wed 17/07/2019

folk music

Florence + the Machine, BST Hyde Park review - mastering the matriarchy

It’s a rare thing that musicians sound better live than they do on Spotify. But Florence Welch sings a note perfect set – even when jumping up and down like a pogo stick, whirling and spinning, or sprinting along the front of the stage to meet fans....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: John Renbourn

Although British folk-jazz stylists Pentangle played their first official concert in May 1967, their name is borrowed for the title of Unpentangled, a box set of their guitarist John Renbourn’s work on album which kicks off two years earlier. It’s...

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CD - The Lost Words: Spell Songs

Earlier this year, eight musicians – Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Kerry Andrew, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter and Jim Molyneux – set about working with the ‘spell songs’ of nature writer Robert Macfarlane and the images from...

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Midsommar review - hell is other people

Who would have thought that Ari Aster could top the satanic delights of Hereditary? Yet with Midsommar, a psychedelic twist on folk horror, he has. Aster abandons the supernatural to show that it’s not things that go bump in the night that scare us...

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CD: Foy Vance - From Muscle Shoals

Endlessly gigging Northern Irish performer Foy Vance's profile first rocketed after touring with fellow singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The pair became pals, Vance went onto support the likes of Elton John, and signed to Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man...

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he...

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CD: Bedouine - Bird Songs of a Killjoy

With her timeless vocals and jazz-inflected folk melodies, it feels like a bit of Los Angeles songwriter Bedouine lives in the golden age of Hollywood. It’s a dichotomy she goes as far as to address on “Echo Park”, a woozy Sunday morning wander...

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Bob Dylan Special - Rolling Thunder Revue, Netflix

Tomorrow, Martin Scorsese delivers, via Netflix, two hours and 22 minutes of screen time devoted to Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, following on from the release last week of the latest Bootleg Series boxed set, 14 CDs covering five full concerts...

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theartsdesk at Red Rooster Festival 2019 - bustling Suffolk stately home hoedown

Only those who’ve just popped in from an early 20th century Tennessee cotton field will have recently observed more pairs of dungarees in one place than at Red Rooster. It’s a festival that prides itself on a rich diet of Americana alongside a...

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CD: Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds - Singing It All Back Home: Appalachian Ballads of English and Scottish Origin

Outside the Palladium a couple of months back for Joan Baez’s farewell, I was given a flyer for this album – by Naomi Bedford herself it turns out. We had a brief chat which left me with a good feeling about the project and I was disappointed...

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The Waterboys, Roundhouse review - energetic delights

Was it imagination or did The Waterboys’ audience at London’s Roundhouse, invited to sing along to “The Nearest Thing to Hip”, really sing extra-loud and lustily on the line “in this shithole”? On a momentous day that seemed to push Britain further...

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Better Oblivion Community Center, Shepherd's Bush Empire review - a winning combination

Better Oblivion Community Center may be a supergroup of sorts, but the name still draws less recognition that its members (Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes). Maybe it’s just too complicated to remember, because a packed Shepherd’s...

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