tue 19/03/2019

New Music Reviews

Joan As Police Woman, Union Chapel

Robert Sandall

You’ve got to take the pedal off the metal at some point, and in 2009 the prodigiously energetic New Yorker Joan Wasser – otherwise known as Joan As Police Woman - has apparently decided to ease up and release an album of cover versions.

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2562 album launch, Corsica Studios SE1

joe Muggs

For some people, dubstep has an identity problem. Its suburban origins and recent global spread, its propensity for hybridity, the relatively genial nature of the scene, and perhaps worst of all its popularity with – whisper it – students lead some commentators to regard it with suspicion.

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Orchestre Poly Rythmo, Barbican

Peter Culshaw

They played their first concert in 1969, and 40 years later the TP Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou, to give them their full name, had their UK debut last night at the Barbican as part of their first European tour. They are the latest expression of a growing cult of classic bands who hit their peak in 1970s Africa. The music of Nigeria’s Fela Kuti has never...

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Dinosaur Jr, Koko

joe Muggs

Dinosaur Jr never change.  Formed in 1984, the trio added a heavy dose of rock classicism to the then-current sound of US hardcore, inadvertently inventing grunge in the process.  Since then, members have come and gone around lead singer/guitarist J Mascis – eventually returning in 2005 to their original lineup featuring Lou Barlow (also leader of Sebadoh and Folk Implosion) on bass and “Murph” on drums – and the Mascis has calmly watched scenes come and go.

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Orbital, Brixton Academy

joe Muggs

Orbital occupy a singular position in the pantheon of Nineties dance live acts that made it to arena-show status. Paul and Phil Hartnoll's trademark shaved heads and specs-with-headlights gave them a massively spoddy image that belied an everyman quality to their music, but although their early releases unquestionably helped form the distinctively British sounds of rave and hardcore, they never quite became part of those scenes.

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Kinky Friedman, The Komedia, Brighton

Thomas H Green

With his latest campaign to become Governor of Texas just kicking into gear, Kinky Friedman should probably be at home in the US, rather than on the south coast of Britain. The man himself says that he's been "sent out of state so I wouldn't screw up". In 2006 he took 13 per cent of the vote as an independent candidate but next year he has the backing of the Democratic Party so it's more than just the eccentric whim of a Jewish country singer.

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The South Bank Show, ITV1

Adam Sweeting

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and despite its sometimes erratic quality control, the loss of The South Bank Show (ITV1) is going to be like having a leg sawn off TV's arts coverage.

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FaltyDL, Plastic People

joe Muggs

Club music has always been a mongrel creation.  By definition, DJ-driven music – assuming the DJ is any good – is about combination, recombination and juxtaposition.  But even allowing for all that, we are currently going through an uncommonly fecund time in the clubs as disparate fringe innovations of the last decade collide and combine.

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Michael Ball, Royal Albert Hall

Edward Seckerson

“If you feel like singing along... don’t.” Michael Ball knows his audience – I mean, really knows his audience - and only he could turn a rebuke into a well-timed gag. About that audience: the age range is a good half-century but at its heart are the hardcore Ballites, the mums and grandmums who adopted the fresh, smiley, dimple-faced, leading juvenile 25 years ago and have been on his tail ever since.

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Martin Simpson, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Russ Coffey

Folk singers travel well. And it’s often as ex-pats that they best appreciate their own culture. Martin Simpson, born in Scunthorpe, lived the life of a professional English folkie for 15 years before relocating to America. Although working the clubs as a bluesman he never lost his keen ear for his own roots music.

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