John Naughton: Data-hucksters beware: online privacy is returning | John Naughton

Next May, an EU regulation will enshrine the protection of personal data into law and not even Brexit is going to stop it

Next year, 25 May looks like being a significant date. That’s because it’s the day that the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into force. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a date that is already keeping many corporate executives awake at night. And for those who are still sleeping soundly, perhaps it would be worth checking that their organisations are ready for what’s coming down the line.

Related: UK citizens to get more rights over personal data under new laws

Advertising Age concludes that the new regulation will ‘rip the global digital ecosystem apart’

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GIITTV: The Afghan Whigs – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 15/08/2017

I’m just going to the toilet” says Andy Bennett, from Leicester’s finest band, We Three And The Death Rattle, and he disappears, never to return again for the rest of the evening. Andy is here merely on a leisure pursuit tonight, and, after bumping into him, we had been having a good old chat for the past twenty minutes. His departure seemed to tie in with a comment I made about this being the first year I had completely given up listening to the Radio 1 Top 40 chart rundown. Whether my admission that I was still listening to such a wretched show right up to the end of last year diminished my ‘cool factor’ in his eyes (if, indeed, I ever had one) to the extent that he could no longer bear to be in my company, I wouldn’t like to guess…

More likely, I suspect (and hope), is that tonight’s support act, Ed Harcourt, surprised us all so much with his versatility that Andy found himself rather caught up in the moment and merely stood transfixed during his return journey. Truth is, most gig goers still generally endure, rather than enjoy, the support act, politely applauding them whilst inside really just impatient for the main event. With Ed though, you tend to find that the audience either already knows and loves his work, or is very quickly won over. It is easy to see why. Building his opening number around impromptu loops and beats (‘Occupational Hazard‘), he flits between identities of one man band, piano balladeer and acoustic folk hero with the greatest of ease. Throughout all this, the guy always comes across as humble, witty and charming, and, having just celebrated his 40th birthday (as he was quick to inform us), the quality of his songwriting has yet to suffer any kind of dip in form. It must be a pleasure to have Ed as support on your tour.

The Afghan Whigs themselves, meanwhile, are that rarest of breeds – a band who, if you were attending with a friend unfamiliar with their work, it wouldn’t actually matter. Normally, I would suggest to perhaps listen to at least the latest album and a few further tracks beforehand, but the truth is, the band is so tight, so adept at pulling off – and, in fact, improving – their extensive back catalogue that a night out with them could never be deemed a chore, even to the uninitiated. I might even argue that the best introduction to Greg Dulli and his cohorts is merely to see them perform live.

Tonight’s show, understandably, pays homage to long term friend and bandmate Dave Rosser, who passed away less than two months ago from inoperable colon cancer. Rosser was a big part of Dulli’s side projects The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins, as well as the most recent incarnation of the Whigs, and whilst the band’s recent version of Pleasure Club‘s ‘You Want Love‘ was reimagined as an ode to Rosser, and this evening ‘Can Rova‘ is cited as such (“This was one of Dave’s favourite songs to play“), you actually come away feeling that the entire show could be passed off as the ultimate in tributes to the late guitarist.

A large portion of the setlist is made up of tracks from this year’s In Spades album, which, it must be said, come across rather brilliantly live, and, delightfully, all of the best tracks from 2014’s Do To The Beast as well as most of the standouts from what I, and many others, still regard as their masterpiece – Black Love. The songs are intense and beautifully atmospheric, the recent tragic bereavement perhaps even ramping up the potency still further.

Despite the alarming lack of numbers from arguably their best known album, Gentlemen (total count = zero), The Afghan Whigs nevertheless put on a tremendous show that ends with Black Love‘s brilliant ‘Faded‘, which is something, I suspect, that this band will never be. As classy as ever.


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GIITTV: Inarguable Pop Classics #18: Talk Talk – It’s My Life

Talk Talk bestrided through the early 1980s musical landscape, producing some quite astounding synth-pop epiphanies. One of them ‘It’s My Life’ is one of a handful of their towering pop moments, that has perhaps only grown in impact over the intervening years since its release. Turning evocative production into a virtue, each instrumental part and note given a sense of space and breath that was uncommon in an era of glossy pop. Thus ‘It’s My Life’ is built upon a bed of clicking drum machines and synths that swirl and squawk gradually enveloping the listener. “One-half won’t do,” sings Mark Hollis in the pre-chorus, before the song lets flight into glorious, life affirming crescendos lifted aloft by firing drum machines, warm tumbling synths, while Hollis’s imperious tone shivers with a wistful impregnable power, ripe with existential yearning. Each note gives voice to a quivering vulnerability and a clinging to hope, embodying the contradictions of life’s constant struggle, alone and part of the crowd all at once (‘caught in the trap it never ends’).

