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Category Archives: Entertainment & Arts

Miles Kane: This is my Adele album

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Media captionMiles Kane explains the meaning behind forthcoming album Coup de Grace

Just outside a coffee shop in hipster East London Miles Kane is studiously searching through his phone.

One of rock ‘n’ roll’s best connected men is not looking to get hold of one of his many muso/model/footballer mates, however.

He is – as it turns out – just looking for somewhere to enjoy a Sunday roast.

The LA resident, originally from the Wirral, has been living the California dream for a few years now but is back in town, in his best grey fur jacket, to promote Loaded; his first solo single since 2013’s Better Than That.

And though gravy-covered dinners may not be a staple of a lazy Sunday afternoon in the City of Angels, one thing that is universal for sure is heartbreak.

Kane’s comeback track, co-written by Lana Del Rey and Jamie T in his US apartment, is the first taste of what he’s calling his “break-up album” – Coup De Grace, which is French for “the final blow” and out this summer [date TBC].

“I’m giving it the Adele one!” he jokes, sitting down to chat at the BBC the next day.

“Lyrically it’s very personal and the delivery of the vocal is quite different for me.

“On the verses, there’s a lot more words than what I would do normally and then it opens up on the chorus.

“It’s just a real mid-tempo, heavy ‘get your walk on’ tune, you know?”

Girl troubles

While the confessional lyrics, pointed delivery and angular riffs remind you of another Merseysider – John Lennon’s Cold Turkey-era solo work, or even Mancunian rock ‘n’ roll star Liam Gallagher’s cocksure debut solo track Wall of Glass – Loaded actually came together due to a chance meeting in his adopted West coast home.

“I’ve known Jamie for 10 years, it wasn’t really planned,” he explains.

“He was over in LA last January, so we were going to hang out for a week and just jam and see if we could write some tunes.

“From the first moment we started it just really clicked.

“Then he was playing this little acoustic gig and I went there to see him and as I walk in I see Lana.

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Lana A-Del-e Rey

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Jamie T co-wrote Kane’s comeback single Loaded

“I’d met her a couple of times before at some festivals years ago”, adds the 32-year-old.

“I had a bit of a face on me because I’d just split up with my girlfriend at the time.

“She was like ‘what’s up with you? Girl troubles?’

“I said ‘yeah… Is that obvious?’

“Then she went ‘what you up to this week?’

“I said ‘me and Jamie are writing’ and she said; ‘I’d love to hear it.’

The next day Miss Del Rey FaceTimed the two Brits abroad while they were enjoying a coffee and arranged to come over and help them finish the “upbeat and kind of punky” track.

Loaded formed the basis for what Miles describes as “probably my favourite album to make”.

“Me and Jamie, we’d do a tune a day, it was really instant and quick lyrically and melody wise.

“Whatever got put on the demo stayed, and I like that, there was no pining for weeks – it just all fit together really well.

“I’ve surprised myself and the people around me as well.”

Thicker skin

While apparently unlucky in love at the time of writing, Miles then put the record on hold to re-discover his mojo with his other, more cinematic-sounding band; The Last Shadow Puppets.

In 2016, alongside Arctic Monkeys frontman and best friend Alex Turner, the pair toured the world, wore the suits and bagged their second UK number one album.

Now, after the Arctics officially opened up their musical lunar Hotel + Casino to the public, Miles is left to go it alone once more on record, on stage and – perhaps most dauntingly – in interviews (“especially doing stuff like this, I find different”).

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The Last Shadow Puppets

So does the former Little Flames and Rascals singer/guitarist – who admits to having been “bored out of my brains” of late – feel he has something to prove on his solo return?

“I’d love to say no but I do feel that, I always have done to be fair.

“I think when I was younger I really felt that, now I’m older I can accept things more and I’ve got thicker skin.

“Every record I make I try and prove something and try and make it better than the last one but for this one… I don’t know what it is but it feels different,

“I feel different, I felt different making it, I feel different singing it – in a good way.

