mon 20/05/2019

New Music Reviews

Test Dept, Studio 9294 review - still furious after all these years

Chris Harvey

Back in the early Eighties, Test Dept were the most radical musical force in London. Their live sound, never truly captured in its intensity on a series of early cassette recordings, built out of tape cut-ups and pulverising rhythms on salvaged metal objects, could be awe-inspiring.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Crass

Kieron Tyler

Abbey Road Studios and the anarcho-punk legends Crass seem an unlikely pairing. The new, vinyl-only reissues of The Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Second Sitting), Stations of the Crass and Best Before 1984 each bear a sticker saying “Remastered by Alex Gordon at Abbey Road Studios, as close as possible to the sound of the original

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Hall & Oates, Wembley SSE Arena review - bestselling duo still have the power

Adam Sweeting

Never quite the household names in Britain that they were in their native USA, Daryl Hall and John Oates can nonetheless claim to be the best-selling duo in the history of popular music. With 40 million records sold, six US chart-topping singles and a heap of gold and platinum albums, they come out ahead even of such luminaries as Simon & Garfunkel or the Everly Brothers.

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Nouvelle Vague, Islington Assembly Hall review - the dreamy bossa nova collective return

Ellie Porter

When you’re off to Islington’s beautiful Assembly Hall for an evening of slinky French bossa nova, it’s something of a surprise to find the Gallic groovers preceded by a droll Brummie singer who brings to mind a cross between Billy Bragg and Richard Hawley.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Roundhouse - sound and (new) noise

Katherine Waters

It was in the early 2000s in a tiny, gritty Camden bar that I first saw Rodrigo y Gabriela live. Camden was less pretty then - a look was close to a glare, and there were more spikes and kohl; the nineties were that much closer. I was right at the front, pressed up against a rib-height stage, alarmingly close to the percussive thrum taking place inches above my head. The atmosphere was heady, their performance electric.

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Suede, Brighton Dome review - Brett Anderson gives it full frontman chutzpah

Thomas H Green

Suede finish “Sabotage”. It’s a mid-paced, elegant number set off by swirling, circling central guitar. Frontman Brett Anderson hangs from his microphone stand on the left apron of the stage to deliver it, with the lights down low. Afterwards he paces back to his bandmates, body taut, hair a-flop.

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Sleaford Mods, Dreamland, Margate review - musical news from broken Brexit land

Kathryn Reilly

Sleaford Mods are livid. About everything. But then, aren’t we all? If any single voice could represent this particularly bewildering era, it would be Jason Williamson’s. Outraged, marginalised, furious, he’s determinedly (with the help of henchman Andrew Fearn) dragging the fetid carcass of British society over the coals. Truly, this is a band for our times.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Terry Allen

Kieron Tyler

Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies survived, and in the ensuing medical chaos his arms and legs were re-attached to them rather than him. The narrator says “At the hospital, it’s so crazy and confused that when these guys come in, the doctors and nurses don’t know what from what … they just start sewing. The main guy stays a torso, but they put his arms and legs back on the other guys.

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Take That, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - capes and cameos in 30th anniversary spectacular

Lisa-Marie Ferla

This year, says Gary Barlow, marks 30 years since five boys walked into a room in Manchester and auditioned for what would turn out to be the UK’s most successful pop act. It is fitting, then, that what they are billing as the Odyssey tour features 25 hits from across three decades - and more than a few callbacks.

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Get The Blessing, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review – West Country cats lay down some jazzy sounds

Guy Oddy

Get The Blessing are a band whose music never fails to conjure up images of someone like Steve McQueen driving along a coastal Californian road, looking cool as you like in very dark shades, sat in an open-top sports car from a seriously stylish cops and robbers film from the mid-Sixties. This is despite the fact that their first album was only released in 2008 and they hail from Bristol.

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