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UNCUT March 2021

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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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United Kingdom
Bandlab UK Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

“Everybodyknows it’s coming apart/Takeone last look at this Sacred Heart” OCCASIONALLY, in the years since his death, I’ve found myself idly speculating on what Leonard Cohen would have made of the cynicism and chaos around us: Trump, Brexit, Covid… I’ve found his benedictions strangely comforting, their contemplative maturity, wisdom and humanity otherwise lacking elsewhere during a crisis-strewn and deeply weird 2020. This month we revisit an earlier incarnation of Leonard Cohen, as he faces a series of impossible challenges during the 1970s. It’s no spoiler to reveal that he overcomes them, of course; but it’s the striving that counts. Looking back through my inbox, Stephen Troussé, the writer of our cover story, sent me an email early on in our discussions about the piece, where he says, “It feels thematically very rich…

2 min.
midwinter hymnal

ON the autumn equinox, Robin Pecknold beamed a little ray of hope into a miserable year by releasing the terrific Shore – Uncut’s No 2 album of 2020. Sticking to the lunar calendar, he chose the winter solstice (December 21) to air some of those songs live for the first time in what was the most compelling livestream event since Nick Cave’s Idiot Prayer. Recorded in St Ann & The Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, the show opened with a rapturous version of Shore’s “Wading In Waist-High Water”, Pecknold joined by members of the Resistance Revival Chorus –a collective of women and non-binary singers – socially distanced among the pews. He then ascended to the organ balcony for an acoustic set in the half-light of the church’s electric chandeliers, playing songs…

3 min.
hardcore uproar!

WHEN people talk about Bad Brains shows of the late 1970s, it’s often in the same sort of language that you might use to describe a UFO landing in your backyard. The band were an instant phenomenon: four young black men in sharp mod suits and skinny ties, playing the fastest, most technically proficient punk rock you ever heard. Remembering their show supporting The Damned in Washington DC in 1979, Henry Rollins told Australia’s Double J radio: “All these people at the front of the stage looked at each other as if to say, ‘What the hell was that?’ We could not figure out how humans did what we just heard.” “When you’re real, you’re not paying a lot of attention to the business side of things”DARRYL JENIFER Bad Brains bassist Darryl…

3 min.
schwarz and all

THE man whose name became synonymous with overblown music-biz hype 50 years ago keeps a considerably lower profile in the 21st century. Brinsley Schwarz didn’t do any interviews to promote 2017’s solo debut Unexpected, and is only tentatively sticking his head above the parapet for its forthcoming follow-up Tangled. It wasn’t always so. In 1970, the band who took their guitarist’s name were the focus of a notorious publicity stunt when their management and label chartered a plane to fly 150 journalists from London to New York to witness Brinsley Schwarz play their debut US gig at the Fillmore East, opening for Van Morrison. However, a combination of plane delays and limo crashes on the way into Manhattan resulted in most of the assembled hacks missing the Brinsleys’ set altogether. Speaking today,…

1 min.
a quick one

Catch a bright star! Celebrating 50 years of “T.Rextasy” – the moment in 1971 when Marc Bolan applied the glitter and took the nation on a thrilling glam rock ride – we present the Ultimate Music Guide to T.Rex. Featuring an exclusive foreword by Bolan’s producer Tony Visconti, it’s in shops now or available from uncut.co.uk/single… Plus look out later this month for the third part of our Ultimate Record Collection: David Bowie, in which we conclude the definitive Bowie timeline with our customary blend of rare artwork, new interviews and eyewitness accounts… Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (above) are the latest names booked to play the UK Americana Awards. The virtual show on Jan 28 will also feature Mavis Staples in conversation with Brandi Carlile. Meanwhile, Courtney Marie Andrews and Jason…

3 min.
song for bob dylan (and john lennon)

IF John Lennon’s “Mother” was born in harrowing Primal Scream therapy sessions, David Bowie’s version originated in rather more luxurious circumstances. A request for a Lennon cover arrived at his Bermuda home in 1997 from Yoko Ono, who was planning a tribute album to her late husband; Bowie and guitarist Reeves Gabrels discussed the idea with drummer Andy Newmark on a night out at Newmark’s club to watch ’70s white soul band Kokomo. As Gabrels recalls, “Andy found a drummer and a bass player from a local gospel church and we recorded it with a mobile digital thing.” Yet despite the scratch set-up and breezy island vibes, Bowie was determined to tackle one of Lennon’s most intimate and traumatic songs. “It was a personal song to David too,” says Gabrels. “His…