The Guardian Indie

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The Guardian
  1. First Direct Arena, Leeds
    The newly invigorated band have a rare gift for stadium-sized rock that is refreshingly understated, delivering a 27-song set of triumphs

    Formed in 1999 by travelling preacher’s sons Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill and their cousin Matthew, Kings of Leon delivered two benchmark albums of Dust Bowl garage rock Americana before losing their way among the compromises and sibling rivalries brought by huge success. However, lately Caleb has talked of a “renewed passion and kind of fire in us” and new album Can We Please Have Fun rekindles the old edge. The Tennessee rockers play eight songs from it here, opening with the gently epic Ballerina Radio and unveiling the likes of the hurtling punky Nothing to Do, which suggests an unlikely kinship with the Ramones.

    Getting signature smash Sex on Fire out of the way early on is brave but means the show isn’t geared towards to the big number. In fact, that song’s XXL-sized chorus and “whooooah-ohhhhh”s prove something of an aberration among an enormous 27-song set list which gradually recasts them as masters of the beautifully restrained anthem.

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  2. Emerging from the gloomiest corners of the 80s underground, this synth-driven, nihilistic sound is now getting billions of streams. Its past and present creators explain why they turn to the dark side

    For whatever reason, there is a huge appetite right now for music that embraces a moody, minimalist, synth-heavy, often lo-fi sound that feels redolent of an amphetamine-charged squat party in 1980s West Berlin.

    Take I Like the Way You Kiss Me, by British-Cypriot musician Artemas Diamandis, who performs as Artemas. The two-minute burst of pulsating, icy synth-pop – depicting an objectified and emotionally disengaged love affair – has been sticking out a mile in the charts next to Sabrina Carpenter, Kendrick Lamar and the ranks of earnestly strummed acoustic guitars. “We made the song in about three hours, I posted it the next day, then things went crazy,” he says. On release in March it leaped to No 1 in numerous countries and on Spotify alone it has had over half a billion streams – and is just one of many mega-streamed songs in a similar ilk.

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  3. British indie band no longer known as Easy Life after saying they did not have money to defend lawsuit

    It may not have the magnitude of Prince changing his name to a symbol, but the band Easy Life have changed their name to Hard Life after the threat of legal action.

    The British indie band said easyGroup had filed a lawsuit claiming their name infringed on a trademark last year. They added they did not have the funds to defend the high court lawsuit so would be forced to change their name.

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  4. Femi Kuti, Seasick Steve and Birmingham Royal Ballet among other artists added as festival announces full range of stage times

    The full lineup for Glastonbury 2024 has been announced, with new additions to the bill including indie icons James and Nigerian pop sensation Tems.

    Squeeze have been announced to kick off the festival at noon on Friday on the Pyramid stage, while the Birmingham Royal Ballet will open the stage on Sunday with their production Interlinked. Femi Kuti, Seasick Steve, Jamie Webster, the Staves, the Skatalites, Jalen Ngonda, the Vaccines, Johnny Flynn, Soft Play, Rachel Chinouriri and the Zutons are some of the other newly added names. Timings and locations for all sets have been published on the Glastonbury website.

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  5. Utilita Arena, Sheffield
    It’s an unashamed nostalgia fest, but what could feel business-like morphs into something more considered, with strings, singalongs and even a dedication to brother Noel

    ‘I haven’t got any fucking new ones for you, so it’s going to have to be an old one, all right?” proclaims Liam Gallagher at one point tonight, during a set that feels like a time capsule of 1994. Performing Oasis’s classic debut Definitely Maybe in full, the backdrop of the stage replicates the album’s cover, complete with a huge globe, picture of Burt Bacharach, and pink flamingos.

    As the whirring crashes of Rock’n’Roll Star begin, it’s hard to feel any pronounced sense of occasion. Despite the milestone of the album turning 30, it has remained a culturally omnipresent force, with the songs still largely inescapable, and it’s been the opener to Gallagher’s solo set for years.

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