wed 29/11/2023

New Music Lockdown Special 2: Lady Gaga, Gary Numan, Jess Gillam, Charli XCX and more | reviews, news & interviews

New Music Lockdown Special 2: Lady Gaga, Gary Numan, Jess Gillam, Charli XCX and more

New Music Lockdown Special 2: Lady Gaga, Gary Numan, Jess Gillam, Charli XCX and more

What's new out there to wrap your ears and eyes around?

Lady Gaga announces the One World Concert

Another week of lockdown so another fresh and lively update on what’s out there, including an interactive orchestra experience, DJ sets, and a concert in your own living room. Dive in!

One World: Together at Home – Curated by Lady Gaga

The big event in popular music this week is, without doubt, this epic from-their-homes broadcast organized by Global Citizen, the Global Poverty Project’s New York festival arm, and the World Health Organization, in support of frontline healthcare workers. Put together by Lady Gaga, it features an American-leaning who’s who of music stars – Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Jess Glynne. Elton John, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, The Killers, Ellie Goulding, Celine Dion, Luis Fonsi, Shawn Mendes and many more – but also a wide selection of names not associated with music – what will the likes of David & Victoria Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Samuel L Jackson and Lily Tomlin be doing? Initially shown at 8.00 PM EST on Saturday 18th (1.00 AM on 19th in the UK), there’s also a pre-show that begins at 2.00 PM EST (7.00 PM in the UK) which features a bunch of huge names too, including some of the above. It’s unclear – like so much at the moment! – whether Brits will be able to watch live but there will be a BBC1 collation of the best of it, with added UK material, the following evening, timings TBA.

Below: Watch Lady Gaga Zoom into Stephen Colbert's Late Night Lockdown Show to announce the One World concert

Discog’s Homespun Livestream

This week Oregon’s world-spanning online record store, Discogs, launched a daily “livestream content series”, which is, in effect, a DJ set broadcast from Facebook Live, with all donations going to MusicCare’s Covid-19 Relief Fund. Focusing on independent labels and “record store DJs” the remaining sets this week come from Hannah Carlen, representing the Secretly Group (including labels such as Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans), Rob Sevier representing Secretly’s archive/reissue associates, the Numero group, and Ben Blackwell for Jack White’s Third Man Records, so we can expect some vibrant, off-the-beaten-track tunes. To listen and watch, check out Discogs Facebook page at 7.00 PM British Summer Time (2.00 PM EST and 11.00 AM Pacific Time).

Gary Numan – Acoustic

Eighties new wave synth-lord and 21st century goth rocker Gary Numan has posted a 20 minute set of acoustic lockdown versions. The four songs in question are an obscure 1978 cut - and one of Numan’s very few acoustic songs - “Crimes of Passion”, “Everyday I Die”, from the same period, which he acknowledges is wildly inappropriate, “Bleed”, a Nineties song that works well acoustically, and the stone cold  classic “Down in the Park”. The latter pair feature one of his daughters on backing vocals: she hums the synth part to “Down in the Park”. Numan’s demeanour is endearing. He starts with the most self-deprecating introduction, possibly in the history of the world, he seems genuinely embarrassed that he is not an acoustic guitar player and occasionally fluffs it, and says he feels that playing songs is hardly a worthy response to the global crisis. In his case it is: truly charming.

Below: Watch Gary Numan’s 20 minute lockdown acoustic set

Jess Gillam’s Virtual Scatch Orchestra

Popular Cumbrian saxophonist and broadcaster Jess Gillam has honed in on the fact that it’s all very well listening to music in lockdown-land, but what about those who need the buzz of connecting via playing it together? To this end she provided parts for any musical instrument to join in with a version of the late period David Bowie song “Where Are We Now?”. Participants have sent these in during the last fortnight and, once she has knitted them together using whatever tech she’s using, she’ll play along with them this Friday (17th) via her Instagram, @jessgillamsax, at 6.00 PM UK-time. This is the first one but we’re assured there will be more via

Below: Watch Jess Gillam introduce her Virtual Scratch Orchestra

Real Estate Quarantour

New York indie rockers Real Estate have made a quantum leap in in the virtual performance game by bringing a live set to… your home. They have hooked up with Texan creative agency Callen and produced a platform for iPhone or Android that allows you to beam them onto your bookshelf or kitchen sideboard or wherever to play a set based around their album of earlier this year, The Main Thing, a jangling literate affair, tinted with melancholy that, appropriately enough, takes a long look at at the general state of things in the world and our collective psyche.  Head to on iPhone or Android to watch the show (NB iPhones must use Safari in iOS 11 or later).

Below: Watch the trailer ofor Real Estate's Quarantour

Charli XCX

The lockdown has brought out the best in some: post-modern pop sensation Charli XCX has been a one woman hive of activity during the last few weeks. Initially she was busy with chatty video posts and interviews, for instance with her collaborator Chris from Christine and the Queens, but she’s now committed to making an album in the space of a month, collaborating online with both fans and her pop peers. The album will be partly inspired by her relationship with boyfriend Huck Kwong, with whom she is isolating and, apparently, feeling closer to. Provisionally entitled How I’m Feeling Now, the album is due 15th May and its progress can be followed on her wide variety of social media platforms.

Below: Watch the latest - week 1 - album update from Charli XCX


Gary Numan didn't sing I Die; You Die, he sang Everyday I Die.

D'oh! Thanks, Ian, Now corrected.

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