sat 21/09/2019

New Music Reviews

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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Laura Moody, The Forge, Camden

Russ Coffey

Laura Moody says she was given a cello as a child to curb hyperactivity, but listening to her last night you might well have wondered if she’d had Tourettes too. The singer-cellist’s sound included clicks, shrieks, howls, and a lot of things that probably shouldn’t happen to a cello - as if she had taken every musical influence that had come her way in her 28 years and put them in a blender. The result? It was certainly extraordinary and sometimes disturbing.

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The xx, Somerset House

Bruce Dessau

I don't know exactly what they do in the music classes at Putney’s Elliott School, but it seems to do the trick. Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green went there 50 years ago and now, after admittedly a bit of a lull, the school is positively spitting stars out by the vanload. Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, attended, Hot Chip's members are Elliott alumni and The xx are the latest schoolkids on the block, with their self-titled 2009 debut album tipped to be a serious Mercury Prize contender.

...

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Classic Albums: John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band, BBC Four

Adam Sweeting

The BBC just can't stop showing that flipping Lennon Naked drama. No sooner have we emerged from the Fatherhood Season, where it first appeared, than we're into a John Lennon Night on BBC Four, featuring Lennon Naked again under a new temporary flag of convenience.

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Imagine: Tom Jones - What Good Am I? BBC One

Jasper Rees

The voice, being 70, isn’t quite the untamed beast of yore. But it retains a certain feral throb. Alan Yentob stands across the recording studio, listening donnishly as Tom Jones belts one out. “You still feel the presence and power,” he reports. Not that you’d know from the way Yentob sways ever so imperceptibly in his BBC execuspecs. Yentobs don’t dance. Go on, man, do the done thing. Whip off your drawers and lob them lovingly at the Pontypridd Pelvis.

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Tapestry Supersonic Sunday Mini-Festival

Thomas H Green Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, a highlight of Tapestry's Supersonic Sunday mini-festival

The Tapestry Festival is a labour of love. It's the ongoing adventure of a Camden plasterer called Barry Stilwell who decided a decade ago that he wanted a festival of his own. Irritated by the way corporate branding was piggy-backing festival culture, and disgusted by stringent spoilsport ground-rules at many outdoor events, he started his own in 2003, mostly showcasing bands who'd played his monthly Euston-based club night.

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Caetano Veloso, Barbican Hall

james Woodall Caetano Veloso: `a voice that appears to have been hatched, yesterday, from honey'

He's a small man, wiry, bespectacled. His three band members - guitarist Pedro Sá, bassist Ricardo Dias Gomes, percussionist Marcelo Callado - must each be about a third his age: a case of three pupils and a professor? Behind them is a screen which, through this one-and-a-half-hour set, will flash up clips of Brazilian seascapes and city scenes, mainly of Rio de Janeiro.

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Forever Young, BBC Four

howard Male Insurance salesman James Osterberg likes to let his hair down in the evening

Appropriately enough, Forever Young began with the primal beat of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life". What I consider to be Mr Pop’s “My Way” seems to perfectly sum up the pumped-up and apparently unstoppable forward momentum of the man himself and his against-all-the-odds lengthy career. But it could just as easily represent many of the world-weary yet resilient musicians interviewed in this unexceptional but nevertheless diverting documentary.

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Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba, Barbican

howard Male

Many press releases from now up until Christmas are sure to begin with the words, “Fresh from wowing the crowds at Glastonbury…”, but that’s not going to stop me using them now with reference to this great Malian band. This is because we world music journalists feel a particular swell of pride when one of our beloved acts breaks through the Womad glass ceiling and gets to bring their complex polyrhythms and weird-looking instruments to the mainstream music fan. And what’s more, in...

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Kings of Leon, Hyde Park

David Cheal

“It’s been one of the greatest experiences of our lives,” said Kings of Leon's lead singer Caleb Followill towards the end of this big outdoor gig on a warm summer’s night in London. “Thank you very much.” I’m glad he had a good time, and his diffident Southern charm was appreciated by the vast crowd, but I wish I could say the same; for me, this was certainly an experience, but not a great one. Here’s why.

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