Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, August 10, 2007

SF cries UNKLE in October

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 6:59 AM

If you haven’t noticed, we at All Shook Down love all things Queens of the Stone Age. So of course we salivated for the new UNKLE album, War Stories-- co-produced by QOTSA’s producer Chris Goss and also featuring Josh Homme providing guest vocals. Now we’ve found out that James Lavelle is taking his UNKLE project on the road, and although their U.S. visit will only last a smidgeon under a fortnight, at least they’ll be making an appearance here at the Mezzanine in October. We couldn’t ask for more. Well, maybe an appearance by DJ Shadow.

Check out UNKLE’s press release after the jump. -p




Following a successful summer run of high-profile shows overseas

including headlining the mainstage at Benicassim in Spain after Muse and

the Glade Festival in Reading, U.K., UNKLE has announced it will come to

North America this October for a short run of tour dates. Spearheaded

by frontman James Lavelle, UNKLE for the first time ever will make its

appearance as a live band. Utilizing guitars, bass, drums and synths

set against a backdrop of intricate lights and AV screens for a

one-of-a-kind audiovisual experience, UNKLE will perform material from

their new album War Stories, as well as selections from the two previous

UNKLE releases Psyence Fiction and Never, Never, Land. Check out live

footage from the aforementioned Benicassim show here:

The UNKLE tour on this continent will encapsulate six special

engagements kicking off October 18 at Webster Hall in New York City

coinciding with the CMJ Music Marathon conference. Stops at Lee's

Palace in Toronto, Metro in Chicago, Echoplex in Los Angeles and

Mezzanine in San Francisco follow. The trek will round out on October 28

in Las Vegas with UNKLE's only U.S. festival show this year at the

Vegoose Festival. Tickets for all the tour dates, except for Vegoose

which are available now, go on sale this Friday, August 10. For

information on where to purchase log on to

Released July 24 via James Lavelle's newly formed Surrender All label,

War Stories was co-produced by UNKLE and Queens Of The Stone Age

producer Chris Goss and marries UNKLE's trademark sound with traditional

rock influences to stunning effect. Special guest vocalists and players

include Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), 3D (Massive Attack), The

Duke Spirit, Autolux, Gavin Clark of new U.K. group Clayhill,

Psychonauts' Pablo Clements, Nada Surf's Matthew Caws and Eagles of

Death Metal's David Catching. Ian Astbury of The Cult lends his voice

to the album's current single "Burn My Shadow." The video for the

song--starring actor Goran Visjnic--has been added to MTV and FUSE.

View the video at: (

UNKLE's North American tour dates are as follows:

Date / Venue / City

Thu 10/18 - Webster Hall, New York, NY

Fri 10/19 - Lee's Palace, Toronto, ONT

Sat 10/20 - Metro, Chicago, IL

Fri 10/26 - Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA

Sat 10/27 - Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA

Sun 10/28 - Vegoose Festival, Las Vegas, NV

Upon its release, War Stories garnered rave reviews in the press:

"British producer James Lavelle has crafted a gloriously disparate

batch of desert-themed songs into an ominous dance record." Album of the


--ESQUIRE (August 2007)

"The sound is big, bold and badass...Aggressive yet soulful, 'War'

doesn't just straddle the line between rock and electronica--it destroys


--Molly Brown, BILLBOARD (July 28, 2007)

"A stormy set of dark, synth-streaked psych-rock jams that carries a

whiff of tomorrow while looking back to the stomping proto-metal of

Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer."

--Mikael Wood, LOS ANGELES TIMES (7/22/07)

"...a tide of pounding drums and snarling guitars..."

--Nate Chinen, THE NEW YORK TIMES (6/24/07)

"With UNKLE's third proper release, the outfit veer in two directions

nobody foresaw: Live...and West- to record with stoner-rock icon Chris

Goss...This organic indulgence is initially disconcerting, but upon

closer inspection, UNKLE's familiar, cinematic aesthetic reveals


--Tim Karan, ALTERNATIVE PRESS (September 2007)

"Here's the thing about War Stories: it's absolutely

perfect...Seemingly born out of James Lavelle's lust for evolution,

Stories is a rock record settled deep in science fiction; Primal Scream

meets Spiritualized meets all things psychedelic."

--Mollie Wells, BUST (August/September, 2007)

"James Lavelle and Richard File fulfill their rock star fantasies with

this nail hard, slam-to-the-head assault on the senses...War Stories is

the perfect soundtrack to the coming apocalypse."

**** out of 5 stars.

--Ken Micallef, URB (6/19/07)

"Utilizing a more organic, live-performance approach and bringing in a

plethora of guest musicians has added several interesting levels to

UNKLE's latest, which is, by turns, aggressive and ruminating but never

dull."**** out of 5 stars.

--Kristi Kates, REMIX (July 2007)

"Lavelle's latest trip to Never Neverland is risky, but more

accurately: hot."

--Rachel Shimp, XLR8R (August 2007)

"With UNKLE's versatile sound and Lavelle's enthusiasm for the current

scene, it is difficult to see how people couldn't believe in his group's

efforts, whether they be young neon teenagers or refined old school

clubbers. ...with War Stories already sending ripples across the

Internet and continued demand for his [James Lavelle] DJ skills, it

doesn't seem to matter; you're either along for the ride, or you're

stuck by the side of the road."

--Zel McCarthy, BIG SHOT (Issue #17, 2007)

"...Lavelle manages to maintain direction and an indefinable


--Melody Caraballo, VILLAGE VOICE (July 24, 2007)

"Lavelle assembled a dream-team collective for the latest set:

Returning are Josh Homme, Massive Attack's 3D, and vocalist/co-composer

Richard File. They're joined by The Cult's Ian Astbury, Nada Surf's

Matthew Caws, and the Eagles Of Death Metal's David Catching, filling

out a bizarre yet effective guest list." B+

--Andrew Earles, THE ONION (7/24/07) |

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Oscar Pascual


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"