Lightning Seeds Change Direction

Well, a new site, but virtually NO NEWS!! It's been a pretty dead week on the UK music scene, with the ONLY happenings being at last weekend's V98 festival. The only bit of shocking news from the weekender comes from, of all people, the LIGHTNING SEEDS' IAN BROUDIE, who announced onstage that this show would be his last in this format. Apparantly Broudie intends on abandoning his patented style of perfect pop in exchange for a more laid-back, loose sound on future releases. What this means for the rest of his touring and studio band is unknown.

V98 Webcasts

THE V98 FESTIVAL weekend is upon us, and organizers are setting up several netchats and RealAudio webcasts throughout the weekend. Go there and see for yourself at

Excellent Online 2.0

Cheers all! As you can see, we've shifted our look a wee bit! Welcome officially to Excellent Online V 2.0, which we launched yesterday (see previous news story.) As with any new site, we're still debugging, so if you encounter some links that aren't working, don't panic: We're working out all the glitches.


The Death of Music?

Ah, yes, a new column for a brand new, spiffed-up site. Hopefully you like the look of Excellent Online V 2.0. We couldn't be happier with the response and support that you all have given us over the past year - makes me all warm-n-fuzzy-like. Seriously, though, we're receiving HUNDREDS, almost thousands, of hits daily, and all it does it make us even MORE determined to become your #1 source for UK music-related activities. But the question one must ask oneself this season: Are there any activities WORTH writing about right now?


Boo Radleys and Moose Return

Two bits of WONDERFUL news to share with you all this weekend about two of our favorite bands, who are both returning to action:

First off, Creation has finally announced the return of the BOO RADLEYS. The Boo's new single is to be called "Free Huey," and will come out on October 2nd, followed by the new album, "Kingsize," on October 16. Reportedly, the album has a very poppy sound reminiscent of their "Wake Up"-era recordings.


Verve's Return To Stage

Well, THE VERVE kicked off their US tour tonight at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and Excellent Online was there for the festivities. To quelch the Internet-rumour-of-the-week, there was NO opening act (although we've STILL been hearing word from slightly-better-than-average sources that Noel Gallagher might pop up for an acoustic set on at least one of the US dates). In the meantime, what we DID get was the Verve's new pedal steel guitarist, BJ Cole. The addition of Cole to the line-up provided some stellar moments in "The Drugs Don't Work" and "Bitter Sweet Symphony," among others. Last month's announcement that guitarist Nick McCabe was taking a sabbatical from the live stage has caused many to speculate whether or not the band could pull off a live set of the usual calibre. The answer is a hearty YES. Simon Tong and Ashcroft himself took on more of an active role with respect to guitar playing, and Cole more than made up for the difference. The whole band seemed pretty positive, with occasional grins from Ashcroft and an un-ending smile on the face of Simon Jones. All in all, a decent time -- we'll hopefully have pictures available on the site soon. In the meantime, rest in the knowledge that it looks as if The Verve are FAR from finished.

UNKLE Sets Release Date

Besides the Oasis b-sides album that we told you about last week, another project finally seeing the light of day is the much anticipated first album from U.N.K.L.E. Following in the likes of Massive Attack and This Mortal Coil as a revolving-door collaboraboration more than a traditional band, U.N.K.L.E. is a superstar project fronted by James LaVelle, founder and president of Mo'Wax Records.


Ryder Quits Black Grape

We told you about it on April 8, but this week it's official: BLACK GRAPE are no more. Shaun Ryder has told Melody Maker this week that he has no future plans to record again under the name of the Grape. However, NME is reporting that Black Grape's management company says otherwise, and to not to put the tombstone on the Grape grave just quite yet. We'll keep you updated as the saga progresses.

Massive Attack Pullout of Verve US Tour

Following in the "we-told-you-so" vein, when MASSIVE ATTACK made it public last week that they were withdrawing from The Verve's US tour, we told you that they would likely announce their own North American tour for September. This weekend, they did just that -- check the tours page for details.

MTV VMA Nominations

This week, MTV (US) announced the nominees for this year's Video Music Awards. Here's a look at this year's UK-related nominees:

Video Of The Year:
The Verve, "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (director Walter Stern)

Best Male Video:
12David Bowie, "I'm Afraid of Americans" (directors Dom & Nic)
Eric Clapton, "My Father's Eyes" (director Kevin Godley)