Originally written by the band’s creative hub of Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, it was the title track on the band’s second album and released as its first single in January 1984. Surprisingly It only just scraped into the top 50 in the UK charts that year, but was a hit throughout Europe. Talk Talk would go on to chart more leftfield sounds with long players like ‘Spirit of Eden’ and ‘Laughing Stock’, but the existential pop brilliance of ‘It’s My Life’ left an indelible mark and even from the vantage point of 2017, it still sounds timeless, towering and quite frankly marvellous.

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GIITTV: NEWS: Wolf Alice share ‘Beautifully Unconventional’

After a spate of singles throughout the last few months, Wolf Alice continue to build up towards the release of their sophomore record Visions of a Life by sharing new single Beautifully Unconventional. The track arrives as the band set out on their first UK concerts of 2017, where they will return to a number of venues they performed in when they first began touring the UK.

On Beautifully Unconventional, singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell comments; “I wrote it about one of my friends. My feelings towards her reminded me of the film Heathers, where everyone is a Heather and you find your other non-Heather… a ‘you can be my partner in crime’, sorta thing.” Visions of a Life is set to be released on the 29th September via Dirty Hit.

Check out the full list of UK tour dates below:

Aug 16 – The Venue, Derby, UK – sold out
Aug 17 – Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough, UK – sold out
Aug 18 – Fat Sam’s, Dundee, UK – sold out
Aug 19 – The Garage, Aberdeen, UK – sold out
Aug 21  – Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, UK – sold out
Aug 22  – The Wharf, Tavistock, UK – sold out
Aug 23  – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, UK – sold out
Aug 25  – Boileroom, Guildford, UK – sold out
Nov 08 – 02 Academy, Bristol, UK – sold out
Nov 09 – 02 Apollo, Manchester, UK
Nov 11 – Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK – sold out
Nov 12 – Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
Nov 13 – 02 Academy, Newcastle, UK
Nov 15 – Rock City, Nottingham, UK
Nov 16 – 02 Academy, Birmingham, UK
Nov 17 – UEA, Norwich, UK
Nov 18 – 02 Academy, Leeds, UK
Nov 20 – Dome, Brighton, UK
Nov 21 – 02 Guildhall, Southampton, UK
Nov 24 – Alexandra Palace, London, UK
Nov 27 – Ulster Hall, Belfast, UK
Nov 28 – Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
Photo credit: Laura Allard Fleischl

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GIITTV: NEWS: LCD Soundsystem share new single ‘tonite’

LCD Soundsystem share the third single from their upcoming fourth album AMERICAN DREAM. Having been premiered by Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 show, tonite is now available to purchase/stream. Check out the video for tonite below:

AMERICAN DREAM is set to be released digitally and on vinyl/CD on 1st September via Columbia Records/DFA. There will also be a special edition cassette version of the album released through DFA exclusively. LCD Soundsystem are currently on their world tour, with the majority of dates throughout the UK sold out.

Tour Dates:

Sep-16-17 Manchester, UK The Warehouse Project – SOLD OUT 
Sep-17-17 Manchester, UK The Warehouse Project – SOLD OUT
Sep-19-17 Glasgow, UK The Barrowland Ballroom – SOLD OUT
Sep-20-17 Glasgow, UK The Barrowland Ballroom  – SOLD OUT
Sep-22-17 London, UK Alexandra Palace  – SOLD OUT
Sep-23-17 London, UK Alexandra Palace

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GIITTV: Track Of The Day #1065: Rat & Co. – Control

Australian trio Rat & Co. will release their new album Third Law on August 25th. The theme of the album is a futuristic world in which artificial intelligence has taken over. Ahead of it, the Melbourne act have unveiled a new track ‘Control.’

It complements previous single ‘Soldiers‘ and the appropriately named ‘A.I.’ by adding Joshua Delaney’s otherworldly vocoder vocal to the track. Whilst Boards of Canada are clearly an influence, the icy post-punk pop sound adds a fresh layer of audible foreboding, reflecting a world where the news just gets darker by the day, and within the music, it’s a post-apocalyptic feel. It’s made even darker by the sense that there’s something to be feared – but what?

Delaney’s lyrics hold an authoritative tone as they guide you through the track, despite the uncertain message… ‘unfold control, we are the other one, the other one, our hearts are cold, we’ll start again, just start again’.

Who knows what the coming weeks will hold? One thing’s for sure: assuming we haven’t descended into a nuclear winter, Rat & Co. will likely be providing the soundtrack for the coming months…

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