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23 July 2014

Andy Bell releases solo album Torsten The Bareback Saint

Andy Bell solo album Torsten The Bareback Saint

Andy Bell releases solo album Torsten The Bareback Saint

Erasure pop legend Andy Bell has announced the release of his fourth solo album Torsten The Bareback Saint, a groundbreaking musical concept available from 28th July 2014 through Strike Force Entertainment (Cherry Red Records).

The theatrical 22 song-cycle tells the poignant stories of semi-immortal polysexual Torsten, cursed to love many and get close to none, as his age-defying nature condemns him to watch all his friends and lovers grow old and die before him. Ultimately he must leave them all to avoid their uneasiness in witnessing that Torsten himself does not age as evenly. Torsten sings deeply affecting expositional songs that incrementally illuminate the extraordinarily mysterious life of a man disconcerted by his own bizarre experience of the nature of passing time. “The songs are like a set of lyrical postcards from the hotspots of memory”, Andy himself explains.

An eternal teenager throughout most of the 20th Century, a growth spurt in the late 80s brings Torsten to the age of 42, then stops again. Despite the strength of the body, its the spirit that suffers, getting old and tired as the drive and need to achieve gradually abandon him. The lack of emotional ties torment his soul, having no choice but to leave all of his many lovers, one by one, before they discover the reality of his anomalous condition.

Following the album release, Torsten the Bareback Saint will be performed exclusively at the Edinburgh Festival Assembly - Venue 1, George Square from the 5th to 16th August.  Andy Bell’s performance in this highly dramatic one-man show delivers heart-rending musical missives direct from the pulpit of his outsider life. “Torsten is a semi-immortal polysexual sensualist and I love playing him” says Bell - “It’s the most challenging role of my career so far.” The cutting-edge show is not however a closed narrative: subsequent shows will feature different songs and events in Torsten’s life, allowing the audience to discover more about his complex character and surreal experiences.

Andy Bell rose to fame in the 80s as the lead singer of famed synth-pop duo Erasure with Vince Clarke, which went on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide - 5 of which were No.1 in the UK; they have also had 17 Top Ten UK singles so far in their career. Personally, Bell took part in several charity recordings – many supporting AIDS related projects – and sang the role of Montresor in the opera The Fall of the House of Usher in 1991. He released his first solo album Electric Blue in 2005, followed by a second, Non-Stop, in 2010. He recently collaborated with dance duo Shelter; the result, album ‘iPop’, is released this month. Flamboyant dance-pop icon Bell is openly gay and publicly announced being HIV positive in 1998. 

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor releases new single The Deer andThe Wolf

Sophie Ellis-Bextor new single The Deer andThe Wolf

Sophie Ellis-Bextor releases new single The Deer andThe Wolf

Following the release of ‘Love Is A Camera’, Sophie Ellis-Bextor will release live favourite ‘The Deer andThe Wolf’, the fourth single from her silver certified album ‘Wanderlust’, on 25th August. 

Singles from the album so far have included the emotive ‘Young Blood’ and upbeat ‘Runaway Daydreamer’, along with ‘Love Is A Camera’, all of which have received A-List support from Radio 2. 

‘Wanderlust’, which is Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s fifth studio album charted at number 4 and gave Sophie her first top 10 record since 2007’s ‘Trip The Light Fantastic’. The record has gone on to spend the last 6 months in the UK Chart. Co-written, produced and arranged by acclaimed singer-songwriter and good friend Ed Harcourt, ‘Wanderlust’ was recorded in just two weeks in a London studio with other tight-knit musician friends and was released on Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s own label EBGB’s. It features 11 powerfully understated songs showcasing a newfound maturity both lyrically and musically. 

Along with a recent sold-out tour of the UK, Sophie Ellis-Bextor continues to perform at festivals this summer including Glastonbury, T in the Park, Bestival and Hop Farm.  An Autumn headline tour follows in September.


