David Bowie – The Next Day

I am really looking forward to hearing David Bowie’s new album The Next Day – which is out on 11th March 2013 and is his first album for a decade. It has been described as urgent, sharp-edged, bold, beautiful, baffling, intellectually stimulating, emotionally charged, and musically jagged. Produced secretly over two years with long-serving collaborator Tony Visconti and a small unit of session players familiar from late-period Bowie, including bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, drummer Zachary Alford and Irish ambient guitarist Gerry Leonard, with Bowie on keyboards.

Musically, The new album has been described as his rockiest album since the days of Aladdin Sane and is stripped and to the point, with elements of rock: hard drums, fluid bass, fizzing guitars, horns and melodies. The 14 songs are short and spiky with plenty of Hints, references and echoes of the past, The title track opens with a snare slam and see-saw guitar riff appropriated from Fashion but ramped up with a Sonic Youth attack. The next song I’d Rather Be High contains jangling Sixties pop in the melody. Dirty Boys and Boss of Me remind one of the poised soul of the Thin White Duke era Bowie. Love Is Lost contains epic Eighties Goth amid the dramatic descending chords and Dancing Out In Space, contains wonky sound-clashes of Berlin-era Bowie combined with the dynamic grooves of Let’s Dance. The next song Earthling on If You Can See Me is a drum’n’bass jazz fusion. There are also heavy rocking blasts and power-chords on (You Will Set) The World On Fire and even a welcome dash of Ziggy Stardust about the glam-rocking Valentine’s Day, which has an excellent guitar solo. There is a playful cameo on The Stars (Are Out Tonight). On How Does The Grass Grow he contemplates ethnic genocide with a nightmarish despair. The album’s epic climax, You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, is fantastic, a lush companion piece to Ziggy’s Rock’n’roll Suicide that drips vitriol in place of compassion. The album closes on the ominous, despairing, jazzily introspective Heat. The Next Day is described as both immediately rewarding and mystifying at the same time and is is released on March 11th 2013.

Roger Daltrey (The Who)

the-whoCharismatic English singer, musician, songwriter for the Who, Roger Daltrey CBE, was born 1st March 1944 in London. He lived in Acton, with fellow Who members Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. Daltry attended Victoria Primary School and then Acton County Grammar School for Boys along with Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. He showed academic promise in the English state school system, ranking at the top of his class on the eleven plus examination that led to his enrollment at the Acton County Grammar School. His parents hoped he would eventually continue on to study at university, but Daltrey turned out to be a self-described “school rebel” and developed a dedicated interest in the emerging rock and roll music scene instead. He made his first guitar from a block of wood, a cherry red Strat copy, and joined an existing skiffle band called the Detours in need of a lead singer and guitarist.

When his father bought him an Epiphone guitar in 1959, he became the lead guitarist for the band and soon afterwards was expelled from school for smoking. He invited schoolmate John Entwistle to play bass in the band, and on the advice of Entwistle, invited Pete Townshend to play guitar.the band consisted of Daltrey on lead guitar, Pete Townshend on rhythm guitar, John Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson on lead vocals. After Colin Dawson left the band, Daltrey switched to vocals and played harmonica as well, while Townshend became the lead guitarist. In 1964 drummer Doug Sandom left the band, eventually being replaced by Keith Moon. the band had their first hit single and record deal in early 1965, and Townshend began writing original material. Daltrey from the band in late 1965 after he beat up drummer Keith Moon for supplying drugs to Townshend and Entwistle. Daltrey was admitted back to the band shortly afterwards providing there would be no more violent outbursts or assaults.,

The band’s second single, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” written by Daltrey and Townshend helped Townshend develop into one of rock’s most accomplished composers, and Daltrey’s gain an equally vaunted reputation as a powerful vocalist and highly energetic frontman. By 1973, Daltrey was also experiencing considerable success with his solo projects, he went on to release eight solo albums. He also had great success with his acting roles in films like Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia and Tommy, in which he played the lead. Daltrey became the face and voice of the band as they defined themselves as the ultimate rebels in a generation of change. was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture” for Tommy. The Who continued performing after the death of Drummer Keith Moon in 1978, but tension continued as Daltrey felt new drummer Kenney Jones was the wrong choice for the Who. In 1980 Daltrey completed a drama called McVicar about British bank robber John McVicar. with other members of the band. sadly Daltry’s relations with Townshend deteriorated until the Who retired from active touring in 1982. Daltrey turned to working as an actor, completing such high profile projects as The Beggar’s Opera and The Comedy of Errors, The Hunting of the Snark, The Little Match Girl, Buddy’s Song, and Mack the Knife In 1991 he received a Grammy Award.

