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SXSW 2017: summary of SXSW Conference conversation with Mick Fleetwood

By on Thursday, 30th March 2017 at 5:00 pm

For me, the name Fleetwood Mac immediately conjures up mental images of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. This is a function of my age—as a child born in the late 1970s, I’ve always associated Fleetwood Mac with songs like ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘Gypsy’, ‘Landslide’ and ‘Rhiannon’. I think it was my father who told me, on some late night cross-country drive as we listened together to 1980s FM radio, that Fleetwood Mac had once been a blues band, that their history went back to London in the 1960s, that the Buckingham-Nicks years were a sort of re-invention of the original band and its sound.


Lineup changes have been a consistent part of Fleetwood Mac’s history, going back to the band’s origins in 1967 under founding member Peter Green. Through it all, the one constant has been drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood has recently penned a memoir of the band for Genesis Publications, titled ‘Love that Burns – A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac’. Volume One of the memoir specifically covers the years 1967-1974, the period of time that most modern listeners would be least familiar with, which naturally prompts a look back at the band’s remarkable evolution over the past 50 years.

Fleetwood joined the SXSW Music Conference for a well-attended panel session on the Wednesday afternoon, called simply a ‘Conversation with Mick Fleetwood’. The informal discussion was facilitated by Rolling Stone contributor and well-known music critic David Fricke, who is also a knowledgeable longtime fan of Fleetwood Mac. Fricke had clearly done his homework on this assignment, and he deftly led the discussion from the band’s early years in England, through their relocation to America and their later pop-rock orientation. While Fricke directed the trajectory of the conversation with a number of astute questions, he also wisely allowed Fleetwood ample space to relate interesting first-person accounts and expand on the multitude of characters who crossed paths with Fleetwood Mac’s storied history.


For lifelong music fans like myself, the conference session with Fleetwood and Fricke was a chance to experience music history as a living and present entity, rather than as a discrete set of far-removed past events. I was interested to learn about Fleetwood Mac’s part in the British blues revival of the mid-1960s, when blues and rock began to come together, creating a foundation for the current proliferation of blues rock artists like The White Stripes and The Black Keys. But Fleetwood Mac has proved its own staying power over the course of 50 years, and their work has already begun to find its way into the accepted canon of “serious” music discography and literature, especially as the defining line between “pop” music and “art” music becomes ever more indistinct.

Mick Fleetwood currently spends most of his time running a restaurant and bar in Hawaii, where he makes his home. But he insists that Fleetwood Mac is alive and well, though they now work intermittently around the individual schedules of their members’ other projects, notably Stevie Nicks’ solo career. Our readers across the pond might remember the iconic band’s 2015 UK/Irish Tour, and American audiences will have a chance to see Fleetwood Mac this summer as part of The Classic Concerts in New York and Los Angeles.


Fleetwood Mac / May and June 2015 UK/Irish Tour

By on Wednesday, 12th November 2014 at 9:00 am

Iconic British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac will bring their ‘On With the Show’ tour to Europe next spring, including a list of dates in the UK and Ireland. The band are currently touring in North America with their full 5-member lineup after the lengthy absence of Christine McVie, who will also appear with the band for the European shows. The UK and Irish portion of the tour will kick off with two dates at the O2 in London at the end of May. Tickets for the following dates will be available beginning this Friday, the 14th of November, at 9 AM.

Wednesday 27th May 2015 – London O2
Thursday 28th May 2015 – London O2
Monday 8th June 2015 – Birmingham Genting Arena
Friday 12th June 2015 – Manchester Arena
Tuesday 16th June 2015 – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Saturday 20th June 2015 – Dublin 3Arena
Tuesday 30th June 2015 – Leeds First Direct Arena


10 for 2013: #2 – Bastille

By on Thursday, 13th December 2012 at 11:00 am

The band you voted #2 on the TGTF readers’ 10 for 2013 poll has been a stalwart of emerging music festivals in the UK in the last 2 years. Is 2013 their time? Read Cheryl’s profile on a project that started out with one man in London…

London-based Bastille is a former solo project started by singer/songwriter Dan Smith that has grown into a full band endeavor with Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Will Farquarson and Kyle Simmons joining. Bathed in an ‘80s-like synth glow, Smith delivers a haunting sound within that beat. Signed to EMI/Virgin, the debut album ‘Bad Blood’ is set to be released in March of next year. The pre-release single ‘Flaws’ raised a kerfuffle when Smith used images from the 1973 film ‘Badlands’ for the video. The owner of the film, Universal, has effectively blocked out the video so we can no longer see the storyline Smith originally envisioned accompanying the song. Then the next single release ‘Overjoyed’ came from the ‘Laura Palmer’ EP and again had a video influenced by film buff Smith’s interest in cult films. With both the EP’s title and the video heavily referencing cult tv show Twin Peaks, Bastille took on the mantle of dark and quirky.

Best described as synthy pop with a bit of an edge, their music either walks a tightrope between musical worlds or can’t decide where to focus. Certainly Smith is following his own muse, as he should. I suppose he is hoping to nab a smattering of fans from many genres. It’s all a bit dark and brooding, a touch poppy and a tad indie, all wrapped up in a decent dance beat. “Vive le Eurodance … Bastille”, quoth Paul Lester of The Guardian this past summer, and we agree.

I particularly liked the cover of City High’s ‘What Would You Do?’ It shows a little more ownership of a style. That tune and ‘Sleepsong’ I feel are their strongest entries. Having played The Great Escape (a fave festival here at TGTF) both this year and last, Bastille is a band that is worth following to see where they go.

Interestingly, Bastille collaborated with another of our Ten to Watch in 2013 nominees, Gabrielle Aplin (who came in at #9), for a Fleetwood Mac cover that is downright brilliant (see video below). ‘Dreams’ holds all the original eeriness and adds an earthy base that makes it all that much more compelling. This you should check out.



Live Gig Video: Blonde Louis cover Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ in their Cover Story series

By on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 at 4:00 pm

Letchworth’s Blonde Louis conclude their Cover Story series with this cover version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’. Being a Mac fan from way back, I can attest that this version does the original proud. Watch it below.



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