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Brexit: Bookings of UK acts at European festivals have fallen by 45 per cent



The number of British acts appearing on the bill at European festivals has fallen by almost half post-Brexit, according to new research.

Campaign group Best For Britain – which is “pushing for closer relationships with Europe and the world” – shared the figures today (July 21). They showed that the number of British artists scheduled to perform in Europe as part of this year’s festival season had decreased by 45 per cent when compared to 2017-2019 (pre-Brexit).

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best For Britain, explained of the findings: “The Beatles famously made their name in Europe and it’s on tour that many musicians gain the formative experiences and audiences they need to take off.

“With their dud Brexit deal, our lame duck Government has not only robbed emerging British talent of these opportunities abroad, but has also made international acts think twice before including Glasgow or London in their European tours.”

Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and UK Trade and Business Commissioner, Deborah Annetts, added: “Previous witnesses to our commission have described how, if you’re a festival organiser in Barcelona who needs to fill a last-minute slot, British bands will be at the bottom of your list due to new barriers created by this botched Brexit deal.

“Whoever ends up replacing Boris Johnson must commit to removing this needless bureaucracy which is stifling the prosperity and creativity of the next generation of British musicians.”

Protestors demonstrate against Brexit CREDIT: Getty Images

Earlier this year, artists, management and politicians spoke to NME about the ongoing issues of performing live in Europe post-Brexit.

It came over one year on from the music industry essentially being handed a “No Deal Brexit” when the UK government failed to negotiate visa-free travel and Europe-wide work permits for musicians and crew. As a result, artists attempting to hit the road again after COVID found themselves on the predicted “rocky road” for the first summer of European touring after Britain left the EU.

White Lies were forced to cancel the opening night of their 2022 European tour in Paris this April due to “Brexit legislation” causing their equipment to be held up for two days. The band’s drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown told NME that the situation was “incredibly frustrating”.

“We’d done our best to ensure that we’d be prepared in any circumstance,” he said. “It’s very frustrating when you prepare for as long as we have to then rock up to the first venue and find that your equipment has been stuck in a 25 mile-long queue on the M20 through not fault of your own, and no fault of the trucking company either.

“It wasn’t the plan that we’d worked hard to get right.”

Lawrence-Brown largely blamed Brexit-related red tape regarding visas and carnets (a document detailing what goods and equipment are being taken across borders) for the setback.

White Lies
White Lies. CREDIT: Charles Cave

“Prior to Brexit, this kind of tailback was never an issue,” he told NME. “There’s now a huge amount of paperwork for bands to deal with if they want to get themselves into Europe.”

In January 2021, European festival bosses expressed their concerns over Brexit potentially preventing many UK acts from being booked to play live events on the continent.

Eric Van Eerdenburg, the director of Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands, told NME that the additional costs and requirements needed to tour in Europe would prove “horrible and very limiting” for UK artists.

The new findings from Best For Britain came ahead of today’s cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission. It is taking evidence related to the post-Brexit challenges facing the UK music industry during the first festival without COVID-enforced restrictions.

Meanwhile, Elton John has warned that smaller, less established UK acts risk “being stranded in Dover” if Brexit-related travel issues are not resolved with the European Union (via Sky News).


Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes announce new album ‘Dark Rainbow’ and world tour



Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have announced their new album ‘Dark Rainbow’ and have shared the lead single ‘Man Of The Hour’.

  • READ MORE: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on getting sweets from James Hetfield and their card game Halves

The single’s lyrics: “The rockstar, pornstar, man of the hour / Don’t let him out / Where is he now? /Are you waiting / For who you think I am? / I feel translucent with you, baby / You make me see through” focus on questioning the idea of rock stardom.

Speaking about ‘Man Of The Hour’ in a press release, frontman Frank Carter said: “We talk about how rock and roll will never die, but we never really talk about how maybe the idea of the rock star should die. The whole concept and what it means has always been this glamorised moment, but ultimately when I put that suit on, it didn’t go very well for me.”

He continued: “I’m just witnessing the world change so quickly and I’m still trying to come to terms with who I am and what the authentic version of me is. By giving people what I thought they wanted I think I got further and further away from who I actually am.”

Their upcoming LP ‘Dark Rainbow’ is set for release on January 26 via International Death Cult. Pre-order the album here.

