sun 20/10/2019

New music

CD: Allah-Las - LAHS

It’s unfortunate that LAHS’s opening track is titled “Holding Pattern” as the album only achieves lift off with its ninth cut “Light Yearly”, a chugging workout with spiralling guitar and echoes of Sixties folk rock if it were refracted through an...

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10 Questions for musician Craig Finn

As frontman and lyricist of US rockers The Hold Steady, Craig Finn specialises in vivid storytelling featuring larger than life characters. It’s a writing style that he has carried with him into his solo work too even if, as he says, the stories are...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Kinks - Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire hasn’t had the stratospheric levels of praise as the preceding Kinks album, 1968’s The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Yet in the band’s narrative, it’s probably more important...

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CD: PJ Harvey - All About Eve (Original Music)

PJ Harvey is not just a consummate rock musician but a multi-talented artist, who has re-invented herself throughout her career. She paints and makes sculpture, has participated with Artangel in an ambitious art installation, and written and...

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The Struts, O2 Forum Kentish Town review - a masterclass in pleasing an audience

Having exploded on to the scene like a cross between Queen and My Chemical Romance, Derby’s young glam-rock upstarts the Struts are on top of the world. They've cracked America, supported the Rolling Stones, the Who, Mötley Crüe, Foo Fighters and...

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Richard Hawley, Barrowland, Glasgow - black clad crooner's songs remain full of atmosphere and heart

When Richard Hawley arrived onstage, he had a confession to make. “I like to talk”, he declared, before adding “and play rock n’ roll”. Both were delivered in ample supply during the ensuing performance, the black clad quiff wearing troubadour a...

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Bill Frisell's Harmony, Cadogan Hall review – superb Americana

“Bill Frisell is all about sound and melody and enhancing whatever context he is in.” That quote, which defines both the American guitarist’s gentle and benign nature and his huge level of musicianship, is from Emma Franz, who recently directed and...

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CD: Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2

Foals, the band with a trademark sound characterised by the African-style intricate interplay of rhythm rather than lead guitars, returns with what amounts to the second half of a double album. The first half was released last spring, and this new...

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CD: James Arthur - You

It’s an easy joke to suggest that James Arthur needs an editor. By this point, the 31-year-old singer is almost as famous for his lyrical mis-steps and ill-advised use of Twitter as his 2012 The X Factor victory. You, his third album, seems to have...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces of what came earlier and pointers towards what would come in Iceland’s music. The album was credited to Dip, a collaboration...

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PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consummate musical setting

“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she first arrived in Britain in 1966. The America she knew had barriers, ones she found weren’t apparent in “...

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CD: Mark Lanegan Band - Somebody's Knocking

Spaghetti Western guitar, rumbling bass, a rattling keyboard pulse and an unyielding forward thrust combine to delineate Somebody's Knocking’s opening cut “Disbelief Suspension”. Then there’s that growling yet melodic voice delivering sinister lines...

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