Kate Bush fans once believed that they had a better chance of spotting a unicorn cantering down the street than ever seeing their beloved siren perform live again (her one and only outing had been 1979's six-week "Tour of Life.") So the return of Kate Bush this Tuesday, August 26, as she kicks off the first of 22 very sold-out shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo, is truly astonishing. The residency, christened "Before The Dawn," stretches for six weeks until October 1 and promises much to make her acolytes go weak at the knees, like the rumored inclusion of "The Ninth Wave" suite from 1985's Hounds of Love in her set. So on UKNY tonight at 11, the music of Kate Bush (and her admirers) steps to the forefront. In addition, new music from Kele Okereke, Deptford Goth, Eaux and Manchester's—or Madchester's—Inspiral Carpets, on the brink of releasing their first single in 20 years.
On UKNY at 11 tonight, cool new British releases from a diverse batch of artists, like Scottish luminaries and Nirvana favorites The Vaselines; French-warbling, Glasgow-based chanteuse Ella the Bird (pictured); Birmingham's Laura Mvula, backed by a 52-piece Dutch orchestra; and London's Grumbling Fur, a duo that's neither tetchy or hirsute—but definitely psychedelic.
Two excellent new music documentaries bookended The Film Society at Lincoln Center's second annual Sound + Vision Festival which concluded on Wednesday night: "Beautiful Noise" and "Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets." Tonight at 11, I'll have sets inspired by both of those films (watch the trailers below). "Beautiful Noise," directed by Eric Green and produced/edited by Sarah Ogletree, dwells on the influential movement of music that firmly eschews the term "shoegaze" but, via bands like Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, still finds common ground in dense, visceral and soaring sonic structures. The second film, "Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets," which also screened via Brooklyn's Rooftop Films, is directed by Florian Habicht with guidance from Jarvis Cocker. It's an affectionate, quirky look at Pulp's final concert back in 2012 in its hometown of Sheffield and not only focuses on Cocker and his bandmates, but the people of that northern Yorkshire city.
Fresh releases abound during these early dog days of August. Tonight on UKNY at 11, music from newer faces, like Annie Eve (pictured), FURS and Nick Mulvey, plus veterans like King Creosote and Simian Mobile Disco. Also, the debut of Little Tornados, the intriguing group founded by former Stereolab chanteuse Laetitia Sadier and filmmaker David Thayer.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonweath Games are underway until August 3, with nearly 5000 athletes from 71 nations and territories competing in 17 different sports. At 11 tonight, in honor of the 20th anniversary of this iteration of the Games (originally founded 84 years ago as the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada), UKNY will dwell on music from some of those Commonwealth countries, like Scotland, South Africa, Nigeria and New Zealand. Included in that international lineup is music from Wunder Wunder, OY (pictured), Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Tiny Ruins, Owl John and much more. Plus, a small salute to the Tour de France too, which concludes at Stage 21 tomorrow in Paris. Will Italy's Vincenzo Nibali take home the yellow jersey?