sat 15/08/2020

New Music Reviews

Cara Dillon Live at Cooper Hall, YouTube review - a warm Irish welcome

Liz Thomson

Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman were bringing it all back home when they performed their first live stream concert from Cooper Hall, in Frome, Somerset, close to were they live and where they recorded Dillon’s 2017 album, Wanderer.

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AIM Awards 2020, SBTV review - a game attempt to rewire awards ceremonies

joe Muggs

Music awards shows are a strange beast: part window display, part industry conference and part party. Especially if you don’t have Brit Awards or Mercury Prize budget to create a whizz-bang spectacle, the ceremonies can be an interminable pileup of attempts to earnestly celebrate both musicians and behind-the-scenes figures, in front of a room full of increasingly drunk and impatient people.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears"

Kieron Tyler

Whether explicitly or indirectly, what’s written on a master tape box can tantalise. Revealing part of a picture creates a desire to want to know more. Take the example seen above. It’s for an album by South African alto saxist Dudu Pukwana.

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

joe Muggs

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels.

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The Streets, EartH review - empathy in isolation

Nick Hasted

Mike Skinner got out just in time, pulling the plug on The Streets at the point of exhaustion. After Original Pirate Material’s hopeful bedroom dream of English rap came true in 2002, four further albums wearily analysed fame and self-destruction, and ended in 2011 when Skinner saw only dead ends ahead.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Shellshock Rock

Kieron Tyler

The feather in this particular cap is a DVD of director John T. Davis’ 1979 film Shellshock Rock. Filmed from October 1978 to April 1979, its 50 minutes thrillingly catch the Troubles-era Ulster getting to grips with punk rock.

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Album: Fontaines DC – A Hero's Death

Kathryn Reilly

Be careful what you wish for. Turns out the dream that most bands yearn for isn't all it's cracked up to be. Fontaines DC's debut album, Dogrel went large (and won a Mercury Prize nomination and BBC 6 Music's Album of the Year). They toured like crazy and nearly imploded. But, just a year later, they're back. And this time it's personal. The title song perhaps explains the progression "that was the year of the sneer now the real thing's here".

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms 1970-1982

Kieron Tyler

“These are African rhythms, passed down to us from the ancient spirits. Feel the spirits, a unifying force. Come on, move with the spirits. Stand up. Clap your hands. Groove with the rhythms. Get down. Get off.”

So begins “African Rhythms”, originally released in 1975 as the opening cut from an album of the same name by Oneness Of Juju. It was issued on Black Fire, their own label.

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Album: Taylor Swift - folklore

Lisa-Marie Ferla

When she announced her “surprise” 8th album on social media this week, Taylor Swift described its subject matter as a combination of “fantasy, history and memory” told with “love, wonder and whimsy”. For the listener, this hits home around track three.

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Nick Cave, Alone at Alexandra Palace review - mournful beauty from the king of misery

India Lewis

"Alone at Alexandra Palace" is a gift of this time, no compensation but some sort of balm to a world that is still so interior, with a long time to wait until any concerts can resume. The film begins with an emphasis on aloneness that is sustained throughout, Cave reading a fairytale-like story as the soundtrack to his walk through the black and gold of the empty Alexandra Palace.

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