wed 22/05/2019

music industry

The Great Escape Festival 2019, Brighton review - a juicy smörgåsbord of new music from all over

Now going for over a dozen years, ever-busier since Live Nation took over its parent company in 2015, The Great Escape Festival is the annual multi-venue band showcase and music conference which sees Brighton swamped with music biz sorts. This year...

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Vox Lux review – music biz drama with big ideas

Common to the recent spate of films about aspiring singers, the theme of fame’s corrupting influence is hardly new. However, actor-turned-filmmaker Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux daringly freights this biographical sub-genre with cosmic significance, as he...

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Sir Cliff Richard: 60 Years in Public and in Private, ITV review - bachelor boy bounces back

It was when he was on holiday at his agreeable estate in the Algarve in August 2014 that Cliff Richard got a phone call telling him his Berkshire home was being raided by the South Yorkshire Police. It was the beginning of a four-year ordeal in...

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Bohemian Rhapsody review – all surface, no soul

If a Queen biopic called for drama, scandal and outrage, then Bohemian Rhapsody spent its fill in production. Several Freddies had been and gone, rumours swirling about meddling band members, and then director Bryan Singer’s assault accusations...

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Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. review - not your average popstar

Why is M.I.A. such a problematic pop star? Why can't she just shut up and release a hit? Tellingly, this is the very question the singer poses at the start of Matangi/Maya/M.I.A - a question she's been asked throughout her career, from interviewers...

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The King review - the myth behind the man

The most famous face in musical history, and perhaps the instigator of modern culture as we know it; he truly was the King. But for a documentary focused on such an icon, The King touches very little on Elvis Presley the man. This is not another...

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CD: Beth Rowley - Gota Fría

Gota Fría, or “cold drop”, is a Spanish weather phenomenon associated with violent rainstorms, when high pressure has caused a pocket of cold air to dissociate itself from the warmer clouds. Meteorologists, please excuse my basic and probably...

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Robert Gordon: Memphis Rent Party review - a fast-moving Mississippi anthology

“There’s a rhythm in the air around Memphis, there always has been,” Carl Perkins once said. "I don't know what it is, but it's magic." The city on the Mississippi lives up to its musical heritage with performance venues aplenty, and a host of...

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Hip Hop Evolution, Sky Arts review - foundations of a revolution

Comprehensively charting hip hop’s rise from the underground to the mainstream is no mean feat, but that’s exactly what Canadian MC Shad aims to do over four hour-long episodes. Originally shown in the US in 2016, and available in full on Netflix,...

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Mood Music, Old Vic review - riveting critique of the music biz

Playwright Joe Penhall and the music biz? Well, they have history. When he was writing the book for Sunny Afternoon, his 2014 hit musical about the Kinks, he had a few run-ins with Ray Davies, the band’s lead singer. A couple of years ago The Stage...

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theartsdesk in Ramallah - the music biz turns its sights on Palestine

Maen, a member of the rap collective Sa’aleek, was working one night in their small makeshift studio in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. He dozed off, only to find the studio door had been concreted over and he was trapped. It took fellow...

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Score review - breathless dash through music and film

The crucial yet almost indefinable role of music in film – it’s a subject ripe for exploration and celebration, from the musicological technicalities of leitmotifs and ostinatos, through to the colourful characters working to bring directors’...

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