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Gaz Coombes has called for government support to help small music venues survive.

The 44-year-old musician – who was due to reunite with his Supergrass bandmates on tour this summer to mark the 25th anniversary of their seminal chart-topping debut album, ‘I Should Coco’ – has called on Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to allocate money from the Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund to smaller establishments.

Speaking ahead of a live-streamed performance at The Bullingdon music venue in Oxford, he said: ”Fingers crossed some of this money from the government can go towards correcting things, fixing things, helping these venues out because it’s just so vital.

”It’s really concerning, the main stream pop world is a different beast, I think it comes in at a different level.

”It’s a different approach, but for indie music, or for rock and roll bands and artists, that whole idea of starting out with a group of fans that see you in a small room with 100 people, to share that start of a journey with a band is kind of fundamental, it’s the foundation of live music.”

Meanwhile, Gaz previously admitted he felt ”responsible” for Supergrass’ split and explained that their lengthy hiatus largely came down to feeling ”uninspired” with the album they were working on.

He said: ”I remember feeling uninspired. You’d take CDs with you on your journey home and it was the first time I’d never play them to anyone, which was weird.

”I was trying to be optimistic, thinking that they weren’t ready, but I just wasn’t digging it. I just felt quite sad about it, really.”

He added that it felt ”horrible and demoralising” when they showed what they had to a record label and insisted he had never intended to start a solo career and said he felt like he had a ”weight” lifted off his shoulders when they decided to go their separate ways.

He added: ”We played them two or three tracks and I was sitting there thinking: ‘These aren’t very good.’

”It just felt horrible and demoralising. It was painful and I didn’t see a way out apart from leaving the band.

”I felt responsible. I didn’t want to f*** things up for anyone else. ”But once I’d decided to leave, I felt really good, that weight had gone.

”I had no thoughts about doing any music on my own, I just wanted to not have that feeling with music before it got too much and did any damage.”



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Jada Pinkett Smith | Jada Pinkett Smith likes to be in control of her own skincare routine

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Jada Pinkett Smith prefers to control her own skincare over going to an aesthetician.

The ‘Girls Trip’ actress and her daughter Willow Smith, 20 – whom she has with husband Will Smith – posted a video to Instagram from their home sharing Jada’s skincare secrets at the weekend.

In the clip, Jada – who can be seeing wearing a face mask with her daughter – explained why she only visits her aesthetician “twice a year at best” and also shared how to do steaming without a steam room.

She wrote in the caption: “So many of you have been asking about my skin routine so let’s start with some tips for Self Care Saturday.

“I go to an aesthetician twice a year at best. I’m too particular about my skin to put it in the hands of someone else.

“Steam is one of my secrets and you don’t need a steam room. Boil water … pour it into a bowl … put your face over the bowl and throw a towel over your head. Sit under the towel for 1-2 minutes. This process helps to keep skin moist … to pull out impurities and to open pours to put nourishment into the skin.”

The 49-year-old star – who also has son Jaden, 22, with the ‘Men in Black’ actor – also revealed that she avoids drinking soda and juice and mainly has water to keep her skin super hydrated.

She added: “I drink at least 8-9 bottles of water a day (sometimes more) I don’t drink soda or juices. Water is really ALL I drink. DIET IS SO IMPORTANT! We’ll get more into that … later.”



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November 2020 Favourites: From Olafur Arnalds to Kylie Minogue, every genre has something to cheer us

olafur arnalds some kind of peace album art

We’re entering into the final month of the year and it feels like we’re moving forward into a new era of hope. Nothing gives us more optimism than some of the albums that have presented themselves this year, and November in particular has been a rush of uplifting sounds. Here are some of our favourites.

Ólafur Arnalds – Some Kind Of Peace

If you’re looking for “some kind of peace”, that’s exactly what you’ll get with this Icelandic producer’s latest classical-electronic album; it’s a unique blend of melancholy and tranquility with minimal vocals and a vulnerable edge that makes it the perfect record to wrap up a difficult year. Plus, while it is a timeless record, it very much feels representative of the here and now as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. 

Olafur Arnalds – Some Kind of Peace

Megan Thee Stallion – Good News

It’s hard to believe she’s only just dropped her debut album, having been the rapper that everyone’s talking about for months now. But one thing that isn’t hard to believe is just how well acclaimed Good News has found itself. The world is in need of strong young black women more than ever, and that’s everything this album represents and more.

Megan Thee Stallion - Good NewsMegan Thee Stallion – Good News

Benee – Hey U X

Another fantastic debut album arrived in November in the form of New Zealand singer-songwriter’s Hey U X. It’s already been a big hit in her home country, reaching number 2 in the charts, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the kind of alternative pop we love here at ContactMusic and since her meteoric rise to fame with the TikTok favourite Supalonely featuring Gus Dapperton, we’ve been blown away by everything that has come since.

Benee - Hey U XBenee – Hey U X

Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts

Despite the mixed opinions about Miley Cyrus’ change in musical direction, it’s difficult to find much to criticise with her latest album and first real foray into rock: Plastic Hearts. There’s nothing inauthentic or trying-too-hard about the album, and features some excellent guest appearances from the likes of Dua Lipa, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. A definite contender for album of the year.

Miley Cyrus - Plastic HeartsMiley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts

Kylie Minogue – Disco

There was always the risk that Kylie’s newest release would be a bit of a cheese-fest, but it’s almost impossible to criticise this cohesive and infectious record that has had us dancing around our living rooms longing for those long-forgotten weekends on the dancefloor. But far from making us feel sad about missing the clubs, this has been one of those uplifting records that has only served to boost our hope and optimism.

Kylie Minogue - DiscoKylie Minogue – Disco



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Aaron Eckhart | Aaron Eckhart: The Dark Knight is a ‘reflection of our times’

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Aaron Eckhart feels ‘The Dark Knight’ is a “reflection of our times”.

The 52-year-old actor played District Attorney Harvey Dent who becomes the villain Two-Face in Christopher Nolan‘s 2008 Batman movie and he has compared the script to “reading literature” and insists that despite it being a superhero story in many ways it holds a mirror to modern American society.

Aaron said: “Some scripts are whatever; you get through them and hey, fine. But ‘The Dark Knight’ was a novel and it was thick. It was like reading literature.

“And there’s something about Gotham City too. You have a city that’s oppressed and being run by a criminal gang. People can’t go out during the day, everybody’s scared for their safety, and the people that are paid to protect them are corrupted. They’re part of a gang and nobody can trust anybody. Sound like anything that’s familiar?”

The ‘Midway’ star also lauded the efforts of Nolan to bring the DC Comics characters to life on the big screen and the late Heath Ledger‘s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker for helping to contribute to the action movie’s success.

Aaron – who starred opposite Christian Bale as Batman – said: “Not only is it a great story and a great movie, but this is what cinema and art are all about. It’s a reflection of our times. Chris knocked it out of the park and that’s why that movie is so important. And then, obviously, the performance of Heath. What a special, special movie. I was happy to be a part of it.”

Aaron is currently starring in indie thriller ‘Wander’ and revealed that enjoys working on independent films as the cast and crew are “on the edge all the time”.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “Independent movie-making is certainly more like the Wild, Wild West. You’re on the edge all the time. You don’t know if you’re going to make your days. You don’t know if you’re going to have enough money for the next day. There’s also a lot of freedom in that.

“I can’t even think about all the times in (‘Wander’) where we didn’t have what we needed – or it didn’t seem like it – and we had to improvise. But it’s exciting to me because I can change the words if I want. I can improvise. I can make stuff up. When I’m on a big-budget movie, I’m not doing that. It’s more corporate.”



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