wed 20/03/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Everything about this mixtape oozes confidence. It crams twelve tracks plus interludes - all produced by Andre “Shy FX” Williams - into barely more than half an hour. It...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Thing this, a lot of this unpleasantness could have been avoided if DI Jimmy Perez had just watched the second series of The Missing. From this he could have deduced that there...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Standing next to the warm brown beast of a piano built by Blüthner in Leipzig in 1867, Sir András Schiff advised his audience last night to clear their minds and ears of...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
The Magnum photographer Martin Parr has spent decades observing contemporary human activity world-wide as – perhaps – a mesmerised observer, an anthropologist, a tourist, addicted...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
1957 was a busy year for a very busy director: Ingmar Bergman made two of his most famous films – The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, several TV dramas, and a number of major...
Rachel Halliburton
Monday, 18 March 2019
Richard II has become the drama of our times, as it walks us through the impotent convulsions of a weak and vain leader brought down by in-fighting among his men. While the...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 18 March 2019
In The Thread Russell Maliphant attempts what, at first sight, appears a foolhardy project – the juxtaposition of...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Monday, 18 March 2019
Every so often, an album reminds you that, done properly, the art form is more than just a collection of songs. Barely 35...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 17 March 2019
Record Store Day is now a fixture on the calendar, a key element in “the vinyl revival”, and this year – 13 April – it’s...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 17 March 2019
The US music trade weekly Cashbox chose a picture of the then-hot Diana Ross & the Supremes and Temptations joint...
Boyd Tonkin
Saturday, 16 March 2019
Vary the stale format of the vocal recital and all sorts of new doors open for performers and listeners alike. The only...
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 16 March 2019
There’s a wolf howl and Yxng Bane (pronounced Young Bane) jumps off a block on stage and his furry hooded coat flies open...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 16 March 2019
 Mahler: Symphony No 3 Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Adam Fischer, with Anna Larsson (alto) (Tonhalle Düsseldorf)Mahler's...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 16 March 2019
Ask most people what a showband is and they’ll give you a blank look. But ask any Irish person (or those born in the Irish...
Russ Coffey
Saturday, 16 March 2019
If you're familiar with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, chances are it's from the 2004 Sundance-winning rockumentary, Dig!....
Saskia Baron
Friday, 15 March 2019
Girl opens in a golden haze of sibling affection; a teenager is tickling a little boy one sunny morning in their bedroom....
David Nice
Friday, 15 March 2019
Vibrant rustic dancing to conclude the first half, a heavenly barcarolle to cast a spell of silence at the end of the second...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 15 March 2019
Flying boldly against the #MeToo grain, Triple Frontier is a rather old-fashioned story of male buddyhood and the...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 15 March 2019
Having long been immersed in folk and world music and acoustically-oriented singer-songwriters, it’s a surprise to be given...

WHERE THE GIRLS ARE VOLUME TEN Female-centric Sixties pop compilation series bows out

★★★ DAVID HEPWORTH: A FABULOUS CREATION  'Sgt Pepper' took us by surprise - and ushered in a revolution

★★★ CONNOLLY, DRAKE, BERRINGTON, WIGMORE HALL Virginia Woolf inspires a rich if distracting mix of words and music

★★★★ THE THREAD, RUSSELL MALIPHANT & VANGELIS, SADLER'S WELLS An inspiring marriage of old and new

★★★★ YXNG BANE, BRIXTON ACADEMY Lit gig from star on the rise

★★★ SHOWBANDS, BBC FOUR An Irish cultural phenomenon explained

disc of the day

CD: Shy FX - Raggamuffin SoundTape

Staggeringly assured survey of decades of soundsystem culture in a tidy package

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Shetland, Series 5 Finale, BBC One review - Sicario-on-Sea?

Unflappable Jimmy Perez solves murderous North Sea crime wave

Showbands, BBC Four review - an Irish cultural phenomenon explained

Ardal O'Hanlon plays the genial host of this illuminating archive documentary

Cheat, ITV review - fear and loathing in academia

Cambridge lecturer afflicted by psycho stalker and useless husband


DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman - A Year in a Life

Master and monster: the Swedish cinema maestro dissected

Girl review - Belgian art-house portrait of a teenage ballerina

Danse macabre? Cannes festival favourite runs into flak on its wider release

Triple Frontier, Netflix review - war-on-drugs thriller suffers identity crisis

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck can't say no to one last big score

new music

CD: Shy FX - Raggamuffin SoundTape

Staggeringly assured survey of decades of soundsystem culture in a tidy package

CD: Lucy Rose - No Words Left

Stark and intimate songs, but there's light at the end of this tunnel

Reissue CDs Weekly: Where The Girls Are Volume Ten

The template-setting series of female-centric Sixties pop compilations bows out


Connolly, Drake, Berrington, Wigmore Hall review – between the acts

Virginia Woolf inspires a rich if distracting mix of words and music

Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Sibelius, Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti

Two romantic symphonies, plus a Scots guitarist venturing east


Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Birmingham Opera Company review - searing music-theatre for all

Bloodied brides and rat-heads run amok in visceral ballroom Shostakovich

Idomeneo, English Touring Opera review – honest excellence

Strong singing and fuss-free direction do justice to Mozart's dark masterpiece

Robin Hood, The Opera Story, CLF Café review - folk hero re-imagined as Tory villain

The plot is over-stuffed, but this new opera has some riveting moments


Richard II, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - electrifying mixed-race all-female production
Adjoa Andoh is a magnetic Richard with her hawk-like glare and vigorous swagger
10 Questions for Candice Edmunds of Theatre Company Vox Motus
The Glasgow-based artistic director talks theatre with a difference


Bon Voyage, Bob, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - interminable ennui

At three and a half wearisome hours, this feels like a marathon

The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

Odd-couple double bill of Stravinsky and Puccini with plenty to delight ear and eye


The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

Anthem review - singing praises? More like a cautious nod

A rocky start for a new franchise that offers potential and problems in equal measure

Crackdown 3 review - spectacular super-powered action that was great fun many years ago

Nearly a decade has passed since the last incarnation but little has changed in this stagnant shooter

visual arts

An encounter with John Richardson, Picasso's biographer who has died at 95

Picasso's definitive biographer recalls the artist he knew

Louise Bourgeois, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge review - a slender but choice selection

Representative samples cry out for the domestic setting of Jim Ede's house

latest comments

Are there any documentaries of the Swiftsure/Kiev...

What I understood was that the Concertgebouw...

I was there with my wife . First heard Joan...

Hang on; so Katy Woolley has jumped ship from the...

Can someone plse tell me where I can get a dvd of...

indeed our original mbaqanga music is not made...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters