mon 06/04/2020

Abba

Pete Paphides: Broken Greek review - top of the pop memoirs

Think of the phrase “music memoir”, and you might conjure images of wild nights and heavy mornings. You’re unlikely to think of suburban West Bromwich and tributes to Mike Batt’s Wombles back catalogue. But then, Pete Paphides’s story is comprised...

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ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, O2 - one for the supergroup's completists

Abba fans can already have an immersive dining/dancing/singing experience at the O2 in Mamma Mia! The Party, and now, almost as a companion piece, is ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, a show that sets out tell “the story of the band, their music...

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CD: Cher - Dancing Queen

Cher. Abba. The Mamma Mia films. If you're not excited by all of the above, I'm afraid we can't be friends. I will not apologise for being thoroughly giddy at the prospect of a Cher album of Abba covers. The Queen of Camp taking on some of the...

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again review - sweet, silly, and, best of all, Cher

Mamma Mia! has a habit of bursting upon us at crucially restorative moments. The Broadway production opened just after 9/11 and provided necessary balm to a city in shock. Now comes the celluloid prequel of sorts and, lo and behold, what could have...

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Chess, London Coliseum review - powerfully sung but still problematic

Its origins as a concept album cling stubbornly to Chess, the Tim Rice collaboration with the male members of ABBA first seen on the West End in 1986 and extensively retooled since then in an ongoing quest to hit the elusive jackpot. Following hot...

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CD: Carla Bruni - French Touch

Carla Bruni delivers smooth and sophisticated pop. She undoubtedly has plenty of talent, and this latest collection of songs – all of them covers, and sung in impressive English – reeks of good taste, careful artistic choices and a wide knowledge of...

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Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Art Gallery

A neon sign over the Barbican’s Silk Street entrance reads Scandinavian Pain. Following its victory over us in Euro 16, it seems that Iceland is now drenching us with its special brand of melancholy. Things are not that simple, of course. In his...

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Queer as Pop, Channel 4 / The Joy of Abba, BBC Four

Queer as Pop (****) was as much about social as musical history, and Nick Vaughan-Smith’s film told its story with a combination of outstanding archive material and some incisive interviewees, the archive taking fractionally more of the weight....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Madness, ABBA

Madness: Take it or Leave itIn 1981, Madness followed The Beatles, Slade and The Sex Pistols by playing versions of themselves in a film. Take it or Leave it is no masterpiece, but it is hugely entertaining. At the time, surprisingly, a soundtrack...

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Alternative National Anthems

With Euro 2012 about to end and the Olympics looming, we'll be hearing an awful lot of national anthems over the next couple of months. Don't we all agree that the majority of them are inadequate - often being turgid tunes with no reference to the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Carole King, Abba, Sheena Easton

Carole King: The Legendary DemosLisa-Marie Ferla For one whose appreciation of Carole King, the songwriter, has never truly been distinguishable from her appreciation of Carole King, the performer, a listen to the treasure trove that is The...

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The Story of Musicals, BBC Four

As the series ended, it remained at great pains to repeatedly point out that this was the story of the British musical, its post-War success and how Oliver and Jesus Christ Superstar conquered Broadway. Yet it was hard not to sigh as episode three...

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