Your Love Alone is Not Enough

ninaEverything has started going a little odd recently. For starters, it’s just the start of March but London is acting like it’s summertime. I walked to work today without a coat, didn’t take a coat out with me on Saturday night and more importantly the first real summery song landed in my inbox. It also happened to be the week I was asked to name my current favourite song for our work newsletter – this would be a great opportunity to tell 60 or so pretty influential people when it comes to music about an amazing new band they’d perhaps never heard about – but instead I chose that great new summery thing – the new Manics single.

I could never have imagined tipping a Manics single to be honest. I remember being rather irritated when “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next” held that week’s favourite song “Outside” by George Michael off the #1 shift (yeah I was a chart geek already in 1998). The first time I actually thought they were good was “So Why So Sad” (a song I think most Manics fans hate), and obviously now I’ve heard most of their singles and don’t only like pop music, their greatest hits collection is pretty good.

Anyway I digress.. ignoring a free mp3 single, the first song to be taken from the new Manics album “Send Away The Tigers” is the gloriously titled “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”, a duet with Nina Persson of The Cardigans, set to be released on April 30th. Now, The Cardigans hold pride of place as the first “indie” band I ever liked (“Gran Turismo” remains one of my favourite albums) and it’s hard to not like anything Nina puts her sweet yet pained voice on. Confident and typically anthemic “Your Love Is Not Alone” makes the first rays of spring sunlight into the evenings and rollicks along at an uptempo shoulder shuffling manner. Looking forward to the video lots.

The NME Awards

I was neither at nor did I see the TV broadcast of this year’s NME Awards this week. If you want a commentary though gaypop was. However I’ve only just heard the much touted Beth Ditto and Jarvis Cocker duet covering Heaven 17’s “Temptation”. So just in case you haven’t here it is:

It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’d love to hear a properly recorded version of this. Incidentally you should try to check out the original demo of the Heaven 17 version which they released on their re-issued greatest hits last year. It’s quite different and pretty spectacular.

Exciting Popstarz News

The awesome gigs continue! This month at Popstarz:

9th March – Secret Pop Act – You probably wouldn’t associate this Brit award winning female with Popstarz but she’s about to make a splash and has chosen the best place to showcase it.

16th March – 1990s – Everyone’s choice of support band in 2006. Read my piece on them in this month’s F@!K mag.

23rd March – Maximo Park – I think everyone’s up to speed on how excited I am about this! I properly love the Park!

30th March – Brett Anderson – Embarking on his solo career, I know some friends are going to wet themselves at the idea of this gig. I’ve always liked his voice and listened to some new stuff on myspace which was pretty nice.

The past few weeks

Amy liveSo here I am over on WordPress. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing yet profile wise. I kind of like the way this looks – each post being in an individual curly box and all but I’m not sure if it’s a little ott. What do you think? I’ve just got a new job combining both my radio and interactive skills and a lot of my time is being taken up by that. It’s brilliant though, so I don’t mind. I’m getting to go to quite a few gigs with work too which is ace. Hooray!

Last week I went to see lots of gigs. Saturday started with Jarvis Cocker at The Astoria. We’d caught him before at Koko last year, but this was a much better gig. For starters we were sat up in the top floor of venue with a perfect view, instead of behind a tall man, and Jarvis was much more relaxed. There was lots of banter with the audience and he put on a perfect jerky Jarv performance. The evening continued at the Astoria with the popping of our G-A-Y cherries. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but we only went thanks to not having to pay to get in and to see the wonderous Sophie Ellis Bextor. She was rather awesome but seemed to push the pink pound appeal to almost nauseating effects. Catch You charted at #8 today which is respectable, although not briliant, for a lead single from an album. It’s pop tone is very unfashionable though at the moment and next single Me and My Imagination is even poppier so I’m not sure quite how well the album (brilliantly named Tripping The Light Fantasic will actually do. I’ve heard quite a few tracks and it seems to be shaping up rather well for pop fans.

On Monday, James and I saw Amy Winehouse which was ace. Burak took some fab photos for me to use at work including one which someone today pointed out to me makes it look like my 2nd favourite NL JP is doing a nazi salute (with a large pinch of imagination). Brill. Then on Wednesday I excitedly hit Hammersmith with work buddy Alex for Nelly Furtado. New ‘electro-soul’ band Unklejam were supporting and put on a great show (even though they only did three songs). Their new, very funky single Love Ya is out physically tomorrow and it’s quite a fresh, intense new sound. However I interviewed them earlier in the week and they are very taken with the idea that they are a ‘new sound’ who are ‘thinking outside the box’ and were very into themselves. Ah well. They are much more boy-bandy than the music suggests but I really hope Love Ya does do well. Nelly was brill although she was wearing some very ill-fitting dresses.

The Return Of Maximo Park

Maximo Park – Our Velocity

This is the brand new single from the boys from the North-East. I interviewed Paul from the band a couple of weeks ago (you can read my int in F@!k Magazine) and he was lovely. Our Velocity has about 8 choruses, a proper electro-indie chorusline and it uses the word ‘shizzle’. Wicked. [On later listens I’ve realised ‘shizzle’ is actually ‘chisel’ 🙁 ]When I saw them live at Reading a few years ago they were brill, and I’m pleased to announce that they’ll be playing live at Popstarz on March 23rd.

This is the most Girls Aloud-esque indie song ever.

If u cant conceive it muffin, just let it be nuffin.

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Remember Lumidee? She had that incredibly annoying ‘Uh ooooooh’ song (yes it’s brilliant now) during the summer of r&b hell that was 2003. I stayed at Warwick that summer making SRA awards, kissing an MA student and djing events for children who were inexplicably involved in events on campus. And all they wanted to hear was bloody r&b (this was in a particular era where I was turning my nose up at anything non-pop). It was Sean Paul this, Blu Cantrell that, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas etc etc

Anyway, Lumidee is back and I can almost hear your sighs of relief across the webwaves. In fact, thank god she has returned to us in these ‘Beyonce having become a bizarre mash of Tina Turner and Diana Ross’ days. And she is back with something rather odd – She’s Like The Wind. Yes, everyone’s favourite weep-a-thon Swayze classic from the ditzy Dirty Dancing has been reworked into a soulful grinder-  with Lumidee joined by Tony Sunshine –   ripe for overplaying on Radio 1.

It’s "doing damage on the airwaves" in America and I’ve got no doubt that it’s going to be absolutely pounded in the UK too despite it being a tiny bit shonky. I have no idea when it’s coming out over here but I bet it’ll be blaring out of every car cruising down Blackpool promenade on a Saturday night come Summer. New lyrics include: Listen baby I’ve been around // I know that you like how I wear my crown // And I know that im something that is so profound
// So far what im hearing look I like the sound
. What??

Listen to it here.

p.s. Can someone explain to me how Cascada keeps getting top 10 hits? Have we travelled back to 2001? Are the charts accidentally only counting sales in the North West?

For Gods sake

Can everyone STOP with the Doctor Who spoilers please? Every surprise, every twist, EVERYTHING, is being ruined. The worst offender is the bloody radio times who spoilt the last two episodes of season 2 with their damn front page.

Today it’s reported that the lovely, on my eligable celebrity boyfriends list, John Simm, will star in the series soon. I will not go any further because I do not want to spoil for anyone who manages to avoid the damn things. This is good because he is ace but bad because I totally had him down for the eleventh doctor. BOO HOO.