thu 01/12/2022

Australia

Courtney Barnett, Brighton Dome review - canny, poetic singer shows she can rock out with the best

There’s a disconnect between Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett on record and in concert. On record, especially on her latest album, her dryly-stated, touching emotional lyricism is to the fore, but in the live arena you’re as likely to...

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Album: Laura Jean - Amateurs

Much of Amateurs is observational. “Folk Festival” ponders appearing at said event: is the place on the bill right; would fitting in be easier if the lyric’s subject were a different age? During “Market on the Sand”, it’s wondered while browsing...

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Blu-ray: Nitram

Nitram is an object lesson in how to make a responsible film about a mass shooting, right down to not using the fame-seeking perpetrator’s real name as the title but the mocking ananym given to him by bullies at school.Scriptwriter Shaun Grant...

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Bronwyn Adcock: Currowan review - a fire foretold, a warning delivered

In 2019 Australia endured the hottest, driest year since records began and their bushfire season escalated with unprecedented intensity. The fires and pyro-connective storms that swept the country claimed 33 lives (and a further 400 from smoke...

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Album: Parkway Drive - Darker Still

Away from the spotlight of mainstream music the metal scene thrives, unbothered with how much attention it picks up. When bands like Architects reach number one in the UK charts, it is huge, but unimportant. Instead the scene is preoccupied with its...

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Dope Lemon, O2 Academy, Birmingham review - Australian cosmic cowboys bring the house down

The Academy 2 may not be the biggest venue in Birmingham, but it was packed on Friday evening for the first gig of Dope Lemon’s much delayed Rose Pink Cadillac tour – to support an album that was finally released after delays of its own back in...

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Stagg, Australian World Orchestra, Mehta, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - Antipodeans with a global sound

The Edinburgh International Festival is playing its part in the UK/Australia Season 2021-22 (no, me neither) by hosting this concert from the Australian World Orchestra. It’s comprised of Australian musicians who play in orchestras across Europe and...

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Counting and Cracking, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - ambitious, powerful, but sadly under-attended

First, a bit of housekeeping. Maybe it was the three-and-a-half-hour duration, or maybe the unfamiliar Sri Lankan subject matter, or maybe even the very un-festival-like hot weather that put people off an evening inside Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre....

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The Newsreader, BBC Two review - a drama series of welcome substance from Australia

Period drama from Australia is something of a rarity on our televisions, so The Newsreader scores for novelty alone. It’s not startlingly innovative in form, but it does what it sets out to do in a highly satisfying way. Which is to tell a tale of...

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Nitram review - chilling drama based on the Port Arthur gunman

Nitram, Australian director Justin Kurzel’s deeply disturbing film about the man responsible for the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, seems especially topical after the Uvalde school shootings, one among several other shootings in the US in...

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Blu-ray: The Proposition

Commenting on Australia’s horrendous colonial history at the start of an audio commentary packaged with this BFI Blu-ray release of John Hillcoat’s impeccably directed, newly restored The Proposition (2005), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas declares, “It’s...

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The Great Escape 2022, Brighton review - sunshine, queues, and thrilling new bands

My friend George claims to have nightmares about The Great Escape. In them he’s standing in an endless queue, never reaching the front, never entering the venue, and never seeing the band he wants to see. That was his experience the only time he...

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