sun 08/12/2019

New Music reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5

Kieron Tyler

“I was just released from the hospital…the doctor told me that the medicine can’t do me no good. They told me what I have is beyond medical science…he told me that what I have is more serious than cancer. He told me what I have is a very, very bad case of the blues. I found out the best remedy for the blues is to be with the one you love.”

Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Christmas Show, Cadogan Hall review – solo piano and Yuletide nostalgia

Sebastian Scotney

The cape, the banked-up synths and the glam have gone. Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Christmas Show consists of just the man, his piano and his stories and jokes, mostly about Christmas and family.

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, A Not So Silent...

Liz Thomson

It’s 10 years this month since Kate McGarrigle gave her last concert, the annual Christmas concert that meant so much to her, at the Royal Albert...

My Baby, Concorde 2, Brighton review - Dutch...

Thomas H Green

“Trance boogie,” states My Baby frontwoman Cato van Dijck before submersing herself in the rising tribal rhythm of “Sunflower Sutra". Trance boogie...

CD: Rob Halford - Celestial

Guy Oddy

If there’s one man who has got the chutzpah to sing songs about the Baby Jesus while flashing the Devil’s horns, it’s Judas Priest frontman Rob...

ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, O2 - one for the supergroup's completists

Veronica Lee

Some interesting nuggets unearthed

CD: Liam Payne - LP1

Thomas H Green

One Direction star's debut has electronic bounce and is sexy as service station forecourt flowers

IDLES, Barrowland, Glasgow review - rowdy and raucous, but with heart

Jonathan Geddes

The Bristol band's Glasgow gig provided noise and a party spirit

CD: Gang Starr - One of the Best Yet

Kathryn Reilly

Back by dope demand? Guru raps from beyond the grave on a mixed album

CD: The Who - WHO

Tim Cumming

A bracing and bellicose return for the rock giants

The Chemical Brothers, O2 review - eye-boggling monster rave-up

Thomas H Green

Giants of electronic dance music play their largest UK gig to a rapturous response

Bat for Lashes, St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton review – a heartfelt homecoming

Nick Hasted

Natasha Khan conjures LA pop myths and South Coast ghosts

CD: U-Bahn - U-Bahn

Kieron Tyler

Got a hankering for early Devo? Look no further

Reissue CDs Weekly: Mercury Rev - All is Dream

Kieron Tyler

Expanded reissue of the 2001 album tells a new story

Amon Amarth, O2 Academy Brixton review – London welcomes its new Viking overlords

Ellie Porter

Swedish metal behemoths entertain with irresistible tales of myth and mayhem

CD: 10.000 Russos - Kompromat

Guy Oddy

Porto’s psychedelic power trio return with a scorcher

CD: Function - Existenz

Joe Muggs

Magnum opus from long-established staple of shadowy corners of New York and Berlin

CD: Pete Tong & HER-O - Chilled Classics

Thomas H Green

Another set of unnecessary orchestral rejigs of old dance music

Björk, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review- Icelandic experimentalist reimagines live performance

Lisa-Marie Ferla

The performer brings her 'most elaborate staged concert to date' to Glasgow

Sam Fender, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - pop bangers with pathos

Jonathan Geddes

The Newcastle native was given a rapturous reception

CD: Biscuithead & the Biscuit Badgers - Thought Porridge

Graham Rickson

Long-awaited fourth album from playful Leeds four-piece

WH Lung, Rich Mix review - ever-intensifying motorik-bedded onslaught

Kieron Tyler

Self-assured and on-the-rise Mancunians firmly make their case

Cleveland Watkiss 60th birthday celebration, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - seismic pulse, emotive words

Peter Quinn

Mainstay of London jazz scene pays homage to his musical roots

theartsdesk Radio Show 26 - with guest from the Amazon, the latest Brazilian star Arthur Nogueira

Peter Culshaw

Amazonian grooves, poetic songs and guitar riffage from deepest Brazil

CD: Jack Peñate - After You

Asya Draganova

Quality indie pop 10 years in the making

Reissue CDs Weekly: Mighty Baby - At a Point Between Fate and Destiny

Kieron Tyler

All-encompassing tribute to the freak-era band derailed by its spirituality

Billy Bragg, Islington Assembly Hall review - a pep talk from the progressive patriot

Liz Thomson

Which side are you on? The bard of Barking rallies the faithful

10 Questions for Techno Musician Carl Craig

Joe Muggs

Catching up with the prince of Detroit techno as he revives an old alter ego

The Lumineers, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - a stomping but exhausting night

Jonathan Geddes

The Denver band were at ease before a large crowd, but offered a familiar sounding set

Footnote: a brief history of new music in Britain

New music has swung fruitfully between US and UK influences for half a century. The British charts began in 1952, initially populated by crooners and light jazz. American rock'n'roll livened things up, followed by British imitators such as Lonnie Donegan and Cliff Richard. However, it wasn't until The Beatles combined rock'n'roll's energy with folk melodies and Motown sweetness that British pop found a modern identity outside light entertainment. The Rolling Stones, amping up US blues, weren't far behind, with The Who and The Kinks also adding a unique Englishness. In the mid-Sixties the drugs hit - LSD sent pop looking for meaning. Pastoral psychedelia bloomed. Such utopianism couldn't last and prog rock alongside Led Zeppelin's steroid riffing defined the early Seventies. Those who wanted it less blokey turned to glam, from T Rex to androgynous alien David Bowie.

sex_pistolsA sea change arrived with punk and its totemic band, The Sex Pistols, a reaction to pop's blandness and much else. Punk encouraged inventiveness and imagination on the cheap but, while reggae made inroads, the most notable beneficiary was synth pop, The Human League et al. This, when combined with glam styling, produced the New Romantic scene and bands such as Duran Duran sold multi-millions and conquered the US.

By the mid-Eighties, despite U2's rise, the British charts were sterile until acid house/ rave culture kicked the doors down for electronica, launching acts such as the Chemical Brothers. The media, however, latched onto indie bands with big tunes and bigger mouths, notably Oasis and Blur – Britpop was born.

By the millennium, both scenes had fizzled, replaced by level-headed pop-rockers who abhorred ostentation in favour of homogenous emotionality. Coldplay were the biggest. Big news, however, lurked in underground UK hip hop where artists adapted styles such as grime, dubstep and drum & bass into new pop forms, creating breakout stars Dizzee Rascal and, more recently, Tinie Tempah. The Arts Desk's wide-ranging new music critics bring you overnight reviews of every kind of music, from pop to unusual world sounds, daily reviews of new releases and downloads, and unique in-depth interviews with celebrated musicians and DJs, plus the quickest ticket booking links. Our writers include Peter Culshaw, Joe Muggs, Howard Male, Thomas H Green, Graeme Thomson, Kieron Tyler, Russ Coffey, Bruce Dessau, David Cheal & Peter Quinn

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