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Live Updates

By Kev Geoghegan & Paul Glynn

All times stated are UK

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  1. Take a bow everyone

    That is your lot from us today

    Scroll back down for Kylie's birthday messages, big news for K-Pop band BTS, the return of All Saints and Eminem fuels those Nicki Minaj are they/aren't they rumours.

    Plus loads of highlights from the Biggest Weekend - Liam Gallagher talks about his daughter, why Billy Ocean doesn't believe in political songs, new music from father John Misty, The Manic on their chart rivals, Anne-Marie's travelling arrangements and our Newbie Tuesday artist you should care about; Connie Constance.

    We'll leave you a with a bit of glamour to prove music festivals aren't just about mud, warm beer and a lack of shower facilities.

    The Strictly dancers and the BBC Concert Opera in action in Coventry.

    And a step, two, three, four...

  2. Ash: New album could be our best ever

    Well they're not going to say it's rubbish now are they?

    Ash were the biggest local (ish) band on the bill at the Biggest Weekend in Belfast.

    The County Down lads - who now live in New York and Edinburgh between them - told us before their gig that they were a little nervous ahead of their "almost a hometown gig."

    Ever the crowd-pleasers, the band brought two members of legendary Irish punk rockers, The Undertones out to join them near the end for a rendition of their classic Teenage Kicks, as well as one of Ash's new tunes Buzzkill (above).

    Tim Wheeler and co, who performed just before the result of the Irish abortion vote (which they support) was announced, said they've been chuffed with the fan reaction to their new album, Islands.

    "The new stuff is going down amazing with the fans," said drummer Rick McMurray.

    "So many posts on social media saying 'this could be your best album ever'.

    Quote Message: We're even getting those shiver down your spine moments in some of the new songs in the set.

    Bassist Mark Hamilton was equally thrilled: "Whenever you're putting together an album that's always the goal but you don't always get that response from people, so when your reading it it's pretty cool."

    The appearance of The Undertones was one of seven pleasantly surprising collabs across the Biggest Weekend, including a new one from Iggy Pop and Underworld.

  3. First Aid Kit enjoy big night in Belfast

    Klara and Johanna from the country-folk duo gave a lesson in how to pull off a polished festival performance on the main stage on Saturday.

    The Swedish sisters - who have recently addressed the topic of sexual assault in their music - revealed to MNL that they were in favour of new legislation in their native Swedish to recognise sex without consent as rape.

    Before telling us porkies about a supposed Celine Dion cover they had lined up (they didn't), the Soderbergs said they were looking forward to an evening of good old Irish fun, soundtracked by a certain Glaswegian art pop band.

    "We have tonight," said Johanna.

    "We're probably going to stick around and watch some other bands, we want to catch Franz Ferdinand.

    "We've only been here once before, so it's really great to be here," said Klara

    "It's a new city for us," added Johanna.

  4. Newbie Tuesday #29: How Alex Turner helped shape Connie Constance

    Kev Geoghegan

    Arts and entertainment reporter

    Video content

    Video caption: The London songwriter plays Let Go on the BBC Music Introducing Stage.

    If you happened to be in Swansea this weekend, or indeed surfing around the BBC's coverage of the Biggest Weekend, you might have stumbled across out latest Newbie Tuesday artist.

    Singer-songwriter Connie Constance is among a breed of new artists who are becoming increasingly difficult to pigeonhole into a single genre, mixing minimal electronic trip-hop beats with an acoustic soul edge.

    "Its alternative for sure," she says. "But you can definitely hear British roots, all the sounds I grew up with - punk, indie rock, ska and British soul."

    But when it comes to her songwriting, she points to Sheffield's finest as inspiration.

    "The Arctic Monkeys first album got me in, that's what I had on my headphones going to school and stuff.

    "It's 100% about telling my own stories, also talking about stuff that's in my life, his [Alex Turner] phrasing is amazing."

    Hey, she's a poet and she knows it.

    But what does she think about Alex's divisive new easy listening direction for the Monkeys?

    "As an Arctic Monkeys fan, it's actually where I want them to be, I wanted another album likes the first but where they are now is where they probably should be."

