Star-studded charity ‘Tower Of Strength’ cover

Wayne Hussey has brought in a bunch of his goth mates to record a new version of The Mission’s ‘Tower Of Strength,’ with proceeds going to COVID-19 related charities chosen by each contributor. It’ll be released digitally on August 28 and on CD and vinyl on October 2, but you can hear a little preview in the video above.

Credited to ReMission International, there will be various versions released including vinyl, CD and a digital bundle.

Collaborators include: Andy Rourke, Billy Duffy, Budgie, Evi Vine, Gary Numan, James Alexander Graham, Jay Aston, Julianne Regan, Kevin Haskins, Kirk Brandon, Lol Tolhurst, Martin Gore, Michael Aston, Michael Ciravolo (Beauty In Chaos, Schecter Guitars), Midge Ure, Miles Hunt, Rachel Goswell, Richard Fortus, Robin Finck, Steve Clarke, Tim Palmer and Trentemøller.

“When Covid-19 hit I started receiving messages asking ‘why don’t you re-issue Tower Of Strength for the front line workers?’,” Hussey says. “The song had apparently been adopted as an anthem by some NHS workers, and it got me thinking that I would like to contribute something to the greater cause at this unprecedented time and the only thing I could really contribute is music. So in conjunction with my good friend Michael Ciravolo, I came up with the idea of recording a new version of Tower Of Strength for charity by enlisting the help of musician friends and acquaintances. Tower Of Strength was first released by The Mission as single in 1988 and then again in 1994. It charted twice in the UK top 40 and has proved to be probably our biggest song and the one we generally close our shows with. It is anthemic. I wondered if recording a more well known song might have a greater reach but neither Michael or I could come up with any suggestions that seemed to fit lyrically without getting too corny. So Tower Of Strength it was then.”

“Usually I detest things that are done for charity that are also self-serving, but I came up with a plan that satisfied my conscience. I spoke with my fellow Mission band members who co-wrote the song – Craig Adams, Mick Brown and Simon Hinkler – and we agreed to give up any publishing income generated by the new version to nominated charities, including mechanical and performance royalties and 100% of any revenue raised by sales. TOS2020 has been renamed to divert funds from the original version, and the charities will all be personally nominated by the people involved in its recording and release. Because the musical contributions are global our idea is that the proceeds will be divided and distributed equally among all the beneficiaries.”

“Whilst all the versions will be available to listen to on all streaming platforms I’m gonna ask you to help the cause by buying at least the digital package which is priced at only £2.99. It’s not much, is it? For the price of a coffee you’ll receive all five versions. Come on, help us to help others.”

Pre-order here now: www.themissionukband.com
Digital release date 28th August
CD & 12” vinyl release date 2nd October
Merchandise available here: www.themissionukband.com

TOS2020 – ReMission International track-listing:

Vinyl Side A (cat no: SPV 243541 LP)
1. TOS2020 (Beholden To The Front Line Workers Of The World mix)
2. TOS2020 (single)

Vinyl Side B
TOS2020 (Trentemøller Remix)
TOS2020 (Albie Mischenzingerzen Remix)

CD (cat no: SPV 243542 CD-EP)
1. TOS2020 (Beholden To The Front Line Workers Of The World mix)
2. TOS2020 (Trentemøller Remix)
3. TOS2020 (Albie Mischenzingerzen Remix)
4. TOS2020 (single)

Digital Bundle (cat no: SPV 24354D)
1. TOS2020 (single)
2. TOS2020 (Beholden To The Front Line Workers Of The World mix)
3. TOS2020 (Trentemøller Remix)
4. TOS2020 (Albie Mischenzingerzen Remix)
5. Tower Of Strength (original – new remaster) – The Mission (free bonus track with bundle only)

Charities to benefit from the single include: NHS Charities UK,St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Memphis, Music Venue Trust UK, Covenant House, New Orleans, Disasters Emergency Committee, MusiCares, Plan International, Direct Relief, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Liberty Hill Foundation, The Shrewsbury Ark, Memorial Sloan Kettering Center NYC, Prostate Cancer UK, The Teddy Bear Clinic, Red Rover, Help Musicians UK, Crew Nation, Venice Family Clinic, The Anthony Walker Foundation, Projeto Cáo Communitário and The City Of San Francisco COVID-19 Fund.

By the way, have you seen Wayne Hussey’s signature Schecter Corsair-12? Beautiful instrument with a unique pickup configuration.

Reverend Reeves Gabrels Dirtbike

Aah, how cool is this! Reverend Guitars has just unleashed the Reeves Gabrels Dirtbike, a stripped-back, ready-to-get-down-and-dirty guitar inspired by Reeves’ personal history. In his own words:

“What I think is cool about this guitar is the fact that I have a whole ongoing story/reason/explanation of always having a no frills simple, fast and blue thing to zip around on that threads thru my whole life. This guitar is a continuation of that sense of freedom in the form of speed and power stripped down to its essentials. And Reverend Guitars matched the light metallic blue color of both of its two wheeled predecessors. To me a single pickup guitar with a trem is just like my 1966 Schwinn Stingray with the extension spring on the front wheel or my 1971 Honda dirtbike with the raised front fender and slightly extended fork. It’s a guitar with enough agility that it will let you grab air and do wheelies and the power to leave some rubber on the asphalt in front of the neighbor’s house. And, really, that’s all you need. Did I mention it’s blue?” – Reeves Gabrels.

