fri 22/10/2021

New Music Reviews

Laura Marling, Roundhouse review - simple and compelling

Katie Colombus

Laura Marling was one of the most active lockdown performance artists, doing her bit to play solo streams to a captive and culturally starved virtual audience.

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Fontaines DC, Barrowland, Glasgow review - flowers and football terrace anthems from triumphant Dublin quintet

Jonathan Geddes

Upon emerging onstage at the Barrowland, Fontaines DC took time to pass flowers into the crowd. Aside from the occasional thank-you later on, that was the only genteel note struck in a thrilling, compelling and often bruising set. Their last visit to Glasgow back in 2019 had been hindered at times by some dubious sound, but there were no such issues here. Instead, this was a group in control throughout, pacing the set well and sounding rousingly triumphant by the night’s end.

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Rufus Wainwright, London Palladium review - superb musicianship and a warm welcome

Liz Thomson

Rufus Wainwright believes opera to be “the greatest art form that has ever existed on the planet” and of course he’s written an opera himself – Prima Donna, which has been described as “the work of a man who loves opera and the sensations it delivers, without understanding how it is paced, or how it generates dramatic tension”.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Fire - Father's Name Is Dad, Flowerman - Rare Blooms From The Syn

Kieron Tyler

Between August 1966 and November 1967, The Syn played 36 shows at London’s high-profile Marquee Club. In June and September 1967 they issued two singles on the happening Decca subsidiary Deram, an imprint scoring hits with releases by Cat Stevens, The Move and Procol Harum.

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Manic Street Preachers, Brighton Dome review - solid gig occasionally explodes to another level

Thomas H Green

There is a three song segment midway through Manic Street Preachers’ set which suddenly ramps everything up. For this brief while, the performance and response in the sold-out, nigh-on-2000-capacity venue, elevates the concert from another decent gig on another tour in front of a devoted fanbase, to something more memorable and truly electric.

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Maximo Park, Saint Luke's and the Winged Ox, Glasgow - indie veterans still have fire in their bellies

Jonathan Geddes

Time waits for no band, as Maximo Park’s lively singer Paul Smith opined early into his band’s set. “I am young and I am lost” he declared during "The Coast Is Always Changing"’s jangly guitar-pop, before drily admitting afterwards that he might have to retire those words soon enough.

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Karine Polwart, Birmingham Town Hall Review: Expertly crafted modern folk

Miranda Heggie

With a few extra dates to her rescheduled UK tour, Scottish folk legend Karine Polwart returned to Birmingham Town Hall with some tunes from her latest album – Still as You’re Sleeping, an album of just voice and piano recording with jazz pianist Dave Milligan – plus a mix of earlier material, covers and traditional songs given her own signature twist.

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The Velvet Underground review - Todd Haynes tunnels through band history

Saskia Baron

Todd Haynes’ documentary about the Velvet Underground has to be one of the better uses of time by a film-maker during the Covid pandemic. He spent lockdown putting the film together with a team of archivists and editors working remotely. It’s a beautifully shot and ingeniously collaged portrait of the decadent New York band which weaves together an extraordinary wealth of archive footage and some choice and apposite interviews. 

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Psychedelic Soul - Produced By Norman Whitfield

Kieron Tyler

While there’s undoubtedly some of “Papa Was a Rollin' Stone” in Rare Earth’s “Come With me”, another correspondence also immediately springs to mind – the Melody Nelson-era Serge Gainsbourg. And maybe, due to the female moaning, the “Je T’Aime”-period Gainsbourg too.

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Patti Smith, Royal Albert Hall review - a wild ride from a musical legend

Katie Colombus

Patti Smith has been making rabble rousing punk rock for half a century.

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