tue 20/08/2019

New Music Reviews

The Besnard Lakes, The Garage

Kieron Tyler

Although The Arcade Fire are currently occupying column inches on the back of their new album The Suburbs, it’s fellow Montréal band The Besnard Lakes that are over here, playing dates on the back of their recent third album The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night. Both bands share a fondness for a full-on live assault that leaves audiences reeling.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Stuart Goldsmith/ Steve Mason/ Peter Straker

theartsdesk Stuart Goldsmith: he looks clean-cut, but likes to live a bit on the wild side

You may think the very well-presented comic Stuart Goldsmith - clean-shaven and wearing sensible Merrells (“which says I’m not wearing a fleece but I own one”) - is the sort of  bloke your mum always hoped you would end up marrying or having as your best friend. His show is titled The Reasonable Man, and Goldsmith is indeed utterly dependable, he tells us, plus he comes from that most nondescript of towns, Leamington Spa. But he would like to break out a bit.

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Flying Lotus & Infinity at ICA

joe Muggs

Steven Ellison is one of the most fascinating figures in modern music. Son of Motown songwriter Marylin McLeod and nephew to Alice Coltrane, he's inspired in equal part by his own musical heritage, the slow-and-low hip hop of his home state of California, and British electronica and drum and bass.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Shakespeare - The Man from Stratford/ Mick Ferry/ John Grant

theartsdesk

The premise of Jonathan Bate’s one-man play, directed by Tom Cairns, is simple but surprisingly effective: a trawl through the seven ages of Shakespeare, from babe to box, told through a mixture of biographical narrative illuminated by relevant scenes from Will’s work.

Shakespeare – The Man From Stratford, Assembly Hall ****

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Toots and the Maytals, Academy, Islington

David Cheal Smiley, bouncy, but the voice is not what it used to be: Toots Hibbert

The Academy was heaving, the floor was so sticky with beer that lifting one’s feet was an effort, and the crowd were beginning to lose patience. Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and the Maytals were late; a 9pm start for this London show was scheduled, but the appointed hour had come and gone, the minutes were ticking by, and the DJ’s efforts to keep us entertained with a string of ska and reggae classics were beginning to fall on stony ground. There was even some booing. Had it not been for the blast...

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Silver Apples, The Luminaire

joe Muggs The spry Simeon Coxe operates his esoteric machines

One doesn't want to be prejudiced about audiences, but when you go to see a show by a “pioneer of electronic music”, particularly one in his seventies, you most likely expect a crowd that are fairly male, fairly unfunky and tending towards the middle-aged. And to be fair, there were a good few paunches and beards in evidence at the Luminaire – but there were also a quite startling number of young, dressed-up, attractive and really rather groovy twenty-somethings of both (and indeterminate)...

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Tinariwen, HMV Forum

howard Male

Back in June of this year, the international successful Malian blues band gave what felt at the time like a curiously muted performance at the World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert in Johannesburg. But perhaps it was the effect of having their laidback hypnotic grooves juxtaposed to the in-your-face emoting and hip-gyrating of the likes of Shakira and Alicia Keys that seemed to somewhat mystify the stadium audience.

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Benda Bilili!

howard Male

I must confess that when I first heard about Staff Benda Bilili - a Congolese band partly made up of paraplegics – I felt a little uneasy. The last thing that one wants as a (hopefully) trusted critic is to feel compromised by an obligation to give a positive review, or feel guilty about lessening their chances of bettering their circumstances with a bad review. Yes, the vanity and solipsism of your reviewer has no bounds!

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Kris Kristofferson, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

graeme Thomson

“This song is for my kids – and all their Mommas.” Even at 74, Kris Kristofferson exudes the quietly satisfied air of experience of a man who has spent at least half his life drinking, shagging, smoking and strumming to his heart’s content, and now has a whole lot of good times (and plenty of bad) to draw from at will.

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Shellsuit, Dublin Castle, Camden

Paul McGee 'How much do you charge for a piece of your own soul?' The Shellsuit manifesto explained

During the 1980s, a major artistic response to the Conservative government came in the form of a sustained surge in music that was, on some level at least, politically engaged. Not necessarily in the classic agitprop manner either. For every band of Red Wedge-compliant rabblerousers, there'd be another act insisting that "the personal is political", as they made domestic power struggles or everyday banalities their preferred songwriting topic. With a Tory government once more, pursuing...

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