thu 21/10/2021

1980s

Album: Vangelis - Juno to Jupiter

Along with Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis is a key figure in the development of - to be loosely colloquial about it – trance and chill-out electronica. His 1970s work was proggy trip music, laced with classical aspirations that...

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Album: The Specials - Protest Songs 1924 - 2012

When The Specials returned with their chart-topping 2019 album Encore, it was a wonderful surprise. As well as being their first in nearly four decades (excluding material by alternately named intermediary incarnations), it proved they were more...

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Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre review - a spectacular West End show to delight fans old and new

There’s a lot of going back to the future in theatres just now - shows (like this one) postponed by 18 months or so and delayed still further by co-star Roger Bart being indisposed on press night are bringing the bright lights back to the West End....

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Duran Duran, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – an intimate gig for the local megastars

Incredibly it’s now 40 years since the release of Duran Duran’s debut album. To mark this event, the remaining members of the band’s classic line-up decided to return to Birmingham. Not to the NIA or any similar-sized venue, but for a couple of...

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Album: The Stranglers - Dark Matters

Following the death last year from COVID-19 of keyboard player Dave Greenfield, it appears the The Stranglers’ five decade journey may finally be drawing to a close. They bucked all odds by maintaining a path after singer Hugh Cornwall left in 1990...

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The Nest review – intriguing, off-kilter family drama

The Nest is a peculiar animal, hard to nail down, parts family drama and social satire, but with a creepy sense of suspense rippling under the surface that threatens to bust the plot wide open. The fact that it’s written and directed by...

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Album: Toyah - Posh Pop

Toyah, always a one-off, has been a surprise star of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Her YouTube Sunday Lunches, kitchen-filmed cover versions with her husband, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, have been celebratory shared moments, jaunty, unlikely, silly,...

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Bagdad Café, Old Vic review - sweet but scattershot

A gorgeous song exists in search of a show to match over at Bagdad Café, the 1987 film that gave the world the memorably plaintive "Calling You", which is threaded throughout Emma Rice's stage adaptation of the movie with understandable...

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Uprising, BBC One review - powerful documentary about the New Cross fire

Earlier this year, Steve McQueen addressed the forgotten history of black British people through the Small Axe dramas he made for the BBC. Now McQueen has turned to documentary for Uprising. It airs over three successive nights and was co-directed...

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Album: Gary Kemp - Insolo

Spandau Ballet started well, their slick, slightly angular pop-funk adding a certain something to early Eighties new romantic frippery. Later, especially with the success of global schmaltz-smash “True”, they lost what teeth they had, drifting into...

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10 Questions for Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream

Bobby Gillespie (b 1962) is best known as the lead singer and driving force of rock band Primal Scream. He was born and raised in Glasgow and met future Creation Records boss Alan McGee at school. The pair would later move to London and, after a...

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Album: Laura Mvula - Pink Noise

Album number three from Ivor Novello-winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula sees her paying singularly personal homage to the music of the 1980s. Change, Chic, Michael Jackson and more are all called to mind at various points, with “Church Girl”...

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