October-Highlights copy

Since Harry is taking this month off from his highlights, I am standing in his place and covering November’s top moments on the music scene. With new supergroups popping up, cockney songstresses going feminist and homecoming gigs announced, it’s been another busy one, so here are the key happenings:

10. Kanye West in the most awkward music video ever? 

Hip-hop star Kanye West has unveiled the video for ‘Bound 2’- the latest single from his seventh album Yeezus – and by golly is it awkward. The video sees Kanye “riding” on a green-screen-backed motorcycle, with his current lady Kim Kardashian straddling the motorcycle in front of him. At times, there are some questionable movements between the pair (see 2:13 onwards), alongside a whole host of errors, such as Kim’s hair blowing in the wrong direction. The video is so laughable, that comedy actor Seth Rogen and friend James Franco parodied the video shot for shot and got more likes on YouTube. I’ll let you make your own mind up about this awkward atrocity by watching the video below:

9. One Direction score the fastest-selling album title for 2013 

It’s official: teeny bopper favourites One Direction have won the title for the fastest-selling album of 2013 with Midnight Memories. No less than 237,000 copies of the group’s third studio album were sold during its first week on sale (25/11/13), meaning that the record is also the fastest selling album of their career so far, based on first week sales figures. 

Official Charts Company’s Chief Executive, Martin Talbot said: “It is a fantastic first week for One Direction, whose album is not just the fastest seller of the year – but is also the first artist title to sell more than 200,000 copies in a week since Michael Buble‘s Christmas album in December, 2011.”

The group have stolen the title from Daft Punk, who were course to take the crown with their highly anticipated record Random Access Memories. Released in May this year, the record sold 165,000 copies in its first week.

TOP SELLER: One Direction's 'Midnight Memories' as taken the crown as the fastest selling record of 2013.

TOP SELLER: One Direction’s ‘Midnight Memories’ has taken the crown as the fastest selling record of 2013

8. Lily Allen hits back at Robin Thicke

Lily Allen’s new single ‘Hard Out Here’ is very much a feminist take on the sexism that has arisen in the music industry. As well a fighting her corner in the song, she also takes a swipe at Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, by dancing in front of balloons spelling out “Lily Allen has a baggy pussy” – a satirical parody of the clip in Robin’s video that claims “Robin Thicke has a big d*ck”. The video sparked mass praise on the Twitter-sphere, and Lily responded by tweeting: “I am honestly on the verge of tears. So overwhelmed by your feedback. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #HOH.”

Watch the video below:

7. Kasabian announce their largest hometown gig yet

Local lads Kasabian have announced their biggest hometown gig to date at the city’s Victoria Park, which is set to take place on June 21, 2014. Tickets for their aptly named ‘Summer Solstice’ gig – their first UK show since their performance at the Olympic Park in July this year – are now sold out, and the band couldn’t be more excited about the show.

Guitarist Sergio Pizzorno told the media: “We are hugely honoured to be playing in our home town at such an incredible setting right in the heart of the city.

“It’s a happening we’ve been planning for years. Summer solstice is coming; set the controls for the heart of the sun,” he added.

Check out the tour trailer below:

6. Miley Cyrus smokes a ‘joint’ on stage at the EMAs

It seems that every month one of our monthly highlights is about the increasingly crazy Miley Cyrus – and she’s done it again. This time she sparked up on stage at the MTV EMAs in Amsterdam, whilst collecting her Best Music Video award for ‘Wrecking Ball’. Whilst it is unconfirmed if the hand-rolled cigarette actually contained marijuana – which is tolerated in city – the act sparked mass outrage online, and MTV even cut the clip from the show when it was broadcast in the US. Whatever will she do next?!

CONTROVERSIAL: Wild child of the moment Miley Cyrus lit up on stage at the EMAs in Amsterdam whilst collecting her award for Best Music Video. (c) Reuters.

CONTROVERSIAL: Wild child of the moment Miley Cyrus lit up on stage at the EMAs in Amsterdam whilst collecting her award for Best Music Video      Photo (c) Reuters

5. Lady Gaga releases ARTPOP

After what seems like an eternity of waiting, Mother Monster Lady Gaga has FINALLY released her much anticipated ARTPOP record. Despite creating excitement amongst fans and reviewers alike following her performance at the iTunes Festival this year, the record turned out to be a little anti-climatic, scoring just 3/5 stars from most music publications and blogs. Not that she seems to care, mind.

UNDERWHELMING: Lady Gaga's ARTPOP was deemed anti-climatic by music reviewers across the Internet

UNDERWHELMING: Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP was deemed anti-climatic by music reviewers across the Internet

4. Tour galore!

Several 2014 UK tours were announced in November, and amongst them were announcements from the Manic Street Preachers, Bombay Bicycle Club, Nine Inch Nails and Maximo Park. 

