sat 10/04/2021

New Music Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

Tim Cumming

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the leading writers on landscape in the English language, continuing a literary tradition that contains talents as diverse as John Muir, Robinson Jeffers, Edward Thomas and Laurie Lee. His 2017 collaboration with the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

Jasper Rees

“I want to be a man without any past,” said Michel Legrand, who has died at the age of 86. He had perhaps the longest past in showbiz. Orchestrator, pianist, conductor, composer of countless soundtracks, who else has collaborated as widely - with Miles Davis and Kiri Te Kanawa, Barbra Streisand and Jean-Luc Godard, Gene Kelly, Joseph Losey and Edith Piaf? When I visited him at his house at his splendid classical manoir 100km south of Paris, on the mantelpiece in the large white sitting room...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Hedvig Mollestad, Norway's bridge between heavy metal and jazz

Kieron Tyler

Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio reset the dial to what jazz fusion sought to do when it emerged, and do so in such a way that it’s initially unclear whether they are a jazz-influenced heavy metal outfit or jazzers plunging feet-first...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soft Cell

Thomas H Green

This weekend sees Soft Cell play the O2, a one-off gig celebrating their era-defining music. It’s 16 years since they last worked together and 37 since their heyday, yet they clearly still have a devoted fan-base: they sold out the gigantic London venue in one weekend.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Chas and Dave

Jasper Rees

Chas Hodges has died at the age of 74, bringing to an end a career that reaches back to the very beginnings of British pop music. He was best known as one half of Chas and Dave. The duo he formed with Dave Peacock were the poster boys of rockney, a chirpy fusion of three-chord rock'n'roll and rollicking Cockney wit.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'Ideally I'm recording all the time, 24 hours a day' - interview

joe Muggs

Ryuichi Sakamoto has conquered underground and mainstream with seeming ease over four decades, never dropping off in the quality of his releases.

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10 Questions for Courtney Pine: 'How do you express rage?'

Matthew Wright

Over 30 years after he made his debut as a solo artist, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Courtney Pine is still Britain’s most prominent and influential jazz musician. He had a crucial role in reviving interest in jazz in the 1980s and 1990s, and has been an important role model for black British musicians.

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10 Questions for Musician Jeremy Cunningham of The Levellers

Thomas H Green

Jeremy Cunningham (b.1965) is bass player and a founding member of The Levellers, as well as being a visual artist in his own right. During the 1990s The Levellers, and most especially their 1991 album Levelling the Land, became a phenomenon. The group were punk-influenced folk-rockers whose songs were often polemic...

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Joan As Police Woman: 'I was going to die if I didn't have some way to express myself' - interview

Russ Coffey

Joan Wasser – aka Joan as Police Woman – is known as a sophisticated songwriter and a pretty groovy person. But most of all it’s her gorgeously warm voice that's earned her a cult following.

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10 Questions for Musician Malcolm Middleton

Thomas H Green

Malcolm Middleton (b.1973) is a Scottish singer-songwriter whose music has a devoted fanbase. Instead of the faux-vulnerable, non-specific, sub-Jeff Buckley flannel touted by many of his contemporaries and younger peers, Middleton’s work is grounded in the physical grit of the everyday, boasting...

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