Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ivor Novellos 2014: Christine McVie confirms Fleetwood Mac reunion while Nick Cave triumphs

Members of the British rock group Fleetwood Mac (from left) John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham appear together
Members of the British rock group Fleetwood Mac (from left) John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham appear together

Adam Sherwin

The Rumours are true. Christine McVie, the Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and singer who quit the band in 1998, announced at the Ivor Novello songwriting awards that she has rejoined as a permanent member after overcoming a fear of flying.

McVie, 70, the songwriter and vocalist on Fleetwood Mac on hits including "Don't Stop" and "Little Lies", retired from music and would not return, her bandmates said. But she joined the band at their O2 Arena concerts last year and will now return to the studio with Stevie Nicks and her other bandmates for a new album.

Accepting the Lifetime Achievement award at the Grosvenor House ceremony, McVie said: “I can announce that I have rejoined Fleetwood Mac. We are in the process of recording another album which should be out next year and we will tour Europe.”

She had quit the band and returned to England partly because of a fear of flying but she thanked her therapist who had “taught me how to fly”.

Fleetwood Mac have remained big influences on younger artists ranging from Florence Welch to Haim.

Nick Cave, who regularly shuns award shows, accepted the Best Album award for the Bad Seeds album Push The Sky Away, beating Arctic Monkeys and Laura Mvula.

“We don’t really go to award ceremonies but this is the one to get,” Cave said. The Australian, who qualified for the award because he has been a UK resident for a decade, said had now honed his songwriting from three chords to just one chord.

Whilst lifetime achievement honours went to Nile Rodgers and Jeff Beck, the awards recognised a new generation of songwriters, with the winners including “trip-hop” trio London Grammar, Tom Odell, James Blake and Passenger (Mike Rosenberg), the Brighton busker who recorded the best-selling song of 2013, "Let Her Go".

Jerry Dammers, founder of The Specials and writer of the hugely influential protest song Free Nelson Mandela, who won the Inspiration award, appealed to younger songwriters not to ignore politics in their work.

Dammers recalled how the Mandela song spawned an all-star Wembley Stadium concert, which highlighted Mandela’s plight to a global audience. “I’d say to the young people in this room – if there’s something you feel strongly about, if you write a song about it, you never know where it’ll end up. There are still issues to write songs about – inequality, racism and injustice.”

Dammers himself said he had not found time to vote in Thursday’s Local and European elections. Lily Allen told The Independent: “I just flew in from Cannes this morning so I haven’t had a chance.”

But Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs singer and a coach on The Voice said: “I did vote and it’s important to vote. Politics and rock n’roll do mix. The very basis of rock n’roll is an unease with authority which people can challenge through politics.”

Laura Mvula said: “I hope to vote, if I can get out of here. So many of us don’t know what the hell is going on and don’t know enough about politics. I will champion anything that gives young people a way in and an understanding so we can all make the right decision.”

Mick Jones, the former Clash member, said he would be voting and he felt it was an important right to exercise.

Ed Drewett, a current Britain’s Got Talent contender, who has written hits for One Direction, said he hadn’t voted: “I was up at the crack of dawn and stuck in traffic. I do think it’s very important but I’m not sure how engaged young people are with politics. I’ve never answered a political question before but how can people believe politicians will pull off what they promise?”

Johnny Marr, the former Smiths guitarist and solo artist, said: “I’ve always voted. I think people should. It’s all part of living in a democracy and not everyone gets that opportunity.”

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