Manic Street Preachers will play: (MARCH) Leeds First Direct Arena (28); Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (29); Leicester De Montfort hall (31); (APRIL) Manchester O2 Apollo (1); Edinburgh Corn Exchange (3); Glasgow Barrowland (4); Wolverhampton Civic Hall (6); Bournemouth O2 Academy (8); Brighton Centre (9); and London O2 Academy Brixton (11).

Bombay Bicycle Club will play: (MARCH) Leeds O2 Academy (2); Glasgow O2 Academy (3); Aberdeen Music Hall (4); Newcastle O2 Academy (5); Nottingham Rock City (7); Birmingham O2 Academy (8); Norwich UEA (9); Portsmouth Guildhall (10); Bristol O2 Academy (12); London O2 Academy Brixton (13); Cardiff Uni Great Hall (16); Exeter Uni Great Hall (17); Brighton Dome (18); and Manchester Albert Hall (20).

Nine Inch Nails will play: (MAY) Birmingham LG Arena (18); Glasgow Hydro Arena (20); Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (21); London The O2 (23); Nottingham Capital FM Arena (24); and Manchester Phones4U Arena (25).

Maximo Park will play: (MARCH) Portsmouth Pyramids (6); Bristol O2 Academy (7); Glasgow Academy (8); Liverpool O2 Academy (10); Nottingham Rock City (11); Leeds O2 Academy (13); Birmingham HMC Institute (14); Manchester Academy (15); Norwich UEA (17); Oxford O2 Academy (19); London Forum (20); and Newcastle O2 Academy (21).

All tickets are on sale now from registered vendors.

HITTING THE ROAD: Bombay Bicycle Club are amongst several bands that announced tours for early 2014 last month.

HITTING THE ROAD: Bombay Bicycle Club are amongst several bands that announced tours for early 2014 last month

3. New Foo Fighters album is allegedly “badass”

Following the announcement of their first ever Mexico gig, Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl has confirmed that the band are in rehearsals preparing for the recording studio. Speaking of the album developments to Rolling Stone, Dave said: “It’s badass. We’re doing something that nobody knows about, it’s f*cking rad.

“We begin recording soon, but we’re doing it in a way that no one’s done before and we’re writing the album in a way that I don’t think has been done before.”

RECORDING: Foo Fighters (L-R) Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear are preparing to record their "badass" new album in the coming weeks

RECORDING: Foo Fighters (L-R) Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear are preparing to record their “badass” new album in the coming weeks

2. Lostprophets’ Ian Watkins convicted of child rape offences

Not really a ‘highlight’, but top news nonetheless. Almost a year on from his initial arrest, the former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins is to be sentenced to a lengthy spell in jail for a number of child sex offences, one of which was the attempted rape of a baby. In a shocking turn of events, after he had “furiously denied” the claims for months, the singer pleaded guilty to a portion of the offences laid against him. He will be sentenced on the 18 December, 2013.

Speaking of the case, former LP guitarist Lee Gaze tweeted: “That was over quick…. Thanks for the kind words. At least there is closure now.”

The band also issued a statement on their Facebook page, which has since been taken down, but you can read the statement here on NME.com.

GUILTY: Shamed ex-Lostprophets' frontman Ian Watkins admitted a number of sex offences involving children during his November hearing

GUILTY: Shamed ex-Lostprophets’ frontman Ian Watkins in happier times and after he admitted a number of sex offences involving children during his November hearing       Photo (c) Newsday.com

1. McFly + Busted = MCBUSTED!

On a more positive note, the top news from November has to be the announcement of pop supergroup McBusted, an amalgamation of best-friend bands Busted and McFly. The band are set to head out on tour in 2014, although former Busted guitarist Charlie Simpson will not feature in the line-up. Tom Fletcher, Dougie Poynter, Harry Judd, Danny Jones, Matt Willis and James Bourne commence their McBusted UK tour on April 17, 2014 in Glasgow, performing 31-dates inclusive finishing on May 29 at Bournemouth’s International Centre. Although with dates added weekly since their primary tour annoucement, they may be touring into 2015! Regardless, welcome back, boys! I’ll be seeing you in May…

SUPERGROUP: McBusted will be bringing back the early-2000s classic hits from McFly and Busted, on a joint UK tour across April/May 2014

SUPERGROUP: McBusted will be bringing back the early-2000s classic hits from McFly and Busted, on a joint UK tour across April/May 2014

If you have a couple more minutes to spare, why not check out the past week’s other content?