Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Paul Lester

Paul Lester

Paul Lester has been Features Editor of Melody Maker and Deputy Editor of Uncut. He went freelance in January 2007. Since then he has written books on Gang Of Four and Wire, and interviewed over 200 musicians (plus a few authors and actors) for the Guardian, the Sunday Times Culture section, Telegraph Arts & Books, the Mail On Sunday Live Night & Day, the Daily Express, Record Collector, the Scotsman and the Jewish Chronicle. He also writes reviews for Q, composes the Guardian's daily Critics' Picks and has introduced more than 530 new acts via his Guardian online New Band Of The Day feature. He is currently writing a book on Pink.

The Guardian New Band of the Day

163 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Morrissey: Civic Centre, Wolverhampton

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 7 January 1989

MORRISSEY COMES to the Midlands to play eight songs, two of which receive their first airing tonight, and only 1,700 followers adorned with the Stephen ...

New Order: The Almighty New Order

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 7 January 1989

New Order: G-Mex Centre, Manchester ...

The Darling Buds: International, Manchester

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 28 January 1989

FROM SIMON Reynold's held-back vituperative vitriol to Chris Roberts' rapturous rivers of rhapsodies, there's no denying the sheer weight of wise or wondrous words that ...

The Mission, Pete Wylie: Hillsborough: You'll Never Walk Alone

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 13 May 1989

IN THE WAKE OF THE HILLSBOROUGH TRAGEDY, THE MISSION, PETE WYLIE, MICK JONES AND THE LA'S PERFORMED AT LIVERPOOL'S ROYAL COURT THEATRE TO RAISE MONEY ...

Cookie Crew: The Cookie Crew: Boardwalk, Manchester

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 27 May 1989

WITH TITLES like 'Black Is The Way', The Cookie Crew envince a compelling need to have their say, to disseminate informative missives on a whole ...

Miracle Legion: The Boardwalk, Manchester

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 22 July 1989

MIRACLE LEGION don't fulfill any of the obligations of my current agenda, being neither a total gross-out bludgeon nor a comatose drift. 'Storyteller' doesn't strike ...

The Primitives: Before The Crash

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 2 September 1989

Lazy 86-88. Paul: "WELL, THE FIRST FOUR SONGS ARE crap for starters! That first record goes for £30 now, those four songs made up our ...

Alex Chilton: London University

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 10 March 1990

WHAT BECOMES a legend most? Taking drugs helps. Being renowned for a certain volatile temperament that involves smashing up studio consoles and putting your hands ...

Depeche Mode: Violator

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 10 March 1990

DEPECHE MODE have always been the poor relations of New Order and Kraftwerk, offering pedestrian, sometimes inconsequential variations on the electro-pop theme. Their simplified interpretations ...

Adeva: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 28 April 1990

IF YOU WERE there, you'd know. Even if you weren't, you could imagine. The sight of Adeva's generously proportioned body squeezed into a microscopic black ...

Peter Murphy: Deep (Beggars Banquet)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 12 May 1990

PETER MURPHY knows what time it is. He's clocked the hippy-gumbo dancing hordes, seen the shaggy clothes and witnessed the wazzy smiles. He's even checked ...

The Chimes: Ringing In The Changes

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 26 May 1990

WITH THE TOP 10 SUCCESS OF THEIR COVER OF U2'S 'I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR', THE CHIMES LOOK SET TO JOIN SOUL ...

Bobby Brown: Star Gazing: Bobby Brown: Wembley Arena, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 16 June 1990

BOBBY BROWN may be less obsessively single-minded than Prince (he doesn't write/produce/sing/play every last note on his records), and Michael Jackson surely beats him jewel-encrusted ...

The Darling Buds: Buds-U-Like

Interview by Paul Lester, Sky, August 1990

BEHIND THEIR pop outlaw image – which recently earned them a modelling assignment for The Gap – The Darling Buds have a crowd of hardcore ...

Swervedriver: Chrome Sweet Chrome

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 1 December 1990

This year, Creation broke the mould and signed their very first kick-ass rock'n'roll animals – a hard-edged, bone-rattling death machine called SWERVEDRIVER. With their second ...

Vanilla Ice: Licensed To Chill

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 15 December 1990

Having enjoyed Number One success on both sides of the Atlantic with 'Ice Ice Baby', VANILLA ICE, on the eve off the release of his ...

