Loaded: A real treat for Blur fans
There have been so many band reunions of late that it's become next to impossible to keep up. One reunion, however, seemed to tower above others last year and that was Blur. A new documentary DVD exploring the band's reunion is likely to be lapped up by fans.
No Distance Left To Run, which is released today, features a glut of behind-the-scenes glimpses as the band rehearse for their comeback tour. It is particularly intriguing when looking at the factious, love-hate relationship between Damon Albarn (below) and Graham Coxon.
Its main strength, though, is the quality of the live footage from summer 09, all of it beautifully filmed. Much of these concert performances may win over those of us who had mixed feelings about their Oxegen appearance.
Directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace bring a slickness to proceedings, but at all times the film seems stage-managed by the band themselves. The bar for band documentaries was set by Sam Jones and his 2002 Wilco film, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. No Distance Left To Run doesn't come close to that.
- Speaking of reunions, Brett Anderson is reconvening Suede for a one-off show. Unfortunately, it's not the Suede featuring Bernard Butler that lit up the world between 1992 and 1994, but rather the Richard Oakes incarnation from the Coming Up and Head Music albums.
That's a little like a coffee addict thinking they were about to receive an espresso and instead being handed a watery decaf.
But I digress, this version of Suede will play London's Royal Albert Hall on March 24, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. This series of benefit gigs -- now in its 10th year -- will also feature the first live outings of Noel Gallagher, post-Oasis, on March 26 and 27, and there's a treat in store for fans of The Who on March 30: the band will be playing double album Quadraphenia in its entirety.
- Well-intentioned as it may have been, the Simon Cowell-organised Haiti fundraising single, Everybody Hurts, is an affront to anyone with (a) hearing, (b) taste and (c) love for REM.
A Haiti charity single that's likely to raise money -- but not our hackles -- is the cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' 1956 classic I Put A Spell On You from Shane MacGowan and featuring Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie and Mick Jones. The track (which Jones co-produced) will be available to download from IRL Records from March 1. All proceeds will go to Concern's Earthquake Appeal.
- It takes a very special song to change your life. It takes an even more extraordinary one to end it.
Incredibly, it appears that karaoke versions of Frank Sinatra's evergreen My Way have been deemed the catalyst for a spate of murders in the Philippines over the past decade. It is thought that at least six people have been murdered after, ahem, murdering the song.
"The trouble with My Way is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion," Rodolfo Gregorio, an amateur singer from General Santos, told The New York Times. Some performers get into fights with their critics. Some are rude, some jump forward in line, and some simply sing out of tune. "I used to like My Way but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it," Gregorio said. "You can get killed."
- Edwyn Collins, the former singer of Scottish post-punk maestros Orange Juice, is set to release the first song he has written since suffering a debilitating stroke in 2005.
The Rip it Up and Girl Like You singer will release I'm Feeling Lucky, a song written with his son William as part of a tribute album to soul singer Mavis Staples later this month. The album, Mavis, features contributions from Catatonia's Cerys Matthews and Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell.