sun 18/08/2019

New Music Reviews

Separado!/ Gruff Rhys, BFI Southbank

Kieron Tyler

Patagonia’s Welshness was a nagging issue for Gruff Rhys, mainman of Welsh psych-nauts Super Furry Animals. His distant cousin, the folk singer René Griffiths, was born in the desert-filled southern reaches of Argentina, but visited Wales and appeared there on TV in the mid-Seventies. Remembering those appearances, Rhys decided to visit Patagonia to search for Griffiths amongst the region’s Welsh-speaking community.

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Pink Martini, Barbican

Peter Culshaw

“You see! This is America! All races, genders and everything else blending together to make something beautiful!” This a quote from an American fan living in the Middle East currently on Pink Martini’s website. Thomas Lauderdale, the musical director of the band was involved in politics, about to run for Mayor in Portland, Oregon when he put Pink Martini together.

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Alan Moore's Unearthing, Old Vic Tunnels

joe Muggs

It's very hard to ever know what to expect from Alan Moore, the Mage of Northampton. The author of era-defining comics like Watchmen, V For Vendetta and From Hell has long maintained that art and magic are one and the same, and since the mid-1990s his works have often tended to be long and complex explications of various occult principles, which while eye-opening can often lose readers in all their baroque unfoldings.

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Ólöf Arnalds, The Slaughtered Lamb

Kieron Tyler

Last year’s Vid og Vid (an Icelandic colloquialism for "every now and then"), Ólöf Arnalds’ debut album, attracted some high-profile fans. Fellow Icelander Björk raised the flag on America’s National Public Radio, as did Jonathan Richman who requested that she open the shows during his San Francisco residency last week. Björk has contributed vocals to "Surrender", a cut from Arnalds’ forthcoming album Innundor Skinni (Within the Skin).

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WOMAD 2010, Charlton Park

sue Steward

“We all come from the same DNA, as Desmond Tutu is always reminding us, and we shouldn’t be surprised that these musical collaborations take place - and work so well.” That was Peter Gabriel's comment on the music at WOMAD last weekend, a festival he co-founded in 1981, now crammed with more and more bands revealing obvious genetic connections.“

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WOMAD 2, Charlton Park

Anonymous (not Verified) The dogs bark, the caravan moves on

Its acronymic moniker stands for World Of Music, Arts and Dance, but the line-up at this year’s WOMAD is, as usual, very much skewed towards the first of those artforms – hailing from anywhere and everywhere between Australia and Azerbaijan. The “arts” component is likewise fully evident; in the two different venues for film screenings, for instance, or in the four small wooden stages in construction throughout the weekend as a demonstration of sustainable architecture.

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Prince, Super Rock Festival, Lisbon

Peter Culshaw

Travelling along at 140kph in a Mercedes in a police convoy on the wrong side of the road with Prince, and Portuguese fado singer and his new protégé Ana Moura in the front, plus the artist’s agent and Rolling Stones sax player Tim Ries, is pretty rock’n’roll, I can assure you. But it was the only way to get to the gig outside Lisbon in time at last week’s Super Rock Festival. Otherwise it would have taken hours as the traffic jammed to a standstill.

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Gilberto Gil, Royal Festival Hall

sue Steward

The dreadlocks are gone, the dark suit is gone, the acoustic guitar which was his faithful travelling companion during the four years as Brazilian Minister of Culture, is also gone. Instead, Gilberto Gil skipped on stage with a cool, short, grey haircut framing his beautifully sculpted features, wearing a white shirt and check trousers, and strapped on a Fender Stratocaster.

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Latitude Festival, Suffolk

David Cheal Latitude: Blue skies and a cornucopia of culture

So little time, so much stuff to see: that, in essence, is the story of Latitude. Now in its fifth year, this Suffolk festival offers a bewildering cultural cornucopia: music, theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, circus, literature, poetry, as well as unexpected oddities such as performers dressed as unicorns wandering the woods at night and teams of ghoulish “medics” defibrillating random victims (I was one of them) during theatre group Duckie’s Saturday night masked ball. It’s a blast (albeit...

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Corinne Bailey Rae, Somerset House

howard Male Corinne Bailey Rae: from breezy summer hits to autumnal intensity

Was this a Corinne Bailey Rae audience or a Somerset House audience? “We’re Somerset House fans,” I heard one posh punter proudly tell some friends. Then later I heard a woman talking about the Florence and the Machine gig that she’d missed earlier in this short season of concerts, as if it were a stamp missing from her collection. Could this really be an audience who were here for the building first and the music second? Yes, this enclosed yet open-air square in central London is a...

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