    Alex Turner
    Image caption: Alex Turner: "Wherever people say I am is not where I should be."

    The 22-year-old admits she didn't come from a particularly musical back ground in Watford, north of London - her mum works with children and her stepdad is a postman. Her biological dad is a boxer.

    But she was exposed to a lot of music.

    "My stepdad has loads of CDs, indie rock and punk and I hated it as a kid and until I was about 13. My granddad was into soul and reggae."

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    She tells us she hopes her debut album will be released in 2019, with some production work done by Jim Abbiss - whose work you might know from a certain aforementioned South Yorkshire rock-turned-lounge band.

    We spoke to Connie ahead of her show at The Great Escape in Brighton earlier this month, a year after her debut - which she looks back on fondly.

    "It was a stepping stone, one of my third or fourth shows at the time. I was getting into how I wanted to play live whereas now I know myself a bit better."

    Though that one was a high, surely she's still too early to have had a worst.


    "One gig as the start, I was maybe two shows into my career and it was a grime night and I came on and my music was sort of ethereal and fairylike at the time and i was thinking, 'Get me off this stage, they want me to rap and I'm not rapping'.

    "I was prancing around like a fairy looking at my manager. The crowd were vibing but I don't think I belonged on that stage."

    Following this weekend's performance there aren't many stages Connie won't be able to perform on now.

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    Read Newbie Tuesday #28: Ms Banks comes pre-approved by Nicki Minaj

  5. Dua Lipa kicks-off Champions League Final

    Dua Lipa

    Dua had a pretty big weekend of her own, despite not being in Swansea.

    She performed before Liverpool's defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev and you can watch it in all its Champions League glory on the Uefa YouTube page, as Dua and her dancing pals attempt to make a right mess of the pitch.

    New Rules for the Liverpool goalkeeper; One - Pick up the ball / Don't throw it to Karim / It'll be a silly goal

    Two - Get behind that shot / Or Bale's left foot will make you lose the plot.

  6. Anne-Marie's private jet to Biggest Weekend

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    Video caption: Anne-Marie's private jet to Biggest Weekend

    Anne-Marie and Ed Sheeran had to play two gigs on Saturday - one at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea, and one at Manchester's Etihad Stadium.

    She told BBC's Colin Paterson how they made it to Wales and then up to the North West afterwards (clue: It wasn't on the National Express).

    Apparently there was no room in Ed's chopper.

  7. Gorillaz 'to release new album' next month

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    The animated band, who comes courtesy of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, are apparently following up 2017's Humanz with a new record The Now Now, which is due for release on 28 June.

    The band shared a new site which appears to tease new music.

    Gorillaz - who were named best British group at the Brits earlier this year - have a packed schedule of European festivals this summer (above) and that's a radical new look apparently sported by bassist Murdoc (below).


    Looks like he's had some... done?

    Like a green-skinned cross between Jack Nicholson and Michael Jackson.

  8. Billy Ocean: Politics 'shouldn't come into music'

    Billy Ocean was, for many at the Coventry leg of the Biggest Weekend, one of the highlights, drawing huge crowds despite the rain.

    He inspired huge singalongs to the likes of Love Really Hurst Without You and When the Going Gets Tough (above).

    He also covered the late great Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry.

    Backstage, the 68-year-old told us he is working on a new album of original songs, his first for 25 years.

    He explained that while songwriting does not get easier, it is more enjoyable.

    "You mature, I'm older, I want to be saying different things and I feel that's one of the benefits of getting older - feeling I can say things I couldn't say when I was younger or didn't want to say when I was younger.

    "You still have to balance between what you want to say and what people want from you. There are certain restrictions that you have to put on yourself when you're writing a song.

    "Because music is for people to enjoy first and foremost, you shouldn't be self-opinionated."

    In fact, Billy says that, politics should not come into songwriting, unless you happen to be one of the greats (below).

    View more on youtube

    "If you're going to talk about politics in the sense of Marvin Gaye and What's Going On, to me that's positive politics, it's not criticising the individual or any system, it's saying in general the sort of state that we're living in.

