sat 06/06/2020

New Music Reviews

David Ford, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

graeme Thomson

Earlier this week, in my review of Shelby Lynne, I suggested that the record industry’s one-way ticket on a fast train to oblivion is, at least, proving to be the mother of invention.

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Singles & Downloads 12

Thomas H Green A still from Chase and Status's harrowing 'Time' video

Hip-hop soul, chart rave and Balearic beach-pop with a 1990s flavour, synthesiser-led space-rock, a localised Goth-electronic revolution, Kenyan Kamba beats, an eccentric attempt at bringing opera into pop, and vibrations from dubstep's deep roots. As ever, theartsdesk's singles round-up takes you round the houses, up some dead-end alleys, down the docks and along sweeping avenues you never knew existed, hopefully dropping you home exhausted but happy with a selection of...

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Les Triaboliques, The Lexington

howard Male Well, would you buy a used barizouki from any of these men? From left to right: Mandelson, Adams and Edmonds

London-based trio Les Triaboliques should perhaps be grateful that Wikipedia hasn’t included them in their entry on supergroups. There you will find a comprehensive list of so-called supergroups with leadenly histrionic names like Isles and Glaciers, Shrinebuilder and How to Destroy Angels (not to mention the super-supergroups that started it all such as Cream, Humble Pie and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. But Adams, Edmonds and Mandelson are, I suppose, the alt-supergroup, representing...

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Shelby Lynne, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

graeme Thomson

It may not be a particularly popular statement, but the financial black hole rapidly consuming the music industry undoubtedly has its fringe benefits. Five years ago Shelby Lynne would have toured the UK with a session band and played for perhaps 70 minutes. Last night, in the draughty deconsecrated church she immediately transformed into an intimate supper club, Lynne played for two hours with just a guitarist for company – and was spellbinding. Long may the pennies pinch.

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Ron Sexsmith/ Jim White, Barbican

Russ Coffey

Two cult singers on the same bill. A stirring prospect in itself, but last night they were both also at watersheds in their careers. The headliner, Ron Sexsmith, was looking to cultivate a more mainstream audience. He’s had his moments over the years, such as when he was covered by Chris Martin, Rod Stewart and Curtis Stigers. But last night he seemed to want the fans to have another look at him. On one song he styled himself as a “late bloomer”, but he didn’t need to convince this crowd....

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N-Dubz, Brighton Centre

Thomas H Green

N-Dubz's music is throwaway post-grime cheese-pop aimed at fans aged between 10 and 20, max. I've been writing a rearguard action for electronic pop in the pompously self-assured court of rock for more than a decade so I arrived at the Brighton Centre ready to sponge it up.

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Upside Down – The Creation Records Story

Kieron Tyler

“I thought I was creating metaphysical history by running Creation,” says the label’s Alan McGee in Upside Down. Seconds later the meat-and-potatoes rock of Oasis blasts from the soundtrack. The drug-assisted disconnect between such lofty aspiration and the grounded music of Oasis was never going to be bridged. Even by the man billed as “the president of pop”.

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The Mummers, King's College London

Russ Coffey

In the lager-carpeted sweat box that is the KCL student union it was hard to fault The Mummers. There are some concerts where band and audience seem so lost in a private world that you can almost forget that the humdrum, everyday world even exists. Last night was one. It was no surprise that Raissa Khan-Panni and her gang were there to transport us. What did come as a revelation, however, was just how big it sounded. The musicianship was just the half of it, though.

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Upside Down: The Creation Records Story

Kieron Tyler

“I thought I was creating metaphysical history by running Creation” says the label’s Alan McGee in Upside Down. Seconds later the meat-and-potatoes rock of Oasis blasts from the soundtrack. The drug-assisted disconnect between such lofty aspiration and the grounded music of Oasis was never going to be bridged. Even by the man billed as “the president of pop”.

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The Mexican Institute of Sound, KOKO

howard Male The larger-than-life Camilo Lara of The Mexican Institute of Sound

The downside of this job is that because new CDs are dropping through the letterbox every day, a lot of stuff inevitably gets consigned to the archives and forgotten about, when it really shouldn’t be. So when I heard that The Mexican Institute of Sound (aka Mexico City’s Camilo Lara) was rather belatedly playing live in London for the first time (his last album was released two years ago), it was an excuse to reacquaint myself with his recorded works to see if they were as good as they...

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