tue 14/07/2020

New Music Features

Opinion: Is The X Factor back for good?

Jasper Rees

And so it begins again. Earlier this summer I attended what has become a regular British ritual, exactly like Wimbledon and Henley, the Chelsea Flower Show and Ascot, with only one or two small discrepancies.

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ELF. Eales, Lee, Findon. Piano, Horn and... Flute?

Jasper Rees

Some things just don’t seem to belong in a pairing. The flute and the French horn both have their distinct sonic personality. It wouldn’t be going out on a limb to suggest that the average listener tends to lean towards one or the other. Even Mozart wrote for the horn out of love but trotted out his flute compositions for money. But opposites can and do attract and so it once more proves in a new recording featuring the horn and the flute and, discreetly chaperoning the pair of them, the...

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Joe Arroyo, 1955-2011

sue Steward

News about the death of Colombia's greatest salsa singer, Joe Arroyo, has sent shock waves through the salsa world and fan bases internationally, and it brought in streams of digital messages.

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Riot music: we should have listened harder

joe Muggs

I'm not claiming some major prescience or insight here. I am as guilty as anyone of dipping into the music of the sink estates for a small dose of frisson then returning to art and music that confirm my own worldview. But maybe, just maybe, if we had all paid more attention to what was being said by young British men and women from those estates over the last decade, the events of the past few days might not have come as such a horrific surprise.

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Interview: Bombay Bicycle Club

Russ Coffey

If Bombay Bicycle Club had been born on America’s West Coast, their music would no doubt soon be all over the soundtrack of the next big teen drama. All the ingredients are there: the artiness, the phlegmatic cool, and the tunes that form a natural soundtrack to people’s lives. That’s Bombay Bicycle Club, the band. The individuals, however, are refreshingly normal. They are more like a bunch of guys you might meet in a student union. At Jack and Ed’s digs in central London,...

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theartsdesk at Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle

joe Muggs

“Huxley! Electra!” called a plummy mummy to a couple of dawdling children. “Hurry up or you'll miss the BMX display!” Thursday night and Camp Bestival was, to a rather comical degree, looking like a playground for slightly funky middle-class families. Not that I was complaining – with an 18-month-old not so much in tow as leading the charge, I was extremely grateful for the regimented, relatively quiet campsite and the untold entertainments and comforts that CB provides. This was my first...

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Opinion: Why are we so ghoulishly obsessed with self-destruction?

Paul McGee

By and large, Adele Adkins chooses to avoid the limelight, and therefore little is known of either her personal life or her indulgences, whatever they may be. The spectacular success of 21 suggests that her audience couldn't care less either way, which I think is quite telling. Compare and contrast, on the other hand, with the shambles formerly known as Amy Winehouse.

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theartsdesk in La Rochelle: Francofolies

Kieron Tyler

The French national holiday of 14 July might be marked by parades and fly-pasts in Paris, but here on the Atlantic coast it’s the central date for Francofolies, the annual festival dedicated to French music. La Rochelle hosted its first Francofolies in 1985. Twenty-six years on, the festival remains the premier showcase for Francophone music.

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theartsdesk in Copenhagen: The Copenhagen Jazz Festival

peter Quinn A game of two halves at the Opera House: The Keith Jarrett Trio

“In jazz music you have the freedom, you have the expression. You have the visceral and you have the intellectual. Everything can be expressed through jazz, and is expressed through jazz and through the medium of improvisation. This is the highest form of being able to create music.” Speaking at the opening press conference of this year's Copenhagen Jazz Festival, that definition of jazz from the 80-year-old saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins seems as self-contained and eloquent as any other I...

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theartsdesk in New Orleans: How the City Got its Groove Back

Peter Culshaw

New Orleans, that most musical city, is back, back, back, everyone told me. The tourist board said that visitor numbers are over eight million again, back to levels before “The Storm” as they refer to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina here.

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