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New Releases 05 November 2012 – Bonfire Night edition!

It’s Bonfire Night! And the new releases this week will be brought to you with a tabloid-style over-reliance on wordplay based around the hot orange element we celebrate today. I wish it wasn’t this way, I do. But it is. So let’s get fired up!

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Simply the Worst #1 – Angels

Yes, we finish our run-down of rubbish with this corking ‘tear-jerker’ from everyone’s favourite loveable punchbag. The worst song ever? It may seem a bit harsh, but ELM explains his reasons.

The mid-90s. Britpop was running wild and Robbie Williams was just the tubby fellow who used to be in Take That. He famously bestrode Glastonbury 1995 in a massive Addidas tracksuit trying to hang out with Oasis. His erstwhile bandmate Gary Barlow looked set to become the ‘Elton John of the 90s’ according to every tabloid while Robbie looked set to become the Elton John of the 80s – drugged up, fat and unhappy.

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News Nuggets – Fully nutritional

A week is a long time in politics. And also in jail. But not in rock music, where trends rise and fall with the regularity of a prune-loving health freak. A day can irrevocably alter the landscape. Everything changes, as Gary Barlow and the boys were at pains to point out. Who are we to argue? We just look at the biggest events and report them to you, dear reader. We seek no thanks. Reward-in-heaven, that’s us. Continue reading

The Brits 2010 – Your brief guide to the new musical landscape

The Brits are a bit like the monarchy – they seem to have fans but no-one you talk to can point you in the direction of one. What are they for? Lazy people. What’s that you say? ‘But ELM, surely they act as a facile excuse for industry people to get coked up and talk about ‘vision’ and ‘profile’ while trying to get close proximity to the winners?’ Well, yes, obviously. But that’s not their primary purpose. They exist to allow people who don’t like music but think they do to buy a few currentish albums for the CD rack next to the hi-fi. Don’t mock – the Mercury is the same but with better PR. Continue reading

News Nuggets – Gristle and Arseholes

What have the great and good of the music world been up to this week? Have the Sex Pistols said ‘fuck’ on a TV show and caused national outrage? Has Mick Jagger been accused of a frankly disconcerting fusion of sex and dinner with a glucose-based chocolate bar and Marianne Faithfull? Has someone called Matt Bianco ‘a bunch of wankers’ on kids TV?

No. Sadly, nothing so epoch-shattering to report. But still, we’ve space to fill and that, so here goes…. Continue reading

Limited Supply? – EMI in a bit of bother

StoneJoss Stone may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and rightly so, but news that the vacuous Welsh poptart is so desperate to quit ailing label EMI she is willing to return a £2m advance should set alarm bells ringing at the venerable old institution.

Despite a fundamental lack of talent or likability, Stone was signed up to a four album, £7.5m advance deal in 2006. However, she’s willing to return £1.2m in advances and £800,000 in earnings from her upcoming album – I’m not naming it here, that would just encourage her – to be free of them. Continue reading

You Couldn’t Sell All Your Tickets – U2 Struggle While AC/DC Thrive

AC/DC - what's not to love?

ELM’s most scabrous contributor, ScantRegard, here looks at how the economy is affecting different acts at the top end of the market. And laughs at some of them.

Ah, I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning. You see, rumour has it that our good friends U2 are imminently about to start reducing the prices for their upcoming tour in an effort to get some bums on seats. Don’t worry if you have already shelled out a small country’s health budget on tickets to be harangued by the blue-rinsed hypocritical little arsewipe, you, of course, will get nothing back. And it serves you right – what were you thinking?

Also coming through the rumour mill are tales of Coldplay and JayZ downgrading their stadium tour to arenas to compensate for the fact they can’t sell enough briefs. The gen is that last weekend’s clash of the titans Scottish cup semi-final between Falkirk and Dunfermine attracted a bigger crowd than is currently projected for Chris and his pal’s big show at Hampden, forcing them to downgrade to two nights in the venue formerly known as the big red shed, the SECC.

So why the backlash against the stadium gig? There’s the obvious point that the economy is in its sharpest decline since Neville Chamberlain came home with Hitler’s autograph. It’ll be a shock to Bono that people just don’t have £200 to donate to his one-man crusade to get on the tits of the leaders of the free world.

And, in these tough and worrying times, I find it hard to believe that people would be prepared to part with a considerable chunk of their hard earned to watch po-faced millionaires tell you why you are an evil bastard for not buying the right coffee/adopting an African orphan/paying off third world debt/finding a cure for aids/ stopping the proliferation of nuclear arms/negotiating peace in the middle east/buying a £50 hoodie from the merch stand.

Two stadium acts who seem to be weathering the storm of poor ticket sales are AC/DC (naturally) and Take That (what can I say, HRT has a lot to answer for). This is no coincidence. Take AC/DC first. They are proper legends, who haven’t embarked on a tour of this scale in the UK since god knows when. There is genuine buzz, people are excited and are preparing to rock with only a smidgen of irony. AC/DC is expensive, but if it proves to be the rollicking good fun I am hoping for, it will be worth every penny of the £60required  to gain entry.

And Take That. Well, four middle aged men dancing badly and singing off key may not be my idea of a good night out, but who can argue with the original pink pound? Tens of thousands of women and gay men are getting whipped to a frenzy of over-hormonal excitement at the thought of Mark warbling his little heart out, Gary being earnest and dancing like your dad and the other two doing whatever it is they do.

What the DC and TT have in common? Bloody good fun. Is Brian Johnson going to whine on about fair trade, or blow our bloody socks off? Ex-fucking-actly. So, my advice to you, U2, you want to sell more tickets? Cheer the fuck up and play the fast stuff. Coldplay, I fear it may be too late for me to help.