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UNCUT January 2021 #284

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Published by BandLab UK Limited. Uncut is the essential magazine about rock music, written by people who love that music as much as you do. Every month, it features the most comprehensive and trustworthy album reviews section in the world. There are in-depth interviews with the finest musicians of the past five decades, and with the exciting new artists who are following in their great tradition. Insightful, informative, passionate about extraordinary music – that’s Uncut.

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Bandlab UK Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

“Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time” AT the end of a strange and difficult year, it’s reassuring to find that some things remain constant. Like Uncut’s Review Of The Year, for instance – which occupies 35 pages in this month’s issue. Within it, you’ll find our Top 75 New Albums and Top 30 Reissues, as well as Best Films and Books of 2020. This year’s list has been compiled from charts submitted by 52 contributors (a record number, I think), who’ve voted for 400 new albums and 170 reissues. There are also interviews with some of the artists who’ve helped shaped 2020: Elton John, Jarvis Cocker, Phoebe Bridgers, Afel Bocoum, Margo Price, Drive-By Truckers and Moses Boyd. What else? Well, OK, so we also have a…

6 min.
the damned reunited

IT’S the day that many die-hard Damned fans thought would never come. On a rainy afternoon in October, the four founding members of The Damned – Brian James, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies and Dave Vanian – are on stage together at London’s Roundhouse to announce their 2021 reunion tour, comprising four UK shows in July starting at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Sensible and Vanian have successfully kept The Damned flag flying for years, but the notion of reforming the original 1976 lineup seemed impossible because of an ongoing feud between Scabies and Sensible. Just last year, Vanian told Uncut the relationship was a “powder keg”. So what’s changed? “We make an explosive sound together and I wanted to hear it again myself”CAPTAIN SENSIBLE “I wasn’t joking, it is a powder keg, but here…

3 min.
the girl who fell to earth

“IN many ways, although David Bowie was much more famous then me, our lives went in strange parallels,” muses Dana Gillespie. “We both started out on Decca in the ’60s, then shared the same MainMan management, appeared on each other’s records and both made films with Nic Roeg. But there was never any competitiveness, as I was never a threat to his sexual freedom. I was never looking to be Mrs Jones.” Gillespie first met Bowie in 1964 after a show at the Marquee, hitting it off immediately. “He taught me my first few chords on guitar,” she recalls. “We used to go down to the Ready Steady Go! studios to do some networking. David would come over to my flat in South Kensington, I’d cook him brown rice and vegetables…

3 min.
back to the futurama

“LOOK at their hair!” grumbled Saturday shoppers outside Leeds’ Queens Hall, observing punks and alternative types piling into the first Futurama festival over the weekend of September 8–9, 1979. “There were born-again Christians outside trying to save our souls,” remembers attendee Jan Alexander, who had ‘Dee Linkwent’ sprayed on her leather jacket. “They said the Devil was in the building.” Beelzebub wasn’t on the bill, but those early Futurama lineups now read like a who’s who of post-punk. Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, Echo And The Bunnymen and The Fall played the first event, the poster for which recently went on sale for £4,125. Its claim of being the “world’s first science fiction music festival” amounted to little more than a few lasers and someone dressed like a robot, but the…

3 min.
in rainbows

STUDYING English at York University, Rose Simpson was blown off course when she first ran into the Incredible String Band on a mountaineering trip to Scotland in 1967. The Edinburgh duo of Robin Williamson and Mike Heron were making a mystical stir on the margins between folk and psychedelia, and to the bookish Simpson – then 20 – the hippie pioneers looked like “living rainbows”. “They were like romantic poets crossed with the medieval wandering minstrels,” she tells Uncut. “They were so good-looking; these visions in bright colours, and the hair and the beads. It was this thing about brightness. It had been an incredibly dull world.” Life was not to be dull for long, as Simpson ran away with the fairy folk, morphing from Heron’s girlfriend into the band’s bassist…

1 min.
a quick one

Once in a lifetime! Uncut’s new Ultimate Music Guide offers the definitive steer on the music and influence of Talking Heads – as well as Tom Tom Club and David Byrne’s solo work. Alongside the in-depth reviews and entertaining archive features, there is a new interview with Chris Frantz and a two-page foreword written specially for us by David Byrne himself! And you may ask yourself – where do I buy this? It’s in shops now and available from uncut.co.uk … Also out on November 13 is the second volume of our Ultimate Record Collection: David Bowie special. It’s the glossy, pictorial timeline of every Bowie record from 1977 to 1989, with comment from the people who made them. If you missed the first one, which came out around the start…