“You always change, the root of you is the same but you’ve learned more stuff and been through more stuff personally and hopefully you’re better for that.

“I’m 32 now, so loads of early mid-life crises!

“You’ve got to go through that to come out of it.”

Kane was accused of propositioning Spin journalist Rachel Brodsky following an interview on the last Puppets tour.

He later apologised for his “ill-judged” remarks in a subsequent note to Broadsky, writing that he was “mortified that it made you feel uncomfortable”.

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Lauren Dukoff

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Miles Kane: “I feel different”

Reflecting on the incident a few years later, Kane says; “In my mind guys and girls have always been equal.

“I was raised by my mum, who’s a strong woman – and my aunties, and for me there’s never been any difference, that’s how I see it.”

The Scouser, who also now has his own fashion range, has clearly had ants in his well-tailored pants to get back up on stage and kicked off his new UK solo tour last night in Carlisle.

He’ll go on to perform alongside Iggy Pop and Queens of the Stone Age at their own event in London’s Finsbury Park at the end of June, followed by another big gig at Glasgow’s TRSNMT festival the next night, on the same bill as his old pals the Monkeys.

“I’m just buzzing to be back” beams Miles, whose cousins are in fellow Merseyside band The Coral.

“I miss being on stage so much. It just sorts my head out. Writing sorts my head out.

“I can just beat myself up and start stressing about things but once I get on stage it sort of releases all that.”

Shadow Puppet to shadow boxer

As well as playing through his problems – girl or otherwise – on the guitar, Miles appears to be coming back fighting this time.

Quite literally.

The Liverpool FC fan – who admits to having “lost touch with football” [Champions League included] in LA – may have metaphorically named his forthcoming third album after his favourite wrestling move but says he now favours another athletic endeavour all together.

“If anything my sport at the minute I’ve been getting into is boxing.

“I do [spar] but I’m terrible.

“It’s good for my mind but I’m terrible if is anything coming back at me!”

Having toughened up and let his guard down a little more these days, The Wirral riddler is aiming to deliver some knockout performances this summer.

He’ll also be hoping to find himself out of trouble and back in love/the charts during a welcome extended stay back on these shores.

“There’s definitely a lot of nonsense over there [LA] and you realise when you come home.

“But you can get into trouble on the moon.”

Especially if your mate runs a new casino up there.

Loaded is out now and Miles’ third solo album Coup De Grace is out this summer.

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Star Wars: Emilia Clarke says franchise now puts women front and centre

Emilia Clarke, who features in Solo: A Star Wars Story, says women aren’t sidelined in the franchise’s most recent releases.

The actor, known for playing Khaleesi in HBO’s Game of Thrones, talks about her new role and the peculiar ways fans approach her.

Dale Winton and Graeme Souness – and 5 other unlikely celebrity friendships

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Dale Winton and Graeme Souness on a night out in 2002

They say “opposites attract” in love, but the same can be said for friendship.

Some were surprised to see that former hard-tackling footballer Graeme Souness went to the funeral of Supermarket Sweep host Dale Winton on Tuesday.

In fact, the pair were good friends for many years, after meeting through Souness’s wife.

“We met in a restaurant in London and became great friends,” the former Scotland captain told BBC 5 live last year. “We used to see him on holiday in southern Spain when we all went there.”

Their friendship blossomed to such an extent that Winton asked Souness to be his best man.

He proudly agreed, as all good friends would – unaware until the big day itself that it was just for a spoof wedding on BBC Three.

Here are five other unlikely celebrity friendships.

Anna Wintour and Roger Federer

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Getty Images

The long-standing Vogue editor – widely revered in the fashion world – is known for her icy, restrained demeanour. That is, it seems, unless she is speaking to tennis icon Roger Federer.

Writing in Tennis magazine with rarely-seen warmth, Wintour opened up about their friendship, which began when they met for lunch through a mutual friend in 2005.

She gushingly admitted that while “everyone calls themselves Roger Federer fans”, she considers herself “a groupie”.

“It’s no secret that he’s appeared in Vogue about as often as Karlie Kloss,” she continued.

