For 2007, I'm going to be writing a UK Indie & Alternative Rock Column and it will feature news, recommendations and some other stuff in there. All the news will be compiled from various websites and any magazines I happen to pick up. Here's what I've written this week but by the end of the month, there will probably be too much to post in one column, so not everything will make it in there. I want plenty of honest crit please so I don't make a fool of myself.

UK Indie & Alternative Rock Column
January 2007

Welcome to the very first edition of the UK Indie & Alternative Rock Column on Ultimate Guitar.com. I will be compiling all of the news from the best Indie and Alternative bands in the UK old and new, and reviewing releases from both bigger and smaller bands in the country.

Now first, Welsh rockers The Stereophonics are planning a pretty big comeback in 2007, with a release of 2 new discs. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary soon, and to commemorate it, they are re-releasing their debut album ‘Word Gets Around’. It will be released with a bonus disc of B-Sides, and a brand new ‘punk’ version of their song ‘She Takes Her Clothes Off’. The package will also include a set of photographs of the band from the time of the album. Lead vocalist/guitarist Kelly Jones has spoken on their official website about their new studio album, which is due out later in the year. He wrote: "In a nutshell - people love this new record. The word is - it's probably our best yet, and I have to admit I f**king agree ha ha - it's having it!!” He also hit out at the recent wave of new bands around saying: "I will wipe the floor with all these two song albums that are kicking about at the moment, all these bands that are more like imitation bands more concered for a big careers than a big heart and soul...don't get me started." I just hope its different from their last album ‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other’, it was a far cry from the glory of their early work. The song ‘Dakota’ was probably one of the most irritating rock songs of the decade.
Our next story features former The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke. On January 13th, Andy took part in and arranged the world’s biggest ever busking gig in the Exchange Square in Manchester’s city center. Rourke and fellow buskers were performing their favourite songs to passers by. Here’s an interview with Andy before the event: "A record of this kind has never been attempted before so it will be great if we can do it, especially as it's for charity," Rourke said. "We hope to raise £1 million to fight cancer with our 2007 concerts, and we hope this will set the ball rolling nicely” The gig was backed by the Versus Cancer charity, which is also holding an event MEN Arena on March 30th.
Early in the month the figures for the biggest selling artists, albums and singles of 2006 were announced, with some good results for rock and alternative bands. Muse came out on top, with ‘Black Holes & Revelations’ being the most downloaded album in the country. Arctic Monkeys and Snow Patrol both came close to winning the title as well. Talking of the Arctic Monkeys and Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys’ album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ was named the biggest selling debut album of 2006 and Snow Patrol’s album ‘Eyes Open’ was named the best overall selling album of the year.
Oasis singer/guitarist Noel Gallagher has revealed that him and his band have ‘collosal’ plans for 2007. He has said that they will be going into the studio later this year to record the follow-up to 2005’s ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ and he also says this coming album will be ‘grander’ than previous albums. "All the tunes I've written recently have been on the kind of acoustic side, you know? But for the next record I really fancy doing a record where we just completely throw the kitchen sink at it," he explained. "We haven't done that since 'Be Here Now' (1997 album). I'd like to get, like, a 100-piece orchestra and choirs and all that stuff”
The Kaiser Cheifs are kicking off 2007 with a UK tour and a new album. Their follow-up to 2005’s ‘Employment’ will be released on February 26th and their tour starts on February 21st. The dates are:

Manchester Apollo – February 21st/22nd
Wolverhampton Civic Hall – February 23rd/25th
Newcastle Academy – February 26th/27th
London Shepherds Bush Empire – March 3rd/4th
Glasgow Academy – March 6th/7th
Cardiff University Great Hall – March 9th/10th

Tickets are now availible from their website www.kaisercheifs.co.uk
Former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown has recruited both The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke and Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder to appear on his new album entitled ‘The World Is Yours’ Due out later this year, but Ian has now asked another bassist in the form of Paul McCartney to appear on his new album. In an interview with Ian, he spoke about the collaboration: "I spoke to his assistant, I was like, 'Me name's Ian Brown and I'm a singer', and she was like, 'Yeah I've heard of you'. RAK studios where we're recording the album is only round the corner from where he lives. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I don't mind waiting for him! I'd put it back for him.”
"I just think in the last 40 years, no one's touched McCartney on the bass. It's a bit of a pipe dream, but if you don't ask, you don't get, so I'm going for it.”
Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos has spoken about a busy year ahead for him. His current task is producing The Cribs’ third album that is due out in the early summer and then he will get back to working with his own band Franz Ferdinand. He said: "After I've finished working with The Cribs, I'm gonna get back together with the other guys and see what material they've got. Then hopefully we will get to record it during the late part of the summer and if everything goes well, it'll be out by this time next year." He also spoke about the change in the band’s sound for the new album: "I've got five or six songs at the moment and although it's very early yet, they seem to have more of a rougher, rawer feel to them. That's something I wouldn't mind doing for the album as a whole but a lot could happen between now and when we get into the studio." Alex has also recently had his book ‘Sound Bites: Eating On Tour With Franz Ferdinand’ published that talks about all of Franz Ferdinand’s culinary adventures while on tour, which sounds quite tasty!