The Guardian Indie

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. It was an outdoor show that would enter indie folklore, a milestone night in British music history. One fan looks back on Madchester’s ultimate messy party

    History tells me that the Stone Roses at Spike Island was, in musical terms, awful: the band seemed bored, the sound was weak. Here were 27,000 people crammed into a field surrounded by the chemical factories of Widnes to watch one of the most all-advised, badly organised and shambolic gigs ever held. My memory tells me something different. I was 20 in 1990, and had been working for a year as a trainee reporter at the Chorley Guardian in Lancashire. My relationship with the Stone Roses had begun the year before, when I found a loose cassette tape of their self-titled album under the seat of a train from Manchester to Wigan.

    I hadn’t heard of them: at the time, my tastes ran to the jangling indie-rock of the C86 movement. The Stone Roses fed my hunger for that, but also opened the door to the Madchester scene that saw the exhilarating collision of indie pop and house music. When the Roses announced a massive outdoor gig – after shows in Blackpool and at Alexandra Palace that had become the stuff of legend – there was no way I going to miss it.

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  2. In Listener’s digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Next up: the feedback-worshipping high priests of indie-rock who wedded art and pop

    Daydream Nation (1988)

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  3. Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for moments of melancholy, optimism, escapism and contemplation

    At her home of three years in Los Angeles, Natasha Khan and her boyfriend are having a particularly unusual lockdown, because she is six-and-half-months pregnant. “Going through all this on our own is a bit sad,” she says. “But weirdly, it’s a bit of nesting time, anyway. It’s been good to bed down.” She’s also been loving the “incredible colours” of spring blooming all around: the jasmine, tropical plants and orange poppies on the mountains.

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  4. From Q Magazine to smaller free sheets, many publications hit hard by Covid-19 lockdown

    As the nation locked down in March, the staff of Loud and Quiet magazine knew they were in trouble. No gigs or festivals for the foreseeable future dissolved the live music advertising that props up the free monthly publication. “It was like a tap being turned off,” says Stuart Stubbs, who founded the indie-minded publication in 2005.

    Britain’s music magazines have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of bars, venues and shops took with it the primary distribution network for the UK’s raft of free music publications. Many suspended printing and went online onlyincluding In Stereo – which publishes editorialised listings magazines in London, Bristol and Berlin – the monthly indie-focused DIY Mag, Loud and Quiet, and Crack. In the paid sector, Kerrang!, Mixmag and DJ Mag halted publication as newsstands closed.

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  5. Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for when you’re feeling peaceful, spiritual - or full of energy

    In lockdown in New York, Norah Jones and her husband, Pete, have started a new musical tradition: playing Christmas songs every Sunday. Their children – a six-year-old and a four-year-old whose names Jones has always kept anonymous – aren’t impressed. “We’re basically doing it to cheer up the grownups in the house. The kids also don’t like the fact they don’t get any presents! ”

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