Preview: Neil Young and his Crazy Horse-men Announce UK Arena Tour
Thursday 13th December 2012 | Martin
Neil Young will be rocking back to the UK with sidekicks Crazy Horse for four dates (between 10-17 June) next summer in support of their new album Psychedelic Pill.
It is Young’s association and material with Crazy Horse that has gifted him the unofficial title: “Godfather of Grunge”. Though many associate grunge as a sound of the 90s – with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney – Neil Young and company stylised this genre at least a decade earlier. Their infamous album Rust Never Sleeps, featuring songs such as ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)’ with its trudging guitar riff, rambling solos, and characteristic overdriven distortion, is a definite precursor to Nirvana’s Nevermind or Jam’s Ten.
But what of their new album? The two-disk epic, with a mammoth running time of over 87 minutes, is only epic in length. Credit is due to Young and the crazy bunch (as I shall now refer to them) for their exhibition of stamina, but they’ve failed to reclaim their “ragged glory” of the past. The album opener, ‘Driftin’ Back’, contributes, in orchestral-proportions, nearly half an hour’s worth of music. Young laments about the music’s modern format (mp3) and assesses his place in this new world: “Worry that you can’t hear me now / And feel the time I took”. Even his hardcore following will be itching to hit “next” on their iPods because he took too long. Then there’s the title track, Psychedelic Pill, which sounds as though the band are trapped in a Pringles carton that’s rolling around the deck of a ship on a particularly bad Atlantic crossing.
Now disregard that information. Mr. Young has crafted 35 studio albums, releasing 2 albums with Crazy Horse this year alone, and not all are perfect. However, old Neil boasts an immense catalogue of songs, without which the words rock, grunge, or music, would just be meaningless collections of letters in the dictionary. His live performances are raw and flawless. At Hard Rock Calling (2009) in Hyde Park, Neil serenaded the crowd with ‘Old Man’ and ‘Heart of Gold’, smashed the many eardrums with heavy tunes such as ‘Fuckin’ Up’, and even welcomed Sir Paul McCartney as a special guest. As for 2013, he’ll be bringing Crazy Horse all over the UK.
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (June 10, 2013)
Birmingham LG Arena (11)
Glasgow SECC (13)
London O2 Arena (17)
Tickets go on sale at 9am (GMT) on 14 December, 2012
Here’s a clip of Neil Young singing ‘Down by the River’ at Hard Rock Calling, 2009:
By Martin Cater (@MartinCater)