Prefab Sprout: McAloony Tunes

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 5 January 1991

Prefab Sprout's latest album, Jordan: The Comeback, was lavished with even more praise than their previous two classics, and their European dates are inspiring the ...

Ice Cube: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 13 April 1991

DRY ICE ...

Alexander O'Neal: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 27 April 1991

YOU KNOW, I've never been laughed at by so many people for coming here tonight, to which I can only respond — your problem is ...

Blur: The Astoria, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 4 May 1991

RED ALERT ...

Kraftwerk: Barrowlands, Glasgow

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 20 July 1991

THEY SMILE. That's the first surprise. Dressed in black, the four Kraftwerk-ers briskly stride on stage to take their places behind the giant computer consoles ...

Slowdive: Dive Bomb: Slowdive: Just For A Day (Creation)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 31 August 1991

WHEN SLOWDIVE gave us their astonishingly lovely eponymous debut single in last December, it sounded, to these ears at least, like the most auspicious debut ...

Anthrax, Public Enemy: Read My Apocalypse: Public Enemy/Anthrax: The Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 18 January 1992

IF POWER is a turn-on and intelligence is an aphrodisiac, then Public Enemy are surely one of the sexiest groups on the planet. ...

PM Dawn: The Reality Gap

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 15 February 1992

They've been nominated for a Brits award as Best International Newcomers, and their new single, 'Reality Used To Be A friend Of Mine', is a ...

Shakespears Sister: Idol Fantasies

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 20 February 1992

With their single, 'Stay', high in the charts and their astonishing video fuelling pub conversation throughout the land, PAUL LESTER meets SHAKESPEAR'S SISTER, learns about ...

Chic: Le Freak Scenes

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 14 March 1992

As massive an influence on modern dance as Kraftwerk and James Brown, CHIC have finally come back after years producing records for likes of Madonna ...

Ride

Interview by Paul Lester, Rock CD, November 1992

BOYS AND GIRLS. Musos and teenies. Schoolkids and scholars. Indie-bods and bank clerks. At the start of 1992, Ride attracted them all.  ...

A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, Joy Division, New Order: Factory R.I.P.

Report by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 5 December 1992

FACTORY RECORDS, arguably the most influential record label of the Eighties, fell into the hands of the Receiver last week — after months of speculation ...

Free Kitten: Question: Whaddya Get if you Cross Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth with Julie Cafritz of Pussey Galore? Answer: Free Kitten

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 16 January 1993

FREE KITTENEXACTLY 12 MONTHS AGO, blonde terrorist Kim Gordon of avant-grungers Sonic Youth and white panther Julie Cafritz, once the glamour and guitars in Pussy ...

Pop Will Eat Itself: We're Not Serious Artists

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 23 January 1993

THE GIGTHE FIRST-TIME I see Pop Will Eat Itself, It is nine o'clock on Wednesday, Clint is wearing baggy white pyjamas, Graham is fiddling with ...

Suede: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 22 May 1993

THIS IS happening with our permission. We wanted it to happen. We virtually willed it to happen. Suede are this season's singing saviours because we ...

Stereo MCs, U2: Stereo MCs: Zooropean Sons

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 26 June 1993

Stereo MCs are already one of the biggest (dance) bands in Britain. By the end of the summer, after touring Europe with U2, unarguably the ...

Alex Chilton, Big Star: Big Star: 'Whatever Was There, I Drank It Or Took It...'

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 21 August 1993

...So says Alex Chilton, inspirational genius behind Seventies legends BIG STAR, whose brief but influential career embraced three classic albums and more drugs, booze and ...

Dannii Minogue: At Home With... Dannii Minogue!

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 2 October 1993

Antipodean chart star! In the Melody Maker! Are you gonna argue 'bout it? No? Good. In the first off four special features, we send an ...

Shampoo: Side By Peroxide

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 9 October 1993

SHAMPOO are two alien teen snitches/Queen Bitches from Planet Peroxide who recently beamed down to south-east London. Their mission? To annoy the holy shit out ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Ruff Justice

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 5 February 1994

SNOOP DOGGY DOGG is America's most controversial performer, taking the street-tuff credentials of previous gangsta rappers to new extremes of 4 Realness. His album, Doggystyle, ...

Primal Scream: SCREAMADULLICA – Primal Scream: Give Out But Don't Give Up (Creation)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 26 March 1994

Pre-modernism! Culture pundits reckon art, architecture and literature are all trying to return to classical values. Why should rock be left out? Primal Scream wanna ...