Full live dates are as follows:

August:

Sat 2nd             Dorset, Lulworth Castle                              Camp Bestival

Sun 3rd            Yorkshire, Oulton Park                                 Carfest North

Sat 16th           Chelmsford, Hylands Park                           V Festival

Sun 17th          Staffordshire, Weston Park                         V Festival

Sun 23rd          Southsea                                                        Victorious Festival

Sun 24th          Hampshire, Laverstoke Park Farm             Carfest South


September:

Wed 24th        Cambridge                                                     Junction

Thu 25th         Norwich                                                         Waterfront

Sat 27th           Holmfirth                                                       Picturedome (SOLD OUT)

Sun 28th          Edinburgh                                                      Queen’s Hall

Mon 29th         Milton Keynes                                                The Stables


October:

Wed 1st           London                                                           Shepherd’s Bush Empire

22 July 2014

Lancashire band Sunken Monkey to release new album Party Scars

Lancashire Sunken Monkey new album Party Scars

Lancashire band Sunken Monkey to release new album Party Scars

Sunken Monkey are a pop punk/alternative/rock band from Lancashire, England. They are currently promoting their forthcoming album "Party Scars", due for release in October.

Sunken Monkey were originally formed in the early noughties, and draw influences from the likes of NOFX, The Menzingers, Rise Against and Four Year Strong.

The line-up of the band has chopped and changed over the years, but the theme has always remained the same - a bunch of friends with a story to tell.  The formula for Sunken Monkey has always been short, catchy tunes that back true anecdotes from the bands personal lives. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but always relatable. 

Having released their self titled debut album in 2009, after extensive gigging and at last settling on their current line-up, the band took some time out to write their second album. 

Due for release in October of 2014, the new material has already gained a positive response from their loyal local following as well as those being won over after seeing them for the first time. The overwhelming response can also be attributed to Sunken Monkey's energetic and memorable live performances, since this is where the band feel most at home.

The band is proud to be part of the British music scene, and this can be heard in our songs. We don't conform to the stereotype of singing punk rock in fake American accents, having silly hairstyles or worrying about our image, we just get on with doing what we love. Recording and performing music we love and hope listeners can relate to.




Ice Cube debuts single 'Drop Girl' and announces 10th Solo Album

Ice Cube single Drop Girl 10th Solo Album

Ice Cube debuts single 'Drop Girl' and announces 10th Solo Album

Multi-Platinum and Award Winning Hip-Hop Icon Ice Cube makes his highly anticipated return to the mic with the worldwide video premiere for his debut single, ‘Drop Girl’ featuring Redfoo and 2 Chainz, today on VEVO.com.  Directed by Will Kendrick, the fun and contagious video featuring special visual effects is the perfect compliment to the uptempo club banger produced by Multi-Platinum, Grammy nominated producer and featured artist Redfoo.

With the streets buzzing since last year through early online video releases to tease fans for ‘The Big Show,’ ‘Sic Them Youngings on Em,’ ‘Sasquatch,’ along with the visual for the album title track ‘EVERYTHANGS CORRUPT,’ the countdown to Cube’s 10th solo album dropping on October 21st on Lench Mob Records / Caroline officially begins.

As his popularity and record-breaking box office success continues to grow through movies, Cube remains committed to the foundation of his career: hip hop music. Quick to emphasize that he is and always will be a B-Boy, dedicated to writing vivid rhymes, delivering stellar stage performances and making dope hip-hop records, EVERYTHANGS CORRUPT is poised to be another high point in Ice Cube’s mission.

Following the 2010 release of the critically acclaimed, I Am The West, which debuted at #2 on the R&B/Hip Hop US sales chart and in the Top 10 of the Top 200 US sales chart, making it one of the years most successful independent releases in hip hop, the West Coast’s Greatest Rap Lyrist is back again.

