Xiu Xiu // Two London Dates @ Birthdays


Xiu Xiu announce the second part of their intimate two-night “Reds Of Their Eyes” residency at Birthdays in May. (ticket link to follow ASAP)

Taking place on Wednesday May 21st (preceding the May 22nd show featuring scabrous London post-punkers Blood Music, for which tickets are still available here: http://www.dashtickets.co.uk/event/ckn806rth), Jamie Stewart’s special guest for the opening night is James Blackshaw, who brings an intensity of a very different kind in the form of hypnotic, ululating waves of drone/classical influenced guitar composition – a singular style honed across several albums for labels including Tompkins Square (who release “Fantômas : Le Faux Magistrat”, James’s soundtrack to the French silent film of the same name, in July), Young God and Important, as well as several tours with Swans.

“The first time I heard James Blackshaw it was by accident. As a teenager I had the practice of buying records based on the cover art alone. Taking this up again on a lark, I bought Glass Bead Game. Not knowing what I was getting into, my heart exploded. The music was totally pure, totally beautiful, radically expanding long form pieces and touching me in a way I had not been in years. I have, with furious intent, bought every other record since and am insanely excited to be able to play together”

– Jamie Stewart


‘The Protecting Veil’ by John Tavener

For Record Store Day 2014 Bella Union are very proud to announce the release of The Protecting Veil for the first time ever on vinyl.

The Protecting Veil is a musical composition for cello and strings by British composer John Tavener. Completed in 1988, the work was commissioned by the BBC for the 1989 Proms season and released three years later in 1992.

Tavener, until his sad death late last year, was perhaps Britain’s best-loved composer of recent times, most notably after his ‘Song for Athene’ was played at Princess Diana’s funeral. It was not always thus and Tavener has divided opinion all his working life. His 1969 piece The Whale, was mostly unconventional, full of electronics and spoken word, and attracted the attention of John Lennon who signed it to the Beatles label, Apple. In 1977 Tavener converted to the Russian Orthodox Church and soon his music developed a deep spirtuality. With the release of The Protecting Veil, a 45 minute piece inspired by the Orthodox feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, he found a huge audience embracing this slow, meditative, emotional work.

The Protecting Veil, which has a performance time of around 43 minutes, includes eight sections, each based on an “icon” in the life of the Virgin Mary.

1.The Protecting Veil
2.The Nativity of the Mother of God
3.The Annunciation
4.The Incarnation
5.The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
6.The Resurrection
7.The Formation
8.The Protecting Veil

RSD14: The Flaming Lips – 7 Skies H3

THE FLAMING LIPS return to the fray in 2014 with assorted activity to keep the hardcore happy. On the release front the guys have something special up their sleeves for this year’s Record Store Day when they’ll be releasing an edited version of their 24-hour song ‘7 Skies H3’. The RSD version will be a 50-minute distillation spanning across 10 tracks and will be available on clear 12-inch vinyl. The release also includes a digital download card.

Following on from this May will see their UK live return with a 4-date tour including a performance at Brixton Academy. Wayne Coyne and co will then return in late August to headline the End Of The Road festival. Those dates below…

Monday 26 May – EDINBURGH – Usher Hall
Tuesday 27 May – MANCHESTER – O2 Apollo
Wednesday 28 May – LONDON – Brixton Academy
Thursday 29 May – NOTTINGHAM – Capital FM Arena

Saturday 30 August – LARMER TREE GARDENS – End Of The Road festival

RSD14: PINS – ‘Shoot You/Eleventh Hour’

500 run limited heart shaped vinyl for RSD 2014

Re-recorded, re-mastered and carved in to heart-shaped vinyl, Bella Union’s PINS release two of their hardest hitting tracks for a super limited run in celebration of Record Store Day.

Fiery Manchester four-piece PINS released their debut album ‘Girls Like Us’ to rousing reception last year, and have since toured the UK and the US playing with acts like Warpaint and Money, and taking in festivals such as SXSW. The track ‘Shoot You’ made up one half of their first Double A single, which was released on gold cassette tape (via their own Haus of Pins label no less,) and barely touched the record shelves selling out within 24 hours. Here’s your chance to own a limited edition of it again, this time on vinyl, likely to sell out just as rapid as those gold tapes.

Akin to cult 60s novel/70s film The Warriors, PINS are true fighters; a taut rebel unit living out their own manifesto and defending their turf as purveyors of brooding guitar pop. These tracks were recorded and mixed to eight track tape at Eve Studios, Manchester.

Watch: Marissa Nadler – Drive

About to embark on a European tour which arrives in the UK next week, MARISSA NADLER has just unveiled a typically beautiful video for new single ‘Drive’, the opening track from her critically-acclaimed album July.

The video for ‘Drive’ was directed by kindred spirit Naomi Yang of Galaxie 500 and Damon and Naomi fame. Of the video Marissa says: “It was such a pleasure to work with Naomi Yang. I’ve long-admired her work in music, first discovering her through Galaxie 500 and then through Damon and Naomi. More recently, I became an admirer of her music videos and fell in love with them. She really got to the heart of what this song is about. The surreal, dreamlike shots of me twirling through the roads and landscapes, contrasted with the stills from everyday life, encapsulate the essence of ‘Drive’ completely. I think the song is one of contrasts, and the video magnifies both the good and bad, the still and the moving, and the blurred line between dream and reality.”