fri 18/10/2019

New Music Reviews

The Struts, O2 Forum Kentish Town review - a masterclass in pleasing an audience

Ellie Porter

Having exploded on to the scene like a cross between Queen and My Chemical Romance, Derby’s young glam-rock upstarts the Struts are on top of the world. They've cracked America, supported the Rolling Stones, the Who, Mötley Crüe, Foo Fighters and Guns N’Roses and delighted a home crowd at 2018's Download festival, and are currently thrilling audiences on their own ludicrously entertaining headline tour.

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Richard Hawley, Barrowland, Glasgow - black clad crooner's songs remain full of atmosphere and heart

Jonathan Geddes

When Richard Hawley arrived onstage, he had a confession to make. “I like to talk”, he declared, before adding “and play rock n’ roll”. Both were delivered in ample supply during the ensuing performance, the black clad quiff wearing troubadour a natural fit for one of Scotland’s most famed rock n’ roll locations.

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Bill Frisell's Harmony, Cadogan Hall review – superb Americana

Sebastian Scotney

“Bill Frisell is all about sound and melody and enhancing whatever context he is in.” That quote, which defines both the American guitarist’s gentle and benign nature and his huge level of musicianship, is from Emma Franz, who recently directed and produced a film portrait of him.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

Kieron Tyler

The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces of what came earlier and pointers towards what would come in Iceland’s music. The album was credited to Dip, a collaboration between former Sugarcubes drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson and the on-the-up Jóhann Jóhannsson.

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PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consummate musical setting

Kieron Tyler

“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she first arrived in Britain in 1966.

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Black Flag, The Mill, Birmingham review – hardcore punk originators come up trumps

Guy Oddy

Prior to this week, it had been 35 years since hardcore punk firestarters Black Flag had set foot in the UK. That said, it was not without some trepidation that I made my way to one of Birmingham’s more compact venues to see a band who had once been genre-defining, get on stage and do their stuff.

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Alice Cooper, The Stranglers, MC50, Brighton Centre review - a triple-headed blast of vintage rock

Thomas H Green

The Ol’ Black Eyes is Back Tour celebrates Alice Cooper’s 50 years using his stage name. He’d been around under other names before 1969 but Alice Cooper – originally the title of the band rather than the man – achieved success as the Seventies began by combining trash-glam drag with stompin’ riffy music.

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Kano, Brighton Dome review - simply joyous

Nick Hasted

Kano’s lyrics often sound like a wake, mixing mournfulness and anger as they raise a toast to fallen friends on abandoned estates, casualties of crushing pressures alien to the authorities who pronounce on them in the tabloids and parliament.

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Two Door Cinema Club, O2 Academy, Glasgow - lively but risk averse party songs for the weekend

Jonathan Geddes

The onstage arrival of Two Door Cinema Club was heralded by a tongue-in-cheek video countdown that reached zero and then flashed up an error message, before asking the crowd to “try again”. In truth, the band’s own performance was never likely to hit any hitches, being the sort of well-honed and slick display that you would expect from a group who have been touring steadily for the past several months.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Hollywood Stars - Sound City

Kieron Tyler

The Hollywood Stars were not shy.

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