wed 24/07/2024

2017

Album: Swans - The Beggar

It’s some 40 years since Swans first made a name for themselves through the sheer volume of their live performances and provocative song titles like “Time is Money (Bastard)” and “Raping a Slave”. Irritated by this reputation though, it wasn’t long...

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Reality review - Sydney Sweeney excels as a whistleblower

The actress Sydney Sweeney’s face in the harrowing docudrama Reality is an ever-evolving map, its contours and pallor altering as it gradually dawns on her character, the real-life American whistleblower Reality Winner, that her conscience has put...

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Grenfell: System Failure, Playground Theatre review - if this doesn't make you angry, nothing will

It’s been five years since 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire in West London. Five years and no arrests, as countless placards and posters around the neighbourhood point out.The Grenfell Tower Inquiry into how the tragedy occurred – why it...

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Dandy, BBC Philharmonic, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - energy and fierce attention

Saturday’s concert by the BBC Philharmonic was in large measure about the Mahlers – Gustav and Alma. The former’s First Symphony formed the substantial second part of the programme: Frau Mahler was the inspiration of the piece that opened the...

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Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle review - three decades of hell in the Pacific

Stories of Japanese soldiers who spent years in the tropical jungles long after the end of World War Two have always felt more like metaphorical illustrations of the lunacy of war than actual historical fact. Yet some of them were true, most notably...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Cécile McLorin Salvant - Dreams and Daggers

From newcomer Jazzmeia Horn to the Grammy-winning elder statesman Alan Broadbent, this round-up of favourite jazz releases represents just the tip of a huge iceberg of activity in 2017.A strong year for UK label Edition Records included Denys...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Jin Cromanyon - 逆襲のスポンジ

There are albums that reveal themselves to you, their hidden depths become apparent over time as familiarity helps one to acclimatize to the terrain. David Crosby’s Sky Trails was one such release and has stayed with me since its release.There are...

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Best of 2017: TV

Young people will laugh incredulously when you tell them that once upon a time, there was only one television channel in Britain. Now we've lost count, and as even the Queen pointed out in her Christmas broadcast, many of her subjects would now be...

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Best of 2017: Books

With a clownish bully currently installed in the White House, the 2017 Man Booker Prize aptly went to a novel that showed a President who commanded true courage and nobility – Abraham Lincoln – as he grappled with the mysteries of life and death,...

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Reissue CD of the Year: Lal & Mike Waterson

In 1972, just 2000 copies of Bright Phoebus were pressed. Half were off-centre and unplayable. This year, the first conscientious reissue of the album hit 31 in the British album chart. Although it has been a cult favourite for the last couple of...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Robert Plant - Carry Fire

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar (2014), where Robert Plant was also accompanied by his current band the Sensational Space Shifters, Carry Fire has been assembled from ingredients culled from virtually...

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Best of 2017: Theatre

Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experience to which audiences, for the most part, have said farewell. (It's different, of course, for films, which remain available to us...

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