thu 06/05/2021

New Music Features

theartsdesk in Groningen: Uniting Europe with Music

Kieron Tyler

The nature of Europe, its administration, institutions and its porousness are hot topics. Sectors of Britain’s media and political class hyperventilate over trumped-up concerns while real issues which are just about impossible to address remain unresolved. In this climate, the European Border Breakers Awards are ripe for misinterpretation.

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David Bowie: Unforgettable and Unrepeatable

theartsdesk

If each man's death diminishes us, we're all about a foot shorter today. When Elvis Presley died, his manager Colonel Tom Parker said "this won't change anything!", and he promptly set about ensuring his client's immortality by turning him into a production line of merchandise and memorabilia. This won't happen to David Bowie, because he had already seized control of his own myth.

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David Bowie, 1947-2016

joe Muggs

He knew.

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Goodbye, Lemmy Kilmister 1945-2015

Thomas H Green

Motörhead played loud rock ’n’ roll. Now, like The Ramones, they are gone. They burned with unbelievable vigour from the mid-Seventies until earlier this year, when the wheels started to fall off Lemmy’s wagon. His health suddenly gave way – as was clear at this year’s Glastonbury Festival – and now, as one of his greatest songs roared with rabid conviction and a cheeky wink, he has finally been killed by death.

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theartsfest 2015 - Sunday

theartsdesk

So, the first day's done. We awake, bleary-eyed and emerge from our tents and survey the scene. No matter how bad it looks for our immediate future health, the clouds are sure to clear before the inaugural beer and opening bands. The quality continues as we run through the very best we've seen this year to create the best bespoke festival we can imagine given theartsdesk's collective gig-going this year.

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theartsfest 2015 - Saturday

theartsdesk

The festival market is one that has, like much of Britain, become oversaturated of late. Here at theartsdesk however, we feel that there’s room for one more as long as it’s of the highest possible quality. Here, then, is our line-up, a dream festival pulled together from our writers’ highlights of the past year.

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Adele at the BBC, BBC One

Adam Sweeting

As you all know by now, Friday is D-Day for Adele's new album 25, and part of the all-media Adelathon is Friday night's show on BBC One, Adele at the BBC. It's a mix of live performances and taped sequences linked together by chunks of interview with Graham Norton, and makes the perfect relaunch package for the reclusive superstar. It opens, aptly enough, with her performing "Rolling in the Deep".

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2015

Kieron Tyler

The attack is relentless. Its power pummels like a gale. The 2015 model Mercury Rev begin their set at Iceland Airwaves as they meant to finish. Never has this band been so forceful, so kinetic. Yet their trademark balance of filmic drama and delicate melody was not sacrificed during this convincing revitalisation. On stage at Reykjavík’s Harpa concert hall on the festival's second day, Mercury Rev set a bar so high it sowed seeds suggesting nothing could top this.

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Jazz Central - London... or Odessa?

Peter Culshaw

For an art form that has been quite often written off over the last half century, Jazz seems in extraordinarily rude health. Today sees the opening of the biggest ever EFG London Jazz Festival featuring scores of venues and hundreds of groups throughout the capital.

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RIP musician and producer Allen Toussaint

joe Muggs

Allen Toussaint, who died last night aged 77, apparently just minutes after coming off stage in Madrid, was the soul of New Orleans. Irma Thomas, The Neville Brothers, Dr Longhair, The Meters, and of course the Nighttripper himself Dr John: all of them benefitted from his magic touch, whether as producer, arranger, songwriter or pianist of enormous talent.

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