The whole point of the NME New Breed Tour 2014 is to highlight the most exciting up'n'coming music out there.
In this year's search for Britain's Best Small Venue in association with Jack Daniel's, you voted in your thousands to shortlist 11 awesome venues across the UK. There's not long left to cast your final vote and have your say in who should be crowned the ultimate best small venue in Britain, we hear why the venues have such a special place in the hearts of some of the bands who've played them.
On the red carpet media run before the Mercury Prize ceremony kicked off, I asked all the nominees why their album deserved to claim victory. Most of the bands and artists shuffled awkwardly, mumbling that they didn’t think they should win but were just delighted to be nominated. Apart from Young Fathers. “We’ve made something new and original,” said Alloysious Massaquoi. “No one else is doing what we do.” The Scottish trio said they didn’t care for awards and that the only thing that mattered was performing later that night.
A couple of nights ago, Alex Turner donned a white dinner jacket to join Mini Mansions onstage in Phoenix, performing the fittingly sleazy ‘Vertigo’, which features on the band’s forthcoming new album ‘The Great Pretenders’. Mini Mansions are Michael Shuman from Queens of the Stone Age’s other band and they’re currently supporting Arctic Monkeys in the US, so it’s no surprise to hear that Turner – who is based in Los Angeles – has been hanging out and recording with his old chum.
In 2011, legendary San Fernando Valley studio Sound City – the sketchy rooms where everyone from Arctic Monkeys to Barry Manilow had recorded, and the place ’Nevermind’ was laid down – closed its doors for the final time. In order to preserve a piece of it, Dave Grohl bought the studio’s giant, history-infused analogue mixing desk. Not content with purchasing one permanent relic, he wanted to create another.