Music Magazine

Sunshine on a rainy day

Festivals can be challenging enough considering summer weather in Britain, but they're even trickier to enjoy with a toddler in tow, as David Taylor found out...

A green light for the summer

UK event organisers are leading the way in terms of staging eco-friendly events, and have hatched some inspired ideas

The Travelling Band on the road, part one

We'd been cruising south for a couple of hours before our drummer Nick had said a word. 'Cotton Box', as we lovingly call him due to his wiry buffon, suffers from a useful strain of travelling narcolepsy. When not drumming or sipping on beer, he will sleep at any given opportunity until awoken by sudden breaking or a rare epiphany.

A tribute to Paul Simon

“Can you imagine us years from today/ Sharing a park bench quietly/ How terribly strange to be 70,” laments Paul Simon on his enduring ode to companionship “Old Friends/Bookends”, and the insightful singer reached a ripe 70 on Friday.

Planningtorock, King's Cross Scala, 11 October 2011

There’s something deeply eerie about this show. It’s not just the prophetess-like figure of Janine Rostron swaying in the darkness of the stage – something’s off about her face. It’s hard to tell what, but as she rocks back and forth in time to the cultic drumbeat of her music, it gradually becomes clear: her nose and brow are grotesquely prominent. It’s a prosthesis, we’ll confirm later, but it’s monstrous, especially protruding from an otherwise attractive face.

RIP REM

“Sometimes I feel like I can’t even sing (say, say, the light)/ I’m very scared for this world/ I’m very scared for me,” Michael Stipe emotes on the sumptuous downer “You Are the Everything”. After 31 years, REM are no more, abruptly signing off with “To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

10 best festival essentials

If you’re heading for Glastonbury this weekend, or one of the many musical events this summer, here are a few ideas to make your trip more comfortable.

Music & Me: When Saints Go Machine

When Saints Go Machine produce ice-cool shimmering pop that belies their tongue- in-cheek moniker. Signed to hip dance label !K7 records, expect to hear a lot more of the Danish foursome’s stunning songs this summer. Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild took time out to answer our questions.

Music & Me: Bibio

Bibio aka producer Stephen Wilkinson creates the kind of lush, heart-tugging melodies you’re sure you’ve heard somewhere before. Indeed, the gorgeous “Lovers’ Carvings” from his last album is that catchy hum-along summer -drenched song that lights up the Kindle TV advert.

Badly Drawn Boy, Travelling Band and guests, Union Chapel, London

“Hey, I can do this after all,” says a grinning Damon Gough – more popularly known as Badly Drawn Boy – as he basks in the applause of an appreciative Union Chapel crowd towards the end of this feelgood-fuelled charity gig. “F*ck LA.” There’s a roar of laughter from the pews. The evening is a validation for Gough, who had a much-publicised meltdown at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles last December, threatening to fight an unruly crowd and then publicly quitting the music business (“I’m never playing live again - this has been a disaster,” he said).