Speaking of the creation of the album in a press release, guitarist Dean Richardson said: “Normally we don’t look backwards when making a record, but this has been looking to reach us for a long time. Some songs are old ideas reworked, fresh eyes on something that didn’t quite fit on their other records. Some of these songs were lost along the way because basically we didn’t really give them the space.”

Carter added:“I’m just witnessing the world change so quickly and I’m still trying to come to terms with who I am and what the authentic version of me is. By giving people what I thought they wanted I think I got further and further away from who I actually am, you know? So now, first and foremost, I’m prioritising what I need. Sobriety has been really, really helpful for me.”

The frontman also revealed that this will be the most authentic album he’s ever made, stemming from the band doing the work, and really getting to know themselves and each other. “We’ve lived a lot of life together,” he said. “A lot has rested on our shoulders. In a creative sense that’s a beautiful thing.”

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Dark Rainbow’ album artwork. Credit: PRESS

‘Dark Rainbow’ track list is:

1. ‘Money’
2. ‘Man of the Hour’
3. ‘Can I Take You Home’
4. ‘American Spirit’
5. ‘Happier Days’
6. ‘Brambles’
7. ‘Queen of Hearts’
8. ‘Sun Bright Golden Happening’
9. ‘Superstar’
10.’Self Love’
11. ‘A Dark Rainbow’

The band have also announced a world tour set for 2024. It will be their biggest tour to date. February 2024 will see them make their way though the the UK and Europe. They will then head down under to Australia in April for shows in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane and Sydney. The following month, they will head over to the states for a handful of shows across the US.

Fans in UK and EU can now pre-order the album for access to ticket pre-sales. General sale will take place on Friday, October 6 at 10am local time. UK fans can visit here for tickets, EU fans and Australian fans can visit here for tickets and US fans can visit here for tickets. Check out the full list of dates below.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes tour poster. Credit: PRESS
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes tour poster. Credit: PRESS

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes 2024 world tour dates are:

6 – The Great Hall, Cardiff, UK
7 – O2 Academy, Bristol, UK
9 – Academy, Manchester, UK
10 – Northumbria Uni Student’s Union, Newcastle, UK
11 – Barrowland, Glasgow, UK
13 – O2 Academy, Leeds, UK
14 – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
15 – Roundhouse, London, UK
16 – Roundhouse, London, UK
22 – Metropol, Berlin, DE
23 – Live Music Hall, Cologne, DE
24 – Le Bataclan, Paris, FR
26 – AB Main Hall, Brussels, BE
27 – 013 Poppodium, Tilburg, Netherlands, NL

16 – Magnet House, Perth, AUS
18 – The Gov, Adelaide, AUS
19 – 170 Russell, Melbourne, AUS
20 – Barwon Club, Geelong, AUS
23 – Triffid, Brisbane, AUS
24 – Crowbar, Sydney, AUS

13 – The End, Nashville TN, USA
14 – Subterranean, Chicago IL, USA
17 – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON,CAN
20 – Foundry, Philadelphia PA, USA
21 – The Gramercy Theatre, New York NY, USA
22 – Atlantis, Washington DC, USA

‘Dark Rainbow’ follows their 2021 LP ‘Sticky‘. In a four-star review of the album, NME shared: “Where the band’s previous albums explored mental health and toxic masculinity, this one is a pressure release: loose and spontaneous,” and added: “This kind of bug-eyed bish-bash-bosh is exactly what we need from Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes right now. Great records inevitably come out of shit times, and this is one of them.”

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Queen and Adam Lambert to kick off North American ‘Rhapsody’ tour next week



Queen and Adam Lambert are set to embark on their North American ‘Rhapsody’ tour next week – find all the details below.

The legendary band launched the acclaimed show back in 2019, and brought it to the UK, Ireland and Europe last year.

Per a press release, Queen and their frontman Lambert are now taking the newly “expanded and updated” production back to the US and Canada “where it first began”. The group have promised an “even more ambitious show” at the upcoming dates.

Queen’s 2023 Rhapsody’ tour is scheduled to begin with two consecutive nights at the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland next Wednesday (October 4) and Thursday (5).

From there, they’ll visit Toronto, Detroit, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other cities throughout the month. Further shows will follow in November, when Queen are due to make stop-offs in Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Brian May explained in a statement: “We’re still calling our show the Rhapsody Tour, but the content has evolved massively from when you last saw it. New toys, new takes, but all the hits and more.”

Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen. CREDIT: David M Benett/Getty

Lambert added: “I consider it a beautiful twist of fate that I was put on a path that aligned me with Brian and Roger. I can’t wait to tour North America one more time alongside the two unbelievably talented legends that are Brian May and Roger Taylor.”

Taylor commented: “Adam is certainly a real force on stage. It’s been nothing but a riotously funny and enjoyable journey with him. He is simply one of the best vocalists in the world – FACT!”

You can find any remaining tickets for Queen’s 2023 North American ‘Rhapsody’ tour here.

The gigs will see Queen and Adam Lambert supported on stage by their regular band members, long-serving Queen keyboard player Spike Edney, bass guitarist Neil Fairclough, and percussionist Tyler Warren.

See the full itinerary below.

04 – CFG Bank Arena, Baltimore, MD 
05 – CFG Bank Arena, Baltimore, MD 
08 – Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON 
10 – Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI 
12 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 
13 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 
15 – TD Garden, Boston, MA 
16 – TD Garden, Boston, MA 
18 – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA 
21 – Circuit Of The Americas, Austin, TX 
23 – State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA 
25 – Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN 
27 – Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN 
28 – Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN 
30 – United Center, Chicago, IL  
31 – United Center, Chicago, IL  

02 – American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX  
03 – American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 
05 – Ball Arena, Denver, CO  
08 – Chase Center, San Francisco, CA 
09 – Chase Center, San Francisco, CA  
11 – BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, CA 
12 – BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, CA 

Earlier this year, Queen said they were considering releasing new music with Adam Lambert. “We have dabbled a little,” Brian May explained. “It is just that you haven’t heard any of it.”

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Listen to Denzel Curry and Kenny Mason’s rambunctious single ‘SKED’



Denzel Curry has dropped a high-octane single ‘SKED’ with fellow alt-rapper Kenny Mason, alongside an accompanying music video.

So far this year, the Florida rapper hasn’t dropped many singles. Before ‘SKED’, he teamed up with Southern Hip-Hop legend Juicy J for ‘BLOOD ON MY NIKEZ’ and released the ‘ICE COLD ZEL FREESTYLE’ with ICECOLDBISHOP back in July. He also dropped a semi-live EP with Spotify called ‘Live At The Electric Lady’ last May, on which he shared a cover of Erykah Badu’s 2000 classic ‘Didn’t Cha Know’.

Today (September 15), he put out ‘SKED’ and its creative, comic-inspired music video. The short David Wept and Jagger Corcione-produced track shows off Curry’s exuberant confidence despite rapping about his paranoia from growing up in Carol City, Florida. Kenny Mason also shows off his authority with clever gun wordplay over the bolshy instrumental. In the video, the 28-year-old and the Atlantan rapper Mason have fun dancing into the camera. Watch the video below.

The new single arrives after Curry performed four sold-out shows at the iconic Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, where Kenny Mason made a surprise appearance at one to perform their new collaboration.

In the press release, ‘SKED’ is said to “mark the beginning of a new chapter in Denzel Curry’s musical journey”, where “he is embracing spontaneity by sharing his music as it is being created, rather than holding onto songs until they released later as part of a larger conceptual body of work as he has done throughout the bulk of his career to date.”

In March 2022, the Floridian dropped his fifth album ‘Melt My Eyez See Your Future’, which NME gave five stars: “It’s hard to revamp your sound with every project, but Denzel Curry is fast becoming the Renaissance man of Southern hip-hop, always 10 steps ahead of the game. For the fifth time – and in a different way than we might have expected – Denzel Curry has provided a priceless sense of self-discovery as he explores his countless facets.”

Earlier this year, Denzel Curry collaborated with the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for “the ULTIMATE music kit” – which included his 2015 sleeper hit ‘ULTIMATE’ as well as cuts from ‘Melt My Eyez See Your Future’. Music kits are an in-game feature a player can buy to change the music in CS:GO, including the songs heard in the Main Menu, Round Start and End, and Death Camera.

Last year, his aforementioned fifth album ranked number 22 on NME’s 50 best albums list, saying: “Rapping over shimmering pianos and warm jazz samples, Denzel Curry was in full control as he took listeners through his most experimental album yet… [It’s] a crowning achievement, even for an artist who has already made a career out of defying expectations.”

Elsewhere, Mason dropped a series of EPs this year — ‘pr3’, ‘3’, and ‘6’ – following on from the highly-acclaimed success of his ‘Ruffs’ mixtape last year.

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