mon 10/08/2020

New Music Features

theartsdesk in Fes: Has the magic gone?

Peter Culshaw

More than anywhere else, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music has been the place where I have gone annually for most of the last 20 years to retune my ears, to find inspiration and connections, and to discover new international music. For fans, it was always more than a mere music festival; there was a visionary, idealistic element.

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theartsdesk in Bergen 1: Jazz in a sardine factory

Kieron Tyler

Reggie Watts has a few things to say about Norway. In Bergen to play Natjazz, the annual jazz festival, he’s concerned about the local predilection for fish soup. Be careful, he warns, it can be dangerously hot. Then there are trolls and the Norwegian crispbread knekkebrød, which is especially impressive as it can keep fillings dry. Sandwiches can be eaten in the rain – and it rains in Bergen. A lot. Watts is fascinated by the countryside cabins Norwegians take off to in the summer...

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Does anyone know the way to blockbuster?

Jasper Rees

There’s a lot of Seventies revivalism in the ether. Fleetwood Mac are back as a famous five after many years asunder. 10cc have on at the Albert Hall, although one astutely remarked that they really should have been billed 2.5cc. In When Pop Ruled My Life, the recent BBC Four documentary about fandom, it was lear that the Bay City Rollers are still very much a going concern. And this week it was announced that three titans of glamrock would stomp once again on British boards.

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Sticky Fingers: unzipped

Tim Cumming

Sticky Fingers is the Stones’ defining album, a record that preserves the band in all its ragged, outlaw rock'n'roll glory. It captured them, too, between worlds of their own making, as the exploratory Sixties solidified into the excessive Seventies, Mick Jagger turned left into the first-class jet-set life, and Keith Richards turned the other way, into an image-defining drug addiction, scoring his mythos as permanently as a prison tattoo.

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BB King: 'I play the way I'm feeling'

Elaine Lipworth

B B King was the greatest blues guitarist of the age. Many contemporary rockers credit him as a formidable inspiration, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton to Bono. But when I met him in 2006, the then 83-year-old musician had a different perspective on his ability. "I don't think it's true," he says with a shrug. "A lot of kids tease me when they see me, they start to bow. I'm not trying to stop them. I think I'm a pretty good musician, I don't think I'm the best, that's all. I just do what I...

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10 Questions for Musician Squarepusher

Thomas H Green

Squarepusher, AKA Tom Jenkinson (b. 1975) is a groundbreaking electronic musician. Growing up in Essex, he first came to prominence in the mid-Nineties alongside Aphex Twin, with whom he worked extensively, amid a milieu of post-rave experimentalists exploring the wilder fringes of club-based sounds. Signing to Warp Records in 1995 he has maintained a position at the forefront of electronica, releasing 16 albums, the latest being Damogen Furies.

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Cheikh Lô: Dreadlocked Islamic Funk

Peter Culshaw

Cheikh Lô , the much loved Senegalese singer, is back with new recordings for the first time in five years with a three track EP trailing a new album in June, and theartsdesk has an early look at his new video for the lead track “Degg Gui” (see below).

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2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

peter Quinn

Compered by the velvet-toned broadcaster Moira Stuart, the winners of this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced last night in a packed Terrace Pavillion at the House of Commons.

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Extract: I've Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

Mick Houghton

Sandy Denny was well known within the folk world by 1968 (writes Kieron Tyler). Although the recordings were as-yet unreleased, in July 1967 she had recorded with The Strawbs. She featured on two albums which were in the shops in August 1967: Alex Campbell and His Friends, and Sandy and Johnny, made with Johnny Silvo. Early the next year, she was contemplating her next move.

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Steve Strange, 1959-2015

Bruce Dessau

The death of Steve Strange, aged 55, was both a surprise and not a surprise to me. His adult life in and out of the spotlight had been something of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride where anything could happen.

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