The Swiss ace has gone on to join her at numerous fashion shows, a world Wintour says he is “desperate to talk about”.

And when Federer accepted the her invitation to attend the Met Gala last year, Wintour said: “Roger was by far the best dressed. Nineteen Grand Slams, one Met Gala and counting.” Game, set and costume match.

Jessica Williams and JK Rowling

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BBC / Getty

As an actress, comedian and former senior correspondent on The Daily Show, Williams is no stranger to showbusiness – however the origin story of her friendship with Rowling resembles a fan’s dream.

Speaking on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert last year, Williams recounted how their relationship was sparked by a mix of Twitter and some liquid courage.

After the Harry Potter author followed her on Twitter, Williams only decided to slide into her DMs in the midst of a night out.

“My boyfriend [and I] were at a bar and we had been drinking and [he was like], ‘You should DM her,’ and I was like, ‘no!’ And so I did a shot and then I messaged her like, ‘Heeey JoJo!'”

“She was like, ‘When’s the next time you’re gonna be in London? I promise I’m not this blabby after the fourth cocktail,’ and I was like AHHHH!” said Williams.

The pair, who share the same birthday like all good BFFs, went on to meet for “six hours of food and cocktails”.

Their relationship turned professional in March when Rowling cast Williams in the role of Professor Eulalie (Lally Hicks) in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel.

Ed Sheeran and Courteney Cox

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BBC / Getty

One is a contemporary pop star, the other is famed for playing Monica in the ever-popular ’90s sitcom Friends.

And yet despite their differences in space and time, the pair hit it off after being introduced by mutual friends.

Sheeran even revealed he stayed at Cox’s Malibu beach house while he was writing material for his album x, which was released in 2014.

He told The Sun newspaper: “There was no rent but I made the bed and cups of tea and things like that. If you’re staying at your friend’s house, you should treat it like your own.

“Well, actually, that’s a lie – because I don’t make my own bed at home.”

Fast-forward to the present and it appears Sheeran has repaid his dues in another form – successfully playing matchmaker between Cox and Snow Patrol musician Johnny McDaid.

Eminem and Elton John

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This one dates back to the early noughties, when Eminem was criticised for apparently homophobic lyrics in his music.

LGBT campaigners were angered by his use of derogatory terms to describe gay people on The Marshall Mathers LP.

One person who came to the rapper’s defence was Sir Elton.

At the height of the controversy, the pair famously performed Stan together at the Grammy Awards in 2001, at the end of which they hugged and held hands.

“For me, Eminem was never homophobic,” Sir Elton said.

“I listened to the whole of the Marshall Mathers album… and I was floored by it. And I thought, how could anyone think this is… he’s just writing about the way things are. Not how he thinks, but the way things are.”

Not only did they become firm friends, but Slim Shady even sent Sir Elton a rather bizarre wedding gift, as the Rocket Man singer recalled last year.

Danny Dyer and Harold Pinter

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Dyer, who plays Mick Carter in EastEnders, first met the legendary playwright in 1999 when the actor played a small role in Celebration at London’s Almeida Theatre.

Pinter, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, subsequently asked him to appear in No Man’s Land at the National Theatre.

He later cast Dyer as Joey in his final play The Homecoming in 2008, months before the playwright’s death from cancer.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2013, Dyer – often living up to the image of an East End hardman – said he was “devastated” at the death.

“He was the only person who I feared but loved,” he said. “He was a tyrant… but he could get away with it because he was so enchanting. He was a poet.”

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Channel 4 offers £1m in contest for 'positive' gender ads

Channel 4 launches a contest to find an idea to change the way women are portrayed in TV ads.

Hollywood films ‘had fewer LGBT characters in 2017’

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Marvel Studios

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Valkyrie’s (centre) bisexuality is not mentioned in Thor: Ragnarok

The Hollywood film industry has been criticised for a drop in the number of LGBT characters in film in 2017.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that 12% of mainstream releases featured LGBT characters last year.

That was down from 18% in 2016 and is the lowest level recorded by GLAAD, which started the index six years ago.

GLAAD’s study did find some positives, including that the racial diversity of characters had improved in 2017.

Of the 109 studio films released last year, 14 featured LGBT characters, according to the Studio Responsibility Index. Of those LGBT characters, 43% were white, with 28.5% black and 28.5% Latin American.

Examples include Zoe Kravitz’s character Blair in Rough Night and Demian Bichir’s character Lope in Alien: Covenant.

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said there had been some signs of “welcome progress” in 2018 with films like Love, Simon; Annihilation; and Blockers.

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Marvel Studios

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Black Panther has been criticised for not developing character’s sexualities in the film

She said: “If Hollywood wants to remain relevant with these audiences and keep them buying tickets, they must create stories that are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know.

“This needs to take place in the major studio releases that play in wide release all over the country – and indeed, all around the world – as well as in the indie films that have long been home to stand-out queer and trans stories.”

There was criticism for some superhero movies, such as Thor: Ragnarok, which cut a scene that would have confirmed the character Valkyrie as bisexual.

The group also noted how the sexualities of comic book characters Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn didn’t make it into film adaptations.

Of the “inclusive” studio films, 64% featured gay men, 36% had lesbian characters and 14% included bisexual characters, but none had transsexual or non-binary characters.

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Ian Berry: Huddersfield artist creates works in denim

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Ian Berry

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Ian Berry uses different washes of denim to create his artworks, which many say look like paintings from afar

When Ian Berry cleared out the wardrobe at his mother’s house he found a pile of old jeans that needed to be sorted.

Most people would take them to their nearest charity shop, but the 34-year-old from Huddersfield, formerly known as Denimu, shaped them into portraits.

His artworks may look like paintings from a distance, but they are made completely from denim.

Using different textures and washes, he creates light and shade from the hardwearing fabric.

Berry, who uses scissors and glue to piece together his artwork, said: “I take a photograph then try to replicate it in fabric.

“I can cut something out and it looks like a shiny window, like a reflection or something. If, say, around the pocket of the jeans there is a nice curve, that’s where I’ll cut.”

“To me it is part of the challenge to make a matt surface look shiny.”

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Ian Berry

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Berry has talked about how his work reflects the “fading fabric of the urban environment” and our changing communities

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Ian Berry

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He works by taking photographs and replicating them in shades of denim

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Brad Rankin

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Ian Berry’s latest installation is in Kentucky, but he would love to exhibit in his home town

Berry started off using jeans donated by family and friends but now has about 2,000 pairs to work with – many donated by denim brands.

His work looks at how people relate to one another, how our communities are changing, and how – and he pardons his own pun – there is a “fading fabric of the urban environment”.

“Where I live now in London I know all the neighbours, but most people in London don’t talk to each other.

“Pubs are closing down, they are the places where interaction used to happen.

“In the past we used to compare ourselves to people in the community; now we compare ourselves to people online, to celebrities.”

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Emil Langvad

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He has worked on commissions and created portraits of Debbie Harry and Ayrton Senna

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Enclave Media

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In April his installation Art in Denim was on display in Paducah, Kentucky

Berry, who now has fans all over the world, said to get the most impact his work is best seen in real life.

“Even from about a metre away people think they look like paintings.

It’s because of this that Berry wants to show his work in the north, bringing a touch of what he has shown in sell-out shows in London and Sweden and museums, galleries and art fairs in the United States.

“I’d love to exhibit in Huddersfield but I want it to be the right project. I want to reach people who wouldn’t normally go to an art gallery, to make an impact.”

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Lucinda Grange

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The artist said his work is still best seen in real life, and photographs do not bring it to life in the same way

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Ian Berry

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He also looks at the theme of home, and how people may seem to have everything but inside are unhappy

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Brad Rankin

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Berry – a Huddersfield Town fan – cites the North’s role in the industrial revolution with making denim what it is today

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Ian Berry

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He immortalised Ayrton Senna in a picture using denim jeans donated by the racing driver’s family

James Arthur sued by The Script over Say You Won’t Let Go

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Say You Won’t Let Go has had more than 600 million views on YouTube alone

The Script have confirmed they’re suing James Arthur for copyright infringement.

They say his 2016 single Say You Won’t Let Go contains near identical beats and melodies to The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, which they released in 2008.

They band’s hired the same lawyer who successfully represented Marvin Gaye’s estate against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over Blurred Lines.

James Arthur’s previously said said there’s no case to answer.

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The Man Who Can’t Be Moved featured on The Script’s debut album

James Arthur signed to Simon Cowell’s label Syco after he won the X Factor in 2012, but was dropped in 2014 after a series of inappropriate Twitter rants.

Say You Won’t Let Go was the first song James Arthur released after re-signing to Syco in 2016.

In a statement to Billboard, lawyer Richard Busch said: “It’s widely known Mr Arthur was dropped by his record label for public controversies, which caused a break in his career.

“It wasn’t until the release of Say You Won’t Let Go that he achieved worldwide success.”

Say You Won’t Go spent three weeks at number one in the UK in 2016, with The Script’s lawsuit seeking financial compensation for the streaming and touring revenue connected to the song.

The suit also reportedly claims James Arthur approached The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue in 2014, asking whether he wanted to collaborate on a song – but that the frontman turned down his request.

Speaking to The Sun last year about the supposed similarities in the two songs, James Arthur said that there was “no case” to argue over.

“It’s 2017, there’s only seven notes in music,” he said.

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Will Smith ‘to release World Cup song’ for Russia 2018

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It looks like Will Smith is involved with the official World Cup song for Russia 2018.

Reports say he’ll release a new song on Friday to tie in with the tournament which begins next month.

Will appeared to confirm his involvement by posting a picture on Instagram with the caption: One Life to Live. Live it Up. #WorldCup

He tagged Diplo, Nicky Jam and Kosovar Albanian singer Era Istrefi in the post.

Newsbeat has contacted Will Smith’s management for more information.

It’s not known what the track is called but usually World Cup songs are performed at the start or end of the tournament.

The official song for the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014 was We Are One (Ole Ola) by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte.

The 2010 tournament in South Africa had Waka Waka by Shakira.

Thirty-two countries will take part in the World Cup which begins on 14 June.

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New events plan for Hull former culture city

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The projections of Made in Hull opened the 2017 events

Plans for two new large events have been revealed for Hull after last year’s City of Culture programme.

A new company – Absolutely Cultured – has taken over from Hull 2017, which attracted an audience of more than five million people to its events.

Katy Fuller, creative director, said it is planning a three-year programme but intends “to go on for much longer”.

Its first big event is to set up 10,000 large dominoes across the city centre, which will be toppled in a day.

More stories from East Yorkshire

Ms Fuller said: “People really did get absolutely cultured during 2017 and we always talked of the legacy. We have a huge audience in Hull.”

She added that the company would be much smaller than Hull 2017.

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Thomas Arran

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Hull hosted UK Pride in July

City of Culture

  • There were more than 2,800 activities, installations and exhibitions during the year-long cultural celebration
  • Younger audiences aged 16-34 years old were under-represented at events, though there was a high representation of people aged 55-64
  • The 800 new jobs created since 2013, in the visitor and cultural sector, were a result of £220m investment “fully or partly attributable” to the City of Culture award
  • About 2,4000 volunteers provided an estimated 337,000 hours of help
  • Annual visitor figures are expected to see an increase of 1.3 million on 2013, when Hull was chosen to be city of culture

Source: Report from University of Hull’s Culture, Place and Policy Institute.

The two-mile (3.2km) run of dominoes the size of breeze block will weave in and out of buildings across the city.

It will be built in one day in August by hundreds of volunteers.

The city will also host Urban Legends: Northern Projection, which will make use of animated projections, later in the year.

It follows on from the success of the similar opening event, Made in Hull, in 2017.

The company is also to run Humber Street Gallery and, in conjunction with the BBC, the spoken word festival Contains Strong Language.