F.F.S ‘Collaborations Don’t Work’ is a promotional single from the new album by F.F.S, the band that is a collaboration of British indie rockers Franz Ferdinand and US quirky alternative-popsters Sparks. Well do collaborations work in this case? Clearly a lot of people think so as their gig at Manchester’s Albert Hall is sold out tonight and expectations are high.


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Producers I’m of a certain age. Not as dangerous as the one Paul Weller’s currently singing about but, you know, the wrong side of...ahem...21. Aside from, funnily enough, some of 10cc’s tracks, Mud’s Tiger Feet and anything by ABBA, my real musical awakening occurred in the early 80’s and one man seemed to be the knob twiddler behind several of my favourites, Mr Trevor Horn. ABC’s Lexicon Of Love (regularly featured in the best British albums of all time lists) and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome both bear his fingerprints deep within the grooves (it’s a vinyl thing). Tonight Trevor’s out from behind his desk though, joined by fellow producer Steve Lipson, 10cc’s Lol Creme and drummer to the stars Ash Soan for a joyful romp through some of their collective hits and newbies from their new band's forthcoming album.


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Ash Soan I’m sitting here chatting to the remaining piece of this supergroup puzzle, (now known as Producers), Ash Soan, one of the most in demand drummers around right now (and a ruddy lovely chap to boot) who’s recently been pounding the skins for that little known singer/songwriter Adele. The whole set up seems difficult to believe but, minutes later, Ash joins three of the biggest producers of the last few decades to run through a selection of tracks old, new and, thanks to a cover of will.i.am’s cover of Video Killed The Radio Star, just a little bit blue.


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My Jerusalem The first gig of the year is always a bit of a struggle. Having consumed my own bodyweight in dead poultry, Bailey’s, Port, crates of chocolate and various sacks of salted snacks it’s frankly a miracle that I’m still alive.


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Them Crooked Vultures By the time Them Crooked Vultures were about due to take the stage the 02 academy was completely crammed full. Their album “Them Crooked Vultures” has had warm reviews since its release but the anticipation in the crowd suggested that it’s not music fans that have cast the judgement. Normally when bands come out the venue will cut the background music and dim/turn off the lights but in this case Dave Grohl simply walked across the back of the stage and waved to the crowd, for a split second there could have been confusion that he was a roadie, but once the crowd realised who it was the room erupted with cheers. The other member of Them Crooked Vultures soon followed in a similar relaxed and unassuming way. Before their arrival the simple stage set up revealed nothing as to the bands identity, all except a vulture perched atop the drummer’s microphone. When all four band members were on the stage the whole place stood to cheer them. It was like a standing ovation before they had started.


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