mon 22/07/2019

New Music Reviews

Laura Marling, Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Russ Coffey

To call Laura Marling folk rock’s Sylvia Plath for the Pete Doherty generation probably sounds like faint praise. But ever since I heard her described thus I haven’t been able to lose the Plath comparison. Fragile, sensitive, effortlessly talented; Marling’s all these things.

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Balkan Beat Box, Dingwalls

howard Male Balkan Beat Box take global fusion to new levels

“I can’t fucking hear yer!” are not the welcoming words one expects to hear from a world music favourite, it has to be said. But the audience at Dingwalls don’t look like the usual world music crowd either. This Brooklyn trio have clearly crossed over into the more lucrative club global category, and their hyperactive light show is further evidence of this. But good luck to them, because they are certainly the best of the bunch at doing this whole funky, jazzy, ragga, reggae thing, as well as...

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Laurie Anderson, Barbican Theatre

David Cheal

“I want to tell you a story. About a story.” Thus spake Laurie Anderson at the beginning of her new show, Delusion, which is running for four nights as part of the Barbican’s Bite season.

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Birthdays on the Tube: 10-16 April

Peter Culshaw Dusty Springfield: she had soul power

This week's birthday musicians include Dusty Springfield singing “Son of a Preacher Man”, Joel Grey advocating polygamy, Mikhail Pletnev playing Rachmaninov, early hip hop from Herbie Hancock and Afrika Bambaataa, Henry Mancini and Bessie Smith. Videos below.

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Paolo Nutini, Royal Albert Hall

David Cheal Paolo Nutini: 'His rootsy music comes from somewhere deep within him'

Earlier this week, when the line-up for Richard Thompson’s Meltdown festival was announced, one name in particular will surely have raised a few eyebrows: Paolo Nutini. Among the appearances by serious old folkies and earnest young Wainwrights and an “evening of political song” that Thompson has planned for his stint as curator of the annual festival on London’s...

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Birthdays on the Tube: 3-9 April

Peter Culshaw Billie Holiday: Lady Day sings the Blues

This week’s birthdays of musicians include a couple of disturbed geniuses, Billie Holiday and Joe Meek, underrated rock’n‘roller Carl Perkins, country legend Merle Haggard, as well as Doris Day, Pharrell Williams and bluesman Muddy Waters, whose mojo is working overtime. Videos below.

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Abdullah Ibrahim, Barbican Hall

Anonymous (not Verified)

Like Hugh Masekela, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim first emerged as a member of The Jazz Epistles - that seminal, if short-lived, group who at the start of the 1960s were the first to offer a South African take on modern jazz. Both under the stage name Dollar Brand and, following his conversion to Islam, as Abdullah Ibrahim, it's an instinct he's been honing ever since.

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Paloma Faith, Shepherds Bush Empire

David Cheal

She’s a former magician’s assistant from Hackney, and on the first of three sold-out nights in London, before our very eyes, Paloma Faith conjured up an evening of uplifting and energetic entertainment: glittery and glamorous, warm and friendly. The music itself was memorable, but what stuck in my mind more than anything was her smile; she was having the time of her life, and it showed in a big broad grin that could light up a neighbourhood.

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Peter Gabriel, O2 Arena

David Cheal

Well, it wasn’t exactly the most cheerful night of my life. Especially the first half. Peter Gabriel, musical polymath and father of such irresistibly rhythmic and uplifting songs as “Sledgehammer” and “Steam”, had decided that his new world tour would feature no guitars, no electric instruments, no drum kit; instead, there would be a full orchestra, a grand piano, a couple of backing singers, and himself.

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Alcoholic Faith Mission, Camden Bar Fly

howard Male Will the Apostolic Faith Mission see the joke?

Standing in the black-walled gloom of the Bar Fly in Camden, I suddenly realise that I’m one of only a couple of dozen people completely transfixed by the band on the stage. Perhaps this is because, to most of the audience, they are just the third act in a kind of three-for-the-price-of-one night, and they simply don’t have the necessary party vibe that’s required to bring Saturday night to a satisfactory end. But as I find this Copenhagen outfit’s sublime, intense and obliquely romantic brand...

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