However the remaining members of The band continue to work together sporadically, reuniting for the Live Aid concert, recording songs for Daltrey’s solo album Under a Raging Moon and Townshend’s solo album Iron Man. and returning in 1989 with their 25th Anniversary Tour, which was also the 20th anniversary of the rock opera Tommy. The tour featured a large backing band and guest appearances by Steve Winwood, Patti LaBelle, Phil Collins, Elton John, and Billy Idol. n 1993 Daltrey also performed as a guest on the Chieftains’ recording of Irish Evening: Live at the Grand Opera House which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album and In 1994 Daltrey performed a two-night spectacular at Carnegie Hall titled A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, and popularly called Daltrey Sings Townshend. which also featured Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Eddie Vedder, Sinéad O’Connor, Lou Reed, David Sanborn, Alice Cooper, Linda Perry, The Chieftains and others as special guests. The event was followed by a major tour financed by Daltrey and including John Entwistle on bass, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend on guitar which also reignited interest in Tommy which toured again in 1996-1997. In 1996 Pete Townshend was also approached to produce Quadrophenia for The Prince’s Trust concert at Hyde Park, London. The opera was performed with a large backing band, including John Entwistle on bass, Pete Townshend on acoustic guitar and vocals, Zak Starkey on drums, Rabbit Bundrick and Jon Carin on keyboards, Simon Townshend on guitar and special guests including David Gilmour, Adrian Edmondson and Trevor McDonald. Afterward, Townshend decided to take the production on tour in 1996-1997 as The Who. The band also completed a brief tour in 2004. Then In 2006, they released their first studio album of new material in twenty-four years, Endless Wire, and The band also completed a world tour in 2006-2007 to support this album and also Appeared at the Glastonbury Festival.In February 2010, Townshend and Daltrey, performed the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIV and In March 2010, Townshend and Daltrey, along with an extensive backing band, performed Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall in London as a tenth anniversary charity benefit for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Daltrey received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 for outstanding artistic significance in music. In 1990 Daltrey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as a member of The Who. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also included three songs that Daltrey recorded with The Who on the list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, including: “My Generation”, “Go to the Mirror Boy”, and “Baba O’Riley”. In 2005 Daltrey received a British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors Gold Badge Award for special and lasting contributions to the British entertainment industry. Roger Daltrey also supports many charities & In 2003, Daltrey was honoured by Time magazine as a European Hero for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities. In the New Year’s Honours List published on 31 December 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Music, the Entertainment Industry, and Charity. He is also supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation. As a member of The Who, Daltrey was inducted in 2005 into the UK Music Hall of Fame.In December 2008, he and Pete Townshend received America’s most prestigious cultural awards – the 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Daltrey also received the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin for outstanding success in the music field, The Steiger Award (Germany) for excellence in music and the Classic Album Award for Quadrophenia from The Classic Rock and Roll Awards in 2011.

St David’s Day

daffodilSt David is the patron saint of Wales, and St David’s Day falls on 1st March each year. The first day of March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David. Tradition holds that he died on that day in 589. The date was declared a national day of celebration within Wales in the 18th century. St. David (Welsh: Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the fifth century. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro), at the spot where St David’s Cathedral stands today. David’s fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine, and the most important centre in Wales. The date of Dewi Sant’s death is recorded as 1 March, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. As his tearful monks prepared for his death St David uttered these words: ‘Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfil’.

For centuries, 1st March has been a national festival. St David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. St David’s day was celebrated by Welsh throughout their migration, colonization, and settlement of the British Empire including the British colonization of America and British colonization of Africa, and the Colonization of Australia. Thus, from London, England, to Dublin, Ireland, to New York City, New York, to Sydney, Australia, to Durban, South Africa, ever since the establishment of the British Empire around the globe and the Welsh diaspora, Saint David’s Day has been celebrated. Indeed, the 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys noted how Welsh celebrations in London for St David’s day would spark parades in costumes and dragon, with pipes, drinks and confectioners producing ‘Taffies’ – gingerbread figures. St David’s Day is celebrated by Welsh societies throughout the world with dinners, parties, eisteddfodau (recitals Singing and concerts).

Additionally, various Welsh Regiments of the British Army utilize aspects of Saint David’s cross, Saint David himself, or songs of Saint David in their formalities during the celebrations. Many Welsh people wear one or both of the national emblems of Wales on their lapel to celebrate St. David: the daffodil (a generic Welsh symbol which is in season during March) or the leek (Saint David’s personal symbol) on this day. The leek arises from an occasion when a troop of Welsh were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy dressed in similar fashion by wearing leeks. The association between leeks and daffodils is strengthened by the fact that they have similar names in Welsh, Cenhinen (leek) and Cenhinen Pedr (daffodil, literally “Peter’s leek”). Younger girls sometimes wear traditional Welsh costumes to school. This costume consists of a long woollen skirt, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat. The flag of Saint David plays a central role in the celebrations and can be seen flying throughout Wales, Cawl is also frequently prepared and consumed on St. David’s Day.