The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Stooges: Nick Kent: Hack From The Brink

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 28 May 1994

Wanna find out where MM acquired its taste for livid purple prose? Then let PAUL LESTER introduce you to legendary rock journalist NICK KENT, whose ...

Pantera: Butt Reaction

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 4 June 1994

Before PAUL LESTER travelled to Detroit and came into contact with PANTERA, currently America's fastest, loudest, most popular and OTT speed metal band, he looked ...

Oasis: Certainly Probably: Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Creation)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 27 August 1994

OASIS — Don't Believe The Hype? Well, that depends on whether you've been waiting for a Nineties dream hybrid of The Beatles and The Stones, ...

Blur: Darklife

Book Excerpt by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 24 December 1994

Blur had a brilliant 1994 — their album, Parklife, entered the charts at Number One and spent the rest of the year blaring from every ...

Pulp Diction

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 27 May 1995

Starring: JARVIS COCKER as THE JUNKSHOP ROMANTIC STEVE MACKEY as THE PLAYBOY RUSSELL SENIOR as THE ALIEN CANDIDA DOYLE as THE CARE BEAR KID NICK ...

McAlmont & Butler: The Band That Likes To Play... 'YES'!

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 3 June 1995

DAVID McALMONT used to be in the lavishly praised but commercially unsuccessful THIEVES. The he formed the even more lavishly praised, though still commercially unsuccessful, ...

Blur: Colditz A Knockout!: Blur: The Great Escape (Food)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 9 September 1995

If you thought 'Country House' meant BLUR were playing it safe, you haven't heard The Great Escape. Damon has laced his tales of commuter belt ...

Burt Bacharach: Bacharach to the Future

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 21 October 1995

As grey-haired, 67-year-old composers go, Burt Bacharach is pretty f***ing cool. Paul Lester interviews the melodic inspiration behind Oasis, Stereolab and Pulp. ...

Chic: Bernard Edwards 1952-1996

Obituary by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 4 May 1996

BERNARD EDWARDS of CHIC died last week. Paul Lester celebrates the life and work of a massively influential musician, producer and songwriter ...

George Michael: Joyless Division — George Michael: Older (Virgin 11tks/59m ins)

Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 25 May 1996

With his new album, GEORGE MICHAEL has less to do with Simply Red or the Wets than he does Radiohead or the Manics. ...

Ben Folds Five: The Men From U.N.C.O.O.L.

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, 20 June 1996

BEN FOLDS FIVE are on a mission (impossible) to make Seventies radio pop so hip it hurts ...

Laura Nyro: Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best Of Laura Nyro

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1997

AT THE age of 21, she was the most sought-after writer in America, a one-woman hit factory, providing songs for everyone from Sinatra to Aretha. ...

Iggy Pop: Iggy And The Stooges: Raw Power

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1997

LOOK OUT, honey, cos they're using technology. Or rather, remixer Iggy Pop is.  ...

Prefab Sprout: Andromeda Heights

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1997

Andromeda heights ...

The Associates, Billy Mackenzie: The Bizarre Life And Lonely Death Of Billy Mackenzie

Retrospective by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1997

TOP OF THE POPS, MARCH 3, 1982. A relatively unknown band from north of the border are about to do what David Bowie, Roxy Music ...

Dwight Twilley: XXI

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

OH, THE injustice. Had the release of Dwight Twilley's brilliant power pop debut not been delayed by a year, it would have beaten the first ...

Laura Nyro

Retrospective by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

"This sorrow is so deep that I really can't help myself. Somehow I think she knew that we loved her as if she was our ...

Lewis Taylor: Sweet Insanity

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

"I'M FASCINATED WITH THE IDEA OF ART born of a disintegrated mind," says Lewis Taylor, all coal-black curls and kohl-kissed eyes, crouched in the semi-darkness ...

Prefab Sprout

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

Absolutely Prefabulous: Far from the sonic mainstream with Paddy McAloon ...

Spirit: The Mercury Years

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

California Dreaming ...

The Jayhawks: Sound Of Lies

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

IF, LIKE me, you thought The Jayhawks were just another bunch of New Country journeymen, then prepare to have your mind radically, brutally altered. ...

Cheap Trick: Cheap Trick

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, August 1997

Cheap Trick: meta-metal power pop ...

