After enthralling fans for 22 wildly sold-out "Before the Dawn" shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo, Kate Bush performed her final comeback concert on Wednesday, October 1. On Tuesday night, I was ridiculously lucky to see her penultimate show, clutching my ticket like an overeager Charlie Bucket on the brink of meeting Willie Wonka. So tonight on UKNY at 11, there will be a sturdy set of Kate Bush songs, celebrating her love of nature and family. In addition, the very influential electronic duo Underworld celebrate the 20th anniversary of their arresting, brilliant album dubnobasswithmyheadman with a remastered and expanded edition, released October 6, and a sold-out show at London's Royal Festival Hall on October 11; hence something epic from that record as well. Also, new Thom Yorke and Courtney Barnett (this evening's Commonwealth Cut) too.
I'm in London this week, so on tonight's UKNY at 11, it seemed a good time to revisit an FUV Live session I did earlier this summer with Slow Club, Sheffield's own Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor. Their soulful (and often heartbreaking) third album, Complete Surrender, is one of my favorites of 2014 and in conversation, Charles and Rebecca are charming, candid and thoughtful regarding their graceful transformation from a quirky folk duo to sophisticated pop songwriters.
In addition, I'll delve more deeply into Robert Plant's astonishing new album—he's at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this weekend with the Sensational Shape Shifters–and slip in recent releases from Johnny Marr and The Twilight Sad too.
It's been a week of transitions, decisions and comebacks, and on UKNY tonight at 11, Palma Violets drink the dregs of summer wine, Annie Lennox (pictured) gets nostalgic and after 13 years, electronic guru and groundbreaker Aphex Twin returns with a new album, the masterful Syro. Also, Nick Mulvey, Teleman, Kate Bush and more.
Will Scotland change the course of British (and world) history on September 18 and vote for independence? Or will its progressive populace choose to remain in the United Kingdom? Whatever the complex political and economic ramifications of the vote, the fate of the referendum on independence offers a fine (albeit superficial) opportunity to devote tonight's UKNY at 11 to Scottish artists and bands, stretching from Glasgow to Fife to the Isle of Eigg. Expect new releases from Simple Minds, Owl John, Law and Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, whose film "God Help The Girl" was released Stateside last week, as well as more vintage selections from Primal Scream (rest in peace, Robert "Throb" Young) and Cocteau Twins.
Tonight's UKNY at 11 focuses on some veteran artists and bands with new—and radiant—albums and EPs out this month, like Robert Plant (whose splendid Lullaby and ... The Ceaseless Roar is easily one of the best recordings of 2014) The June Brides, Groove Armada and Tricky. Also, just-released singles from fresher faces, like Bristol's tender-but tough Rozi Plain and the charismatic, Mercury Prize-nominated Jessie Ware (pictured) who returns with her second album in October.