    "But if you're going to point fingers politically that's wrong, several people can do it, The Beatles did it in a most beautiful way, Bob Marley did it but not everybody's a Bob Marley, he was special."

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  9. All Saints plot their return with Love Last Forever

    All Saints

    All Saints have announced a new album, two years after their number three chart return with Red Flag.

    The new long player, Testament, will be preceded by a single Love Lasts Forever which gets its premiere on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show on Thursday.

    It teams up AS songwriter-in-chief Shaznay Lewis with Karl 'KGee' Gordon - who co-wrote loads of the band's biggest hits.

    Testament will be released on Friday 13 July, unlucky for some, we'll reserve judgement on this one until we hear it.

    But the signs are good as they are re-teaming with William Orbit, the DJ and producer behind Pure Shores and Black Coffee.

    All Saints will also play a show at London's Brixton Electric on Wednesday 11 July.

  10. YouTube deletes half of 'violent' music videos


    YouTube says it has deleted more than half of the "violent" music videos that England's most senior police officer asked it to take down.

    More than 30 clips have been removed so far.

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has blamed some videos for fuelling a surge in murders and violent crime in London - and singled out drill music.

    The genre's lyrics often detail vivid accounts of taking drugs and violence.

    In February, 17-year-old rapper Junior Simpson was sentenced to life in prison after he and three others stabbed 15-year-old Jermaine Goupall to death.

    The court heard he'd penned a track about knife attacks before carrying out the killing.

    Read more.

  11. Manics: Greatest Showman soundtrack is 'abominable music'

    Friday's Biggest Weekend was all about the Manic Street Preachers and their triumphant Nicky Wire-less set.

    Wire was forced to pull out of the show due to a family illness.

    The band's guitar technician Richard stood in, ably delivering hits like Motorcycle Emptiness and You Love Us. The only major difference was that he didn't share Wire's penchant for cross-dressing.

    "We tried to get him into a leopard skin miniskirt but that wasn't happening," singer James Dean Bradfield told the Belfast audience.

    "He is a great bass player though."

    Prior to the James told MNL of his disgust to find that their 13th album Resistance is Futile, had been kept off number one by the all-conquering soundtrack to the movie, The Greatest Showman.

    The film is inspired by the story of P. T. Barnum's creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the soundtrack has spent a combined 16 weeks at the top but James is having none of it.

    "It's just abominable music. I can't describe it in any other way - it's just awful music and it shouldn't be in the charts," said James.

    "But it sold more than us and deserved to be number one.

    The Greatest Showman cast
    Image caption: The Greatest Showman cast: "Manic Street who now?"
    Quote Message: I hated the word Barnum when I was young, I was haunted by the word Barnum and he's come back to haunt me in 2018.

    "I just don't understand that music. I like great pop music. But that music was unfathomably bad."

    The singer also praised Liverpool fans Echo and the Bunnymen for having pulled out of their gig in order to watch Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid, until we pointed out that they had in fact reversed their decision.

    "They should've stuck to their guns," said James.

    We bet they're glad they didn't bother.

  12. Eminem tells crowd he wants to date Nicki Minaj


    And who could blame him?

    Rumours the rapping pair were an item began circling in April after Nicki released her track Barbie Tingz, containing the lyrics; I’m still fly / Just bagged a white guy.

    She went on to add further detail, while spitting out verses alongside Big Sean and 2 Chainz on YG’s track Big Bank, on which she declares; Told them I met Slim Shady, bag the Em / Once he go black, he’ll be back again.

    Now, as Hyperbeast reports, Em has responded, asking the crowd at this weekend's Boston Calling; “how many of you want me to date Nicki Minaj?

    Quote Message: Nicki, if you get this message, just text me later, we’ll talk about it.
    Nicki Minaj

    Over to you Nicki.

  13. Father John Misty debits new track in Belfast

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    We have to rewind all the way back to Friday for this one, when the good father aka Josh Tillman, debuted this new track Please Don't Die.

    "One more wasted morning / When I could be holding you", he laments in the country-tinged ballad.

    "You're all that I have / So please don't die tonight"

    The track is set to appear on his forthcoming album,God’s Favourite Customer, which is out on Friday.

