It is easy to forget that just over 3 months ago Black Country, New Road had only released two singles to-date. Those early breakthrough tracks “Athens, France” and “Sunglasses, saw the band make an impressive impact on fans and critics alike. Declared “the best band in the world” by The Quietus, with glowing reviews from The New York Times to The Guardian, a cover feature for Loud & Quiet, a live BBC 6 Music session, selling out shows across the country (including 1700 tickets in London), being invited to festivals around the world including Primavera and Glastonbury, and finding themselves on French TV sandwiched between Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien.
In the here and now, having signed to Ninja Tune, the band’s debut record arrives heralded as nothing short of groundbreaking. Recorded with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine) during the early part of 2020 and then finished at the end of the second nationwide lock-down, the album is the perfect capturing of a new band and all the energy, ferocity and explosive charge that comes with that whilst also clearly the work of a group who have no interest in repetition, one-note approaches or letting creative stagnation set in. Featuring six new songs including reinterpretations of early tracks “Sunglasses” and “Athens, France”, as well as recent singles “Track X” and “Science Fair“, “For the first time” is a sonic time capsule that somehow manages to bottle the past, the present and the future.
Speaking about the release, the band says, “the group feel a collective sense of relief, one of reflection too – we think this record gives an honest representation of the way we sound when we come together and play music. All of the good moments and some of the less good moments too. It’s a good start, we look forward to the music being available to people and in equal parts look forward to moving on from this music. Before the release of this record we are already hard at work preparing new music.”
On what under normal circumstances may be good cause for a victory lap of the UK’s live music venues, the band instead will play an 40 minute improvised livestream on Bandcamp to commemorate the new album. The performance (which will be recorded at The Premises studios in London) will take place on 6th Feb – tickets are £4 and are available via Bandcamp HERE.
In the absence of live music possibilities for the early part of 2021, the band have also announced details of a new socially distanced headline tour to take place in June, including the band’s rescheduled sold-out dates at Islington Assembly Hall, London that were due to take place in April (full dates below). The new dates also follow on the heels of the band’s London headline livestream date at Queen Elizabeth Hall – Southbank Centre on March 6th – full details + tickets are available HERE.
Anyone who buys the album on any format from the Black Country, New Road store, Bandcamp or Ninja Tune store between 10am GMT on Friday 5th February and 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday 10th February will gain access to the June tour pre-sale. Those who have previously ordered the album from those stores will also be sent access details. Pre-sale starts at 9am GMT on Friday 12th February.
Black Country, New Road’s live performances have gained legendary status among fans of the emerging scene that coalesced around vaunted south London venue The Windmill, and which gave rise to many of their peers and contemporaries such as Fat White Family, black midi and Squid, artists with whom they have variously supported, toured with and collaborated with over the years.
The band also recently teamed up for a collaborative performance with black midi under the name Black Midi, New Road. The livestreamed performance was part of a fundraiser for The Windmill Brixton, which raised over £13K for the venue.
The band will play the following dates in 2021:
06/02/2021 – The Premises, London – UK (Livestream)
06/03/2021 – Queen Elizabeth Hall – Southbank Centre, London – UK (Livestream)
15/06/2021 – Komedia, Bath – UK
16/06/2021 – Gaiety Bar, Portsmouth – UK
17/06/2021 – Komedia (2x sets), Brighton – UK
18/06/2021 – The Castle & Falcon (2x sets), Birmingham – UK
20/06/2021 – Future Yard (2x sets), Liverpool – UK
21/06/2021 – Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle – UK
23/06/2021 – Abbeydale Picturehouse, Sheffield – UK
25/06/2021 – YES (2x sets), Manchester – UK
26/06/2021 – Brudenell Social Club (2x sets), Leeds – UK
27/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK
28/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK (rescheduled from April 19)
29/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK (rescheduled from April 20)
14/09/2021 – Electric Ballroom, London – UK
23/10/2021 – Bumann & Sohn, Cologne – DE
24/10/2021 – Botanique Orangerie, Belgium – BE
25/10/2021 – Le Trabendo, Paris -FR
27/10/2021 – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing – FR
28/10/2021 – Lieu Unique, Nantes – FR
29/10/2021 – Rockschool Barbey, Bordeaux – FR
30/10/2021 – Dabadaba, San Sebastian – ES
01/11/2021 – ZDB, Lisbon – PT
02/11/2021 – El Sol, Madrid – ES
03/11/2021 – Laut, Barcelona – ES
05/11/2021 – Circolo della Musica, Turin – IT
06/11/2021 – Bogen F, Zürich – CH
08/11/2021 – Underdogs’, Prague – CZ
09/11/2021 – Lido, Berlin – DE
10/11/2021 – Hydrozagadka, Warsaw – PL
11/11/2021 – Transcentury Update Warm Up @ UT Connewitz Leipzig – DE
12/11/2021 – Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg – DE
14/11/2021 – Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht – NL
16/11/2021 – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam – NL
29/11/2021 – Chalk, Brighton – UK
30/11/2021 – Junction 1, Cambridge – UK
01/12/2021 – 1865, Southampton – UK
03/12/2021 – Arts Club, Liverpool – UK
04/12/2021 – Irish Centre, Leeds – UK
06/12/2021 – O2 Ritz Manchester, Manchster – UK
07/12/2021 – Newcastle University Union Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK
08/12/2021 – TV Studios (SWG3) Glasgow – UK
09/12/2021 – The Mill, Birmingham – UK
10/12/2021 – The Waterfront, Norwich – UK
12/12/2021 – SWX, Bristol – UK
13/12/2021 – Y Plas, Cardiff – UK
15/12/2021 – Whelan’s, Dublin – IE
Tickets are available HERE
‘For the first time’ is available on Limited Edition White LP [with exclusive negative sleeve], Black LP, CD, as well as Cassette (BC,NR store only).
Order the album HERE