It has a custom Railhammer pickup, solid Korina body, Wilkinson WVS50 IIK tremolo, passive bass contour knob and a 22 jumbo fret Rosewood fingerboard on a three-piece Korina neck. It comes in three colours: Reeves Blue, Violin Brown and Cream. More info here.
 

Schecter Robert Smith UltraCure-XII

ultracure-12-string

Schecter has plenty of great Robert Smith models (as you may have seen in this article) and they’ve just added another: the UltraCure-XII, a 12-string version of his signature guitar featuring a Diamond Adjustable-12 bridge, Schecter locking tuners, Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers with push-pull coil splits, mahogany body and mother-of-pearl block inlays. Head to this link for more info. Read More …

The Guitars Of The Cure

The Guitars Of The Cure

I encourage everyone to pop on a pair of headphones and listen to a few songs by The Cure – especially if you’ve never really paid close attention before. You’ll hear how a few simple melodic ideas can be blended together to form a much more complex whole. It’s really intriguing to listen to and learn from how each instrument works together, especially when the six-string bass is used: often Robert Smith might play a high melody while Simon Gallup plays a more traditional bassline, but sometimes these roles become cloudy: Gallup will play a more wandering melody while Robert plays something more anchored. The lines really become blurred between the roles of each instrument in service of the song. Robert Smith, Reeves Gabrels and Simon Gallup all have current signature model instruments to help them get their sound. Let’s have a look at them all.  Read More …

REVIEW: Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI

I recently fulfilled a long, long-held dream of mine by finally acquiring a Bass VI – in this case, the Squier Vintage Modified version (which I bought from my friends at World of Music). Remember the instrument that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty DeBergi even look at in This Is Spinal Tap? Bass VI. If you’ve never heard of the Bass VI, let me give you a brief run-down: it looks a bit like a Fender Jaguar but it has a 30” scale length and is tuned E-to-E like a guitar, except a full octave lower so that the lowest four strings are the same pitches as those of a regular four-string bass. The string spacing is closer than a regular bass, and I can’t think of too many basses with whammy bars, especially Jaguar-style units. So what is this? Is it a bass? Is it a guitar? The answer to both questions is ‘yes and no.’ Or more accurately, it’s simply a Bass VI. It’s lower than the lowest baritone guitars, and it goes higher than conventional four-string basses by a full two strings. Read More …

Incoming New Guitar Day: Squier Bass VI

squier-vintage-modified-bass-vi-630-80Sometimes it’s nice to treat yerself (even if it means living on ramen noodles for a few weeks), so to celebrate two years of my super-awesome job I’m treating myself to a Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI. I’ve had a crush on these things ever since they were announced, but my lust for the Bass VI goes back to when I first saw Spinal Tap and became curious about the surf-green guitar that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty Di Bergi touch (or even look at). The Bass VI is a relatively obscure and definitely interesting instrument which looks almost like a Fender Jaguar but is tuned a full octave below a guitar. It can be played like a bass, like a guitar, or like its own instrument, which is really what it is. You can hear the Bass VI in music by The Cure (seriously, it’s all over so much Cure stuff that it’s hard to imagine their sound without it) and plenty of stuff by Placebo too.  Read More …

NAMM: Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk

reeves

Reeves Gabrels is one of my all-time favourite guitarists. I don’t think I can ever truly get along with a person unless they too get chills from Reeves’ solo in “A Small Plot Of Land” from David Bowie’s Outside album. Reeves is currently playing in The Cure, and his latest signature guitar looks perfect for the job. The semi-hollowbody Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk is Reeves’ latest signature guitar with the company and it features a Bigsby vibrato bridge, Railhammer pickups designed by Reverend founder Joe Naylor, Pin-lock tuners (a thumbwheel under the tuner pushes a steel pin up through the post, locking the string in place for exceptional tuning stability and super-fast string changes), a Korina body, a bass roll-off pot, sealed body for controlled feedback, on-off toggle switch, custom soft-touch tremolo spring, and push-pull phase switch (in the tone control). Read More …

Reeves Gabrels playing with The Cure

The legendary Reeves Gabrels is one of the most unique, creative and altogether interesting guitarists on the planet. Check out his work with Bowie (solo and with Tin Machine), his solo albums and his latest project, Sonic Mining Company (which you can buy from Bandcamp by clicking on this link). Sonic Mining Company is a collaboration with Frank Swart (Norah Jones, Patty Griffin, Morphine), and naughty drummer Adam Abrashoff (Funkwrench, SIMO) and it’s brilliant.

And now Reeves is playing with The Cure, performing at festivals throughout the northern Summer. Cool huh?

Reeves and Reverend Guitars also just unveiled the Reeves Gabrels II, a new version of his signature guitar featuring the Railhammer Chisel bridge and neck pickups, solid Korina body with flame maple top, tone control with stealth push-pull phase switch, Wilkinson trem with back rout, and a rotatable pickup selector toggle switch which can be easily angled to suit the individual player.

Here’s a video of Reeves playing with The Cure at the Pinkpop festival.