  14. K-Pop band reach No.1 in US charts for first ever time

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    Seven-piece South Korean boyband BTS have made history by becoming the first K-Pop act to reach the top of the American charts.

    Love Yourself: Tear, is first foreign-language LP to top the Billboard 200 in twelve years.

    Question: Who had the last one?


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    Il Divo, with their second album Ancora.

    The record was sang in Latin, French, Spanish and English.

    Sing along (if you can).

  15. Music stars recall their own Biggest Weekends...

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    Video caption: Stars reveal their own biggest weekends as they play the Biggest Weekend

    Backstage at this weekend's events in Belfast and Coventry, we decided to ask some of the bands playing the Biggest Weekend about their own biggest weekends in recent memory.

    We told them it could be anything (as long as it was clean).

    See what Paloma Faith, Stereophonics, First Aid Kt and more came up with above.

    And we thought our weekend was big...

  16. Neneh Cherry dedicates set to victims of gun and knife crime

    More from the Biggest Weekend now, where Swedish rapper/singer Neneh Cherry twerked her way through her set on the main stage in Belfast on Saturday.

    She also got political giving a big shout out to all the people who have “gone down under the knife or the gun – this year alone.”

    “Too many people,” said the singer, before adding; “it seems like we need to be in deep conversation with ourselves.

    “Consciousness and love is the way forward right now.

    “Cosmic anger is alright – are you with me?”

    The 54-year-old saved her most popular hit; Buffalo Stance, for last, jokingly introducing the track as “a weird little jazz thing” that they wrote last night."

    The Belfast crowd rapped along as best as they could and even Alex Karpranos of headliners Franz Ferdinand, was spotted nodding along at the side of the stage.

    The festival was a real family affair, with Neneh’s daughter Mabel (below) playing the Swansea leg while her mum was ripping up Belfast.

  17. Kylie hits the half century

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    The Aussie pop star turned the big 5-0 at the weekend.

    She apparently celebrated with celeb pals like Alan Carr, David Walliams (who showed off his invite), Spice Girl Mel C and James Blunt.

    Also, former Neighbours co-stars Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce.

    Online well wishers included sister Dannii and Sia.

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  18. Liam Gallagher says it's 'early days' in relationship with his estranged daughter

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    Last week the singer, who headlined the Coventry leg of the Biggest Weekend on Sunday night, posted a picture of him and his estranged daughter, Mollie Moorish.

    The pic, which also includes his two sons Lennon and Gene, was taken after LG opened up for The Rolling Stones.

    Now, speaking at this weekend's leg in Coventry, the former Oasis man told the BBC's Jo Whiley; “Molly was there [for the] first time, I met her before.

    "It was nice to have them all there. She’s a top girl and she’s all good.

    “We’re getting on good, it’s early days and they’re getting on great, the kids and that.”

    Asked about whether he would continue to see her, Liam said: “I hope so, I hope she doesn’t get sick of me, you know what I mean”.

    Check out Liam playing his old band's classic glam rock tune Cigarettes and Alcohol above.

    You can re-live full sets from all the bands on the Biggest Weekend website.

  19. Greg James takes some flak for his Taylor Swift shower dig

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    The Radio 1 DJ angered some of Taylor's fans after her Biggest Weekend performance in Swansea on Sunday.

    He told the perspiring pop star to "taker a shower" as they spoke backstage.

    Social media (where else?) shared its outrage with some fans calling Greg rude.

    Read more.

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    Greg has responded to the criticism, explaining that "we have known each other for ages".

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  20. Biggest Weekend shows the power of a singalong

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    Video caption: Biggest Weekend: Florence anoints the crowd

    Florence (above), Craig David, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran were among the many stars to perform for crowds across the UK at the Biggest Weekend.

    The festival, which was staged at four sites across Belfast, Coventry, Swansea and Perth, was organised to fill the gap left by Glastonbury's fallow year.

    Liam and Noel Gallagher also topped seperate bills - naturally - as did UK electro pioneers Orbital.

    Rita Ora used her set to pay tribute to Swedish DJ Avicii, who died in April.

    Watch highlights of the huge event below and we'll bring you more word from on site throughout today.

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