mon 26/02/2024

New Music Reviews

Album: Melanie De Biasio - Il Viaggio

Kieron Tyler

Il Viaggio is a form of soundtrack. Its lyrics, music and soundscapes are created in response to the journey referenced in the title. Though born and raised in Belgium, Melanie De Biasio’s paternal grandfather was Italian. After the Europalia arts festival contacted her to see if she would create a work on its chosen theme of “Trains & Tracks” she chose to explore her roots. This took her to Abruzzo, in central eastern Italy – where Il Viaggio was born.

Read more...

Music Reissues Weekly: Pale Saints - In Ribbons

Kieron Tyler

In an interview following the release of Pale Saints’ March 1992 second album In Ribbons, the band’s Ian Masters expressed his admiration for Eyeless in Gaza, Laura Nyro and Television. He told Option magazine “I find it incredible how much I am moved by Laura Nyro’s songs and how much of the emotional input that she has translates. I find it quite disturbing – it’s uplifting and depressing and really has the full spectrum of feelings.”

Read more...

New Order, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - a nostalgia trip with a modern feel

Jonathan Geddes

Early on in this arena gig by New Order, a youthful, enthusiastic voice could be heard to say gleefully, “They’re just so 80s!”. That statement was both accurate and yet also misleading, for as this near two-hour performance showcased New Order’s music is both of that decade and yet above it. 

Read more...

PJ Harvey, Roundhouse, London review - incandescent perfection

mark Kidel

London’s Roundhouse is a very special venue. For decades the circular shed, with its elegant ironwork supporting structures has hosted a wonderful and varied series of performances. Like a great cathedral, the space has a hallowed feel about it. The culmination of a sold-out UK tour, PJ Harvey’s exquisitely paced and passionate set, as much pagan ritual as perfect entertainment, makes the most of this womb of a space.

Read more...

Music Reissues Weekly: Bowes Road Band - Back in the HCA

Kieron Tyler

The acronym “HCA” in the title stands for Hornsey College of Art, the North London college which, in late May 1968, was occupied by its students and a few staff in a high-profile protest which went on into that July. What was wanted were changes in how student union funds were disbursed and how the college was run. Ultimately, barbed wire and dogs were employed to end the dispute.

Read more...

James Blake, Alexandra Palace review - victory lap for North London native

Harry Thorfinn-

James Blake’s sold-out show at Ally Pally is his only UK stop this tour and it feels like a homecoming of sorts – while Blake now lives in Los Angeles, he is from Enfield, only up the road. “I can’t explain how meaningful this is” he said half-way through, “I had my first kiss 25 metres over there.”

Read more...

The National, OVO Hydro, Glasgow, review - commanding arenas with ease

Jonathan Geddes

There remains something disconcerting about seeing the National as arena rockers. Perhaps it’s the nonchalant stage entrance as they stroll on, a far cry from the pyro heavy displays this Glasgow venue usually witnesses. Maybe it’s the unassuming stage attire, with frontman Matt Berninger adopting a smart casual look, or the sort of onstage chat that featured the group remarking on unusual time signatures in their songs.

Read more...

Music Reissues Weekly: Shake That Thing - The Blues in Britain 1963-1973

Kieron Tyler

In September 1955, the grandly named London Skiffle Centre set up for business each Thursday in a room above the Round House pub in Soho’s Wardour Street. A prime mover in the venture was blues acolyte Cyril Davies. Two months after the opening, Lonnie Donegan’s “Rock Island Line” was issued as a single. It was previously out as a track on a 1953 Chris Barber album. Despite the wonky timeline, the skiffle boom was on.

Read more...

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, The Lexington review - forceful Mexicans generate an irresistible sonic whirlpool

Kieron Tyler

Can there be too much repetition? Is there a limit to the level of rhythmic insistence which can be tolerated? Judging by the enthused reaction to this sold-out show from Mexico’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete where a heads down, no-nonsense pulse propelled their set, the answer to these questions is no.

Read more...

Album: Teenage Fanclub - Nothing Lasts Forever

Kieron Tyler

Nothing Lasts Forever opens with a drone, a weightless prologue of guitar feedback evoking the initial moments of the Buffalo Springfield’s “Everydays,” written by Stephen Stills and heard on his band’s 1967 second album Again. Teenage Fanclub’s 11th album ends with “I Will Love you,” a similarly gossamer reflection fusing the atmosphere of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” and the cyclic rhythms of motorik.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Manon Lescaut, English Touring Opera review - a nightmare in...

Opera in Britain is currently cursed by funders, politicians and ideologues – of right and left – who heartily detest the form. Alas, some...

RSNO Chorus, Doughty, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh review - br...

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus has a well-established concert life away from the main orchestra; the Royal Scottish National Orchestra...

Album: The Bevis Frond - Focus on Nature

Musically, the assured Focus on Nature knows exactly what it is. Fuzzy,...

First Person: Ten Years On - Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña pa...

There are moments that forever remain imprinted in our consciousness, engraved on the general map of our lives. I cannot forget the excitement of...

Music Reissues Weekly: Blank Generation, Just Want To Be Mys...

“I hate it, so I guess Eater have succeeded.” NME’s March 1977 appraisal of the debut single by UK punk's teen sensations was direct...

Wicked Little Letters review - sweary, starry film is mostly...

A splendid cast struggle to make something coherent out of Wicked Little Letters, the latest film from Thea Sharrock who not that long...

Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Conce...

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence....

Sargent and Fashion, Tate Britain review - portraiture as a...

At the turn of the 20th century, London’s smart set queued up to get their...

Uproar, Rafferty, Royal Welsh College, Cardiff review - a ra...

It’s not often one comes out of a concert of mainly new works with a spring in one’s step. A sigh of relief is rather more usual. But this concert...