• It’s your Saturday edition of The Purge and it’s kicking off with news that New Zealand superstar Lorde is back with brand new music. The songstress, who blasted onto the scene four years ago via her megahit ‘Royals’, has returned with ‘Green Light’, the first taste of her forthcoming sophomore album. The music video landed alongside the new track (watch it HERE), but we’ll have to wait until the Australian winter to get the rest of the album.
• Queensland superstars Sheppard have also pressed ‘go’ on new music this week, dropping ‘Keep Me Crazy’, described as “the first international single from their upcoming album”. It’s the band’s first international single release since ‘Geronimo’ and will set the scene for their sophomore project. “It’s a great signpost of what to expect from our album later this year and we’re excited to take it to our fans not just in Australia, but around the world,” George Sheppard said in a statement. It’s due at digital retailers everywhere next Friday, March 10.
• Former ‘X Factor’ star Jason Owen is doing a good deed this month, donating the profits from the sale of every copy of his latest album ‘Proud’ in the first two weeks of March to the Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal. The bushfire has devastated local communities in country New South Wales, destroying homes, machinery, livestock and livelihoods. Click HERE to grab your copy and support a good cause.
• The Australian tour of UK legends Madness has grown slightly with the addition of a second Perth show to their local commitments. The band’s schedule kicks off at the Fremantle Arts Centre on April 10, but with that show already sold out, Live Nation has added a second date the following night at the same venue. Tickets are on sale now.
• Jimmy Barnes has added a final Sydney performance to his ‘Working Class Boy : An Evening of Stories & Songs’ tour. He’ll wrap up his touring schedule with the new date, at the State Theatre on April 12. Tickets are on sale from 10am on Wednesday, March 08.
• UK artist Sampha has upgraded the second of his upcoming Melbourne shows to satiate demand for tickets. Originally slated to be held at the Croxton Bandroom on May 30, the show has now shifted to the larger Forum Theatre. The singer’s debut album ‘Process’ dropped this time last month.
• GUM (aka Tame Impala’s Jay Watson) will be back in Australia from later this month for three shows on the East Coast in support of his 2016 album ‘Flash In The Pan’. He’ll play The Curtin in Melbourne on March 30, The Foundry in Brisbane on March 31 and Two Wolves Cantina in Sydney on April 01. Tickets are on sale now.
• Mallrat is also hitting up Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this April as part of an East Coast club tour. The 18 year old emcee will play The Gasometer in Melbourne on April 06, Hudson Ballroom in Sydney on April 07 and The TBC Club in Brisbane on April 08; all shows in support of her recently-released ‘Uninvited’ EP. Tickets are on sale now.
• All Our Exes Live In Texas are headed out on a national tour in support of their just-released album ‘When We Fall’. The band have confirmed 13 shows across five mainland states, kicking off with a show at Lizotte’s in Newcastle on Saturday June 10. Tickets are on sale now via the band’s WEBSITE.
• And British outfit Status Quo will bring their ‘The Last Night Of The Electrics’ tour to Australia’s East Coast in October. The band, most recently famous for their jingle for Coles Supermarkets, will kick their run of three Aussie dates off at The Star (Jupiter’s) on the Gold Coast on October 13. They’ll then play shows in Sydney and Melbourne. General public tickets are on sale this Monday.
• It didn’t matter that The Chainsmokers surprised everyone at the Brit Awards by revealing their superstar collaboration with Coldplay. Despite the live performance and despite the clout of two chart heavyweights, it still wasn’t enough to knock Ed Sheeran off the top spot on the UK singles chart after eight long weeks. Yes, Ed is still flying high in the No.1 position with ‘Shape Of You’, just as his new album reaches retailers across the planet. He may very well be No.1 on both charts this time next week. Of course, The Chainsmokers and Coldplay did well with ‘Something Just Like This’, which leaps from No.30 to No.2, ahead of Ed’s ‘Castle On The Hill’, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man’s ‘Human’ and Katy Perry’s ‘Chained To The Rhythm’. Stormzy’s single ‘Big For Your Boots’ thunders into the top ten (No.17 to No.6), while the new Calvin Harris single ‘Slide’, featuring Frank Ocean and Migos, premieres at the even No.10. Speaking of Stormzy, he embarks on a take-over of this week’s UK top 100, premiering with various tracks at Nos.21, 22, 25, 29, 30, 48, 53, 55, 58, 59, 63, 65, 68 and 100, as well as re-entering at No.37 with ‘Shut Up’. Not good news for the new Take That single, however, which plummets from a No.13 debut to No.92.
• Say it’s not so… Stormzy? No.1 on the UK albums chart? Naturally his album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ slams the No.1 albums chart on debut as his fans pick and choose their favourites over on the singles side of the draw. The album knocks Rag’N’Bone Man’s ‘Human’ out of top spot, with the rest of the top five made up by Ed Sheeran, the ‘Trolls’ soundtrack and Adele. Future’s self-titled album premiered at No.15 last week in the UK (it’s down to No.66), but his second new album ‘Hndrxx’ only manages No.21.
• It’s now four weeks on the fly for Ed Sheeran’s international smash ‘Shape Of You’ on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US. The single again holding off all challengers, including the track it replaced in the top spot (Migos ftg Lil Uzi Vert’s ‘Bad And Boujee’), which rises from three to two at the expense of Zayn and Taylor Swift’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’. Post-Grammys, Bruno Mars’ ‘That’s What I Like’ continues its ascension up the charts (No.7 to No.4) and The Chainsmokers’ ‘Paris’ improves from No.11 to No.6. But this week’s really all about Kygo x Selena Gomez, who put the afterburners on with their collaboration ‘It Ain’t Me’, which rockets from No.93 to No.12.
• The first of Future’s two albums (his self-titled one) makes its impact in the US this week, debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Expect number two to do the same next week. He knocks off the ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ soundtrack in premiering in top spot. It’s down to No.3, allowing Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ to remain steady at No.2. Three more debuts crack the US top ten this week. There’s Charlie Wilson’s ‘In It To Win It’ at No.7, Ryan Adams’ ‘Prisoner’ at No.8 and ‘Windy City’ by Alison Krauss at No.9.
• And, with the UK and US charts skimmed over, that brings our Saturday morning edition of The Purge to an end. We will, however, be back at 6pm AEDT with our regular weekly wrap of the ARIA top 100s. All the new entries, all the big moves, all the new certifications… all right here at 6pm every Saturday on ARIA Chart Watch. Guess we’ll catch you then.
MONDAY MARCH 06 : Status Quo (Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast)
WEDNESDAY MARCH 08 : Jimmy Barnes (Sydney)
FRIDAY MARCH 10 : Boney M (Nationally)