Earth Wind and Fire: Earth Wind & Fire: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 1997

NO ONE levitates tonight. Nor are there any Sphinxes. And the sequinned Egyptological-spaceman costumes are conspicuous by their absence. But we do get 12 instrumentalists ...

Oasis: Be Here Now

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 1997

YOU'D THINK Oasis were at war. The sense of urgency is palpable. Be Here Now. It's all in the video to the single: Oasis, the ...

Michael Jackson: The Starman Who Fell To Earth: Michael Jackson: Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield *****

Live Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 1997

THE MOST FAMOUS performer on Earth has just been introduced, as per protocol, as "the King Of Pop", by the Chief Barker of the Variety ...

Todd Rundgren: Up Against It!

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 1997

Todd Only Knows ...

Billy Mackenzie: Billy MacKenzie: Beyond The Sun

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, November 1997

BEYOND THE Sun is a fitting tribute to Billy Mackenzie, who committed suicide this year, although it was nearly a completely different album. This posthumous ...

Todd Rundgren: Todd in Heaven

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, November 1997

Todd Rundgren, interactive pioneer and, For 25 years, the mad uncle of electronic pop, talks to Paul Lester ...

Hall & Oates: Marigold Sky

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, January 1998

The rock'n'soul duo return with their first album for seven years ...

ABC: Beauty Stab

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, February 1998

The Lexicon Of Loathe: ABC's flawed second LP, reissued with one extra track ...

The High Llamas: High Llamas: Cold And Bouncy

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, February 1998

SEAN O'HAGAN of, first, Microdisney, and now The High Llamas, has been one of our finest melodicists for 15 years. Along with Paddy McAloon of ...

Altered Images: Clare Grogan

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 1998

Clare Grogan "arrived" in 1980, with Gregory's Girl and Altered Images – the group had a series of hit singles ('Happy Birthday', 'Don't Talk To ...

Nick Heyward: The Apple Bed

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 1998

Core, fruits you, Sir! Heyward's sixth post-Haircut 100 LP, and his debut for Alan McGee ...

The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson: Brain Wilson: Endless Bummer

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1998

"HI, I'M BRIAN WILSON." You do not expect this. You do not expect the head of America's most important ever rock band to have to ...

The High Llamas: Hump Up The Volume

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 1998

"THERE ARE TWO STRANDS OF HEROIN rock consciousness," says Sean O'Hagan, the man who Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, with mock reverence, has called ...

R.E.M., Radiohead: Tibetan Freedom Concert: People Have The Power

Report by Paul Lester, Uncut, August 1998

MONDAY, JUNE 15, THE CAPITOL BUILDINGIt is 10 days before Bill Clinton's historic first presidential visit to China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. An ...

Rave: Countdown to Ecstasy

Book Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 1998

Simon Reynolds: Energy Flash – A Journey Through Rave Music And Dance Culture (Picador Books) ...

Mansun

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, October 1998

PAUL DRAPER has been inspired by some of the climactic moments of post-War culture – David Bowie's "Berlin" trilogy, mid-Eighties Prince, Talking Heads' art beat, ...

The Jam, Paul Weller, The Style Council: Paul Weller: Last Man Standing

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, December 1998

"YOU SHOULD WRITE THAT LETTER," Paul Weller' is telling his press agents, Pippa Hall and Jane Wilkes of Monkey Business PR, referring to a particularly ...

Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips: The Soft Parade

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1999

THE FLAMING LIPS have just made a contender for Last Great Album Of The 20th Century. But are they really a bunch of nutters on ...

Billy Mackenzie, Paul Haig: Haig/Mackenzie: Memory Palace

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, December 1999

ON THE NIGHT of Wednesday, January 22, 1997, Billy MacKenzie, outrageously gifted vocalist with the Associates and writer of some of the most extraordinary music ...

Big Star: The Best of Big Star

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, January 2000

Fourteen cuts from troubled pop-rack demigods' first two LPs, remastered, at mid-price ...

Birth: Gotten Bold

Review and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, January 2000

ONE OF the extra songs on Birth's debut EP Sweet Idol, is a cover version of perennial summer radio hit 'Groovin' by The Young Rascals, ...

Oasis: New Oasis, No Danger

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2000

"I'M NOT INTO CHAOS," says Noel Gallagher, who along with his brother Liam has always appeared to be one of the last true standard bearers ...

Oasis: Titanic!

