The NME Awards with Austin, Texas are over for another year. The O2 Academy Brixton was packed to the rafters last night (February 18) with music's finest, from Kasabian to Viv Albertine, Jamie T to Run The Jewels and Suede to Royal Blood. On the red carpet we collared various artists, hearing from The Libertines and The Maccabees about their new upcoming albums, before Charli XCX, The Vaccines, Suede, Run The Jewels took to the stage to perform.
Get ready for this - a new Blur album is almost certainly being announced today (February 19), probably titled 'Magic Whip'. The above image was teased in The Sun this morning, who claimed it's the sleeve to a new album from a "massive band, more than a decade after their last full studio release." They also added their last album was released in the Chinese Year of the Goat - that's 2003, the year the band unleashed 'Think Tank' on the world. There's been tonnes of speculation online, but we've had confirmation the text on the sleeve translates roughly in Mandarin to "blur magic whip".
Today is Yoko Ono's birthday. Born 82 years ago in early 30s Tokyo, she has spent much of her life so far on activism as well as art. On top of making 15 studio albums and working relentlessly within other mediums, she's campaigned for peace, human rights and the environment since the 1960s, most famously with the 'bed-in' against the Vietnam War with John Lennon. To celebrate Ono's big day, we're streaming a new version of 'I Love You, Earth' with Antony Hegarty. It's a haunting rework of the track first heard on Ono's 1985 concept album, 'Starpeace' and their vocals combine addictively.
“For me, it sums up the record. Whenever I listen to it I’m always amazed, because it’s complex and there’s so many different things going on. I never thought we’d be able to write a song like that.” Palma Violets’ Chilli Jesson there, giving his thoughts on the first taste of the Lambeth band’s second album in the new issue of NME (out on Wednesday). If you were expecting ‘Best Of Friends’ v2.0, think again.