mon 15/07/2024

New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more | reviews, news & interviews

New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more

New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more

From Los Angeles to Wakefield, the latest guide to new music events you can enjoy from home

Steel Panther get serious

For better or worse, the lockdown may be easing in the UK but there’s no sign of any gig action, even on the far distant horizon. So it’s back to our screens for all that, and here’s the latest, liveliest selection of concerts, conversations and virtual festival action for the coming week! Dive in!

The Other Songs/Brit School Festival

The record label and management company The Other Songs, whose speciality is nurturing new talent, combine with the Brit School for a virtual festival this Friday (5th June) at 6.00 PM. It will showcase plenty of fresh-off-the-block artists, as well as dancers, DJs and musical theatre sorts. The big sell for the event, though, is undoubtedly a guest appearance from Chic’s Nile Rodgers (who has a wing at the Brit School named after him, due to his fund-raising efforts), as well as Andrew Lloyd Weber, Leona Lewis, Imogen Heap, Dan Gillespie Sells (composer of There’s Something About Jamie and frontman of The Feeling) and dance-popstrel Raye. The event can be viewed here.

Laura Marling Live at the Union Chapel

As the issue of how live venues are going to survive the current crisis becomes increasingly urgent, London’s Union Chapel posits a tentative temporary solution. They are putting on a paid gig by Laura Marling on Saturday night with “skeletal staff and crew, but…  full production and a multi-camera shoot”. The gig will take place at 8.00 PM, with tickets (£12) and access available here. For American fans there will be another concert at 7.00 PM EST (ie 2.00 PM UK-time). There will also be an opportunity to contribute to Marling’s chosen charities, Refuge and The Trussel Trust.

LD:TV Festival feat. Billy Bragg, Wedding Present, Lovely Eggs, etc

Rather than cancelling their annual shindig, Wakefield’s multi-venue Long Division Festival are celebrating their tenth anniversary via an online event this weekend (5th-6th June). On Friday gigs by Huddersfield bands Samh and Knuckle will be shown, the former an at-home show and the latter a concert from last Autumn. On Saturday, at 2.00 PM and 5.00 PM, there are a couple of conversational segments, about the post-C19 music industry and the festival, respectively, then at 8.00 PM, the headline event featuring “newly recorded songs, sessions, interviews and other surprises” from Billy Bragg, The Wedding Present, The Lovely Eggs, Pictish Trail, Alessi’s Ark, Emma Pollock and many more. Funds raised will go to Help Musicians, #WakefieldCares, and a contribution to all musicians involved. For further into and to watch, go here

Steel Panther’s Concert to Save the World

At 10.00 PM (UK-time) on Sunday 7th June, preposterous hair metal satirists Steel Panther will be performing a set “from a sanitized, undisclosed location in Los Angeles that will feature full stage production”. They promise to take breaks during it to chat with fans in real time, also that their microphones will be “plugged in and facing the right direction,” and are keen to remind viewers “it is totally legal to attend this concert naked”. Steel Panther have been releasing regular videos during lockdown, reminding people what day of the week it is. Tickets are priced at $15 and are available here, with undisclosed monies going to Heavenly Pets Animal Rescue and Live Nation’s Crew Nation Fund.

Wendy James Album Stream and Interview

Wendy James has taken the long route to critical rehabilitation. Back in the Eighties her pop-rock outfit Transvision Vamp were a gas but not taken very seriously. Since they split 30 years ago she has put in the hours at the rock’n’roll coalface, firing out a series of albums this century (two with her now-defunct band Racine). The latest, Queen High Straight, is a varied beast, gritty where it needs to be, laced with catchy retro stylings, and featuring Nick Cave drummer James Sclavunos and alt-indie sax supremo Terry Edwards. Tonight (Weds 3rd June) at 7.00 PM, via Leeds Brudenell Social Club (here), the album will receive a play-through, followed, at 8.00 PM, by an interview with journalist Dave Simpson about her storied life.

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