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 2000

OASIS, if you hadn't noticed, have just resurfaced. But will they sink or swim? After the druggy excesses of Be Here Now, following the departure ...

June & The Exit Wounds: A Little More Haven Hamilton, Please

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, April 2000

DEBUT ALBUM of so-normal-it's-strange pop-rock from latest American boy wonder. ...

Moby: Whale Of The Century

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 2000

This year, MOBY's Play has dominated the UK LP charts. So who is this bald man singing the techno-blues? Paul Lester met the enigmatic American ...

Phoenix

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, August 2000

SEVENTIES CALIFORNIA meets Y2K Paris. ...

Little Feat: Forum, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 13 September 2000

THERE WERE THREE groups who vividly chronicled life in post-Woodstock America. The Band sought refuge from the psychedelic intensity of the period in the country's ...

Chic, Norma Jean Wright: Norma Jean Wright: Norma Jean

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, December 2000

FIRST RELEASE on CD for Chic-album-in-all-but-name from 1978 ...

Outkast: Partners in Rhyme: OutKast

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 18 May 2001

One of them is a blonde-wigged, teetotal vegetarian who reads Pushkin. The other breeds pitbulls in his spare time. Together they have been called the ...

Alpha: A Profile

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, June 2001

BRISTOL, LIKE Manchester, was once synonymous with nervy, wired, dark white funk – The Pop Group, Rip Rig & Panic. Then the drugs changed (skunk, ...

The Human League: Human Remains: The Human League

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 13 July 2001

Two decades after their synthpop assault on the charts, the Human League are back. ...

Aphex Twin: Tank Boy: Aphex Twin

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 5 October 2001

From Limp Bizkit to Madonna, everyone wants to work with the Aphex Twin. But those high-paying jobs aren’t important, he tells Paul Lester. He’d only ...

The Buzzcocks: Part-time Punks: The Buzzcocks

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 1 March 2002

The Buzzcocks were one of punk's most influential bands. Now, 25 years on, Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto are recording together again. Paul Lester meets ...

Zero 7: The Teaboys Done Good: Zero 7

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 18 March 2002

Paul Lester meets Zero 7, the recording studio flunkies turned clubbers' favourites. ...

Brian Wilson: Royal Festival Hall, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, April 2002

IT'S PRETTY impressive for a 60-year-old who's spent most of the past three decades in rock's twilight zone. A three-hour show comprising hits, album cuts ...

Arthur Lee, Love: Hard Times: Arthur Lee

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 21 May 2002

Arthur Lee was once bigger than Hendrix or Jim Morrison. Back on the road after six years in jail, Love's frontman talks to Paul Lester. ...

Spandau Ballet: Wild Boy: Gary Kemp

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 23 August 2002

Spandau Ballet did more than provide a soundtrack for XR3i-driving Essex casuals in the 1980s. At least that's what Gary Kemp, the band's creative force, ...

My Computer: Vulnerabilia

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, September 2002

New Manchester duo fuse druggy songwriting and dance beats with astonishing results ...

Beck: I'm a Muso, Baby: Beck

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 20 September 2002

Beck's new album, written after a nasty split with his fiancee, is so forlorn that the music press is afraid for his health. But, he ...

My Computer: MY COMPUTER: Vulnerabilia

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, October 2002

YOU COULD get the wrong impression about My Computer from Vulnerabilia, as raved about everywhere from Uncut ("the most original debut LP by a Manchester ...

Björk: “In England they think I'm one of the Teletubbies”: Björk

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 25 October 2002

Björk looks back on two decades of music, fame and scrapping with the media. ...

Asian Dub Foundation: Rappers With A Cause: Asian Dub Foundation

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 24 January 2003

They helped secure the release of the warehouse worker Satpal Ram from prison. Now they're tackling domestic violence, asylum, the war on terror and the ...

The Thrills: Five things you need to know about... The Thrills

Profile by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 2003

1. THE THRILLS are probably the most raved-about new non-American — or non-Scandinavian — band of the last few months, after their debut single, 'Santa ...

Fleetwood Mac: Excess Baggage: Fleetwood Mac

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 18 April 2003

Mental illness, drug abuse, affairs, breakups - it's a miracle that Fleetwood Mac are still alive. But here they are with a Rumours-era lineup, and ...

Blur: Think Tank

Review and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 25 April 2003

Backstage at L'Espace Clacquesin, a former brewery 20 minutes from the centre of Paris, Blur are relaxing. The band has just performed for 200 invited ...