‘Drop Girl’ ft. Redfoo and 2Chainz is available now at iTunes and all digital retailers worldwide. 


The Clock Is Ticking As Liverpool Pride Arrives Next Weekend

Liverpool Pride Next Weekend

The Clock Is Ticking As Liverpool Pride Arrives Next Weekend

The final countdown is well and truly on as Liverpool transforms into a Fairy Tale kingdom in preparation for 2014’s Liverpool Pride event on Saturday 2nd August.  Princes, Princesses, White Knights and Fairy Godmothers from the LGBT community and beyond will come together for a day of music, fun and community spirit where Pride revellers will be treated to a whole host of top performances across the Waterfront, Stanley Street and Garlands and G-Bar stages

Headlining the Waterfront Stage is the fabulous Katy B who will be performing at 1.30pm. After bursting onto the scene in 2010 with ‘Katy on a Mission’ and a career that’s growing from strength to strength with hit singles ‘5AM’ and ‘Crying For No Reason’ Katy B makes her way to Liverpool for her first Pride performance. Gates to the Waterfront stage will open at 11am so get there early to see Katy B live on stage! Katy will be joined on the Waterfront Stage by Heather Small of M People, Radio City 96.7’s Claire Simmo, House of Suarez, Watchtower, Audio Zero, Sam Cottrell, Ukebox and Doodah Farm.

There will also be fantastic performances from ABBA GOLD, Kylie-a-like and Sam Fox alongside DJ Ellie Phillips, Killa Sista, Jes Stretton Edge of Eden, DJ Lee Butler, My Forever and MiC Lowry. Finally, adding to the Fairytale magic on the Waterfront Stage will be a glittering performance from the cast of WICKED, singing a selection of hit numbers from one of the most popular and longest running West-End musicals of all time.

This year’s Stanley Street Stage will be hosted by Paul German, Calvin Fox, Baby Jai, Leanne Campbell and Pete Price with fabulous performances from 80’s Scouse Songstress Sonia, Navy Bar, Pink, Heaven, House of Suarez, Masqurade, Superstar Boudoir’s Vivienne and Sista Luv.

Joining these Liverpool Pride favourites will be DJ Danny Kay, Lisbon, Flick/Jupiters, DJ Lee Butler, Cindy Crystelle, Danielle & Jonathan Graham and Carly Grimes/Kev McGowan. There will also be performances from S’Evere, Toni Nesbitt, Boutique, Nikki Belle and DJ Mark Armstrong to keep the party going!

Finally, the Garlands and G-Bar Stage will host back to back DJ sets from Garlands and G-Bar’s biggest and best resident DJs, keeping the party vibe going from 2pm until 11pm! Garlands and G-Bar legends Andy Mac, Anthony Armstrong, Dave Bennett, Dave Booth, John Hooper, Les Calvert, Lil Jon and Mr. X will perform on this non-stop stage of music, entertaining crowds with the biggest and freshest tunes and keep the magical party spirits going till late into the night!

As always the day’s events will kick off with the free Pride March and organisers want to make 2014's the biggest yet; be sure to join the celebration of Liverpool's LGBT culture and community and support the campaign for equality, acceptance and freedom. 

To participate in this year’s march, register at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk/march. Organisers ask those wanting to take part in the march to meet at St George’s Plateau from 11am on Saturday 2nd August. From here the muster will include speeches from the Lord Mayor Erica Kemp and Liverpool Pride board members along with some great entertainment to start the celebratory proceedings. Merseyside police are requesting that participants respect the right for others to protest without recourse.

After leaving St Georges Plateau, the march will proceed along Lime Street before taking in Queen Square Bus Station and Whitechapel, then making its way along Lord Street and North John Street, turning down James Street, crossing The Strand over Mann Island and landing in front of the Waterfront Stage at the Pier Head, where the afternoon’s entertainment will begin.

