sun 18/02/2018

1990s

Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Butterfly Child

The critic Simon Reynolds characterised Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia as the sound of “vitrified everglades in J.G. Ballard’s The Illuminated Man, where some kind of entropy has slowed down time, so that living creatures are literally...

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Liam Gallagher, Brighton Centre review - a rip-roaring sing-along

Liam Gallagher is a great rock star. However, he often comes across as not a likeable person. He’s called himself “a cunt” on more than one occasion. But he bleeds inarticulate insouciance and arrogant rage. He doesn’t raise even half a smile...

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CD: Marilyn Manson - Heaven Upside Down

Marilyn Manson, the man and the band, have maintained impressive global success for over two decades. Their albums – this is the band’s 10th - continue to shift by the bucket-load, and they can still sell out a worldwide stadium tour. Partly, their...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Life Is Sweet

Sweet isn’t the right word; in Mike Leigh’s 1990 film, life is unfair, frustrating and confusing by turns. Though, despite the darkness, Life Is Sweet exudes positivity and remains one of Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features.Many of the best...

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Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

Liam Scarlett must be worked off his feet. Just at the Royal Ballet, he made a full-length work, Frankenstein, last year and is currently working on a new Swan Lake; and now last night he has premiered a new abstract work, Symphonic Dances at the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Alice Coltrane

A strong candidate for reissue of the year, World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda is a rarity amongst archive collections as it does what is always hoped for but seldom accomplished. A new...

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CD: Be Myself - Sheryl Crow

My ears are doing the time warp. If I close my eyes, I'm in high-heeled jelly shoes, wearing silver lipstick, and with my hair in Bjork buns – back when a satin slip dress over a T-shirt was cool as opposed to vintage. The first track of Sheryl...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Kitchens of Distinction

Albums are not meant to be heard this way. Collecting a band's output in one package inevitably obscures that what’s being heard might have been recorded and released over years. The listening time may be five or six hours, but eighteen months could...

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Lost in France

Pulling together a music documentary strikes me as a simple enough concept. Gather your talking heads in front of a nice enough backdrop, splice with archive footage in some semblance of a narrative order and there you go. There’s no need to, say,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Does a review of a 25-year-old film need a spoiler alert? Much of the success of The Crying Game – its 1992 release earned both six Oscar nominations and huge box office returns (although not enough to save its producers from bankruptcy) – is...

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CD: Right Said Fred - Exactly!

Right Said Fred, in the wave of global fame that followed their 1991 mega-smash “I’m Too Sexy”, were unlikely celebrities. The two shaven-headed Fairbrass brothers seemed to have accidently wandered into pop and were laconic, likeable stars. There...

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