The Thrills: Weirdo Magnets: The Thrills

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 21 November 2003

IT IS A COLD but sunny Saturday lunchtime in Capitol Hill, a boho district of Seattle full of cafes and shops with names like Natural ...

Josh Rouse: I ♥ 1972

Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, December 2003

He's just made an album of sublime early-'70s radio pop that could make him a big star. Now all Josh Rouse has to do is ...

Scissor Sisters: Fun with Filth: Scissor Sisters

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 9 January 2004

They come from New York's shock art scene and they write songs about drugs, drag queens and cruising. Paul Lester meets clubland's hottest new act, ...

N*E*R*D, Pharrell Williams: The Hit Man: Pharrell Williams

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 20 February 2004

He co-produced nearly 20% of tracks currently being played on British radio. But he is also a star in his own right - as a ...

Fleetwood Mac: Earls Court, London, Wednesday December 10, 2003

Live Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 2004

There's a hip young gunslinger of Uncut's acquaintance in the audience tonight who normally writes about futuristic electronic dance music for a well-known weekly music ...

Spirit: Spirit of '76

Review and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 2004

1975 double concept LP from Randy California's hippie-era West Coast legends — available for the first time on CD with original vinyl's full gatefold artwork. ...

My Bloody Valentine: I Lost It: Kevin Shields Speaks

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 12 March 2004

In his first interview for 12 years, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields talks to Paul Lester about his madness, making Alan McGee cry - and ...

Adam & The Ants: Adam Ant: Adam And The Fall

Interview by Paul Lester, Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2005

STUART GODDARD is one of the most gifted – and most troubled – pop stars this country has ever produced. ...

Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips: At War with the Mystics

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, April 2006

THERE WAS SOMETHING so ultimate about the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin, emphasized by its release in the last year of the 20th Century, you ...

Scissor Sisters: Ta-Dah (Polydor) ****

Review and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, October 2006

BIG APPLE GLAM POPSTERS HAVE "SECOND ALBUM SYNDROME" LICKED ...

Thom Bell, Blue Magic, The Delfonics, The Stylistics: Symphonic Soul: "You get more bees with honey"

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 16 November 2007

Take one soul ballad. Add a falsetto vocal, swooping strings, timpani and an oboe or two. That's symphonic soul. Paul Lester talks to the heroes ...

Crystal Castles: New Band of the Day: Crystal Castles

Profile by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 6 December 2007

Paul Lester hearts these darlings of the electronic underground, whose "songs" sound like a load of Gameboys going off all at once in your brain ...

Craig David: A Star Called David

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Jewish Chronicle, The, 31 January 2008

He is a black soul singer with a reputation as a ladies' man. So how come Craig David seems like such a nice Jewish boy? ...

Fleet Foxes: America's Next Great Band

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 11 February 2008

HOMETOWN: Xachua'Bsh, Washington.THE LINEUP: Robin Pecknold, Nicholas Peterson, Skyler Skjelset, Christian Wargo, Casey Wescott. ...

Hot Chip, Todd Rundgren: Hot Chip/Todd Rundgren: That's one potent hot toddy

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 25 July 2008

Hot Chip gave Todd Rundgren his first hit in 35 years. Rundgren talks to the band's Alexis Taylor - and almost causes an international incident. ...

Suicide: How the Godfathers of Punk Kept The Faith

Interview by Paul Lester, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, 10 October 2008

New Yorkers Alan Vega and Marty Rev were punks before punk was invented, known in the '70s for their violent gigs and raging synth rock. ...

La Roux: New Band of the Day: La Roux

Profile by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 19 November 2008

Make no mistake, today's new artist is a solo female synth star in waiting. ...

ABC, Heaven 17, The Human League: ABC/Human League/Heaven 17: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 10 December 2008

THERE ARE QUEUES around the building for the Sheffield groups who brought electro-funk (Heaven 17), orchestral disco (ABC) and synth pop (the Human League) to ...

The Noisettes: "We've come to clean up the indie landfill"

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 17 April 2009

NOISETTES ARE in a TV studio just outside Paris – along with the Sugarhill Gang and singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman. They are just some of the ...

Paloma Faith: New Band of the Week: Paloma Faith

Profile by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 20 April 2009

This former burlesque performer updates Amy Winehouse's tourch-song soul with a vampish, theatrical flair ...

