The Slits announce European dates. The Slits known for their infusion of punk and reggae sounds are one of the most significant female punk-rock bands in history. Both legendary and somewhat notorious there is a satiric, tongue-in-cheek quality to their songs instead of a strident peachiness. The Slits are loud, brash, bold and unrepentant. They never compromised their image or stance and their very presence threatened those that considered rock to be a male-only pursuit. In the late 1970’s an early 1980’s the band toured with legendary punks such as The Clash, The Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols. They went on to influence many generations of bands including The Gossip and Sonic Youth whom they played with in 2007. The Slits continue to expand the boundaries of punk, combining it with various ethnic and experimental sounds and plan to continue doing so for years to come. Their latest album Trapped Animal was released October 2009. The current lineup features original members Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt along with Hollie Cook (daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook), Anna Schulte and Adele Wilson.
European Tour dates May, 2010:
6/5 Dublin Crawdaddy Ireland
7/5 Manchester Moho Live UK
8/5 Newcastle The Cluny UK
9/5 Glasgow ABC2 UK
10/5 Liverpool The Loft UK
11/5 London Islington Academy UK
12/5 Oxford Academy 2 UK
13/5 Brighton The Great Escape UK
14/5 Utrecht Ekko Holland
15/5 Groningen Vera Holland
16/5 Copenhagen Loppen Denmark
18/5 Stockholm Strand Sweeden
20/5 Berlin White Trash Germany
21/5 Koln MTC Germany
22/5 Turin Spazio Italy
23/5 Rome Roads to Ruins Festival Italy
25/5 Athens Venue TBC Greece
27/5 Paris Café Le Dance France
28/5 Barcelona Primavera Spain
2009 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Island Records, arguably the most prestigious record label in the history of British music. To mark this milestone the label is entering into the world of book publishing. May 21st ’09 will see the publication of ‘KEEP ON RUNNING – THE STORY OF ISLAND RECORDS’ edited by Chris Salewicz (acclaimed author of recent best-selling Joe Strummer biog ‘Redemption Song’ as well as books on The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and many others) and produced by Universal Island Ltd. and The Island Trading Company Ltd.
‘KEEP ON RUNNING’ is a 226-page full-colour hard-cover commemoration of Island Records, started by Jamaican Chris Blackwell in 1959, the most illustrious record label that the British music business has ever known. Illustrated by copious rare images, including original artwork and photographs from the Island Records archives, ‘KEEP ON RUNNING’ will tell the story of this extraordinary label, its art and its artists, in a series of twelve essays by celebrated writers such as Paul Morley, Jon Savage, Sean O’Hagan, Vivien Goldman, Lloyd Bradley, David Katz, Robin Denselow, Sylvia Patterson, Richard Williams and Joe Boyd. Chapter headings include Out of Jamaica, The Pink Label, Season of the Witch, Glitterball, Roots-Rock Reggae, Singular Voices, The Tuff Gong, Globalisation, From Africa & Beyond, Re-birth Of The Cool and The New Millennium. Photographers include Anton Corbijn, Adrian Boot, Gered Mankowitz, Keith Morris, Andy Earl, Lawrence Watson, Maria Mochnacz, Jean-Paul Goude and Neville Garrick.
The book will be published to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Island Records in May ’09: these include a large-scale, month-long exhibition of Island artwork and memorabilia in London’s Soho; a week of concerts by key artists at Shepherds Bush Empire; a 90 minute TV documentary about the label; a Radio 2 documentary; and deluxe re-releases of many iconic Island albums, which will continue throughout 2009.
Chris Blackwell founded the Island label in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959 with capital of just £1000. Relocating to London in the early 60s Blackwell built the most diverse and enviable back catalogue of any independent record label in history. From Island’s early Jamaican roots in ska and rock-steady, through the label’s expansion to become the cutting edge of progressive rock in the late 60s, and then on to the signing of such international superstars as Bob Marley and U2, Blackwell brought to Island a unique vision and passion which still informs the label’s approach to this day.
The Island label has been responsible for the careers of some of the biggest stars in music including U2, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Traffic, Free, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Toots & The Maytals, John Martyn, Marianne Faithfull, Aswad, Tom Waits, King Sunny Ade, Third World, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, the B52s, Sly & Robbie, Melissa Etheridge, The Slits, Steel Pulse, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Pulp, Baaba Maal, Tricky, Talvin Singh, and latterly Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, DJ Shadow, Sugababes, Keane, The Fratellis, Scott Matthews, Paul Weller, The Feeling, Portishead and Florence & The Machine.
The Detroit label – home to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Jackson 5, among many others – was founded by record producer Berry Gordy on January 12, 1959.
Gordy started the label, which was originally called Tamla, with an $800 loan from his family.
The first act signed was called The Matadors (later The Miracles), who’s lead vocalist was Smokey Robinson.
Motown’s Hitsville USA studio, a garage that Gordy purchased and renovated, was famed for its ‘production line’ recording process – with classic songs being churned out on an astonishingly regular basis.
Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, The Marvelettes ‘Please Mr Postman’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ were just some of the label’s most notable hits.
Motown also released Martin Luther King’s civil rights speeches on its Black Forum subsidiary label.
The label found enduring success across the world, and Motown songs continue to be covered and referenced by artists today.
Acts as diverse as George Michael, The Beatles, The Jam, The Beach Boys, The Slits and Delroy Wilson have recorded Motown covers.
To celebrate the 50th Birthday of Motown, NME.COM has dug out some of the best unheard classics from Motown, which you can hear on our blog now.
You can also read the stories behind 15 classic Motown songs at NME.COM/PHOTOS.
We’ve also got a host of stars – from Kings Of Leon to Ladyhawke – to pick their favourite Motown songs in the latest issue of NME, available on UK newsstands now.