As always, Liverpool Pride will remain a family friendly event with all ages encouraged to attend. There will be a free, community area at the festival in association with Movema, with entertainment for those not wishing to pay to visit the main stages but that still want to enjoy and remain part of the festivities.  There will be a wealth of entertainment and activities including music from the LGBT Choir, a market with stalls to stock up on souvenirs, gifts and mementos, food and drink stalls, information stalls, adrenaline-pumping fairground rides, a dance and active zone and a Trans friendly area for the Trans community and their allies.

Tickets for the main staged areas are priced at £8 advanced and can be exchanged for wristbands at the entrances to both the Pier Head site and Stanley Street Quarter sites on the day. For those that haven't got tickets, there will be a ticket booth on the plateau to purchase them on the day for £11.

Liverpool Pride have also introduced a new Golden Circle VIP ticket, priced at £20 each (additional £12 to upgrade if already purchased) - Golden Circle tickets are strictly limited to provide the very best Pride experience and jumping all the queues.   You will get the best access and views of the Main Stage area and access to your very own washrooms and Golden Circle bar. 

This year marks the 5th anniversary for Liverpool Pride, which was established in 2010 and takes place each year to coincide with the date of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer 6 years ago. This year Liverpool Pride falls on the exact date of Michael’s death, making the march particularly poignant as we celebrate his life. Last year’s Pride event was a huge success with around 65,000 people enjoying the day including 6,000 marching in the parade and 20,000 spectators lining the city centre streets to cheer them on. This year organisers are hoping for the biggest turn out to date in support and celebration of LGBT culture.

Ticket Prices: Advanced tickets £8 and £11 on the day. (No booking Fees, a handling charge may apply of £2.25 per transaction)

Golden Circle VIP tickets are £20 each (additional £12 to upgrade if already purchased)
For tickets book online or call the Liverpool Pride Ticket Hotline on 0844 8000 509. Tickets also available in person at TicketQuarter, Queen Square, Liverpool.
Make sure you check out www.liverpoolpride.co.uk, @LiverpoolPride on Twitter and facebook.com/LiverpoolPride to have your say and for all of the latest pride news.

Jazz and reggae musicians Dojo release new single, Give Me Love

Jazz reggae Dojo new single, Give Me Love

Jazz and reggae musicians Dojo release new single, Give Me Love

Dojo are a collective of the best young jazz and reggae musicians from South Africa, Russia, the UK, and Ireland whose starkly political 21st century outlook and uncanny talent for melody and harmony are taking reggae from the underground to the
mainstream for the first time in a generation.

Vocalist Khanyisa Twani was born to a Christian minister and a teacher in Cape Town a few years before the fall of apartheid. During her formative years her family were subject to horrific acts of discrimination. The relationship between her black father and white mother provoked much animosity. On one occasion her father was arrested and beaten under suspicion of being a supporter of the ANC. When he was unable to make a confession, Twani’s grandparents were also apprehended and threatened.

Twani’s family emigrated from South Africa to the UK when she was five years old, in search of a better life and education for Khanyisa and her brothers. It was here that Twani developed a remarkable, age-defying sense of soul, channelled through her extraordinary singing voice. Her talents were honed with tenures in gospel choirs and through collaborations with the UK’s foremost jazz musicians, including the pianist James Pearson, artistic director of Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.

Whilst making a name for herself by performing her own songs on the London circuit, Twani met best-selling writer and jazz Hammond Organist Ben Cormack and the pair formed a writing partnership. They were joined by Robin Porter, recipient of the George Murphy Trophy for Jazz Saxophone, and V-Drum World Championship finalist Conor Bailey to complete work on Dojo’s acclaimed debut EP, Descry.

Dojo’s music is a celebration of the rich heritage of African, English, and American music. Lyrical content featuring up-to-the-minute political and philosophical observations comes from a combined Christian, Buddhist, and Atheist viewpoint. Explorations of joy, despair, and human nature are underpinned by an overriding theme of harmony and spiritual connection between all living things.

