thu 24/08/2017

1980s

Reissue CDs Weekly: Blancmange

The Some Bizzare Album was released in January 1981. Compiled by DJ Stevo, it featured twelve unsigned acts he felt represented a fresh way of approaching pop – one enabled by the availability of synthesisers and rhythm machines. Stevo was playing...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Noise Reduction System

Last year, the arrival of Close to the Noise Floor compelled theartsdesk’s Reissue CDs Weekly to conclude that it was “hugely important and utterly delightful”. A four-CD set, it was a thrilling, first-time overview of the UK’s early indie-synth...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 31: Psychic TV, Kendrick Lamar, Brian Eno, Stan Getz and more

August is often a quiet month on the release front but theartsdesk on Vinyl came across a host of music deserving of attention. Now that even Sony, one of the biggest record companies in the world, are starting to press their own vinyl again, it’s...

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Coming Clean, King's Head Theatre / Twilight Song, Park Theatre reviews - gay-themed first and last plays falter

Like his smash-hit My Night With Reg, Kevin Elyot's first and last plays have a role to play in the history of gay theatre, but do they work? Emphatically not in the case of Twilight Song (★★), completed – one is tempted to say, sketched – shortly...

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Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain

Who'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of Girl from the North Country, which locates moments of transcendence in hard-scrabble Depression-era lives, along comes John Tiffany...

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CD: Girl Ray - Earl Grey

Girl Ray. Man Ray. Geddit? Earl Grey, the debut album from London female three-piece Girl Ray isn’t as freewheeling as the art of the man whose name they rework, but it is strikingly reminiscent of a particular strand of introspective 1980’s British...

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, Menier Chocolate Factory review – more than feel-good summer fun

Back in Margaret Thatcher’s middle England, teenagers got by somehow. Without recourse to wands or Ballardian games of extinction, we survived adolescence with the help of a story full of people we knew. People (a bit) like us. Every year I re-read...

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GLOW, Netflix review - not quite comedy or drama

How much plotting went into GLOW? It has been gussied up by the people who brought you the jumbo Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black. Both shows are based on a true story and feature women of all ethnicities bitching and slapping in a contained...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Silhouettes & Statues - A Gothic Revolution

In February 1983, New Musical Express ran a cover feature categorising what it termed “positive punk”. Bands co-opted into this ostensibly new trend were Blood & Roses, Brigandage, Danse Society, Rubella Ballet, Sex Gang Children, Southern Death...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Stormy Monday

Using Hollywood stars to prop up British crime thrillers is an ignoble tradition. Guy Ritchie’s Snatch misused Brad Pitt, but John Wayne’s execrable Brannigan is probably the worst example. So one’s hopes aren’t high for Stormy Monday, a 1987 noir...

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CD: Peter Perrett - How The West Was Won

Peter Perrett is one of the most underrated songwriters. If people have heard of him, it’s down to The Only Ones’ classic, “Another Girl, Another Planet”, but The Only Ones made three albums (and an odds’n’ends collection) as the Seventies turned to...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Shelleyan Orphan

Considering Shelleyan Orphan, Melody Maker said “someone’s been smearing themselves in art…were they artists or did they just wallow in shit?” While the late Eighties’ British music press often made assertions to seek attention, slagging off a band...

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