ZE Records: 'It Was Like A Fairytale'

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 30 July 2009

The extraordinary story of the trail-blazing New York label that launched Was (Not Was), Kid Creole and Suicide ...

La Roux: 'Of course Lady Gaga's not my thing'

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 24 September 2009

IT IS MORNING, and 21-year-old Elly Jackson – or La Roux, arguably the biggest new pop star of the year – is on the Eurostar ...

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Times, The, 11 October 2009

Paul Lester remembers the two years when the band ruled the world ...

Little Boots, Gary Numan: When Gary Numan met Little Boots

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 3 December 2009

He arrived in 1979, bringing synthpop to the masses. She is part of the bold new wave reinventing the genre for the 21st century. So ...

Vampire Weekend: 'They're Attacking A Version Of Us That Doesn't Exist'

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 7 January 2010

VAMPIRE WEEKEND are being mobbed in California. By teenage girls. In a skate park normally frequented by crystal meth addicts. What makes this so unexpected ...

Manchester's Music Scene Now Has Everything Everything

Overview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 22 January 2010

Never mind the Buzzcocks... or Stone Roses, or New Order: Manchester can stop trading on its former glories. Three new bands explain how they are ...

Delphic, Egyptian Hip Hop, Everything Everything, Hurts: Manchester's music scene now has Everything Everything

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 22 January 2010

THERE'S AN OLD adage in the trades (the music business, newspapers and magazines) that value glamour and novelty: two's a coincidence, three's a scene. In ...

Syd Arthur: New Band of the Week: Syd Arthur

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 15 February 2010

These funky folkies are sons and heirs of those Canterbury musicians who did whimsical things with psychedelic and progressive rock. ...

Drake: Thank Me Later

Review by Paul Lester, bbc.co.uk, June 2010

DRAKE IS THE Vampire Weekend of rap – he ticks all the wrong boxes, especially for a milieu that privileges poverty and strife. ...

Nicki Minaj: New Band of the Day: Nicki Minaj

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 16 August 2010

Can Nicki Minaj challenge the likes of Lady Gaga when it comes to future-female pop star? Or will her super-sexualised persona seem dated in six ...

Bruno Mars: New Band of the Day: Bruno Mars

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 13 September 2010

From adoration to zzzzzzzzz, purveyor of mellifluous pabulum Bruno Mars runs the whole gamut of romantic cliche ...

Daft Punk's robots aren't the only ones rocking the multiplex

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 4 December 2010

AT THE END of the trailer to forthcoming movie Somewhere, we are given just two pieces of information: 1) that the film was written and ...

Lady Antebellum: Grammys 2011: Why can't Lady Antebellum find success in the UK?

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 14 February 2011

COUNTRY-POP TRIO Lady Antebellum were The King's Speech of last night's Grammys, winning six awards (compared to Firth and Co's seven at the Batfas), including ...

Kenny Gamble: "Philadelphia was the party with a tormented soul"

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 3 March 2011

Philly Soul's sweet sound hid masked warnings about growing chasms in 1970s American society ...

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All: Tyler The Creator In The UK: Forget Hip-Hop, We're The New Sex Pistols!

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 7 May 2011

Tyler the Creator touches down to talk goblins, chillwave and the trouble with saying stupid stuff ...

Kings of Leon: Hyde Park, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 23 June 2011

IT HAD BEEN pouring with rain all day, but by the time Kings of Leon came on stage, the dark clouds had gone – they ...

August Darnell, Kid Creole & The Coconuts: Kid Creole: "I'm not a party man anymore"

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 7 September 2011

He was a zoot-suited wise guy who crooned out hit after hit. Now Kid Creole is back. Paul Lester meets the man who blew a ...

Azealia Banks, Kreayshawn, Lady Leshurr, Reema Major, Dominique Young Unique: Azealia Banks and the charge of the women MCs

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 5 January 2012

Watch out, Nicki Minaj, there's a host of feisty, eccentric female rappers on your trail – and not all of them are here to pay their ...

Alt-J: New Band of the Day: Alt-J

Report by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 24 May 2012

This Cambridge four-piece not only write clever music and boast more references than a jobs agency, they've also set tongues wagging with their rapturously received ...

Chvrches: New band of the week: Chvrches

Profile by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 26 June 2012

With their super-heavy brand of "Neon Gold pop", we have nothing but praise for this Scottish indie group. ...

