New Order Officially Reform!

It's official... NEW ORDER are back in business! Former bassist Peter Hook told the BBC today that the band hit it off so well at last weekend's V96 Festival that they've booked studio time to record a new album, hopefully to see the light of day by next year. The band is scheduled in the studio sometime soon after Christmas, and have also stated their intent to put on a US tour in support of the new record.

Depeche Mode Winter Tour

Today saw the unveiling of DEPECHE MODE's US tour itinerary for this winter. The dates, which stretch from late October through mid December, have been added to our TOURS page... use the link on your left to take you there.

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

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.

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)


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.

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.

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.