - London, UK @ Moth Club *SOLD-OUT

11/22/17 - Birmingham, UK @ Sunflower Lounge

11/23/17 - Manchester, UK @ Gullivers

Leif Vollebekk Online:





Secret City Records Online:





New EP, video for #losingbaby by @brookbentham on tour @MiningInstitute #newcastle 18/11

UK Tour Dates also announced
‘This Rapture’ EP coming November 17th

Video for new single – ‘Losing, Baby’ 

“Brooke Bentham is bewitching” DIY
"We think Brooke Bentham might be the Angel (Olsen) of the North" Loud & Quiet
"Brooke Bentham soars into 2017...a formidable transformation" The Line Of Best Fit
"Exquisite...a vocal that rivals pretty much anyone at this moment in time" Crack In The Road
"A prodigal talent...a statement of intent” Clash

BROOKE BENTHAM has announced details of new single ‘Losing, Baby’, and her upcoming EP 'This Rapture', which is out this November 17th. 

This follows Brooke’s highly acclaimed debut EP ‘The Room Swayed’, which saw lead tracks ‘Heavy & Ephemeral’ and ‘I Need Your Body’ pick up support across Radio 1, 6Music, Radio X and saw Bentham play festivals ranging from Green Man and Reading & Leeds to Latitude and Great Escape. A series of UK dates have been confirmed for the autumn, with further news of Brooke’s second EP, ‘This Rapture’, to follow shortly.

Remarkably assured yet breathtakingly vulenerable, ‘Losing, Baby’ describes those negative feelings that follow you around, often out of sight, but are able to strike when least expected. With the track again produced by Ben Baptie (Daughter, Adele, Lapsely), the accompanying video – featuring a cameo from Brooke herself – offers a quietly playful twist on these ideas: a dance competition haunted by a mystery figure of bad feelings, described as “the alternative ending to Dirty Dancing – Baby was put in a corner and now she’s back to drag everyone into her grotesque nightmare.” ‘Losing Baby’ was directed by Siblings, a filmmaking collective made up of recording artist Grace Lightman and her brother Alex Lightman (who saw his feature-length debut, ‘Tear Me Apart’, premiere at the Austin International Film Festival and screen worldwide).

Aged just twenty one, Brooke Bentham's music nonetheless carries the weight of someone who's lived a hundred lives already. She was born and raised – in large, part, fending for herself with three older brothers - in Southshields (just outside Newcastle), before relocating to New Cross to study at Goldsmith's. Here she at last felt part of a wider arts community, forming her live band and finding a mutual sense of camaraderie among a new generation of South London creatives. Brooke graduated only this summer, with debut EP ‘The Room Swayed’ – an at-times brutally honest dissection of those static, unfulfilling relationships – forming the backdrop to her final year. 

Now focused on the harsh realities facing any young graduate – or in this case, the daunting job of writing a debut album – Brooke Bentham’s early songs already point to a bright future.  ‘The Room Swayed’ and her stunning second EP ‘This Rapture’ swell and plummet in ways which feel as inspired by the epic alt-rock journeying of War On Drugs or Ryan Adams as the emotional vocal depths of Sharon Van Etten or  Angel  Olsen. Everything is shot through with emotive, remarkably open lyricism that suggests a maturity and life ethic that's wiser than many of her peers. However uncertain the future, ‘Losing, Baby’ confirms Brooke Bentham’s promise as a stunning voice for the years ahead.

Sat 14 Oct Oakford Social Club, Reading (solo)
Mon 16 Oct Prince Albert, Brighton
Tue 17 Oct The Finsbury, London
Sun 12 Nov Gwdihw, Cardiff
Mon 13 Nov Louisiana, Bristol
Sat 18 Nov The Mining Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne
Mon 20 Nov The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Sat 25 Nov Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Sun 26 Nov The Poetry Club, Glasgow
Mon 27 Nov The Musician, Leicester


ad: Happy New Year by Simma

JORDAN ALLEN are delighted to present their infectious new single ‘R.O.S.I.E’. Coming to @wearethinktank #newcastle

JORDAN ALLEN are delighted to present their infectious new single  ‘R.O.S.I.E’. Already known to fans as a firm live favourite...