The Commonwealth Games began on Wednesday (July 24) in Glasgow with an opening ceremony that seemed like it had been bought in a rush at a Falkirk petrol station. Dancing Tunnock Teacakes! A twee version of ‘500 Miles’! Tartan everywhere! Rod Stewart pranced about for a bit looking like the offspring of a parrot and a garden broom. Susan Boyle was there. John Barrowman’s singing was probably the most offensive Celtic Park had ever heard and the whole thing was a patriotism fest saccharine enough to make even First Minister Alex Salmond vote no in September.
I am sitting backstage before the evening's Cribs show (Liverpool, July 11), hanging out, drinking, listening to records, talking nonsense. The usual backstage routine. As it is our first UK show of 2014, I am catching up with our sound guy who I haven't seen since last year sometime. He has recently had a baby daughter and tells me that there is only one band she will listen to. The Ramones. I tell him I think that's fucking rad.
Poor bassists. Unless you're a four-string plucking frontman like Paul McCartney, virtuoso maverick like Squarepusher or irascible motormouth like this week's NME cover star Nicky Wire, life as a bass player is routinely one spent in the shadows compared to your bandmates, shoved to the back of music videos and overlooked in interviews. A drummer might get to unleash a wild drum solo live. If a bassist does it, he's gonna look like he's attempting the Seinfeld theme.
Plenty of excitement for Radiohead fans this month. Jonny Greenwood, speaking on Mary Anne Hobbs' BBC 6Music show, said that the band is going to start "rehearsing and recording in September". Then the Sunday Times ran an interview (July 20) in which Greenwood talked about plans to start making music soon. "I was emailing stuff to Thom last night, actually, but it's not the same, is it? You don't see him tutting." So what's been going on with the band since 'The King Of Limbs' release in 2011 and subsequent tour?
It was one of the most extraordinary gigs of recent times. Not because of the music but because of the circumstance. No Devotion, a fresh group made up of the five remaining members of Lostprophets after lead singer Ian Watkins was jailed in December 2013 for a series of heinous child sex offences, played their first show last night (July 22) at CF10 Cardiff. Having recruited former Thursday member Geoff Rickly as lead singer, they released their debut single ‘Stay’ at the start of July. In interviews they've said they would never be able to listen to, or play, Lostprophets songs ever again.