Dojo’s live shows, which showcase the band’s heightened sense of showmanship and their remarkable musicianship, have received widespread critical acclaim. Within weeks of forming Dojo were booked to support such luminaries as Groundation and Seun Kuti and Egypt 80.


Foxes, Neon Jungle and Richard Rawson confirmed to perform at LIMF 2014

Foxes, Neon Jungle Richard Rawson LIMF 2014

Foxes, Neon Jungle and Richard Rawson confirmed to perform at LIMF 2014

LIMF Summer Jam presents Summer Sessions with 107.6 Juice FM

Foxes, Neon Jungle and Richard Rawson confirmed to perform

LIMF is proud to announce three huge names for the Summer Sessions with 107.6 Juice FM in Sefton Park on Monday 25 August – part of the festival’s Summer Jam programme.

The new billing includes singer-songwriter Foxes, UK electro-pop girl group Neon Jungle and the formerly-known-as Fazer of N-Dubz, Richard Rawson.

Hailing from Southampton, Foxes (Louisa Rose Allen) rose to prominence when she featured on the dance track ‘Clarity’ – which went on to reach number eight in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and win the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. She’s a perennial top five artist and her recent album, ‘Glorious’, debuted at number five in the UK Album Chart, when it was released in May this year.

British four-piece girl group Neon Jungle reached number four in the UK Singles Chart in January, with their second single ‘Braveheart’ and have continued to rise and rise. With a packed festival scheduled, there is huge anticipation for the imminent release of their debut album Welcome to the Jungle.

English rapper, producer, DJ and songwriter Richard Rawson is best known for being one third of hip hop group N-Dubz (named Fazer). Having released three studio albums and won numerous MOBO awards with the group, he is now going solo to much acclaim.

The new acts join a line-up already full of incredible artists from legends to the hottest new talent including Marsha Ambrosius, Lemar,The Hoosiers, M.O, Tea Street Band and Ghostchant.

Summer Sessions with 107.6 Juice FM will take place on the Central Stage in Sefton Park on August Bank Holiday Monday (25 August) and will be free of charge.

Graham Sarath, 107.6 Juice FM Station Director, said: “We’re delighted for Juice to be the radio partner for LIMF again - it has already become one of the key dates in the Liverpool diary. The strength of the line-up across the whole festival, including our own main stage at Summer Jam on Bank Holiday Monday, is testament to the pull of such a well ran event

Yaw Owusu, the curator of LIMF, said: “We’re really looking forward to the Summer Sessions stage this year. We’ve got a fantastic mix of legends, current chart toppers and newbies – crossing all genres from Pop to Soul to Electronica. This, in addition to the acts playing on the other stages, means that Liverpool’s Sefton Park is, once again, going to be the only place to be on August Bank Holiday Monday.”

For the latest information go to www.limfestival.com, follow @LIMFestival or like Liverpool International Music Festival on Facebook.

21 July 2014

Maria Evangelou announces upcoming new single Mr Right

Maria Evangelou new single Mr Right

Maria Evangelou announces upcoming new single Mr Right

Maria Evangelou is a songwriter and performer, and is currently based in London. Having been introduced to music from an early age, she decided to follow that path full-time as a way to express her artistic lifestyle and personality.  

Maria’s upcoming new single Mr Right is an enticing dip back into ‘60s history. It shows off Maria’s Motown, soul and jazz influences and can be compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Dionne Bromfield and Duffy. Although soul and jazz are usually considered to be the field allowed only for grownups, Maria effortlessly infuses her music with a mature expressiveness. She is very comfortable slipping on these classic styles like costumes and morphing into them. Her expression combined with the rich, quivering voice and a straight to the point retro production, together create a powerful formula for the perfect summer song.

Mr Right demonstrates a modern approach to the legend that is Motown and will be available for sale and download everywhere 8th September 2014.