MF Doom: Doom: "It's all new, all fun"

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 16 August 2012

Rapper (MF) Doom is back in London, the city where he was born, with Key to the Kuffs, an album that references rhyming slang and ...

Mika meets Dita Von Teese: "I've had to work hard to stay like this"

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 11 October 2012

The flamboyant singer and the burlesque performer share their thoughts on fetishism, sexuality and pop as the ultimate masquerade. ...

10cc: "It was a tragedy we didn't stay together"

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 20 November 2012

They made some of the cleverest and most inventive music of the 70s, but split up at the height of their success. 10cc come together ...

Prefab Sprout: Paddy McAloon: "I'll do without an audience to make the music I want"

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 5 September 2013

Prefab Sprout sold millions of records in the '80s, but singer Paddy McAloon always made music for himself rather than the masses. Now he's back ...

Disclosure on disco, Sting and their new romantic parents

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 13 February 2014

They craft immaculate dance-pop hits with big names from Lorde to Mary J Blige, but when we caught up with them on their US tour ...

David Crosby: "The FBI scare me more than Hell's Angels"

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 26 February 2014

The legendary songwriter on Janis Joplin, being "the voice of cosmic America" and Croz, his first solo album in 20 years.   ...

Julian Casablancas: "I have nothing against gentrification"

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 9 October 2014

The Strokes singer on brunch and banks, dictatorship in the US and his Voidz protest album, Tyranny. ...

Bully, Cherry Glazerr, The Deers, Skinny Girl Diet: Girl power is back: A new wave is reigniting the fight against sexist attitudes in music

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Independent, The, 5 December 2014

They're not "super-girly", nor are they rabidly feminist. They just want to be in a band, the way men can just be musicians without having ...

D'Angelo: Black Messiah — First-Listen Review: 'Investing Vintage Soul With A Fresh Lustre'

Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 15 December 2014

D'Angelo's Black Messiah, his first album since 2000's Voodoo, looks back to the funk greats while retaining a modern political edge ...

Drake: If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 13 February 2015

ON THURSDAY NIGHT, Drake did what is increasingly becoming known as "a Beyoncé" and dropped, without warning, If You're Reading This, It's Too Late, the ...

Gil Scott-Heron: The Revolution Lives On

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 22 February 2015

Political activist, rap pioneer and poet Gil Scott-Heron shaped the sound of today – from Talib Kweli and Kanye West to Kendrick Lamar. His friends ...

The Pop Group: Have the Pop Group finally become a pop group?

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 26 February 2015

Bristol's post-punk provocateurs have released Citizen Zombie, their first album for 35 years. In 1975, they drew on dub, free-jazz and Baudrillard; 2015 finds singer ...

Raury: The ego has landed

Interview by Paul Lester, Sunday Times, The, 1 March 2015

Touted by Lorde and Kanye West, Raury has the nerve to live up to his billing ...

Tyler, The Creator: Tyler, the Creator: Cherry Bomb

Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 30 June 2015

IT'S A GOOD TIME for Odd Future fans. Earl Sweatshirt's new album just dropped, Frank Ocean's follow-up to Channel Orange is imminent and there's even a Golf Wang app: "Tyler ...

Afrika Bambaataa, Mark Ronson: Afrika Bambaataa and Mark Ronson: Uptown and Downtown Funk Masters

Report and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 27 October 2015

The pair remember two influential generations of hip-hop dance parties ahead of being honoured next month for their contributions to New York City's club scene. ...

The Weeknd: Trend of the Year: Weird R&B Goes Overground

Comment by Paul Lester, MOJO, January 2016

The success of The Weeknd saw a new weird kind of underground R&B enter the charts. Paul Lester charts its strange, slow, four-year rise. ...

Slick Rick: "You learn from prison time – what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 24 November 2016

His morality tales of ghetto life made the Anglo-American rapper famous – and chillingly predicted his imprisonment for attempted murder. Now, 13 years since he ...

Phoenix and the Flower Girl: New band of the week: Phoenix and the Flower Girl

Profile by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 27 March 2017

The last ever New Band of the Week brings an appropriately phantasmagoric end to the column's 11-year run ...

Tyler, The Creator: Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy

Review by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, 21 July 2017

Is the rapper once banned from the UK for homophobic lyrics now coming out? Either way, this heavenly hip-hop record visits multicoloured corners of his ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE