After speaking at this Wellcome Trust scientific conference recently, I was offered the chance to write a conference report for Abcam. It’s gone live now, and I wanted to share it, as it’s quite a privilege to have gotten to do it! Hopefully, I’ll get to do a lot more of this sort of thing in the future…
I’ve just spent about two solid days listening to the Buzzcocks’ forthcoming album, The Way, and I’ve got to tell you guys: wow. I don’t do a lot of straight-up reviews, but this album is worth it. It’ll be out this summer, supported by a nineteen-date tour, and let me assure you, you’re going to want this one.
It’s amazing to hear how these guys have matured as a band. The ‘old’ Buzzcocks are definitely still driving, musically-speaking (“It’s Not You,” “The Way”), but it isn’t just them you hear in the music; there’s The Stranglers, Gang of Four, Crispy Ambulance, The Jam. Some of the songs are almost mod-influenced (“In the Back”), as if The Lambrettas had joined them onstage for a song. Others harken back so well to the start of the Manchester punk era, with Martin-Hannett like soundspaces (“Virtually Real”) that he might as well have produced them himself. Some don’t belong to any one category, any one genre, but grab you by the ears right away anyway (“Chasing Rainbows Modern Times,” my personal favourite track on the album).
The entire album is gold and I could – though shan’t – go on for ages about each song, but the long and the short of it is that if you’ve ever liked the Buzzcocks, you’re going to want to keep an eye on The Way this summer. (And if you’re lucky enough to be able to get to one of the gigs? Do it.)
Right, so it’s that time of year again. Tomorrow is Record Store Day 2014 and music shops all across the world will be getting exclusive releases, selling regional special editions, hosting events, and generally having a fantastic time. And, of course, if you’re anywhere near a record shop of any kind, you should get in on it as well! Don’t know what to get? No problem – read on!